Trump’s America

From the WSJ, by Charles Murray: Trump’s America

In writing for the WSJ, Murray must skirt around ‘IQ’, which is a major contributing factor for the decline of the ‘middle’. Murray knows this, too – he wrote a whole book about it: The Bell Curve. But since people, I guess, are too easily triggered by IQ, he espouses the virtues of traditionalism.

In our hyper-competitive, winner-take-all post-2008 economy, wealth inequality has become tantamount to IQ inequality, as I explain. This is because recent factors such as automation, technology, and globalization have amplified the consequences of individual cognitive differences, with smart people tending to rise to the top due to being more ‘fit’ in the Darwinian sense in this ‘new economy’ we find ourselves in.

But Murray may be wrong to attribute Trump’s success to class envy or a resentment against the ‘elite’ – it may have more to do with the fact Americans want a president that exudes strength and masculinity, compared to the limp-wristed, low-energy Obama, Jeb, or Sanders.

Educational attainment is a good proxy for IQ, and as you can see smarter people are faring better as measured by wage growth:

Some of this is also due to credentialism, too, which I also discuss. But even that alone cannot explain why drop-outs from prestigious, selective schools do better than drop-outs from no-name schools, suggesting that IQ again plays a role. Having an IQ that is high enough to get admitted into a prestigious school is sufficient, as in the case of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and other high-IQ individuals who either dropped-out or became rich in industries entirely unrelated to their degrees.

Instead of attacking the rich and other ‘elite’, blame credentialism, affirmative action, liberalism & democracy, low IQs, and also the individual, too, for making poor life choices.

We can’t have an honest, productive debate if not being offended is more important than the pursuit of the truth.