September 25, 2008

What was wrong with this picture?

A couple of years ago, the median sales price of a Los Angeles area home was $580,000. But, as Ed Rubenstein had reported on VDARE.com in 2004:

"A new study by the United Way of Los Angeles finds that 53 percent of the city’s adult population—3.8 million people—are functionally illiterate."

Do you notice a problem, a certain contradiction between very high home prices and very low human capital? If you stop and think, you might wonder how a whole bunch of people who can't read and write English are ever going to make enough money to pay off these humongous and humongously leveraged mortgages

But, nobody was supposed to stop and think because that would be racist.

As Glaivester pointed out, one of the truly insightful scenes in modern cinematic history, an exchange of dialogue that speaks profoundly about the human condition in the 21st Century, occurs in "Deuce Bigelow, European Gigolo," when Deuce Bigelow (Rob Schneider) tracks down his fugitive friend T.J. Hicks (Eddie Griffin) in Amsterdam by looking for him at the Van Gogh Chicken and Waffles Joint.

TJ: How'd you find me?

Deuce: It’s the only chicken and waffles place in Holland.

TJ: So, a black man's gotta be at a chicken and waffles place? That's racist.

Deuce: But you are here.

TJ: Yeah, but figuring it out is racist.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

14 comments:

anony-mouse said...

There's no contradiction in having a largely functionally illiterate population and costly homes if the functionally literate are the ones owning the homes.

That's the way it usually worked in the middle ages at least.

StephenT said...

anony-mouse said:
"That's the way it usually worked in the middle ages at least."

It still works that way today in a country I can think of, which happens -- by an amazing coincidence -- to be the very same country most of those functional illiterates in L.A. came from, illegally.
(Yikes. Could it possibly be that we CAN'T import multi-millions of Mexicans into this country without importing the status quo of Mexico with them?)

Anonymous said...

All hope lies with the House Republicans, though that shouldn't stop us from emailing, calling, and faxing the others. From everything I've read, few politicians will concede what is going on and Pelosi and the like are bitter towards the House Republicans.

The future is going to be bad (the social security and medicare crisis is coming down the pike, hoo boy!), but what they don't get is that it has already been bad for a couple years because of the very things that are now hurting Wall Street. BTW, I just learned five days ago that my mom-in-law lost her job and is owed nearly $10,000 by the hospital that went bankrupt. Yep, you guessed it, they catered to migrant workers and poor blacks. But that is nothing compared to the "carousel", as my nurse family members call it, she was on a couple years ago where $25,000+ was shelled out just to find out she didn't have cancer: the lost revenue to the hospitals and doctors has to come from somewhere.

In spite of it all, she just picked herself up and left for Virginia to be away from her family for two months to do travel nursing. She's never left her family like this before.

I'm sure each of you has similar stories.

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/

Statsquatch said...

This reminds me of LaGriffe's "Differential Cut off theory" where he claims the way to optimize University GPA is to hold groups with lower average SAT scores to a higher standard (http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/dct.htm).

The math seems to work out. Maybe the same principle holds with respect to FICO scores and mortgages. Is just treating everyone equally a good way to go broke?

Anonymous said...

"All hope lies with the House Republicans, though that shouldn't stop us from emailing, calling, and faxing the others."

Free market purists are going to cut off their noses to spite their face if they block this bailout. It may not be perfect, but if Republicans sabotage a deal and act like reincarnations of Herbert Hoover, you're going to turn Obama into FDR. You'll end up with the country even further to the left.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You might get a kick out of this. You probably heard that Washington Mutual just went bust. Check out the last press release on their site (quick, while the link still works):

"WaMu Recognized as Top Diverse Employer—Again"

Toadal said...

Anonymous said... The future is going to be bad (the social security and medicare crisis is coming down the pike
Economist Milton Friedman famously said, "You can't have free immigration and a welfare state." He was correct. You can't flood our American cities with illegal marginal workers -- and, for example, provide good healthcare for everyone. Studies have shown lower class US citizens receive more from government than they contribute. In our free-market system, it is the large, literate and productive American middle class who contribute more than they receive. And it is their productivity that raises the living standards of our lower class. The vast majority of illegals compete directly with our most vulnerable white, Hispanic, and African American citizens, suppressing their wages and increasing their hardship. A country's quality of life varies directly with the contribution of its population.

Peoples Ability Varies

In Mexico only 13% of adults have a high school diploma versus 87% of American adults. The Program in International Student Achievement (PISA) reading and mathematics test scores for Mexicans taught reading and mathematics in Spanish are just as bad, if not worse, than those who have fled here. PISA officials estimate over 50% of Mexican 15-year old youth today are functionally illiterate and thus unable to compete in Mexico's economy.

http://www.worldfund.org/index.php?q=Education-Gap.html _and_ http://www.worldfund.org

Latin American students perform poorly on national and international tests, and even the best Latin American students tested often score only as well as the “average” student in the most competitive economies. In fact, PISA tests have shown 2/3s of Mexican students could not consistently apply basic mathematical skills to understand an everyday situation. This has obvious ramifications for U.S. competitiveness with other advanced economies. Only about 20 percent of students in OECD countries showed similar deficiencies.

http://www.thedialogue.org/page.cfm?pageID=32&pubID=1200&s=pisa
Building Human Capital - Is Latin American Education Competitive-.pdf

Canada has a large immigration program and guaranteed health care for everyone, including foreigners who are legal residents. Canada does not tolerate illegal immigration. It can't afford to extend its expensive benefits to people who don't belong there.

Anonymous said...

Ignoramus is comparing median price of an LA *area* home with the percentage of illiterate adults in LA *proper*.

Steve Sailer said...

"LA Area" in this case is the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area -- i.e., LA City is most of the "area" and the parts that aren't within the city limits, such as Long Beach and Glendale, aren't that different from LA.

CJ said...

That "Washington Mutual Recognized Again as Top Diverse Employer" link really is rather hilarious. Maybe the equity holders and shareholders who were just wiped out might not think so, but for everybody else it's a howler.

Anonymous said...

I love cheap labor,don't you?
I love vacationing in mexico,don't you?

All these statistics are great but let's keep it real, cheap labor is great!


Thought:
I wonder if those $500,000 plus homes the contractors were all law abiding?!

gf said...

In Mexico only 13% of adults have a high school diploma versus 87% of American adults.

That's interesting, in that George Borgas (1999) stated that "Less than 1 percent of Mexico's adult male population has completed a secondary education."

Canada does not tolerate illegal immigration. It can't afford to extend its expensive benefits to people who don't belong there.

True, but that hasn't stopped us from creating a situation in which "only about 17% of our immigration intake is selected for economic reasons. The remaining 83% come to Canada because they have been sponsored by their relatives or because they are refugees, or there are humanitarian reasons for admitting them. It's little wonder then that 51% of those immigrants who have landed since the early 1990s are living below the poverty line."

Lawful Neutral said...

you're going to turn Obama into FDR.

Yep. President Obama will almost certainly go down in history as the second FDR and the savior of the nation. At least, he will for as long as the US State and federal governments continue buying textbooks, which should be several decades at least.

Glaivester said...

Thanks for the link!