Monday, December 18, 2006

Raising IQs should make the left happy

As a vegetarian and aspiring practitioner of ahimsa, a critic of the Iraq debacle, a conservationist in my personal life (I hang my clothes out to dry on nylon threads strung across the basement rather than use the dryer), and a non-religious person, I've more than few things in common with liberal-leftist folks. But despite my credentials, I've not had much success selling them on how policies and incentives for instituting eugenic practices will make the social utopia they pine for more of a reality. In his latest VDare column, Steve tries to ascertain the US' future IQ, estimating that it will fall to around 93 by mid-century. This portends a future chock-full of the social problems the left generally wants to eradicate.

Much of the opposition is the result of thinking patterns solidified over time. Eugenics is associated with Nazi Germany, which is put forward as the ugly example of extreme right-wing politics brought to life. It's a fairly common phenomenon: American Jews are, as a group, the most supportive group of open borders in the US, despite the fact that current immigration trends threaten them orders of magnitude more than a restrictive immigration policy will. Republican terror warrior voters oppose a new Manhattan-style project to develop viable alternative energy even though obselscing oil will be the single greatest blow to Islamic international terrorism imaginable. Abortion enthusiasts assume that those who are the least capable of effectively raising children are the most likely to terminate pregnancies even when the evidence to support such a view is flawed to say the least.

An expanded lower class and a squeezed middle class will accentuate the wealth gap. Wealth-enhancing innovations that lift all boats (ie cheaper PCs and more efficient vehicles) aside, basic economics makes this clear. If there is an abundant supply of professionals, the wages they command will be depressed. If there is a shortage of laborers, the wages menials earn rises. Our current dysgenic immigration policies and procreative patterns are doing the opposite--inundating the US with unskilled workers who are undercutting one another's wages while doing little to grow the pool of talent on top. Not surprisingly, IQ and the gini coefficient (a measure of income inequality) correlate at a statistically significant .30 at the state level. And so the gap widens.

In addition to wage parity, getting rich couples to have more children and poor ones to have fewer children will move us closer to wealth parity. Consider two couples, the Rich family (net worth of $1 million) and the Modest family (net worth of $100,000). If the Rich's have one child and the Modest's have five, upon the deaths of the parents, the Rich child has $1,000,000 and each Modest kid has $20,000. Now assume the Rich's knock out five urchins and the Broke's only conceive one. At the parents' passing, each Rich is worth $200,000 while the Modest primogeniture has $100,000. That's more socially palatable.

Such parity isn't just limited to inheritance--it plays out throughout the life of the children (what activities their parents are able to enroll them in, where they go to school, etc). Wealth equality is a noble goal, as it is second only to physical health in determining people's self-described level of happiness.

What about prison populations? The US incarceration rate of 738 per 100,000 is abhorrent to the left. Well, immigration policies and eugenic reproductive incentives will help bring this number down. Acknowledging the sagacity of Charles Murray's assertion that murder rates are strong measures of actual criminal activity since they are unlikely to go unreported, it is worth looking at how murder and estimated state IQ relate.

They correlate at an astounding .78. That is, knowing how well eighth graders perform on standardized tests 'explains' almost two-thirds of how prone people in a state are to being victims of homicide. Put in another way, for every one point IQ boost a state receives its murder rate declines by 2.5 per 100,000. Given that the the nation's murder rate is under six per 100,000, that's hardly insignificant!

The surest way to trim the size of the prison population is to decrease the number of people who are the likely to commit crimes. Sharper people have more wealth and therefore less incentive to act illegally, and also more of a long-term orientation that dissuades them from acting foolishly.


JSBolton said...

Your correlation to income inequality from IQ, might go higher if you included only states with a metropolitan area of over 1 million population.
The relation there is struggling against the lack of opportunities for specialization in which the higher-IQ strata have incementally greater advantage over lower.
Also states without any such city, tend to lose their distinctly above average IQ students, more than those that do.
One of the patterns showing from your correlations is the tendency for biological variables to stand out. More health-related dependent variables may pop out of the high end of strength of correlations, if you ran more.
...all of which tends to support the conclusion that we're dealing with something irrreducibly biological with IQ and its correlates as such, and that qulaity of population is of inescapable importance
...not that evidence of any kind will become persuasive to those whose motivation is power-greed, but the electorate is everyone else for the most part

al fin said...

The only population that could support a sustainable leftist government and society, is a population composed of highly intelligent, unselfish, good-natured persons who worked hard and then died suddenly.

Unfortunately, most people are relatively unintelligent, lazy, selfish, and bad-natured. Those salient aspects of human nature doom all leftist experiments to failure.

I was once a leftist myself, and was not happy to be forced by logic to give up my noble philosophy.

crush41 said...


I'll do that.

Al Fin,

Quixoticism does have its appeal. But Sirens rarely sing the truth.

crush41 said...


I tried using a threshold of 250,000 and the correlation actually got a little weaker. Cutting it off at 1 million is even more problematic due to a lack of sufficient sample size (consistently a problem when looking at the state level, while on the flip-siding adding more emphasis to variables that do correlate).