When a car is sold in the United States, the safety features on that car — the airbags, the bumper — they are built to US safety standards. There is a different set of standards in Europe. To sell a Jeep Wrangler in Europe, Chrysler has to redesign and replace a bunch of seemingly random parts of the car.
The Europeans have the same issue. The new Volkswagen Golf R is driving on the autobahns in Berlin, but not yet in the US. Before the car can come to the US, the German company has to manufacture the car for a completely different set of safety regulations.
Today on the show: why can't you build a car that can be driven anywhere in the world?
"What's surprising is that we find that most people seem to endorse hierarchy when they think they're attractive and oppose it when they think they're not," Belmi said. "Why would people's stance on inequality shift so quickly depending on whether they think they are attractive?"
Belmi began the research after he noticed that Americans' colossal spending on personal grooming kept up despite the recession. Americans spent at least $200 billion on their physical appearance in 2008 — and continue to up the ante. Cosmetic surgery is now the fastest-growing medical expenditure. And, today, Americans are willing to spend more on personal grooming than on their reading material, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
If people were willing to keep spending on beauty products in the face of economic hardship, Belmi reasoned, there might be a reason why.
The research found that the mirror effect held true for study participants regardless of gender or ethnicity. Feeling attractive changed their own views of where they fell in the hierarchy, and where others should fall.
"Everyone has had the experience of feeling attractive —or unattractive," said Neale. "Other researchers have examined how others' notions of our physical attractiveness affects us; what we looked at was the impact of how you felt about yourself."
Belmi and Neale's research doesn't address how cultural stereotypes of beauty — such as, in the United States, having lighter skin and straight hair— might be internalized and lead to self-stereotyping. But if you feel you are unattractive or don't fit the cultural stereotype, you may also feel that you belong in a lower social class, Belmi said.
Why do some lionize him? The grazing subsidy is extremely inexpensive and a massive transfer of money from the taxpayer to the cattleman. This guy seems to want even more. By any reasonable standard he is a huge welfare queen who is trying to game the system.
Similar logic was in play with the push in various states to pass laws giving rights to businesses to discriminate against customers or employees on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, as long as they ascribed their desire to do so on the grounds of “sincere religious belief.” Being allowed a special exemption to universally applicable laws doesn’t get any more blatant than that. There wasn’t even an attempt at propping up the illusion of fairness by, say, allowing gay or female business owners to discriminate against religious bigots. Being a religious conservative was the only way to be eligible for this special privilege of treating customers and employees like dirt if you want to.
While that spate of bills was defeated after public outcry, the narrative that conservatives have a special right — privilege, really — that no one else should have to defy any laws they happen not to like had rooted itself into right-wing media, which enthusiastically championed the idea that conservatives should be able to opt out of all sorts of laws as long as they wielded “religious belief” as an excuse.
Cliven Bundy doesn’t use religion as his excuse, but he still insists that since he doesn’t believe in the “United States government as even existing,” then he shouldn’t have to follow its laws. It’s a logical extension of the anti-gay and anti-contraception “opt out” arguments, rooted as it is in a belief that conservatives have a unique claim to simply reject any laws they don’t want to follow, even as they, like Bundy, take advantage of the amenities of citizenship.
No wonder conservative media is so warm to the guy. To be clear, none of these actions should be confused with civil disobedience, though some have tried. Civil disobedience is about changing unjust laws, not trying to get a special exception from the law for you and people like you. The only reason right-wing media is giving sympathetic coverage to Bundy is that he’s identifiable as a conservative and therefore his desire to make money off the backs of taxpayers without paying his fair share gets sympathetic treatment. But if he was black or female and got away with even a dollar more food stamps than he was owed, he would be treated like public enemy No. 1 by Fox News. Being able to shrug off laws you don’t like is a privilege reserved for the few in the world of conservative media