July 8, 2011

David Brooks explains it all

David Brooks writes in the NYT in another one of his columns with the subtext: Why Steve Sailer Is Wrong, Part LXXVI:
Eldar Shafir of Princeton and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard have recently, with federal help, been exploring a third theory, that scarcity produces its own cognitive traits. 
A quick question: What is the starting taxi fare in your city? If you are like most upper-middle-class people, you don’t know. If you are like many struggling people, you do know. 

Uh, most people don't live in places like NYC and DC where taking cabs is routine. Am I upper middle class or am I struggling or both? In any case, I don't know because I never take cabs on my own dime.
Poorer people have to think hard about a million things that affluent people don’t. They have to make complicated trade-offs when buying a carton of milk: If I buy milk, I can’t afford orange juice. They have to decide which utility not to pay. 
These questions impose enormous cognitive demands. The brain has limited capacities. If you increase demands on one sort of question, it performs less well on other sorts of questions. ...
Shafir and Mullainathan have a book coming out next year, exploring how scarcity — whether of time, money or calories (while dieting) — affects your psychology.

Scarcity of time and money and the need to be thinking hard constantly due to those scarcities explain why African-Americans have traditionally watched so few hours of television per day. They just don't have time because they have to make all these careful decisions about what they can afford and what they can't. That's why you see so many black people all the time in public places hunched over a piece of paper with pencil in one hand and a calculator in the other. 

Oh, wait, sorry, black Americans are traditionally the number one consumers of television according to decades of Nielsen numbers:
According to EURweb, in November 2010, when the data were compiled, African Americans used their TVs an average of 7 hours, 12 minutes each day — above the U.S. average of 5 hours, 11 minutes. Asians watched TV the least, at just 3 hours, 14 minutes a day on average. 

Obviously, scarcity is hugely important, but one big form of scarcity is scarcity of intelligence.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

This guy needs to go down for the count, Steve. The poor and downtrodden are so cognitively challenged that they blah, blah, blah.

Has David Brooks EVER spent time around the people whose behavior he purports to understand?

How in the world can anyone employ this dunce? In what world does he have credibility? His friends' world? Oh my God. That world, then, is far worse than I thought, and I already thought it to be depraved.

The greatest challenge for any evolutionary biologist is to explain this world of the High IQ Dunce. Their idiocies plot their own eventual demise (and I can't for the life of me believe that they've produced many babies the last 100 years)

Anonymous said...

"A quick question: What is the starting taxi fare in your city? If you are like most upper-middle-class people, you don’t know. If you are like many struggling people, you do know."

David Brooks is a moron. I've lived in NYC for 20 years during which I've taken a taxi less than 20 times. I don't know what the starting fare is. And I don't know anyone who's likely to know it. Am I rich? Nope. Making $70k here. A huge percentage of the city's population never uses taxis. We use the subway instead. 'Cause it's cheaper. The taxi-using population here skews towards the high end. Yes, it does. David Brooks is 180 degrees wrong.

It's not just the "struggling" demographic that, contrary to what he says, doesn't know what the taxi fare is. Believe me, most in the middle class wouldn't know it either. A commute from Manhattan to a typical outer-borough residential neighborhood would cost you what, $30, $40? And that's one way. A monthly subway pass is just $104. That puts a single ride at something like $2.50 for the average commuter. Because of this the only people who hail cabs here are the ones for whom money isn't much of a constraint. Plus some tourists.

For most other cities substitute buses for the subway in the above.

Anonymous said...

Cabs are really, REALLY expensive. Poor people really think a lot about cab fare?

Seriously?

what is this I don't even

Felix said...

I'll tell ya one thing, what's scarce is good justification as to why we have people with names like
"Eldar Shafir" and "Sendhil Mullainathan" taking up precious professorships at Princeton and Harvard to produce this sort of utter tripe. I guess the native talent of Americans must be really poor, if our top universities need to look abroad and import those two clows as an "improvement."

Anonymous said...

The Wikipedia says that David Brooks grew up in Manhattan, so New York is most likely the city he was thinking of when he came up with his taxi fare example.

The let-them-eat-cake quality of this example is especially hilarious because, as far as I know, unlike Brooks, Marie Antoinette never posed as a defender of the poor against attacks from the bourgeoisie.

He's got so much money that he doesn't even know what he's paying for taxi cabs, and because of that he imagines that the people who do know the exact fare are the downtrodden, the unfortunate, the unwashed. No, Mr. Brooks, the social class just below yours is actually very, very well-off. There are many circles of hell below that one, and every denizen of a great many of them still makes more than the average wage in this country.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, scarcity is hugely important, but one big form of scarcity is scarcity of intelligence.

Ouch.

Anonymous said...

In any case, I don't know because I never take cabs on my own dime.

Me neither. But I can read. Most cabs have rates printed on their doors. $3.5 first 1/8 mile, $0.3 every 1/8 mile after that. Hard not to notice if you ever get downtown.

Jeff said...

I lost 2/3 of my household income and 50% of the remaining 1/3 was entrenched expenses that could not be easily changed. In two years, I reduced my expenses by 40%, bought a house, and started a business that is now beginning to make money. Along the way, I often remarked to my wife, that it would be impossible for anyone outside the top 15% of organizational ability to manage what I have done. Working yourself out of a hole is not so much about "g" but your ability to face negative facts, organize the data, then make rational decisions going forward. Of course, one must also be able to wear sandals that are missing 1/3 of the sole because the dog ate it and willing to send their child to school with Wal-Mart clothes.

Anonymous said...

Brooks is describing poor smart whites. They exist.

Anonymous said...

Ethnicity is a better predictor of IQ than income. Chinese born in 1977, when real per capita income in China was below that in Nigeria and Mozambique, scored at or above European norms. Similar results were obtained for (relatively poor) Japanese tested in 1951, (relatively poor) Taiwanese tested in 1956, (very poor) Romanians tested in 1964, and (relatively poor) Hong Kongese in 1964. On the other hand, well-to-do people from Middle Eastern oil kingdoms tend to score rather poorly.

North Korea has a real per capita GDP far below that in diamond-rich Botswana, which is often lauded as an "African success story." Wanna bet where average IQ is higher?

jody said...

hmm, i don't agree that there is nothing to this idea. only that it does not quite work the way the researchers say.

in fact when you take this idea to the extreme, you end up in a common place which many science fiction writers have explored: when robots are so good that they can do all the bullshit work for us, leaving people free to pursue whatever activity they want during their non-sleep hours, how much more productive will the really smart guys be?

they'll be able to do nothing but crank away on their projects for 12 or 16 hours a day. versus today, where they are maybe getting 6 hours a day put directly into their

science
music
engineering
sports
medicine
manufacturing technology
movie
entrepreneurial start up
video game
writing

project, while the rest is diverted by shit work, administrative stuff, commuting, daily chores, and so forth. the only thing which the robots won't be able to greatly reduce is the amount of non-productive time spent on necessary social engagements. the smart guys will, unless they want to be hermits, have to occassionally engage their wives and children and relatives.

Anonymous said...

"The greatest challenge for any evolutionary biologist is to explain this world of the High IQ Dunce."

Oh, yeah. It's one of those things that are funny because they're so true.

To anyone who knows the modern American poor well, they appear to be poor precisely because they are reckless, because they don't take time or effort to plan anything ahead, to think anything through, because they act on impulse, live in the moment, constantly "lose control" (one of the biggest R&B and hip-hop lyrical cliches), etc.

Relatively unintelligent people with lots of self-control (Filipinos, blue-collar, apparently low-caste East Indians) tend to do OK.

Fighter pilots are overloaded with life-and-death decisions all the time. So are the people in bomb squads, acrobats in circuses, air traffic controllers, etc. If the two dunces Brooks quotes seriously wanted to study, "with federal help", the effects of decision fatigue, wouldn't they have been more likely to look at air traffic controllers than at the idle poor?

Anonymous said...

i live in NYC two unrelated taxi comments-
I took a taxi driven by .. a white guy in queens!.... it felt so good (i grew up in queens) its like bumping into another american (of your socieconomic and racial background) in another country.

when I was in college a large % of cab drivers were still white (1988)

now almost all paki, indian, african, etc. almost no women - i have never ridden one only seen them maybe 3 times in 10 years.

but the main thing i want to get to - 'fares' are increasingly meanlingless - 3rd world drivers just drive around with their duty lights off, ask where you are going, and if they dont want to go there, they don't - (in NYC its illegal for taxis to refuse fares to anywhere in the boroughs)

since i now live in brooklyn i run into this whenever i take a cab late at night (the only time i take cabs- better than dealing with 1hour on the subways w/ nams, etc - the 17.00 is well spent - hell that's a drink in some bars.

but this duty light thing is pretty much uncontrollable since it requires honesty on the part of the driver...

Its the shift to a low trust society that i have witnessed first hand- immigrants/3rd worlders abusing the system.

Anonymous said...

I have nondoubt these two professors can explain how those dirt poor Chinese got so smart. That's why they're in the Ivy League.
Gilbert P.

Brett Stevens said...

Gentlemen, we're living in the shadow of 1789.

Robespierre would be displeased if any of our elites offered any dogma other than: it's not nature, it's nurture, because we are all equal.

Brooks breaks more taboos than most. Give him some credit. He is limited by being part of a New York elite crowd, and being Jewish; Jews distrust conservatives since that ugly little episode of genocide at the hands of a conservative party (the NSDAP) back in WWII. You can't exactly want to join the political alignment of your victimizers, at least fully.

At least I wouldn't.

As some other quick wits have noted, Brooks' perspective is hopelessly NYC-centric. I am very glad I do not live in such a spaced out place.

Aaron said...

The taxi-fare phenomenon exists. Anyone who's lived for some time in a country where he doesn't speak the language knows that lots of specific cognitive demands make you generally more stupid.

It's kind of funny to apply that to poor people, though. Poor children don't have to compare prices of milk and orange juice or know the starting taxi fare. Therefore, Brooks' hypothesis predicts that poor children should have about the same IQ and perform about equally well in school as rich children. Actually, poor children should be more intelligent, because rich children have all those relatively demanding teachers burning up their scarce cognitive resources with homework, etc. I wonder if that prediction is confirmed empirically?

Besides, what about all the cognitive struggles of rich people? Do I serve caviar or pate at my dinner party this weekend? What's the right golf club to use on this shot? How do I get little Sophie into the right pre-school? In such a cognitively demanding environment, it's a wonder these rich people can function at all.

Chris Anderson said...

If I can extrapolate from the checkout line in my city, the calculation for the poor is not "milk or orange juice" but rather "is there enough on this LINK card for potato chips and ice cream, or only one or the other?" Its neither upsetting nor demanding because it's not their money.

I understand juggling bills. Been there and done that - I remember crying over them during one particularly low period. But really, bringing real cognitive ability to that situation means figuring out how to get out of having to juggle bills. And that's not something I see much of with our urban poor.

Harry Baldwin said...

Jeff said...Working yourself out of a hole is not so much about "g" but your ability to face negative facts, organize the data, then make rational decisions going forward.

Another key factor is having a wife/husband who is willing to go with the program. I know some spouses who cannot fathom the idea of economizing until the last check bounces. There's only so much you can do about an irresponsible spouse.

Anonymous said...

"Jews distrust conservatives since that ugly little episode of genocide at the hands of a conservative party (the NSDAP) back in WWII."

You mean the radicals that overthrew the German order?

They count as conservative now?

David said...

Was going to comment, but Brooks's piece is too messed up on too many levels.

Item: are we really talking about cognition, or about the stress of being near-insolvent and worried about it? Because after all:

Item: in reality, the self-made rich, on balance, make, if anything, MORE cognitive demands on themselves than the poor do. And so:

Item: are we really talking about income level, or about something else?

Brooks is lost in a maze of words.

Anonymous said...

jews distrust conservatives since
since.. what 79AD?
jews distrust GENTILE conservatives, they like liberal gentiles because they support destroying Gentile societies and strengthening jewish ones.
Jews, liberal or conservative, are universally more conservative when it comes to jews - find me anyone jewish encouraging open borders for israel or jews breeding themselves out of existence or intermarrying.. yet for gentiles...

Anonymous said...

Jews distrust conservatives
oh so that explains their anti-nationalist take on israel. got it.

Anonymous said...

Do you realize the if "Punch" Sulzberger had hired someone else for the NYT's Oped page no one would know or care about David Brooks?

Isn't it weird that the WSJ/WaPo/NYT and a few cable TV shows and PBS have a stranglehold on our collective political thought?

Anonymous said...

Milk versus orange juice? Really? Orange juice is a luxury - not much of one, but still a luxury. If you're poor don't buy it. How hard is that choice.

TadIV said...

"A quick question: What is the starting taxi fare in your city? If you are like most upper-middle-class people, you don’t know. If you are like many struggling people, you do know."

Funny, I would hazard the guess that the form of transportation used most frequently by the "struggling" among our population is something called a bus--that miracle of mass transit completely unknown to someone like Brooks, whose purported familiarity with the lives of normal folks--that is, anyone not of the NYC/DC elite circles in which he travels--is only slightly more dubious than the theories he seeks to promote.

Tscottme said...

Half of my family was The prominent family in a small town. The other half were moonshiners in the same town. I grew up poor and worked in a field of luxury.

Consistently poor people make short-term, self-defeating choices and have short-term thinking. Just as some blacks accuse other blacks of acting white if a black reads, speaks, behaves well. Many poor people get angry at people around them that don't replicate the self-defeating behavior common to the group.

Those poor people Brooks imagines are studiously considering milk vs orange juice are buying beer and cigarettes without careful consideration. The beer and cigs are bought regardless of consequence.

Wealthy people have time and resources to consider long-term, high reward choices and have the best safety net possible so they don't have to succeed on the first try. Poor people know they can't afford a failure and often don't try. They set their sights unrealistically high or far too low.

The PC version of poverty is The Waltons were busy doing the right things and they had an accident which brought poverty on them. The truth is too many poor people do whatever is necessary to remain poor by just replaying the same habit over and over and over while blaming others for keeping them down.

agnostic said...

You guys are getting too distracted by Brooks' fake concern for the poor, and by the term "scarcity," with its policy outcome that we should just give the poor more money and that'll fix it.

(Regardless of what Brooks thinks, that's how the real world would interpret and act upon his talk about "scarcity.")

He could have just as easily phrased it as a problem of cognitive "overload," with the suggestion that we make modern life less hectic.

Lord knows that all of that deluge of data in our daily lives hasn't improved our median income, which has stagnated since the '70s (or happiness or trust or....).

And Millennials have far lower productivity than Boomers did at the same age. One among many reasons for that is that Boomers gave themselves some leisure time for their brains to recover, unlike the "content"-consuming data-addicts who are always checking their phone for pointless texts, farting around on the internet, or plugging themselves into a video game for 4+ hours a day.

And now that young people don't go out dancing anymore, they don't get a regular shot of the analgesics and euphoriants that the brain releases when it goes into an active trance-like state. They don't take drugs that artificially produce similar effects either.

So not only are they more cognitively overwhelmed, they're doing less to counteract it.

Anonymous said...

But again, how come all those poor Jewish and Asian immigrants rose so high in Ameria? I mean they must had a 'million things on their mind' to ever have time or energy to improve themselves.

And it's funny... the notion of poor blacks having a 'million things on their minds'. No, the problem is they often have a few things on their minds and don't think of other things.
If a poor Jewish student in the 1920s thought, "If I play hooky, mess up, and have lots of fun now, I'll waste my youth and won't succeed in the long run." So, the poor immigrant Jewish kid had more on his mind and made more constructive choices.
But a 'poor' black kids thinks, 'gots to have me this NOW, gots to have me that NOW' without any thought of consequences. They live for the moment cuz their only 'thoughts' are hedonistic pleasure, funkery, orgasm, beer, rage.

Anonymous said...

Not all poor people are alike. Some don't remain poor while others do. Speaking of 'poor' is like speaking of 'youth'. Not all youths are alike. It's not white Mormon youths who are looting stores all over the nation.

Peter A said...

"Anyone who's lived for some time in a country where he doesn't speak the language knows that lots of specific cognitive demands make you generally more stupid."

Hardly. It usually makes you smarter because you are forced to think and not, as Steve points out, just sit around consuming entertainment. When I lived in Russia in the bad old days Russians would often say they thought the one advantage of the scarcity economy of the Soviet Union is that people had to be constantly on their toes looking for the next product on sales, figuring out who to call to help fix some broken item in the apartment, negotiate corruption at work, etc. They always felt this lifestyle made Russians smarter and shrewder than easy living Americans.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it scarcity and harrowing challenges in the frigid north that made whites and Asians more intelligent?
Wasn't it constant challenges in hostile goylands which made Jews smarter?

Anonymous said...

If poor people are SO demoralized by 'tough choices', how come blacks are so good at sports? You'd think all those black youths would be too traumatized to have any energy left for high-energy sports like basketball and football?
"Man, I had to choose between a fridge and a tv. How am I gonna dunk that ball today???"

And what's with the high sexual energy among blacks?
You'd think every poor black guy would be thinking, "I can't get it up cuz I had to choose between a cellphone and Xbox today!"

Anonymous said...

In some ways poor people and academics/journalists have somethng in common. They have to make tough choices. An academic has to choose between PC and PIC(political incorrectness), and he better choose the former if he wants promotions and accolades. Maybe this explains why they are so idiotic.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the poor today worry less about basic needs than middle classes did long ago.

Black Sea said...

I don't think Brooks is a genius, but I don't think he's an idiot either. The reality, more likely, is that he's smart enough to realize that he's landed a very plum position in a not particularly lucrative field, and he'd like to capitalize on that to the greatest extent possible.

He's got kids to raise and retirement to save for. He is, as journalists go, a celebrity, and the regular TV appearances massage his ego and boost his book sales. In other words, he's human, which explains a lot about why he writes what he writes.

Anonymous said...

What absolute crap and poppsychology at its worst!

The fact is that richer people are rich because they are more likely to hold down high productivity jobs.
High productivity jobs are usually characterised by skill, knowledge and the ability to make and prioritize myriads of little decisions all day long - in fact the whole performance s just a summary of prioritizing, rationalizing and informed decisions.That's how they make their bread and butter - and that's hat they have strived for and planned to do since their earliset school days.
Anyway, the best chessplayers would be the best rationalizers.The price of a quart of milk or a cab ride is essentally trivia in the scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

pleasure, funkery, orgasm, beer, rage. Lol well done

Question- you think these flash mobbers would attack and beat a white elderly grandmother? What if she was using a walker? I say yes to first no to second

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

I wonder how many of Brooks' subjects end up putting orange juice on their cereal.

Here are two more tests to complement his taxi example.

1) Do you spend more on cable-TV than you do on rent (thank you, Section 8)?

2) Do you spend more on your cell phone than you do on groceries (ditto, food stamps)?

If your answer to either is "yes," then whatever challenges you face in life, Dickensian scarcity isn't among them.

Jeff said...

"The truth is too many poor people do whatever is necessary to remain poor by just replaying the same habit over and over and over while blaming others for keeping them down."

Just because you are poor doesn't mean you need to act like white trash. Isn't that something that most people heard at least once in their lives? The key point is that those people with good genetics are going to abstain from the white trash life in order to escape it. It's called joining the military.

sabril said...

Yes, this reminds me of the hypothesis that black children are more unruly in school because they go to churches on Sunday which invite more audience participation.

In short, a lame epicycle.

As a side note, it's entirely possible that poor people in New York are more familiar with taxi fares just like they are probably more familiar with the price of fancy sneakers, cognac, and gold jewelry.

Anonymous said...

Black Sea- very good points. He knows what lines he can and cannot cross if he wants to be the "conservative" Krugman.

Anonymous said...

The only answer is a cable tv show that doesn't cow-tow to pc.


Steve, you'd make a great moderator.

Of course, even better would be a cable network that focused on bringing to viewers the latest in hard science, social science and public policy.

We need the money men.

Anonymous said...

"Milk versus orange juice"?

Really? In the hood? More like a bottle of rum versus a carton of cigarettes.

Anonymous said...

Brooks knows that what he speaks and writes is fatuous. He has made a conscious decision to try to spread falsehoods, lies.

He's no better than an Al Sharpton.

Let's call him what he is--a shill for a breed of people who fear they are losing their cred.

Let's call him what he is--a liar.

David Brooks is a shillin' liar.

Anonymous said...

You mean the radicals that overthrew the German order?

Nothing says "conservative" as much as "socialist"...

- Raus

Eric said...

North Korea has a real per capita GDP far below that in diamond-rich Botswana, which is often lauded as an "African success story." Wanna bet where average IQ is higher?

The gap is smaller than you'd think, and may even favor Botswana. North Koreans don't get enough to eat during their developing years, and have an average IQ at least fifteen points below their Southern brethren.

Officially the South wants to reunite with the North, but privately they worry the northerners are too dumb, too weak, and too uneducated to be anything but a burden.

Bantam said...

"Question- you think these flash mobbers would attack and beat a white elderly grandmother? What if she was using a walker? I say yes to first no to second"

You bet!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of Brooks' subjects end up putting orange juice on their cereal.

I like to put Diet Dr Pepper on my Raisin Bran.

Still going back and forth in my mind on the idea of Diet Cherry Dr Pepper, though - it's almost too much of a good thing.

Oh, and have you tried the Cheerwine Krispy Kreme donuts? Now there's some good eatin'.

Kylie said...

"Here are two more tests to complement his taxi example.

1) Do you spend more on cable-TV than you do on rent (thank you, Section 8)?

2) Do you spend more on your cell phone than you do on groceries (ditto, food stamps)?

If your answer to either is "yes," then whatever challenges you face in life, Dickensian scarcity isn't among them."


Let me add a third test.

3)Do you put more name brands in your shopping cart than you do house brands? (Again, thank you, food stamps.)

In the grocery stores in my former, mixed-race, low-income neighborhood, I could tell in the check-out line who was on food stamps and who was not just by looking at the contents of their shopping carts. (Hint to David Brooks, if you're reading this and want to know how I did it, reread the preceding paragraph and then think really really hard.) In years of playing this little game with myself, I was never wrong once.

Oh, and I never once served an eviction notice for failure to pay rent to any smoker who didn't smoke name brand cigarettes. (Another hint to D.B.: in this context, "failure" is a euphemism for "refusal".)

Mr. Anon said...

I sometimes hear David Brooks on NPR where he is paired with E.J. Dionne (who would put in a good word for a forest fire if the the forest fire was a Democrat) for one of those inside-the-beltway inside-baseball kaffee-klatsch segments.

Dionne's function seems to be to make Brooks seem marginally less stupid.

ZZ said...

"He is, as journalists go, a celebrity, and the regular TV appearances massage his ego and boost his book sales."

Brooks, along with Kristoff and David Friedman at the NYT plus Gladwell, write supposedly centrist/independent blather whose main point is always to flatter the private sector global elite class.

It sounds like blather to contemplative high-IQ types like Steve and many of his readers. I know a few rich businessmen, and they lap it up and think it is brilliant.

They also rave about the quality of writing in the Economist, which usually strikes me as not much better than the USA Today in both content and style.

ZZ said...

One consequence of the fact that the top 1% of the USA controls 60% of wealth is that 60% of media is going to be aimed at them.

To the extent you have the same tastes as the very rich, that's good for you. But when it comes to politics, they tend to be pretty satisfied with the status quo and like people like Brooks and Gladwell who reaffirm the justness of our society where they are making bank while striping the USA bare of its middle class jobs and middle class safety net of pensions, medicare, and social security.

Kylie said...

"Really? In the hood? More like a bottle of rum versus a carton of cigarettes."

In my neighborhood, it was gin, not rum.

And the money for that and the (name brand) cigarettes most often came from selling the food stamps people were supposed to use to feed their kids.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this reminds me of the hypothesis that black children are more unruly in school because they go to churches on Sunday which invite more audience participation.
actually whenever i see black 7th day adventists or any christians i usually don't worry - they are usually well behaved.
same goes for the nation of islam blacks- they may hate whitey but they have some self control.

Anonymous said...

I do wonder how much of Brooks' waking life has been devoted to elective social interaction with the folks he purports to have sooo much insight about. 95% of the white lefties I've known have had a filtered, remote-view love affair with the working class/minorities/ but somehow never managed to have a single friendship with any one of them.

Camlost said...

Truth is going to post a link to some Vancover riot videos and disprove everything that you people are saying here...

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should agree with what liberals say and twist the implications for our benefit.
Our argument should be along the lines of "we middle class white people are 'racist', 'xenophobic', and 'homophobic' because we are so stressed out by the tough decisions we have to make in life whereas affluent white/Jewish liberals are so wonderful cuz they're loaded with wealth and stress-free." So, what is the solution? Rich white/Jewish liberals should share 50% of their wealth with middle class, working class, and poor whites who've been traumatized into having political correct thoughts by the terrible stresses of life. It's like a millionaire Jewish liberal doesn't have to worry about crime and college tuition for his kids since he can afford to live in a safe neighborhood and can afford to send his kid to a posh college. But us regular white folks don't have the same privilege, which fills us with bitterness and 'hate'. So, the ONLY way we can be saved from our psycho-pathology of 'hate' is if white/Jewish liberals give us lots of free money.
WE should test out this theory. How about Brooks send half his yearly income to Sailer? Maybe with more cash and prizes and less to worry about, Sailer will become a liberal or at least a tolerable neocon.

Steve Sailer said...

There's a lot to be said for the scientific method, so in the interests of furthering the boundaries of scientific knowledge, I hereby volunteer to take part in such a Brooks-Sailer income equalization project. I promise to let everybody know what effect it has on my political views.

Anonymous said...

"Rich white/Jewish liberals should share 50% of their wealth with middle class, working class, and poor whites who've been traumatized into having political correct thoughts by the terrible stresses of life."

I meant 'having politically INcorrect thoughts'

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Sailer,

Is it a medical condition that moves you to imagine that all sorts of famous people who have never heard of you are constantly arguing with you via their columns or blogs?

The same condition, perhaps, that moved you to threaten Steve Jobs with a lawsuit because of an upcoming biography to be named "iSteve"? (Nevermind that the first iMac predated your first isteve website by a decade; bonus: the begging for free legal representation was downright comical!)

Mr. Sailer, this may come as a shock to you. But you're not a part of any discourse with those people whom you imagine to be secretly-in-public arguing with you.

What you are is, a White Nationalist blogger with (usually) moderate doses of anti-black racism and anti-Jew incitement, inherently limited to a target audience of mainly losers... resentful people with ugly chips on their shoulders.

What sets you apart from other WN bloggers is your writing talent. But, your niche market values the Ten Minutes of Hate more than the occasional delightful and reflective pieces. So that's where you will be stuck, forevermore.

ATBOTL said...

"Eldar Shafir" and "Sendhil Mullainathan" taking up precious professorships at Princeton and Harvard to produce this sort of utter tripe. I guess the native talent of Americans must be really poor, if our top universities need to look abroad and import those two clows as an "improvement."

--------------------------

We are at the beginning of an explosion of non-black, non-Hispanic minorities(NBNHMs) in elite positions.

Journalism seems to be leading the way with an incredible percentage of younger writers for elite publications bearing Indian, Asian, Arab and Persian names.

Needless to say, this increase in elite NBNHMs does not seem to be hurting the representation of more established groups equally. European whites are bearing the brunt of it. In a generation, we can expect very few European whites among the elite. Of course, it may not make much of a difference considering the attitudes of the current crop of European white elites.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

What you are is, a White Nationalist blogger with (usually) moderate doses of anti-black racism and anti-Jew incitement,"

i.e., he talks about things you are unfamiliar and uncomfortable thinking about.

"...inherently limited to a target audience of mainly losers... resentful people with ugly chips on their shoulders."

In order to determine whether you have any right to call other people losers, we need to know something about you: What's your terminal degree? How much money do you make, and how much are you worth? How consequent is your job? Without any such information, I have to assume that you are just a pissant liberal nobody, leading an unimportant, dead-end life.

Doug1 said...

Brooks is wrong, even aside from Steve’s pointing out that taxi knowledge isn’t a big part of most American’s data base.

In NYC, where I’ve lived since law school (fairly early on moved to greener pastures than elite BigLaw in several senses of that word), this wasn’t and isn’t accurate. I was upper middle class pretty much first law employment, and used cabs a whole lot. I even did as a student to a degree, because I had upper upper middle class parents. After awhile moving up it’s mostly radio cab town cars. That is for from work late, or for work related transportation. But lots of times when doing personal stuff, everyone above the middle middle in Manhattan almost will catch a yellow cab. Well there are those that have limos waiting off location and moving in at ending time at the event, but this is very limited. Radio town cars doing somewhat less waiting less limited. But still a minority for the moneyed patrons.

Brooks is way off.

Black Sea said...

"The rules of advancement at the paper [NY Times] are never clearly defined or written down. Careerists pay lip service to the stated ideals of the institution, which are couched in lofty rhetoric about balance, impartiality and neutrality, but astutely grasp the actual guiding principle of the paper, which is: Do not significantly alienate the corporate and political power elite on whom the institution depends for access and money. Those who master this duplicitous game do well. Those who cling tenaciously to a desire to tell the truth, even at a cost to themselves and the institution, become a management problem. This creates tremendous friction within the paper. I knew reporters with a conscience who would arrive at the paper and vomit in the restroom from nervous tension before starting work."

From Chris Hedges, who spent 15 years as a Times reporter. The source is here:

http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/the_myth_of_the_new_york_times_in_documentary_form_20110706/

Kylie said...

"Brooks is wrong, even aside from Steve’s pointing out that taxi knowledge isn’t a big part of most American’s data base."

Of course Brooks is wrong. But that's not the point. The real point is that Brooks is talking liberal code. He's really saying, "Poor people have to count the cost of everything--even cab fare! They have to decide whether or not to serve their children milk or orange juice! They have to figure out how to keep the lights on! You and I have the luxury of not having to worry about things like that."

He's deliberately lumping in the "working poor" with what we might call the "shiftless poor"--the latter being people who depend primarily on the social safety net without bothering to look for work or see that their kids attend school or stay out of jail or use their taxpayer-funded subsidies for their intended purposes.

He can do this because he knows his target audience has no idea what being "poor" in 21st century America is like. He knows that they still think of it as a Dickensian hell into which the hapless and helpless are flung by cruel chance and heartless conservatives.

Countering his lies with facts does no good. He's appealing to liberal emotions, not to the intellects of people wanting to make up their minds based on the facts. Liberals don't analyze anything beyond trying to figure out how they can spin stuff to their advantage.

We can blather on about cab fare all we want. Just by having his article published in the NYT, Brooks has already won the argument.

Anonymous said...

Brooks is lost in a maze of words.

Feature, not bug.

Btw, forgot to mention: My GOD 7 hours a day is a lot of television. That's an insane amount of television. 5 hours a day is a hell of a lot of television. 2 hours a day is starting to get into the realm of reasonable.

Svigor

Anonymous said...

Officially the South [Korea] wants to reunite with the North, but privately they worry the northerners are too dumb, too weak, and too uneducated to be anything but a burden.

The West Germans had similar qualms about the East.

Anonymous said...

Brooks is describing poor smart whites. They exist.

Nerds? Aspies?

Anonymous said...

"In order to determine whether you have any right to call other people losers, we need to know something about you: What's your terminal degree? How much money do you make, and how much are you worth? How consequent is your job? Without any such information, I have to assume that you are just a pissant liberal nobody, leading an unimportant, dead-end life."

What he is trying to say is the people here don't ever get laid.

David said...

>Is it a medical condition that moves you to imagine that all sorts of famous people who have never heard of you are constantly arguing with you via their columns or blogs?<

Are you David Brooks?

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

"In order to determine whether you have any right to call other people losers, we need to know something about you: What's your terminal degree? How much money do you make, and how much are you worth? How consequent is your job? Without any such information, I have to assume that you are just a pissant liberal nobody, leading an unimportant, dead-end life."

What he is trying to say is the people here don't ever get laid."

Nonsense. It isn't true, and he would have no way of knowing it if it were. But that does suggest another item on the list I presented him.

Anonymous said...


What sets you apart from other WN bloggers is your writing talent. But, your niche market values the Ten Minutes of Hate more than the occasional delightful and reflective pieces. So that's where you will be stuck, forevermore.



Cool. So it'll be a cinch for you to ignore then, right?

Right?

Right?

Why are you still here?

rob said...

Dear Mr. Sailer,

Is it a medical condition that moves you to imagine that all sorts of famous people who have never heard of you are constantly arguing with you via their columns or blogs?


Dumbanon, Brooks reads Sailer. At least he used to. I know this because he cited Steve's the correlation between (white) birth rate and %voting republican that Sailer discovered. It does speak well of Brooks: he could have pretended he found it, or just not say where he got it. I heard him with my own ears say he was uncomfortable with the source, so he only mentioned the weaker overall birthrate correlation.

Now voting(birthrate)is a pretty obscure piece of information for it to be the only hatefact that Brooks knows: it implies that Brooks keeps up with iSteve and/or VDARE.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Steve has any problem with me responding to the comment about Jews naturally distrusting "conservatives" because of the Nazis with a comment about whites naturally distrusting Jews because of the Bolsheviks, so I'm trying again, sans any color commentary.

Svigor