Sunday, January 30, 2011

Democracy and Freedom

Following the chaos in Egypt and Tunisia over the last week, I've been thinking about the nature of democracy. Specifically coming to mind is the analogy of if Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what it for dinner.

The national review has a balanced article looking at responses to the question of if Islamists come after Mubarak.

Obsequiousness to dictators might seem a good short-term strategy, but in the long-term, it undercuts our interests and our moral authority tremendously.

I want to agree

We should not expect a pro-American regime should Mubarak flee into the dustbin of history. Egyptians are fiercely nationalistic and, across the region, ordinary peoples’ mindsets have been shaped by decades of anti-American propaganda. The Egyptian people will be angry that they have fallen so far behind the rest of the world.

How will the Islamic world react to HBD? Average Egyption GDP - 6,000 USD per capita.
Average IQ? 85. Seems about right to me.

Ross Douthat's column is especially enlightening:

The United States supported Mubarak for so long because of two interrelated fears: the fear of another Khomeini and the fear of another Nasser. Both anxieties remain entirely legitimate today.

The first fear everyone understands, because we’re still living with the religious tyranny that Ayatollah Khomeini established in Iran in 1979


We take refuge in foreign policy systems: liberal internationalism or realpolitik, neoconservatism or noninterventionism. We have theories, and expect the facts to fall into line behind them. Support democracy, and stability will take care of itself. Don’t meddle, and nobody will meddle with you. International institutions will keep the peace. No, balance-of-power politics will do it.

But history makes fools of us all. We make deals with dictators, and reap the whirlwind of terrorism. We promote democracy, and watch Islamists gain power from Iraq to Palestine. We leap into humanitarian interventions, and get bloodied in Somalia. We stay out, and watch genocide engulf Rwanda. We intervene in Afghanistan and then depart, and watch the Taliban take over. We intervene in Afghanistan and stay, and end up trapped there, with no end in sight.

Sooner or later, the theories always fail. The world is too complicated for them, and too tragic.

Current theories of international relations have not taken the differences in human IQ, nor the problems of Islam into account. Nor have they accounted for the disruption that technology will bring.

For all the hand wringing over what motivates people and human nature, I still stick to my main theme:

Follow the pussy.

Now, given the lack of acceptance that pickup ideology has faced in the current establishment, I doubt that International Relations theory is going to incorporate it's findings into the next trendy ideology.

So, we continue to grasp at straws trying to get a framework for understanding how we govern ourselves.

Are you serious? Come on, Friedman.

I'm still laughing over a recent Friedman column praising Singapore for how they've adapted to the flat world.

But today its per capita income is just below U.S. levels, built with high-end manufacturing, services and exports. The country’s economy grew last year at 14.7 percent, led by biomedical exports.

Singapore probably has the freest market in the world


So what's similar between Singapore and the United States?

Singapore is tiny and by no means a U.S.-style democracy. Yet, like America, it has a multiethnic population — Chinese, Indian and Malay — with a big working class.

HAHAHAHA. You're kidding, right? Friedman is essentially saying that being ethnically diverse is a characteristic in and of itself, and the type of diversity means nothing.

Singapore ethnic breakdown:
Chinese: 76.8%
Malay: 13.9%
Indian: 7.9%
Other: 1.4%

United States ethnic breakdown:
White: 60% (80-15% hispanic)
Black: 12.85%
Hispanic: 15%
Asian: 4.43%
Other: 2%

So, the Singaporeans have the Indians and Malays to work with, we have blacks and hispanics. Let's compare:

According to the wikipedia article

Today, Indians earn higher average monthly incomes than the Chinese or Malays and are more likely to hold a university degree than these groups.

Hmmm.....not exactly the equivalent for a minority group, eh?

this article speculates on why Malays haven't done as well as Chinese:

What is of particular in this subject is the way that Malays tended to retain their traditional social forms and many of their occupational patterns despite urbanisation, while the Chinese have embraced the whole process more wholeheartedl

Come you really need to know the answer?

Here is the link: average IQ in Malaysia: 92. Average IQ in China? 100.

Even assuming that the average Malay has an average IQ of 90, African Americans have an average IQ of 85. Hispanic IQ is in the low 90's.

Therefore, Singapore has 14% minority population dragging it down, while the United States has 27.8% Black + Hispanic. Significant difference. This is in addition to a Chinese IQ higher than white IQ.

Thank god we have the jews

Yet another example of Thomas Friedman ignoring racial implications of his flat world theories.

The rest of his column, though, has good pointers about how to reform the government in the US.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Common Sense Immigration Policy

Here is a recent op ed on immigration policy advocating more skilled workers.

The United States issues far more patents - a primary measure of innovation - than any other country, but immigrants were responsible for about a quarter of them in recent years, according to a study by researchers at Harvard Business School and elsewhere.

At Intel, the world's largest maker of semiconductors, 40 percent of the patents are for work done by Chinese or Indian immigrants, the Council on Foreign Relations reported in 2009.

Immigrants create patents at twice the rate of native-born Americans because they disproportionately hold degrees in science and engineering, Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle and Jennifer Hunt concluded in a study published last year by the Center for Economic Research in London.

Yes, more high-IQ immigrants! I don't think the average American is opposed to that. However, they are opposed to low-IQ Mexican immigration.

Border security and skills have nothing to do with each other. Politically linking them may placate the nativists, but it also puts us on the road to national decline, which surely neither party wants.

What the hell does this mean? Look, just come out and say it: we want engineers, not dumb illiterate Latino peasants.

Now, was that so hard?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SOTU Point by point II

We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.

I would LOVE this to happen, but all I can do is point to a phrase:


Roissy explains here why nerd-worship is not possible among a broad selection of the population. Guys will always go for the image that's going to get them laid, not the image that's going to help the US maintain dominance!

And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation.

I actually agree with the DREAM act, from an HBD perspective. But, we also have to do the corollary policies: Build a wall, deport those who aren't contributing, and amend the immigration system to make it easier for educated workers to immigrate, and harder for peasants with nothing to offer.

China is building faster trains and newer airports.

When supposedly patriotic conservatives criticize high speed rail as pie in the sky, what is their reaction when they see China leaping ahead in train technology? They would rather continue subsidizing Saudi oil then making it easier to ride a train from LA to San Diego instead of driving?

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.

Nice sentiment, but geography is quickly becoming irrelevant. See here

What I'm not willing to do -- what I'm not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a preexisting condition.

Which brings us back to the eternal fundamental health care debate: do I have the obligation to pay for the health care of another American? If, over the course of 30 years, an American is going to use 5 million dollars worth of health care, but only contribute 1 million dollars in taxes, does society have an obligation to keep him maintained?

Ok, I'm done.

SOTU Point by point I

I'm going to do what every blogger in the world has been doing: SOTU point by point. However, I hope two things will set me apart from the HBD-osphere:
1) I'm hardcore pro American
2) I was an Obama maniac in 2008, and honestly, I still like the guy and wish him well. While no one really knows whats going on in his head the way GWB or Reagan was readable, I think there is some inherent goodness in him.

Here we go, random quotes that I think are important either for their truth or shocking confusion:

We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

Basic American creed, that the US, as a nation, transcends race and religion.

At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It's whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but the light to the world.

At stake is whether we or China dominate the Globe.

In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there's an Internet connection.

Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They're investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became the home to the world's largest private solar research facility, and the world's fastest computer.

It was important for him to say this. Put our national challenges in a technological and globalized context. This, to some degree, pre empts the tea party "leave me alone" rhetoric.

What's more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea -– the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.

A profound statement, but accurate. Unfortunate that it was buried amid other ideas. We really are the best.

The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation. None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn't know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do -- what America does better than anyone else -- is spark the creativity and imagination of our people.

That's it - no escaping it. The creative will dominate once automation and outsourcing become standard.

But because it's not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout our history, our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need.

This is basic economics. Basic research is a HUGE positive externality, so no one has the motivation to do it. Right wing libertarians have no way to generate basic research when free riding is so rampant.

So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's.

Even if global warming is a sham, do we want to be behind China on this? Do we not want to be on the forefrunt of new industries? Do we want to keep subsidizing Russia and Saudi Arabia?

Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school.

The singularity is coming. Automation is going to kill our workers more than cheap workers in China or India.

The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations.

This is purely an HBD issue. Steve Sailer eloquently breaks down the dempgraphics of our PISA scores here .

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Japan vs. China

Is the China fear a rehash of the Japan fears? this nytimes article says possibly .

What I think is funny, though, is no worries about Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan challenging US superiority.

Why? IQ.

Does no one see the irony that the two non western countries to challenge the US while the Soviet Union was in decline are both Asian?