Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Orlando Patterson has some good thoughts on America's black underclass:

"Several recent studies have garnered wide attention for reconfirming the tragic disconnection of millions of black youths from the American mainstream. But they also highlighted another crisis: the failure of social scientists to adequately explain the problem, and their inability to come up with any effective strategy to deal with it. The main cause for this shortcoming is a deep-seated dogma that has prevailed in social science and policy circles since the mid-1960's: the rejection of any explanation that invokes a group's cultural attributes - its distinctive attitudes, values and predispositions, and the resulting behavior of its members - and the relentless preference for relying on structural factors like low incomes, joblessness, poor schools and bad housing."

Hard to argue with that. But what does Patterson see as the ultimate cause or causes of the large and maladaptive black underclass culture? He seems not to know -- perhaps in part because his past theories have been so thoroughly taken apart -- e.g. here. If he can't ultimately blame "whitey" he is bereft of ideas.

Crazily enough, "whitey" IS partly to blame -- but not in a way that Patterson seems able to face up to. Before the welfare explosion of the ill-starred LBJ's "Great Society", blacks mostly lived in two-parent families and were in general much less mired in social pathologies. Leftist welfare schemes are certainly not the only source of black problems but it is amazing that any sociologist cannot look just a little way back into history and see in how many ways blacks were better off before such schemes.

If Patterson wanted a quick refresher course in the history of these matters, he could find it in a recent article by Kay Hymowitz. She notes that between 1965 and 1980, "the out-of-wedlock birthrate among blacks had more than doubled, to 56 percent. In the ghetto, that number was considerably higher, as high as 66 percent in New York City. Many experts comforted themselves by pointing out that white mothers were also beginning to forgo marriage, but the truth was that only 9 percent of white births occurred out of wedlock..."



Another physical basis for IQ: "Researchers at England's John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, report that our brain's pH--how acidic or alkaline it is--might be a clue to our intelligence. Using a technique called magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), researchers examined the brains of 42 British schoolboys. Just as its close cousin MRI creates vivid images of a person's internal anatomy, MRS lets doctors study an organ's chemistry. When the British scientists compared the lads' IQ scores with their MRS results, they uncovered an intriguing relationship: the smarter the boy, the more alkaline his brain. Although the relationship between alkalinity and aptitude didn't hold for every aspect of intelligence, verbal skills and reading comprehension seemed especially linked to pH, the Radcliffe team reports in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

European economic stagnation: "Europe's well-intentioned model is not working because it does not pay to work after the taxman has taken his share. Europe is not innovating because it does not pay to innovate after the huge costs of complying with all the prescriptions, limitations and restrictions in all Europe's overabundant licences and autorisations. Demoralization is the real cause of Europe's stagnation. Europe's workforce is tired of being incessantly hindered in its task of producing wealth. Demoralization is the reasen why ever more engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs flee Europe's tax misery. Paradoxically, the Old Europe of the West must now learn from the New Europe of the East, where after years of disastrous socialism, low and simple flat taxes are being introduced, luring investors from all over the world."

The truth about Africa: "Africa is quite rich. As the economist Walter Williams of George Mason University wrote, "In terms of natural resources, Africa is the world's richest continent. It has 50 percent of the world's gold, most of the world's diamonds and chromium, 90 percent of the cobalt, 40 percent of the world's potential hydroelectric power, 65 percent of the manganese, millions of acres of untilled farmland as well as other natural resources." What Africa needs is not "aid," but less corruption".

Islamic barbarism increases support for Israel: "A Gallup poll released last month puts American support for Israel at near-record levels. When asked for their views on the Middle East, 59 percent of Americans say they sympathize with the Israelis, while just 15 percent favor the Palestinians. Pro-Israel sentiment rises with increased knowledge -- 66 percent of those who follow international affairs "very closely" support Israel, compared with 52 percent of those who don't pay close attention. Other findings are comparable. More than two-thirds of Americans say their overall view of Israel is favorable; only 11 percent have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian Authority."

Even "The Guardian" loves the House of Lords these days -- for good reason: "When Lord Armstrong rises to amend the government's ID cards bill in the House of Lords tomorrow, a new stage will be reached in the epic struggle between the Lords and the forces of darkness in the House of Commons... If the Lords have their way, it will mean the compulsory introduction will be delayed until 2011, well after a general election, which will give the public a second chance to examine and debate the proposals. This would not suit the government, because the public is gradually coming to understand the bill's grave consequences for personal freedom".

World Bank corrupt too: "Back in the early 1980s, Leslie Jean-Robert Pean was in a heap of trouble. Flat broke, in bankruptcy court, he had $10 in a savings account and a whole lot more debts than assets. Over the next half-dozen years, he scratched out a living in a variety of jobs. But in 1989, Pean, an economist, landed a job at the headquarters of the World Bank, in Washington, D.C. By the early 1990s, Pean and his family had bought a big house on 3 acres of manicured grounds outside Washington, and he was passing around $100 bills like so much chump change. "Our dream," the World Bank's mission statement says, "is a world free of poverty," something Pean really understood. The only trouble, bank investigators say, is that he wasn't focusing so much on helping the poor as he was on helping himself. Pean admitted to bank investigators that he had some $2.5 million salted away in a Swiss bank account, but he says it was family money. Pean's activities are now under investigation by federal prosecutors, but to bank investigators the case is far more important than the alleged misdeeds of a midlevel manager whose bank salary never exceeded $166,000 a year. Kickbacks, payoffs, bribery, embezzlement, and collusive bidding plague bank-funded projects around the world"

Chris Brand has just put up a good comment about the European IQ averages I posted yesterday.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here). I also post several times a week on "Tongue-Tied". There is an archive of my "Tongue-Tied" posts here or here


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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