Sunday, January 24, 2016

Poverty and IQ again

Charles Murray showed a couple of decades ago that the poor tend to have lower IQs.  And it was hardly a surprise that being dumb might keep you poor.  But the Left purport to love the poor so Murray was furiously attacked over his findings -- though he had not in fact said most of the things he was alleged to have said.  It was a very cautious and  scholarly book rather than any kind of polemic. The Leftist rage at Murray finally exhausted itself but Murray still has his marbles and is an active Facebooker so I imagine that he could give you more details of the "controversy".

Murray seems to have won the war, however. Leftists do now  occasionally mention the inverse correlation between lower social class and IQ.  Rather than say that low IQ causes poverty, however, they try to prove that poverty causes low IQ.  I dealt  with the latest such attempt a couple of weeks ago.

There was another attempt in that direction back in 2013 that I commented on at the time.  It claimed that poverty was very stressful and that the stress prevented your brain from working properly. I would have thought that middle-class careerists were under the greatest stress but let's leave that for the moment.  The title of the article was "Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function".  There is a journalistic rendering of the claim here.

I put the findings in context at the time, showing that the conclusions did not follow from the reported evidence.  I was not aware, however, that Jelte Wicherts also looked at the study around the same time.  Now that J.P. Rushton is deceased, Wicherts is probably the man who knows the research on IQ better than anyone else.  And he is fair.  If someone puts up a celebratory claim about IQ, Wicherts will look at that critically, and if someone puts up claims that disrespect IQ Wicherts will look at that critically too.  So I have a very favourable impression of Dr. Wicherts.

I have now come across his criticism of the 2013 study and it does not disappoint.  I reproduce the abstract below:

"Mani et al. (Research Articles, 30 August, p. 976) presented laboratory experiments that aimed to show that poverty-related worries impede cognitive functioning. A reanalysis without dichotomization of income fails to corroborate their findings and highlights spurious interactions between income and experimental manipulation due to ceiling effects caused by short and easy tests. This suggests that effects of financial worries are not limited to the poor"



Rush's Take on Trump

Rush Limbaugh seems to have realized that this election is coming down to Trump/Cruz, and it seems like he's getting worried. Yesterday, Rush talked about what this means for conservatism:

    On his show on Wednesday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh offered his analysis of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s rise, which he argued wasn’t a sign that conservative orthodoxy was winning the day, but instead it is a pushback against the modern-day Democratic Party and President Barack Obama.

    And that according to Limbaugh is a sign of the rise of nationalism and populism overtaking conservatism.

    "What’s happening here, nationalism, dirty word, ooh, people hate it, populism, even dirtier word," Limbaugh said. "Nationalism and populism have overtaken conservatism in terms of appeal.  And when this has happened, when it exposes — what people in Washington are afraid of —  and that that is, you know, all this money we’ve asked people to send us and all these donations people have made, this movement, promote that movement, where is conservatism in Washington, they’re asking.  Where is it?  The Republican Party isn’t conservative.  Where are all these conservative people that are contributing to policy being implemented in Congress or in the Senate?  They don’t see it."

Is Rush right? Trump is, for all intents and purposes, new to or alien to conservatism, but his rise has been buoyed by the support of conservative talk radio hosts like Rush, Levin, and Michael Savage. Perhaps this is a sign that no one trusts the GOP to actually govern conservatively



Sanders Admits What Other Democrats Won't

Just as populism seems to have overtaken the Republican base, more overt socialism is gaining momentum among Democrats. The party has long had a socialist bent, but Bernie Sanders actually has the integrity to call it what it is.

Although Hillary Clinton, a closet socialist, remains the Democrat frontrunner, mentions of avowed-socialist Sanders as the potential nominee unfortunately no longer induce uncontrollable laughter. Clinton deserves as much credit as anyone for Saunders' surge. After all, pretty much anyone stands a chance against a candidate with so many scandals under her belt that even the lefty Atlantic saw fit to print a "Clinton Scandal Primer." And attitudes about sexual assault have changed enough on the Left that the "progressives" over at Vox have a thorough and damning recap of Bill Clinton’s history of rape accusations.

Still, the fact that a significant number of Americans would truly consider electing an outright socialist as leader of the free world moves into the realm of downright outrageous, but it’s not without precursor in American history.

How is Sanders peddling his socialist wares? As we wrote last year, he’s invoking Franklin D. Roosevelt, who "redefined the relationship of the federal government to the people of our nation" and "restored their faith in government.” One might credit Mussolini with the same, but we digress.

In truth, as Mark Alexander has noted, Sanders' Democratic Socialism is "nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. It seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a dominant-party state that controls economic production by way of taxation, regulation and income redistribution."

This fits Sanders to a T. His view of a government-defined and government-run nation flies in the face of Liberty as expressed in our Declaration of Independence and codified by the Constitution.

Free health care for everyone? Check. Free college for all? Check. Free government-run child care? Check. Actual freedom? Oh, you’re out of luck there. Besides, free things are quite expensive. His proposal to pay for all this "free stuff" is $19.6 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years, which would represent a 47% increase in the overall burden. That defies logic and approaches insanity.

Sanders claims he wants to make the rich pay their proverbial fair share, but a look at his menu of tax hikes shows they’re being served to Americans rich, poor and everywhere in between. As the Washington Examiner reports, Sanders' taxes include a business health care premium tax ($6.3 trillion), an end to tax breaks for employer health insurance ($3.1 trillion), an individual health care premium tax ($2.1 trillion), an increase in marginal income tax rates ($1.1 trillion), a payroll tax hike ($319 billion), a death tax hike ($243 billion), and an energy tax on oil companies ($135 billion). And that’s just a partial list.

Despite Sanders' rhetoric, his taxes would hit regular workers, business owners, energy consumers (higher costs are always passed to consumers), and just about everyone else. Thanks to his death tax, even dying won’t rescue you from Bernie’s tax grab. Of course, as the Examiner notes, Sanders revenue estimates are highly questionable. Were he to succeed in completely dismantling the economy by taxing into oblivion everything that moves and then taxing corpses to boot, it’s unlikely he’d be able to squeeze 19 cents out of economically parched Americans, let alone $19 trillion.

Still, Sanders is plowing ahead with his open attempt to sell America on his brand of socialism. As The Wall Street Journal notes, his frankness is winning over some Democrat voters. Indeed, few can deny Sanders has shifted the Democrat primary debate decidedly left. Despite Hillary’s surname, the Democrats have fallen a long way from Bill "The Era of Big Government Is Over" Clinton.

And with Clinton looking more like the challenger in this primary race and less like the party’s favored daughter, it’s not entirely impossible that Democrats will pin their party logo to a red hammer-and-sickle flag. It would at least finally be truth in advertising.



More history

When Bill Clinton was president, he allowed Hillary to assume authority over a health care reform.  After threats and intimidation, she couldn’t get a vote in a democratic controlled congress.  This fiasco cost the American taxpayers about $13 million in cost for studies, promotion, and other efforts.

Then President Clinton gave Hillary authority over selecting a female attorney general.  Her first two selections were Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood – both were forced to withdraw their names from consideration.

Next she chose Janet Reno – husband Bill described her selection as "my worst mistake."  Some may not remember that Reno made the decision to gas David Koresh and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas resulting in dozens of deaths of women and children.

Husband Bill allowed Hillary to make recommendations for the head of the Civil Rights Commission.  Lani Guanier was her selection.  When a little probing led to the discovery of Ms. Guanier’s radical views, her name had to be withdrawn from consideration.

Apparently a slow learner, husband Bill allowed Hillary to make some more recommendations.  She chose former law partners Web Hubbel for the Justice Department, Vince Foster for the White House staff, and William Kennedy for the Treasury Department.  Her selections went well: Hubbel went to prison, Foster (presumably) committed suicide, and Kennedy was forced to resign.

Many younger votes will have no knowledge of "Travelgate."  Hillary wanted to award unfettered travel contracts to Clinton   friend, Harry Thompson – and the White House Travel Office refused to comply.  She managed to have them reported to the FBI and fired.  This ruined their reputations, cost them their jobs, and caused a thirty-six month investigation. Only one employee, Billy Dale was charged with a crime, and that of the enormous crime of mixing personal and White House funds. A jury acquitted him of any crime in less than two hours.

Still not convinced of her ineptness, Hillary was allowed to recommend a close Clinton friend, Craig Livingstone, for the position of Director of White House security. When Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of about 900 FBI files of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by White House staff, suddenly Hillary and the president denied even knowing Livingstone, and of course, denied knowledge of drug use in the White House.  Following  this debacle, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office after more than thirty years of service to seven presidents.

Next, when women started coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and rape by Bill Clinton, Hillary was put  in charge of the "bimbo eruption" and scandal defense.  Some of her more notable decisions in the debacle was:

She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit.  After the Starr investigation they settled with Ms. Jones.

She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80 million dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.

Hillary’s devious game plan resulted in Bill losing his license to practice law for 'lying under oath' to a grand jury and then his subsequent impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Hillary avoided indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice during the Starr investigation by repeating, "I do not recall," "I have no recollection," and "I don’t know" a total of 56 times while under oath.

After leaving the White House, Hillary was forced to return an estimated $200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork that she had stolen.

What a swell party – ready for another four or eight year of this type low-life mess?

Now we are exposed to the destruction of possibly incriminating emails while Hillary was Secretary of State and the "pay to play" schemes of the Clinton Foundation – we have no idea what shoe will fall next.  But to her loyal fans - "what difference does it make?"

Via email


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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