Sunday, October 07, 2012

IQ linked to levels of happiness

This is to be expected when we realize that IQ is a measure of GENERAL problem solving ability.  High IQ helps with just about everything.  More speculatively, it is consistent with high IQ being one aspect of general biological good functioning

People with lower intelligence are more likely to be unhappy than their brighter colleagues, according to UK researchers.

Their study of 6,870 people showed low intelligence was often linked with lower income and poor mental health, which contributed to unhappiness.

The researchers are calling for more help and support to be targeted at people with lower IQs.

Their findings were published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

The researchers, at University College London, analysed data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in England.

One of the questions was: "Taking all things together, how would you say you were these days - very happy, fairly happy or not too happy?" People's verbal IQ was also assessed.

The highest proportion saying they were "very happy" was found in people with an IQ between 120 and 129 - 43% said they were very happy.

However, the highest proportion saying "not too happy" - 12% - was found in people with an IQ between 70 and 79.

Dr Angela Hassiotis said: "People in the lower end of the normal spectrum are more likely to consider themselves not happy."

The study said lower intelligence was linked to lower income, worse health and needing help with daily life, such as shopping or housework - all of which contributed to unhappiness.

Dr Jonathan Campion, a consultant psychiatrist and director of public mental health at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The study suggests that higher IQ appears to be associated with improved wellbeing, but that this relationship between IQ and wellbeing is partly due to higher IQ being linked with better income, health and less mental illness."



Job increase mainly part-timers  -- if you can believe it at all

Is this the Obama October Surprise?  Only in an era of depressingly diminished expectations could the September jobs report be called a good one. It really isn’t. Not at all.

1. Yes, the U-3 unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the first time it has been below 8% since January 2009. But that’s only due to a flood of 582,000 part-time jobs. As the Labor Department noted:
   The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

2. And take-home pay? Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by just 1.8 percent. When you take inflation into account, wages are flat to down.

3. The broader U-6 rate — which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work and lots of discouraged workers who’ve given up looking — stayed unchanged at 14.7%. That’s a better gauge of the true unemployment rate and state of the American labor market.

4. The shrunken workforce remains shrunken. If the labor force participation rate was the same as when President Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.7%. If the participation rate had just stayed steady since the start of the year, the unemployment rate would be 8.4% vs. 8.3%. Where’s the progress? Here is RDQ Economics:
   Such a rapid decline in the unemployment rate would be consistent with 4%–5% real economic growth historically but much of the decline is accounted for by people dropping out of the labor force (over the last year the employment-population ratio has risen to only 58.7% from 58.4%).  We believe part of the drop in the unemployment rate over the last two months is a statistical quirk (the household data show an increase in employment of 873,000 in September, which is completely implausible and likely a result of sampling volatility).  Moreover, declining labor force participation over the last year (resulting in 1.1 million people disappearing from the labor force) accounts for much of the rest of the decline.

5. As the chart at the top of the post shows — a chart originally produced by Team Obama — even the artificially depressed 7.8% unemployment rate is way above the 5.6% unemployment rate the White House predicted for September 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus package back in 2009.

6. The 114,000 jobs created would have been a good number … but for 1962, not 2012. The U.S. economy needs 2-3 times that number every month to close the jobs gap (which is the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month.) At 114,000 jobs a month, the jobs gap would not close until after 2025, according to the Hamilton Project.

7.  We are still on pace to create fewer jobs this year than last year. In 2012, employment growth has averaged 146,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.

8. White House economist Alan Krueger says the jobs numbers are ”further evidence” the economy is healing. But he’s wrong.

The employment-population ratio, which merely shows how many folks have jobs as a share of the civilian population, was 58.7%. Now that’s up from last month. But it is still far below where it was in June 2009, 59.4%,when the recession officially ended. And it’s even further below the 63% level before the downturn.

Bottom line: The U.S. labor market remains in a deep depression with virtually no recovery since the official end of the Great Recession. But the Long Recession continues unabated.



Obama’s 13 million jobs gap

In this recession, the economy has lost a net 3.4 million jobs from its 2008 peak that have not yet been recovered. Meanwhile the working age population has grown by more than 11.1 million since then — creating a 13.5 million and widening jobs gap that will not be filled easily no matter who wins the election on Nov. 6

At the Oct. 3 presidential debate, Barack Obama tried to put a nice spin on this dismal situation, claiming millions in private sector jobs growth in the past 30 months. But this is false comfort.

Since the job market’s bottom in Dec. 2009, the meager jobs growth we are currently seeing at about 150,000 a month is still not keeping up with population growth of about 200,000 a month.

Therefore, it is had little effect on the unemployed rate, which had been above 8 percent for 43 straight months, the longest period of sustained high unemployment since the Great Depression. 7.8 percent is still not where we need to be.

For new entrants into the workforce, the hiring prospects out there are particularly grim, especially for recent college graduates, about half of whom alarmingly cannot find work according to a Rutgers study.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data bears this out. Since Jan. 2009, the labor force participation rate of college graduates has dropped significantly — from 77.6 percent to about 75.9 percent today. That accounts for about 1 million graduates who should have entered the labor force upon graduation, but didn’t.

Another 1.58 million with some college or an associate’s degree who should have also entered the labor force are nowhere to be found.

Together, that means 2.6 million Americans post-college have promptly joined the ranks of the unemployed. That’s at a rate of 59,581 a month or 714,000 young Americans a year who are falling through the cracks — creating a lost generation.

All of which means the jobs picture is simply going from bad to worse. We’re still bleeding.

To get out of this hole, the economy will need to produce in excess of 200,000 jobs a month just to begin eating into 13.5 million jobs gap and significantly reduce the unemployment rate. But this will not be easy. Even if the economy were to suddenly start creating 400,000 jobs a month, it would take nearly six years just to get back to full employment.

At the current 150,000 new jobs a month, we’ll never get there.

That is why whoever wins in Nov. will have their work cut out for them to make it more conducive for businesses to set up shop here as opposed to overseas. We’ll need to lower or eliminate the corporate tax, unwind unnecessary regulations in health care, the environment and labor, and strengthen the dollar to make it cheaper to do business here again.

In the meantime, systemic, high unemployment creates a tremendous political challenge for Obama. It is he who must face the 22.7 million Americans who can’t find full-time work at the polls, plus 5 million more who have simply given up.

These disenchanted may no longer be willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and will likely find themselves with a little extra time on their hands on Nov. 6 to add one more person to the ranks of the unemployed.



Romney left Obama on the ropes

If Obama has lost the New Yorker...

by Jeff Jacoby

BARACK OBAMA hasn't been in a high-stakes, nationally televised presidential debate in nearly four years. Mitt Romney was in plenty of them over the past 18 months. Last night, it showed.

Heading into yesterday's encounter at the University of Denver, polls showed that voters by a wide margin were expecting Obama to win the three debates that he and Romney have agreed to. But not only did the president fail to knock out his challenger last night, there were long stretches when it wasn't even clear he had remembered to lace up his gloves. On issue after issue, in exchange after exchange, Romney was focused, clear, interesting, and engaged, while Obama repeatedly came across as distracted, irritated, and vague. The former Massachusetts governor was plainly enjoying himself. The president seemed to want nothing more than to run out the clock and bring a painful evening to an end.

I didn't hear any devastating zingers, but Romney came equipped with memorable lines. The Obama economic philosophy, he said early on, amounts to "trickle-down government." The tens of billions of dollars the administration has sunk into failed "green" energy companies, he quipped, shows that "you don't pick winners and losers, you just pick the losers." To the president's repeated claim that Romney's tax proposals would inevitably result in higher taxes on middle-class earners, the GOP nominee replied affably that as a father of five sons, he was used to people saying something untrue over and over in the hope that repetition would make it more convincing.

When asked for examples of federal spending he would like to cut, he cheerfully cited subsidies for PBS. "Sorry, Jim," he smilingly told moderator Jim Lehrer, who is practically a PBS icon. "I like PBS. I like Big Bird – I even like you!" A humorless Obama, by contrast, snapped at Lehrer when he thought the moderator had cheated him out of five seconds of response time.

Romney channeled Muhammad Ali last night, floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee. He left Obama on the ropes.



The Undoing Of The Storybook Man

CNN ditched coverage of the speech after Romney's line about Chicago

Jonah Goldberg

If you've seen the "Shrek" movies or the spin-off cartoon starring the storybook cat voiced by Antonio Banderas, you know what I'm talking about. Whenever Puss in Boots really needs something from someone, he flashes these enormous kitten eyes that melt anyone in their path. Whenever my daughter really wants something, she tries to lay them on me, and I have to say, "Stop trying to give me the Puss in Boots eyes ... you can't have chocolate cake for dinner."

I knew Barack Obama was miserable when he tried to give debate moderator Jim Lehrer the Puss-in-Boots eyes. "You may want to move on to another topic," Obama implored Lehrer, a bit like a motorcycle thief begging a cop to take him into custody rather than let him stay with the surly biker gang that caught him.

I expected Romney to beat expectations and win the debate (though I had no clue how decisive his victory would be), not because I thought Romney was such a fantastic debater, but because Obama is the single most overrated politician of my lifetime.

That's not to say he's a bad politician. He's not. He's fine, even pretty good. But he's not the master so many people claim he is.

The Irish have a saying: "Hunger makes the best sauce." And it's true. If you're hungry enough, roadkill will make for a king's feast. Liberals were so hungry for someone like Obama, he seemed like so much more than he really was.

You could hear indications of this fact in the way some of the more crotchety members of the Democratic establishment described Obama.

Sen. Harry Reid was blown away by the potential of this "light-skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

In 2007, Joe Biden said of his then-opponent, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." He added: "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Storybook Man, indeed.

While such comments could be described as racially insensitive, they weren't necessarily racist. They simply reflected the fact that even cynical Democrats understood that the Democratic Party -- and, to be fair, much of the country generally -- craved a mainstream black presidential candidate. Jesse Jackson was too polarizing, some would say too embarrassing, for the job. Obama, meanwhile, was "storybook, man."

The problem for Obama was that he always believed the most ludicrous version of Storybook Man. He once told a reporter, "You know, I actually believe my own [bovine excrement]."

For a guy who supposedly gives wonderful speeches, he rarely persuades the un-persuaded or inspires those he didn't already have at "hello." That's partly the fault of his speechwriters, who always did him the disservice of producing the kind of pedantic and clichéd boilerplate that Obama mistook for soaring oratory. He thought he smashed through the Democratic primaries like a battering ram through concrete when he mostly pushed on open doors.

As president, he's convinced himself that he is a policy wonk with a deeper understanding of the machinery of government and the mysteries of the economy than even his advisors. And yet he had to learn on the job that "shovel-ready jobs" were magic beans sold to him by party hacks hungry for pork. He bought a stimulus that only stimulated political cronies. In the debate, he touted windmills and solar power as the energy sources of the future as if he still honestly believes that.

The media's infatuation with Obama and/or their contempt for his critics only served to reinforce his delusions. When the press laughs at all of your jokes and takes your glib excuses as profound insights, the inevitable result is a kind of flabby narcissism. Kings can be forgiven for thinking they are the greatest poets when the court weeps at their clunky limericks.

The Obama who delivered a shockingly lackluster convention speech last month is the same man who walked into that Denver stadium in 2008 to rapturous approval. The man who lost the debate Wednesday night is the same man who never managed to make Obamacare popular after more than 50 speeches and pronouncements on it in his first year.

The key difference now is that the hunger for Obama has been replaced with the indigestion that follows after four unimpressive years in office. In sales, they say you sell the sizzle, not the steak. In 2008, the man was all sizzle, and the ravenous throng was sold. Now he must sell the steak itself, and it's full of gristle, fat and bone. He may yet still close the deal, but only if people fall for his Puss in Boots eyes.




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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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