IQ: Education, Socioeconomic Outcomes, and Entitlement Spending

From the esteemed Dr. James Thompson: Psychological predictions from long ago: Terman 1930

Two predictions stood out, the first:

That educational and vocational guidance will be based chiefly on test ratings, and that Hull’s proposal to measure every important ability and personality trait and to “grind out” a hundred or more occupational success predictions for every youth is practicable and will be realized;

All these kids going to school, being told they will go on to do great things – it just isn’t true, because according to the normal distribution of IQ scores, the majority just aren’t smart enough to be competitive in the post-2008 hyper-meritocracy. In the not-so-distant future, the average-IQ masses may be relegated to the low-paying service sector economy, even more so than today. IQ, especially in the post-2008 economy, is playing an increasingly important role in socioeconomic outcomes, with higher-IQ people advancing (or at least having the potential to advance) and lower/average IQ people staying stagnant or falling between the cracks, and politicians are powerless to pull them out.

In light of this economic and biological reality, public education needs to be reformed.

Too many kids of average or below average intelligence are learning things that will be of little use later in life, if not forgotten as soon as class is over. Why are we wasting untold billions and countless hours teaching room-temperature IQ kids stuff that will go in one ear and immediately out the other.

The problem is the skills taught in school just don’t pack much millage these days, whereas 50 years ago those skills, which we now take for granted, would have lead to many more opportunities. Nowadays, a high school diploma, which almost everyone has, is pretty much worthless, as are most college degrees. Stuff taught in high school – physics, chemistry, art, literature/composition, world history, algebra – pretty much everything beyond basic reading, writing and math, is waste of time for 95% of students. That’s not to say there isn’t redeeming value in learning those subjects, but not at tax payer expense for students who won’t derive an economic benefit. The other 5%, children of superior intelligence who have the potential to join the ranks of the Creative Class, could benefit from higher education, but probably not everyone else.

Schools should teach how to create websites, how html works, critical thinking & rhetoric, how supply and demand works (very basic econ), how a budget works (household budgeting), basic accounting (profits and losses)…these are skills that aren’t that very complicated, but are invaluable to have in today’s economy.

Or as I explain in an earlier post, Birth ‘Lottery’ Does Not Preclude Meritocracy

The politically correct approach to education of trying to bring everyone to the same level is flawed; we need to use cognitive screening to ascertain individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, and then create curriculum optimized around this. Beyond the basics like reading and math, higher IQ kids, for example, should be encouraged to learn high-paying skills like STEM at an early age, as well as pursuing other cognitive creative endeavors; lower-IQ kids should learn service work since that’s where the most opportunities, if there any, will be. Britain had a system similar to this, the Eleven Plus exam, which tested kids at the age of 10 for future educational placement, with lower-IQ kids learning vocational work, average-IQ kids continuing with their education, and high-IQ kids going to special schools.

Teachers have to lie to keep their jobs, reassuring parents that their slow kids can be physicists or doctors if they should so please – IQ be damned.

From my article, Reviving the American Dream with ‘Purple Policies’

The fact that the far-left side of the Bell Curve (IQ < 70) gets far more public education funding than the far-right (IQ > 130 ), despite the later contributing far more to society, as well both extreme scores being equally represented in the general population, is evidence of ‘reverse Darwinism’ and is a sub-optimal use of a public good (tax payer dollars).

Federal education funding is considerably lopsided in favor of special education, with just a tiny fraction going to gifted education. Yeah, that makes sense…let’s take tax payer dollars and dump it on those who are least likely to contribute to society, while neglecting those who have the potential to become business leaders, researchers, and technology creators. It’s not that there are more slow kids than gifted ones, because according to the Normal Distribution both extremes should be equally represented, although certain groups that are disproportionately represented in special education have lower mean IQs. The same liberals who insist IQ is meaningless or doesn’t exist get mad at even the slightest intimation that some groups are intrinsically smarter than others.

And finally, the second prediction:

That the major differences between children of high and low IQ, and the major differences in the intelligence test scores of certain races, as Negroes and whites, will never be fully accounted for on the environmental hypothesis;

There’s a quote, ‘Socialism fails when you run out of other people’s money’ This can be changed to, ‘Political correctness fails when you run out of credibility’ That’s what’s happening to the left now, especially with the post-2013 SJW backlash and the rise of HBD in mainstream public discourse. The left is losing credibility by blaming all of the ills of society on their favorite target: rich white people.

The welfare left – Bernie Sanders, ‘Black Lives Matter’, etc – insists that if only the rich would finally pay their ‘fair share’ the wealth gap, which is really an IQ gap, would close. But the rich have been paying their fair share – it’s the lowest quintile that has seen the sharpest decline in effective tax rate. The lowest quintile pays so little relative to benefits that their effective tax rate is negative, meaning that they are a net-negative on the economy. They take in more more benefits than they pay, which is reflected in the growing entitlement spending problem.

The effective tax rate for the highest earners has remained stable since the 80’s, while the tax rate for the lowest earners has plunged:

Even with sixty years of Civil Rights & the War On Poverty, huge public education spending, unending federal assistance programs, and the election of Obama, the socioeconomic disparity between certain groups remains the same as it ever was:

Empirical and biological reality is slapping the left across the face, the credibility gap between reality and the left’s redistributionist rhetoric wide enough to drive a truck through. It’s time to put the adults in charge.