Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent"

The study excerpted below is amusing. It is coming out in a sociology journal but concentrates on psychology to the exclusion of sociology! Amazing what can happen when you have an axe to grind!

The article is mostly speculation and theorizing but it does have some actual findings about IQ on which to build its house of cards. But the writer totally overlooks the social context in which the findings were gathered. They are not IQ findings from adults but rather findings about adolescents. The fact that data about adults were not presented is of course the giveaway.

The study found that the more intelligent adolescents were more liberal. So what does that prove? As someone who has taught both psychology and sociology at university level, I have little doubt what it means: It means that more intelligent kids are better at picking up and absorbing the lessons drummed into them by our Left-dominated educational system. It means no more than that. The sociological context overlooked is, in other words, the fact that the individuals concerned were still at school. I think that can reasonably be called: "Overlooking the obvious".

For the findings among random samples of adults, see here. Much more pesky!

More intelligent people are significantly more likely to exhibit social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history. Specifically, liberalism and atheism, and for men (but not women), preference for sexual exclusivity correlate with higher intelligence, a new study finds.

The study, published in the March 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Social Psychology Quarterly, advances a new theory to explain why people form particular preferences and values. The theory suggests that more intelligent people are more likely than less intelligent people to adopt evolutionarily novel preferences and values, but intelligence does not correlate with preferences and values that are old enough to have been shaped by evolution over millions of years." ....

In the current study, Kanazawa argues that humans are evolutionarily designed to be conservative, caring mostly about their family and friends, and being liberal, caring about an indefinite number of genetically unrelated strangers they never meet or interact with, is evolutionarily novel. So more intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals.

Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) support Kanazawa's hypothesis. Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as "very liberal" have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as "very conservative" have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.

Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans' tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see "the hands of God" at work behind otherwise natural phenomena. "Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid," says Kanazawa. This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers. "So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists."

Young adults who identify themselves as "not at all religious" have an average IQ of 103 during adolescence, while those who identify themselves as "very religious" have an average IQ of 97 during adolescence.



An Unbridgeable Philosophical Divide?

One quickly realizes the major philosophical and principle divide between liberals and conservatives when they painfully deconstruct and analyze their respective rhetoric. Conservatives and liberals are worlds apart in their ideology; an ideology that is now more than ever serving as the impetus for bold and endlessly complex legislation foisted on the already burdened American people. Conservative cling to the power of equality of opportunity and unfettered freedom; while liberals, on the other hand, are fearfully willing to sacrifice the hard earned dollars of honest Americans for the freedom of equal outcomes.

To illustrate the point, let’s examine some of the more recent contentious political issues to better test and illuminate this hypothesis.

Healthcare: The Left was willing to sacrifice individual freedom to choose doctors, opting instead to impose a state-run monopoly on medical care at the expense of a market driven health system. They unabashedly didn't care that they were redistributing income from the more productive to the less productive; from the young to the old; from the healthy to the less healthy. In contrast, conservatives looked towards market solutions to resolve many of the existing health care issues, one that operated within a framework of the invisible hand of rational behaviors and the proper incentives. If cost is a factor in health care as liberals would argue, then why not ensure the solution has a price-based fixture?

Cap and Trade: Under the Democratic plan, income derived from a cap and trade scheme would be redistributed from productive carbon producing enterprises to non-carbon emitting enterprises. In effect, jobs would be lost, shifting from the USA to less responsible, emerging countries. Wealth would also shift from America to non- compliant nations; for what reason? Because of spotty, inconclusive scientific evidence that reduced carbon emissions would prevent global warming. Conservatives questioned that science. Not because they were Neanderthals. But when you ask the average American to pay $5 for a gallon of gas to save an iceberg in a remote part of the north he may never see when that same person is struggling to pay that month’s mortgage or he himself will be out in the cold, you better be damn sure of the consequences of “global warming.” Frankly, the Left failed in that argument.

Union Card Check: Democrats were willing to sacrifice the sanctity of a secret ballot to insure that Unions could fleece more American workers. With members (and clout) dissipating at record rates, it’s evident union bosses are feeling their grip on power lifting. It was easy to see this political exercise for what it was – a desperate bid to win at all costs, even if it meant cooking the ballot box at union halls. Here again, conservatives stood on an obvious side – the one for more freedom and more individualism.

McCain-Feingold: Democrats howled when the Supreme Court recently overturned corporate prohibitions in the landmark McCain-Feingold law. Here again, they’re willing to sacrifice the constitutionally-protected free speech of corporations and their shareholders. This has the long term effect of preventing this segment of society from spending their corporate dollars on political issues that are or are not in their best interest. The beauty of our First Amendment is captured best in its simplicity – when you abridge someone’s right to speak out for causes he/she believes in, no amount of demagoguing will cover that injustice.

In the real world, most Americans are neither completely liberal nor conservative in their overall views. Views and opinions change, based on one's own station in life and through differing circumstances. That's why we have laws, based on fundamental principles of what's just. Because if left to the devices and whims of populists, so-called principles would change in an instant, and freedoms would suffer. That's why conservatives look back to the Founders - they approached the building of this nation with the freshest of views - chief among them was the unfailing pursuit toward more, not less, freedom.

For the most part, Americans prefer their politicians this way as well. They would much rather have a President in the middle of the political spectrum, regardless of political affiliation, rather than have a polarizing dictator trying to sink their teeth into the free world. In fact, when policy is proposed, whether it has the appearance of being liberal or conservative, once it's vetted through the rigor of intense partisan debate, it usually comes out somewhere along the middle of the political divide. When it comes to the personal lives of Americans it is important to realize that views and opinions continue changing as individuals move up the economic bracket, get an education, have a family and gain a matured perspective.

Our laws are continuously based on fundamental social philosophies of what elevates the quality of the society as a whole. After all, we do not only live for ourselves, but we are active members in a society of people in which dignity, respect and honor must be at the core of growing our great nation. However, with that being noted, the populous is an accurate gauge to feel the pulse of a nation that can only survive if the populous are in the middle class and don’t infest the lower strata of the economic stratosphere.

Conservatives will never be able to cogently persuade a true liberal who is more than willing to sacrifice his freedom and income (and yours) so that there is absolute perceived equality. Likewise, liberals will never persuade conservatives to sacrifice their individual freedom and hard earned wealth to be redistributed by bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, DC. For this reason alone, the Left and Right will never meet. It’s probably good that they don’t, for conflict is at the heart of democracy. I’m just glad I and my conservative colleagues are on the side of liberty!



Tax cuts and deregulation ended the Great Depression

Obama has a glimmering of that but much more needs to be done in that department

What finally ended the Great Depression? That question may be the most important in economic history. If we can answer it, we can better grasp what perpetuates economic stagnation and what cures it.

The Great Depression was the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. From 1931 to 1940 unemployment was always in double digits. In April 1939, almost ten years after the crisis began, more than one in five Americans still could not find work.

On the surface World War II seems to mark the end of the Great Depression. During the war more than 12 million Americans were sent into the military, and a similar number toiled in defense-related jobs. Those war jobs seemingly took care of the 17 million unemployed in 1939. Most historians have therefore cited the massive spending during wartime as the event that ended the Great Depression.

Some economists —especially Robert Higgs— have wisely challenged that conclusion. Let’s be blunt. If the recipe for economic recovery is putting tens of millions of people in defense plants or military marches, then having them make or drop bombs on our enemies overseas, the value of world peace is called into question. In truth, building tanks and feeding soldiers —necessary as it was to winning the war— became a crushing financial burden. We merely traded debt for unemployment. The expense of funding World War II hiked the national debt from $49 billion in 1941 to almost $260 billion in 1945. In other words, the war had only postponed the issue of recovery.

Even President Roosevelt and his New Dealers sensed that war spending was not the ultimate solution; they feared that the Great Depression —with more unemployment than ever— would resume after Hitler and Hirohito surrendered. Yet FDR’s team was blindly wedded to the federal spending that (as I argue in New Deal or Raw Deal?) had perpetuated the Great Depression during the 1930s.

FDR had halted many of his New Deal programs during the war —and he allowed Congress to kill the WPA, the CCC, the NYA, and others— because winning the war came first. In 1944, however, as it became apparent that the Allies would prevail, he and his New Dealers prepared the country for his New Deal revival by promising a second bill of rights. Included in the President’s package of new entitlements was the right to “adequate medical care,” a “decent home,” and a “useful and remunerative job.” These rights (unlike free speech and freedom of religion) imposed obligations on other Americans to pay taxes for eyeglasses, “decent” houses, and “useful” jobs, but FDR believed his second bill of rights was an advance in thinking from what the Founders had conceived.

Roosevelt’s death in the last year of the war prevented him from unveiling his New Deal revival. But President Harry Truman was on board for most of the new reforms. In the months after the end of the war Truman gave major speeches showcasing a full employment bill —with jobs and spending to be triggered if people failed to find work in the private sector. He also endorsed a national health care program and a federal housing program.

But 1946 was very different from 1933. In 1933 large Democratic majorities in Congress and public support gave FDR his New Deal, but stagnation and unemployment persisted. By contrast, Truman had only a small Democratic majority —and no majority at all if you subtract the more conservative southern Democrats. Plus, the failure of FDR’s New Deal left fewer Americans cheering for an encore.

In short the Republicans and southern Democrats refused to give Truman his New Deal revival. Sometimes they emasculated his bills; other times they just killed them...

After many years of confiscatory taxes, businessmen desperately needed incentives to expand. By 1945 the top marginal income tax rate was 94 percent on all income over $200,000. We also had a high excess-profits tax that had absorbed more than one-third of all corporate profits since 1943 —and another corporate tax that reached as high as 40 percent on other profits.

In 1945 and 1946 Congress repealed the excess-profits tax, cut the corporate tax to a maximum 38 percent, and cut the top income tax rate to 86 percent. In 1948 Congress sliced the top marginal rate further, to 82 percent.

Those rates were still high, but they were the first cuts since the 1920s and sent the message that businesses could keep much of what they earned. The year 1946 was not without ups and downs in employment, occasional strikes, and rising prices. But the “regime certainty” of the 1920s had largely returned, and entrepreneurs believed they could invest again and be allowed to make money.

As Sears, Roebuck and Company Chairman Robert E. Wood observed, after the war “we were warned by private sources that a serious recession was impending. . . . I have never believed that any depression was in store for us.” With freer markets, balanced budgets, and lower taxes, Wood was right. Unemployment was only 3.9 percent in 1946, and it remained at roughly that level during most of the next decade. The Great Depression was over.

More here



Report: Obama drops Consumer Protection Agency plan: "The Obama administration is reportedly backing down from demanding a separate consumer protection agency in its plan to overhaul the financial regulatory system. The Washington Post reported Thursday that the White House is willing to compromise with lawmakers skeptical of creating a stand-alone agency. … The agency had been envisioned to regulate sales and marketing of mortgages, home equity lines of credit, credit cards and other consumer financial products. Supporters have suggested that community group representatives sit on the board to make sure it addresses individuals’ concerns. Many business groups have stood in strong opposition to the creation of a new bureaucracy, arguing that such an agency would add an unnecessary layer of regulation and bureaucracy that will raise the costs of consumer financial products and limit innovation.”

Spain: Abortion law angers conservatives, Catholics: "Spain approved a sweeping new law yesterday that eases restrictions on abortion, declaring the practice a woman’s right and doing away with the threat of imprisonment, in part of a drive toward liberal policies that has angered conservatives and the Catholic Church. The new law allows the procedure without restrictions up to 14 weeks and gives 16- and 17-year-olds the right to have abortions without parental consent. The senate’s passage of the bill yesterday gives it final approval. The bill brings the country in line with its more secular neighbors in northern Europe and is the latest of a series of bold social reforms undertaken by Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who first took office in 2004 and has ruffled feathers among many in the traditionally Catholic country.”

Whose body is it?: "[Bruce] Tower has prostate cancer. He wanted to take a drug that showed promise against his cancer, but the Food and Drug Administration would not allow it. One bureaucrat told him the government was protecting him from dangerous side effects. Tower’s outraged response was: ‘Side effects — who cares? Every treatment I’ve had I’ve suffered from side effects. If I’m terminal, it should be my option to endure any side effects.’ Of course it should be his option. Why, in our ‘free’ country, do Americans meekly stand aside and let the state limit our choices, even when we are dying?”

The Marco Rubio phenomenon: "Rubio is still behind Crist in fundraising, but Rubio’s rise is something those who favor more limited government should note. If he wins the Senate race he will look like a giant killer, and will be a credible presidential candidate in 2016. From a distance it appears that Rubio is a lot like President Obama, notwithstanding their very different political views. Both rose out of nowhere, apparently, and as a Hispanic minority Rubio, like Obama, will appeal to the ‘diversity’ crowd. If Rubio wins the Senate that parallel will surely be noted. But Rubio and Obama differ in more than just their political views.”

"Historic" Obama victory plates that sold for $20 now $2 at Big Lots: "Just got back from Big Lots while making my weekly Arugula and Wagu Beef run and they had a big stack of handsomely boxed limited run Obama commemorative plates for $2. They used to sell for $20+S&H on TV. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Even though they were placed on an endcap at the front of the store, it didn't look like they were moving. Anyone want to wager this rather embarrassing remaindered stock vanishes very quickly due to an "anonymous" bulk buy?"


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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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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