Moral Preening App

Andrew Yang

by baldilocks

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

— Matthew 6:1-4

But, then, there are other schools of thought on this matter.

New York entrepreneur and Democratic 2020 [POTUS] candidate Andrew Yang wants to implement a system in which a government-run mobile app rewards Americans with “digital social credits” (DSCs) for good behavior.

Americans would receive DSCs under Yang’s system for things such as “participating in a town fair,” “fixing a neighbor’s appliance” or “tutoring a student,” his presidential campaign website explains.

“As individuals rack up DSCs, they would have both a permanent balance they’ve earned over their lifetime and a current balance. They could cash the points in for experiences, purchases with participating vendors, support for causes, and transfer points to others for special occasions,” Yang states on his website.

“As their permanent balance gets higher, they might qualify for various perks like throwing a pitch at a local ballgame, an audience with their local Congressperson or meeting their state’s most civic-minded athlete or celebrity.”

What could go wrong?

Yang’s social credit plan bears some similarities to the social credit system implemented by China’s authoritarian government.

Every citizen in China is assigned a social credit score that determines whether they can buy plane or train tickets.

Unlike the Chinese system, Yang’s plan does not include using digital social credit for punitive measures.

Emphasis mine. Such an app probably wouldn’t have the ability to dish out the type of punishment that the Chinese government does. However, wouldn’t it be interesting for such an app to contain a shaming measure for “bad behavior” — eating at Chick-Fil-A or supporting a pro-life organization, for examples?

Bad behavior could earn the offender a shame-swarm on Twitter or, perhaps, a visit from that chapter of ANTIFA which last seen paying call at Tucker Carlson’s house.

Surely, such a feature bug would never be built into this app. Surely not. (Insert side-eye here.)

Leave it to a Democrat politician to creep us all out. And, unlike Representative-elect Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, this one appears to have more than a few IQ points. Even creepier.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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