Jordan Peterson – IQ and The Job Market

Although this video was released just a day of writing this post, it has already gotten over 24,000 views and hundreds of votes and comments, guaranteeing it will be among his most popular videos ever. Why is this video so popular? Because it’s about IQ, automation, and their relation to job market, making it an amalgamation of multiple ‘great debate‘ topics. These are issues that affect everyone, but especially young people, who are both especially self-conscious of their own IQs and worried about how changing economic and technological trends will impact an already difficult and competitive labor market, and who don’t have the luxury that ‘boomers’ have in being retired that they can afford to be blissfully ignorant of these issues.

The video itself is mostly correct. Peterson is correct that a significant number of people (about 15%) are unemployable due to having an IQ below 85. He says automation will hurt low-skilled employees–particularly men–resulting in more drug abuse and disability, and that politicians, both on the ‘left’ and the ‘right’, fail to provide practical solutions to this problem.

Scott’s statement about Charles Murray is relevant:

…my impression of Murray is positive (he’s the only public figure I know who shares my view that genetic meritocracy is really scary insofar as it means that many people are poor through no fault of their except but bad genes, and who agrees with me that the most ethical response would be a universal basic income)

At least Charles Murray understands the scope of the problem, while other politicians cling to wishful thinking. The reality is, genetic factors such as IQ may render an increasingly larger percentage of the US population unemployable in an increasingly automated and competitive economy. Basic income is a solution–but given how much welfare spending has already surged over the past few decades–is not the correct one. IMHO, eugenics is a better long-term solution, than simply perpetuating the poverty cycle with more handouts.

Anyway, back to the video…there was a part that was somewhat contradictory. Peterson says that legal clerks are being automated, but that robots are not smart enough to replace fast food workers, which to some extent counters the thesis that automation will replace low-IQ jobs. It would seem then that low-IQ jobs are not all doomed–but rather the middle-IQ jobs are. The low-paying service sector, Walmart, etc. will continue to employ millions of low-IQ workers for the foreseeable future, but in the future, if not already underway, medium-IQ jobs will see a pay cut and or be ‘hollowed out’. This means there will a lot of IQ 100-125 people, many with college degrees, working alongside the sub-90 people, doing the same low-paying, low-status jobs. It’s the >130 people, who are in STEM and or fill the ranks of the ‘creative class’, who will really excel. But everyone else…not so much.

Also, the comments get it right and is further evidence of HBD gaining mainstream acceptance:

It’s not just alt-right who know this…millions are waking up and are tired of the BS politically correct solutions and explanations to social problems.