Sunday, December 14, 2014

Japanese north–south gradient in IQ predicts differences in stature, skin color, income, and homicide rate

By Kenya Kura

A fascinating academic journal article from Japan below.  The Japanese and Chinese are less politically correct in talking about race than Americans are -- if only because they mostly believe that THEY are a superior race.  And in average IQ terms, they are.

And the finding below, that high IQ people in Japan are taller, richer and less prone to crime and divorce, agrees well with American findings going back as far as the 1920s.

Not mentioned in the Abstract below but mentioned in the body of the article, is that the Koreans and Chinese score a touch higher on IQ than the Japanese do  -- only by about one or two points but that is in the opposite direction to what one would expect.  The Japanese are more Westernized than the Chinese are  -- though that difference is diminishing rapidly -- so if there were any "Western" bias in the tests (which Leftists often assert there is), one would have expected the Japanese to be slightly ahead.  Clearly, any "bias" in the tests is not detectable in the far East  -- being detectable only by American Ivy League "wisdom".

But there is one point inferable from the findings below that seems at first completely regular  -- the finding that the closer you get to the equator, the browner and dumber you get.  The Japanese archipelago does cover a very considerable North/South range so there is plenty of room for that to emerge. So the really smart Japanese are in the Northern Prefectures of Honshu while the dumbest are in Okinawa.

And in South-East Asia we find the same phenomenon.  Filipinos and Malaysian Bumiputras are notably browner and less bright than North-East Asians.

But that is not as regular as one might think.  There are a number of exceptions to the rule.  South Africa has a climate similar to Europe (if you have experienced a Bloemfontein winter you will know what I mean) yet the Bantu (South African negroes) are no brighter than any other Africans as far as we can tell.  But that is only a superficial puzzle.  The Bantu are recent immigrants originating in central Africa.  The whites in fact arrived in South Africa before the Bantu did.

The Bushmen (original inhabitants) of South Africa are a little more of a puzzle as they are very primitive indeed.  They are short of stature and live these days in extremely arid regions.  Perhaps they always did live in arid regions to escape the many fierce predators in the rest of Africa.

And Tasmanian Aborigines were also at an extremely low civilizational level (they did not even use fire) before white-man diseases killed them all off.  Yet Tasmania has a climate quite similar to England.  Tasmania is however a rather small island that was cut off from the rest of Australia for many millennia -- and isolated populations are often backward.  It appears that lots of invasions are needed to perk up average IQ  -- which is why Eurasia is home to all the high IQ populations.  Invaders can very easily sweep for long distances across Eurasia -- as Genghis Khan showed.

So the "exceptions" I have noted so far are all explicable by special factors.  But there is one exception that absolutely breaks the rule:  South India.  South Indians can be very dark in skin color indeed.  Yet they are far and away the brightest populations in India. The computer programmers, scientists and technologists in India come overwhelmingly from the South.  The recent amazing Indian Mars shot was almost entirely the work of Southerners.  It is no coincidence that Bangalore, India's science and technology hub, is in the South.

So what went on in the South to push them up the IQ scale is hard to say.  The nearest I can come to an explanation is to note that they all hate one-another.  The various regions have different languages and were often at war with one-another over the centuries.  So perhaps invasions did the trick there too. But then West Africans are are always fighting one-another as well ...

So perhaps we have to draw into the discussion that some evolutionarily recent DNA mutations affecting brain complexity did not spread to Africa.  Evolution can of course work either via natural selection or via mutations -- or both

A final note about the correlations reported below.  They seem unusually high.  That is common in "ecological" correlations (correlations between groups rather than individuals). It was Prefecture averages that formed the raw data below.  Individual correlations between similar variables can normally be expected to be much lower -- JR



Regional differences in IQ are estimated for 47 prefectures of Japan. IQ scores obtained from official achievement tests show a gradient from north to south. Latitudes correlate with height, IQ, and skin color at r = 0.70, 0.44, 0.47, respectively. IQ also correlates with height (0.52), skin color (0.42), income (0.51) after correction, less homicide rate (− 0.60), and less divorce (− 0.69) but not with fertility infant mortality. The lower IQ in southern Japanese islands could be attributable to warmer climates with less cognitive demand for more than fifteen hundred years.



REAL torture


Study: Minimum-wage hikes made the Great Recession worse for low-skill workers

More evidence the economic impact from raising the minimum wage is hardly as benign as supporters contend. Far from it, in fact.

A new NBER working paper from Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither of the University of California, San Diego, suggests that the 30% increase in the average effective minimum wage over the late 2000s “reduced the national employment-to-population ratio — the share of adults with any kind of job — by 0.7 percentage point” between December 2006 and December 2012.

That works out to 14% of the total working-age decline during that period. Clemens and Wither basically looked at what happened to workers in states that were affected by federal minimum wage hikes versus what happened in states that weren’t. They also adjusted for the differing state-level impact of the Great Recession.

Now what’s particularly interesting in what Clemens and Wither found is that the minimum wage hikes made it harder for low-income workers to climb the ladder. From “The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence of Effects on the Employment and Income Trajectories of Low-Skilled Workers“:

 … we find that binding minimum wage increases had significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers. Lost income reflects contributions from employment declines, increased probabilities of working without pay (i.e., an “internship” effect), and lost wage growth associated with reductions in experience accumulation….

We also present evidence of the minimum wage’s effects on low-skilled workers’ economic mobility. We find that binding minimum wage increases significantly reduced the likelihood that low-skilled workers rose to what we characterize as lower middle class earnings. This curtailment of transitions into lower middle class earnings began to emerge roughly one year following initial declines in low wage employment. Reductions in upward mobility thus appear to follow reductions in access to opportunities for accumulating work experience.

Of course it’s strangely settled science on the left that raising the minimum wage is an unquestioned win-win all around. As Hillary Clinton said at a rally back in October, “And don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. They always say that. I’ve been through this. My husband gave working families a raise in the 1990s. I voted to raise the minimum wage and guess what? Millions of jobs were created or paid better and more families were more secure.”

But this paper is one of several recently that have outlined the negative employment effect of minimum wage hikes. In “More on Recent Evidence on the Effects of Minimum Wages in the United States,” researchers David Neumark, J.M. Ian Salas, William Wascher conclude “the best evidence still points to job loss from minimum wages for very low-skilled workers – in particular, for teens.”

And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office find that a $10.10 federal minimum wage option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent” in 2016. And although  increased earnings for low-wage workers resulting  from the higher minimum wage would total $31 billion, according to CBO,  just 19% of the $31 billion would go to families  with earnings below the poverty threshold.

But, good news, there just might be a better way.  Clemens and Wither on the Earned Income Tax Credit:

By contrast, analyses of the EITC have found it to increase both the employment of low-skilled adults and the incomes available to their families (Eissa and Liebman, 1996; Meyer and Rosenbaum, 2001; Eissa and Hoynes, 2006). The EITC has also been found to significantly reduce both inequality (Liebman, 1998) and tax-inclusive poverty metrics, in particular for children (Hoynes, Page, and Stevens, 2006). Evidence on outcomes with long-run implications further suggest that the EITC has tended to have its intended effects. Dahl and Lochner (2012), for example, find that influxes of EITC dollars improve the academic performance of recipient households’ children. This too contrasts with our evidence on the minimum wage’s effects on medium-run economic mobility.

Or as AEI’s Michael Strain has put it, “The EITC channels social resources to meet a social goal. And it does so a helluva lot better than the minimum wage.”



Crippling Children by Selling Them Racism

The recent “rash” of police officers killing blacks is prompting “civil rights activists” to describe America – despite the election and re-election of a black president – as still a simmering caldron of racism. Never mind that according to the CDC, in 2012 (the most recent year with available data) 140 blacks were killed by cops – versus 386 whites killed by cops.

This dreary movie scene comes from a film about inner-city black teens called “Menace II Society.” A black high school teacher speaks to two former students: “Being a black man in America isn’t easy. The hunt is on, and you’re the prey! All I’m saying is … all I’m saying is – survive! Alright?” In case the identity of the alleged “hunter” is unclear, we hear a police siren in the background. Cops are out to get young black men.


But that gloomy narrative tracks closely with Attorney General Eric Holder’s assertion that America suffers from “pernicious racism.” And a few weeks after the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin shooting happened, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, “Blacks are under attack.”


In 1997, CNN and Time conducted a poll that asked white and black teens about “racism.” Question: Is racism a major problem in America? Both black and white teens said, “yes.” But when black teens were asked if racism is a “big problem,” a “small problem” or “no a problem at all” – in their own lives – 89 percent called racism a “small problem” or “not a problem at all” for themselves.

In fact, 17 years ago, not only did black teens see racism as an insignificant problem in their own lives, but nearly twice as many black teens than white teens called “failure to take advantage of available opportunities” a bigger problem than racism.

What damage do “activists” inflict by convincing young black men that cops – or, for that matter, Republicans, tea party members and black conservatives – are out to get them? This emotion-based paranoia has real-world consequences. Fear and paranoia hurt potential and careers.

In the ‘60s, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman developed the theory of “learned helplessness” – when a person learns to believe and act helpless when, in fact, they do have control over their own negative circumstances but fail to exercise it. He then devoted most of his studies to “positive psychology” and the effect of happiness and optimism in people’s lives. He produced an equation, H=S+C+V, where a person’s genetic capacity for happiness (S), plus their circumstances (C) and factors under their voluntary control (V) equal their happiness (H).

His extensive research discovered that a low “C” – adverse circumstances like poor health or poverty – matters very little if a person has a high “V,” a positive, optimistic outlook and a belief in himself. For example, he found that an upbeat wheelchair-bound factory worker often leads a happier life than a robust, wealthy CEO.

Psychologists called this the “emotional quotient” factor, or EQ: a measurement of a person’s ability to monitor his or her emotions, cope with pressures and demands, control his or her thoughts and actions, and one’s ability to assess and affect situations and relationships with other people. Salesmen, for example, with “high EQ” for a strong positive outlook outsold those with higher traditional aptitude, but with lower EQ. High EQ people engage in positive behavior, which leads to positive results.

George Foreman, the former heavyweight boxing champion, is one of the most successful pitchmen of our generation. A spokesperson for products ranging from Meineke mufflers and Doritos to his own low-fat indoor grill, which earned him $138 million when he sold the grill’s naming rights in 1999, Foreman has an estimated net worth of $250 million. A high school dropout, Foreman recently wrote this about the value of optimism:

“This life, this country, is about HOPE.  "My first two jobs were about selling: Four hours of putting out sale papers, on doors, cars and handed out. Then at a fruit stand. Texas watermelon season was the best. Competition was great – we had to (as boys) have a variety of melons and a lot of charm.

"The ability to sell is about the best asset one can pass on to a generation to come. And the most critical and influential product anyone can deal or trade is 'Hope.’

"No matter who we lose, every young doctor is optimistic we will win this one. And many a time we do. Not a whole lot is new, just the same old Hope. … When things go wrong in this life our sole obligation to our children is to sell them on Hope. Sure, beating our head against the wall is an option. But time and life must proceed. Anger and disappointment bring more dark clouds. Oh, but HOPE is the sunshine that every child needs for play. … Teach them Hope. And BELIEVE there is Hope.  "It’s our duty.”



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