January 26, 2014

Here's the gist of Amy Chua's new book

From the NYT:
What Drives Success? 
By AMY CHUA and JED RUBENFELD   JAN. 25, 2014

A SEEMINGLY un-American fact about America today is that for some groups, much more than others, upward mobility and the American dream are alive and well. It may be taboo to say it, but certain ethnic, religious and national-origin groups are doing strikingly better than Americans overall. 
Indian-Americans earn almost double the national figure (roughly $90,000 per year in median household income versus $50,000). Iranian-, Lebanese- and Chinese-Americans are also top-earners. In the last 30 years, Mormons have become leaders of corporate America, holding top positions in many of America’s most recognizable companies. These facts don’t make some groups “better” than others, and material success cannot be equated with a well-lived life. But willful blindness to facts is never a good policy.

Crimenoticing, as featured NYT commenters noticed:
RECENT COMMENTS
Nancy 53 minutes ago
What wildly racist thoroughly immoral gibberish.
 
Charlie 1 hour ago
As a social scientist, it is always frustrating to read these sorts of articles. This is a zombie idea; it pops back up no matter how many...
 
Jewish success is the most historically fraught and the most broad-based. Although Jews make up only about 2 percent of the United States’ adult population, they account for a third of the current Supreme Court; over two-thirds of Tony Award-winning lyricists and composers; and about a third of American Nobel laureates.

The Forbes 400 is the acid test, and individuals of at least substantial Jewish ethnicity make up over one third of the billionaires on the Forbes 400 for America (and not insubstantial fractions for the rest of the world).
The most comforting explanation of these facts is that they are mere artifacts of class — rich parents passing on advantages to their children — or of immigrants arriving in this country with high skill and education levels. Important as these factors are, they explain only a small part of the picture. 
Today’s wealthy Mormon businessmen often started from humble origins. Although India and China send the most immigrants to the United States through employment-based channels, almost half of all Indian immigrants and over half of Chinese immigrants do not enter the country under those criteria. Many are poor and poorly educated. Comprehensive data published by the Russell Sage Foundation in 2013 showed that the children of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese immigrants experienced exceptional upward mobility regardless of their parents’ socioeconomic or educational background. 
Take New York City’s selective public high schools like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science, which are major Ivy League feeders. For the 2013 school year, Stuyvesant High School offered admission, based solely on a standardized entrance exam, to nine black students, 24 Hispanics, 177 whites and 620 Asians. Among the Asians of Chinese origin, many are the children of restaurant workers and other working-class immigrants. 
Merely stating the fact that certain groups do better than others — as measured by income, test scores and so on — is enough to provoke a firestorm in America today, and even charges of racism. The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes. 
There are some black and Hispanic groups in America that far outperform some white and Asian groups. Immigrants from many West Indian and African countries, such as Jamaica, Ghana, and Haiti, are climbing America’s higher education ladder, but perhaps the most prominent are Nigerians. Nigerians make up less than 1 percent of the black population in the United States, yet in 2013 nearly one-quarter of the black students at Harvard Business School were of Nigerian ancestry; over a fourth of Nigerian-Americans have a graduate or professional degree, as compared with only about 11 percent of whites.

And if you have any doubts about their credentials, they'll send you emails that will completely reassure you.
Cuban-Americans in Miami rose in one generation from widespread penury to relative affluence. By 1990, United States-born Cuban children — whose parents had arrived as exiles, many with practically nothing — were twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to earn over $50,000 a year. All three Hispanic United States senators are Cuban-Americans.

Like Carlos Gutierrez, a Republican leader in the war on nativism, who learned his first words of English from a bellhop at his Miami resort hotel.
Meanwhile, some Asian-American groups — Cambodian- and Hmong-Americans, for example — are among the poorest in the country, as are some predominantly white communities in central Appalachia.

MOST fundamentally, groups rise and fall over time. The fortunes of WASP elites have been declining for decades. In 1960, second-generation Greek-Americans reportedly had the second-highest income of any census-tracked group. Group success in America often tends to dissipate after two generations. Thus while Asian-American kids overall had SAT scores 143 points above average in 2012 — including a 63-point edge over whites — a 2005 study of over 20,000 adolescents found that third-generation Asian-American students performed no better academically than white students.

Interesting ...
The fact that groups rise and fall this way punctures the whole idea of “model minorities” or that groups succeed because of innate, biological differences. Rather, there are cultural forces at work. 
It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

The fourth is skimming from your homeland: Indian-Americans are not representative of Indians back home, nor are Nigerian-Americans representative of Nigerians in general. Cuban-Americans are much whiter than Cubans on average. (In contrast, Mexican-Americans, a group of about 35 million that produces few outstanding achievers despite many having been here for generations, seldom come from the top 10% or whatever of Mexico, unless they are, say, already successful Mexican film directors.)
Any individual, from any background, can have what we call this Triple Package of traits. But research shows that some groups are instilling them more frequently than others, and that they are enjoying greater success. 
It’s odd to think of people feeling simultaneously superior and insecure. Yet it’s precisely this unstable combination that generates drive: a chip on the shoulder, a goading need to prove oneself.

And the chip on the shoulder, by generating animus, is useful in pushing down competing groups.
Add impulse control — the ability to resist temptation — and the result is people who systematically sacrifice present gratification in pursuit of future attainment. 
Ironically, each element of the Triple Package violates a core tenet of contemporary American thinking. 
We know that group superiority claims are specious and dangerous, yet every one of America’s most successful groups tells itself that it’s exceptional in a deep sense. Mormons believe they are “gods in embryo” placed on earth to lead the world to salvation; they see themselves, in the historian Claudia L. Bushman’s words, as “an island of morality in a sea of moral decay.” Middle East experts and many Iranians explicitly refer to a Persian “superiority complex.” At their first Passover Seders, most Jewish children hear that Jews are the “chosen” people; later they may be taught that Jews are a moral people, a people of law and intellect, a people of survivors. 
That insecurity should be a lever of success is another anathema in American culture. Feelings of inadequacy are cause for concern or even therapy; parents deliberately instilling insecurity in their children is almost unthinkable. Yet insecurity runs deep in every one of America’s rising groups; and consciously or unconsciously, they tend to instill it in their children. 

Or in the case of the wealthiest, most powerful group, they use their influence over the media to instill it in their children and to depress, demoralize, and divide other groups' children.
A central finding in a study of more than 5,000 immigrants’ children led by the sociologist Rubén G. Rumbaut was how frequently the kids felt “motivated to achieve” because of an acute sense of obligation to redeem their parents’ sacrifices. Numerous studies, including in-depth field work conducted by the Harvard sociologist Vivian S. Louie, reveal Chinese immigrant parents frequently imposing exorbitant academic expectations on their children (“Why only a 99?”), making them feel that “family honor” depends on their success.

By contrast, white American parents have been found to be more focused on building children’s social skills and self-esteem. There’s an ocean of difference between “You’re amazing. Mommy and Daddy never want you to worry about a thing” and “If you don’t do well at school, you’ll let down the family and end up a bum on the streets.” In a study of thousands of high school students, Asian-American students reported the lowest self-esteem of any racial group, even as they racked up the highest grades.

Moreover, being an outsider in a society — and America’s most successful groups are all outsiders in one way or another — is a source of insecurity in itself.

Even if they have to use their hands-on control over The Narrative to declare themselves to be outsiders rather than the leading insiders that objective analysis would suggest.
Immigrants worry about whether they can survive in a strange land, often communicating a sense of life’s precariousness to their children. Hence the common credo: They can take away your home or business, but never your education, so study harder. Newcomers and religious minorities may face derision or hostility. Cubans fleeing to Miami after Fidel Castro’s takeover reported seeing signs reading “No dogs, no Cubans” on apartment buildings.

Oh, boy ... We all recall such vicious anti-Cuban racism in the 1950s, such as the lynching of Desi Arnaz for playing the husband of a white woman on the instantly canceled "I Love Lucy."
During the 2012 election cycle, Mormons had to hear Mitt Romney’s clean-cut sons described as “creepy” in the media. In combination with a superiority complex, the feeling of being underestimated or scorned can be a powerful motivator. 
Finally, impulse control runs against the grain of contemporary culture as well. Countless books and feel-good movies extol the virtue of living in the here and now, and people who control their impulses don’t live in the moment. The dominant culture is fearful of spoiling children’s happiness with excessive restraints or demands. By contrast, every one of America’s most successful groups takes a very different view of childhood, inculcating habits of discipline from a very early age — or at least they did so when they were on the rise.

I grew up in a neighborhood that might have been plurality Jewish in the 1960s and 1970. The general impression of the kids on the block was that our Jewish friends got more presents and nicer clothes and had fewer chores than our Catholic or Protestant friends. It wasn't a big difference, and it was probably just proportional to the parents' wealth: the Jewish parents in the neighborhood tended to be wealthier. Has this moderate degree of spoiling held back Baby Boomer Jews? (We've got 50 years of data by now so we ought to be able to hazard a guess.)

Not that I can tell.
In isolation, each of these three qualities would be insufficient. Alone, a superiority complex is a recipe for complacency; mere insecurity could be crippling; impulse control can produce asceticism. Only in combination do these qualities generate drive and what Tocqueville called the “longing to rise.”
Needless to say, high-achieving groups don’t instill these qualities in all their members. They don’t have to. A culture producing, say, four high achievers out of 10 would attain wildly disproportionate success if the surrounding average was one out of 20. 
But this success comes at a price. Each of the three traits has its own pathologies. Impulse control can undercut the ability to experience beauty, tranquillity and spontaneous joy. Insecure people feel like they’re never good enough. “I grew up thinking that I would never, ever please my parents,” recalls the novelist Amy Tan. “It’s a horrible feeling.” Recent studies suggest that Asian-American youth have greater rates of stress (but, despite media reports to the contrary, lower rates of suicide). 
A superiority complex can be even more invidious. Group supremacy claims have been a source of oppression, war and genocide throughout history. To be sure, a group superiority complex somehow feels less ugly when it’s used by an outsider minority as an armor against majority prejudices and hostility, but ethnic pride or religious zeal can turn all too easily into intolerance of its own.
Even when it functions relatively benignly as an engine of success, the combination of these three traits can still be imprisoning — precisely because of the kind of success it tends to promote. Individuals striving for material success can easily become too focused on prestige and money, too concerned with external measures of their own worth. 
It’s not easy for minority groups in America to maintain a superiority complex.

That's why Sarah Silverman's worst nightmare has come true and all those hard-charging Chinese have taken over the media.

Then Chua has some stuff about black people ...
The United States itself was born a Triple Package nation, with an outsize belief in its own exceptionality, a goading desire to prove itself to aristocratic Europe (Thomas Jefferson sent a giant moose carcass to Paris to prove that America’s animals were bigger than Europe’s) and a Puritan inheritance of impulse control.

Our current myths about what the Founding Fathers thought are just bizarre. Franklin's "Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind" emphasizes that America is exceptional in having a lot of land per person, from which the greater prosperity and happiness of Americans flows. Franklin was very aware that Europeans were intellectually more advanced than Americans, and often thought permanently settling in London of Paris. Americans put little effort into competing with Europe for high distinctions for generations, instead building up a prosperous civilization built upon a non-European abundance of land per capita. Of course, this American narrative has largely been jettisoned in recent decades in the frenzy to rewrite America history as one of huddled massesness.
Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld are professors at Yale Law School and the authors of the forthcoming book “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.”
     

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

There were kids who got more presents than you did?

Anonymous said...

Nativism is an ok slogan.... if you can define "native" in a way that attains a consensus agreement. Are descendants of late 1907 scandinavian immigrants, more "native" than descendants of africans who arrived in chains three centuries prior to that?

Luke Lea said...

You don't pay these foils to write articles like this for the NYT by chance do you, Steve?

wwwww said...

if the cia were handing out grenades and rifles to the cubans who got off the boat i for one would never show hostility and derision to these freedom fighters. lee harvey oswald did is best in the derision department though.

2Degrees said...

I read some of the comments on the NYT website and suddenly felt a surge of smug superiority. The people writing those comments are wilfully thick. Many of them are financially rewarded for being dumb with cushy sinecures in universities, but their still dumb.

Those comments were worthy of a truculent teenager. How is it possible to make comments that are so childish?

We in the Sailersphere are clearly superior. I'll go and pour myself a glass of wine.

Maybe we should set up a Sailersphere dating agency to pass on our superiority.

Diamed said...

Does anyone seriously believe Nigeria has a better 'culture' than the United States? How is it possible that the people that write this are taken seriously, given titles, wealth, prestige?

Furthermore, does anyone seriously believe Asian American children aren't as good as they used to be? This year's PISA test showed Asian-American children outperforming white children just like always, so where are they getting these bogus studies from?

By using a couple of clearly false facts, they 'disprove' the genetic nature of success, and dismiss the clear and obvious correlation of IQ to success all across the world. How do they get away with it? Why are there no fact checkers who insist on journalistic integrity before tripe like this is published? Why are these the leading voices, the intellectuals of America?

This is a conversation without logic by people without merit. The article may as well have been written by the mad hatter.

David said...

Remember Chua's first book. She and her husband may very well have concluded that the best way to avoid a world on fire is to blame the victim - to saddle outgroups with a sense of inferiority, false security, and a feeling of being oppressors.

Anonymous said...

Here in fashionable Brooklyn the woman that sorts threw my trash looking for cans with deposits is Chinese or at least East Asian. She usually gets the jump on the Hispanics, I don't know how. It's been years since I've seen a Black go threw my trash. I doubt she is in the income statistics (lowering the Asian average). Virtually every American born White is in the income statistics. So I think the income statistics leave out many undocumented types. With many government programs requiring very low incomes I suspect there are many US nationals that work off the books, possibly doubling the income they report.

Anonymous said...

"An Orthodox Jew with nine grandchildren, Mr. Chernofsky is a numbers man, the kind of person who cannot climb stairs without counting them (41 up to his apartment). “Torah Tidbits,” the publication he has edited for two decades, always lists the number of sentences in the week’s Torah portion (118 in last week’s “Statutes”).

He likes to play with calendars, and is tickled that for the next three months, the Hebrew and English dates match: Feb. 1 is the first of Adar, April 30 the 30th of Nissan.

Mr. Greenfield, the publisher, said his goal was eventually to print six million copies of “And Every Single One Was Someone.” With each copy 2.76 inches wide, that would fill 261 miles of bookshelves — just shy of Israel’s 263-mile north-south span. (And net Mr. Chernofsky, at his contracted rate of $1.80 per book, $10.8 million.)"


At first I found this article deeply annoying, just another piece of holocaust hagiography, but then I began to notice the slyness of it, the way that it paints a portrait of the book's author as a mixture of Asperger's Syndrome and greed....A good example, Steve, of the way that the cleverer NYTIMES reporters subtly skewer what they are ostensibly praising.

Anonymous said...

>>Steve Sailer said:
"""here are some black and Hispanic groups in America that far outperform some white and Asian groups. Immigrants from many West Indian and African countries, such as Jamaica, Ghana, and Haiti, are climbing America’s higher education ladder.""""


Steve, at least from what you're quoting from the book, Amy Chua is doing an amazing job of avoiding the elephant in the room; namely, the constant and consistent stagnation of African-Americans across at least a half century.

IF Ms. Chua wants to apply this type of 'various ethnics and yes including whites while at one time were near the top in test scores and income have gradually declined over time' to various groups in her book as a sort of "see folks? What goes up must fall back down toward a natural mean" won't wash because it doesnt account for the fact that African-Americans weren't near the top ever in either IQ; income; etc and, 60 yrs since Brown v Board of Education, they STILL have yet to reach the summit of top income earners or in the field of education.

And the question is why? Not why doesnt Ms Chua address this in her book. If it does occur to her at all, she simply changes the terms by throwing in the immigrants from Carribbean and West Africa.

But, what about those native born blacks who've been here since....before the Dec of Independence was signed? What about them? Why aren't they directly examined? Because it would contradict Chua's theory of upward mobiliy?

Also, it sounds like she wants to avoid the other elephant in the room: If what goes up will come down eventually, how come American Jews are still at/near the top of the educational and wealth pyramid? By her own reasoning, shouldn't they have long fallen back toward the mean and not be overrepresented in the higher echelons of income and IQ?


Sounds like she's contradicting herself as well as attempting to avoid why some groups (US born blacks) just haven't been able to reach the top and why other groups (Jews) continue to remain at the top.

HAITI? The third world nation in the carribbean? The one that had the earthquake that totally devasted them and will take decades to emerge again Haiti?? THAT Haiti???

Yes, guess faced with staying in a post-earthquake third world nation and coming here, the choice for the tiny percentage of elites was not a difficult one to make.

Haiti. Who would've thought?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure all these peoples will continue to thrive once the European gentile fades from the scene.

Anonymous said...

Personally do not but the cheap land equals prosperity argument. The richest state in the US per capita is I believe NJ. Mass is up there too. Two very crowded and expensive states. Internationally may rich places are very high cost and land poor: Hong Kong, Singapore.

One thing I think Amy Chua is missing is the importance of people's beliefs. As she who will not be named said "Ideas Matter."

Any immigrant with above average intelligence can look around and conclude that there are certain things about America that accrue to their favor.

There is a pretty honest and evenhanded legal system. I was a lawyer and I knew of countless cases where David slew Goliath in an American court. There are pretty strong property rights. Work hard and buy a house and you will not be dispossessed to put up a development as often happens in many countries (China?). Work hard in school and you have as good a chance as the next kid at getting in Stuyvesant. In many asian countries it is routine to bribe your kids teachers; I doubt if many Stuyvesant parents routinely bribed their children's earlier teachers. The level of corruption in government is relatively low.

All these things are relative. Connected Manhattan families get into the right preschools which make a big difference later, but it is a lot better here than from where they came.

By the second generation though the kids have been fed the usual leftest gruel: race and class explain everything, the game is fixed in America, the racism, sexism, glass ceiling, privilege! By the second generation the parents do not have the first hand experience of what a fixed system really feels like to live in

Anonymous said...

If it's meritocracy then America will prosper.

If it's free-riding and parasitism then America will crumble.

Mike said...

But isn't she right?

Genetic intelligence isn't enough as an explanation. Motivation plays a role, surely.

The other question is - should we care? What sane person wouldn't rather work less and enjoy life tremendously more on 50 k than break your back all the days of your life for 90 k? For what - an extra TV set, a nicer car? The motivation to do that can only come from a crippling sense of inferiority and need to prove oneself.

When Europeans began having extensive contacts with the Chinese, they found them a race of cheerfully indolent people. Eastern "apathy" was frequently compared to Western "energy". And now it's Eastern peoples who are hard working. It's hard not to see how this is historically conditioned. The Chinese a few hundred years ago felt no need to prove themselves. They were self-confident and sure that they had the best civilization in the world. That didn't need to work like dogs to prove anything to anyone, they could enjoy life without feelings of insecurity. That self-perception could not survive contact with the West, and should we be at all surprised if the indolent Chinese are now famous for hard work?

Its not surprising, but it is sad. Asians have abandoned a long cultural tradition that had as its center a vision of the "good life" that was based on contemplation and leisure and have taken on the worst, most barbaric features of the 19th century West - the strange mania for hard work.

This passion for work is one of the strangest mania of the last few centuries and is historically quite anomalous. All cultures prized leisure and idleness as the good life - ancient Greece and Rome no less than ancient China. In the Middle Ages the hard laboring peasants only worked about 6 months out of the year. The rest was taken up by festivals.

This modern definition of the good life as one of constant work is anti-human and barbaric. It came into being after the Industrial revolution in the Protestant countries of northern Europe. A barbaric creed for a people still half-barbarian that has somehow succeeded in barbarizing the world.

Within a given society, the ambitious hard-driven ones are not the ones at the top, who are typically perfectly at ease with themselves and see no need to prove anything. Is it any wonder that this should obtain when it comes to countries and people's as well?

Of course there is a minimum of wealth that you need to enjoy the good life, but it's quite small. Who cares if the guy down the street is wealthier than you if you are quite comfortable? Are you willing to sacrifice ease and comfort and pleasure for it? If you are, then good luck to you, but no one sane would call you lucky.

Steve Sailer said...

Presumably, the English mission to China in 1793 encountered indolent high Chinese officials (they wanted the English to go away), but I doubt if rice farmers in China were all that much less hard working then than today.

NOTA said...

The hbd version of the 101st keyboard division (aka folks willing to demand endless bravery and sacrifice from others, while sitting behind their keyboards safe at home) is the willingness of anonymous internet commenters to demand that public intellectuals who are already speaking uncomfortable, socially unacceptable truth go ahead and open still more cans of contentious, career-ending worms.

Cultures do differ, and that matters. Some immigrant groups in the US are so skimmed off the top of their home society that they have little in common with the folks back home (think Nigeria or Haiti). There are very likely important differences between identifiable racial groups in personality, future-orientation, health, and intelligence. There are proportionately a shocking number of Jews in Harvard, the Forbes 400, the list of Nobel Laureates, and the powerful people in the media. There are proportionately a shocking number of blacks in prison, unemployed, on public assistance, and among top athletes and musicians.

All those are somewhere between uncomfortable and unacceptable to the operating beliefs in the mainstream media. It is perfectly reasonable to only tackle one of these at a time, in hopes of having a real discussion instead of a shouting match, or in hopes of continuing to be employed in the media, or whatever. This is probably the only way progress is going to happen.

Dave Pinsen said...

Chua's World On Fire book was provocative, but this one sounds like catnip for the elite consensus. As upward mobility in America becomes rarer, elites double down on myth of education as a panacea.

The alternative is to acknowledge that declining upward mobility is the result of flawed policies (on trade, immigration, welfare, etc.) that need to be changed.

Anonymous said...

I'm very interested in understanding what is going on with the Nigerians -- who are, after all, archetypical West Africans, the largest component of the African American population. I notice that while the authors emphasize that Indians and Chinese often arrive poor and uneducated, they don't say this about the Nigerians, nor do they say anything about high achieving Nigerian children who are "the children of restaurant workers and other working-class immigrants."

I would be particularly interested in learning about the children of the Nigerians. One of the things that has made me believe that blacks are probably less intelligent than whites, for genetic reasons, is the fact that the children of high achieving American blacks regress to a low mean, and do about as well on standardized intelligence tests than poor whites. (Always remember: these aren't just the children of successful parents, these are the children of parents who had to be "twice as good" to succeed!) So it would be fascinating to learn how the children of Nigerian immigrants are doing on standardized tests, like SATs and IQ tests. I kind of suspect though that the only way we will ever find out is if the answer turns out to advance the Narrative.

Mike said...

Steve, Chinese peasants often had to work hard just to survive. If you had to work like a dog to survive, you did it, but that wasn't the good life. Today's Chinese (in the West and at home) are working like mad dogs to do far more than survive; they want to overtake the West out of a need to prove themselves. In short they are working for prestige.

What happens when the Chinese don't feel quite so wounded in their prestige any more?

I know quite a few hard working Jews; status-anxiety is perhaps their defining feature.

To those who think they lack it, self-worth is worth any sacrifice. Ease and relaxation come only to those who don't have such doubts.

Anonymous said...

"HAITI? The third world nation in the carribbean?"

I know some Haitian immigrants in NYC, and they're surprisingly middle-class. Yet, from everything I've read, Haiti itself appears to be a hellhole. It's possible that in their particular case immigration selected for smarts. It's also possible that Haitian culture isn't as screwed-up as US black culture, and that in the presence of white-built institutions it can perform at an OK level, only failing (by civilized world standards) when left to its own devices. In contrast, black US culture fails even with white-built institutions.

Anonymous said...

"But isn't she right?

Genetic intelligence isn't enough as an explanation. Motivation plays a role, surely."

Right about what?

Is she describing the best way to build a healthy, prosperous society or the best way for tight-knit groups to cannibalize one?

If the second then yes, she's right.

Anonymous said...

"The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes. There are some black and Hispanic groups in America that far outperform some white and Asian groups. Immigrants from many West Indian and African countries, such as Jamaica, Ghana, and Haiti, are climbing America’s higher education ladder, but perhaps the most prominent are Nigerians."

No, facts don't debunk stereotypes.
Stereotypes are general and do not pertain to every person in the group.
For example, many whites are faster than average blacks. That doesn't mean blacks aren't, on average, faster.

Also, even if Chua's formula works, it will work better for some groups than for others.

It's like there are winning sports formulas, but some races will do more with those formula. The formula for long distance training will work for both Kenyans and Mexicans, but it will work better for Kenyans due to general biological differences.

Also, comparing Jews and Mormons is a joke.
While Mormons are doing pretty good, their wealth and power are nothing like those of Jews.

I mean gimme a break.

Anyway, saying smartest blacks are more intelligent than average whites doesn't debunk stereotypes. It's like saying the best Chinese basketball players can beat average blacks.

You have to compare average with average and compare best with best.

Average blacks beat average Chinese and best blacks beat best Chinese in basketball.


Anonymous said...

"In a study of thousands of high school students, Asian-American students reported the lowest self-esteem of any racial group, even as they racked up the highest grades."


This may actually be the product of their shortness and geekery than any family pressure?

Wasn't there something by an Asian guy that he's skin is sallow yellow, he's dorky, and girls ignore him because of his tiny weenie?

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/05/bitter-asian-men.html

Anonymous said...

"Cubans fleeing to Miami after Fidel Castro’s takeover reported seeing signs reading “No dogs, no Cubans” on apartment buildings."

Liberals hailed Castro when he held up a sign "No rich, no businessmen".

We so often hear of Nazi viciousness in robbing the Jews, but when Castro robbed the Cuban business class, the liberal Narrative was that all those rich Cubans were gangsters and mafia-related types when, in fact, most were honest small businessmen.

Big Bill said...

Are descendants of late 1907 scandinavian immigrants, more "native" than descendants of africans who arrived in chains three centuries prior to that?

Well, I don't know about the "late 1907" Scandies, as opposed to the early- to mid-1889 Scandies, say, or the middle-to latish-1873 Scandies, but they and the Germans, Belgians, and Dutch did go out to the frontier, hew trees, bust the sod, built towns, churches, banks, bridges, schools, colleges, orchestras and the like (while fighting off bloodthirsty savages), so I figure they deserve their share.

You settle it, you build it, you take care of your own, then you own it.

Anonymous said...

"Franklin was very aware that Europeans were intellectually more advanced than Americans, and often thought permanently settling in London of Paris. Americans put little effort into competing with Europe for high distinctions for generations, instead building up a prosperous civilization built upon a non-European abundance of land per capita."

But Russians, Africans, and Latinos also had lots of land. But they achieved far less.

So, attitude toward work did matter.

Anonymous said...

"Franklin was very aware that Europeans were intellectually more advanced than Americans, and often thought permanently settling in London of Paris."

What this shows is that Franklin and his peers did think about culture and ideas. That Franklin was tempted to settle in London is proof that his grander design for America wasn't just about bread and land but arts, letters, and culture.

And in terms of its origins, the American Founders had some intellectual giants. They thought and wrote better than many higher-born people in Europe. And they devised one heck of a system of government that became the model for most other democracies.

Americans had superiority in the availability of land but a lot of work cut out for them. While ordinary people chopped down trees and grew food, the elites were also looking to catch up with Europe in higher areas.

Franklin was a realist but not a fatalist. His long term vision of America included cultural advancement. That he had priorities doesn't mean that he had other ideas.

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore, does anyone seriously believe Asian American children aren't as good as they used to be? This year's PISA test showed Asian-American children outperforming white children just like always, so where are they getting these bogus studies from?"

Two things.

Asians have high intermarriage rates. So, how Asian is a third -generation Asian-American?

Even if their SAT scores level off to white levels, it's still good cuz white SAT scores are good. It's hardly a problem.
It would be a problem if the scores sink to black levels.



Harry Baldwin said...

Here are some of Mark Twain's observations about the indolent Chinese he encountered in the West around 1870:

They are quiet, peaceable, tractable, free from drunkenness, and they are as industrious as the day is long. A disorderly Chinaman is rare, and a lazy one does not exist. So long as a Chinaman has strength to use his hands he needs no support from anybody; white men often complain of want of work, but a Chinaman offers no such complaint; he always manages to find something to do. . . . All Chinamen can read, write and cipher with easy facility—pity but all our petted voters could. In California they rent little patches of ground and do a deal of gardening. They will raise surprising crops of vegetables on a sand pile. They waste nothing. What is rubbish to a Christian, a Chinaman carefully preserves and makes useful in one way or another.

Anonymous said...

"When Europeans began having extensive contacts with the Chinese, they found them a race of cheerfully indolent people."

They were wrong. Many Chinese seemed 'indolent' because they were overworked. They were actually sapped and tired.
And many other Chinese seemed 'indolent' because they had no land and no job.

They weren't indolent in the way a well-fed person and well-off person is.

C. Van Carter said...

Campus life in Nigeria.

Anonymous said...

Billionaire makes a Holocaust analogy flub in letter to WSJ

Any idea on Tom Perkins ethnic origins? Second wife was Danielle Steel (half Jewish).

Anonymous said...

"the English mission to China in 1793 encountered indolent high Chinese officials"

Even the indolent officials were hard at work in their correct form of indolence. They were crazy about face and form and couldn't be indolent like a slacker with beer in America.

They were rigidly indolent with showing off good graces, doing calligraphy, growing long finger nails, writing poetry, sipping tea correctly, etc. So, even 'laziness' was hard work in China.

Same in Japan. Damn buggers even turned drinking tea into an anal exercise in control.
And you have to tread carefully in a Japanese garden. You can't treat it like a park where Mexicans go to make tacos and sing mariachi music.

gubbeans said...

Chua: I will spill the beans on being successful.

Cowen: I will pass the beans to the unsuccessful.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that non-Jewish white people have been told to feel that it's hateful to feel superior to other groups and thy self-disdain is the way to o.

Anonymous said...

This passion for work is one of the strangest mania of the last few centuries and is historically quite anomalous. All cultures prized leisure and idleness as the good life - ancient Greece and Rome no less than ancient China. In the Middle Ages the hard laboring peasants only worked about 6 months out of the year. The rest was taken up by festivals.

I agree with most of what you said, but I think potential for social/economic mobility is an even bigger factor. No point in working hard if your lot can't be raised.

These days, Chinese accurately believe that anyone, if they work hard enough and build enough social capital, can become a millionaire, or even a billionaire, and completely alter the course of their progeny or at least live more comfortably than their parents.

Reg Cæsar said...

Or in the case of the wealthiest, most powerful group, they use their influence over the media…

Blogger's domain suffix changes from day to day, and recently it's been Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Turkey. Today, it's Israel. Co(hen)incidence?

Anonymous said...

The problem with including Nigerians is that there is no one Nigerian culture since Nigeria itself is a British creation. Igbos are primarily the successful Nigerian Americans. Back in Nigeria, Igbos heartily embraced British education thus they were in better position to take advantage of opportunities as they opened up.

Five Daarstens said...

In his book "East and West" (1963), C. Northcote Parkinson thought that Europe and the USA acted like the Greece to the Romans. The Greeks came up with the ideas, and the Romans, were the engineers who made it happen. I think there is a bit of truth in this even today.

Reg Cæsar said...

Are descendants of late 1907 scandinavian immigrants, more "native" than descendants of africans who arrived in chains three centuries prior to that?

Those Scandinavians had a fondness for the names Leroy and Delores [sic]. Maybe they're more African than we give them credit for.

… they and the Germans, Belgians, and Dutch did go out to the frontier… --Big Bill

Germans have been coming here since Jamestown, and the Dutch came in two big waves, some 200 years apart- the first to their own colony.

But can anybody name a Belgian-American of note, other than Curly Lambeau?

And Lambeau had some native help in starting the Packers, his partner George Whitney Calhoun, who, as his name suggests, was both Yankee and Scots-Irish. Calhoun's Whitney cousins also founded the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves, nés the Boston Red Stockings. That one family seems to have contributed more to professional sports than Belgian America has to all fields.

But, yes, Belgians were quite the players in Africa.

Glossy said...

"But can anybody name a Belgian-American of note, other than Curly Lambeau?"

It seems that the first settlers in NYC were Walloons.

Five Daarstens said...

Belgium only became an independent country in 1830. It is probable that many of the early Dutch settlers were from Belgium as well and Holland.

Anonymous said...

MOST fundamentally, groups rise and fall over time. The fortunes of WASP elites have been declining for decades.

Bah-zing! Take that, Mayflower People!

(But don't take it too hard because I really, really, really want to join the Maidstone Club. Oh, or the Meadows! I graduated from Groton, too! LET. ME. JOIN! )

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous NOTA said...
It is perfectly reasonable to only tackle one of these at a time, in hopes of having a real discussion instead of a shouting match, or in hopes of continuing to be employed in the media, or whatever.


Agree. The slightest departure from the approved narrative is greeted with such thunderous disapproval, I don't think we can expect everyone to tackle the problem in its entirety. To whatever extent one can knock a few stones loose from the wall surrounding the narrative, one has contributed.

On this point I disagreed with Lawrence Auster, who used to denounce Mark Steyn for pointing out the problems with Muslim immigration without taking the logical next step and demanding an end to that immigration and Muslim deportation. But isn't Steyn doing good work even if he's not willing to make himself a total pariah like Auster? After one places oneself beyond the pale does one have more or less influence on the debate?

Anonymous said...

Welsh, Walloons, and Wallachians, oh my!

ben tillman said...

Personally do not but the cheap land equals prosperity argument. The richest state in the US per capita is I believe NJ. Mass is up there too.

You obviously don't understand the argument. The country offers physical resources. If the number of people is smaller, then there is greater wealth per person. That's an indisputable fact.

ben tillman said...

Nativism is an ok slogan.... if you can define "native" in a way that attains a consensus agreement. Are descendants of late 1907 scandinavian immigrants, more "native" than descendants of africans who arrived in chains three centuries prior to that?

Why is that even a question? Blacks and Whites are in the same boat when it comes to immigration.

Reg Cæsar said...

Bah-zing! Take that, Mayflower People!

When a GSMD member, or qualified nonmember, marries-- or simply breeds with-- a non-descendant, all their future descendants qualify as well. In a century or two, almost all white, and many nonwhite, Americans will qualify.

They won't regress to a mean. They'll define it.

It is probable that many of the early Dutch settlers were from Belgium as well and Holland. --Five Daarstens (Is this you?)

"Wallooguenots"? Flemings and Walloons were mainly loyal Catholics, and thus unwelcome.

The Dutch and the Swedes were minorities in their own colonies, though, and that goes a long way in explaining how those territories were lost.

5371 said...

Nancy 53 minutes ago
What wildly racist thoroughly immoral gibberish.

That comment is like a perfect little poem. Every detail is right, one could analyse it endlessly.

David said...

Once they are ensconced in the country Americans built, the cream of the crop of other lands, which were evidently unsatisfactory, can do an admirably efficient job of depriving Americans of their birthright and transforming their new home into a copy of the places they fled like bats out of a guano-choked hell.

We knew this already, but now comes Ms. Chua to rehash it all (save the part about birthright and transformation) in an article for the NYT previewing her forthcoming book The Triple Package. Resuming her lately found tone of a moral scold, or perhaps only of a gym Maoist ("you puny; work harder; lift more weights" is not a bad representation of the effect she's after), she all but accuses the single-citizenship American reader of being an inferior, a layabout, and a member of the oppressor class and goes on to advise him (with obvious pleasure, since she can't mean it) to shape up. Like a perpetual wannabe-Schwarzenegger or dieter, the reader is expected to take into himself a psychologically crippling guilt: that of failing to meet an authoritative-sounding interloper's demands - while said interloper, Ms. Chua in this case, goes to the bank.

One wonders how her aggressive offer of unsolicited advice squares with the thesis of her earlier book, World on Fire. In that work, Ms. Chua banged a gong against the dangers of one ethnicity's economically lording it over a larger one within the same polity. The dangers can include murder, pogroms, massacres, mass expropriations, genocide. Has she decided after all that the best way to soothe the worsted is to rub it in - to blame the outraged ethnic majority for its victimization and declare in so many words "We are better than you"? If so, it seems an odd conflict-avoidance strategy.

We mustn't coddle the round-eyes who founded and infest the place, of course, dear Ms. Chua, but it seems to me that the proper deportment of a guest does not include an "in-your-face" attitude. When tired of being beaten with a faux-moralistic shtik at last, such a host is liable to show one the door in the nearest way.

Anonymous said...

"Reg Cæsar said...

When a GSMD member, or qualified nonmember, marries-- or simply breeds with-- a non-descendant, all their future descendants qualify as well. In a century or two, almost all white, and many nonwhite, Americans will qualify.

They won't regress to a mean. They'll define it.

1/26/14, 10:10 PM"

Nah, they'll throw up "invitation only" barriers. You know how those awful WASP elites roll.

I mean, you did see Sorkin's The Social Network, right? I'm pretty sure everyone worth their salt saw that cinematic masterpiece about one starry-eyed dreamers goal of overcoming Porcellian Club snobs.

If only Rodney Dangerfield could have been cast to play Larry Summers. If only!

Simon in London said...

My Nigerian students, especially the female ones, do very well on my Masters course, starting out with the anonymously marked in-class exam we have everyone sit after 6 weeks.

Of course they are not representative, but neither are the students from the rest of the world. In fact AFAICT they tend to be from less elite backgrounds than the students from some other countries.
And we have not found a problem with Nigerian stidents cheating; the cheating belt starts north of the Sahara and runs east through the Gulf and South Asia.

5371 said...

Nigerians who aren't from the 0,1% in their own country can't afford to legally study in the west.

Anonymous said...

Basically, she's extolling the virtues of hi-jacking a nation - and its wealth - created by someone else. Rather like a hermit crab driving out the previous occupant of a shell.

From the immigrants' group *own* genetic self-interest, which I suppose represnts the Darwinian paradigm, this is perfectly moral, since it ensures that the immigrants' own genes are perpetuated to the maximum extent possible. For the dummies dumb enough to allow it to happen, it's tough titty.
One can hardly pontificate - this, basically, has been the game of life ever since the first replicator arose from the primeval soup.
In the final analysis, it's the *only* rule or law or what have you, actually worth a damn.
So the real moral of Chua's little tale - spun out to be quite a lucrative franchise, actually - is to watch those immigration laws, unless you want your descendants to be less numerous than a pinch of dust in your trouser cuffs. After all, a few thousand Fijians kicking up against English coolie 'indentured labor' 100 years' after the fact, can't be wrong.

David Balfour said...

Niall Ferguson has a wonderful passage in his book High Financier: the life of Sigismund Warburg about how the old banker received news that one of his (gentile) executives was taking a winter skiing break.
Warburg was utterly dumbfounded. Dragging himself from the office - to go sliding down a hill!

Farang said...

Here in fashionable Brooklyn the woman that sorts threw my trash looking for cans with deposits is Chinese or at least East Asian. She usually gets the jump on the Hispanics, I don't know how.

In the French police department where I worked before retiring, I noticed two decades ago that East Asian cleaning women were replacing Black and Arab ones. My boss surmised that the (presumably white) guy who recruited them had a crush on East Asian women.

He should have known: he was a white man married to an East Asian woman. Like me.

Possibly, East Asian women's eagerness to marry white men with good jobs improves their employment prospects, and those of their friends and siblings.

Later, the cleaning ladies, who were hired by the French Ministry of the Interior, were replaced by a private company, which used many Black men. That was when things started disappearing from our offices.

I regretted the cleaning ladies. Some of them were very chatty, especially the Moroccan ones. One Black Caribbean young lady was very direct: she told me once, "I'm looking for a man", while looking at me straight in the eyes. I had to tell her that I was already taken...

The black women often spoke among themselves in Guadeloupean creole, which I partly understand. Once, I overheard two of them chatting. It went like this:

"X is dating a white guy."
"White guys have small dicks."
"X is small. Her hole is small, too." (laughter)

Ali said...

I'm going to be seeing Amy Chua and her husband at a talk in London.

If anyone has questions they want to relay, I'll see if I can put them to her.

Difference Maker said...

Land and prosperity I do not have time to address, but parents do not know, true, though I'm sure more than a few of the manipulative strivers know enough

The real danger is the corruption of all that is good and great about America as our wonderful immigrants fill the ranks, whether by their nature or nurture it doesn't matter

All those things you described, all that we hold dear

Chad Vader said...

I'm going to give Chua some credit here. She has focused on the psychological factor that motivates people to succeed. Jewish and Asian mothers are famous for instilling a guilt complex in their children. It isn't hard to imagine the thought process of these children.

1. Group superiority complex: My people are very successful.
2. Individual inferiority complex: How will I ever measure up to this standard?
3. Result: I must work harder than others or my family and people will consider me a failure. Average is not good enough.

While Asians do have a higher average IQ than whites, they often punch above their weight due to their focus on academics, while equally intelligent whites are not taking life so seriously. So I think the book makes some good points. However, she has completely ignored the IQ factor and how a low IQ can limit even the most ambitious individuals. Obviously, she felt she was being sufficiently edgy just acknowledging that some groups are more successful than others. Addressing genetic causes was just too risky for her.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

The joke about Jewish people driving German cars has another twist, likely unknown to people outside of the Detroit area. It is well known that Jewish people do not drive Ford or Lincoln cars because of their animus toward Henry Ford. Ironically, German cars are acceptable.

Steve from Detroit

Anonymous said...

Good comment by someone earlier who mentioned by the Igbo. If you ever wondered why Ghana seems so different from Nigeria, it's the Igbo in Nigeria who contribute to this difference.

Nigerians are known as the Africans most willing to go abroad and that is largely because Igbos like to emigrate.

Igbos and Kikuyus of Kenya are also known in as the most entrepreneurial groups of Africa.

Drawbacks said...

Second on the Igbos. Anyone know what proportion of Nigerian-Americans are from this "market-dominant minority"?

Anonymous said...

Why is Chua getting all the flak but her husband isn't?

Anonymous said...

Jewish and Asian mothers are famous for instilling a guilt complex in their children. It isn't hard to imagine the thought process of these children.

What about Armenian, Lebanese, and Arabic mothers?

Anonymous said...

Igbos are perhaps the most light-skinned tribe in Nigeria. They aren't also mixed raced, unlike the Horn of East Africa (e.g. Ethiopia) which has Arab blood and is mixed with Arab blood.

The light skin of Nigerian Igbos isn't the result of skin-bleaching either. They stand out as being light-skinned blacks because they have such Negroid facial/body features and hair textures.

I can't differentiate easily between light-skinned black Igbo Nigerians vs. Horn of East African mixed race people (yellow-brown skinned with curly hair and more Arab facial/body features).

Dan said...

Watch out for the boxer rebellion Mrs Chau

Piper said...

I don't think there is a "triple package," just a single package containing only trait number three: impulse control. Also called conscientiousness, high future orientation, and some other things. Impulse control plus intelligence (which Chua is far too savvy or cowardly to mention) gives you success. The stuff about feeling superior and inferior at the same time is window dressing. She put those in there only so American Blacks would be seen to have two out of the three traits she says are vital, saving Chua from the charge of "racism."

(Anyone who doesn't think American Blacks have the group/individual sup-/in-feriority stuff down hasn't seen the vast literature on "self-esteem" and its supposed relationship to academic and other success.)

Anonymous said...

Apologies, I meant "I CAN differentiate easily between light-skinned black Igbo Nigerians vs. Horn of East African mixed race people (yellow-brown skinned with curly hair and more Arab facial/body features)."