Creating Optimal Socioeconomic Environments for the Cognitively Exceptional

Although this blog has a republican/libertarian bent, the government should play a ‘nurture’ role for those with demonstrable cognitive superiority, as determined by an IQ test, by creating optimal economic environments to allow these exceptional individuals to live to their fullest cognitive potential, as Steve Hsu and Charles Murray agree:

How assiduously does our federal government work to see that this precious raw material is properly developed? In 2006, the Department of Education spent about $84 billion. The only program to improve the education of the gifted got $9.6 million, one-hundredth of 1% of expenditures. In the 2007 budget, President Bush zeroed it out.

The debt binge is sustainable, but the problem is too much money is wasted on ineffectual social programs and entitlement spending for the Left Side of the Bell Curve (throwing good at the bad) when it would be much more efficacious (a higher ROI) to allocate more resources to the Right Side. We should cut entitlement spending to the Left Side and or make welfare contingent on some form of mandated birth control or abstinence as part of a eugenics program, but that is obviously a long shot. It’s probably easier to implement positive eugenics than negative eugenics, as far as policy goes because of the historical baggage associated with the the later.

Anyway, the idea is to appropriate the successful supply-side principles of Reaganomics (low taxes, low regulation, free trade, monetarism), but with a social safety net exclusively for high-IQ individuals to spur these individuals to live to their full cognitive potential, in the hope of hastening technological progress and the transition to a type 1 civilization, and improving society and living standards overall.

Combine these groups, and the top 10% of the intelligence distribution has a huge influence on whether our economy is vital or stagnant, our culture healthy or sick, our institutions secure or endangered. Of the simple truths about intelligence and its relationship to education, this is the most important and least acknowledged: Our future depends crucially on how we educate the next generation of people gifted with unusually high intelligence.

Smart people are the reason why humans still don’t live in caves.

The plan consists of three parts, in order of most feasible to least:

Part 1: More high-tech immigration, as Paul Graham makes the case in his short essay: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In.

I discuss this further here:

Paul Graham on Immigration, Part 2
Immigration and the Liberal War on Success
The Free Market Case For More Immigration

In a free market and meritocracy, we shouldn’t limit our labor options. This stunts innovation and competitiveness. High-IQ immigrants help the economy by creating companies that then hire Americans:

The left would rather keep all the overpaid jobs to themselves rather than have more immigrants who create jobs and economic value.

Part 2. Special academies for high-IQ children

Stuyvesant high-school is one such example of an elite public school for the gifted, but our proposal would apply to all grade levels and such academies would be established all over the country. The only admittance criteria is having an IQ in the top 5% (>120) and would feature an immersive, comprehensive curriculum to foster tomorrow’s business, technology, creative and political leaders, challenging gifted students in ways that traditional schools fail to do. The academies would offer unconventional programs such as coding classes, how to set-up a tech business, robot labs, debate teams, classes on how to trade stocks, intro to macroeconomics, classes on futurism & AI, physics beyond Newton’s laws, astronomy, a course on how to invest in real estate (Not a joke. A home is likely the biggest, most important purchase a person will make. Best to do it right.), college-level science labs, etc. Accelerated programs would allow students to enter college early.

Part 3. The High-IQ Basic Income

A third possibility is a high-IQ basic income. It would be like a government Mensa that pays its members, and anyone from rich to poor is eligible for payments provided they meet the IQ requirements. Depending on the requirements, only around 5% of the country would be eligible, so it would cost much less than a universal basic income (UBI). The advantage is that the money would have a higher ROI than a normal UBI because high-IQ people tend to be more productive and creative and therefore would put the money to use in ways that could boost the economy and improve society such as by starting businesses, coding, tinkering, producing art, and writing – that otherwise may not be possible if these smart people are too busy trying to make ends meet than thinking and creating.