February 7, 2007

First, Do No More Harm

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Coming US challenge: a less literate workforce
A larger share of workers will have minimal reading skills in 2030 than today, according to a report released Monday.

By Amanda Paulson

US workers may be significantly less literate in 2030 than they are today.

The reason: Most baby boomers will be retiring and a large wave of less-educated immigrants will be moving into the workforce. This downward shift in reading and math skills suggests a huge challenge for educators and policymakers in the future, according to a new report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). If they can't reverse the trend, then it could spell trouble for a large swath of the labor force, widen an already large skill gap, and shrink the middle class.

"There is no time that I can tell you in the last hundred years" where literacy and numeracy have declined, says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston and one of the report's authors. "But if you don't change outcomes for a wide variety of groups, this is the future we face."

The decline in literacy is one of the more startling projections in a report that examines what it calls a "perfect storm" of converging factors and how those trends are likely to play out if left unchecked.

The three factors identified are: a shifting labor market increasingly rewarding education and skills, a changing demographic that include a rapid-growing Hispanic population, and a yawning achievement gap, particularly along racial and socioeconomic lines, when it comes to reading and math.

The individual trends have been identified before, but this study makes an effort to examine their combined effects, and to project a disturbing future, including a sharply declining middle class in addition to the lost ground in literacy.

"We have the possibility of transforming the American dream into the American tragedy," says Irwin Kirsch, a senior research director at ETS and the lead author of the study. [More]

We only have the vaguest ideas how to improve the schools, and our ability to implement those fixes is severely compromised by the stress the schools are under from immigration. So, the obvious first step is to shut down unskilled immigration. Instead, the President and most of the elites want to boost it.

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


MensaRefugee said...

Look to Canada... it will probably hit the mark much earlier than the US

Anonymous said...

The East is the new West. What intelligent person with drive and ambition would want to move to America?

Anonymous said...

Why do you say that MensaRefugee?

dougjnn said...

(I sent a version of this post to Steve as an email. I’ve decided to post most of it here.)


I’m writing this note to you because you are both remarkably fearless with remarkable ground breaking insights on a regular basis, and because you are such a superb writer.

Although you deal with a good range of topics, your central focus is on immigration. As a human biodiversity area of concern that we could actually and rather easily (technically, if not politically) do a great deal to rectify, that makes eminent sense. Like most or really just about all of your writing.

So here is what I need to say to you. If Jewish groups (and it could be a quick group phenomenon for the most part which will support conspiracy theorists of a sort I reflexively loathe) changed their position on illegal and low skilled immigration policy, US policy might well change virtually overnight. Yes, indeed, I think here it is in fact “the Jews”.

There are of course many groups they are allied with in resisting immigration restriction, from employer groups on the right to Democrat political interest groups on the left. They have fingers in all these pies of course. But it’s really their enormous influence in the MSM as well as in smaller readership punditry and political opinion making that is crucial, I think. The primary root of such oversized influence is their oversized average level of IQ. And their cultural fondness for intellectual pursuits and “looking smart” above most else (as a general matter). Nothing wrong with either of those of course. They also tend to network and stick together more than most other ethnic groups, especially ones that have already arrived. Pressures against others doing similar (discrimination) they’ve often managed to avoid with the shield of “that’s anti-Semitic” etc. But this last is I think considerably less important that the intelligence thing.

Let me hasten to add that all my life I’ve liked and admired Jews, more than just about any other group. (And I know you’re partly Jewish. Hell, I might as well be – though I’m not.) Well I like my own group as well (New England culture and ancestry WASP by way of Colorado on my mother’s side, and N. Texas on my father’s, before Harvard and the move back east post WWII for them both, together, to an upper middle class life in THE big city and then its suburbs – I’ve stayed put in THE big city after getting a similar education), but I’ve also always admired the intelligence and emphasis on intellectual pursuits of Jewish culture, and the free form questioning of authority. My ex wife was Jewish. And so on. Yeah all this sort of thing is endlessly lampooned by people as so much BS nonsense in divining motive, but I don’t really think it is, if it’s truthful. And I’m being truthful.

It seems clear to me that there has long been a concerted Jewish lobbying campaign to let in more or less as many immigrants as possible, legal or not. Initially this was focused on getting as many of their Jewish co ethnics in as possible (a motive shared with many other groups, such as the Irish and Italians) and there’s still I think a desire to be sure the ultimate safety valve for Israel should dire events occur remains wide open (Iranian nukes etc.).

But it’s gone way beyond that, as they’ve watched events since the 1965 immigration “reform” revolution.

Across political divides, liberal Jews, leftist Jews, less political Jews and neo-con Jews all (the great majority) rather instinctively want to dilute as far as possible any potential white Christian conservative brown shirt phenomenon in this country. Make Christian whites a smallish minority. It’s among southern white (self identifying) Christians that the smell mortal peril and have done so for decades or really for more than a century. (Not without some reason if one goes back to days when the Klu Klux Klan had power in the South and such places as Indiana.) The current fondness of such groups for Israel on theological grounds notwithstanding. I think this is not much trusted by most Jews. Ride it while it lasts, sort of thing.

I can in part understand the fear and think they’re right that that’s the mostly likely vector for a genuine new virulent and dangerous anti-Semitism in this country. Most likely but still very, very unlikely. The only thing that’s at all likely to lead it to occurring is this continued incredible censorship of anything remotely critical of the power and influence of the single most influential ethnic group in America – despite the fact that it constitutes only 2.5% of the population. It’s gotten so that everyone knows there is real and deliberate censorship, by means of screaming anti-Semitism WAY before that boundary is even approached, that intimidates professionals and mind workers everywhere. One’s job and future success are endlessly potentially at stake. Of course endless lampooning and criticism of WASPs was never out of bounds and Jews always lead the way. It’s subsided some in the last decade or so, mostly I think because it’s become rather implausible that WASPs are any more firmly in control of the pinnacle of corporate or other America, for the most part.

The immigration inundation is a bad enough national crisis that I believe Jews simply must be called on their special interest and hidden motivations on this topic – particularly since they are so paranoid and so unbalanced – and contributing to so much harm. Calling them on it will somewhat reduce the power. And after a reaction, perhaps cause more Jews to reflect about their group motives, and how rational they really are, or are not.

Oh, I failed to talk about how Jews exercise virtually a veto power in the mainstream media and often in the universities (though there they can sometimes be outflanked to their left, albeit by luni tunes PoMo and Critical Race Theory extremists who the rest of the country ignores, at least once graduates are a few years away), at least on any topic where they can plausibly claim violation of PC strictures, such as the injunction against “anti-Semitism” or “racist” immigration restrictionism. Hence all objection to immigration inundation must be couched in strictly economic, jobs competition terms. Cultural swamping, crime, school degradation, IQ decline – all are utterly taboo to even hint at. It’s RACIST!!!!!

Wouldn’t it help to air these motivations and their rather evidently absurdly paranoid nature for a little general sunshine disinfection?

dougjnn said...

When I said above that “Yes indeed, I think here it is in fact ‘the Jews’, I was speaking hyperbolically. It’s a statement that is ripe for taking out of context so let me correct. In the context of everything else I said it’s clear I was talking about lots of disproportionate influence and a group think on this issue for understandable (though I think ultimately unnecessary and unwise) reasons.

What I meant is that I think their influence across political lines is very consistent with (unlike increasingly many other political topics within the Jewish community) remarkable (though of course not complete) unanimity and is very powerful – for reasons I explained. “It” is certainly not all or only this group which is standing in the way of greater immigration restrictionism. But I do think that a wholesale change in position among Jews or most Jews would make a huge difference.

I also think simply talking about the phenomenon openly would make a considerable difference.

pjgoober said...

Addressing Dougjnn's post, of the jews of america magically had thier immigration enthusiasm simply reduced to that of wasps of *equivalent* socio-economic status (aka really high), would it make a whole lot of difference in average elite opinion on immigration? My guess is not by much.

Anonymous said...


In my opinion you are oversimplifying matters by singling out Jews. There are many different segments of society that do not trust the majority (however you want to define it). Consider that multiculturalism is endemic throughout the Western World, even in countries where there aren't very many Jews.

Here is a funny blog post:

Now, if we could just find the cure in time...
-Hal K

nzconservative said...

I agree with anonymous on the Jewish question.

I am a non-Jew come from a small country (New Zealand) with a small Jewish population that has little media presence.

However, NZ isn't far behind Sweden in terms of political correctness.

Note also that Jews in Britain are relatively conservative.

Criticism of Jews should be directed at the particular US Jewish groups and individuals that advocate expansive immigration policies.

Anonymous said...

If I can tear this thread away from arguments about "the Jews," I would like to point to a relevant news story.

Here in Utah the state legislature recently voted down a bill that would have put the state back in line with the federal law that bans giving in-state tuition status to illegal aliens.

Utah's Hispanic population is now over 11% - 275,000 people. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of Hispanics in the state grew by 140% - not exactly a natural growth rate. Estimates are that at least 65,000 illegal immigrants live in Utah, and since 2002 the state has allowed illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition. So how many illegals are taking advantage of this law? 182. That's it.

These people are the ones that are supposed to be taking the place of the baby boomers, and barely 182 out of 65,000 are attending college?

All of this, of course, is perfectly in line with the voluminous data that show that even legal Hispanics attend college at a much lower rate than average Americans, and that no amount of heavy-handed early intervention, such as Head Start, does anything to change that.

Yes, folks, America is getting dumber.

jody said...

so they figured out that replacing europeans with mexicans won't work?

i think jewish politicians had less to do with mexicans than they did with other kinds of immigration. half the christian politicians today are total morons when it comes to mexicans. the last two presidents have been abysmal.

that is not to say jewish politicians are not generally in favor of turning america into mexico, because they are.

for instance, there was the senate judiciary committee vote in march on the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006". it was an amnesty. the committee voted 12-4 in favor of bringing that amnesty to a full senate vote.

every jewish politician on the committee voted in favor. that's kohl, feinstein, schumer, feingold, specter, and cardin. 6 of 12 yes votes. a group that is 2% of the population just cast a full 50% of the votes to force the senate to vote on amnesty.

Anonymous said...

Yes, elites - Jewish & Gentile both - are big fans of unlimited immigration. Alot of this, of course, is motivated by greed. For some Jews, I'm sure, it might also be motivated by "chips on their shoulders" sorts-of reasons. "Your ancestors didn't want my ancestors to come here," etc. Jews have also historically been a very mobile population, and, for many, anything that stands in the way of that mobility is anathema.

But I also think open borders fanaticism is related simply to elite intellectual faddishness. These are the same people who embraced foot-binding, chastity belts, and all the rest. It might be useful to compile a list of all the bizarre intellectual fads that have gripped elites the world over for the past hundred years or so. It would be a sobering list.

rob said...

For whatever consolation it may give, these dysgenic trends always correct themselves in the long run.Nobody, not even the federal government, can hold back natural selection.Various interested parties in the IQ/immigration debate may see as far ahead as next year's balance sheet or the next election, but Nature takes the long view, and always prevails.

Markku said...

One of the most effective ways to discourage Mexican immigration into the USA would be to abolish the massive agricultural subsidies American farmers receive. The combination of NAFTA and American subsidies were a disaster for Mexican producers of basic foodstuffs. That created a huge pressure for poor campesinos to seek seek employment in the USA.

Anonymous said...

One of the most effective ways to discourage Mexican immigration into the USA would be to abolish the massive agricultural subsidies American farmers receive. - Markku

I've thought about that too, but it's politically untenable. What might be doable, however, is to redirect our agricultural subsidies towards incentives for mechanization. Accelerate depreciation on capital improvements and gear subsidies towards harvesting equipment and the like.

The bottom line is that the agricultural sectors that depend on immigrant labor are headed towards extinction in many areas. The American Southwest is growing rapidly (thanks to immigration), and the water that places like the San Fernando Valley rely on is in short supply. Farmers there will sell their rights in a New York minute for the right price, and one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world will be turned into condominiums and strip malls.

Ironically, the death of Southern California agriculture will be due to the very immigration they claim to rely on. Florida property is getting so valuable that it'll eventually happen there, too.

For whatever consolation it may give, these dysgenic trends always correct themselves in the long run.Nobody, not even the federal government, can hold back natural selection. - Rob

What, Rob, do you mean by that, exactly? Nature doesn't select for the strongest people, or the smartest people, or the kindest people, or the richest people. It selects for the people who breed, period. It doesn't matter how smart, strong, kind, or rich you are. If you have no children you leave no genes.

But that bum polygamist, Tom Green, whose 5 (really dumb) wives and 29 children leached off the welfare state? He'll leave lots of his DNA behind.

Dog of Justice said...

What, Rob, do you mean by that, exactly? Nature doesn't select for the strongest people, or the smartest people, or the kindest people, or the richest people. It selects for the people who breed, period. It doesn't matter how smart, strong, kind, or rich you are. If you have no children you leave no genes.

Selection occurs on multiple levels. If the US and Mexico were the only nations on Earth, yes, dysgenics would be a major cause for concern. But in the real world, it can't go very far at all before East Asia becomes geopolitically dominant -- the US itself will have been selected against.

rob said...

Anonymous says "Nature doesn't select for the strongest people,or the smartest people,or the kindest people or the richest people.It selects for the people who breed,period."That's true,but in the long term,those who are not productive(and intelligence is certainly a good indicator of how productive you are)cannot outbreed those who are.A minority of intelligent people cannot go on subsidising the less intelligent majority indefinitely,as the latter will keep expanding,both through reproduction and immigration.The system will collapse.Also,nations burdened with a large low-IQ underclass will ultimately fall victim to those with a higher average IQ,whether through industrial competition or invasion.

dougjnn said...


Also, nations burdened with a large low-IQ underclass will ultimately fall victim to those with a higher average IQ,whether through industrial competition or invasion.

Yeah, well wouldn’t it be rather a good idea to take technically rather simple steps to keep that from occurring to OUR country?

This fatalism about our immigration inundation is ridiculous. We don’t have to allow it. Many other countries don’t.

We need to take effective measures against illegal immigration. It wouldn’t be technically hard. It’s only politically and ideologically hard, given all the PC nonsense about not “being racist.”

I have no problem with letting much smaller numbers of Central Americans in, ones that prove themselves to be high skilled and / or high IQ. Educational measures are a proxy.

But culture does matter. And probably some other things. But lets just look at results. If by the second or third generation earlier arriving members of a certain ethnic / cultural groups are underperforming the American average, we should restrict immigration from those groups to only the highly educated, such as professionals, etc.

That would lead to no restrictions on Chinese or S. Asian Indians. Might turn out differently for Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.

We can’t possibly solve the poor world’s problems by inviting significant numbers of them to become US citizens.

So for that and many other reasons we should focus on changing our immigration policies to what’s best for this country. For our country. Will especial focus on what's best for our middle class and yes our poor CITIZENS.

Anonymous said...

Or you could read the short story "The Marching Morons."

rob said...

Yes,dougjnn,of course the first step is to control immigration and get rid of the idea that bad immigration just "happens".A country that spends half a trillion dollars (and counting)meddling in Middle Eastern affairs could have a proper immigration policy within a week if the political will was there.

joshrandall said...

Fixing immigration: A)Serious border control B) Demand reperations from Mexico for the money we have spent to take care of THEIR nationals. Freeze their assets and grab their oil if we have to.They relocate their poor to our country so we have to pay for them;the bill needs to be given to Mexico! C) Make remittances illegal,or at least place a huge tax on them. D)Begin deporting illegals on a large scale. Eisenhower did it,we can do it too.