November 24, 2013

Charlotte Allen's "Silicon Chasm"

Charlotte Allen has another well-reported cover story in The Weekly Standard, following earlier ones on the SPLC and the White Privilege Conference. This one is "Silicon Chasm: The class divide on America's cutting edge."

The middle class is doing well in Silicon Valley, if you define the middle class to be people like my old Rice U. roommate Fritz, an engineer and former U.S. Navy officer who is head of quality control for a Silicon Valley firm that makes pacemakers and other more advanced life-and-death medical devices. Back in the 1990s, he and his wife tired of their 900 square foot house in the Valley, so they moved their family to Half Moon Bay on the foggy Pacific. Fritz does the long commute over the Santa Cruz Mountains. It's a fine middle class life, if you assume that the middle class starts at about Rice STEM grads and goes up from there.

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the best articles I've ever read in the Weekly Standard.

Leslie Misrock said...

Ahh. Half Moon Bay. I almost bought a houseboat on Half Moon Bay. I was going to commute on my BMW motorcycle over the mountains every day to work for a patent firm in Menlo Park.

But then I remembered.

I may have gone to Harvard Law School, but I was still an American and want to live in America.

SinoIndioMexicoAmerica just wasn't for me.

I guess you just have to be raised there (or Bangalore, or Shanghai) to truly appreciate The Vibrancy.

Anonymous said...

I interviewed 38-year-old Nikesh Kalma, Santa Clara-born of Indian immigrant parents, who, with an MBA from Oxford, is an executive for Equinix, a cloud-storage landlord headquartered in Redwood City. “The perception is that Indians are taking away good American jobs,” Kalma said. “The reality is that you Americans can’t turn out engineers fast enough.”

Nothing worse than a pretentious Desi. They beat Europeans at the elitism game, hands down. Quite fitting that she refers to Americans in the second person despite reaping all the benefits of US citizenship herself.

Anonymous said...

From Charlotte Allen's article, page three, I found this quote troubling:

I interviewed 38-year-old Nikesh Kalma, Santa Clara-born of Indian immigrant parents, who, with an MBA from Oxford, is an executive for Equinix, a cloud-storage landlord headquartered in Redwood City. “The perception is that Indians are taking away good American jobs,” Kalma said. “The reality is that you Americans can’t turn out engineers fast enough.”

So an Indian, born in Santa Clara, refers to fellow Americans as "you Americans". It would appear that despite his birthright citizenship, he feels more loyalty to his parent's country than to the US.

My parents are foreign born too. But I don't speak their native tongue, nor do I really care about their native country. I guess I am what is called assimilated.

Lean In said...

The bike rack / leafblower juxtaposition is adroit--leisurely aristocrats, indeed. Stanvard and Harvord always endeavored to groom the next overclass, but were late to realize that gay-married San Mateo Democrats work just as well as blue-blooded Fairfield Republicans. Plus the masses do so love their Twitter.

Anonymous said...

But the real relevant chasm for conservatives is that all those rich folks in Silicon Valley are liberal Democrats.

If most of them were conservative Republicans, most cons would be praising them to high heaven for their success and would be calling the less fortunate Americans a bunch of 'sore losers'.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/11/this-is-bigger-than-a-nuclear-deal/281792/

Well, Obama finally earns his Peace Award.

Gotta give credit where it's due. To be sure, liberal Zionists figured this is better than another war which will surely mess up this country.

Anonymous said...

Really, tired of this let's talk about the elites in the South with the mansions and the white poor or black places or the Mexican or white poor places. Not everyone lives nice in Texas. Some whites live in Apartments too. In fact Harris County has as much homeless as San Diego. Harris is cheaper to live.

Anonymous said...

If most of them were conservative Republicans, most cons would be praising them to high heaven for their success and would be calling the less fortunate Americans a bunch of 'sore losers'.

And if two-thirds to three-fourths of third worlders voted GOP, the democrats would join the minutemen on the border.

Unanimous said...

Silicon Serfdom, coming to a village near you.

anony-mouse said...

90% of the lords and the serfs in the Bay area vote Dem. That's quite an accomplishment for the
Dems. I'm sure there was more divergence in the Gilded Age.

Anonymous said...

So an Indian, born in Santa Clara, refers to fellow Americans as "you Americans". It would appear that despite his birthright citizenship, he feels more loyalty to his parent's country than to the US.

He probably feels more loyalty to his caste, than to any country.

Modern Abraham said...

I'm a bit of a real estate hound so one thing that immediately struck me is that housing in Silicon Valley is- CHEAAAAAP!

Don't get me wrong, I know it's ridiculous and miserable for anyone who's not already rich or at least in a family with two 6-figure incomes. However, given that we're talking about some of the richest people in the world living in the SF Peninsula (Google guys, Facebook ferret, Ellison, Steve Jobs- RIP) these prices seem rather tame.

7 million for a mansion-sized house? Doesn't a 3 bedroom apartment in Manhattan go for that? And isn't the occupant usually some mid-level, investment banker jack-off? The most expensive house in San Fran recently sold for only about 54 million, and it comes with a pool and premier views of the Golden Gate bridge (in my opinion the most beautiful view on the planet). Isn't that about the price of owning a a penthouse floor in one of NYC's better towers?

New York City- dystopia central. Turncoat quants and Master of the Universe jerk-offs coming up with new financial skimming schemes the rest of us ultimately pay for, all to climb up the ladder and one day own an apartment with great vies of the trash processing center or the latest muggings in Central Park.

SF/Silicon Valley- single-handedly restored the U.S. to first-world economic leader standing (remember when Perot admonished us the we were becoming a nation that made potato chips instead of computer chips? Now electronics have become a commodity and the top of the value chain is providing software and data services without which those hand-held mobile electronics would be so much plastic junk).

Steve Sailer said...

The central political message of Richard Henry Dana's 1840 bestselling memoir of his days sailing from Boston to California, Two Years Before the Mast, was that the San Francisco Bay area was the best place to live on earth, and practically NOBODY LIVED THERE. Hint. Hint.

Anonymous said...

Turncoat quants and Master of the Universe jerk-offs coming up with new financial skimming schemes the rest of us ultimately pay for, all to climb up the ladder and one day own an apartment with great views of the trash processing center or the latest muggings in Central Park.

LOL, just about the time I swear off blog comments I see something like this that makes me keep coming back for more.

Ed said...

I interviewed 38-year-old Nikesh Kalma, Santa Clara-born of Indian immigrant parents, who, with an MBA from Oxford, is an executive for Equinix, a cloud-storage landlord headquartered in Redwood City. “The perception is that Indians are taking away good American jobs,” Kalma said. “The reality is that you Americans can’t turn out engineers fast enough.”

A nice little gem from the Old World. Ethnic identity will always trump silly national identity for most immigrants and their children. Americans are being played for suckers. Things should get interesting as a result in the coming decades.

Whiskey said...

Steve, did you read Joel Kotkin's piece last Sunday (sadly behind the OC Register paywall) about how the Silicon Valley Oligarchs as he calls them are bad models for America.

Kotkin notes that the Valley Oligarchs (nice term btw) employ fairly few people. They pay their people relatively little. Job levels are still 90 down from peaks in 2006. Growth is anemic. And they outsource most of their labor.

Kotkin is slowly understanding. He has a way to go. But he seems to be grasping this disaster.

My sense is we are on the precipice of a violent revolution. What are all the people who used to be middle class supposed to do? The Oligarchs don't even think on that. Because they are not very smart.

Anonymous said...

So an Indian, born in Santa Clara, refers to fellow Americans as "you Americans".

That's pretty typical with Indians. Quite common with Chinese, too. Exceptionally rare with children of East European immigrants.

I guess love for your fellow citizens is not color blind either.

Carol said...

I never regretted my move from Socal to BFE in 1975.

Anonymous said...

Did you see Matthew Yglesias's recent piece?

"We Need More Homes For Billionaires"

http://www.businessinsider.com/we-need-more-homes-for-billionaires-2013-11

In it he writes that "America’s greatest export product is America itself, whether it’s apartments in Manhattan or beachfront condos in Miami." So at least on some level he understands that the pro-immigration policy he supports involves "exporting" i.e. trading away US territory to foreigners. What he doesn't seem to get or admit is that unlike a factory making widgets and shipping them overseas, the thing he supports "exporting" here is in fixed supply (US territory) and can't be replenished, and that he and people like can't just decide to trade away US territory like they own it all or something.

Anonymous said...

Exceptionally rare with children of East European immigrants.

Where do you meet children of Eastern European immigrants?

Anonymous said...

Geez, Steve, why don't you spend a couple of weeks bumming around SF/Silicon Valley and environs?

Half-Moon Bay is not a come-down from Silicon Valley. It is a pretty, laid-back town right on the Pacific Ocean. It is really too much of a daily drive to the Valley (part of it on a 2-lane, winding highway).

Matthew said...

FWD.us, unlike other pro-immigration groups, isn’t much interested in amnesty for illegal immigrants or easier border-crossing for lettuce-pickers.

If FWD.us wasn't interested in amnesty for illegals, it wouldn't be pushing for amnesty for illegals. It wants those Menlo Park Mexicans as badly as it wants cheap programmers. Workers in Silicon Valley want servants. They don't want to mow their own lawns, clean their own homes, or cook their own food. They want neofeudalism. (A term I've been using for a long time. Nice to see Joel Kotkin embracing it.)

Without the illegals, the real estate prices in Silicon Valley would drop, as residents there would have to pay more for American workers to provide them services. The tolerance of illegal immigration amounts to a transfer payment, from Americans who would be working there to the owners of real estate in Silicon Valley.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Turncoat quants"

That was indeed an amusing comment, but the guy in question, Sergey Aleynikov, got railroaded in a major way. He's recently had a small measure of vindication in appellate proceedings.

Michael Lewis Vanity Fair piece

Anonymous said...

I interviewed 38-year-old Nikesh Kalma, Santa Clara-born of Indian immigrant parents, who, with an MBA from Oxford, is an executive for Equinix, a cloud-storage landlord headquartered in Redwood City. “The perception is that Indians are taking away good American jobs,” Kalma said. “The reality is that you Americans can’t turn out engineers fast enough.”

A nice little gem from the Old World. Ethnic identity will always trump silly national identity for most immigrants and their children.


You Americans are fools to anchor your futures to the shifting sands of national political boundaries.

Anonymous said...

Where do you meet children of Eastern European immigrants?

I am an Eastern European immigrant. I have children. I know a lot of others and they all have children. Myself, I am grateful for this country letting me in - even if I think this was basically a mistake because we DID bring wages down. At this point I care about USA a lot more than I care about the country were I spend first half of my life. And still, there are a lot of situations where I think of Americans as if I am not part of that set. My children are 99.99% Americans however. The only thing that sets them apart is that we don't speak English at home.

Anonymous said...

If FWD.us wasn't interested in amnesty for illegals, it wouldn't be pushing for amnesty for illegals. It wants those Menlo Park Mexicans as badly as it wants cheap programmers. Workers in Silicon Valley want servants.

The household servants are incidental to the people bankrolling FWD.us as they could very easily afford Americans.

The amnesty angle is for political purposes-- to get the bleeding heart Dems on board as well as the Repubs that have opted to represent the interests of plantation owners/construction companies at the expense of the remainder of their constituencies.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/11/this-is-bigger-than-a-nuclear-deal/281792/

Well, Obama finally earns his Peace Award.

Gotta give credit where it's due. To be sure, liberal Zionists figured this is better than another war which will surely mess up this country.


Not so fast... Schumer's head is exploding in response.

McGillicuddy said...

Among Atherton’s 6,883 citizens, 11 are black. Their combined black and hispanic populations are about equal to the number of Athertonites who claim Norwegian ancestry.

Anonymous said...

“The reality is that you Americans can’t turn out engineers fast enough.” - You can do it fast, or you can do it right.

Anonymous said...

I used to work with a youngish Hispanic woman who bought a house in Atherton. Whenever she worked in her yard, she would get passerby's asking to hire her for yard work.

Being a doctor herself, and with a divorce settlement from her husband who was a big-time software VP, she turned them down.

Too bad, because I wanted to film it all for a reality show.

Cail Corishev said...

If FWD.us wasn't interested in amnesty for illegals, it wouldn't be pushing for amnesty for illegals. It wants those Menlo Park Mexicans as badly as it wants cheap programmers.

Right. It's clear that for Mark Zuckerberg, this is about more than cheap coders. Facebook just doesn't hire enough coders for that to matter much; even cutting all their salaries by 75% wouldn't affect the size of Zuckerberg's next mansion any. That's the case for most Internet startups; only the big code factories and call centers like those IBM runs need large numbers of grunt coders, and they can run those in India.

No, it's ideological. Zuckerberg is telling the truth when he says he considers immigration a human right, nonsensical as that is. He's determined to open the borders as wide as he can, for whatever personal reason we don't know. Maybe he just hates Americans.

Anonymous said...

"Ahh. Half Moon Bay. I almost bought a houseboat on Half Moon Bay. I was going to commute on my BMW motorcycle over the mountains every day to work for a patent firm in Menlo Park.

But then I remembered.

I may have gone to Harvard Law School, but I was still an American and want to live in America.

SinoIndioMexicoAmerica just wasn't for me. "


WTF are you talking about? Half Moon Bay is very-white little town on the Pacific Ocean. Menlo Park is a white/Asian town. Few blacks. Hispanics are there to menial work.

You can't get more whitish (the Asians act white) than Menlo Park or Palo Alto.

Mountain Maven said...

Steve you nailed it. Anyone below that threshold, me included has left or will leave. As for the Indian comment, their sensibilities are the same as the rest of the crowd, money is the only thing that counts. Everything is sacrificed for material sucess. And a PC patina to look good.

Dave Pinsen said...

What is BFE?

Anonymous said...

>> A nice little gem from the Old World. Ethnic identity will always trump silly national identity for most immigrants and their children. Americans are being played for suckers. Things should get interesting as a result in the coming decades.

Nikesh's kids WILL view themselves as Americans first. I've seen the same pattern with the Viets.

It's not new. Always been that way since the original Pilgrims. Stop flattering yourselves that you're such special snowflakes. Humans are incredibly predictable.

Anonymous said...

I'm honestly starting to believe that America's superstar thinkers are morons.

So Tyler Cowen believes there'll be no problem with inequality because there wasn't any problem with it in "medieval times"?

Um yeah, because there's been absolutely no ideological/
political/religious/technological changes since the days of the Great Chain of Being.

Folks, lay your bets on China. This country's done for.

Anonymous said...

>> The only thing that sets them apart is that we don't speak English at home


I don't know you, but I know the Viet kids. The kids ==do== speak English at home amongst themselves, when parents are not around. I predict that if your kids visited your country of origin today, the locals would quickly pick them out as having an accent, or as using non-standard idioms, or etc.

Anonymous said...

@anon @10:45 PM:
Yes, absolutely. The kids speak non-English only as courtesy to parents. And they don't do it particularly well either. Oh well, that's life.


That Guy said...

"BFE" stands for "Butt-F*ck Egypt," meaning approximately the same as "way out in the sticks."

Anonymous said...

I was nearly forty before getting my act together and stipped wanting to be an artist. When my wife took a job with a silicon valley non-profit in 1991 we bought a fix-up with an in-law unit and crappy cottage. Slowly over the years things got repaired and spiffed up. Because so little new housing is built around Palo Alto the in-law and cottage started producing half our mortgage payments. About the time the kids left the nest we retired. Then we discovered Airbnb. With the steady flow of international business people who found our home preferable to staying in shoebox hotel rooms we've found a way to have all of our housing costs covered and then some. Through dumb luck of landing in the right place at the right time, and not a lick of STEM employment, we've been able to save for a comfortable retirement. However, it isn't the type of story our over educated neighbors delight in hearing.

Anonymous said...

So an Indian, born in Santa Clara, refers to fellow Americans as "you Americans". It would appear that despite his birthright citizenship, he feels more loyalty to his parent's country than to the US.

I'm actually a bit doubtful that he said this, unless he grew up mainly outside the US after being born in the US. Not because I think he's a pro-American patriot or anything. But because I've dealt with and known US born Indians, and they're way too politically savvy to slip up like this, especially the types that get MBAs and become tech execs and the like.

TheLRC said...

Anon said: The household servants are incidental to the people bankrolling FWD.us as they could very easily afford Americans.

Cail Corishev said: He's determined to open the borders as wide as he can, for whatever personal reason we don't know. Maybe he just hates Americans.

I think anon is wrong and Cail is right; the oligarchs don't just want coders -- they want the full immigrant package.

And I think there's a fairly simple reason, one that if I recall correctly has been discussed here at iSteve before. That is, I think deep down the oligarchs -- whether white, Chinese or Indian -- would prefer a non-threatening immigrant group (i.e. central American Hispanics) to fill servants' roles.

I live in Hong Kong, where hundreds of thousands of Filipinas and Indonesians work as domestic helpers. Yes, there are culture clashes and misunderstandings, but it's a surprisingly stable system, especially given that there are millions of mainland Chinese right across the border who'd seemingly be much better suited to undertake the work.

But they don't. Hong Kong keeps them out, and invites foreign workers instead.

Why? One, for many people who aren't accustomed to being waited on, it may be easier to boss around a foreigner on a daily basis. It's very different giving instructions to a household servant than to a subordinate at work. Certain uncomfortable feelings are avoided.

Second, you don't need to worry about your servants (or their progeny) turning out to be smarty-boots and usurping your (or your progeny's) high-paid future jobs as Angel Capitalist Attractors or Social Networking Marketing Mistresses or whatever. Here in HK that's because domestic workers get no right to stay once their contracts are up, and their kids don't live here, for cost and other practical reasons. In the USA, well, ask Mark Zuckerberg to fill in the blanks . . . .

Cail Corishev said...

Cheap workers is part of it, and subservient domestics is part of it. But there's a bigger overall drive that's purely ideological. I think these big shots running global businesses (especially tech companies) begin to think of nations as a quaint annoyance that have nothing to do with them. They fly around to different countries whenever they like, and the people they meet (the cream of the crop, everywhere except at home) are all very pleasant and willing to work together. So if we could just get rid of these silly borders and immigration limits, all those nice people could go where they're most needed and apply their talents to make the world a better place.

Yes, it's an ideology that a teenager should be able to see the holes in. But being really smart and good with math or machines doesn't make you wise about people -- kind of the contrary, often.

elvisd said...

Cheap workers is part of it, and subservient domestics is part of it. But there's a bigger overall drive that's purely ideological. I think these big shots running global businesses (especially tech companies) begin to think of nations as a quaint annoyance that have nothing to do with them. They fly around to different countries whenever they like, and the people they meet (the cream of the crop, everywhere except at home) are all very pleasant and willing to work together. So if we could just get rid of these silly borders and immigration limits, all those nice people could go where they're most needed and apply their talents to make the world a better place.

Just about word for word what I've said to describe Davos Man .

Anonymous said...

90% of the lords and the serfs in the Bay area vote Dem.


The same is true in Manhattan. Once you understand that the Dems are the party of both the rich and the poor, their hostility towards the middle class makes a lot more sense.

Of course the hostility of the GOP towards their middle-class base makes even less sense.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: The household servants are incidental to the people bankrolling FWD.us as they could very easily afford Americans.


Cail Corishev said: He's determined to open the borders as wide as he can, for whatever personal reason we don't know. Maybe he just hates Americans.



Everyone is still stuck in the "They want to hire these people as workers" mentality, whether that be household help, or fruit-pickers, or programmers. And that's wrong, because what they really want are not workers but consumers.

Opened Eyes said...

What are all the people who used to be middle class supposed to do?

The middle-class embraced PC and big gov't, and so deserve their coming poverty and despair. There won't be a revolution because they are sheep.

Bill said...

Anonymous said...

But the real relevant chasm for conservatives is that all those rich folks in Silicon Valley are liberal Democrats.

If most of them were conservative Republicans, most cons would be praising them to high heaven for their success and would be calling the less fortunate Americans a bunch of 'sore losers'.


Do you know any conservatives? 'Cause most cons ARE praising Valley Oligarchs and Finance Thieves to the high heavens and calling less fortunate Americans a bunch of sore losers. That's what conservatives do.

That's the GOP schizzle---Joe the Plumber serving the interests of the Oligarchs. Not for pay, though! No, no: never for pay. Joe volunteers for his local GOP committee 'cause he thinks screwing himself like that is his moral duty. It's in the Constitution and everything!

Bill said...

Where do you meet children of Eastern European immigrants?

There is still significant immigration from Poland---there was a burst starting when the Wall fell which has not quite petered out yet. Chicago and New Jersey have large Polish immigrant communities, for example. There is some immigration from the rest of Eastern Europe, too. You can meet children of such immigrants in east coast urban areas: Atlanta and the DC-Boston corridor, for example. Plus Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Nikesh's kids WILL view themselves as Americans first. I've seen the same pattern with the Viets.


You are missing the point. Nikesh WAS born in America, but refers to Americans as "you Americans". He should consider himself as an American first. We shouldn't have to wait for his children to make this switch. The first-born generation in America should make this switch. Nikesh, like myself, is the first generation of his family born in America, and should consider himself an American first.

elvisd said...

There is some immigration from the rest of Eastern Europe, too. You can meet children of such immigrants in east coast urban areas: Atlanta and the DC-Boston corridor, for example. Plus Chicago.

There is a surprising amounnt of it in the Chattanooga area.

Anonymous said...

"But if the tech scene is really a meritocracy, why are so many of its key players, from Mark Zuckerberg to Steve Jobs, white men? "

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/11/silicon-valley-isnt-a-meritocracy-and-the-cult-of-the-entrepreneur-holds-people-back/

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:55a

You are missing the point. Nikesh WAS born in America, but refers to Americans as "you Americans". He should consider himself as an American first.

I'm surprised you don't get it.

America is composed of two nations since its origins in the 1600's - white and black. Nation's are groups of closely related people of common descent and common history.

Being born in our country does not make you an American, any more than if I were born in Delhi or Caluctta in India I would somehow be a Hindi or Bengali.

White Americans are generically an admixture of the common European types exemplified by the areas covered by the R1a, R1b, I1, and I2 Y chromosomes. Black Americans are generically an admixture of Africans from the west coast between Senegal and Angola, liberally salted with 5-25% of their genetics from American Indians and White Americans.

By definition, it is impossible for anyone who looks Asian to be considered an American by nationality/ethnicity regardless of their citizenship, and I think if you ask most Asians, they will tell you they are not treated by white and black Americans as if they are equally American. Similarly, the default assumption among every white and black American is that any and every person who looks Asian is a foreigner, which is why someone like Nikesh would refer to us ("you American's") as an "other" of which he is not a part, despite common citizenship.

The only way for an Asian person to have American children considered as such by generic Americans is to marry a white or black American and have their genetic phenotype washed out in the mix - i.e. see Tiger Woods.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8:32a:

The same is true in Manhattan.

Not really. The most Republican area of Manhattan is the corridor defined by Park, Madison, and 5th Avenues between 34th Street ad 96th Street.

I'm sure you know this is ground zero for the homes of our financial overlords.

Anonymous said...

Silicon Serfdom, coming to a village near you.

"Silicon Serfdom" has a nice ring to it. I like it.

Anonymous said...

Nikesh's kids WILL view themselves as Americans first. I've seen the same pattern with the Viets.

You are missing the point. Nikesh WAS born in America, but refers to Americans as "you Americans". He should consider himself as an American first. We shouldn't have to wait for his children to make this switch.

From this I can conclude that immigrants from some nations assimilate faster than from others. It's not rocket science. Nor is it a white vs. non-white issue. Vietnamese assimilate faster than Indians. Poles assimilate faster than Albanians.

Anonymous said...

"Folks, lay your bets on China. This country's done for. "

who was that fascist or nazi sympathizer who declared the end of white man and whether chinese would read his books?

Cail Corishev said...

And that's wrong, because what they really want are not workers but consumers.

True, that's a big part of it in general. But for Zuckerberg specifically, he doesn't need people to move to the US to be Facebook employees OR consumers. Mass immigration probably won't affect his bottom line enough to pay him back for what he's sinking into advocacy. He has other motives.

Solus said...

Contrary to popular belief; the claim is the Super-Computer in the Pentagon predicted "Soviet Union" collapse. The goal of this computer is to model Future Geo-Political issues. May be the "bright guys" in the Pentagon already know how things may pan-out.

A wise Ascetic once said " Its better to do nothing, and sit idle", Because Karma cuts both ways Good & Bad, "Thinking is also Karma". Best is to meditate on God.

As the Chinese say "May you live in Interesting Times", another claim is this saying is actually no Chinese saying. Some American made it up to sound "Wise".

Anonymous said...

America is composed of two nations since its origins in the 1600's - white and black. Nation's are groups of closely related people of common descent and common history.

Then you're saying that "America" isn't a nation. A nation can't be defined as 2 distinct nations.

"White" and "black" aren't specific enough unless you want to include all whites and all blacks around the world.

White Americans are generically an admixture of the common European types exemplified by the areas covered by the R1a, R1b, I1, and I2 Y chromosomes.

Y chromosomes just indicate patrilines. They don't indicate "common European types." R1a is dominant in South Asia.

The only way for an Asian person to have American children considered as such by generic Americans is to marry a white or black American and have their genetic phenotype washed out in the mix - i.e. see Tiger Woods.

This would indicate that every phenotypically white and black person in the world (this would also include some Arabs, South Asians, Papau New Guineans, etc. in addition to Europeans and blacks) is American despite a lack of common history or descent with the America of the 1600s.

pat said...

They don't want to mow their own lawns, clean their own homes, or cook their own food. They want neofeudalism.

Who really does want to mow their own lawn, clean their own house or cook their own food? Certainly not me.

I carefully bought a house with no lawn. I have two women coming in to clean tomorrow and I buy a lot of pre-cooked deli food from the frou-frou gourmet supermarket. I am looking to getting a pre cooked meals delivery service.

None of this is very expensive. I certainly don't think any of this makes me medieval. Food itself has became expensive but cooking it hasn't changed much in price. The same is true for housework. I use an rather expensive service but I could spend much less if I wanted to exert the effort.

All of these human servant services may have a very short future history. I have a robot floor cleaner already that I sometimes use. It only costs $100 - less than two tanks of gas. But the technology to replace my maids is still a few years away.

I see that the Army now has a robot that carries the packs for the Marines. How much longer before we have a robot that can clean the toilet and wipe the counter tops?

I think it will happen this way. Someone develops a house cleaning maid. It costs about $6,000 for the minimally functioning one and $25,000 for a really good one. Six thousand dollars in my neighborhood buys you minimal human maid service for a year. So when a robot becomes available at that price they will sell. Some entrepreneur will provide a service to supplement the minimum service with the better 'bot or with a human. So your level of cleanliness won't suffer.

Richer people will simply buy the better model. It would be less expensive than a BMW. Almost certainly it would have Wi-Fi and an IPhone port.

I would prefer a robot to a real person as a maid. My robot presumably would empty my dish washer and put the dishes in the right cabinets. Humans aren't very good at that.

This isn't very far away. There will be a reality TV show soon where engineering students build competing housemaids and are scored for fewest dishes broken while the audience cheers.

The point is, illegal aliens are soon to be unneeded. They have only short run utility.

Albertosaurus

TheLRC said...

Cail Corishev said: But for Zuckerberg specifically, he doesn't need people to move to the US to be Facebook employees OR consumers. Mass immigration probably won't affect his bottom line enough to pay him back for what he's sinking into advocacy. He has other motives.

Other motives, yes -- some of it's what's been discussed upthread, but don't forget the recent discussion we had here on iSteve about 'Opening borders as the Yankee missionary impulse'.

In his initial article, Steve identified the rage for open borders as a transmutation of the persistent 'Yankee missionary impulse' that has run through so much US history.

I added (this was the thread in which I took on the name The Last Real Calvinist) that one element of that impulse is the classic Calvinist guilt/doubt paradox, i.e. the guilt the 'chosen' feel in relation to their undeserved status, and the gnawing doubt that they might not really be chosen after all. This pressure then has to be relieved, and the chosen status reaffirmed, by acts of conspicuous merit. As I mentioned in that thread, "The post-Calvinist chosen-vs-guilty struggle is currently most evident in the immigration debate: why do we who were born here deserve this great country? How dare we keep others from enjoying this earthly salvation, when only bad people would be so selfish?"

This provides motivation aplenty, in addition to all the other factors we've discussed in this thread. It leaves me very, very worried that the immigration reform legislation currently lying dormant in the congress is going to be reanimated, sooner or later, and that something disastrous will inevitably be passed.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:16:

Then you're saying that "America" isn't a nation. A nation can't be defined as 2 distinct nations.

You really are confused. A nation is a group of people of common descent, culture and history. A country is a legal state. America is a country. It has two nations.

There are plenty of other states like this. Example:

Britain - a state consisting of the germanic English and the celtic Welsh/Scots/Irish

Lebanon - a state consisting of Romano/Punic Christians and Arab Muslims.

Latvia - a state consisting of Latvian natives and Russian colonists.

Kazakhstan - a state consisting of Kazakhs and Russians.

Australia - a state consisting of Aborginies and Anglo-Australians.

Etc.

"White" and "black" aren't specific enough unless you want to include all whites and all blacks around the world.

They are perfectly specific and refer to the two distinct nation/cultures present in America.

Y chromosomes just indicate patrilines. They don't indicate "common European types." R1a is dominant in South Asia.

I'm using them as shorthand for the admixture of white Europeans from the large groups like the Atlantic, Alpine, and Nordic types present in the mother country of England and in America. R1a's presence in South Asia is because of the historical invasion of India by the Aryans, not because Indians can somehow magically become Americans by moving to our country. I find it funny you dismiss this as indicating just patrilines when genetic heritage comes and from and is preserved by sexual reproduction.

This would indicate that every phenotypically white and black person in the world (this would also include some Arabs, South Asians, Papau New Guineans, etc. in addition to Europeans and blacks) is American despite a lack of common history or descent with the America of the 1600s.

I don't see how you possibly jump to this bizarre assertion. We are discussing the American groups of white and black Americans, who would be people born in America and descended from European colonists and immigrants, and African slaves. Papuans and Arabs cannot become American by moving to our country regardless of their skin color. You cannot change your nationality since it is defined by your birth. You cannot have children who blend into a new nationality if they don't look anything like that ethnic group.

FAQ for the partisan dolt said...

If most of them were conservative Republicans, most cons would be praising them to high heaven for their success and would be calling the less fortunate Americans a bunch of 'sore losers'.

Uh yeah, that's real interesting. Following your brilliant counterfactual, if most were Republicans the parrot libs at the NY Times and NBC would also demand an immediate halt to H-1Bs and probably start sounding keen on outlawing those distracted-driving slave-labor iPads too. You just figured this dynamic out?

Setting aside the GOP's blindness of self-interest for a moment, why aren't Democrats trying to protect young-to-middle-aged talented cultural liberals losing their jobs to Vietnamese animation boiler rooms? (And these guys are so meek they demur from holding Jesus Obama in any way responsible for this policy trap.) Gee, it's almost as if the modern netroots Democrat horseshit is inconsistent and hypocritical in spots. It's as if they only care about shoring up a fig-leaf 51% expense-approved stamp for the palace maintenance costs of the imperial D.C. overclass.

libertarians delenda est said...

"... 38-year-old Nikesh Kalma, Santa Clara-born of Indian immigrant parents, who, with an MBA from Oxford, is an executive for Equinix, a cloud-storage landlord headquartered in Redwood City. 'The perception is that Indians are taking away good American jobs,' Kalma said. 'The reality is that you Americans can’t turn out engineers fast enough.'"

It's impossible to know from the writer's transcription -- tone and inflection on "you Americans" may have been other than how it sounds, i.e. a whiny complaint -- but even if he said it in a deliberately rude way I don't find that at all startling from someone who lives in and breathes the air of the SF Bay futurist-libertarian hothouse. Yes, they outwardly identify as "Democrat" but their true alliance is to Creative Destruction. Whereas most South Asians you might run into around, say, the Bergen County suburbs would have the tact or at least rote awareness to realize this is not the way to talk, an Indian guy who swims with the pagan Randian fish of Googletopia might as well be a Mayflower descendant since all of them have dispensed with that vestigial affiliation a while back. In Sailer's way of rendering history the credit for Silicon Valley dynamism is due to the pedigree of some Midwestern Protestant immigrants he read a paragraph about once, while N. California's faux-NYC liberals are to blame for everything bad that followed. Little does he know how the industry's perverse culture owes to East Asian influence from the outset (Jello Biafra was onto something with that first version of "California Uber Alles"). Now throw some characters from Calcutta, Moscow, Tel Aviv, as well as the antisocial knob-twiddling rejects from the rest of the U.S. into the mix and the contours of the problem sharpen.

Anonymous said...

You really are confused. A nation is a group of people of common descent, culture and history. A country is a legal state. America is a country. It has two nations.

Right. "America" isn't a nation.

They are perfectly specific and refer to the two distinct nation/cultures present in America.

"White" and "black" aren't specific to America. There are whites and black alls over the world.

I find it funny you dismiss this as indicating just patrilines when genetic heritage comes and from and is preserved by sexual reproduction.

You just indicated patrilines. Genetic heritage is more than mere patrilines. That's why there are R1a's in South Asia and R1b's among coal-black Cameroonians.

Papuans and Arabs cannot become American by moving to our country regardless of their skin color. You cannot change your nationality since it is defined by your birth. You cannot have children who blend into a new nationality if they don't look anything like that ethnic group.

There are Papuans who look black, and there are Arabs who can pass for white. That should be sufficient for them to be Americans by phenotype. Most Americans lack a history or descent with the America of the 1600s.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:17:

Are you always this purposefully obtuse?

No, America is not one nation. I don't share a common heritage and descent with the horde of blacks in the ghetto who live 5 miles from me.

White and black don't need to be specific to America any more than Arab needs to be specific to Arabia for the words to have notional meaning within the context they are used.

I indicated patrilines to draw a broad outline of the genetic heritage and its sources that makes up white Americans, not to inlude everyone who might somehow bear that marker as a white American. Your ridiculous points about other people with those patrilines hardly addresses what I am saying.

There are Papuans who look black, and there are Arabs who can pass for white. That should be sufficient for them to be Americans by phenotype.

Obviously not, since they lack white or black American culture, genetics, history, religion, and commonality, and all the other factors that go in to making a specific group of people a nation, and moreover since they are not American. I think Steve has expressed here before a very good definition of a nation as a loosely related group of people who are all distant cousins. They clearly fail right away on that definition.

More to the point, what I am saying, and you are being obtuse about, is that merely falling off a boat or a plane onto American soil does not and cannot make you an American, since Americans, regardless of what they say about propositional nationhood, DO NOT treat foreigners as if they are Americans, regardless of citizenship, and they do distinguish Americanism by outward appearances combined with genetic descent, culutral behavior and legal status.

Anonymous said...

No, America is not one nation. I don't share a common heritage and descent with the horde of blacks in the ghetto who live 5 miles from me.

That's what I said. "America" isn't a nation.

White and black don't need to be specific to America any more than Arab needs to be specific to Arabia for the words to have notional meaning within the context they are used.

"Arab" isn't specific to Arabia. There are Arabs in the Levant, North Africa, Asia Minor, etc. Just as "white" and "black" aren't specific to America.

I indicated patrilines to draw a broad outline of the genetic heritage and its sources that makes up white Americans, not to inlude everyone who might somehow bear that marker as a white American. Your ridiculous points about other people with those patrilines hardly addresses what I am saying.

I did address what you're saying. Patrilines aren't "broad outlines of genetic heritage". They're specific. If you want "broad outlinse of genetic heritage", you want to include things like autosomal DNA.

Obviously not, since they lack white or black American culture, genetics, history, religion, and commonality, and all the other factors that go in to making a specific group of people a nation, and moreover since they are not American.

Phenotypically they can pass for white and black. That's sufficent for them to Americans by phenotype. Most Americans lack a history or descent with the America of the 1600s.

More to the point, what I am saying, and you are being obtuse about, is that merely falling off a boat or a plane onto American soil does not and cannot make you an American, since Americans, regardless of what they say about propositional nationhood, DO NOT treat foreigners as if they are Americans, regardless of citizenship, and they do distinguish Americanism by outward appearances combined with genetic descent, culutral behavior and legal status.

Papuans and Arabs who are phenotypically black and white aren't just falling off a boat or a plane onto American soil. They're also born phenotypically black and white, which is sufficent for them to Americans by phenotype.

David said...

Bill said

>Do you know any conservatives? 'Cause most cons ARE praising Valley Oligarchs and Finance Thieves to the high heavens and calling less fortunate Americans a bunch of sore losers. That's what conservatives do.<

Bill is correct here. If you have a successful lawn-care business, a large middle class home in the sticks, some credit cards, and two SUVs, you may consider yourself to be on the side of the successful against all of life's losers and pathetic pussies...but guess what? You are just another prole to the Randroid Paulians. If they can build a robot to do your job, or do a currency devaluation and rob you of your savings, you'll end up as a grifter who makes beds or sings for his supper in between running scams, and some con figure on cable will be echoing the lib figure on cable spitting that you're no good except as an argument for population replacement. ("One can always retrain oneself to be a nuclear engineer and get a job in Nigeria," I hear the bought-and-paid-for think-tankers protesting. "And doesn't America have a scarcity of lawyers and scrub nurses?")

I remember doing corporate tax returns for one of the Big Four in my hot youth. One day a colleague remarked, "theoretically, these returns could be done by Indians over the internet." "What do you think we should say when we bill clients?" I quipped, "[Apu accent:] 'thank you, come again'?" It was a good prep-school, "wickedly un-PC" joke, always highly appreciated in that crowd, but this time the snickers died on everyone's lips. They had spent quite a lot of money on their education....

Economically, the real world isn't left v. right. It's the 1% v. the 99%. The broken clock of Occupy has been right only once, when it comes to that slogan. (Actually, it's more like .1% v. 99.9%; but let that pass.) It's the parasites at the top and the bottom v. workers in the middle. This is why all the conservative-libertarian rhetoric sounds increasingly hollow. It amounts to: "be a good serf who doesn't drink to dysfunction or make trouble for the oligarchs, and oh yeah - hip-hop-hooray for the fellatio-worthy Genius and $uperior Moral Character of [insert name of this year's #1 person on the Fortune 500 list - Jay Z, or Al Capone, or Kenneth Lay, or Carlos Slim, or Zuckerberg, or Lloyd Blankfein, et al.].

If you think you're a conservative because you work hard and provide for your family, so does anybody who chops cars - and both of you are despised in equal measure by the 1% and their shills, whether these appear on Fox or MSNBC or "work" for Brookings or Cato. Your conservative congress creature may put on a good show about opposing abortion, but privately he or she thinks you should be paid the minimum possible - and is at the same time in favor of abolishing the minimum wage (as well as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance). According to free market economics, there would be plenty of jobs available at 50 cents per hour. Not to mention the limitless opportunities afforded by the voluntary economic exchange of becoming indentured.

In the annals of ingratitude, it's hard to beat the middle class - whose structural conditions were created in large part through union struggles - turning around and berating their benefactors as commies and thugs.

Anonymous said...

>> Here in HK that's because domestic workers get no right to stay once their contracts are up, and their


That's not untrue, but its only part of the truth. The rest of the truth is that Malayans aren't go-getters.

In both Philippines and Indonesia, whatever serious business is not owned by a chinese family is owned by Koreans.

In Philippines, 95% of the patents of the patents being filed at the national patent office, are filed by non-Filipinos.

You'd want a probinciana Filipina taking care of your house and children - be it as a nanny or as a wife. They're also fairly good with businesses which comprise some flavor of retail offering of goods or services.

That's their specialized niche. Leave them in that sphere and they will never fuck you up.

Anonymous said...

>> are scored for fewest dishes broken while the audience cheers

I remember seeing a TV game show some years back in Singapore. There were competing teams of accountants from three different countries. The questions were all about tricky aspects of accountancy. "Assets comprising machinery must be depreciated over the long term instead of expensed in a single year. Exceptions are when ----- "?

Whereas the manosphere proclaims: "if it flies fucks or floats - rent, don't buy".

Anonymous said...

>> You cannot change your nationality since it is defined by your birth

Please change the word "nationality" to "ethnicity".

Nationality is changed in a heartbeat when the appropriate legal document is issued.

Anonymous said...

>> Now throw some characters from Calcutta, Moscow, Tel Aviv

TelAviv itself isn't a notable source of tech talent.

Unit 8200 collects those type of guys. It has the national record (here) for alumni who make it big in Tech.

Anonymous said...

I see that the Army now has a robot that carries the packs for the Marines.

Best sentence on the internet ever. Kudos to you if you can spot why!

Anonymous said...

Interesting article and comments. The idea of Silcon Valley serfs seems a great exaggeration to me. The same areas with the "serfs" now had lower classes of people when I was a kid there in the 1980's and 1990's. The biggest changes I see is many fewer blacks and more Mexicans now. Other than EPA the idea that these are areas that tech workers are too scared to drive through is greatly exaggerated as well. As an example compared to East Oakland or Richmond I would say the crime rates in the worst parts of Redwood City and San Mateo and the gang activity is quite a bit lower.

Anonymous said...

For me at least the more interesting story of the area is what happened with the modest homes in the "middle class" areas. I grew up there and am looking for a home for my family. A two income family like mine that makes 200-250k can buy about the same home as my father. Maybe a bit nicer. He led a single income family and had a union blue collar job. Our street was a mix of skilled blue collar workers and white collar workers. I recall an accountant and a pharmacist. Another neighbor sold cars. Still another worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator.

What has disappeared in the area is economic diversity in the middle class. My cousins who stayed in the trades either have been pushed to Alameda or Solano Co. or are living marginal existences renting for the most part unless they bought a home before 2004.