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2006 March 09 Thursday
Microsoft Wants To Import More Smart People

In a Los Angeles Times article about the on-going H-1B visa quota and the desire of American businesses to hire smart people more cheaply abroad a Microsoft executive argues that we should let in more smart people to improve national competitiveness.

Marland Buckner, a senior federal affairs manager for Microsoft Corp., said the company has had "several thousand core technology positions" go unfilled in recent years because of a limited ability to hire qualified foreign workers. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates called last year for the elimination of the H-1B cap.

"We certainly think it's in the best interests of Microsoft and, we believe, in the best interest of national competitiveness from an innovation standpoint to bring as many smart people to the U.S. as possible," Buckner said.

Because the official secular liberal religion of America holds that we are all the same in abilities and fully moldable by environments to make us smarter the claim that we should bring in more smart people really clashes with the publically professed secular religion of liberal intellectuals. Because the believers in this secular faith (and I say "faith" because it is totally at odds with copious quantities of empirical evidence) claim that IQ tests are racist and inaccurate it is rare for business executives to so bluntly speak about smartness in the public sphere.

Sure, smarter people produce more innovations. If we get more smart people (as compared to more average people or, what we are getting now, more dumber people) then the rate of innovation in America will be higher. Of course, there are other considerations that should weigh in immigration policy. Should we bring in more people at all? How smart does someone have to be for that to outweigh ideological and other baggage they might bring along?

But the more interesting point here is that Microsoft's position is that some people are smarter than everyone else. This seems obvious enough. But it takes a company absolutely driven by the need for a large staff of very smart people to cause that company to so explicitly adopt this position in the public sphere. A company that employs a more intellectually average staff would be much more reluctant to take that position. But I'm sure Bill Gates feels a desperate need for ever more smart people.

Bill Gates said that you gotta have high IQ engineers to make it in the technological big leagues.

MM: Last night [at the Fall Comdex 2003 keynote address] you were talking about certain other companies who you think are real competitors, who are doing good work: Sony, Nokia, Google. What about those companies makes them the companies that you admire? What can Microsoft learn from them?

BG: Well, they have high-IQ engineers. We do too. A lot of great things happen when these companies that can take a long-term approach, and have real research, and have good engineers, go after interesting problems.

I only wish that Gates would put his money where his mouth is with his philanthropy. He could greatly speed up the search for genetic variations that boost IQ.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 March 09 09:01 PM  Immigration Brain Drain


Comments
John S Bolton said at March 10, 2006 2:32 AM:

There is some mendacity involved, though. If immigration were limited to high-IQ on the level they're talking about in terms of advanced research, only tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands of visas would be needed. They may be trying to push a line like 'you have to take the good with the bad'. Why don't Caltech or MIT, or, for that matter, Microsoft have to take the bad with the good?
The net taxpayer is victimized when the bad are waved-in along with the good, and the good in this context are quite rare.
The progress of civilization now requires that we stop ignoring the evil that subsidy-seekers are doing to our fellow citizen, the net taxpayer; to whom we owe loyalty, when he is attacked by foreigners here.
Do Microsoft principals imagine that China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea or Singapore have a place for them and their relatives, if America goes bad?
What happened to the people who ran giant operations just before independence, in many colonies?

Steve Sailer said at March 10, 2006 11:35 AM:

Rich Karlgaard, former editor of Forbes ASAP, reminisced in the Wall Street Journal about a journey he took with Gates in 1993:

"During that trip, I must have heard Mr. Gates mention ‘IQ’ a hundred times. The obsession with smarts is embedded deep in Mr. Gates's thinking and long ago was institutionalized at Microsoft. Apply for a job and you’ll face an oral grilling that probes for IQ. It is oral and informal because of Griggs v. Duke Power, the 1971 Supreme Court ruling that banished written IQ tests and ‘tests of an abstract nature’ from job applications. But Microsoft knows what it wants. It wants IQ. And Microsoft always has been savvy at getting what it wants."

(Whenever I mention how much Gates values high IQ employees, somebody objects that Microsoft’s software is lousy so his workers must not be very smart. But that assumes that Gates wanted his Microserfs to deliver good software. I suspect that he just wanted them to make him the richest man in the world. If they had to foist buggy software on the public to do it, well, that was a price Bill was willing to pay.)

mik said at March 10, 2006 1:08 PM:

High IQ American kids prefer much more rewarding careers in Law, Medicine or Finance instead of laboring in Gate's sweatshops.
If Gates will bring more soft-serfs, more high IQ americans will NOT opt for sciences. More serfs will be needed and more Americans will be driven from sciences. Eventually science will resemble lawn service industry, filled totally with incompetent and undereducated foreigners.

To do a real science break-thru one needs just a few scientists, not thousands.

Whole thing is an open drive to lower wages in soft-sweatshops and, accordingly, increase Gates wealth.

Gates Foundation has tens of billions in it. Gates paid 0 taxes on it. The foundation spreads its riches exclusively abroad. Why we as society allow that? US will not collect 10-20-30 $B from that wealth, so that Gates could underwrite some crazy liberal ideas in the thirld world.
Why US taxpayer should make up that $20B tax shortfall, so that Gates could have a good time?

Wolf-Dog said at March 10, 2006 3:48 PM:

Randall Parker,

Let's be careful with what kind of genetic engineering we are dealing with. Artificial methods to boost the IQ at the genetic level, could be dangerous, because you do now know what kind of smart monsters you might create.

Remember that when dog breeders use selective breeding, they pay attention not only to intelligence, but also good personality in the dogs...

Bob Badour said at March 10, 2006 6:54 PM:

Randall,

I am surprised you did not call Gates on the bullshit. America has plenty of high-IQ folks to fill the jobs at Microsoft. It's not that Gates needs high-IQ workers--he wants low-paid workers.

The last time he whined for more H1b visas and got them, the result was massive unemployment among the high-IQ folks already here. I do not believe for one second that the supplies of high-IQ workers made available by the dot-com bust, the nasdaq crash and the dislocations post 9-11 have all been re-absorbed by the marketplace.

If Gates really needed to fill those jobs, he would have by now. He just wants to train the next batch of future Microsoft Mumbai workers with that ever-so-important "American business experience".

Gary Glaucon said at March 10, 2006 7:02 PM:

mik you are wrong on this. Sweatshops???? Yes, he can pay less to third world college graduates with high IQ and maybe a better work ethic. As this country subsidizes idiocy and laziness from K-16, we run up a big bill and so do college students, thus society expects a lot more pay. The law of diminishing returns would apply:)

Would you rather see Bill send work overseas???

Quequeg said at March 10, 2006 8:13 PM:

It makes no difference to American workers whether companies import foreign workers to fill the jobs or whether companies export the jobs. Either way, the jobs are unavailable to American workers, and so Americans will not seek them.

One way, we could address the labor shortage is to get rid of the H-1B visa. This would encourage Americans to once again seek these professions, as they are now available to American workers.

Also, H-1B visas are used to facilitate outsourcing. This is done in 2 ways:
1) Import foreign worker. Train them. Send foreign worker with job back to country-of-origin where the cost of living is lower.
2) Import foreign worker. Use this worker to gather requirements and to communicate with offshore workers. I think this is what Tata Consultancy and some of the other Indian companies do.

One estimate is that for every H-1B visa, there are 2 jobs outsourced. So, we actually lose 3 jobs: one for the visa itself and two for the outsourcing.

Also, isn't it kind of crazy that we use an army of smart people (immigration lawyers) to bring in smart people to do the work? If we got rid of the H-1B visa, this would free up some of the smart immigration lawyers to do something useful.

Gary Glaucon said at March 11, 2006 6:18 AM:

How are jobs unavailable?- as if they don't exist. They are unavailable at the price expected by Americans and that price is expected partially due to the investment they made for college.

You do have a good argument about what workers take back to their home country but it also makes a point why those workers will take lower wages. That is because of the training provided by Americans.

Why wouldn't we try to keep these workers in the U.S.?

Bob Badour said at March 11, 2006 9:26 AM:
How are jobs unavailable?- as if they don't exist.

Exactly! If the jobs don't exist, Gates doesn't need any visas to fill them.


Why wouldn't we try to keep these workers in the U.S.?

Because those workers are even cheaper when living in third-world shitholes. I am sure many would prefer to live in the US; although, after we shipped so many of them back to the old country five years ago, I am sure they can now find many of the services and amenities back there that they would have enjoyed in the US.

The last time America pandered to Gates' demand for more visas, we created the situation that allowed Gates et al to outsource so many jobs overseas. There is no way Microsoft and Price Waterhouse Coopers etc. would have built elaborate campuses in Mumbai if we had not first trained tens of thousands of Indian programmers in US business culture through the H1b visa program and then sent them back to Mumbai.

If the US wanted to keep those workers in the US, why do the terms of the H1b visa program demand they leave the US within 10 days of losing sponsorship. ie. losing their jobs.

Bob Badour said at March 11, 2006 11:14 AM:

While I disagree with the writer's conclusions, George Koo provides some statistics regarding the alleged need for intelligent immigrants:

Every year since the dot-com bust in 2000, the valley's total employment had declined. Last year the Silicon Valley payroll, however, showed an increase of about 2,000 jobs, or some 0.2 percent of a workforce of 1 million. From peak to trough, the valley actually had lost more than 200,000 jobs.

Even more important, this piece of regional propaganda provides the raw material for true insight:

As employment decreased in the early 2000's wage rates in our cluster industries increased.
Silicon Valley's "habitat of innovation" helps workers be 2.5 times more productive than the national average.
"What matters in this network system are relationships."
Silicon Valley has the highest productivity of any region in the United States thanks to the concentration of industry clusters and innovation-related occupations.
Value-added per employee, a measure of productivity, is two and one half times higher in Silicon Valley than it is nationally. In 2004, value-added per employee averaged $224,200 compared to $85,800 nationally.
Regional value-added per employee grew 5.6% annually in Silicon Valley during the past ten years. This far outstrips national value added which grew about 2% annually during the same period.
Between 1995 and 2004 the Valley's share of venture capital rose from 13.8% to 34.7%.

Lower employment and higher productivity suggest high-tech workers are already a bargain. When they are selling cheap as they are now by all objective measures, I fail to see the need to bring in even more workers to drive the price down even further. If we destroy all incentive to pursue innovation, we won't graduate many young people prepared to innovate.

I highlighted the remark about relationships. If we grow the high-tech sectors in Redmond and Palo Alto by importing the intelligent workers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Kansas, the relationships will build within the US. When the next bust cycle happens, the migration back "home" will build industry and competence within the US.

The last cycle built industry and competence in Mumbai.


The folks, who abandoned up to 80 cars per day at SFO, did not spread innovation and higher productivity out to the rest of the US. They abandoned those cars because the ten days the US gave them to vacate the country when they lost their H-1b sponsors did not give them sufficient time to find buyers for their cars in a market where thousands of relatively new used cars were hitting the market every month. Imagine the impact on the leasing companies who got stuck with the cars.

Combining the last two articles: The first notes that the relationships developed in Silicon Valley were utterly important to innovation and further notes that the Americans who remained in Silicon Valley after losing their jobs created 23,000 new businesses employing 161,000 people. The second article suggests that 13,800 of those companies employ close to 100,000 people off-shore.

Those 100,000 jobs might just as easily be in Tennessee or Michigan or New Jersey as in Mumbai or Taipei. They might just as easily remain in Silicon Valley.

Bob Badour said at March 11, 2006 11:32 AM:

Another indication of what the previous rounds of H-1b visas bought the US:

The Register reports that, at a recruiting event for India hosted in Santa Clara, California last week, where the companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Oracle, Intel, Informatica, Symantec, Dell and Accenture participated. Many people wanted to join Microsoft and there was a big line in front of their booth! (emphasis added)

If Microsoft has so many unfilled jobs in the US, why is it recruiting in the US for overseas jobs?

Ned said at March 12, 2006 3:13 PM:

I read a story the other day about a roofing company in Texas that said they couldn't hire anyone but (illegal) immigrants to to the work for nine bucks per hour. I'm sure this was true - Americanos who want to work for that wage can operate a cash register at air-conditioned Wal-Mart. But suppose the roofer couldn't hire any illegal immigrants - he might have to pay $12 or $15 per hour to get Americans to do the hot, sweaty work under the Texas sun. But given enough financial incentive, the workers would appear.

Mr. Gates is no different from the Texas roofer - he can't fill his high-tech jobs with Americans because the jobs don't pay enough. If the H-1B visa program were abolished, he would have to pay more to attract qualified Americans or he could just send all the work overseas. But I suspect there are some jobs he can't really outsource to India, which has a per capita GDP of less than 10% of the USA. High IQ Americans are reluctant to pursue careers in science/engineering because of this sort of nonsense. As a previous post pointed out, fields such as law, medicine and finance offer much better pay and job security. Think about this the next time you hear Bill Gates bemoaning the status of science and engineering education in the USA - if he really cared enough to do something about it, he would not hire any more H-1B people.

Jorge D.C. said at March 12, 2006 10:59 PM:

I only wish that Gates would put his money where his mouth is with his philanthropy.

Is it really philanthropy? What percentage of his foundation projects are simply a soft pedaling of the Microsoft brand? Seems obvious that a lot of it is just marketing outreach. The Bill & Melinda Libraries program is transparent conditioning of future consumers. Please.

Poster Steve Sailor is right to ascribe the most cynical motivations to Gates.

Jorge D.C. said at March 12, 2006 11:04 PM:

(Gates) could greatly speed up the search for genetic variations that boost IQ.

Re genetic engineering: this website's fallback position on every issue seems to be the holy grail of genetic engineering. The concept of a worldwide raising of IQ reeks of leftwing utopianism. The ultimate "no child left behind" program. What nonsense.

When genetic engineering for IQ is eventually attempted...it will most likely unleash a new pandora's box. IQ is an extremely complex phenomenon. Will the program's administrators produce a generation of arrogant, hyper-intelligent misfit sociopaths? Stay tuned.

PJGoober said at March 13, 2006 11:28 AM:

Jorge D.C. writes:
[When genetic engineering for IQ is eventually attempted...it will most likely unleash a new pandora's box. IQ is an extremely complex phenomenon. Will the program's administrators produce a generation of arrogant, hyper-intelligent misfit sociopaths? Stay tuned.]

I'd rather have a generation "arrogant, hyper-intelligent misfit sociopaths" then the generation of arrogant, low IQ misfit sociopaths that our current policies are going to produce (welfare policies, immigration policies, wealth redistribution, child tax credits for people that don't earn enough to pay taxes, etc... )

Also, people with ludicrously high IQ's may be more prone to value loony political ideas like communism/socialism, but communism/socialism wouldn't be *quite* so bad if everyone actually had the cognitive capicity to have high productivity (though communism still sucks no matter what).

mik said at March 13, 2006 6:01 PM:

PJGoober:

"people with ludicrously high IQ's may be more prone to value loony political ideas like communism/socialism, but communism/socialism wouldn't be *quite* so bad if everyone actually had the cognitive capicity to have high productivity (though communism still sucks no matter what)."

Very profound.

How about fashism? Is it also OK if everybody had high IQ?

High "cognitive capicity" is of no use if the political structure makes rational economy impossible. Examples of very high IQ groups biding their time in bad societies are plenty: Ashkenazi Jews under communism, High Indian casts under Indian socialism, chinese under Mao.


mik said at March 13, 2006 6:19 PM:

Gary Glaucon:

"Yes, he (Gates) can pay less to third world college graduates with high IQ and maybe a better work ethic. As this country subsidizes idiocy and laziness from K-16, we run up a big bill and so do college students, thus society expects a lot more pay."

This society expects modern highways, clean water, reliable power, modern hospitals, regular trash removal, etc, etc, etc. That's what makes this society a first world civilized society versus a third-world anarchic trash pit like India. You may disagree with that, you may want to see millions of your fellow citizens begging for food in the streets and naked children bathing in open sewers. But if you disagree, you will be a very small minority.

To maintain modern civilized society goverment needs to spend a ton of money. To raise a ton of money, society needs middle class to tax. Middle class must make good wages or civilized society is not possible.

As a quick 2-hour trip to Tijuana for comparative studies will illustrate even to a hard core Free-Market-UberAlles hater of Americans.


Would you rather see Bill send work overseas???

Randall Parker said at March 13, 2006 7:15 PM:

mik,

I'd rather live in socialist Sweden than Africa. How about you?

(of course the Muslim immigrants are ruining the place)

As for this site's author's tendency to mention genetic engineering: My point is not that genetic engineering will be a utopia. I am worried about what people might do with it. My real point is to underscore my belief that the poor messed up countries (with a few rare exceptions like North Korea) are that way due to genetically determined low IQs.

The point is the problem of dummies can't get fixed by smart free market economics policies or foriegn aid or all the other typical problems. Best we can do is keep any more dummies from coming into the United States and in the dumb countries find some way to provide remote control government (neo-colonialism if you will).

Randall Parker said at March 13, 2006 7:49 PM:

PJ Goober,

A disproportionate number of the smart communists were Jewish. My impression is that adjusted for IQ Jews were more likely to be leftists than non-Jews. I do not expect raising IQ to have a similar effect across the board. Other brain genes influence political tendencies aside from those that influence IQ.

Randall Parker said at March 14, 2006 5:56 AM:

Guys,

If your comments do not immediately show up please do NOT repost. I installed a new version of MovableType and it is deferring all comments for moderation. I can not figure out how to make that more selective (there are obvious settings for it that have no effect) and I've posted to support to get answers. So today it will be problematic. Sorry about that.

Bob Badour said at March 14, 2006 9:54 AM:

mik,

Would you rather see Bill send work overseas???

Yes, I would prefer that. Of course, if the US had not granted Bill's past H-1b wishes, he would have a harder time doing so now. His demands for H-1b visas are demands to enable him to outsource even more in the future.

Bill already recruits in the US to fill jobs in India.

Randall Parker said at March 14, 2006 4:20 PM:

Due to the continuing travails of my MovableType upgrade (I can't even log onto SixApart's web site to open a ticket at the moment) I think I lost Mik's latest comment here. He can contact me at futurepundit at-sign-here futurepundit dot-here com and I can forward him a copy for reposting. I hope he does since I want to respond to it.

Blog admin is a lot more work than you might think.

Mik said at March 14, 2006 11:58 PM:

Bob Badour:

"mik,

Would you rather see Bill send work overseas???

Yes, I would prefer that. Of course, if the US had not granted Bill's past H-1b wishes, he would have a harder time doing so now. His demands for H-1b visas are demands to enable him to outsource even more in the future.

Bill already recruits in the US to fill jobs in India."


My bad. The sentence is an artifact of my copying and pasting and belongs to Gary Glaucon to whom I was responding.

I do agree, most of H1B serfs are fifth column for outsourced activity. A small positive effect of them spending money here is totally negated by them eventually getting green card, bringing family and parents who will in short time be on welfare (SSI). All the while facilitating outsourcing activity in India.

Ned said at March 15, 2006 6:01 AM:

Interesting article from vdare.com by Edwin S. Rubinstein on the follies of the H-1B visa program. http://vdare.com/index.asp

Quequeg said at March 15, 2006 11:12 AM:

The Rubenstein article makes a good point about per-capita comparisons of engineering degrees between the US and the Asian countries.

I've frequently heard pundits breathlessly talk about how the U.S. is producing only about 70,000 engineers per year whereas China, India, and Taiwan are producing a combined 700,000. But almost no one points out that these 3 countries represent over 40% of the world's population. The U.S. is only 5%.

A few years ago, I recall looking at the per-capita GDP statistics on the CIA database. Luxembourg was listed as the highest per-capita GDP in the world, with about $44,000 per year. But Luxembourg only has a population of about 500,000 people. So, how is Luxembourg supposed to produce 700,000 engineers per year? Is Luxembourg doomed to 3rd world status and poverty, because it can't produce as many engineers as some arbitrary combination of countries that happen to represent more than 40% of the world's population?

The other aspect that is rarely highlighted is that 50% of the people in India are under 25 years of age. My guess is that they have a higher percentage of their population of degree-earning age. In the U.S., we have an older population, many of whom are beyond their 20s and have already earned their engineering degrees. They don't need to go back to school to re-earn their degrees.

As Norm Matloff says, the U.S. has more engineers per-capita than any other country besides Israel.

Mik said at March 16, 2006 10:16 AM:

Randall Parker:

"I'd rather live in socialist Sweden than Africa. How about you?"

Good for you. Is there anything I said that connects, even remotely, to this revelation?

By the way, as someone who lived in communist countries like USSR and GDR and in "socialist" countries like Sweden, I think the use of "socialist" label is meaningless, a very crude short-hand.

There are law-based western (or western-like) democracies with different degrees of gov control over economy and society. From significant in France and Sweden to much less so in US, UK and some East Euro countries.


"my belief that the poor messed up countries (with a few rare exceptions like North Korea) are that way due to genetically determined low IQs."

If only we could do an experiment. Split a homogeneous nation into 2 countries, impose different political systems and compare performance of the same IQ people under different systems and also different IQ people under the same system.
If only we could perfor such an experiment.

But wait... It was performed in the last 50 years, wasn't it? Not once, but twice in purest form, more in somewhat muddled form. And results are in.

Hint: results are not kind to Mr. Parker beliefs.

scottynx said at March 16, 2006 1:43 PM:

North Korea gdp per capita at purchasing power parity - $1,800 (ppp, 2005 est.) How does it do compare to majority black african countries? Very well. Yes, laws, incentives, institutions matter greatly for gdp per capita, but so do genes. Has any researcher combined IQ - gdp correlations with economic freedom correlations, to make one "grand unified theory" equation that predicts the gdp per capita of nations?

Bob Badour said at March 16, 2006 2:43 PM:

Mik,

I am not so good at reading minds. What are the examples you had in mind? What are the outcomes you find unkind to what you think Randall believes?

Mik said at March 16, 2006 9:06 PM:

Bob Badour:

"I am not so good at reading minds. What are the examples you had in mind? What are the outcomes you find unkind to what you think Randall believes?"

No need to read my mind. Reading history of 20 century and a bit of geography will do.
2 very different and highly homogeneous countries were split down the middle, Germany in 1945 and Korea in 1950 (?). One half of each split would proceed with more or less free market law based approach, the other halfs went totalitarian way.

By 1960 the results were clear, by 1990 only american professors could deny the obvious. GNP per capita in West Germany and South Korea were several times higher than their counterparts. So much for identical IQs of West and East Germany and S & N Koreas.

Accordingly to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_IQ, Germany has IQ of 102 and Portugal of 95. From my own experience with both countries by 1990 Portugal was doing significantly better than GDR.
Korea has IQ of 106. Compare N Korea performance with that of 93 IQ Ireland.

Whatever impact of IQ, impact of society organization is larger. Impact of culture might be almost as significant.

Bob Badour said at March 17, 2006 12:45 PM:

Don't be such an ass, mik. I can know and understand a lot of history without being able to read your stupid fucking mind.

I still fail to see your point. Randall himself acknowledged some outliers and mentioned NK as one of them.

Neither of your examples contradict anything Randall has said. Nor do they even begin to suggest Randall is wrong to attribute the bulk of the poverty of the 3rd world to low intelligence.

It's possible to hold good men down. That's no surprise, and we have plenty of examples. Look at China from the Great Leap into the Abyss up until the early 1980's, for instance.

Instead of pointing to two advanced prosperous nations split so communism could destroy half, show me where a split-up third world shithole produced anything resembling prosperity in either half.

Scottynx said at March 17, 2006 1:53 PM:

Mik writes:
[Whatever impact of IQ, impact of society organization is larger. Impact of culture might be almost as significant.]

I second Bob Badour, can you find the a single low IQ, economically free , high per capita gdp country (oil wealth doesn't count either)? Also, many of the scientific and economic achievements of low average IQ countries are currently, and have been in the past, achieved by higher IQ middle-man minorities (See Amy Chua's World on Fire, as well as Steve Sailer /Randalls posts on the subject).

Subtract out the income earned by the Chinese in the Philipines and Indonesia, and how much more abysmal would thier per-capita gdp be? Chinese in the Philipines are 1-2% of the population and own 59% of Philipino assets! Thats what happens when one group has an average IQ of 90 or so, and the other one 103 or so. Hear a lot about great achievements of Islamic nations in the past? Yup, they are mostly the achievements of higher IQ middle man minorities (jews, greeks, armenians etc...)

Also, how do you ever make a low-IQ country really economically free? Don't you think inteligence counts a bit in predicting, gauging, and insuring the trust that high per-capita gdp free societies require? We've had to lock up a ton of African Americans and use a ton of law enforcement (law enforcement that, whether black or white, has a higher IQ than those policed)to guarrantee even a slight illusion of this trust in the Black ghetto! We can't do this for all of Africa. No we can't. So for them, economic freedom is largely irrelevent. Thier low IQ's won't let them totally excape the hobbesian "state of nature". Without that hurdle, we can then start talking about the importance of economic freedom, like the Chinese example illustrates.

P.S.
Also, one more point, North Korean famine, starving, tyrrany, watching stupid plays and movies made by Kim Jong etc... have to lower North Korean IQ vis a vis the South, which to a small extent may explain thier low per capita gdp (along with the economic freedom difference of course). So thus the North/South divide in per capita gdp somewhat illustrates the importance of IQ as well. Isn't north korean IQ a tiny bit lower? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Mik said at March 18, 2006 9:03 AM:

Bob Badour:

"Don't be such an ass, mik. I can know and understand a lot of history without being able to read your stupid fucking mind."

Lawrence Auster, a traditional conservative writer at www.amnation.com/vfr/, resently wrote about loss of ability to debate in our society. Disagreement about facts or interpretation is taken as a personal attact and responded with a stream of insults, usually of kindergarden level of sophistication.

The Badur's comment illustrates Mr. Auster point perfectly.


Mik said at March 18, 2006 9:26 AM:

Scottynx:

"can you find the a single low IQ, economically free, high per capita gdp country"

Say you have what you think is a proof of mathematical theorem. You publish a very complex 100 page paper in Annals of Modern Mathematics. To disprove it I don't have to have 100 page paper. Just one counter example will do.

Of course this is not mathematics. Of course IQ plays role, important role, in society development.

The issue is: does IQ play DOMINANT role. I produced several examples that contradict that assertion.
Lawrence Auster wrote that the art of debate is lost in our society, I guess we should expect a stream of childish personal insults. Of course they proof nothing.

The only thing I suggest is do what a mathematician would do if his proof found faulty. Go back and try to fix his logic.


"North Korean famine, starving, tyrrany, watching stupid plays and movies made by Kim Jong etc... have to lower North Korean IQ vis a vis the South"

There is no evidence that I know about indicating that IQ of nation can be changed in 50 years by environment. If you have ANY DATA as opposite to assertion that IQ could be dynamically changed by environment in a short time (society scale), kindly post it.

Gary Glaucon said at March 18, 2006 9:45 AM:

After just returning from Rome yesterday, I think that by marginalizing the impact of command or mixed economies leads to false premises.

First: The US is the greatest economy in the world because we possess a significant amount of high IQ people and a less government ridden economy. My experience in Rome lends me to believe that it has plenty of high IQ people, but their socialistic economic policies reduce productivity. Smart people quickly learn that working harder is useless. Thus, Rome/ Italy will never be an economic powerhouse as shown by their per capita GDP and federal debt- 107% of GDP.

Secondly: This idea that free markets lead to people begging in the street is sensationalism and a flat out lie. India and Mexico are screwwed because of their government control. A recent media report spoke of a protest in India by college students because the government was holding back on physician licensing because politicians were saving the licenses for family and political connections. This is the same as the NYC taxi medallions. Mexico is a socialist mess- enough said!

As long as America engages in economic policies that promote "pasing the buck" in spillover costs associated with immigration of cheap labor and borrowing to cover the difference, it will continue towards the cliff. Foundational principles ARE important! We need less government control of the economy.

Bob Badour said at March 18, 2006 11:22 AM:
I produced several examples that contradict that assertion

Bullshit. You produced two isolated examples that fail to address the assertion at all. You proved that in the absence of violent oppression, intelligent people can prosper. That does not in any way address the universal poverty among nations with low group average IQ's.

To contradict the assertion, you would have to produce a prosperous low IQ nation or prove that the majority of impoverished nations in fact have normal to high group average IQ's.


Disagreement about facts or interpretation is taken as a personal attact

Your reference to Auster would have greater validity if you had produced facts instead of playing some stupid fucking infantile game of alluding to crushing evidence that in the end did not even exist. Asshole.

scottynx said at March 18, 2006 3:32 PM:

P.S. Mik, thank you for dissagreeing, or else we couldn't even have a healthy debate.

scottynx said at March 18, 2006 3:36 PM:

P.S. Randall has an old post that references the same seatle time article as I did above (I was unaware of that).

Parapundit: North Koreans may suffer from hunger induced brain damage
http://www.parapundit.com/archives/001966.html

Randall Parker said at March 23, 2006 11:41 AM:

Mik,

IQ would rise quite a lot in Africa (probably from from 67 to 77 or 80) if all micronutrient deficiencies, macronutrient deficiencies, and infectious diseases were greatly reduced. For a few billion dollars a year we could certainly do that to a single small African country in a single generation.

Why do I believe that? Because American blacks have average IQs around 85. Part of that is due to white admixture. But most is probably due to better nutrition and less exposure to diseases.

Similarly, the North Koreans would get smarter in a generation if better fed. See my post North Koreans may suffer from hunger induced brain damage.

Better environment will raise IQ in countries which are seriously messed up. But better environment won't help much in highly industrialized countries. We could make small gains by increasing food fortification and decreasing pollution. But my guess is that few of us in industrialized countries are much limited by environment where brain development is concerned.

motzart said at September 25, 2006 4:51 AM:

Have a life mates, man was a happier primate living in caves and on top of trees, than he
started developing techs and software and his life is engulfed in quagmire of GDP,PPP,IQ,economy,genetics/DNA etc. All your problems can be solved by scrapping H1B programme,outsourcing and close door policy, may America will able to create enough jobs to keep you employed and by this way able to eliminate negative air and gloom from the atmosphere.


Advertise here. Contact randall dot parker at ymail dot com
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