2013 May 31 Friday
Expensive To Recruit Poor People For College

The New York Times is pretty funny the way it writes about its natural allies in colleges and universities. A First World Cathedral problem:

“It’s expensive,” said Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University. “You have to go out and identify them, recruit them and get them to apply, and then it’s really expensive once they enroll because they need more financial aid.”

But why is it that their parents are poor in the first place? The biggest answer to that question also means that the poor kid, once they enroll, will get lower grades, choose easier majors, and drop out at higher rates, and even make less money after graduating from the same major as an upper class kid. The ROI is low, actually really negative. Plus, the universities operate in ways that raise their costs. So their cost per student makes the ROI even more negative for teaching poor kids.

But the idea of innate differences in abilities and motivations isn't going to come up in a Cathedral discussion of education. We live in what Mencius Moldbug calls a type 2 society where the best ideas and the truth are suppressed when those with power do not want us to believe them.

Basically, a type 1 society is a government in which the State controls the press and the universities. A type 2 society is one in which the press and the universities control the State. It is easy to tell the two forms apart, but the customer experience is pretty much the same.

Great essay from 2008. Recommended reading.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 31 09:08 PM 
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2013 May 26 Sunday
Sixth Night Of Burnings In Sweden

A thousand points of light: The immigrants insist on drawing attention to the folly of letting them in. Will the Swedes insist on not learning a lesson from this episode? This article title is telling: Parking Tickets Issued on Wrecks while Stockholm Burns. The Leviathan is gratuitously cruel.

One reason I'm not optimistic about the future of the human race: If life gets too easy there's a big tendency of people to just toss wrenches into cogs and gears of society. Take away the beneficial selective pressures of the Malthusian Trap and I do not see where the corrective forces come from to stop behaviors that gradually screw up a human populace. Where's the selective pressure for prudence going to come from once the imprudent are not more likely to die? Growing parasitism seems inevitable.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 26 06:03 PM 
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Cabinet Maker Or Web Site Maker?

How much do you earn? What would you be willing to do to make more money? A cabinet maker in Pennsylvania pays from minimum wage up to $30 per hour for masters who can work as foremen.. That's an occupation you can work yourself up in if you have enough innate skill, motivation, and are near a source of demand for your skills.

By contrast, and also without a college degree, you can teach yourself web site construction and earn about $30 per hour on average. Really skilled people can earn 6 figures, and as the example in the article shows, without a college degree.

The people who get up into 6 figure earnings building web sites are likely very bright, motivated, work at it for several years for long hours, are detail-oriented, have good UI intuition, and probably live in a major metropolitan area with the demand. Silicon Valley is probably the top paying place for these skills.

Do you find yourself stuck in a job without much prospect for advancement? Ever think about going down a different path where you can learn and advance? What holds you back?

By Randall Parker 2013 May 26 05:49 PM 
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2013 May 25 Saturday
White Girls In Britain Forced Into Prostitution By Pakistanis

The failure of Britain's elites:

Rochdale, Rotherham, Derby, Oxford. The towns change, but the pattern is always the same. Gangs of men, mainly of Pakistani Muslim heritage, lure white girls as young as 10 with gifts and displays of affection. Next, the girl is raped as a way of “breaking her in”. Once the child’s spirit is subdued, and her mind fogged with drugs, she is sold for sex to multiple men at £200 a time. If the girl tries to break away, a gang member might threaten to behead her or firebomb her home. Mohammed Karrar, who was found guilty in the Oxford sex-grooming case this week, took a scalding hairpin and branded one girl so she would know she was his property. Later, the gang gave the same girl a DIY abortion. She was 12 years old. And this, all this, is happening in Britain now.

Allison Pearson is optimistic that there will be Britons in a hundred years' time.

I reckon Britons in a hundred years’ time will look back at us in outraged astonishment for allowing Islamic schools to flout the laws of the land and teach boys that women are worthless. All Islamic schools should be obliged to introduce mixed-sex classes, so boys can learn at first hand that girls are their equals, or those schools should be closed.

Hope springs eternal.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 25 09:08 PM 
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Jonathan Turley: Administrative State 4th Branch of Government

Administrators rule us.

The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the federal government itself: It is not just bigger, it is dangerously off kilter. Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.

This has been driven home by the IRS versus Tea Party flap. Though it seems unlikely that low level employees in the Cincinnati IRS office acted autonomously. The bigger problem is that the people who work for the government lean strongly Left and so they are going to be more responsive to the wishes of left wing governments. They'll try to do what they think their masters want.

One of the problems with immigration is that it makes the ratios between elected officials and the governed higher and higher. The power of each individual to have any influence on government accordingly declines. We are getting farther and father away from the New England town meetings where individual citizens had some say.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 25 08:54 PM 
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2013 May 24 Friday
5th Night Of Muslim Immigrant Rioting In Sweden

The BBC News blames the Swedes: "Stockholm riots throw spotlight on Swedish inequality". The BBC can't make sense of the rioting.

It's hard to discern a pattern in the violence that has wracked the Swedish capital Stockholm for five nights.

The Beebe can't find a pattern that would allow the Beebe to avoid conclusions the Beebe doesn't want to reach. So it'll just have to stop thinking.

"Youths" lit cars on fire.

Police in Stockholm are to seek reinforcements after youths set cars ablaze and threw stones at police for a fifth night running, officials said.

"Youths" did it.

In an unusual twist Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist speaks the truth about the immigrants and the welfare state.

“The problem is not from the Swedish government or from the Swedish people,” the editor in chief of Dispatch International said. “The last 20 years or so, we have seen so many immigrants coming to Sweden that really don’t like Sweden. They do not want to integrate, they do not want to live in [Swedish] society: Working, paying taxes and so on.”

“The people come here now because they know that Sweden will give them money for nothing. They don’t have to work, they don’t have to pay taxes – they can just stay here and get a lot of money. That is really a problem,” Carlqvist added.

Why import a population that will do worse economically than the natives, resent you, and hold values inimical to your own?

By Randall Parker 2013 May 24 08:08 PM 
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2013 May 22 Wednesday
The Richwine Flap: What Is Behind the Diversity War?

Education Realist makes a great point mainstream media publications took Jason Richwine's arguments quite seriously until it became convenient to turn on him in a feeding frenzy around the fight over the immigration amnesty legislation in Congress. It speaks to the intensity of the intellectual warfare waged by the major media that they can turn on you very suddenly if one of their cherished goals (flood America with cheap left-voting labor) is threatened.

Richwine is not retreating or apologizing. Good for him.

In fact, I argue for individual IQ selection as a way to identify bright people who do not have access to a university education in their home countries. I realize that IQ selection rubs some people the wrong way, but it can hardly be called “extremist.” Canada and Australia intentionally favor highly educated immigrants. My proposal is based on the same principle they use (pick skilled immigrants), but it offers a much better chance for disadvantaged people to be selected.

Is something else at work here? Has the Left's identity politics made it easier for the moneyed elites to buy the Left?

Before the 1970s, labor unions were the most effective advocates for economic equality in American life. At the same time, they were for the most part indifferent and in some cases actively hostile to the liberatory aspirations of gays, women, and blacks.

Today’s progressives usually see this hostility as an expression of bigotry, and thus miss its strategic significance. For the labor movement, workers’ collective power against employers was vastly more important than individuals’ freedom to pursue their sexual orientation or personal ambitions. The unions’ success in the postwar period is partly attributable to the subordination of all other considerations to the goals improving wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Ethnic pluralism simultaneously makes people less altruistic, less trusting, and less able to come together in solidarity to push for a policy.

More generally, it is hard for a society characterized by ethnic and cultural pluralism to generate the solidarity required for the redistribution of wealth. People are willing, on the whole, to pay high taxes and forgo luxuries to support those they see as like themselves. They are often unwilling to do so for those who look, sound, or act very differently. In this respect, the affirmations of choice and diversity that now characterize American culture, tend to undermine appeals to collective action or shared responsibility. If we’re all equal in our right to live own lives, why should we do much to help each other?

Since the billionaires are so in favor of increased immigration I'm beginning to wonder: Do the wealthy see the destruction of civic engagement as a feature of immigration because it undermines rival power centers?

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

Think about it. If there is no social capital only people who can hire lobbyists and make big payments to support candidates end up having much of a say. The low trust society is a society more easily bought by the wealthiest.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 22 10:38 PM 
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Wall Street Journal Whines About Obama Thuggery

The US electorate is shifting leftward due to immigration. The right wing Wall Street Journal favors the very immigration policies that are causing the right to become increasingly less competitive in elections. As a result Barack Obama holds the Presidency. Yet the WSJ saves its bile for thug tactics of the Obama campaign and Administration to de-fund right wing political action groups.

On Aug. 21, 2008, the conservative American Issues Project ran an ad highlighting ties between candidate Obama and Bill Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground. The Obama campaign and supporters were furious, and they pressured TV stations to pull the ad—a common-enough tactic in such ad spats.

What came next was not common. Bob Bauer, general counsel for the campaign (and later general counsel for the White House), on the same day wrote to the criminal division of the Justice Department, demanding an investigation into AIP, "its officers and directors," and its "anonymous donors." Mr. Bauer claimed that the nonprofit, as a 501(c)(4), was committing a "knowing and willful violation" of election law, and wanted "action to enforce against criminal violations."

Hey Wall Street Journal. This is the result of the immigration policies you support. Live with the results. Your political views will become irrelevant as a result of the policies you support.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 22 09:50 PM 
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Greek Economy Shrinks 19 Quarters In A Row So Far

One more quarter to hit 5 years of continual shrinkage.

Greece peaked at 55.3 billion euros in Q3 2007 and it is down by over 32%. So getting close to a one third drop. A pretty high price for Euro membership.

How big are elite mistakes? Naturally much bigger than mistakes of lower ranked people. They've got more power to make bigger mistakes. They've also got more power to use to deny they made big mistakes. So they keep making them again. US immigration policy is a case in point.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 22 09:45 PM 
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2013 May 20 Monday
On The Decline Of the Factory Worker

A Businessweek article outlines the hardball that Caterpillar has played against old industrial unions.

In January 2012, Caterpillar locked out union workers at a locomotive factory in Ontario after they rejected a pay cut of about 50 percent; the company shuttered the plant and moved production to Muncie, Ind., where workers accepted lower wages.

Cat's (probably correct) argument is that they need low labor costs to compete against foreign competitors. What this means for American factory workers: poverty.

This inequity angers Caterpillar workers. John Arnold, a 35-year-old parts auditor at Caterpillar’s Morton (Ill.) distribution facility, says some of his co-workers are on food stamps. “I don’t understand how a company can make billions and billions of dollars in profits and have people on welfare,” says Arnold, who has worked for Caterpillar since 1999 and makes $15.66 an hour.

I know someone who works in a factory who'd be thrilled to get $15 per hour. An operator of a wood cabinet maker pays his most skilled workers $30 per hour as foremen. That's the top. But robots will wipe out most of those jobs in about the next decade.

Employment for the least educated is declining. Check out this NY Times Economix blog post with graph on relative employment changes since December 2007. For college grads employment has risen. Oeople with some college, high school grads, and high school drop-outs are losing the race. The big decline in employment even for high school grads tells me the era of the zero marginal productivity worker has arrived.

Every time I walk into a grocery store I look to see how many self check-out stations it has. Every time I go into a fast food joint (admittedly not often) I look to see if any have yet spun around the ordering panel and given customers the ability type in their orders directly. Haven't seen this yet. Have you? This is happening already in Europe. It will happen in America.

Readers, some of you are living on the margin for becoming steadily less employable. You could get laid off. Then your skills would start to rust. At that point your ability to retrain would decline with increasing poverty. Accept that you are at risk. Aim to develop clearly valuable skills. Insulate yourself from the forces cutting the demand for many kinds of labor.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 20 09:08 PM 
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2013 May 19 Sunday
Venezuela Government Refuses To Understand Basic Econ

Price controls in Venezuela are causing shortages and long lines. The Venezuela government claims a conspiracy is behind shortages of sugar, flour, butter, and toilet paper. The toilet paper shortage is causing long lines

About a fifth of products are not available.

According to data from Venezuela's Central Bank, the scarcity index rose to 21% last month, the highest since the bank started tracking the measure in 2009. This means that out of 100 goods, 21 are not available.

The Venezuelan government wants to use the calming effect of a glut of toilet paper: "We are going to saturate the market so that our people calm down." Who knew? Got a disturbed person on your hands? Buy them large amounts of toilet paper. It is like Valium.

Know anyone in Venezuela? You could send them a very large crate of toilet paper. They'll be able to use it to calm their nerves. With a 10 year supply they'll be able to give some away to earn favors with their bosses, co-workers, neighbors, and many others.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 19 10:32 PM 
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Families Without Sons Kidnap Babies In China

In March, the China Daily reported that there were around one million families who had lost children in China. Some 76,000 families lost a child each year, the newspaper claimed.

Many of the victims are young boys who are then sold to families who are in search of a son.

I see a big business opportunity. Take something like Microsort's technology for separating X and Y sperm. Start up a business for it in Vietnam, South Korea, or Taiwan: any place which is short flight from China. A big business could be made selling this service to prospective Chinese parents, tilting the odds in favor of a boy.

Microsort doesn't have a 100% accuracy. But a couple could combine sperm separation with IVF and pre-implantation genetic testing to get guaranteed sex of offspring. Add in some testing for genetic variants that correlate with higher IQ and suddenly the case for doing this becomes very compelling.

Embryo selection is going to become a really big business when genetic tests can be used to detect and reduce offspring harmful genetic load and boost IQ and other measures of function.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 19 08:57 PM 
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2013 May 15 Wednesday
Jim Chanos: Lower Classes Invest Too Late

Very wealthy hedge fund short Jim Chanos states the tragedy of modern investing: The lower classes come late to any bubble and get burned.

“The people you are trying to help don’t get the message till the end of move,” Mr. Chanos said. “You keep impoverishing them.”

Anyone know of a good way to watch investment patterns by income level? I bet middle class stock buying is a late bubble signal.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 15 08:13 PM 
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2013 May 12 Sunday
Upper Class Chinese Kids Doing High School In NY City

Some Chinese families looking for a competitive advantage in applying to elite American universities are sending their kids to upper class high schools in New York City.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, 638 Chinese students with visas attended high schools in the city in 2012, up from 114 five years earlier.

Will America's top universities successfully transform themselves into the preferred training schools for all the world's elites? Will Americans become small subsets of the student bodies at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton? These universities want to internationalize. As the Chinese upper class do a much better job of training their kids to speak English and do extracurricular activities then they will do a better job of getting into elite institutions.

But the rising effectiveness of the Chinese upper class to prepare their kids for Ivy poses a problem for the Ivy League. The current admissions practices where each race has a different level of ability they need to demonstrate in order to win entrance will translate into widening gaps between the races as the quality of Chinese applicants rises even higher. This will be most notable at the second tier Ivy schools and at other second tier schools. So many high quality Chinese applicants will try for Brown, UPenn, Duke and other not-quite-top schools that the gap between the Chinese and non-Chinese students at those schools grow even wider. We could end up with a situation where the average Chinese student at, say, Brown will have higher scores than the average student at Harvard.

What I wonder: Will some 2nd tier non-Ivy school be tempted to dump political correctness and go purely for admissions based on scores? If Stanford was willing to go very unconventional they could pull ahead of their Ivy competitors. They could reduce their risk of getting duped by SAT cheaters and those who take SAT prep courses by also administering IQ tests to prospective students. The SAT could be the first pass filter. Then IQ and other ability tests could be required to be done with a school's own staff delivering the tests and with biometric testing of the test-takers. A school willing to cross the threshold into measuring ability with the best tools available would gain a large competitive advantage. Throw in scholarships based on ability and a school could move up the league into the top ranks by recruiting students with great minds that Yale and Harvard will reject.

Another way a school could get a competitive advantage: take students 1 or 2 years sooner. Go for 16 and 17 year olds before the top schools will consider them. Then put those kids on a faster track. Give those kids the ability to study, watch video lectures and take tests 24x7.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 12 10:09 PM 
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2013 May 11 Saturday
USG Pushing Unconstitutional College Speech Codes

The government which rules over Americans is trying to further reduce free speech on college campuses. Militant leftist feminism. What Obama voters chose.

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2013—In a shocking affront to the United States Constitution, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have joined together to mandate that virtually every college and university in the United States establish unconstitutional speech codes that violate the First Amendment and decades of legal precedent. 

"I am appalled by this attack on free speech on campus from our own government," said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has been leading the fight against unconstitutional speech codes on America's college campuses since its founding in 1999. "In 2011, the Department of Education took a hatchet to due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct. Now the Department of Education has enlisted the help of the Department of Justice to mandate campus speech codes so broad that virtually every student will regularly violate them. The DOE and DOJ are ignoring decades of legal decisions, the Constitution, and common sense, and it is time for colleges and the public to push back." 

The constitution is no match for democracy.

In a letter sent yesterday to the University of Montana that explicitly states that it is intended as "a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country," the Departments of Justice and Education have mandated a breathtakingly broad definition of sexual harassment that makes virtually every student in the United States a harasser while ignoring the First Amendment. The mandate applies to every college receiving federal funding—virtually every American institution of higher education nationwide, public or private. 

The letter states that "sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as 'any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature'" including "verbal conduct" (that is, speech). It then explicitly states that allegedly harassing expression need not even be offensive to an "objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation"—if the listener takes offense to sexually related speech for any reason, no matter how irrationally or unreasonably, the speaker may be punished. 

Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind, sees this new federal mandate as a threat to the ability to teach the truth about human nature:

I am reminded of the Dark Enlightenment series by Nick Land. (same here)

Civilization, as a process, is indistinguishable from diminishing time-preference (or declining concern for the present in comparison to the future). Democracy, which both in theory and evident historical fact accentuates time-preference to the point of convulsive feeding-frenzy, is thus as close to a precise negation of civilization as anything could be, short of instantaneous social collapse into murderous barbarism or zombie apocalypse (which it eventually leads to). As the democratic virus burns through society, painstakingly accumulated habits and attitudes of forward-thinking, prudential, human and industrial investment, are replaced by a sterile, orgiastic consumerism, financial incontinence, and a ‘reality television’ political circus. Tomorrow might belong to the other team, so it’s best to eat it all now.

Truth has great value. But the Left has made ignorance about human nature a status signal for moral superiority. The Left seeks to silence realists and the Left has made great strides in that direction. For example, the Left has managed to hit the Mute button on the manager class in America when it comes to human nature. The labor law and lawsuit consequences of speaking the truth effectively silences managers. Academics without tenure are silenced. Even those with tenure have to look at where their grant money comes from and behave accordingly. The result: the ranks of those with free speech have shrunk for decades. the Left keeps trying to push further. Students have more freedom than working adults. Well, the Left wants to change that. Similiarly, the Left works to silence think tank writers who dare point out the emperor has no clothes. Most of the Right responds in a cowardly fashion. The decline continues.

Update: Read Ron Unz's essay Our American Pravda. Democracy in America is not working well. The press in America performs far worse than we need it to. This has been the case for many decades. We need better mechanisms for detecting falsehoods and bringing attention to what is important.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 11 08:03 AM 
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The Elites Should Pay For Their Policies

Better late than never. Peter Hitchens, brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, wrote a great piece on immigration for the Daily Mail several weeks ago. The Marxists (and other elites) have contempt for the masses. What we need to do about irresponsible policy makers and policy proponents: force them to live up close and personal with the results of their policies.

When I was a Revolutionary Marxist, we were all in favour of as much immigration as possible.

It wasn't because we liked immigrants, but because we didn't like Britain. We saw immigrants - from anywhere - as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties.

Also, we liked to feel oh, so superior to the bewildered people - usually in the poorest parts of Britain - who found their neighbourhoods suddenly transformed into supposedly 'vibrant communities'.

If they dared to express the mildest objections, we called them bigots.

Revolutionary students didn't come from such 'vibrant' areas (we came, as far as I could tell, mostly from Surrey and the nicer parts of London).

We might live in 'vibrant' places for a few (usually squalid) years, amid unmown lawns and overflowing dustbins.

But we did so as irresponsible, childless transients - not as homeowners, or as parents of school-age children, or as old people hoping for a bit of serenity at the ends of their lives.

When we graduated and began to earn serious money, we generally headed for expensive London enclaves and became extremely choosy about where our children went to school, a choice we happily denied the urban poor, the ones we sneered at as 'racists'.

I would love to make the people who order and implement policies have to live up close and personal with the results.

A great constitutional amendment: Require that only parents of serving military be allowed to run for the US Senate. When they vote let their vote put their own kid in danger.

A law I'd like to see: section 8 housing only in upper class neighborhoods. No section 8 housing in middle class neighborhoods.

The elites need to pay for their policies. You have other ideas for how to make them pay?

By Randall Parker 2013 May 11 07:43 AM 
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2013 May 10 Friday
Muslim Fundamentalists Best Funded Rebels In Syria

Allies of the United States government (as distinct from allies of America) are funding the least secular and most Islamist rebel organization in Syria.What the allies are up to:

Syria's main armed opposition group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), is losing fighters and capabilities to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist organisation with links to al-Qaida that is emerging as the best-equipped, financed and motivated force fighting Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Will the new regime coming to Damascus be ruled by Jihadists? Looks that way. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding the fundies.

"The fear is that both the Saudis and the Qataris are competing for influence in Syria by pouring in support to rival groups of jihadist fighters, and that Syria is descending into the depths of hell as a result," said Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a US research group dedicated to improving American strategy in the Middle East.

Syria's Christians need a place to flee to.

(AINA) -- Syria's Christians fear an Islamist takeover should the current government be overthrown. During the ongoing civil war there has been a well-documented rise in the number of salafi-jihadist groups operating in Syria that pose a direct threat to Syria's Christian community.1 These militant opposition forces espouse an Islamist ideology, which incorporates elements of Wahhabism2 and Salafism3 and whose stated goals and objectives are by definition hostile towards Christians. Firsthand accounts from Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon reported by award winning investigative journalist Nuri Kino detail the horror in which they described kidnappings, rapes, harassment, theft and other violent reprisals at the hands of Islamist groups.

What would be sensible: let Egypt's, Syria's, and Iraq's Christians move to Lebanon and reestablish a Christian majority there.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 10 08:37 PM 
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2013 May 06 Monday
China Helps America Take Cyber Security Seriously

Yet another case where the conventional wisdom is wrong: The Chinese attempts to steal technology and infiltrate computer networks are doing the United States of America a big favor.

But the Pentagon report describes something far more sophisticated: A China that has now leapt into the first ranks of cybertechnologies, investing in electronic warfare capabilities, searching for ways to blind American satellites and other space assets, and using a combination of electronic and traditional weapons systems to gradually push the United States and others behind the second island chain in the Pacific.

The US government is now trying to send diplomatic signals to get the Chinese to stop. Fools. Contrary take: The US government and corporations will not respond to the threats posed technology theft and cyber attacks without a large on-going attempt to mess with US government and corporate computer networks and servers. Think how complacent the US DOD, NSA, CIA, FBI, and other government agencies would be without so many break-in attempts by the Chinese military. The time to find out we have major holes is not the international crisis moment when we really need to have bulletproof computer security. We need the US government bitch-slapped around repeatedly by Chinese P.L.A. Unit 21398 in order to shift attention and efforts toward real 21st century threats.

Look at the Chechen Muslim bombers for a parallel. The US government is far more intent on muddling around in Syria or Iran than it is in trying to keep Jihadists out of America. Actual attacks are the only sorts of actions that are strong enough to build up enough support to enact politically incorrect (i.e. realistic and beneficial) policies. Even then a proper response is in doubt.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 06 09:36 PM 
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The Unusual Chechens

Mark Hackard on Alt Right says the US used the Chechens to try to break Russia's hold on the Caucusus after the Soviet Union collapsed.

The CIA and US Department of State play a crucial role in creating opportunities for power projection in Eurasia through both covert action and public diplomacy. With this end in mind, US intelligence has deftly used Muslim militant groups against Russian interests, oftentimes subcontracting operations and funding to allied services like those of the Saudis, Jordanians, Turks and Pakistanis. Not only can we list examples of this phenomenon in the Stinger-armed mujahedin of the 1980s and a web of NGOs sustaining the Chechen cause, but also in the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Benghazi-based overthrow of Muhammar Gaddafi in 2011 and the current NATO-backed insurrection against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government. For three decades now this jihadist international has often acted in concert with US geopolitical goals, and within it the Chechens have attained legendary stature.

Hackard quotes Alexander Solzhenitsyn on the Chechens:

But there was one nation which would not give in, would not acquire the mental habits of submission - and not just individual rebels among them, but the whole nation to a man. These were the Chechens…

And here is an extraordinary thing – everyone was afraid of them. No one could stop them from living as they did. The regime which had ruled the land for thirty years could not force them to respect its laws.

This is in line with what War Nerd Gary Brecher wrote about the Chechens:

They seem like one of those tribes that are either going to rule the world or go extinct but nothing in between. They messed with Stalin. I mean, that’s serious stuff. You look back at the 20th c. now and all that Hitler noise seems like kiddie stuff. It’s Stalin who looks like the really big scary figure now. And the Chechens told Stalin to fuck off. Pretty impressive. So they got themselves officially labeled a “Criminal nationality” and shipped off in cattle cars to somewhere in the steppes. It was like training camp for them. All the old and weak and peaceful types just died. The ones that were left — I read this in a Chechen guy’s account of growing up on in the steppes — the kids that survived used to pass the time by fighting. That’s all they did. All day, every day. One kid would go to another kid’s tent and call his name. The kid would come out swinging and they’d fight till it was time to go in and have their gruel or whatever. Broken bones, damaged organs — all part of the fun. You weren’t even supposed to mention them or you weren’t a real man.

Bring some strongly clannish people into a wimpy country like Norway and the native kids are not alright.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 06 08:24 PM 
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2013 May 05 Sunday
US Siding With Al Qaeda Against Iran In Syria?

Mark Krikorian:

Why has the United States decided to side with Al Qaeda against Iran?

By Randall Parker 2013 May 05 10:42 AM 
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US Hispanic Welfare Numbers

Mark Krikorian:

Combine this with declining employment rates for the less educated, even for high school graduates, the widening wealth gap between the races and with the high Hispanic high school drop-out rates. The future of America is dimming.

Some 41% of Hispanics ages 20 and older in the United States do not have a regular high school diploma, versus 23% of comparably aged blacks and 14% of whites.

No Child Left Behind has failed to do the impossible.

Only 7 of 10 ninth graders today will get high school diplomas. A decade after the No Child Left Behind law mandated efforts to reduce the racial gap, about 80 percent of white and Asian students graduate from high school, compared with only 55 percent of blacks and Hispanics.

We've entered the era of zero marginal product workers. The signal is seen most clearly in the form of declining total employment for high school drop-outs and even high school graduates. But Mark Zuckerberg has no reason to be alarmed because the wealthiest are winning.

I tell you: America is rapidly changing demographically, technologically, politically. You've got to up your game or become a loser. Are you still complacent? Or like a deer in headlights? Lazy? You can't afford it.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 05 10:40 AM 
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2013 May 04 Saturday
High School Drop-Out Employment Down 14% Since Dec 2007

From December 2007 until now only jobs for college graduates have grown. Those with college but no bachelors degree are about where they started in terms of total employment since 2007. But since their population has grown their rate

Lower IQ people (including even average IQ people) are getting hit much worse. Total employment for those with just high school degrees is down 9% since December 2007. Total employment for those who didn't even graduate high school is down 14.1%. What is most amazing of all: This is not a front page story while liberal newspapers run stories and columns on why the US should let in more immigrants. Since any immigrant with an IQ less than 115 is going to compete for a dwindling pool of jobs the mainstream elite position on immigration is insane.

Think about what this portends for the future. Automation is going to cut even more low-skilled jobs. Cashiers are already getting replaced by self-serve checkout in Wal-Marts and in some countries McDonalds has installed self-serve ordering machines where people swipe their own bank or credit card to pay.

Lots of companies, including law firms, are implementing a college graduates only hiring policy. Granted this isn't a really high bar. A substantial number of degrees are from easy majors at colleges with lower standards. But that still puts an IQ floor on hiring candidates. Add in some questions in the job interview and suddenly higher IQ lawyers never have to deal with anyone with an IQ below at least 110 or even 115. In some firms the floor has got to be even higher.

In 2012, 39 percent of job postings for secretaries and administrative assistants in the Atlanta metro area requested a bachelor’s degree, up from 28 percent in 2007, according to Burning Glass.

Companies do not use as many secretaries as they used to. Lots of office work has been automated. It seems likely that what remains for humans is harder than what was automated. The degree requirement filters for intelligence and other desired qualities. The article reports on a $10 an hour law office document courier with a college degree. That's what happens when students do not major in useful subjects.

The grim outlook for lower IQ kids makes it imperative that prospective parents embrace genetic testing on IVF embryos as soon as the technology is available. If you have a baby boy in 2013 with an IQ of just 100 IQ his career prospects are going to be bleak.

Demographic changes caused by immigration are lowering the average skill level of the populace. It is therefore not surprising that About a quarter of those between age 25 and 34 are not working. Higher than France, Britain, Japan, Germany, or Canada.

Over the last 12 years, the United States has gone from having the highest share of employed 25- to 34-year-olds among large, wealthy economies to having among the lowest.

This is going to get much worse.

By Randall Parker 2013 May 04 08:44 PM 
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2013 May 03 Friday
If American Guns Wrecking Mexico Why Not Canada?

Barack Obama: "Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States."

Wow. So now I am now very concerned about violence, corruption, lawlessness, and dangerous towns in Canada. We've got lots of guns. They can easily pass over our much much longer border with Canada. What's to stop the guns from causing a breakdown in Canadian governance?

Oh Canada. How you can stay stable next to destabilizing America?

By Randall Parker 2013 May 03 07:01 PM 
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