The Daily View: Dumbing-Down, Poverty in Africa, Space-X, Job Creation, Race & Crime

From The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the “dumbing down” of America

The verdict may still be out as to whether or not America is dumbing down…I wrote two articles that offer an opposing view, that America, contrary to popular belief, may not be dumbing down:

It may be more like a barbell: while America may have a lot of dumb people, it also has a lot of intellectual output. America’s education system is like a factory, every year churning out millions of mediocre, average people who are sufficiently literate and numerate to contribute to the economy, although with the trend towards automation it may be that these skills that were sufficient 20 years ago will not remain so in the future.

Interesting article: The Great “White”-Washing

With progressive whitewashing, Africans are reduced to pacified, convenient, interchangeable black people with no history of their own and the continent is reduced to a single entity, completely ignorant of its great diversity. The history of the continent is reduced to simplistic notions of a pure, Rousseauean existence that was shattered by whites (Arabs being left out because non-whites can’t oppress other non-whites, apparently). The dissonance occurred when it was implied that only Communist organizations (with natives educated, funded and organized by liberal whites while studying abroad in European universities) would be able to fix all of Africa’s problems during the decolonization era. After that didn’t work out–African nations fell into poverty, disease, genocide and tragedy–it began being implied that only NGO’s, humanitarianism, rock concerts and philanthropy would be able to help.

The problem with central Africa has less to do with racism (from either the left, the right, or whites) but likely, instead, low IQs, civil war, and dysfunctional leadership (the three probably related), as well as geography.

Africa ranks lowest in global IQ map:

This is not a one-time anomaly, but as been corroborated by over a dozen studies, some as recent as 2002. Despite decades improving living standards in America, recent studies show a persistent half-standard deviation IQ gap between blacks and whites:

Closing the Black/White IQ Gap?

Flynn looks at test scores in the year they are administered without taking account of differences in age, e.g., how blacks and whites of every age who took in the test in 1985 compare. Flynn found that the black/white IQ score gap narrowed by 5.67 points between 1972 and 2002. Thus the IQ gap has fallen from 15 points to about 10 ten points. Flynn and Murray agree that the debate over how best to analyze the data is not settled.

Whether of not this gap is biological or environmental, it does have potentially significant ramifications for socioeconomic outcomes at both the individual and national level.

Germany and Japan rebuilt after after WW2 into thriving economies, whereas central Africa, despite $500 billion in aid by western countries, is still mired in poverty. IQ also explains why North and South Africa have thrived compared to the rest of the country, due to white settlers. To quote Robin Hanson:

Most nations today would be richer if they had long ago just submitted wholesale to a rich nation, allowing that rich nation to change their laws, customs, etc., and just do everything their way. But this idea greatly offends national and cultural pride. So nations stay poor.

During the 18th and 19th century, North Africa was colonized by France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. Trade also plays a role, and central Africa, unlike the coastal countries, are cut-off. Coastal African countries, which have a greater Arab or European admixture, tend to be more prosperous than those that are homogeneous and inland. ‘Cognitive flight’ is another reason: the smartest of Africans are more likely to emigrate to more prosperous regions.

However, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, despite being inland, are obviously much more prosperous than inland African counties:

Green and yellow indicate better living conditions:

Space-X Lands Falcon 9 Rocket on Barge

That’s pretty amazing, and is an example of high-IQ ingenuity by the free market. That’s why, despite writing about NRx, I’m not a collapse-ist. If society and the economy collapses, it will hurt innovators like Musk the most. Instead, the system needs to be reformed – gradually, creating a new system where the best and the brightest will lead. My ‘mantra’ is: Replace and Rule: replace (not collapse) the current system, and then rule. The fall of the Roman Empire lead to the Dark Ages, and eventually the Renaissance, the Reformulation, the Scientific Revolution, and finally the Enlightenment If history is any guide, collapse would lead to a long period of decay, followed by a new regime that may even more liberal than what replaced it. On a somewhat related note, Tesla stock keeps going up, and will keep rising, as much as the left wishes that wealth inequality would hurt Tesla sales.

Tomgram: Thomas Frank, The Inequality Sweepstakes

What Thomas Frank does not realize, or is ignoring, is that it’s still the ‘elite’ who create jobs, and antipathy towards them won’t improve the situation for the millions who are without work. The reality is, without job creators, most people wold fail, as the success rate for entrepreneurship is very low.

Large businesses still produce 30% of jobs:

Small businesses typically aspire to become larger ones. Attacking the elite may have the unintentional effect of dissuading small businesses (that the left claims to support) from expanding, or being created at all.

When telling the truth come back to haunt politicians. The fear of being called ‘racist’ is why everything has become so scripted in politics, and why Trump is so popular for his candidness and honesty. It’s not a myth – just look at the statistics. The statistical reality that some people commit more crime than others is in itself not racist.

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