July 30, 2008

David Brooks as the Kinder, Gentler Steve Sailer

One of the eerier feelings for me is to start reading a New York Times op-ed and realize partway through that the columnist is engaging in an argument with me, even though I'm not named. That happens several times per year with David Brooks's NYT columns. (I've been told on trustworthy authority that he is a regular reader, so I'm not just being paranoid here.)

A moderate amount of his stuff seems to be either echoing or arguing with me, (The last time Brooks mentioned my name in the NYT back in 2004, he got a lot of grief from the commissars about it.)

Without the Secret Decoder Ring, it's often hard to figure out what Brooks is talking about. Consider his recent column "The Luxurious Growth." (Here's John Derbyshire's reply.) Or here's his September 2007 column on "The Waning of IQ" that makes no sense at all except under the presumption that NYT subscribers are regular iSteve readers who are almost persuaded by my work. (Here's GNXP's response to it.)

As you know, my basic shtick is that, increasingly, specific government policies tend to matter less than the quantities and qualities of various populations. For example, Hong Kong became prosperous under free trade and laissez-faire, while Singapore became prosperous under protectionism and paternalism.

Thus, immigration policy is more central to the future of America than most of the controversies more welcome in the pages of the New York Times.

My impression is that Brooks finds my work highly persuasive, but also highly troubling, both from an ideological and career perspective. So, he sometimes seems to be groping around for some way to refute me, but all without mentioning my name. Thus you end up with weird columns that are structured like this:

1. The conventional wisdom is [something that only iSteve readers would dare imagine].

2. But, the latest research actually shows that this [utter heresy] isn't quite the sure thing everybody [i.e., my readers, not NYT subscribers] assume, and the reality is [pretty much what politically correct people everywhere assumed all along it was].

For example, today's column parallels my January 1, 2008 VDARE.com column on James Heckman's research on high school graduation rates, but then skids off the rails at the end. Brooks writes:
The meticulous research of Goldin and Katz is complemented by another report from James Heckman of the University of Chicago. Using his own research, Heckman also concludes that high school graduation rates peaked in the U.S. in the late 1960s, at about 80 percent. Since then they have declined.

In “Schools, Skills and Synapses,” Heckman probes the sources of that decline. It’s not falling school quality, he argues. Nor is it primarily a shortage of funding or rising college tuition costs. Instead, Heckman directs attention at family environments, which have deteriorated over the past 40 years.

Heckman points out that big gaps in educational attainment are present at age 5. Some children are bathed in an atmosphere that promotes human capital development and, increasingly, more are not. By 5, it is possible to predict, with depressing accuracy, who will complete high school and college and who won’t.

I.Q. matters, but Heckman points to equally important traits that start and then build from those early years: motivation levels, emotional stability, self-control and sociability. He uses common sense to intuit what these traits are, but on this subject economists have a lot to learn from developmental psychologists. [See my February blog posting on this second aspect of Heckman's work: "Psychology for Economists."]

I point to these two research projects because the skills slowdown is the biggest issue facing the country. Rising gas prices are bound to dominate the election because voters are slapped in the face with them every time they visit the pump. But this slow-moving problem, more than any other, will shape the destiny of the nation.

Second, there is a big debate under way over the sources of middle-class economic anxiety. Some populists emphasize the destructive forces of globalization, outsourcing and predatory capitalism. These people say we need radical labor market reforms to give the working class a chance. But the populists are going to have to grapple with the Goldin, Katz and Heckman research, which powerfully buttresses the arguments of those who emphasize human capital policies. It’s not globalization or immigration or computers per se that widen inequality. It’s the skills gap. Boosting educational attainment at the bottom is more promising than trying to reorganize the global economy.

But, obviously, the current immigration system of large amounts of unskilled illegal immigration and large amounts of highly skilled legal immigration widens "the skills gap." And, nice as it is to imagine that, after 45 years of failing, we'll suddenly somehow dream up a way for "boosting educational attainment at the bottom," the much more plausible thing that we can actually get done before hell freezes over to slow the widening of the skills gap is to fix immigration policy.

76 comments:

headache said...

Steve,
Fishing for compliments! But you can have them.
My impression is that you're a decent guy, personally, but that intellectually you're a bastard. I like that combination a lot. The reverse seems to be the norm nowadays. Lots of intellectually mushy academics, pols and journalists who are uncivilised bastards without a minimum of civil behaviour. They try and make up with thuggery what they cannot stem intellectually, either out of laziness or lack of intelligence. I won't even bother mentioning names.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the immigration issue, Americans aren't just slacking off at education: they've done a cost-benefit analysis of being in school for 30% of their lives years and decided it isn't worth it. Why go through all the trouble to get an engineering degree when your position is likely to be outsourced?

Oh, but if only we spent an extra 19 years per person in school and had quadruple PhDs, this could all be resolved.

It's amazing someone as ignorant as Brooks is allowed to write for the Times.

Robert said...

"And, nice as it is to imagine that, after 45 years of failing, we'll suddenly somehow dream up a way for "boosting educational attainment at the bottom,"

Please look up Project Follow Through, and Direct Instruction. The way has been found, its just not widely implemented.

This doesn't really invalidate any of your other points, because DI may well widen the skill gap as it can accelerate the learning of high IQ children just as it can catch up those that are behind.

Results the Short Version:
http://www.projectpro.com/ICR/Research/DI/Summary.htm

A video interview of the guy who started it:
http://www.zigsite.com/interview.htm

Recent DI results closing the educational gap:
http://d-edreckoning.blogspot.com/2008/04/more-results-out-of-gering.html

BGC said...

SS: "As you know, my basic shtick is that, increasingly, specific government policies tend to matter less than the quantities and qualities of various populations."

Nice to have a concise definition!

One proviso is that bad governments (eg Mao in China) can wreck things, but good governments can't do very much to make things better.

What troubles the PC mavens are the implications of this. It is bad enough that inspirational politics has a limited role except in harm-avoidance.

But restrictive immigration policy goes even more profoundly against the idealism of the intellectual class, because it 'only' solves the problem in one place by confining it to another place.

And if you try to improve population quality in a fundamental and universal sense, then of course that is eugenics - which is the biggest taboo subject of all since the mid 1960s.

Until then (only c 40 years ago!) most first rate, and I mean *first* rate biologists - e.g. Galton, Fisher, Julian Huxley, Crick - were eugenicists - in the sense of being very interested-in and concerned-by human genetic population quality.

My sense is that the _real_ objection to eugenics is that it interferes with the liberty of high IQ secular intellectuals to avoid, delay and limit their own reproduction to below replacement levels.

In other words, it was sixties hedonism that led to the downfall of eugenics, not sixties idealism.

Libertarian hedonism is a perfectly understandable objection to eugenic discussion (essentially: 'leave me alone to enjoy my life in the way I want') - but it is dishonest and inaccurate to disguise eugenics-phobia as a profoundly moral position by obsessively and ignorantly equating eugenics with Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Sailer, the Tribe doesn't actually think there is any problem with immigration policy. They fixed the problem in 1965 and have essentially perfected immigration policy in the time since.

Brooks, Jewish, writes: 'But the populists are going to have to grapple with the Goldin, Katz and Heckman research, '

The term populists here is a rough proxy for the gentiles, of course. And we gentiles are apparently 'going to have to grapple' with the research of three other Jewish perspectives on immigration policy for this 98% gentile nation...just as a start.

This column reads like one Jew talking to other Jews -- and any righteous gentiles who happen to be in the audience. This is becoming more common in the American media and certainly we see it on television all the time now.

Probably we will hear 3,000 or 30,000 other Jewish immigration perspectives...many occupying influential positions in the media and many others acting as gatekeepers of information choke points.

'Second, there is a big debate under way over the sources of middle-class economic anxiety.'

Here is a hint as to what is causing middle-class anxiety: This nation is being administrated in the interests of a tiny elite who are alienated from the masses by religion, bloodlines (their obsession) and culture. Oh sure, as is in their interest, this ruling elite does not stand alone but is senior partner with a supplicating non-Jewish elite junior partner.

But let us face facts. The Jewish intimidation of congress means that this country is certainly not a representative republic anymore. The recent AIPAC convention reported by Weiss in the American Conservative magazine last month makes it plain for those who were on the fence. But it's not just Middle East policy that is distorted far beyond the interests of the non-Jewish voters; it's the media, the banking system, the law, immigration, trade policy, and on and on.

It is obvious that the First and Second Amendments and many of the rest are under sustained attack in order to achieve ideological revision, and eventual change of the facts on the ground. The Hate Crime and Hate Speech campaign is a fundamental repudiation our political institutions and a trojan horse of ever-expanding coercive control.

I have heard stories of rather elaborate procedural plans to somehow circumvent the Electoral College in the years to come. Funding is apparently available for this sort of 'study'. It seems that every energetic and talented attacker of traditional America is able to find ample funding to support their mischief, along with funding for potential sentinels who are willing to stand down or look the other way.

Did not the report of the Jewish billionaire's massive 10-figure funding of the Sierra Club -- on the condition that they take no stand on immigration -- make the hair on the back of your neck stand up?

This situation is absurd, it doesn't cohere, and the country won't last, obviously. Maybe that's the point.

While the Washington think tank mercenaries debate immigration reforms that don't stand a chance in the fixed congress, in the meantime, does this Senior-Junior elite actually think they can fold us into a North American Union as Lou Dobbs describes? Are they that damn crazy?

Lucius Vorenus said...

I guess that everyone here [to include Steve Sailer himself] understands that "skills" is the new politically-correct euphemism for "IQ", right?

David Brooks: Boosting educational attainment at the bottom is more promising than trying to reorganize the global economy.

I wonder - when leftists like David Brooks make these kinds of statements, do they cringe? Do they experience moments of reflection, or introspection? Do they ever question their foundational premises? Does it ever occur to them that some problems might be simply intractable?

Is it reasonable [rational, realistic] to expect that we will ever possess the technology to convert the mentally-retarded into physics PhD's?

For that matter, will we ever possess the technology to convert the moon - from cheese, into, say, chocolate?

"Boosting educational attainment at the bottom" means getting crack/meth addicts to go cold turkey, find employment as janitors, and perform at something like an 80% attendance rate, an 80% punctuality rate, and about an 80% completion of job's duties rate [for the days that they actually show up on time, which I guess would be 0.80 X 0.80 = 64% of the days].

But in the final analysis, they're still just going to be janitors - they're never going to be rocket scientists or brain surgeons or NYT columnists [thank God].

Ain't gonna happen.

Henry Canaday said...

David Brooks has inherited the William Safire portfolio at the Times of being Sane America's ambassador to the Upper West Side. The art of an effective ambassador is to get the host culture to acknowledge things that the host culture has always known, but has been reluctant to admit. In this case, it is that parenting and strong families matter a lot, to children and societies. The Upper West Side knows this, because it is mostly the product of very strong and supportive families and in turn devotes intense efforts to pass the same advantages on to its own children. However, acknowledging this fact is awkward, as it appears to endorse the Dan Quayle view of things and thus undercuts trendy agendas such as obsessing about anti-discrimination and economic-equalization programs. However, progress is slowly being made on this front.

Brooks's next task will be to get his audience to acknowledge that natural endowments matter as well, and these endowments can differ, at least on average, among different ethnic groups. Here again, the proposition is not an unfamiliar one to his audience, but it is even more difficult to openly discuss. This one is going to take Brooks about ten years. Good ambassadors must work slowly, especially with proud but insecure cultures.

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote a great blog article once about how to read a controlled press. There would be complete silence about some event (such as the swift boat allegations) followed by a report that there is no truth to the story (when there was never a story).

Couldn't disagree more about your enphises on IQ of the population over institutions. Red China spent from 1940 to 1990 dirt poor. When the institutions changed and they aped capitalism, they got richer. Same people same IQ just a little private property and rule of law added.

neil craig said...

Singapore isn't protectionist, though it is paternalist. On the other hand mainland China under MAO was both, to an extreme degree. The economic difference between China under Mao & Singapore or Hong Kong, or indeed China now, are obvious.

Equally no genetic difference applies between North & South Korea or East & West Germany.

In the nature V nurture debate I suggest it is equally wrong to say it is almost all nurture.

Anonymous said...

From "Mr. Anonymous"

Steve Sailer -

I'm glad you picked up on the Brooks column.

Brooks has been trying to distance himself for some time from "The Bell Curve" theory towards society. This theory can be summarized as follows:

In our present "knowledge economy" - the cognitive elite - 120 and up, or more precisely, 125 and up, is destined to make the most money, and be the de facto "ruling class."

The vast masses not in this range - out of luck. The highest IQ get the "Good Life," and everyone beneath do not.

Who has the most "members" of the cognitive elite? Ashkenazi Jews, one standard deviation average above the Caucasian mean.

What are the possible consequences of such a stratification between "haves" and "have nots."?

Increasing resentment toward "the tribe." Or worse. As you yourself, Steve, have written about, - as Arthur Hu echoes - "smarter" groups of people are always in danger of being attacked by "dumber" groups of people (the New York rabinnical student killed by blacks in the 90's.).

Brooks wants no part of the Steve Sailer/Derbyshire IQ theory. He continues to come up with "mitigating" reasons why IQ is not the whole story.

We see the Brooks concern echoed by the necons. They embraced Murray and "The Bell Curve" initially but have distanced themselves since. We must ask why.

mlr said...

For example, Hong Kong became prosperous under free trade and laissez-faire, while Singapore became prosperous under protectionism and paternalism.

Thus, immigration policy is more central to the future of America than most of the controversies more welcome in the pages of the New York Times.


Hong Kong and Singapore have something else in common - an absence of democratic politics. Perhaps it's the way power is organized that causes prosperity. HK and S'pore are run like corporations, S'porean pols talk to their publics like a CEO making a report to shareholders (ie: they talk to the public like adults are talked to, not children being tucked into bed).

It's interesting that you mention both HK and S'pore but don't mention what they really have in common (with Dubai, as well): they govern with prosperity as the goal, and the way power is organized reflects that.

Mencius Moldbug makes some great arguments for that on his blog, Unqualified Reservations.

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com

George Watkins said...

For example, Hong Kong became prosperous under free trade and laissez-faire, while Singapore became prosperous under protectionism and paternalism.

Sorry, but I don’t believe you are correct about Singapore – not its recent history. Singapore regularly places near the top in rankings of countries based on their “economic freedom.” The Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation annually publish such rankings. Also, consider this piece by Arvind Panagariya, a professor of economics at Columbia. Writing in 2001, he said:

Singapore and Hong Kong have been the most open economies in the world during the past fifty years. While the former went through a brief import-substitution period during 1960s, the latter has been entirely free of trade barriers throughout this period. How do we explain this success of the two economies during a period when all other developing countries found themselves resorting to protection?

http://www.columbia.edu/~ap2231/ET/et27-june01.htm

pseudoerasmus said...

Sailor says, " Singapore became prosperous under protectionism and paternalism ".

Paternalism, yes, but protectionism ?

" With political independence in August 1965 and the loss of the potential Malaysian common market, Singapore’s industrial strategy switched from import substitution to export-orientation. Industrial growth averaged 18.1% a year during 1965-73. With the dearth of domestic industrial entrepreneurs and the lack of industrial technology,
Singapore opted for FDI. Quantitative restrictions were eliminated and tariffs were progressively phased out in the ensuing years to reach a maximum ad valorem rate of 5% by end-1970s. "

http://www.adbi.org/files/2005.11.28.cpp.singapore.industrial.policy.pdf

Can a tiny island-economy even practise protectionism ?

In the recent blog entry about Japanese auto production in the United States, Sailor made it sound as if a country has a perfectly free choice about whether to practise protectionism or free trade.

But protectionism is viable only if you have a large enough internal market. Which also explains why England opted for free trade whilst Germany and the United States did not. And also explains why high-IQ Singapore opted for trade openness.

Anonymous said...

The fact that he cannot refute you but dares not speak your name guarantees that you play a larger role in his mental life than he does in yours.

Anonymous said...

"For example, Hong Kong became prosperous under free trade and laissez-faire, while Singapore became prosperous under protectionism and paternalism."

Steve,

There are some important policies and characteristics both city-states have in common. Both have similar social insurance systems (essentially, the equivalent of privatized social security); both have strong property rights; both have consistent rule of law with non-corrupt courts and officials, etc. That legal framework has made both of them financial capitols.

Ron Guhname said...

I read his column last night and got nauseous--in fact, my valve closed, maybe for good. This guy is supposed to be a hardheaded conservative, I asked myself. Brooks is a cultural determinist, which is about as brave as elites will allow.

Johnson said...

It is extremely challenging to oppose immigration while totally ignoring the IQ issue. However, your statement


And, nice as it is to imagine that, after 45 years of failing, we'll suddenly somehow dream up a way for "boosting educational attainment at the bottom," the much more plausible thing that we can actually get done before hell freezes over to slow the widening of the skills gap is to fix immigration policy.


seems something that may possibly have some traction in non-HBD conservative circles.

Instead of leaving the immigration debate to the open border advocates vs. the white supremacists (a good chunk of anti-immigration people on this site).

You should really find a way to put forth realistic talking points about opposition to immigration that we can use WITHOUT being labeled racists.

testing99 said...

Steve --

You are in fact quite wrong in every way in thinking that populations mean everything and government policies mean nothing. It's lazy thinking at it's absolute worst and flies in the face of evidence in front of your own eyes:

1. Cultural and government polices that re-inforced each other kept Black illegitimacy rates at 24% and white rates at 4% in 1965, compared to 90% in the urban core today and 34% for whites nationally today.

This has resulted in a massive welfare state to transfer payments from middle class people to poor Blacks/Latinos/Whites with the aim of suppressing urban riots. It's a massive inefficiency (the money used for that can't be invested in infrastructure like rail, air links, sewage, fiber-optic cable, bridges, roads, tunnels, etc.)

2. Promotion of certain cultural traits such as thrift, future-orientation, delayed gratification, proper mate selection, and the like are heavily dependent on government policies and deeply effect even "high IQ" populations:

One can merely look at Britain, Sweden, Norway, and so on in Northern Europe where productivity has plummeted and welfare costs have skyrocketed along with the high rate of illegitimacy (OVER 50% in many nations).

CULTURE MATTERS. And government policies deeply affect culture and this can be seen in change over time in the US and Northern Europe. Theodore Dalrymple has chronicled the decline in social capital in the UK among whites and the IQ population there has not changed.

Anonymous said...

"... academics, pols and journalists who are uncivilised bastards without a minimum of civil behaviour ... I won't even bother mentioning names."

I will. The late Stephen Jay Gould. I had the misfortune to meet him several times. The most personally obnoxious man I've ever encountered. Extraordinarily rude, nasty, and arrogant. But you'd never think so if you only read his essays or saw his TV interviews, because he always put on an affable persona for public consumption. (I wasn't even arguing with him about controversial subjects. I was just working as a humble cashier at the Harvard Coop. We all dreaded having to deal with that abusive little creep.)

Anonymous said...

Couldn't disagree more about your enphises on IQ of the population over institutions. Red China spent from 1940 to 1990 dirt poor. When the institutions changed and they aped capitalism, they got richer. Same people same IQ just a little private property and rule of law added.

The problem with this is it can only prove so much. We can point to high IQ nations that lack property rights and determine the lack of property rights, not high IQ, is determinative. But can we prove the converse by pointing to the existence of comparably wealthy low IQ nations? I'm not aware of any.

Now, the counter to this last point may be that all the low IQ nations lack property rights too, but that begs the question of whether a society of low IQ/high time preference individuals can develop such institutions rather than just settling for Big Man rule and theft. So I think all we can say is that high IQ alone is not determinative.

--Senor Doug

Statsquatch said...

Steve,

Brooks obviously knows you are probably right but hopes that your are wrong.

If I were him I would too. Since if you are right he and his ilk sent the whole country is now on a fools errand that will not end well.

Wait, I hope you are wrong too. But also I hope Santa will shower me with 500 Euro bills.

Anonymous said...

I have been noticing euphemised versions of a lot of the stuff you and your blogroll regularly discuss published in MSM north of the border as well.

For example this article on women in Math may seem rather coy, but consider that the Star is historically the most left wing of the major papers in Canada(!). This type of opion would have been unthinkable during the 90s.

David Davenport said...

But protectionism is viable only if you have a large enough internal market. Which also explains why England opted for free trade whilst Germany and the United States did not.

Another view on English free free free trade is that "free trade" was a ruse and cover story concocted by David Ricardo and the like in the process of forcing India to buy cloth exported from England and the Chinese to buy opium.

Anonymous said...

"But can we prove the converse by pointing to the existence of comparably wealthy low IQ nations? I'm not aware of any."

Most low IQ people in America are wealthy by world standards. The lady who cleans my home drives an SUV. American institutions like private property, rul of law, relativel uncorrupt officials make even it easy to gain material; well being. And it is not because they live iive in a wealthy country. There are lots of wealthy countries like Russia where a small high IQ or brutial elite get all the wealth and the low IQ people nearly starve.

Anonymous said...

Henry Canaday, you misunderstand what neoconservatives like Brooks are really about. They aren't trying to bring liberals around to conservative views, they are trying bring conservatives around to liberal views. They do this by playing the false opposition to liberals in the elite media.

One of the biggest reasons for the the success of the neoconservatives is their access to liberal dominated elite institutions that are off limits to real conservatives. The liberals give them this access freely becaus they understand that neoconservatives are ultimately on their side.

Svigor said...

Who has the most "members" of the cognitive elite? Ashkenazi Jews, one standard deviation average above the Caucasian mean.

What are you smoking?

Anonymous said...

Brooks, Jewish, writes...

LOL. A classic formulation: apparently being Jewish eliminates the necessity for relative pronouns and verbs.

Svigor said...

Promotion of certain cultural traits such as thrift, future-orientation, delayed gratification, proper mate selection, and the like are heavily dependent on government policies and deeply effect even "high IQ" populations

Those are BEHAVIORAL traits, not cultural traits, dummy. Now let's discuss the split between nature and nurture for each.

headache said...

bgc,
Excellent points. I always thought that modern liberalism had more to do with what is biblically known as fornication than with any moral considerations in the classical sense. The give-away of the 68-movemenet here in Germany was that when the press finally started opening the can of worms which the hippie movement actually is. The first response of that German Über-Radcial, Joschka Fischer (who has since been bought off by AIPAC), was whether we want to go back to considering premarital sex immoral. This statement just gave the guy away and any person with a modicum of biblical morality could immediately see that "free sex" was the basis of his life, and by projection, the 68-movements Raison d'être. The fact that he has married 5 times, going for ever younger and more diverse women just proves the point. Of course this is a pathetic sell, even in modern liberal circles, so they cover it up with all the intellectually incoherent regulations on racism and anti-Semitism and feminism and initiate grossly bizarre and vicious ad hominem attacks against anybody who points out they are walking around naked.

Anonymous said...

Those are BEHAVIORAL traits, not cultural traits, dummy

Svigor: Great emphasis, but perhaps you should cut him some slack here. Maybe we can reformulate "culture" like so:

- Any racially-specific set of behavioral patterns of one race is "culture" to the members of another race; that's because...

- Culture is the practice of codifying and optimizing the behavioral patterns of the more gifted members of a race in order to standardize the average member's (of that race) behavior for better social cooperation.

In that sense, those like testing99 will forever keep on quoting the situation of black ghettos as due to "cultural" factors since they (Jews - a group far closer to Euros racially than blacks) have managed to adopt the behavioral patterns of whites. It's their way of saying "look ma, no race." Don't bother.


JD

neil craig said...

Anon asked "But can we prove the converse by pointing to the existence of comparably wealthy low IQ nations?"

Ireland. Over the last 20 years it has, by running a very free market economy, gone from being fairly poor to just above the US pre capita income. I understand it scores below the western European average in IQ (this may well because it is or has been largely rural) & certainly scores low against the US, UK or Europe in scientific innovation. Ireland is yet another example of how free marketism transforms economic progress.

Lucius Vorenus said...

testing99: One can merely look at Britain, Sweden, Norway, and so on in Northern Europe where productivity has plummeted and welfare costs have skyrocketed along with the high rate of illegitimacy (OVER 50% in many nations)... CULTURE MATTERS. And government policies deeply affect culture and this can be seen in change over time in the US and Northern Europe. Theodore Dalrymple has chronicled the decline in social capital in the UK among whites and the IQ population there has not changed.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the possibility of dysgenic fertility - allow me to introduce you to the "Chav" phenomenon:

Youtube search: chav

Chav Hunting, aka Class Wars

PS: Orwell was eerily prescient on this question.

PPS: Urban Dictionary has 29 pages of definitions of the word "Chav" [not 29 different definitions - 29 PAGES of different definitions - almost 200 definitions in all].

Anonymous said...

"Theodore Dalrymple has chronicled the decline in social capital in the UK among whites and the IQ population there has not changed."

Well, we have a bit of a chicken-or-egg issue here. My thesis would be that socialist policies lower IQ over time. IOW, if the government hands out transfer payments, then women no longer have to select breeding partners for the intelligence and civility required in an advanced economy.

I expect the British white underclass will be living in lean-to's without a written language before long.

--Senor Doug

Anonymous said...

Who has the most "members" of the cognitive elite? Ashkenazi Jews, one standard deviation average above the Caucasian mean.

What are you smoking?

Hey - bozo - let me quote directly from my source, "A People That Shall Dwell Alone," K. MacDonald, p. 290.

"Taken together, the data [a review of IQ studies throughout the years] suggest a mean IQ in the 117 range for Ashkenazi Jewish children, with a Verbal IQ in the range of 125 and a Performance IQ in the average range. These results, if correct, would indicate a difference of almost two standard deviations from the Caucasian mean in Verbal IQ..."

As you know, since 115 would be approximately one standard deviation above the Caucasian mean, 117 would be - off the cuff - sufficient for me to say "one standard deviation."

We note however that the verbal IQ is higher, placing the Jews solidly towards Charles Murray's location of the cognitive elite at 125+. This is echoed by MacDonald.

From "Understanding Jewish Activism," K. MacDonald, p. 24: "The vast majority of U.S. Jews are Ashkenazi Jews. This is a very intelligent group, with an average IQ of approximately 115 and a verbal IQ considerably higher. Since verbal IQ is the best predictor of occupational success and upward mobility in contemporary societies, it is not surprising that Jews are an elite group in the United States."


So, why don't you produce some evidence of your own for us here to show us how we're wrong

Anonymous said...

America is very rich and it's people are very fat. The sky is not falling. The world is richer now than ever before and global wealth creation since the fall of the USSR has been astonishing.

No one reads the NYT anymore. It's increasingly irrelevant. People do not like genetic arguments because they destroy hope and belief in agency. If something is genetically determined, then little can be done to change it. By highlighting family breakdown since the 60s (no thanks to the NYT), Brooks is holding out hope. It's a pretty conservative argument, and probably is true to a point, so he should be given credit. Something could possibly be done about family breakdown, little can be done about low IQ.

Of course, it is irresponsible to ignore IQ entirely. But society would go haywire if everyone advocated in public the way Steve Sailer does. Everyone, absolutely everyone, including David Brooks, knows that blacks are not the sharpest and that Jews are clever, except most people, out of a mixture of cowardice and politeness, deny it in public. But nothing as yet can be done about these IQ differences, so people tend to focus on other issues that aren't quite so depressing.

David said...

This column reads like one Jew talking to other Jews -- and any righteous gentiles who happen to be in the audience.

In other words, it is a column published in the NYT.

bruce said...

Are you sure Brooks is arguing for political correctness?

My impression is that he may be defending Catholic Church doctrines - the leftist 'Social Justice' ones, not the rightist Pat Buchanan ones.

That's how he seems to veer between conservative and 'liberal', just as the pronouncements of the Church itself seem to.

I have friends who are long term members of Opus Dei who talk and write just like Brooks, journalists too. And no it isn't a fad - its founded on traditional Thomist philosophy which is far from politically correct.

Svigor said...

So, why don't you produce some evidence of your own for us here to show us how we're wrong

Hi back, Rebo. You're defending the wrong part of the quote. I knew there'd be trouble with that, but I was on the way out the door.

Anonymous said...

Money. Donate. Now.

The single biggest reason the Jews have used the system so well to their advantage is not their high intelligence, it is their understanding of the importance of donating money to organizations and individuals who support their interests - and their willingness to act on that understanding.

ben tillman said...

People do not like genetic arguments because they destroy hope and belief in agency.

Mo, liberals don't like genetic arguments. Normal people do.

Anonymous said...

Svigor,

Your last comment was incoherent. Care to explicate?

ben tillman said...

Who has the most "members" of the cognitive elite? Ashkenazi Jews, one standard deviation average above the Caucasian mean.

I believe Svigor was taking issue with the statement that Ashkenazim are the most numerous among the cognitive elite. And he is right. In the US, white gentiles outnumber Jews by about 3:1 among the cog-elite.

ben tillman said...

Of course, it is irresponsible to ignore IQ entirely. But society would go haywire if everyone advocated in public the way Steve Sailer does. Everyone, absolutely everyone, including David.

Talk about bald assertions. I'll send one right back at you: society would be much better off if everyone spoke (sorry, I can't deign to use "advocate" as an intransitive verb) as Steve does.

Seriously, what are you talking about? If everyone spoke as Steve does, there wouldn't be media voices propagating the falsehoods that would produce the negative reactions you envision.

Anonymous said...

Jewish journalist Brooks quoting the "meticulous research" of two Jewish researchers...Goldin and Katz.

Simply priceless.

Anonymous said...

"In the US, white gentiles outnumber Jews by about 3:1 among the cog-elite."

And yet every policy that has a negative impact on America comes from the Jewish fraction of the cognitive elite, which somehow steamrolls the larger gentile majority on every issue.

Joshua

Anonymous said...

Jewish journalist Brooks quoting the "meticulous research" of two Jewish researchers...Goldin and Katz.

Simply priceless.


Because all Jewish journalists and all Jewish researchers agree, right?
Even if they don't, they do, because they're Jews, natch.

ben tillman said...

And yet every policy that has a negative impact on America comes from the Jewish fraction of the cognitive elite, which somehow steamrolls the larger gentile majority on every issue.

Yes, of course. Members of the Jewish fraction can work together, while members of the gentile fraction must work separately.

As a "group" of one, each white gentile among the cog-elite is overwhelmingly outnumbered and is easy prey for the forces of indoctrination, incentivization, intimidation, and conformity.

Have you not read MacDonald's "Culture of Critique"?

Anonymous said...

"And yet every policy that has a negative impact on America comes from the Jewish fraction of the cognitive elite, which somehow steamrolls the larger gentile majority on every issue."

Somehow indeed! Those Jews. My, my, they ARE clever. I hadn't realized that Nancy Pelosi was both Jewish and clever. Thanks for clarifying.

Anonymous said...

"Mo, liberals don't like genetic arguments. Normal people do."

I suppose saying as much makes it true. Is the author familiar with America's Christian population? They are the true conservatives. Steve Sailer is not a conservative at all but a rather mean, cynical Enlightenment technocrat. Conservatism is a rejection of the Enlightenment and its mechanistic natural scientific worldview. re Godel's claim that structural arguments are limited.

America's Christians, in any event, will have nothing to do with baldly genetic arguments. They won't even accept evolution as true. They won't, because they recognize that genetic arguments severely complicate agency which undermines the logical basis for ethics.

Anonymous said...

I believe Svigor was taking issue with the statement that Ashkenazim are the most numerous among the cognitive elite. And he is right. In the US, white gentiles outnumber Jews by about 3:1 among the cog-elite.


Hey - bozos - I'm still waiting for your evidence.

My earlier statement justifies everything I'm saying. Jews average higher than the Caucasian mean.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for some kind of a cited source which is going to justify you saying Caucasians outnumber Jews 3:1 above 125+?

Don't tell me it's simply because there are more Caucasians, population wise, than Jews. I want a book, a study, cited, specifically stating a superior number of high IQ caucasians versus high IQ Jews.

Otherwise, I'll have to conclude that you like to make statements with no basis in reality.

By the way, Mr. "Svigor," are you the same "White Supremacist" I see on the Internet? Because, since we're speaking of IQ, that is not exactly a promising "strategy" for accomplishing anything, in my view, given the mean IQ of what I've found of that "subset" of society

David said...

Anon. sniffed,

genetic arguments severely complicate agency which undermines the logical basis for ethics.

The laws of physics complicate agency, too.

Try jumping off the Empire State Building unaided, using your "free will" to fly.

The laws of medicine complicate agency. If you are terminally ill, you have no choice regarding the outcome of the illness. Your agency is limited ("complicated") to your response to the death sentence.

The laws of agriculture complicate agency. If somebody has to sow for there to be reaping, then somebody somewhere either reaps or death follows. Where is the choice?

The entire legal structure complicates agency: if you are in the slammer, how "free" are you actions? Do ethics apply equally to a man in lock-down solitary confinement and a man who is as free as a bird on the outside?

This is why religious conceptions of ethics are balderdash - sheer mysticism. The nature of reality is absolute. You either adapt or die. The truly *ethical* thing to do is not to evade facts, but to look into them. The facts themselves are always "complicating"; your choice is whether to apprehend them and behave accordingly, or not.

Race flat-earthers, muttering about agency unrestricted by facts, are making the unethical choice.

Svigor said...

Rebo, I have an article somewhere on my hard drive that mentions the numbers. I think it's from the NYT, and I think it was about the Cochran thing. But I don't have it in front of me and I don't punch a clock for you so you'll have to wait, or do your own homework.

Meanwhile, we'll all wait for YOUR proof that a higher IQ mean for a tiny population relative to a much larger population translates into higher absolute numbers of people with high IQ in the former group.

Jackass.

Anonymous said...

If everyone spoke as Steve does, there wouldn't be media voices propagating the falsehoods that would produce the negative reactions you envision.

In fact, attitudes would be much like they were for oh, say, all of history before 1965, when people used phrases like "good stock" and "well bred."

I know, I know. It would be horrible. If everyone thought like that bastard Sailer, the WASPs would be ordering their Negro trustees to load the Jews into the cattle cars.

--Senor Doug

Svigor said...

By the way, Mr. "Svigor," are you the same "White Supremacist" I see on the Internet?

Gee, I dunno. Are you the same "Anonymous" asshole I see all over the Web?

Svigor said...

David, ain't logic great?

Nice choke-slap.

Svigor said...

Oh, and my response to the arguments of Mr. Agency are a bit different:

Unfortunately, I don't think we're going to get anywhere by playing cute with obscurantists; I think we're going to have to go over or through them, not around. I.e., the obstacles they put in front of us are active, not passive; the opposition is deliberate, not incidental. Playing semantics is like saying we should step out of the path of a gun being pointed at us. It won't work, because the wielder will just aim it at us wherever we go. The solution is to get into a gunfight (rhetorically speaking of course).

Anonymous said...

I thought of a way to compare a high IQ civilization with good institutions and a high IQ civilization with poorer institutions. Time travel. Look at 17th century europe, dirt poor and hungery. Then look at 18th century Europe, rich and in control of the world. Because they discoverd and applied scientific method, double entry bookeeping, rule of law, sancity of contract, etc.

Today all the knowledge discovered by 18th century Europe is available, public domain, to all the nations of earth. It's not like the formula for bone china dishes kept secret for centuries from other nations.

Some other people apply these lessions such as America, Austraila, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile.

Others do not such as Africa, Middle East, Latin America.

The IQ of 17th century England was similar to the IQ of 18th century England. The civilizational institutions were radically different. Wherever those institutions spread wealth followed, even in Red China where the leadership is the same as the leadership that impoverished them.

Anonymous said...

Svigor -

You seem to be a living example of exactly the type of person Kevin MacDonald warns of in the latest "Occidental Quarterly" :

"our message needs to be conveyed with intelligence... It's not going to come from skinheads or disaffected working people."
( p. 7).

Here's a tip, Storm Front boy. Don't call people "dumb" and ask "what are they smoking" when you can't intelligently back up your statements with any facts.

Merely because Caucasians outnumber Jews in sheer numbers is not proof they outnumber Jews in Verbal IQ or in the Cognitive Elite.

ruin said...

And yet every policy that has a negative impact on America comes from the Jewish fraction of the cognitive elite, which somehow steamrolls the larger gentile majority on every issue.

Gosh darn that 7% of Congress is strangling everyone!

And then you wonder why people think VDARE is a hate site? Thanks for ruining it for the rest of us.

Saint Middens said...

Mr. Agency (credit goes to Svigor for assigning you your name),
I have long held that PC started with the Abrahamic faiths, with their doctrines of free will (or "agency"), creation, and original sin -- ideas which live on in the hearts of leftists, even though they deny it.

I have been a bit of a broken record about this repeating this same idea over and over again. Each time some Christian challenges me saying I don't understand the theological subtlties. If that is so, than neither do many Christians. Thank you for buttressing my case, Mr. agency.

David said...

“Uncomplicated agency” is as mystical a notion as belief in ghosts.

They used to call it Divine Agency back when they were fighting Huxley. Now they call it Agency. They discreetly dropped the Divine - grammatically.

Human nature - which self-styled ethicists apparently brush aside as an illogical complication - is not a blank slate upon which the will scribbles without limits. It consists of mind AND blood and bone and genes.

The truly ethical people - fact-finders, scientists - had to wage a titanic battle to get the proposition "man is a mammal" understood and accepted (partly and grudingly) by the ethicists of their day (preachers). So shall we have to fight, for acceptance of the fact that the body doesn’t stop at the neck.

Another religious concept I would like to warn against is “Hope” with a capital “H.” We will hear it a lot (perhaps as much as “Agency”), particularly from the more leftward of the brethern. The plain word “hope” - small “h” - is perfectly respectible; however, in religious terminology, “Hope” is anti-fact. It means “wishes in defiance of all evidence.” When one criticizes Head Start or any Program as ineffective, for example, one will hear in reply: “You are an enemy of Hope.” When one objects to the proposition that all men are equal de facto, one hears “We must Hope.” It means not "we hope it is or isn't true" but "our aspirations are the truth." It’s as cant a term as “Agency”; be on the lookout for it.

(Svigor, using logic is necessary to identify what is a gun and what isn't, of course.)

Svigor said...

Merely because Caucasians outnumber Jews in sheer numbers is not proof they outnumber Jews in Verbal IQ or in the Cognitive Elite.

Look Rebo, you ass, you made an assertion you couldn't support, and demanded I prove false your totally unsupported assertion, and now you're being hoist on your own petard.

Svigor said...

Gosh darn that 7% of Congress is strangling everyone!

Actually...

Jewish vs Euro-American Voting Patterns

But this isn't a complex issue (Ben already explained this, but I'll try to go slowly for the cheap seats). If you have a cohesive collective, they will outcompete an arbitrary number of atomized individuals. The more one emphasizes "cohesive" and "atomized," the more radically the idea is illustrated, because arbitrary can get REALLY arbitrary, without the need to increase he size of the collective.

E.g., three bullies who stick together can totally dominate a school filled with kids who won't cooperate against them; you can put any practical number of non-cooperative kids into that school and it won't make a difference.

Martin said...

"Anonymous said...

Look at 17th century europe, dirt poor and hungery. Then look at 18th century Europe, rich and in control of the world.

The IQ of 17th century England was similar to the IQ of 18th century England. The civilizational institutions were radically different."

Huh? That's flat out wrong. There was little to distinguish 17th century Europe from 18th century Europe. By world standards, 17th century was rather wealthy. 18th century Europe was more so. Civil and governmental institutions had changed not a wit.

Perhaps you mean 1700's and 1800's. In which case you'd still be wrong. The notion many have that western Europe was a squalid hell-hole until - Bang! - the renaissance, enlightenment, and industrial revolution came along - is in error. Europe was always fairly advanced compared to most of the world. And material progress is far more steady and evolutionary than people seem to think. "Revolutions" are usually a lot of hype.

It works the other way too. The decay of civilizations is usually a slow and steady process.

Tim said...

This blaming the Jews argument is so tired. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, etc. All liberals supporting destructive policies. None Jewish. It isn't Jews selling us out. It's Gentiles selling us out. That is what Gentiles don't want to face. If Gentiles are really getting steamrolled, then use the superior numbers to vote yourselves into office.

Geronimo McTavish said...

Anon - Merely because Caucasians outnumber Jews in sheer numbers is not proof they outnumber Jews in Verbal IQ or in the Cognitive Elite.

No, anon, that wont fly. Svigor has got you dead in his sights, give up now.

For your assertion for to be true either the proportion of Jews relative to whites in the US has to vastly different from that advertised, many times more Jews in other words. Or, the white/Jewish IQ gap must be vastly wider than normally understood.

Can you provide any substance to either of these possibilities? I think not.

Svigor: 1
Anon a**hole: 0

Anonymous said...

"Huh? That's flat out wrong. There was little to distinguish 17th century Europe from 18th century Europe. By world standards, 17th century was rather wealthy. 18th century Europe was more so. Civil and governmental institutions had changed not a wit."

you are right of course, I was referring to the great divergence,

Look at a chart of european population from earliest estimates to 1900 and you will see a long nearly horizontal line marked by a phenominal change upward in the 18th century.

none of the above said...

Scientific results on human nature and different outcomes of various people deny agency as part of their basic models. Look at twin studies--their starting model is that the variation in peoples' test scores and life outcomes can be seen as the result of, say, genes, shared environment, and nonshared environment. Any outcome of that research will "deny agency" to people in the same way--there's no term in the model for individual choices or effort. Whether the researchers conclude that you're a violent thug because of genes or upbringing or both, no data could ever have told them, given their model, that you were a violent thug because you made bad choices.

That's not a knock on the models. Those researchers are trying to measure what they can measure with their data, and models have to dramatically simplify the world to be useful. But it does make it rather easy to get a visceral reaction against whatever one of those studies says. And whenever someone doesn't like the political implications of a study like this, they eagerly use that effect.

Anonymous said...

Hey, eunuchs running a "White Supremacist" meeting from your Mother's basement:

Merely because Caucasians outnumber Jews in sheer numbers is not proof they outnumber Jews in Verbal IQ or in the Cognitive Elite.

If I were wrong, I would have been referred to a study, a source, a book, by now.

Obviously.

It's been 3 days. At this point, I won't be checking back for your response.

By the way, your vulgarity is really out of place on a site with such intelligent discussion going on.

You don't look tough or insightful. You look like low class W.T. who can't put together an intelligent argument.

Nietzschian "ressentiment" indeed -

Svigor said...

Hey, eunuchs running a "White Supremacist" meeting from your Mother's basement:

Merely because Caucasians outnumber Jews in sheer numbers is not proof they outnumber Jews in Verbal IQ or in the Cognitive Elite.

If I were wrong, I would have been referred to a study, a source, a book, by now.

Obviously.

It's been 3 days. At this point, I won't be checking back for your response.

By the way, your vulgarity is really out of place on a site with such intelligent discussion going on.

You don't look tough or insightful. You look like low class W.T. who can't put together an intelligent argument.

Nietzschian "ressentiment" indeed -


You're seem determined to prove you're a total ass.

Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real. PROVE they aren't! If you can't cite a study, a source, a book, then I'm obviously right.

Put down the NeeChee and Google "logical fallacies".

Svigor said...

Okay, at least Rebo reminded me to look up my source. So now now only is he wrong logically, he's wrong factually too:

23 per thousand Ashkenazim have an IQ over 140, as opposed to 4 per thousand Northern Europeans.
Are Jews Smarter?

7 million Jews in America
American Jewry

There are *BALLPARK* 128 million Americans of northern European stock (I counted German, Irish, English, French, Scottish, Dutch, Norwegian, Scotch-Irish, and Swedish).
Ancestry of U.S. Population by Rank

That adds up to *BALLPARK*:

512,000 Americans of northern European stock with IQs of 140 or higher.
161,000 Jews in America with IQs of 140 or higher.

3.2:1

That's just comparing Americans of northern European stock, and Jews. Southern Euros are comparable to northern Euros; throw in northeast Asians and the ratio increases; throw in the rest of America and it increases even further. Plus some American Jews are Sephardic and have lower IQs. It's probably more in the neighborhood of 4:1.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Mr. Agency. Me again. People on this board must do quite poorly on comprehension. I wasn't positing my own beliefs about agency (I'm a determinist), merely pointing out that SS is not a conservative by a proper understanding of what that term means within a political historical context and that conservatives don't look genetic arguments because they're idealistic. A good conservative is not Enlightened -- that's right: they're obscurantist. SS is far, far too Enlightened to be conservative.

David said...

Give it up, Svigor. Dummies can't grasp that a huge percentage of a tiny number can be smaller than a tiny percentage of a huge number. That's like asking them to understand the concept of averages or negative externalities. It can't be phrased as an aggressive personal insult ("you penis-less externalities sitting in your Mom's basement!"), so they can't grasp it.

Might I suggest an alternative method of argumentation? Try pointing your finger at them and saying "You are JUST WRONG" in a morally disapproving tone of voice. It works for many liberals.

Svigor said...

LOL. Mr. Agency. Me again. People on this board must do quite poorly on comprehension. I wasn't positing my own beliefs about agency

Hey, don't feel bad. If you played Devil's Advocate well enough to fool everyone then you were doing your job. That ain't easy. I know liberals' arguments better than they do, and I still can't play DA for them, not even a bit.

I'm a determinist

So you're the guy! And all these years I've been saying there's no such thing! Who knew?

Svigor said...

It was late when I posted those numbers, btw. I think my guess of 4:1 should've read more like "at least 4:1". We're talking about 300 million Americans.

Anonymous said...

While I'm not a Svigor fan, I'm getting a little annoyed with another Anonymous's "Caucasian" - Jewish dichotomy. By persisting with the term "Caucasian" instead of what he really means, i.e. Gentile/European, he's guilty of, what's that big word that comes from Latin or Greek, hell if I know which--obfuscating.
Jews are "Caucasians" as that term was used in its heyday, the 19th and first half of the 20th century, when racial terms were formalized and structured to mean certain types.
Jews, Arabs, Berbers, even a lot of East Indians--"Caucasians" all.
So get off this Caucasian-Jewish seesaw. Europeans are just the whitest Caucasians
I would find a world without Jews greatly undesirable,but nevertheless it is a fact that Europeans developed quite a lot of science and culture without much direct Jewish participation until the late 19th century. I say direct because of course European culture developed around Chrisitianty, which we wouldn't have without Jews and Judaism.
By the way, while he wasn't exactly Carlton Coons, James Michener wrote the "Source" in the form of vignettes over the centuries, of what is now Israel. He did his research. Hebrews were a mixed bag, phenotypically, ranging from blond to dark. Indeed, like Caucasians today.