Sunday, December 07, 2014

Kids from affluent families start out smarter than the poor and the gap between them and the poor widens further as they grow up

It has long been known that the rich are smarter.  Charles Murray got heavy flak when he showed that two decades ago but it's logical that people who are in general smart should also be smart with money.  But the gorgeous Sophie von Stumm has amplified that in the research below.  My previous comments about some of her research were rather derogatory but I find no fault with the work below.

Explaining the finding is the challenge.  An obvious comment is that measuring the IQ of young children is difficult  -- but not impossible -- and that the widening gap simply reflected more accurate measurements in later life.

I would reject the explanation that the better home life in a rich family helped improve the child's IQ -- because all the twin studies show that the family environment is a negligible contributor to IQ -- counter-intuitive though that might be.

The present findings do however tie in well with previous findings that the genetic influence on IQ gets greater as people get older.  People shed some environmental influences as they get older and become more and more what their genetics would dictate

Sophie von Stumm

Poverty affects the intelligence of children as young as two, a study has found - and its impact increases as the child ages.  Deprived young children were found to have IQ scores six points lower, on average, than children from wealthier families.

And the gap got wider throughout childhood, with the early difference tripling by the time the children reached adolescence.

Scientists from Goldsmiths, University of London compared data on almost 15,000 children and their parents as part of the Twins Early Development Study (Teds).  The study is an on-going investigation socio-economic and genetic links to intelligence.

Children were assessed nine times between the ages of two and 16, using a mixture of parent-administered, web and telephone-based tests.

The results, published in the journal Intelligence, revealed that children from wealthier backgrounds with more opportunities scored higher in IQ tests at the age of two, and experienced greater IQ gains over time.

Dr Sophie von Stumm, from Goldsmiths, University of London, who led the study, said: 'We’ve known for some time that children from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds perform on average worse on intelligence tests than children from higher SES backgrounds, but the developmental relationship between intelligence and SES had not been previously shown.  'Our research establishes that relationship, highlighting the link between SES and IQ.


Socioeconomic status and the growth of intelligence from infancy through adolescence

By Sophie von Stumm &  Robert Plomin


Low socioeconomic status (SES) children perform on average worse on intelligence tests than children from higher SES backgrounds, but the developmental relationship between intelligence and SES has not been adequately investigated. Here, we use latent growth curve (LGC) models to assess associations between SES and individual differences in the intelligence starting point (intercept) and in the rate and direction of change in scores (slope and quadratic term) from infancy through adolescence in 14,853 children from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), assessed 9 times on IQ between the ages of 2 and 16 years. SES was significantly associated with intelligence growth factors: higher SES was related both to a higher starting point in infancy and to greater gains in intelligence over time. Specifically, children from low SES families scored on average 6 IQ points lower at age 2 than children from high SES backgrounds; by age 16, this difference had almost tripled. Although these key results did not vary across girls and boys, we observed gender differences in the development of intelligence in early childhood. Overall, SES was shown to be associated with individual differences in intercepts as well as slopes of intelligence. However, this finding does not warrant causal interpretations of the relationship between SES and the development of intelligence.



Hollywood Hypocrites

The actor and comedian Russell Brand has certainly tried to brand himself. "Messiah Complex" was the name of his last tour. His new book is titled "Revolution." On "The Tonight Show," he told Jimmy Fallon he's inspired by Jesus, Gandhi, Malcolm X and Che Guevara. He thinks he's like them. In Tinseltown, they're the Fab Four revolutionaries for the downtrodden.

So it's shocking to him — and no surprise to us — when he gets exposed by the British press as a fraud. He's just another champagne socialist playacting.

On Dec. 1, he led an angry march to No. 10 Downing Street in London to take a petition to the prime minister's residence protesting skyrocketing rents in the city. In particular, he was protesting for tenants of the New Era apartments, recently bought by an American investment company. The demand for downtown real estate has caused prices to soar, leaving the middle class in dire straits.

Raise a glass to Paraic O'Brien of Channel Four, a publicly owned channel with a crusading edge that could teach a lesson or two to their American counterparts. He put the question directly to Brand: "Part of the problem is the super rich buying property in London. Isn't it? How much did you pay for your place?" Brand said his place is rented, as if that answered anything. So O'Brien asked how much he paid a month in rent.

Brand took offense and became mighty defensive, sticking his face inches from the reporter and replying passionately, "I'm not interested in talking to you about my rent, mate! I'm here to support a very, very important campaign. And you, as a member of the media, have an important duty to help represent these people, not to reframe the argument!"

That's just priceless: He believes the media's role is to promote for what he's not, not expose him for what he is. O'Brien wasn't intimidated in the slightest and kept pushing: "You're part of that problem, aren't you?" Brand said "absolutely not...I'm part of the solution!" He then claimed not to know how much he paid in rent.

Maybe we can jog his memory a bit. Brand lives within a mile of the trendy apartments he was protesting about — in a fancy loft that rents for $8,000 a month. He sold his house in northwest London for $3.5 million in 2010, and last October, he bought a $2.2 million Hollywood mansion that once belonged to Sir Laurence Olivier. Not exactly "struggling," are we, mate?

It sounds a lot like documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, that great baseball-capped American populist whose recent divorce revealed he felt his wife was a "spendthrift" who embarrassed him by building a lakefront mansion in northwestern Michigan. The radical Moores were mocked for their act of conspicuous construction. Divorce papers showed that "The couple's real estate holdings include a total of nine properties in Michigan and New York. The duo co-owns a Manhattan condo that was created through the combination of three separate units."

Being "a voice for the voiceless" is so rewarding — financially rewarding — as long as no one pries too much into just how rewarding it gets.

The late radio star Casey Kasem really demonstrated this type 25 years ago as he organized a "Housing Now" march on Washington for the homeless. The Los Angeles Times reported with a wink that Kasem and his wife Jean "turned their opulent $20,000-a-month, seven-room apartment at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel into the headquarters" for this cause. While they demanded more tax money for the poor, "They drive matching black Mercedes equipped with car phones. ... And this summer, Kasem bought his wife a little something for her birthday — specifically, a three-bedroom, five-bath mansion in Holmby Hills complete with tennis court and swimming pool and $6.8-million price tag." Reportedly they proudly declared they'd sent the leftovers down to the street for the homeless.

The Times called them "penthouse progressives." The rest of us call them Hollywood hypocrites.



Racist Cops -- or Liberal Slander?

We have found the new normal in America.  If you are truly outraged by some action of police, prosecutors, grand juries, or courts, you can shut down the heart of a great city.

Thursday night, thousands of "protesters" disrupted the annual Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, conducted a "lie-in" in Grand Central, blocked Times Square, and shut down the West Side Highway that scores of thousands of New Yorkers use to get home.

That the rights of hundreds of thousands of visitors and New Yorkers were trampled upon by these self-righteous protesters did not prevent their being gushed over by TV commentators.

Watching cable, I saw one anguished man cry out from a blocked car that he was trying to get his sick dog to the vet. But his rights were inferior to the rights of protesters to block traffic, chant slogans and vent their moral outrage to TV cameras.

From New York to Washington to Oakland, crowds acted in solidarity to block main arteries at rush hour.

Has President Obama condemned this? Has Eric Holder?

Remarkable. Underlings of Gov. Chris Christie have been under investigation for a year for closing off lanes to the George Washington Bridge. Contrast liberal indignation at Christie, with liberal indulgence of the lawbreaking Thursday night, and you will see what people mean when they talk of a moral double-standard.

What were these protests about? A grand jury on Staten Island voted not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner last July. As the video that has gone global shows, Pantaleo sought to arrest Garner, a 6'5", 350-pound man arrested many times before.

What was Garner doing?  Selling cigarettes one by one on a main street, a public nuisance for the stores and shops in front of which he plied his trade, but not a felony, and surely not a capital offense. A misdemeanor at most.

As Garner backed away and brushed aside attempts to handcuff him, Pantaleo grabbed him from behind by the neck to pull him down, as other cops swarmed in.

Repeatedly, Garner cried, "I can't breathe!" On the ground he again cried, "I can't breathe!" And he died there on the sidewalk.

Undeniably, terrible and tragic. Undeniably, not a natural death. And, undeniably, the way Garner was brought down and sat upon, an arm around his neck, contributed to, if it did not cause, his death.

Yet Garner did not die by strangulation.  According to the city medical examiner, he died from the "compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police."  The cops were holding him down by sitting on him.

As Rep. Peter King said Thursday, "If [Garner] had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, he would not have died." The Washington Post reports that the medical examiner seemed to confirm this, describing "Garner's asthma and hypertensive cardiovascular disease as contributing factors."

Why would a Staten Island grand jury not indict Pantaleo for murder or manslaughter in the death of Eric Garner?

In a word, intent.  Did Pantaleo intend to kill Eric Garner when he arrived on the scene? Did Pantaleo arrive intent on injuring Eric Garner? No and no.

Pantaleo was there to arrest Garner, and if he resisted, to subdue him and then arrest him. That was his job.

Did he use a chokehold, which the NYPD bans, or a takedown method taught at the police academy, as his lawyer contends?

That is for the NYPD to decide. The grand jury, viewing the video, decided that the way Pantaleo brought down Garner was not done with any criminal intent to kill or injure him, but to arrest him.

Garner's death, they decided, was accidental, caused by Pantaleo and the other NYPD cops who did not intend his injury or death, with Garner's asthma and heart disease as contributing factors.

Now that grand jury decision may be wrong, but does it justify wild allegations of "racist cops" getting away with "murder"?

This reflexive rush to judgment happens again and again.  We were told Trayvon Martin was shot to death by a white vigilante for "walking while black," and learned that Trayvon, when shot, had been beating a neighborhood watch guy nearly unconscious, "martial arts style," while sitting on top of him.

We were told that Ferguson cop Darren Wilson gunned down an unarmed black teenager for walking in the street, and learned that Michael Brown just robbed a convenience store, attacked Wilson in his patrol car, and was shot trying to wrestle away the officer's gun.

Liberals are imprisoned by a great myth — that America is a land where black boys and men are stalked by racist white cops, and alert and brave liberals must prevent even more police atrocities.

They live in a world of the mind.  The reality: As of 2007, black-on-white violent crime was nearly 40 times as common as the reverse. But liberals can't give up their myth, for it sustains their pretensions to moral superiority. It defines who they are.



Why Cops Focused on Garner

Another twist in the Eric Garner saga. According to New York Congressman Peter King, “The district attorney of Staten Island is a man of unimpeachable integrity. … The highest ranking officer at the scene was an African-American female sergeant [Kizzy Adoni]. She was there the whole time. The reason that the cops were there that day is the local merchants – this is a minority neighborhood, these are minority business people – went to police headquarters and the chief of the department, who is an African-American.

They complained that Eric Garner was disrupting the area and preventing people from coming into their stores. [Police] were there at the request of minority shop owners, under the direction of an African-American police chief, and under the supervision of an African-American sergeant.”

King added, “I’ve seen a number of people taken down – this was a takedown. If someone is resisting arrest it often takes four or five cops to get them down. You have to subdue the person on the ground. The officers said, ‘Put your hands behind your back,’ and he wouldn’t. … I’ve seen guys held down. … If they had let up on the tension and he got up it would’ve started all over again.” If those facts don’t undermine the Left’s race-bait narrative, we don’t know what does.



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