Saturday, November 30, 2013
Boris Johnson: some people are too stupid to get on in life
What Boris says below is fully supported by modern psychometrics but is in any case broadly obvious. Even Jesus Christ knew those basics 2,000 years ago: "The poor you will always have with you" -- Matt. 26:11 (NIV)
Economic equality will never be possible because some people are too stupid to get ahead, Boris Johnson said on Wednesday night.
Natural differences between human beings will always mean that some will succeed and others will fail, the Mayor of London said in a speech.
Despite calling for more to be done to help talented people from poor backgrounds to advance - including state-funded places at private schools - Mr Johnson said some people would always find it easier to get ahead than others. "Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130," he said.
Addressing the Centre for Policy Studies in London, Mr Johnson suggested that economic inequality was useful because it encouraged people to work harder.
He said: "I don't believe that economic equality is possible; indeed, some measure of inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and keeping up with the Joneses and so on that it is a valuable spur to economic activity."
He added that free markets involved competition between "human beings who are far from equal in raw ability".
Mr Johnson also repeated warnings against persecuting the rich, saying that wealth and success should be celebrated. He also recounted how after making that argument in a recent Telegraph column, he said he was subject to "frenzied and hate-filled" criticism.
None the less, he suggested that the gap between rich and poor had grown too wide and more must be done to ensure that talented people from less wealthy backgrounds can "rise to the top".
Poor children should get state-funded places at private schools - a scheme abolished by Labour in 1997 - and competition between pupils should be restored, he said. His call for academic selection once again put him at odds with David Cameron, who has rejected Tory calls for the return of grammar schools.
Mr Johnson is the latest senior Tory to express fears that social mobility has declined. Sir John Major warned recently that public life had become dominated by the privately-educated and the wealthy middle classes. In his lecture devoted to the memory of Margaret Thatcher, Mr Johnson said: "I worry that there are too many cornflakes who aren't being given a good enough chance to rustle and hustle their way to the top.
"We gave the packet a good shake in the 1960s, and Mrs Thatcher gave it another good shake in the 1980s with the sale of the council houses. Since then there has been a lot of evidence of a decline in social mobility."
He also said it was time to end the "madness" of the immigration system.
"Guardian" dishonesty about IQ
The Left are ever-ready to lie and deceive in defence of their secular "equality" religion. And nothing enlivens their defensiveness more than the truth about IQ. Below is an excerpt from an unsigned article in the Leftist "Guardian" in response to the Boris Johnson story above. The author is not ignorant. He knows something about his subject. So his deceptions are deliberate. I include some limited fisking of the article as you read through it. I could say much more but I think that what I do say is enough to display the dishonesty in the article
An intelligence quotient (IQ) score below 85 doesn't mean much unless you know which measure of intelligence is being used. Dozens of different IQ tests, each with their own scoring systems have been developed over the years and there is no single definitive go-to measure.
For example, Mensa (the high IQ society) will accept the following scores on each of these exams to become a member.
Cattell III B - 148
Culture Fair - 132
Ravens Advanced Matrices - 135
Ravens Standard Matrices - 131
Wechsler Scales - 132
The author here is being particularly crooked. He is conflating raw scores with scaled scores. The convention is that raw scores are not meaningful until they are converted into scale scores with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. So all that the examples above show is that the raw scores used by Mensa are equivalent once conventional norming and scaling is done. Mensa gets it right. The Cattell test looks particularly deviant only because is uses an SD of 20 instead of 15 but that is known and confuses nobody except Guardian journalists
Mensa claims that their members have IQs that put them in the top 2% of the population. So, if Johnson was talking about the Cattell IIIB exam when he referred to the 2% with an IQ over 130, it's already clear that he got his numbers wrong.
This isn't the first time that the London mayor has come under fire about IQ scores. While he was editor of the Spectator magazine, one columnist wrote: "Orientals ... have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole". Johnson subsequently apologised for the publication.
Johnson had no need to apologize. That polarity has repeatedly been demonstrated in the research. East Africans in particular are remarkably pin-headed. Many of the ones I see about the place in Brisbane would be suspected of microcephaly if they were white
Why stop there though when it comes to making rash IQ claims? Once you start to dig into the raft of studies, most of which point in opposite directions, the findings are quite remarkable. Here are just a few we've come across. Do let us know in the comments below which ones you're particularly interested in:
A review of 63 scientific studies concluded that religious people are less intelligent than atheists.
But the differences were minute and probably artifactual. See here and here
IQ tests measure motivation as well as intelligence - those who are less motivated to get a high score will not perform as well.
The effect of motivation is minimal. See here
Walter E. Williams
One of the oldest notions in the history of mankind is that some people are to give orders and others are to obey. The powerful elite believe that they have wisdom superior to the masses and that they've been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Their agenda calls for an attack on the free market and what it implies -- voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do. Therefore, free markets are replaced with economic planning and regulation that is nothing less than the forcible superseding of other people's plans by the powerful elite.
Because Americans still retain a large measure of liberty, tyrants must mask their agenda. At the university level, some professors give tyranny an intellectual quality by preaching that negative freedom is not enough. There must be positive liberty or freedoms. This idea is widespread in academia, but its most recent incarnation was a discussion by Wake Forest University professor David Coates in a Huffington Post article, titled "Negative Freedom or Positive Freedom: Time to Choose?" (11/13/2013) (http://tinyurl.com/oemfzy6). Let's examine negative versus positive freedom.
Negative freedom or rights refers to the absence of constraint or coercion when people engage in peaceable, voluntary exchange. Some of these negative freedoms are enumerated in our Constitution's Bill of Rights. More generally, at least in its standard historical usage, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. As such, a right imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference. Likewise, my right to travel imposes no obligation upon another.
Positive rights is a view that people should have certain material things -- such as medical care, decent housing and food -- whether they can pay for them or not. Seeing as there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy, those "rights" do impose obligations upon others. If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something he did earn.
If we were to apply this bogus concept of positive rights to free speech and the right to travel freely, my free speech rights would impose financial obligations on others to supply me with an auditorium, microphone and audience. My right to travel would burden others with the obligation to purchase airplane tickets and hotel accommodations for me. Most Americans, I would imagine, would tell me, "Williams, yes, you have the right to free speech and travel rights, but I'm not obligated to pay for them!"
What the positive rights tyrants want but won't articulate is the power to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another. After all, if one person does not have the money to purchase food, housing or medicine and if Congress provides the money, where does it get the money? It takes it from some other American, forcibly using that person to serve the purposes of another. Such a practice differs only in degree, but not kind, from slavery.
Under natural law, we all have certain unalienable rights. The rights we possess we have authority to delegate. For example, we all have a right to defend ourselves against predators. Because we possess that right, we can delegate it to government, in effect saying, "We have the right to defend ourselves, but for a more orderly society, we delegate to you the authority to defend us." By contrast, I don't possess the right to take your earnings to give to another. Seeing as I have no such right, I cannot delegate it.
The idea that one person should be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another has served as the foundation of mankind's ugliest and most brutal regimes. Do we want that for America?
Australian PM quietly shifts UN position to support Israeli settlements, upsetting Palestinians
The Abbott government has swung its support further behind Israel at the expense of Palestine, giving tacit approval to controversial activities including the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
Acting on instructions from Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, government representatives at the United Nations have withdrawn Australia's support for an order to stop "all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories".
While 158 countries supported the UN in calling for an end to Israeli settlements, Australia joined eight other countries, including South Sudan and Papua New Guinea, in abstaining from voting. Labor governments under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard condemned the settlements.
Many within the international community regard the expansion of Israeli settlements as an act of hostility towards Palestinians, hampering the likelihood of peace.
The UN resolution calls for "prevention of all acts of violence, destruction, harassment and provocation by Israeli settlers, especially against Palestinian civilians and their properties".
The Abbott government has also indicated it no longer believes Israel, as an "occupying power", should be forced to comply with the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
At the UN meeting, 160 countries supported ordering Israel to "comply scrupulously" with the conventions. Australia was one of five countries to abstain. Six countries voted against the resolution, including Israel, the US and Canada.
A section of the Geneva Conventions, which Australia no longer supports in regard to Israel and Palestine, states "the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".
The UN votes have largely gone unnoticed during the past fortnight as the Australian media has fixated on the Indonesian spying crisis.
"A shame, in the deepest sense": Bob Carr comments on Australia's decision to vote against the resolution. Photo: Marco Del Grande
In keeping with the Abbott government's tight hold on information, there have been no news conferences about these changes in Middle East policy.
Nor did the Abbott government consult the Palestinian community before making the changes, according to the head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi.
"It is very regrettable," Dr Abdulhadi said. "There was no transparency in their approach."
Former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr described Australia's withdrawal of support for Palestine as "a shame, in the deepest sense".
The executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, Colin Rubenstein, said he "emphatically [welcomed] the government's principled leadership in changing these votes, reverting to the Howard/Downer position".
Ms Bishop's spokeswoman said the minister was on a plane and could not respond to questions.
Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said she was surprised to hear about the changes to Middle East policy through the media with no formal confirmation from the government.
"It's quite extraordinary that [the government] would make such a large change without reporting back to Australians," Ms Plibersek said on the ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.