2007 January 21 Sunday
Charles Murray On Education And Intelligence

Charles Murray has written a 3 part series for the Wall Street Journal on education and intelligence differences. In the first article Murray argues that we can't think rationally about education policy and proposals to improve education without considering differences in levels of intelligence.

Education is becoming the preferred method for diagnosing and attacking a wide range problems in American life. The No Child Left Behind Act is one prominent example. Another is the recent volley of articles that blame rising income inequality on the increasing economic premium for advanced education. Crime, drugs, extramarital births, unemployment--you name the problem, and I will show you a stack of claims that education is to blame, or at least implicated.

One word is missing from these discussions: intelligence. Hardly anyone will admit it, but education's role in causing or solving any problem cannot be evaluated without considering the underlying intellectual ability of the people being educated. Today and over the next two days, I will put the case for three simple truths about the mediating role of intelligence that should bear on the way we think about education and the nation's future.

Today's simple truth: Half of all children are below average in intelligence. We do not live in Lake Wobegon.

Murray argues that we can't hope to raise school test scores all that much because kids can't perform beyond their intellectual capacity. But one of the modern American myths is that each individual can achieve anything given sufficient will power and a good enough environment. That myth, which appeals to people on the political Left and Right for different reasons, is behind a many bad policies in education, welfare, workplace laws, and other areas of public policy.

Murray also notes that no researchers have ever tried to figure out what level of IQ is needed to achieve a passing score on the US government's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. With that information children who are scoring below their potential could be identified. Give kids an IQ test. Then give them a NAEP test. Kids that are scoring lower on NAEP than their IQ test results suggest they are capable of would be candidates for greater attention to change how and where they are taught.

Murray says there's no Golden Age of education we can return to.

The second problem with the argument that education can be vastly improved is the false assumption that educators already know how to educate everyone and that they just need to try harder--the assumption that prompted No Child Left Behind. We have never known how to educate everyone. The widely held image of a golden age of American education when teachers brooked no nonsense and all the children learned their three Rs is a myth. If we confine the discussion to children in the lower half of the intelligence distribution (education of the gifted is another story), the overall trend of the 20th century was one of slow, hard-won improvement. A detailed review of this evidence, never challenged with data, was also part of "The Bell Curve."

I call No Child Left Behind (NCLB) by a more accurate phrase: No Lie Left Behind. The law is based on false assumptions about human nature that commissars on the Left enforce by attacking and marginalizing anyone who violates their taboos about human nature. NCLB's goals are unachievable and policies formulated to achieve those goals waste resources and do wrong by children.

In his second article of the series Murray argues that too many people go to college since the percentage of those smart enough to master college material is far smaller than the percentage who go to college.

The topic yesterday was education and children in the lower half of the intelligence distribution. Today I turn to the upper half, people with IQs of 100 or higher. Today's simple truth is that far too many of them are going to four-year colleges.

Begin with those barely into the top half, those with average intelligence. To have an IQ of 100 means that a tough high-school course pushes you about as far as your academic talents will take you. If you are average in math ability, you may struggle with algebra and probably fail a calculus course. If you are average in verbal skills, you often misinterpret complex text and make errors in logic.

These are not devastating shortcomings. You are smart enough to engage in any of hundreds of occupations. You can acquire more knowledge if it is presented in a format commensurate with your intellectual skills. But a genuine college education in the arts and sciences begins where your skills leave off.

Those who lack the intellectual horsepower needed to handle college level courses are being ill-served by those who direct them toward college.

Murray thinks only 15% should go to college or at most 25%. Yet far more go and colleges exist with low standards to keep less intelligent students enrolled. In spite of the low standards many drop out anyway. Others get meaningless degrees in easy subjects.

In engineering and most of the natural sciences, the demarcation between high-school material and college-level material is brutally obvious. If you cannot handle the math, you cannot pass the courses. In the humanities and social sciences, the demarcation is fuzzier. It is possible for someone with an IQ of 100 to sit in the lectures of Economics 1, read the textbook, and write answers in an examination book. But students who cannot follow complex arguments accurately are not really learning economics. They are taking away a mishmash of half-understood information and outright misunderstandings that probably leave them under the illusion that they know something they do not. (A depressing research literature documents one's inability to recognize one's own incompetence.) Traditionally and properly understood, a four-year college education teaches advanced analytic skills and information at a level that exceeds the intellectual capacity of most people.

There is no magic point at which a genuine college-level education becomes an option, but anything below an IQ of 110 is problematic. If you want to do well, you should have an IQ of 115 or higher. Put another way, it makes sense for only about 15% of the population, 25% if one stretches it, to get a college education. And yet more than 45% of recent high school graduates enroll in four-year colleges. Adjust that percentage to account for high-school dropouts, and more than 40% of all persons in their late teens are trying to go to a four-year college--enough people to absorb everyone down through an IQ of 104.

Since races with lower average IQs (whites average 100) are among those trying to get into colleges and since many colleges give racial preferences to lower IQ races the result is that many with IQs even below 100 enroll in college. This wastes their time and a lot of money, both theirs and money from taxpayers. Also, the people who spend time trying to teach them would make better contributions to the economy and to society in other lines of work.

Murray argues the lower IQ kids who head to college would be far better served by vocational training to teach specific job skills. But lots of people head to college because a college degree is used by employers as a proxy for higher intelligence.

Government policy contributes to the problem by making college scholarships and loans too easy to get, but its role is ancillary. The demand for college is market-driven, because a college degree does, in fact, open up access to jobs that are closed to people without one. The fault lies in the false premium that our culture has put on a college degree.

For a few occupations, a college degree still certifies a qualification. For example, employers appropriately treat a bachelor's degree in engineering as a requirement for hiring engineers. But a bachelor's degree in a field such as sociology, psychology, economics, history or literature certifies nothing. It is a screening device for employers. The college you got into says a lot about your ability, and that you stuck it out for four years says something about your perseverance. But the degree itself does not qualify the graduate for anything. There are better, faster and more efficient ways for young people to acquire credentials to provide to employers.

We could eliminate the need for college degrees as (only roughly accurate) measures of intelligence if employers were allowed to directly test for IQ.

Murray observes the 2 year junior colleges adapting themselves to their real markets and offering vocational training. He also sees a trend in technology toward electronic delivery of courses coupled with a big decline in the demand for brick-and-mortar colleges and universities. I agree and want to see this trend accelerate.

Advances in technology are making the brick-and-mortar facility increasingly irrelevant. Research resources on the Internet will soon make the college library unnecessary. Lecture courses taught by first-rate professors are already available on CDs and DVDs for many subjects, and online methods to make courses interactive between professors and students are evolving. Advances in computer simulation are expanding the technical skills that can be taught without having to gather students together in a laboratory or shop. These and other developments are all still near the bottom of steep growth curves. The cost of effective training will fall for everyone who is willing to give up the trappings of a campus. As the cost of college continues to rise, the choice to give up those trappings will become easier.

College costs far too much and takes too much time. It is impractical. You have to show up at lectures for a course on 2 or 3 times a week at fixed times. Got something else to do? Too bad. Find the times of all your needed courses so spread out that you have no day to work all day at a job? The colleges are not set and organized for your convenience. Want to watch all the lectures in a couple of days when you have the time? Sorry, they aren't recorded. You've got to spend months to watch a semester's worth of lectures for a course even though all all the lectures for a single course only add up to 15 or 20 hours.

In his final essay of the series, Aztecs vs. Greeks, Murray argues for the resurrection of the classical education based upon Greek thinkers.

In professions screened for IQ by educational requirements--medicine, engineering, law, the sciences and academia--the great majority of people must, by the nature of the selection process, have IQs over 120. Evidence about who enters occupations where the screening is not directly linked to IQ indicates that people with IQs of 120 or higher also occupy large proportions of positions in the upper reaches of corporate America and the senior ranks of government. People in the top 10% of intelligence produce most of the books and newspaper articles we read and the television programs and movies we watch. They are the people in the laboratories and at workstations who invent our new pharmaceuticals, computer chips, software and every other form of advanced technology.

Combine these groups, and the top 10% of the intelligence distribution has a huge influence on whether our economy is vital or stagnant, our culture healthy or sick, our institutions secure or endangered. Of the simple truths about intelligence and its relationship to education, this is the most important and least acknowledged: Our future depends crucially on how we educate the next generation of people gifted with unusually high intelligence.

Our future depends far more on how many people in the next generation have IQs at 120 or higher. Currently immigration policy is decreasing the proportion that are above 120. That draws higher IQ people away from creative design work to serve lower IQ people. Also, smarter people are having fewer kids and having kids later than dumber people.

Murray says little educational spending is targetted at the smart people who can do the most with it.

How assiduously does our federal government work to see that this precious raw material is properly developed? In 2006, the Department of Education spent about $84 billion. The only program to improve the education of the gifted got $9.6 million, one-hundredth of 1% of expenditures. In the 2007 budget, President Bush zeroed it out.

Murray points out that smarter people are better able to compensate for deficiencies in educational systems and in other factors in the environment. True enough. But still, smart people waste a lot of time getting educations that could be gotten faster and with more customization for their wants and needs.

Murray sees a bigger problem in the education of smart people in terms of citizenship training.

The problem with the education of the gifted involves not their professional training, but their training as citizens.

We live in an age when it is unfashionable to talk about the special responsibility of being gifted, because to do so acknowledges inequality of ability, which is elitist, and inequality of responsibilities, which is also elitist. And so children who know they are smarter than the other kids tend, in a most human reaction, to think of themselves as superior to them. Because giftedness is not to be talked about, no one tells high-IQ children explicitly, forcefully and repeatedly that their intellectual talent is a gift. That they are not superior human beings, but lucky ones. That the gift brings with it obligations to be worthy of it. That among those obligations, the most important and most difficult is to aim not just at academic accomplishment, but at wisdom.

I have to disagree with Murray here. In one sense smarter people are superior. They can understand more. They can see patterns and chains of cause and effect that are completely incomprehensible to the majority.

I think the bigger problem with smart people in terms of citizenship obligations is that they are not incentized properly to make better contributions to making the society as a whole function well. One reason for this is that in a democracy there's little incentive for a person to become informed enough to vote wisely. A smart person will gain far more by working at their career.

But another factor that reduces the contributions of smart people is the grant of voting power to the masses. People who simply can't understand issues vote for who will lead us. We get leaders who are not held properly accountable because many people can't recognize which decisions by leaders are mistakes or which statements by leaders are deceptions. This further reduces the return on investment for smart people who study issues and closely scrutinize candidates. Their votes will get cancelled out by votes of dummies for candidates who cater to their demands.

But Murray makes a very reasonable point: We are going to be governed by a cognitive elite. So educate that elite to know how to govern wisely.

The gifted should not be taught to be nonjudgmental; they need to learn how to make accurate judgments. They should not be taught to be equally respectful of Aztecs and Greeks; they should focus on the best that has come before them, which will mean a light dose of Aztecs and a heavy one of Greeks. The primary purpose of their education should not be to let the little darlings express themselves, but to give them the tools and the intellectual discipline for expressing themselves as adults.

In short, I am calling for a revival of the classical definition of a liberal education, serving its classic purpose: to prepare an elite to do its duty. If that sounds too much like Plato's Guardians, consider this distinction. As William F. Buckley rightly instructs us, it is better to be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard University. But we have that option only in the choice of our elected officials. In all other respects, the government, economy and culture are run by a cognitive elite that we do not choose. That is the reality, and we are powerless to change it. All we can do is try to educate the elite to be conscious of, and prepared to meet, its obligations. For years, we have not even thought about the nature of that task. It is time we did.

I question whether at this point an education for wise governance should be centered around the Greeks. We are finally developing a biologically informed understanding of human nature. We can understand humanity better by the biological thinkers (e.g. Pierre L. van den Berghe, Frank Miele, William D. Hamilton) and by reading the findings of the neuroscientists than by reading the Greeks. The Greeks still hold some value. But the classical thinkers built their theories on too limited a base of scientific knowledge.

But upon re-reading I think Murray is calling more for an education that achieves the goal of preparing citizens by training them in analytical thinking than a revival of the classical curriculum.

The bigger problem today in academia is that the teaching of the Greeks has been displaced by assorted fads in humanities nonsense rather than scientific knowledge of the human condition. The knowledge now available from empirical fields such as psychometrics (which is taboo), genetics, neurobiology, and genetic anthropology can teach humans more about humanity than the ancient Greek thinkers can. But the blank slaters have turned their backs on anything that stands in the way of their believing in the supremacy of environment.

Update: Murray's argument that we can lift up the lower IQ by giving them vocational training in high paying trades seems bogus to me. First of all, even if more people could be trained in skilled manual labor trades the effect would be to drive down wages in those trades. So what are these wages? He speaks of people earning six figure salaries. I figure if they exist they are rare. Master plumbers with high skills and lots of experience average $22 per hour and most plumbers make less. Some plumbers with 20 or more years experience make $25 per hour. That's where they top out. Eventually their bodies age and it becomes difficult for them to keep doing that sort of work. A similar pattern is seen for electricians. Chicago and other high union cities have higher wages for these occupations. But that just demonstrates that it takes the presence of a union to turn these occupations into higher wage jobs. There's no big unmet need for skilled manual laborers.

Bricklayers peak at $26 per hour at 10 to 19 years of experience. That's hard work and 50 year olds can't do it as fast as 35 year olds. Roofers peak at $20 per hour. These are peaks. At younger ages they make less. Eventually they become too old to work at hard manual labor. Carpenters make less than plumbers and electricians and in unionized Chicago and Boston carpenters earn $25 per hour. In other areas they earn considerably less. Again, where are these six figures craftsmen? They may exist. But only for specialty work that does not exist in large quantities.

The demand for lower IQ manual laborers is going to continue to decline. Robots will do more work. Components will last longer. Maintenance will become more automated and diagnosis of equipment failures done remotely. Greater use of prefabrication in factories will continue to reduce the need for work site skilled labor. Wealth increasingly comes from smarter minds. Relative proportions of lower and higher intelligence minds largely determine how much wealth each country has.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 January 21 07:43 PM  Education

Wolf-Dog said at January 21, 2007 9:09 PM:

The magic IQ numbers such as "110" or "120" for college education, etc., are only the tip of the iceberg. There is already a fairly strict hierarchy among colleges. In the near future, as life on earth becomes more knowledge and intelligence dependent, there will be more segregated elite communities where even an IQ of 136 will be laughed at, and those with merely an IQ of 140 will be summarily rejected. If you have not already seen the movie "Gattaca" about genetic elitism, I strongly urge people to see it:
In the future, the exponentially increasing arrogance of those who are "gifted", and the servility of those who are not, will be tragic.

mike said at January 21, 2007 10:42 PM:


The way things are going, Mike Judge's "Idiocracy" is more likely to be our future than "Gattaca" is.

gcochran said at January 21, 2007 11:19 PM:

When push comes to shove, Murray isn't particularly wise himself. Look, he's at AEI: need I say more? And as for the idea that people should think of becoming craftmen working for our natural fiscal overlords - that's not the course I would recommend. Not hardly.

Mensarefugee said at January 21, 2007 11:54 PM:

"In the near future, as life on earth becomes more knowledge and intelligence dependent, there will be more segregated elite communities where even an IQ of 136 will be laughed at, and those with merely an IQ of 140 will be summarily rejected."

This view is precisely why we need more "Greek Education" instead of only Biological education. Well instead of Greek, perhaps Hayek and Friedman and philosophy make more sense.

Just because some people have an IQ of 175, doesnt mean that people with an IQ of 130 automatically become worthless - after all, they are capable of making and creating society as we see it today. It is possible however, that these two groups will split into different cultures or polities.

As Michael Levin aptly put it in "Why Race Matters: Race differences and what they mean", just because high iq groups built things that low iq groups want, it does not mean low iq groups are made inferior by it, nor that they have a moral right to such things simply because they exist (not verbatim, he used "blacks" and "whites")

The point Im trying to make is - do you feel that inferior about current ~IQ120 created society that you would feel shameful about it (assuming we didnt have the burden of lower IQ criminal elements etc) if a technological higher/higher IQ one opened up across the border?

John S Bolton said at January 22, 2007 12:55 AM:

If a colony of several hundred thousand with an IQ average of 125 were planted in the Congo, and controlled it thoroughly; they would still be forced to adjust their technology hugely downward
in order to use the available labor in some way.
Therefore the average IQ of the total population is determinative, absent some kind of partial or complete secession of a high-level group.
This factor alone guarantees that nations will not indiscriminately coalesce into zollverein super-sovereignties.
Murray is rightly targetting egalitarian premisses, as obstacles to efficency of use of what
potentials exist in the population, which remain inefficiently developed.
Aristotle and Confucius, though... isn't this as undiscerning as to say: Aristotle and Aesop?
Equality is not known to be a valid ideal, and is even obviously false if it is one that you supposedly can't have too much of.
There is no honesty in the recipients of advanced education pretending that we can't easily have too much equalization of access to education.
If they are somehow speaking authoritatively on the basis of being more educated than the electorate, that's not egalitarian.
They weren't given a chance, sobs the power-greedy over the disadvantaged minorities;
but chances are earned , not given, if they are to be real, and not just alternative welfare handed out on a racial-ethnic basis.

Ned said at January 22, 2007 6:53 AM:

At one time, equality in the USA seemed to mean just that - equal opportunity. Now, more and more, equal outcome seems to be the goal. Since almost all high-paying jobs require at least a college degree, it follows that "everyone" should have the chance to go to college. This, of course, is nonsense. Marginal-IQ people end up dropping out of college because they can't handle the work or, at very best, receive meaningless degrees from Grade Z schools, which are usually heavily subsidized by the taxpayers. What a waste.

Not so long ago, it was possible for people with only a high school diploma to find well-paying jobs in this country. Unionized jobs in fields such as manufacturing (autos, steel, etc.) and construction paid well. Now the manufacturing jobs have pretty much all been exported, and the construction ones have been taken over by illegal immigrants. Writers such as Pat Buchanan and Steve Sailer have pointed out the need for developing a "jobs" policy for the country, one that prevents the export of our manufacturing base and blocks illegal immigration, which really hammers working-class Americans. Then maybe "everyone" wouldn't have to go to college to get a well-paying job. Such a policy would do a lot more for Americans at the lower end of the wage scale than such meaningless feel-good fluff as a minimum wage increase.

Randall Parker said at January 22, 2007 6:36 PM:


What is surprising about Murray's job at AEI is that he can even get a job at a DC think tank. I'm guessing that he's not in a position to choose a different think tank even if he wanted to. He probably would have few if any academic positions to choose among. Unlike you he does not have a strong scientific skill with market value to fall back on.


But low IQ groups do end up feeling like they have lower status when they look at what higher IQ groups create and what higher IQ groups own and control. Do the lower IQ groups benefit? Sure. But they focus more on what smarter groups have and refuse to believe the wealthier deserve their wealth.

One big problem with having different average IQ groups in the same society is that the lower IQ groups end up on the bottom of the status hierarchies. Humans want to have higher status. It is an instinctual desire. So the lower IQ groups resent the higher IQ groups.

Daniel said at January 22, 2007 8:48 PM:

>>>What is surprising about Murray's job at AEI is that he can even get a job at a DC think tank.

Murray will have a job at AEI as long as he tows the party line on immigration, i.e. too much is never enough. The minute he allows the evidence of his research and the logic of his reasoning to lead him to the inevitable pronounced conclusion that immigration must be severely reduced (in order to stop the downward pressure on the national average IQ and to also give those who are in the lower 40th percentale more economic and life opportunities) his tenure will become precarious. I believe that what he is willing to say publicly is circumscribed by the fanatical immigration stance of his patrons.

Who knows, if he loses this job, he may have a difficult time getting another one, one that he would really want. I don't know much about academia, but based on recent evidence garnered by eavesdropping on a notorious left/liberal academic focused blog, whose participants are either tenured faculty or those who travel in that cirle, Murray is widely reviled. One day the blogmaster put out the query (I'm paraphrasing here), "what is the most destructive book printed", "one that you wish had never been published"? Well Murray's book - The Bell Curve - was mentioned in the same breath as Mein Kamph and the Turner Diaries. They weren't kidding.

No-PC-wars said at January 22, 2007 11:18 PM:

Murray has a good analitical mind, but is he wise?
Here he is in glorious PC post-american mode (corner.nationalreview.com/post/q=OTRkYzlhYjdlNDc0MDNkMjI4NTIyYmVhNjFmZjkyM2E=):

" am not impressed by worries about losing America’s Anglo-European identity. Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world. And I’d a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn’t read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of."

If one wants to live in Guatemala neighborhood, one cannot possibly be wise.
Does he really think that US will be better country with 50 million Guatemalans?

Ras said at January 23, 2007 7:27 AM:



Here is some more from Murray...

Murray appears to be going liberal. :-)


He said: "I am not impressed by worries about losing America's Anglo-European identity. Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world. And I'd a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn't read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of.

4. When it comes to the nitty-gritty, I would get rid of reuniting-families provisions, get rid of the you're-a-citizen-if-you're-born-here rule, and make immigrants ineligible for all benefits and social services except public education for their children. Everybody who immigrates has to be on a citizenship track (no guest workers). And I would endorse a literacy requirement. Having those measures in place, my other criteria for getting permission to immigrate would be fairly loose."

Uhm does he know that Vietnamese have some of the highest welfare rates in America (I believe slightly lower than Cambodians) in the country...higher than blacks and Hispanics?

Most of the Vietnamese in the "Little Saigon" are actually ethnic Chinese born in Vietnam (Yunan huaqiao).


Vietnamese immigrants (nearly a third on welfare).


Randall Parker said at January 23, 2007 5:39 PM:


I think Murray is trying to make the argument to the Left that embracing the truth about IQ research does not have to lead to smarter people treating all lower IQ people like dirt. So he's trying to paint lower IQ people in a more favorable light and as less problematic. Yet his own writings so that he's wrong. Lower IQ people commit more crime, have more kids out of wedlock, do a poorer job of raising their kids, vote for higher taxes to transfer wealth to them, and are incapable of recognizing band political candidates. The list goes on.

He's also using the same left-liberal rhetorical device of dissing certain white people - not his white group but other white groups.

Ras said at January 23, 2007 5:56 PM:


I posted the link to V-dare and I have seen stats of counties in Cali where these people live.

They never break out Vietnamese in national stats as an ethnic group by themselves. They just group them with Asian-Pacific Islanders, so the Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Indians pull up the stats. When you break out Asians by ethnicity...you will see the Southeast Asians in America live quite poor.

I also pointed out that most of the Vietnamese doing well in Little Saigons all around the country (I know Houston's Bellaire Blvd well) are mostly Chinese (Yuanan Huaochaio) not ethnic Vietnamese. So I do not disagree with you, I agree with you on that point, but the ethnic Chinese are not the majority of Vietnamese in America to my knowledge unless you have data to refute that.

"Some immigrant groups have particularly high welfare rates: Chinese and Filipinos—10 percent, Mexicans—11 percent, Ecuadorians—12 percent, pre-Marielito Cubans—15 percent, Vietnamese—26 percent, Dominicans—28 percent, and Cambodians and Laotians—nearly 50 percent."

I don't usually site things from whtie nationalitist but I want you to see it is not coming from some leftist or other minority site:


There is also:

"The sociologist Stephen Klineberg conducted a 1996 study of Asian Americans in Houston, and found that the Asian American population had little upward mobility. Among the Vietnamese, 28 percent are in low-skilled production or laboring jobs as were 30 percent of their fathers."


and this:

"For example, as shown in the tables in the Socioeconomic Statistics & Demographics article, Vietnamese Americans only have a college degree attainment rate of 20%, less than half the rate for other Asian American ethnic groups. The rates for Laotians, Cambodians, and Khmer are even lower at less than 10%."

This is from an Asian American site:


This too:

"As another example, in California, almost 40% of all Vietnamese refugees are on public assistance and in Minnesota and Wisconsin, an equal number of Cambodians, Hmong, and Laotians also receive public assistance. Another example is that of many Korean immigrants who come to the U.S. with very high levels of education. But for various reasons (i.e., not being fluent in English), many are not able to get decent jobs that pay well. Therefore, they are forced to to work as janitors, waiters, busboys, or go into business for themselves to survive. The only reason why many Korean small business owners are able to make a small profit is that they have no paid employees and work 20 hours a day."

http://www.asian-nation.org/mode...- minority.shtml

26% or 50% of blacks or Hispanics are not on welfare in this country.

In fact less than 10% of blacks are on welfare...can't speak for Hispanics, despite the fact the unemployment rate is about 12%.

http://www.jbhe.com/news_views/ 4...reducation.html

Oh but wait a minute, got something else up my sleeve…wow…imagine this…

“The poverty rate of African Americans remained nearly twice the national rate, with 24.4 percent of blacks living below the poverty line in 2003, slightly higher from 24.1 percent a year earlier.”

So the 25% of blacks that do live in poverty the majority are working poor…as compared to Vietnamese people who…well you can see above.

Even African immigrants do better:

First, look at the last chart from your beloved VDare showing Welfare Recipiency by Region of Birth in the year 2000

http://www.vdare.com/rubenstein/...tein/ winner.htm

Notice how the African immigrants receive less welfare than everybody except Europeans

I found it interesting that Murray would promote Vietnamese people as more American than most Americans when they are obviously on more welfare than any traditional American groups. This is very striking since many people use his coveted IQ data to show various correlations and claim causation due to it…and he goes and promotes a median IQ group who performs way below even the lowest IQ groups in America.

Ras said at January 23, 2007 6:03 PM:

Sorry copied the last bit from another site when I was talking to someone else about the same thing...pretty funny though.

expat said at January 24, 2007 7:54 AM:

Maybe Murray is thinking that if he is finally found to be too politically suspect for AEI he can find a job working either for the Vietnamese government or the Guatemalan oligarchy. :)

No-PC-wars said at January 24, 2007 12:16 PM:

"I think Murray is trying to make the argument to the Left that embracing the truth about IQ research does not have to lead to smarter people treating all lower IQ people like dirt."

Yes, he does and I very much agree with the idea. People usually don't like to be spit on. When too many are, it makes society unstable. I guess our elites are too stupid to realize that.

Funny, in 1920th in unending search for cheap labor, they imported too many marxist poisoned laborers. Back than elites were smart enough to realize that hourly labor savings are not enough to compensate for marxist agitation.
Immigration was cut for 40 years with tremendous benefits for the USA.

No-PC-wars said at January 24, 2007 12:18 PM:

Many of you will be interested in very un-PC movie Idiocracy, now available on DVD.
Apparently it was never released in theater distribution due to its non-PC nature.

Very funny and entertaining.

Randall Parker said at January 24, 2007 5:11 PM:


But we already treat lower IQ people as deserving little respect. Look at our immigration policy. Or our trade policy. We bring in people who drive down the wages of the low IQ people who are already here. We send their jobs abroad. I hear Rodney Dangerfield saying "I can't get no respect".

Upper class leftists themselves look down on lower IQ people in a big way.

My problem with Murray is he's painting too bright a future on what can happen if we get honest about IQ differences. No, there's no great niche for lower IQ people where they can make important contributions. When he talks about vocational training programs I'm reminded of his Panglossian view at the end of Losing Ground where he said school vouchers would lift many out of poverty. He's shifted to a new false solution.

Glaivester said at January 25, 2007 8:40 PM:


Out of curiosity, what do you think we should do about our low-IQ population (in addition to the obvious step of not importing more of them)?

Randall Parker said at January 26, 2007 6:20 PM:


First off, recognize that the less intelligent are less able to make decisions of all kinds. They are less able to recognize whether a contract is fair. They are less able to evaluate the statements of their employers or political leaders or doctors or counselors.

This fact has many ramifications. We grant 18 year olds power to enter into contracts that are not binding on minors because minors are not considered competent to evaluate their terms and understand their ramifications. But low IQ adults similarly lack the capacity to evaluate credit terms for buying a car or other agreements people enter into. Should we perhaps have different legal conditions in terms of what contracts they can enter into and others can legally try to get them to do?

They have less capacity to carry out a variety of civic duties. For example, I question their fitness for jury duty. Would you want 80 IQ people judging whether you committed a crime?

We ought to make government aid tp dummies more conditional on behavior and incentized to get them to have fewer kids. Barbara Harris offers to pay drug addicts to get tubes tied or Norplant. We ought to offer these choices with cash awards to those with lower IQs with bigger cash incentives for longer periods of time the lower the IQs go.

We ought to ask whether some industries should be protected from imports because those industries employ very low skilled workers. Not sure if any manufacturing industries fit the bill. Textiles?

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