July 30, 2010

A triumph of assimilation

From the Associated Press, we witness a triumph of assimilation: Hispanics have learned to tell pollsters what they are supposed to say as good Americans about the all-important value of a 4-year college diploma. They don't, actually, do all that much toward earning 4-year degrees, but they talk a good assimilated game, and that's what's really important, now isn't it?
More than 10 years have passed since she gave up her pursuit of a degree in computer science, but Yajahira Deaza still has regrets.

"I feel incomplete," says the 33-year-old, a customer service representative for a major New York bank. Her experience reflects the findings of an Associated Press-Univision poll that examined the attitudes of Latino adults toward higher education.

Despite strong belief in the value of a college diploma, Hispanics more often than not fall short of that goal.
The poll's findings have broad implications not only for educators and parents, but also for the U.S. economy.
In the next decade, U.S. companies will have to fill millions of jobs to replace well-trained baby boomers going into retirement. As the nation's largest minority group, Latinos account for a growing share of the pool of workers, yet their skills may not be up to par. ...

"Aspirations for higher education are very strong among Hispanics, but there is a yawning discrepancy between aspirations and actual attainment," said Richard Fry, an education researcher at the Pew Hispanic Center.

Indeed, the poll, also sponsored by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, found that Hispanics value higher education more than do Americans as a whole. Eighty-seven percent said a college education is extremely or very important, compared with 78% of the overall U.S. population.

Ninety-four percent of Latinos say they expect their own children to go to college, a desire that's slightly stronger for girls. Seventy-four percent said the most important goal for a girl right after high school is to attend a four-year college, compared with 71% for boys.

Enthusiasm about higher education hasn't been matched by results.

Census figures show that only 13% of Hispanics have a college degree or higher, compared with 30% among Americans overall.

The poll revealed some of the roadblocks: Latinos do not have enough money, yet many are reluctant to borrow.

Buying an expensive California house with a zero-down subprime mortgage isn't really "borrowing." It's investing in the American Dream!

In the poll, just 29% cited poor grades in high school as an extremely or very important reason for not going to college.


Dropping out of high school can be an extremely important reason for not going to college, and a larger percentage than that of U.S.-raised Hispanics drop out of high school. Also, having a child out of wedlock can put a damper on your college plans, and 51% of Hispanic babies are born out of wedlock.
... Deaza, the New York bank employee, said that is why she had to leave her computer studies back in the late 1990s. A single mom-to-be, she was expecting her first child, a daughter who's now 11.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the next decade, U.S. companies will have to fill millions of jobs to replace well-trained baby boomers going into retirement.



Maybe they could hire some of the well-trained people currently unemployed?

Nah, never happen.

agnostic said...

They aren't even assimilating in their given names, which have no monetary cost, are not fought over like a zero-sum resource, and don't require a high IQ to provide.

Instead of Yajahira, why not Jennahira or Yajabella?

Italians don't have Italian names anymore, and look at how quickly Jews jumped all over WASPy names like Morton, Sheldon, and Stanley. Hispanics haven't even made this easiest of steps toward assimilation.

SGOTI said...

Hey, this could be a fun madlib!

"Aspirations for _____________ are very strong among Hispanics, but there is a yawning discrepancy between aspirations and actual attainment,"

a. education
b. loan repayment
c. children born in wedlock
d. staying out of jail
e. obtaining the proper and adequate insurance
e. obtaining citizenship and all of the civil duties with which it is associated

Harry Baldwin said...

Here's something that the recent immigration debate has brought home to me: if we accept it as a given that Mexican-Americans are going to oppose any effort to enforce our borders, doesn't that indicate that it's a really bad idea to allow significant numbers of Hispanics into this country? Isn't it clear that they don't see themselves as Americans, concerned with what's good for America, but as Mexicans who are primarily concerned with their alien nationalistic agenda?

I heard the weekly political discussion today on NPR between E.J. Dionne and David Brooks. Both agreed that California is lost to the Republicans due to the Mexican element, but they talk about it as if it were some natural phenomena in which no intervention would have been conceivable. The Mexican takeover of California is one of those subjects, which one may observe but not disapprove of. We have to pretend that there can be no qualitative difference between the California of 1960 and that of 2010, except that, as Obama tells us, we need to spend more on education.

Kylie said...

Steve Sailer said..."Hispanics have learned to tell pollsters what they are supposed to say as good Americans about the all-important value of a 4-year college diploma. They don't, actually, do all that much toward earning 4-year degrees, but they talk a good assimilated game, and that's what's really important, now isn't it?"

It's the same with African- Americans. When I lived a in low-income, mixed-race neighborhood, I often heard blacks talk about their aspirations in the most glowing terms. They were going to get a college education, start their own business, buy their own home, etc. I don't recall any of them ever taking so much as a baby step toward realizing their loudly-proclaimed goals. They'd go right on smoking crack, having illegitimate babies, trying to get disability for imagined or exaggerated illnesses or injuries, getting arrested (usually for minor violence or theft), etc. The first year or so I listened to them, I was really heartened to hear that blacks were trying to improve their lots in life and pursue the American dream just like I was. Later I realized that neither their stated goals nor their dysfunctional behaviors had changed one bit. They all knew how to talk the talk; apparently to them, that was as good as walking the walk.

Eventually I realized that a major reason why middle-class whites are so often taken in by what black people say is that the latter are very good at figuring out what you want to hear and then telling it to you. The disconnect between what they say and what they do doesn't bother them at all.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/07/29/arizona.immigration.oscars.story/?hpt=Sbin

Engineering grad returns to Mexico, now waits to become legal

none of the above said...

Perhaps this is a bit like diet and exercise. Pretty much everyone in the country knows that being overweight and out of shape is seriously bad for you, and that regular exercise and a better diet are both things they should be working at. And yet, the knowledge doesn't actually cause the fat bellies and fat asses to get any smaller.

Probably, that's because losing weight is hard--you have to change your whole lifestyle, in ways that will at least initially be pretty uncomfortable and inconvenient. So even though almost everyone knows broadly what they ought to be doing, most people don't do it.

It's not unreasonable to want to make sure everyone knows that it's unhealthy to be fat and out of shape, or that it's a good move for your future, assuming you have the brains, to graduate high school and go on to college. Knowing that is a good thing. But that doesn't mean you're going to do it.

Whiskey said...

But who is more successful Steve?

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, worth $4 billion, who has the obligatory Chinese girlfriend, or say, Levi Johnston, father of two already?

If Mark Steyn is correct, that the future belongs to those who show up for it, is not Yajahira more in tune with success? She's had a couple of kids, as a single mom, and forgoing college to have kids at a very early age turns out to have one key advantage:

PEOPLE.

Who cares if they are poor if they simply take over, due to demographics?

Being able to sacrifice college for kids at younger fertility ages allows Mexicans to overwhelm other groups demographically. This is akin to Muslims in Gaza/West Bank who argue that the enhanced fertility of their women, by a ratio of 5-1, will allow them to simply overwhelm Israel and drive it into the sea. That they are poor is of no consequence, they can always extort money from Europe.

Yes this game ends in tears for those who play it, but it can go on for some time.

Yajahira is not stupid -- she chose sexy/dominant bad boy and a kid by him, over diligent-nerdy guy (yes, there are some even among Mexicans) because of the genetic advantage of a "sexy son."

Ignacio Allende said...

There is a cultural gulf here that American pollsters and consumers of these data miss. Asking Hispanics if they'd like to achieve higher education is kind of like asking non-Hispanic whites if they'd like to be rich. Sure, who wouldn't rather be rich than poor.

This question is an abstraction for most Hispanics who nonetheless have it drilled into them in the US that education is often part of becoming rich. Most are not that familiar with the sacrifices required or nearly as focused and passionate about making it a life goal. Getting married and having kids are much higher priorities as every stats bears out. Many follow the advice so often given here about pursuing a vocational training rather than academic studies.

Whatever the causes for Mexican immigrants to underperform academically compared to their IQ, Mexico's high dropout rate gives a frame of reference for interpreting the stats in the US.

Mexico has a huge dropout rate even based on official statistics. A 2007 UNESCO Report shows a 32.9% failure rate and 15.5 drop-out rate for secondary school (approx US middle school, 12-15yr) with only 60% eventually graduating roughly grade school.

Even paring off the bottom 40% of 15yr old students, Mexico ranks rock bottom in every recent PISA exam in Math, Literacy and Science which is given to 15yr old students in OECD countries

Anonymous said...

Once again I will take the opportunity during a discussion of immigration to mention the Indo-Bangladeshi Barrier. This is a fence being built along a 2500 mile border between India (USA) and Bangladesh (Mexico) to prevent illegal migration. If India can do this, why can't we?

Big bill said...

So we are taking these poor ignorant brown people, happy as clams living in rural poverty for 500 years of white Spanish rule and converting them to welfare and liberalism.

Poor girl wants to spread 'em wide and make babies like she has for 5,000 years as a pagan and for 500 years as a nominal Catholic, but in the space of 10-15 years in America she aspires to be a German, Episcopalian, Jew or Chinese.

And when she realizes she can't make it what with her breeding urges, lack of impulse control, and low IQ, I fear she will be converted to NAMism and blame the white man.

To raise peasant expectations and fill their heads with overclass dreams when they don't have the personal or cultural tools and traditions necessary to advance the expectations is a grotesque cruelty and very likely to blow up in our faces.

If you keep telling your 85 IQ child how important college is, you keep nagging him about grades and suggesting he is not applying himself, telling him that college and success is within his grasp,all the while cooing over his younger and smarter brother and his wonderful academic awards and achievements, you are going to wind up with a desperately unhappy child. That is what our teachers are doing.

On the other hand, if you treat him like a feudal peasant, laud him on how well he digs a ditch, and compliment him on his capacity to keep his peasant hovel swept and well-roofed and never ever mention college (as the overclass does in Mexico), you can keep him as a happy, diligent peasant for hundreds of years.

But once you start with the automatic and unquestioned assumption that college is the final goal -- and the flip side -- that not going to college makes one a loser -- you clutch an asp to your breast and undo the 5000 years of bred to the bone bovine peasant docility that made you smile upon gentle Jose, your 50 year old yardboy, and happy Maria, your 48 year old cook/housekeeper/laundress.

elvisd said...

"Do you value college?" What an empty question. I guess it has to be asked as an introductory question, but how about:

"When do you start actively planning for college?"

"How much time have you spent researching colleges (outside of financial aid research)?" etc etc.

Everyone thinks college is great. And as anyone who teaches high school will tell you, every kid is going to be a doctor or lawyer (since those are the only professions that apparently exist in the the minds of so many kids), unless they are headed for the NBA.

Truth said...

" Later I realized that neither their stated goals nor their dysfunctional behaviors had changed one bit. They all knew how to talk the talk; apparently to them, that was as good as walking the walk."

Is that truly, a somehow less desirable trait than say, what the posters here do, in constantly whining about what someone else is doing? In essence, living life as spectators?

Kylie said...

Anonymous said..."This is a fence being built along a 2500 mile border between India (USA) and Bangladesh (Mexico) to prevent illegal migration. If India can do this, why can't we?"

Apples and oranges. India has a democracy which emerged from--or was imposed on--a society with a caste system (hierarchy). America is a reputedly "classless" democracy (egalitarian). Much in India is conducive to the idea of exclusion just as much in America is conducive to the idea of inclusion.

So, lack of cultural tradition and political will on the part of American elites is the reason that we "can't".

Svigor said...

This is akin to Muslims in Gaza/West Bank who argue that the enhanced fertility of their women, by a ratio of 5-1, will allow them to simply overwhelm Israel and drive it into the sea. That they are poor is of no consequence, they can always extort money from Europe.

That's an interesting mixed metaphor.

I think it's motivated by the fact that democracy would doom Israel. So you cook up a more suitable enemy, the kind that drives its enemies into the sea (yeah armies of penniless bums are sooo threatening); becoming the majority in an actual western-style democracy is so...underwhelming.

But we can be honest - nobody here but us hard-nosed realists, right? Democracy dooms Israel.

Jock Miens said...

OFF TOPIC - New York Times wedding announcment search tool:

http://www.weddingcredential.com/

Escapist said...

Immigrants are not the only ones who don’t put their stated goals on priority.

Along the lines of the point that None Of the Above made: the path to being trim is known (and everyone wants to look good) but a large % of Americans are overweight or obese – because other things (like the joy of junk food) are more important to them. Likewise, many Americans support closing the border/limited immigration, but don’t bother supporting Tancredo type candidates, even in the primaries – because other things are more important to them (like the joy of receiving Other People’s Money, which is generally most lavishly provided by candidates on the RINO/left side of the spectrum – who benefit from the importation of socialist-leaning populations).

Anonymous said...

"Do you value college?" is indeed a dumb question. I value medical school and I value engineering degrees but I will never be a doctor or an engineer.

The Hispanics saying that they value college may just be saying that they have respect for the educational attainments of others. You can be in a wheelchair and still love the ballet. "Do you think that your child will graduate from college?" might be a better question.

To add to what someone posted above me, I would like to lose weight AND learn to speak German. Both are hard to do, and my level of motivation doesn't seem adequate to achieve either goal most of the time.

The inner-city blacks who yammered on about their lofty goals is interesting. White people often won't speak openly about their hopes and dreams because they don't want to be laughed at, especially if they have failed at something before. Blacks are probably NEVER laughed at by whites, at least to their faces.

Anonymous said...

The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, found that Hispanics value higher education more than do Americans as a whole. Eighty-seven percent said a college education is extremely or very important, compared with 78% of the overall U.S. population.

More evidence for lower Hispanic IQ, since college degrees generally *are* pretty worthless. Yet only 13% of Hispanics realize this obvious fact, compared with 22% of the overall population.