2006 March 01 Wednesday
Younger Generation Getting Poorer

The kids are not alright.

A new survey shows that median incomes fell for householders under 45, even as they rose for older ones, between 2001 and 2004.

Income fell 8 percent, adjusted for inflation, for those under 35 and 9 percent for those aged 35 to 44. The numbers add new weight to longstanding concerns about whether younger generations of Americans will achieve living standards that are better - or at least equal to - those of their parents.

I'd really like to see these numbers broken out by race. The United States is becoming less white. The rising fraction that is Hispanic is causing some of the decline in income. About half of all Hispanics do not even graduate from high school. They aren't going to earn as much as older whites.

From 1970 to 1997 men under 35 experienced a 19% decline in income.

• The median income for men under age 44 was significantly lower in 1997 than in 1970, after adjusting for inflation, according to a long-term analysis by the Census Bureau in the late 1990s. For those over 45, incomes barely held their own during that period.

• The entry of women into the workforce in those decades has helped push median family incomes up over time. But even when men and women are included together, younger workers (age 25-34) are earning well below what they did in 1970. And at all ages, evidence suggests that families are putting in more hours of work to make their household incomes rise.

Even with extra time at work, median family income has barely budged since 1995 for householders below 45, up about 5 percent after inflation through 2004.

Some libertarians argue that a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, wrong. A large proportion of the boats have leaks and are sitting rather lower in the water. Think of all the technological advances that have boosted productivity since 1970 and then consider these results. Something is going terribly wrong.

Immigration is creating many costs that are pulling down living standards such as the need for expensive jails.

Jail time - Initial plans were completed for a $153 million North County Jail to alleviate years of severe overcrowding at the Santa Barbara County Jail near Goleta. The proposal calls for an 808-bed facility between Santa Maria and Guadalupe.

A couple of books, Generation Debt by Anya Kamenetz and Strapped by Tamara Draut, are drawing attention to the intergenerational change in economic outcomes. Another problem is the rising cost of the education racket.

The dropout rate has risen, while those who earn a degree are taking longer to do so. In 1983, 52 percent of students entering college graduated within five years; in 2005, the figure was 39.5 percent.


The average student-loan debt for graduates of four-year colleges is pegged at $17,600 to $23,485, depending on which study you consult. College costs rose an average of 7.3 percent a year from 1979 to 2001, compared with a 4 percent rise in U.S. prices over the period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Kids are taking longer to get educated in part due to the need to work. But since they make so little when so unskilled their capacity to work through college is less than it used to be when college cost much less in inflation adjusted terms and the minimum wage was higher in inflation adjusted terms. Plus, the kids have to compete with low skilled illegal aliens for the bottom level jobs.

To repeat a suggestion I've made many times: We need a system of standard tests that people could take to earn degrees without ever enrolling in colleges. See my previous posts Accelerate Education To Increase Tax Revenue, Reduce Costs and Walter Russell Mead For Standard National Tests.

The Texas of that jerk George W. Bush shows us the demographic future of America. See my post "Texas Has Lowest High School Graduation Rates" and behold the wonders of open borders libertarian free market immigration policies.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 March 01 08:52 PM  Economics Demographic

Invisible Scientist said at March 1, 2006 11:02 PM:

Please see the following recent wealth distribution statistics:


The competitive situation is very Darwinian, just like in Jack London's books, where dogs eat other dogs, even if the top dog dies with its honor.

The main point is that given that the lower class (defined as below average income people, who are the majority since median income is below the average income) cannot compete with the upper class, the net worth of the lower class inevitably gets transferred to the upper class.

I worry also about the following: EVEN IF the lower 75 % of the population escape from the United States by immigrating to Sweden in order to benefit from the excellent welfare system over there, the remaining 25 % will then have its own new subdivision between higher and lower IQ classes, and the below average IQ class in the new nation (after the departure of the previous lower class to Scandinavia)will gradually re-start the same competition that will devour the new lower class (defined once again as the below average income group.)

Invisible Scientist said at March 2, 2006 12:20 AM:

It is the quality of immigration that matters. The chief technologist at Google is the son of a Russian math professor, and the American corporations run by such immigrants, considered as a separate group, have a net trade surplus with the foreign countries, causing the US living standards to rise. The less capable immigrants have the opposite effect.

Thus the way to save the US is to start immediately with a point system that refuses the entry of all unqualified people. In addition to being qualified, a certain aptitude test in both English and Quantitative ability such as GRE, SAT, must be required.

For the annual immigration lottery that gives 50,000 green cards per year, the registration requirement should be a GRE score in the top 1 %. And higher points must be given in the lottery for those who have higher qualifications (such as advanced degrees from one of the recognized top 20 schools in the world) than the minimum GRE score...

mik said at March 2, 2006 10:06 AM:

Invisible Scientist:

"It is the quality of immigration that matters."
Wow, it is deep.

"The chief technologist at Google is the son of a Russian math professor,"
Ok, and what does it prove? Likely next prez of France will be son of Hungarian immigrant, kindly comment on this profound fact.

"the American corporations run by such immigrants, considered as a separate group, have a net trade surplus with the foreign countries, causing the US living standards to rise."

Who did that study and is there any hope that it is not an another fraud perpetrated by Open Border traitors?
There is virtually no way it could be true. Immigrant businessmen, if they impact trade at all, are mostly small importers. For every Google super-star, there are 10000 Chinese bringing Chinese schlock in.

Bob Badour said at March 2, 2006 10:22 AM:


I can see you are not familiar with Invisible's views on immigration. He would set the barrier for immigration higher than I think you assume.

His position is more "Brain Drain" than "Open Borders".

Invisible Scientist said at March 2, 2006 12:50 PM:

I said that the GRE and SAT tests should be part of the minimum requirement.
Just read the "Bell Curve" book (possibly out of print, but it can be found in the used books section of www.bn.com for
less than $5), and see that there is a correlation between the average IQ and annual income.
The GRE tests are impossible to manipulate, unless you hire someone else to take the test for you. The Google scientist I was talking about, genetically inherited high IQ genes.
I say modify the green card lottery so that only those who are in the top 1 % are allowed to register for the lottery. And also give higher points to prioritize those who are in the top 0.5 %, 0.01 %, 0.001 % in some special scale.
AND this was for only the green card lottery, for regular immigration, too, some minimal criterion must be set, even with relatives in the USA, UNLESS the immigrant is very competitively educated and meets a minimum level of IQ in English and Math, there would be no green card.

mik said at March 2, 2006 1:36 PM:

Bob Badour:

"He (Invisible Scientist) would set the barrier for immigration higher than I think you assume.

His position is more "Brain Drain" than "Open Borders"."

I didn't assume anything. I was disturbed by shoddy data and baseless assertions.

As far as immigration, I'm traditionalist. My loyalties are to my immediate family, to my extended family and to my country, in that order. High IQ Indians in India are of no interest to me. Well being of my fellow Americans with low IQ is of significant interest to me. Especially considering that it them, relatively low IQ Americans, who serve and protect, not high IQ neo-cons, liberals, etc.

Any immigration must be evaluated on the basis of how it helps whole country, not just High Tech whores. It was forementioned Russian genius' company that was caught giving a blow job to Chicoms. Already US high tech industry has majority of their workforce outside of US. In a few years high tech industry will be just as important to US well-being as garment industry (approximately zero). What is the their value if they will have 95% of workforce and assets abroad? Investors might like it, but not much value for Americans.

To accomodate a small number of Nobel prize winners, corporate CEOs and GMs, top athlets and entertainers a number like 10000 immigrants/year should be sufficient. No family reunification. Bringing in spouse should require bying a bond ($500,000 is a good number) that is forfeited if there is a divorce within 5 years and spouse is not deported for whatever reason.

Perhaps after 10 years of such regime the nation will become a real nation again instead of Marxian economic robots glued together by a paper copy of Constitution (neo-con model of US nation).

Randall Parker said at March 2, 2006 4:22 PM:


Check out IQ And The Wealth Of Nations by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen. Lynn currently also has just about to come out Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis. Not sure if there's any place that is taking orders on it yet.

D Flinchum said at March 3, 2006 4:53 AM:

I just completed reading "Strapped" by Tamara Draut last week. Depressing in many ways but one of the most depressing facts pointed out is that many very bright young people who happen to come from working class families start out with the idea of getting a college degree but stop after only a couple of years. Unlike the kids from 2-income profressionals, they can't expect much in the way of financial help from their parents. College costs are going through the roof, and outright grants or scholarships are being replaced by loans. The most likely indicator of whether or not a young person today will graduate from college is whether or not his parents did, not how smart he is. This is a great loss to the US as well as the young person himself. Of course, a student who uses loans to finance his first 2 years and then drops out is probably in worse shape today than if he'd never started out because he is facing a large debt without the credentials (and that's what a lot of college degrees are)to get in the door to a job that will pay a decent salary. The working class student is even less likely to graduate from one of the elite universities.

Agnostic said at March 3, 2006 11:28 AM:

Wow, too close to home (which is to say, my parent's house). At least my loans are below expectation, though still above $10K. My kinfolk ain't rich, so I got most of my aid in grants -- but even a little bit in loans to cover costs of Big Name U adds up. People say you should just go to the state school (and in my case, U of MD College Park is a good school and gave me a full ride), but then when you're looking for a job, who's going to believe you're smart? The Supreme Court outlawed use of IQ tests for employers, so they have to collect this vital info in roundabout ways, like guessing your SAT score by what college you went to; thus, less guesswork involved if you went to a top-tier school. And they can't just say, "Well, he graduated from a 4-yr university, must be smart," since entrance standards are so relaxed that an undergrad diploma is the current equivalent of the former high school diploma. So then you've got to pile up more debt getting the increasingly worthless Masters.

Solutions: allow IQ tests for employers, & keep students below the 90th percentile out of 4-year universities.

Just one reason why I'm getting back to Spain ASAMFP. The costs of everything here are so ridiculous -- how long until Euro-Americans begin repatriating to their now affordable homelands? Not that industrial Euro countries are headed in the right direction on immigration, but that's true here as well. At least my grandmother's Japanese (born & raised), so I've always got that option. But again, we shouldn't have to live the good life in such complicated, roundabout ways -- just keep out the immigrants that've already been mentioned.

Igor said at March 3, 2006 11:50 AM:

""The chief technologist at Google is the son of a Russian math professor,"
Ok, and what does it prove? Likely next prez of France will be son of Hungarian immigrant, kindly comment on this profound fact."

Well, both are Jews, both are smart. Nothing's wrong with that kind of immigration, is it not?

Igor said at March 3, 2006 12:04 PM:

Actually, Agnostic, above-mentioned Google founder Sergey Brin went to U of MD College Park. I guess he didn't know that the school was not good for his resume. :)

But, I seriously consider myself sending my daughter to study in Russia, since education there is so much cheaper, if not free in some cases. One of the US schools she is accepted already charges 29K a year (including room and board), others - up to 42K! And multiply that by 4!

tc said at March 3, 2006 12:55 PM:

The costs of education are rising in all developed countries, and will continue to do so until someone figures out a way to continuously increase productivity like other industries do (see Baumol's cost disease).

W said at March 3, 2006 7:23 PM:

The socialists are pricing themselves out of existence.

Invisible Scientist said at March 3, 2006 7:24 PM:

The University of Maryland is a VERY good school for science and engineering. Due to the fact that it is a state university, the U of MD accepts a large number of people who meet a minimum GPA requirement, but in order to graduate from one of their science and engineering programs, you must be really smart or else they will fail you... Additionally, many companies, indirectly investigate not only where you studied, but also what exactly you studied. During the job interview, they basically figure out how well you learned what you learned. Even though they do not give an official IQ, they ask many questions that are professionally challenging. Any of the top 50 American universities have some great professors and teachers. What matters is your GPA, your recommendation letters, and how well you learn what you learn... Maybe you think University of Texas is not famous, but there are Nobel laureates there...

mik said at March 4, 2006 2:24 AM:


"Well, both are Jews (Google's Brin, a part time Chicom bitch and Sarco, French minister), both are smart. Nothing's wrong with that kind of immigration, is it not?"

Are you suggesting that Jews must be imported regardless of USA national interest? If that ( a deeply anti-american ) idea is accepted, a simple fairness would indicate that Chinese and East Indians in US would demand and receive virtually unlimited licence to import their tribesmen. How 20 million Chinese imports /year sounds to you? Even if they all are smart and don't go on welfare in mass - a very unrealistic assumption, it will take just a few years before this country will become something entirely different. And a good chance you will not like what it will become.

The only immigration model that makes any sense is NBA immigrants. Here is a super selective employer bringing in a few dozen workers per year, workers are guaranteed to be paid at least 20 times average US income with full benefits. Unquestinably these workers take jobs from almost as well qualified Americans. On a plus side output quality of NBA increases, hopefully. But given a small numbers of imports and a tiny likelihood that they will be burden on society, we can accept that.

When Brin was imported, presumably as a child, there was no way to predict him becoming a billionaire. Decision must be based on his adult parents. If his russian family is close to an average russian immigrant family, they brought 2 grandparents who instantly received SSI (welfare for oldsters), plus subsidised housing, plus Medicaid.
Taxes paid by 2 working middle-class parents are not even close to what their grannies receive in various welfare schemas. Add to it one or more kids in public schools.

All in all the Brin family was a net drain on US society till the youngster started cashing his Google stock.
Just remember for every young Brin there are millions of other "smart" (whatever it means) immigrants who make, at best, middle class wages, while having their grandparents swimming in welfare benefits and kids in public schools.
In fact it is very difficult for a non-single immigrant to be net contributor, one has to have income above quarter
million to compensate for just one grandma on welfare.

D Flinchum said at March 4, 2006 6:41 AM:

"entrance standards are so relaxed that an undergrad diploma is the current equivalent of the former high school diploma. So then you've got to pile up more debt getting the increasingly worthless Masters."

I have a 30-something friend who is doing that now. She graduated several years ago with a BA in a soft subject and a horrific amount of debt in part because she had to work nearly full time and so took extra years to get the degree. She has had a great deal of difficulty getting a decent full-time job with benefits and has held many part-time jobs, often several at once. She's now going back for her MA, which will take her at least 2 years because she will have to work and has 2 kids; and she's taking on even more debt. IF - big if - she lands a decent job after her MA, she will be paying off her college loans into her late 40's or early 50's. Even with the MA there's no guarantee that the good job will be there for her, especially with a spotty work record. My fear is that she probably is wasting her time and might be better off taking an administrative job and hoping to move up in a few years.

I believe that Randall had a posting not long ago noting the poor skill level of college graduates. Only 41% of GRADUATE students could be labeled as proficient in prose in 2003, down 10 points from 1992. Only 31% of college graduates were so labeled, down from 40% in 1992. Will the MA soon be about like the BA is now?

Randall Parker said at March 4, 2006 8:16 AM:

D Flinchum,

Some college degrees are in subjects that make one much more productive. Engineering is the most obvious example of that. Engineers make more than most who get a BA in Art. Well, they can more more useful things.

But a second use of college degrees has been to demonstrate superior IQ. But colleges and universities have lowered standards in order to fill up seats and also in order to meet racial goals. So a degree in just any subject from just any university is not worth that much.

If someone wants to demonstrate their intelligence via the educational system they have a few choices on how to do that: A) Get into a school with high standards; B) Get a degree in a hard subject, the harder the better; C) Do some highly original research that shows how smart you are.

If a person isn't either demonstrating their intelligence or getting useful skills an efficient labor market isn't going to reward them much for their degrees. There are still some slots in government and a few other places where the openings are by credentials. But my impression is the labor market has become more efficient (with the exception of when quotas are involved) at rewarding by ability and intelligence.

Engineer-Poet said at March 4, 2006 8:41 AM:

Heh, I believe that.  I used to be only a mediocre prose writer (I think I'm now up to a high "fair").  The difference?  Writing.  Lots and lots of writing.

Invisible Scientist said at March 4, 2006 10:19 AM:

"All in all the Brin family was a net drain on US society till the youngster started cashing his Google stock.
Just remember for every young Brin there are millions of other "smart" (whatever it means) immigrants who make, at best, middle class wages, while having their grandparents swimming in welfare benefits and kids in public schools.
In fact it is very difficult for a non-single immigrant to be net contributor, one has to have income above quarter
million to compensate for just one grandma on welfare."

You are missing the point... The fact that Brin became so successful, was NOT a statistical accident. Please
read "The Bell Curve" by Herrnstein and Murray, where it is documented that intelligence is genetically inherited.
In fact, the family of Sergey Brin is not on welfare, and they have never been, his father is a professor of
mathematics at the University of Maryland.

My whole argument was to restrict the annual immigration to only intelligent families. In fact, contrary to what
you suggested ( you only want 10,000 immigrants per year ), if we could FIND 1 million immigrants each with an
IQ over 150, then the US would get rich very fast within a generation. If you could bring 1000 people like
Brin every year, then the US could surpass all other countries in all areas... This would enrich the United States

mik said at March 4, 2006 11:55 AM:

Invisible Scientist:

"You are missing the point..."
If you have one - a big if, I'm not sure what it is.

"The fact that Brin became so successful, was NOT a statistical accident."
Not sure what it means. Brin is probably among 20 richest americans. Is his IQ higher than Jobs? Milton Friedman? Henry Kissinger? Saul Bellow? All these people are significantly poorer than Brin. In fact there are probably thousand or tens of thousands of americans that have IQ comparable to Brin and nowhere his money.

It is indeed an accident that Google boy worth billions instead of merely millions or just anonymously laboring in a very well paid occupation.

"Please read "The Bell Curve" by Herrnstein and Murray".
Please. Read it in 1995 when it came out, agree with major points, will buy Charles Murray libertarian (fraud) solutions when Mr. Murray will suit up his kids and send them to Iraq or some such.

A most interesting observation in the book: High IQ people in US merit based society are not satisfied with natural advantages their high IQ gives them, they are bending the laws to
magnify these natural competitive advantage. I think they give examples of super complex laws and health system.

"the family of Sergey Brin is not on welfare, and they have never been"
And you that how? Kindly state you evidence.

It is rich. You don't understand what I have written and you assert as a fact something you have no idea about.

Unless Brin-pere was employed from the day he landed - almost impossibility, the family most definitly was on public dole for at least a few months after arrival. That is a standard procedure for political refugees as Brins undoubtly were classified as were virtually all russian-jewish immigrants at the time. If Brins arrived with, or imported latter, their elderly (> 61) relatives, those relatives were put on public dole right away.

Please apply your undoubtly high IQ and logical skills to your arguments.

Norman Matloff (Google him, thank you Mr. Brin), a professor of computer science at the UC Davis, speaks Chinese, has Chinese spouse and is an expert on immigration labor and welfare abuse. He wrote about Chinese multi-millionaires (surgeons, entrepreneurs, etc) who imported their old folks and happily put them on public dole.

I will bet $50 that if Google boy had a grandma on welfare, she is still on welfare and Google boy didn't reimburse his country one dollar for taking care of his granny.

Chances are Google boy is no better or worse than millions of other high IQ immigrants. It just the USA is a doormat to the world. Anyone who can is only too happy to wipe their feet on it.

Invisible Scientist said at March 4, 2006 3:06 PM:

Mik: You are the one who is not applying your high IQ to logical arguments. Statistically it is possible for the grandma of the Google scientist to be on welfare, but as a whole, his family has CREATED more wealth for the benefit of the United States. Note that the Google people consciously made hundreds of millions of charitable contributions in a positive way, and this Google kid is modest enough to drive only a Toyota Prius... Please see the following web site about this kid:

Also I attended a lecture given by his father who is a professor of Mathematics. As you said, it is possible that his father who came from the Soviet Union was initially put on some kind of refugee financial support program, but as soon as he came here, he was able to become a professor in a good university, and given his high salary, he has more than paid back (in taxes) all the welfare he might have received.

Additionally, from what I understand, due to his good character and loyalty to his family, Sergey Brin would probably give a lot of money to his grandma if she needs any help, he would not leave her dependent on any welfare care...

I have attended one of the lectures given by the father of Sergey Brin (in another country when he was visiting.)

This brings us to the main point I was trying to mention: The immigration examination process, should necessarily investigate the character of the people as well as the intelligence in the genetic sense. Overall, it turns out that even if a statistically possible fraction of the family members of immigrants of high intellligence genetic bacground, turn out to be unsuccessful, the benefit that the ones who make it provide for the United States, would be worth choosing such people. And understandably, many of the German scientists who became refugees in the United States before WW II, and who were receiving some kind of financial assistance either from various communities or from the U.S. government to survive before they got a job, were actually the original contributors to the Manhattan Project... Had Hitler built the bomb before the United States, the US would have surrendered unconditionally like Japan...

Put in another way, it is clear that bringing the low IQ genes into the the US is harmful, whereas doing the opposite, is beneficial.

Invisible Scientist said at March 4, 2006 3:20 PM:

Mik wrote:
"I will bet $50 that if Google boy had a grandma on welfare, she is still on welfare and Google boy didn't reimburse his country one dollar for taking care of his granny."

I would bet $5,000 that Sergey Brin would not abandon his grandmother to welfare just to save a few pennies. For the record, I am not Russian, and I am not defending the Brins due to any personal reason. You are confusing his family with the Russian Mafia types you see in Hollywood movies (some of it is probably true, but again, can you accuse Galileo and Vivaldi because of the Italian Mafia who wrote the book?)

Gary Glaucon said at March 4, 2006 7:03 PM:

I'm 38 and put myself through college without the help of my parents. Many other professionals that I have met my age have consistently received support from their parents, but I believe that this wealth transfer will continue to dry and with the increased tax burden and costs, such as college, it is going to be tougher to reach the wealth of previously college educated generations.

And yes, you are right. The "Bell Curve" is the truth be told, but this country's PC culture keeps us "throwing good money after bad" to create fantasy land not in Somoa but right here being watched over by the ghosts of Margaret Meade and Karl Marx.

Dave said at March 4, 2006 10:18 PM:

Invisible Scientist. I am in favour of a better immigration system like you. But I don't like this idea of "let in averyone who is a lot smarter than the average". Aren't you basically saying its ok to be invaded as long as they have a higher IQ? (by invasion I mean a mass movement of people who will end up dramatically changing the country).

I'm all for immigration as long as it is small scale and therefor integration naturally happen over time but these large movements of people (millions per year) I think is dangerous for social cohesion.

Invisible Scientist said at March 4, 2006 11:21 PM:


Since the requirement is to be in the top 1 % or 2 %, the total number will not exceed 0.25 million per year, since there will be age restrictions, as well as good character requirements at the interview, as well as a certain proof that the candidate really wants to become as American as Apple Pie...

And I did not say let in "any" high IQ person.

Gary Glaucon said at March 5, 2006 6:19 AM:

What the socialists don't see is that by allowing low IQ people into the US, who fulfill low wage jobs, economic externalities are created. For example, the non-naturalized immigrant (legal or illegal) that works in the restaurant gets a woman pregnant. The child is a US citizen and will receive welfare benefits, not to mention the free medical care he and the whole family will receive by showing up at the hospital. Add to this education, free lunch, and LEP classes for the child and it starts to add up. Working, he receives $7 and hour from his employer; he receives far more in benefits that are not the responsibility of the employer-the purported reason for the immigrant to be here. All of the aforementioned benefits become spill-over costs and get passed on to all of the brain-dead Americans who like cheap meals and don't understand that they pay for it through the tax code.

This reality also applies to dead beat Americans, but we’re stuck with them.

Ivan Kirigin said at March 5, 2006 7:07 AM:

"libertarian free market immigration policies"

Uhh.. what country are you talking about?

Randall Parker said at March 5, 2006 10:20 AM:


I think letting in people who have above average IQs is too low a threshold. The world IQ average is about 90. The white average is about 100. People can't do professional work (e.g. doctor or lawyer or CPA) without at least 120 IQ. But to do really original work one typically has to be above 130.

An additional argument against letting in just 120 IQ people is regression in their offspring. Their offspring won't be as smart as them.

Well, suppose we put the threshold at 130. How many 130+ IQ people are there in the world? Keep in mind the world average is somewhere around 90 and possibly even lower.

If we let in all 130+ IQ people not all of them would come. Some would see bigger economic and status benefits from being on the top of wherever they are. Some would be sentimentally attached to where they are or would not want to go through the adjustment or to abandon a society whose values are closer to their own.

Invisible Scientist said at March 5, 2006 3:03 PM:

Randall Parker,

It is true that many high IQ people who have status and prestige in their own contries, would be reticent to move to the United States, especially for older and middle aged people who are well established in their countries. But the psychology of young people is such that by nature, the high IQ children are more adventure-hungry, and if these above 140 IQ children are invited to the United States, then a certain percentage of them per year, would happily accept the offer. Note that there are 1 billion people in Europe ( or a total of 3 billion if you combine Europe and Asia ), and if we announce that only those candidates who are in the top 0.1 % (IQ scores at least 145) will be considered for immigration to the US, then this would generate an initial group of 3,000,000. But only 5 % of these 3 million smart people would be young enough and willing enough to come to the United States in any given year, and so this means that approximately 150,000 super smart and young enough people per year would end up immigrating to the United States. This seems to be a fairly high number per year for such a high quality bracket.

Dave said at March 5, 2006 4:41 PM:

There is Not 1 billion people in Europe, not even half that. I don't know where you get the figure from, but the last I heard was 360 million.

mik said at March 5, 2006 5:20 PM:

Invisible Scientist:

"Note that there are 1 billion people in Europe"

It tells you everything you need to know about Invisible.

Are you sure Invisible is not a 12 year old practicing English somewhere in Moldavia?

Invisible Scientist said at March 5, 2006 8:31 PM:


My apologies, the 1 million figure was an obvious mistake while I was combining the numbers, but obviously
the fact that Asia and Europe combined have a population of 3 billion, is accurate.
Also, if you add, Russia and Ukraine, as well a few other westerinized former Soviet Union members, you would probably increase the population of Europe to much more than 0.5 billion.


Thanks for your compliments. I do not see anything wrong with Moldovia, from your pattern of personal attacks from the previous communication, it seems that you have some ulterior motives in your communication.

Guy Gold said at March 7, 2006 11:20 AM:

There is good news for high school dropouts, for the first time in history they are less likely to be unemployed than college graduates (which tells you the extent of the glut of college gradutes in America).


1/3rd of California college educated teachers fail the test of 8th grade skill levels in California:


Teacher credentialing has never proved to make better teachers:


A college education works along the lines of supply/demand (the more you produce, the lower the demand, the lower the wages):


Most job growth is occuring in occupations that don't require a degree:


During the high tech bubble, when college grads were experiencing "the best of times", Forbes suggested then that college was a bad financial investment for most those who bother:


Other mainstream sites are figuring it out (of course the business writers at business week suggest more government subsidies to remedy high debt loads. I have only 9 hours college level finance but I understand that if you then tax college graduates to provide more subsidies to future generations-this is just a transferance of cost from student loan debt now to higher taxes down the road. I didn't learn that in my finance courses-I probably understand this better than the college educated business reporter at Businessweek because I have a 140 IQ):


Somewhere between 30% to 50% of college graduates are in the same jobs they'd have held had they just gone to work right out of high school:


This is probably the most truthful editorial I have read about higher education:


Wolf-Dog (formerly the Invisible) said at March 7, 2006 12:01 PM:

The outsourcing to poorer countries must be responsible for the fact that there is unemployment among college graduates.

Otherwise, since the United States is consuming so voraciously, if this much annual consumption (foreign trade deficit plus some outsourcing of services) were produced in the US ($600 billion per year), the there would be a lot less unemployment among college graduates. For instance, note that the annual trade deficit means that $2,000 per citizen per year is being lost to foreigners.

Guy Gold said at March 7, 2006 1:01 PM:

I disagree. An economy can only support a certain percentage of college graduates (otherwise you produce an inefficient ratio of "chiefs" to "indians."). To argue that an economy can create enough new jobs for more college graduates, you have to presuppose if 100% of Americans had college degrees no one would ever work at Walmart (or any retailer or grocery store or convenience store), and that we could do without plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.

All that has happened when America has tried to create more high wage jobs by putting more students through college, is that those students wound up in the lower pay professions that they would have gone to work in directly after high school. Lost wages for four years in college exceeds $100,000 in lost opportunity costs, plus tuition and other expenses makes the total cost $150,000. If a person simply invested $150,000 for a forty year working career at the 6.73% interest rates government Ibonds now pay the person would accumulate $2.1 million. Earning another $1 million over a working career, means college avoidance can yield $3 million in savings and earnings over a lifetime. $3 million divided back by the 40 year working career provides the break even wage a college graduate must earn over a working lifetime to have made the investment worthwhile, or $75,000 per year. Because the progressive income tax in America penalizes those who pursue degrees that pay that wage, degrees such as in engineering or computer science-the actual break even wage approaches $100,000. But less than 5% of college graduates ever average $75,000 a year so for 95% of those who obtain a college education it has been a financial mistake. Beginning wages of college graduates do not begin high enough for compound fast enough through a working career to overtake the benefit of the "time value of money" of simply saving money one would otherwise invest in an education.

I believe that there is some truth that now college graduates are seeing their jobs outsourced overseas. Nobody much worried about this in America because a false belief set developed that America would just create better jobs than those going overseas by putting middle to low IQ individuals through college. Both Republocrats and Demopublicans believed this foolishness so now you have 30%-50% of high school graduates in jobs such as cashiers and wait person staff whereas in the 50s those individuals had middle income manufacturing jobs.

Gary Glaucon said at March 7, 2006 5:38 PM:

Right on Guy Gold! But add to your analysis the fact that government subsidizes ed., thus lowering the price and increasing demand. I'm involved in secondary public education and see every day the waste of money because no one is paying the true bill. Every program sounds great if you think that you don't pay- pass the bill to your neighbor, the underage or unborn voter.

Wolf-Dog said at March 7, 2006 9:49 PM:

1)So many high quality jobs are migrating to other countries, that the damage is almost irreversible now. This damage can only be stopped and reversed by a national program that will involve the government (I am not one of those extreme leftists, but there is no alternative.)

2)Had these high quality jobs not migrated abroad, so many American engineers would not have been unemployed.

3)Compared to some emerging countries, the US actually does NOT have a surplus of engineers. Several other countries have a lot more engineers and scientists per capita than the US, and they still have a shortage. Maybe there are many unnecessary subjects studied in the US, pre-law people majoring in English and History, but overall despite the fact that per capita engineers and scientists is NOT high compared to many emerging countries, we STILL have unemployment in these technical areas (even though Silicon Valley is hiring again this year, thanks to the small improvement in the economy.)

4) It is inevitable that in a few years (if not earlier), both the Republicans and the Democrats will agree and start imposing severe trade barriers because of the trade deficit and the loss of jobs, even though this causes the opposite effect of creating a recession...

Bob Badour said at March 8, 2006 6:09 AM:


The education industry wastes money like no other because voters reward politicians who vow to increase spending on education. Sigh. If only there were a way to spend money to increase intelligence instead.

John Thacker said at July 19, 2006 6:02 AM:

From 1970 to 1997 men under 35 experienced a 19% decline in income.

Well, this part at least I'd expect. So many more people are getting graduate degrees, after all. I traded five years while under 30 of poverty-level graduate student income in exchange for more years of higher income once I graduated. I probably won't earn back the difference before being 35, but as the years go on, I will.

Net effect: under 35 me experiences a decline in income compared to if I hadn't gone to graduate school, whereas older me benefits.

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