Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Race, IQ and wealth:  A preliminary reply

In  The American conservative,  Ron Unz has written  what I think is the only plausible attack on the Lynn & Vanhanen thesis that national prosperity is tied to average national IQ.  As he himself remarks, it is amusing that the Leftists who oppose the thesis have never even attempted a dissection of the evidence for it.  A conservative had to do the job for them. 

The person best equipped to reply to Unz is of course Richard Lynn, and I imagine he will do so in due course.  In the meanwhile, however, I hope I may be able to add a few notes that will be helpful towards developing the debate. 

I don't intend to "fisk" what Unz has written  but I cannot help noting my amusement at this statement:  "Greeks and Turks have a bitter history of ethnic and political conflict, [but] modern studies have found them to be genetically almost indistinguishable".  He would be crucified if he said that in Greece!

So for a start, let me say that I adopt a middle way.  I think some IQ differences are important but don't think we can take all the Lynn statistics at face value and generalize from them.  Why?

1). As even Lynn would admit, the sampling underlying most of them is poor to nonexistent.  They are simply what is available and may therefore not be representative.

2). As a libertarian conservative, I see the prevalence of free markets as the key to prosperity so cannot see an overwhelming influence for IQ.  Lynn might argue that smart people create market-dominated societies but there are too many instances of that not happening for that the be a good reply.  Nobody disputes the high IQ of the Chinese and the Russians, for instance, but both are still tyrannies, although now more market-oriented than they were.

3).  The correlation between IQ and prosperity is supposedly .80, which is extraordinarily high.  For comparison, the contribution to IQ from genetics is usually held to be around .60.  I am inclined to think that should set an upper bound for the contribution of IQ to prosperity.  A very clear reason why the Lynn correlation is so high, however, is that it is an "ecological" correlation:  A correlation between sets of pooled data.  Such correlations are often very high and, as such, tend to exaggerate the underlying relationship.

4).  The IQ figure that seems to matter  in national development is not the mean (average) but rather the "smart fraction"  -- i.e. the average IQ of the top 5%.  This may not always track the national mean  -- particularly in societies of mixed ethnicity. 

An outstanding example of that is Israel.  The brilliant contribution that Israel makes to knowledge generally (science, technology and even culture) cannot be denied yet Israel has on the latest Israeli army figures an average IQ of only about 100 -- which is typical of Western European societies that have nothing like the per head intellectual productivity of Israel.  How come?  It is because Israel is ethnically mixed (to put it mildly).  The largest slice of the Jewish population came from Muslim lands,  where IQs tend to be low, but there is also a substantial Ashkenazi (Western) element in the population that is generally brighter and which, more importantly, creates a smart fraction that is very smart indeed.  That very bright smart fraction at the top of Israeli society is what accounts for Israel's outstanding intellectual accomplishments and the high level of Israeli civilization generally.

So it is only insofar as the smart fraction tracks the average IQ that average IQ is important to an understanding of economic development.  It probably does do so in ethnically homogeneous populations but such populations are becoming increasingly rare.

5).  And that leads me on to my next point: I admit to being a latecomer to the study of history but it has nonetheless been the focus of most of my studies for the last 20 years (See here, here  here and here) and one thing that no student of European history can deny is the vast population movements and interminglings that have occurred in Europe for at least the last 2,000 years.   European populations  have been put through such a blender that it is rather a wonder that there are still different languages in Europe.  That being so, I would not expect great differences between the innate abilities of different European nations.   The considerable economic differences observable are therefore attributable to politics:  How market-oriented have their political systems been?

So I would argue that Unz was studying precisely the wrong population subset in looking at predominantly European populations.  If West Germany had not had the Adenauer/Erhardt combination immediately after the war might not Germany now be among the poorer countries of Europe?  The rather dismal East German experience would certainly suggest so.  So I am arguing that it is politics, not IQ, that accounts for differences in prosperity among European nations.

So what IQ differences do I take seriously?  One that I am still  doubtful about is Hispanics.  I long ago challenged the validity of the figures that suggested a lower Hispanic IQ.  It seemed to me that the great civilizational achievements of the pre-conquistador Meso- and South-Americans cast such figures into doubt.  But this study of poor educational progress among Hispanic children is hard to get around. So it is rather interesting that  Unz has pulled out some recent GSS figures that  show Hispanics as having a much higher average IQ than was thought.   But how many Hispanics participate in the GSS survey?  Maybe only the brighter ones.

Another  doubt concerns the poor assimilation of Hispanic youth.  The children of just about any immigrant group that has come to America have usually assimilated completely to the host society.  Your surname may be Krikorian, which means that your parents came from Armenia, but you yourself will be so assimilated that you may even  head an American think-tank.  But such a complete assimilation seems to be missing from the children of Hispanics.  Anyone famililiar with Hispanic gangs will not be surprised to hear that the children of Hispanics born in the USA are highly crime-prone, though not as crime-prone as blacks.  Crime is strongly associated with intelligence (negatively) so this would on face value suggest a low average IQ in the group concerned.  In this case, however, the very fact that most are the children of people who broke the law may account for their criminality.  

In summary, I think the old Scottish verdict of "not proven" is best applied to all claims about Hispanic IQ.  The indicators are conflicting.

One IQ difference that I have no doubt about, however, is the most incendiary and "incorrect" one of all:  The black/white difference.  It is at once multiply replicated and multiply validated.  To put that another way,  it always emerges in any examination of it and blacks behave exactly as you would expect a low IQ group to behave, with appallingly low levels of occupational, economic and educational achievement and appallingly high levels of criminality.  They are so bad at getting what they want by legitimate means that they very frequently resort to crime to get some semblance of what they want.  And that applies not only to African-Americans but also to Africans in Africa, Africans in Britain and Africans everywhere.

And American academics and educators have run themselves ragged trying to get black educational achievement up to white levels. They have tried everything conceivable for many years without success.  IQ and educational achievement are highly correlated but among blacks the IQ required for a high level of educational achievement is usually just not there.

How the nationalisation of parenting stoked the British summer riots of 2011

‘We have nationalised child-raising’, claimed Shaun Bailey, head of the charity My Generation, during an autopsy of the riots and looting that swept England in summer 2011. Bailey continued: ‘People think that the government is responsible for their children - that weakens the family structure. One of the worst things as a parent is having nothing to teach your children; one of the worst things as a child is to believe that authority lies outside your parents.’ (1)

Now, I am spontaneously prone to questioning the pronouncements of Big Society worthies such as Shaun Bailey. I have no idea what My Generation actually is; according to the Charity Commission records, it has now ‘ceased to exist’. And it was striking that, having denounced the ‘nationalisation’ of parenting by the state, Bailey’s proposed solutions seemed to involve yet more of the same: for example, that school pupils should be taught about ‘parenting’ from an even earlier age.

But Bailey’s diagnosis of the dangers inherent in eroding parental authority was absolutely spot on. By attempting to ‘nationalise’ childrearing, whether by providing classes to instruct parents in officially approved childrearing methods or by using schools to inculcate children in a heightened awareness of the failings of their mothers and fathers, in recent decades, government parenting policy has stripped parents of their directly authoritative role.

Instead of being the boss of their own homes, parents are situated as mediators in the relationship between the child and the state, and told that their primary responsibility is not to do right by their child but to show that they are doing the right thing according to the current parenting orthodoxy. The effect of this, as Bailey suggested last year, is to disorient both parents and children, as both question the basis for parental authority.

Was this what caused the riots last summer? Not on its own. The behaviour of those young people engaged in the mayhem was profoundly shocking - but so, too, was the response of the adult population, from the middle classes cowering in their living rooms and boasting about that in the press, to the failure of the police to intervene decisively. What underpinned the chaos was the open collapse of adult authority, and this should have provided a wake-up call to our society about the need to grow up and take responsibility for the younger generations.

But the problem of parental authority forms an important part of the generalised crisis of adulthood, and it is worth reflecting on the relationship between the two.
Nationalised parenting and the problem of discipline

My book Standing Up To Supernanny is largely a critique of ‘parent bashing’, where parents are held singlehandedly responsible for everything that might go wrong with their kids, from a decayed tooth to teenage angst, to failure to achieve top grades in their numerous (and increasingly, apparently meaningless) school exams. The widespread acceptance of parental determinism is one of the most limited and cowardly ideas of our time. It seeks to find a simplistic personal cause to every social problem, and has the effect of absolving society at large from doing anything other than nagging parents about how to behave (see: Parental determinism: a most harmful prejudice, by Frank Furedi).

For all the reasons that officials like to bash parents, it was not surprising to see this technique emerge as part of the response to last summer’s riots - for example, in prime minister David Cameron’s opportunistic scapegoating of 120,000 ‘troubled’ families as the cause of the modern malaise. But what was, if anything, worse than the parent-bashing was the outpouring of fatalism that situated ‘poor parenting’ within a comprehensive list of the ills of the modern age.

On 14 August 2011, for example, the Independent claimed that the riots were the product of ‘a perfect storm of school holidays, rising living costs, warm weather, cautious police tactics, rolling TV news and social media, [alongside] deep-seated social and cultural problems, including poverty, failing schools, gangs, joblessness, materialism and poor parenting’.

In some sections of the press, this generalised sense of angst quickly morphed into the idea that the riots were merely an understandable - even tacitly condonable - reaction to the naff consumerism of modern life, economic problems, the behaviour of bankers, and anything else that the liberal intelligentsia might not like about twenty-first-century Britain (including the weather). As such, the more interesting critiques of the problem of contemporary parenting culture were deftly sidelined when they could have been directly addressed and debated.

For example, parent-bashing tends to assume that parents don’t care enough about their kids. Yet evidence of recent decades suggests that, whether they live in leafy Surrey or inner-city Tottenham, parents are putting more time, energy and anxiety into trying to do right by their kids than any previous generation. The problem is that they increasingly seem to lack the authority to mould their kids into an image of responsible adulthood; meaning that when 18-year-olds start having toddler tantrums and trashing their own neighbourhoods, nobody knows quite what to do.

The problem of parental authority in the immediate aftermath of the riots was most clearly expressed in parents’ complaints about how they felt disempowered in their ability to discipline their children. Having been told by social services and other official agencies that the only permissible forms of discipline were those associated with ‘positive parenting’ - in other words, praise and persuasion, which are not forms of discipline at all - they felt helpless to control their kids when their behaviour started to get out of control.

Some, including London mayor Boris Johnson and the Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, have engaged with this problem, and made some welcome arguments as to why restrictions on parents’ disciplinary methods have gone too far and why parents should be able to smack their children when necessary. However, the recognition of the need for parental discipline needs to be underpinned by a broader sense that it is adults who make the rules, and that it is right for them to impose sanctions when things go wrong.

For parents to exercise authority, there has to be a presumption of parental authority. This presumption has been in decline for some time, but it is now becoming clear just how comprehensively it has been eroded by two decades of ‘nationalised’ parenting policy.

The slow demise of adult authority

The anxiety about out-of-control youth is not new. Historians have noted a particular peak in this anxiety in the immediate postwar period, when anxieties about the emergence of the ‘teenager’ developed as a particular law-and-order problem in the form of ‘juvenile delinquency’. John R Gillis’s 1974 book, Youth and History, describes the concerns like this:

‘The notion of a period of life freed from the responsibilities of adulthood was too easily distorted by the more restive members of the younger generation into the frightening image of the rebel without a cause. And if rising rates of delinquency were not enough to give second thoughts, there was also the realisation that even the more benign features of adolescence, including its political passivity and social conformity, mirrored other well-known weaknesses of adult society.’ (2)

Alongside anxieties about delinquent youth, there were also concerns about the decline of the authoritative adult, and the consequences of this for failing to contain problems. For example, John Barron Mays wrote, in his 1961 article about ‘Teenage Culture in Contemporary Britain and Europe’: ‘The majority of those who rebel in this period would, given adequate support and firm but sympathetic leadership, adjust to their growing-up problems in socially acceptable ways. But the failure of older members of the community, especially of parents and educators, to give them adequate support, makes them temporarily easy victims for the illegal promptings of a handful of seriously maladjusted and emotionally disturbed instigators.’ (3)

Even though, in the 1950s, there was a fear that adults weren’t quite up to the job of keeping all the young people in check, there remained a sense that the ‘rebels without a cause’ were a minority who could, and should, be brought under control. Despite the often bleak view of adult society at that time, there was still a clearly understood distinction between adults and children, and a view that adult society needed to sort its own problems out, rather than indulge the lashing-out of its youth.

By the time Christopher Lasch wrote his bleakly prescient 1977 book Haven in a Heartless World: The Family Besieged, the decline of authority within the adult community at large was both mirrored and exacerbated by the erosion of parental authority within the family. Part of this problem, according to Lasch, was the extent to which agencies and cultural influences external to the family were taking on increasing aspects of the socialisation process.

In consequence, argued Lasch: ‘Relations within the family have come to resemble relations in the rest of society. Parents refrain from arbitrarily imposing their wishes on the child, thereby making it clear that authority deserves to be recognised as valid only insofar as it conforms to reason.’ This resulted in a ‘growing gap between discipline and affection’ in the American family at that time, where discipline was outsourced. (4)

Lasch’s argument about the distinctiveness of parental authority from that imposed by other agencies is important to address. For Lasch, it is problematic when the authority of mum and dad appears just like the authority of a teacher, a politician or a boss, in that it has to be earned, and that it can and should be questioned. That is because relations within the family are different from relations within the rest of society. Family relations are implicit, affective, emotional, physical; parental authority is all-encompassing in a way that official diktat never can be.

That is why the phrases ‘I’ll tell your mum’ or ‘wait ’til your father gets home’ have historically had far greater import with children than being given detention at school or told off by a policeman for throwing stones at derelict buildings. Today, though, the phrase ‘you’re not the boss of me’ is as likely to be used in backchat to a mother or father as it is to a teacher. Adult authority has become so diminished that, culturally, no source of authority is assumed to carry weight over younger generations.

Why authoritarianism is no substitute for authority

One consequence of the undermining of parental authority, according to Lasch, is authoritarianism: ‘Law enforcement comes to be seen as the only effective deterrent in a society that no longer knows the difference between right and wrong.’ In contemporary Britain, one clear consequence of the undermining of tacit forms of authority - that of parents, primarily, but also that of adults within the community - has been that the only people who are ‘allowed’ to exercise discipline over children are those who have been specifically charged by the state with this task, and trained accordingly.

So teachers, probation officers, social workers and community co-optees who have undergone Criminal Records Bureau checks and attended certain training courses are presented with a badge of authority, which is supposed to signal that they are to be trusted and that they should be obeyed. Anyone who falls outside the sphere of official regulation - parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbours, family friends, residents of a community - is warned, by a combination of cultural norms and the direct threat of sanction, to hold back.

This has important consequences for the sense of adult authority in general. If parents feel nervous about smacking, or shouting at, their own children, they feel 10 times more nervous about imposing their authority upon other people’s children. In this situation, the need for control over youth is either batted back to the parents, whose ability to do it is constrained by the orthodoxy of ‘positive parenting’, or it is handed over to the authorities, who, it turns out, cannot do the job either.

This latter point was starkly revealed during last summer’s riots, with the collapse of the police. In August 2011, Omar Malik, whose flat was caught up in what The Sunday Times describes as the ‘moral blaze’, called the police twice and the fire brigade three times, in vain. ‘We felt completely abandoned in our hour of need’, he said. When he asked his five-year-old son to draw a picture of the fire, as ‘therapy’, he recalled that, ‘the child drew his burning home with firefighters pointing their hoses in the wrong direction, while police stood by doing nothing’ (4).

The failure experienced by Malik’s family, and indeed by the communities affected by the riots, was not simply the police being too inept to do their job. It was a sense that all adult authority had suddenly disappeared. And if society loses that fundamental sense that the adults are in charge, then you can arm a body of men as much as you like but it won’t be able to contain the problem.

The British police force currently has a number of institutional problems, all of which contribute to its often apparent inability to act effectively; but its paralysis in the face of young people is intrinsically related to the wider anxiety about who is the boss in the adult-child relationship. Police officers, like teachers, social workers and others, are trained according to the idea that young people are supposed to be listened to, negotiated with, flattered and cajoled, but never criticised or forced to behave. So when they don’t behave, all hell breaks loose.

In this regard, the crisis of adult authority today goes far deeper than that described by Christopher Lasch in 1977. He warned that its absence would lead to law enforcement being seen as the ‘only effective deterrent’ to wrongdoing - in fact, when the distinction between right and wrong really does become lost, transgressors do not even consider the possibility that they might be held to account for breaking the law.

This was perhaps best summed up by the much-reported story of the female looter who was caught on a shop’s CCTV camera trying on shoes before she stole them: the surprise was less that she stole the shoes than that she never considered that she would be held to account for doing so. It was previously revealed in the arrogance of some of the students protesting against the education cuts, who did not bother to conceal their identities when causing damage, and were surprised when the cops come knocking at their door.

It should be stressed that the upshot of the police lacking authority over young people is not that we will have a kinder, more humane society. Rather, the inability to act in an authoritative way merely leads the police force to seek blunter technical means of enforcing social control - as with the bizarre discussion about the need to use water cannons and other violent tools in the face of any future riots.

Within the family as well, the erosion of adult authority does not mean that children enjoy more freedom of expression, or that they are raised to become happier beings. As Shaun Bailey said: ‘One of the worst things as a child is to believe that authority lies outside your parents.’ If there is one positive lesson that we can learn from last summer’s riots, it is that the nationalisation of parenting makes everything worse, and that reclaiming our kids would indeed make the world a better place.


What matters most... the right of the Rock Gods to make a racket - or YOUR right to a quiet life?

If a man burst into your house and started painting the walls, you’d throw him out and call the police. You wouldn’t care if he said: ‘But I really like this colour. So should you.’

If a stranger bustled into your kitchen and cooked a meal for you, then ordered you to eat it, you’d think he was mad, even  if he said: ‘But I really like this sort of food. So should you.’

The same would go for anyone who made you watch his choice of TV programme, or compelled you to read the books he liked.

Why is it, then, that some individuals are allowed to force their taste in noise not just on their neighbours, but on thousands of people? Lovers of rock music may think that everyone shares their liking for screeching electric guitar chords, shouted lyrics and a perpetual factory thump. They are mistaken. Millions actively loathe this form of entertainment.

But these days they have to listen to it. It throbs from passing cars. It pervades cinemas.  It is the chosen background of TV advertising and is almost universal in shops. I might add that the USA sometimes uses it as a form of torture, sorry, persuasion, and I can quite see why.

Increasingly, it also howls and roars from city parks. Thanks to a change in the law a few years ago, parks have ceased to be islands of peace and have instead become the frequent location for so-called concerts, often sponsored by local authorities who need all the money they can get to service the huge debts they have run up in 30 years of spendthrift excess.

Those living nearby must, on several nights of the year, endure someone else’s bad taste. You may have planned a peaceful evening or an early night. But you can’t have one, thanks to the monstrous selfishness of the rock cult.

Because of this problem, the authorities have been slowly fumbling towards an attempt to limit the invasion of noise into millions of private night-times.

So it was that last weekend, in London’s Hyde Park, Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney, those omnipotent demigods of rock, were – amazingly – compelled to shut up. No doubt there were sighs of joy in thousands of homes nearby.

But the petulant, inconsiderate cult of rock didn’t get it. The audience booed. Members of Springsteen’s band moaned that Britain was a ‘police state’ because the freedom to enjoy peace was – for once – elevated above the freedom to make a loud noise.

London’s populist mayor, Alexander ‘Boris’ Johnson, a supposed conservative, sucked up to the guitar cult. He brayed: ‘If they’d have called me, my answer would have been to jam in the name of the Lord.’

Who then speaks for those who want a quiet life?


A do-gooder fraud

In Afghanistan it's mop-up time. As foreign armies eye the exits, a meeting in San Francisco last week was a different kind of mopping-up for a non-combat force that is likely to remain on the ground in central Asia.

Around the table were seven new directors of the Central Asia Institute, appointed by order of state authorities in Montana, hoping to instil badly needed management and accounting rigour in a multimillion-dollar charity better known globally through the titles of books written by its co-founder Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools.

The mountaineer Mortenson's style and timing were exquisite. He might have remained an obscure and well-meaning aid-worker, were it not for the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, which turned the world focus on central Asia. But this shy, former trauma nurse's Indiana Jones appeal made him a darling of philanthropists and the military and, very soon, his struggling charity was awash in millions.

Amid rising disillusionment over the war in Afghanistan, Mortenson's stories of schools for girls and his daring-do adventures in making them happen were heart-warming, inspirational - and utterly believable. Such was Mortenson's appeal, he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize. And when he was edged out of the running by Barack Obama, the US President thought it politic to donate $100,000 of his winnings to Mortenson's charity.

A cloud still hangs over the veracity of Mortenson's story telling.

By some accounts, his first published account of his first school project in Pakistan has none of the drama of more breathless subsequent accounts, which tell of him getting lost in the Himalayas while attempting to honour the death of his younger sister by placing her amber necklace atop the forbidding K2 peak - and his promise to reward his local rescuers by building a school in their village.

His tale of holding the hand of the dead Mother Teresa is problematic - apparently he times it three years after her actual death.

Likewise, a Pakistani academic is furious over Mortenson's depiction of his family as a bunch of Taliban fighters who kidnapped him and seemingly would have killed him. The academic says he was Mortenson's guide, his family are village notables and the American was their honoured guest in wild country on the Afghanistan border.

Mortenson's Stones into Schools includes a photograph of the 13 Kalashnikov-wielding Waziri tribesmen who "abducted him"; the academic produces another picture for The Sunday Times in London - Mortenson hamming it up for the cameras as he brandishes his own Kalashnikov.

The cloud remains, because numerous claims of Mortenson presenting fiction as fact and of bending fact to make it sexy have not been tested beyond being outlined in media reports. But the Montana investigation of CAI's financial operations is damning.

Published in April, the investigation paints Mortenson as a plunderer of the donations for schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan - spending millions of dollars on charter jets, family holidays and personal items. Overseen by a board of himself and loyal associates, staff who challenged Mortenson's spending were resisted or simply ignored, the report finds.

At a glance, it might be argued that the man, the charity, the books and the schools were all the same project and that a blurring of the finances was inevitable. But the year-long investigation overseen by the Montana Attorney-General, Steve Bullock, suggests a more calculated bilking of the donors.

It reveals a deal worth $3.96 million for CAI to buy Mortenson's books from online dealers, which saw Mortenson benefit by earning his royalty, rather than CAI benefiting through a publisher's discount. And though an agreement was drawn up for Mortenson to donate the equivalent of the royalties he earned on the CAI-purchased books back to the charity, he did not.

Likewise, CAI paid $2 million for charter jets to haul him to some of his hundreds of speaking engagements. But the investigation found that Mortenson was "double-dipping" - while CAI paid for the travel, he pocketed travel fees and honorariums paid by the event organisers. Mortenson was paid as much as $30,000 for speaking fees, only $7500 of which went to the charity.

The investigation also identified more than $75,000 charged as personal items by Mortenson and his family to CAI credit cards, "including LL Bean clothing, iTunes, luggage, luxury accommodation and even vacations". In examining 10 years of CAI credit card activity, the investigation found receipts and support documents for just 38 per cent of the total amounts charged.

As early as 2002 - which, effectively was the first year of the Afghanistan war - the CAI board attempted to strip Mortenson of some of his duties as executive director but, the report says, tension grew and three board members "were effectively ousted".

Similarly, when audits turned up problems, the response was to stop auditing rather than to fix problems.

Bullock effectively sacked the board - and called for the new, expanded membership that gathered for the first time last week. Mortenson was allowed to continue as a paid employee of CAI, but he is banned from voting as a member of the board and he has been ordered to pay back more than $1 million to the charity.

Given that Mortenson is to remain CAI's public face, a letter he has published on the charity's website is disappointing. It points to the Attorney-General's report elsewhere on the CAI website, but at the same time it glosses over its findings, almost as though the author thinks he got away with it.

Mortenson blithely states CAI's one-by-one schools survey is continuing, without acknowledging why it is being undertaken - a charge by the American 60 Minutes program that some of the school projects did not exist.

Of 30 visited by the program, six did not exist. The others either were empty or in use as fodder stores; and had not been funded by CAI for years or had not been built by the charity.

The report reads as a morality tale for Washington. Just as few would doubt Mortenson's altruism, the liberties he took with funds, which donors believed were destined for educational projects, reflect the recklessness of a shabbily managed American venture in Afghanistan.



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, GUN WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.



Ron Unz said...

Thanks for the very thoughtful discussion, probably the most detailed I've yet noticed on the Internet.

Regarding one of your major points, you might want to read a previous article of mine which addressed this exact topic:


As you might suspect, it provoked a very vigorous Internet debate, which you can follow at this link:


Given that you're located on the other side of the world, you're obviously forced to rely upon particular American sources for your information and if these are mistaken, it's easy to inadvertently fall into serious error.

TheOldMan said...

I read somewhere that IQ is like the markings on a measuring cup - you still need to fill it with something.

jonjayray said...


Yes I take your point about age adjustment for illegals but note that I was concerned about the CHILDREN of illegals

Although it was not my central concern, I do note that Obama deports only serious criminals (according to him) but also says he deports 400,000 of themn p.a.

That's a heck of a lot of serious criminals

Ron Unz said...

Please do read my article a bit more closely. As I pointed out at length, the Rumbaut et al. numbers are almost certainly incorrect, massively exaggerating the Hispanic imprisonment skew between Foreign-born and American-born segments. And relying upon the Obama deportation data as evidence of "serious criminality" is totally absurd: the deportations involve things like traffic tickets, driving without a license (illegals being unable to obtain licenses), or lying about immigration status.

Frankly, the topic of Hispanic crime rates is an extremely specialized and complex one, and requires a great deal of care to avoid serious misteps.