March 10, 2012

Occam's Butterknife applied to PISA

A lot of the ideas that are broached early on iSteve end up being kicked around later in the prestige press, but they tend to get dumbed down in the process of replacing Occam's Razor with Occam's Butterknife. For instance, I've been saying for a decade that looking at test scores internationally can say a lot about the future of a country. Today, Tom Friedman today writes in the NYT about PISA scores
A team from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., has just come out with a fascinating little study mapping the correlation between performance on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, exam — which every two years tests math, science and reading comprehension skills of 15-year-olds in 65 countries — and the total earnings on natural resources as a percentage of G.D.P. for each participating country. In short, how well do your high school kids do on math compared with how much oil you pump or how many diamonds you dig? 
 The results indicated that there was a “a significant negative relationship between the money countries extract from national resources and the knowledge and skills of their high school population,” said Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the PISA exams for the O.E.C.D. “This is a global pattern that holds across 65 countries that took part in the latest PISA assessment.” Oil and PISA don’t mix. (See the data map at: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/43/9/49881940.pdf.) 

I can't reproduce the scatter plot here, but I'm not blown away by the correlation I see when I look at it. It's better to be smart than endowed with lots of natural resources, but, overall, it's best to be both.
As the Bible notes, added Schleicher, “Moses arduously led the Jews for 40 years through the desert — just to bring them to the only country in the Middle East that had no oil. But Moses may have gotten it right, after all. Today, Israel has one of the most innovative economies, and its population enjoys a standard of living most of the oil-rich countries in the region are not able to offer.” 

Actually, Israel's overall PISA scores are mediocre. Israel does worse on the PISA than Russia, which has a resource-driven economy. Israel has a smart fraction, definitely, but even that doesn't appear to be all that spectacular according to what PISA measured. (This may say more about limitations in PISA than about Israel.)
So hold the oil, and pass the books. According to Schleicher, in the latest PISA results, students in Singapore, Finland, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan stand out as having high PISA scores and few natural resources, while Qatar and Kazakhstan stand out as having the highest oil rents and the lowest PISA scores. (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran and Syria stood out the same way in a similar 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or Timss, test, while, interestingly, students from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey — also Middle East states with few natural resources — scored better.) 
Also lagging in recent PISA scores, though, were students in many of the resource-rich countries of Latin America, like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Africa was not tested. Canada, Australia and Norway, also countries with high levels of natural resources, still score well on PISA, in large part, argues Schleicher, because all three countries have established deliberate policies of saving and investing these resource rents, and not just consuming them. 

Norway did mediocre on the latest PISA relative to, say, Finland. Canada and Australia score well because they are the only rich countries whose immigrants, first and second generation, don't drag down the national averages. That's because they carefully select immigrants to, explicitly, boost the welfare of natives. (Finland has very few 15-year-old immigrants, too)
Add it all up and the numbers say that if you really want to know how a country is going to do in the 21st century, don’t count its oil reserves or gold mines, count its highly effective teachers, involved parents and committed students. “Today’s learning outcomes at school,” says Schleicher, “are a powerful predictor for the wealth and social outcomes that countries will reap in the long run.”

Indeed.

But, the reverse correlation between test scores and natural resources asserted here is mostly a statistical illusion due to 2 problems:

1) Which countries participate in PISA and which don't. Countries that are dumb but rich due to oil are more likely to take part in PISA than countries that are dumb but poor. For example, Saudi Arabia has more money than brains, so it took part in PISA. Its Arab neighbor Yemen would probably score near the bottom of PISA if it had enough oil to pay for a bureaucracy to implement the tests. But it doesn't have much of anything, so it doesn't bother. Same with most African countries, few of which participate in PISA or TIMSS.

There can often be a resource curse where mineral wealth causes civil wars, coups, and laziness. But, if you've got smart, hard-working people, more resources is better than fewer resources, on the whole.

2) They are measuring how much resources a country has by what percentage of its economy stems from natural resources. So, dumb countries that don't have anything else going for them beside natural resources are measured as having lots of natural resources, while smart countries with lots of resources, like Australia, Canada, and the United States, also do other things economically, so they don't appear to be as dependent upon natural resources as dumb countries. 

In general, the happiest thing to be is a smart, large, resource rich, relatively-lightly populated English-speaking country with a British-descended system of government and culture. Australians don't call Australia "the lucky country" for no reason.

97 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's been said it was a curse for communism that the first nation to become communist was backward Russia, but I'm not so sure. Russia, along with other territories that made up the Soviet Union, was so vast and abundant in natural resources that it could sustain itself alone against the entire capitalist/fascist world.

Historians like John Lukacs says it would have been a great boon to communism if industrially advanced Germany had turned communist first, but Germany is limited in size and natural resources. If all the major anti-communist nations forced economic sanctions on a communist Germany, the German economy would have ground to a halt. So, Russia turning communist was a great advantage for communism. It also helped that Russia is geographically connected to China, thus enabling Russia to come to aid of Chinese communists during WWII.

Anonymous said...

This film ONLY SON offers an interesting glimpse into the Japanese mentality that supports the desire for education and all its problem. Out on Criterion DVD. Watched it recently. Excellent.

Anonymous said...

The three billion dollars Israel shakes down from the hapless American taxpayer every year doesn't hurt either.

Aspie Ideas Festival said...

The essence of Thomas Friedman logic: Norway is sort of like a subarctic version of Kuwait or Venezuela

Glaivester said...

"The Resource Curse" is poppycock. The whole idea is based on the concept that places become more modern and free after people reach a certain level of income, unless they get wealth from natural resources. According to "The Resource Curse" having a certain level of income makes you more liberalized, so the fact that the countries with huge mineral wealth buck this trend, so the mineral wealth must be oppressing them.

Obviously, the problem is confusing correlation with causation. The fact of the matter is, the mineral resources simply increased the standard of living beyond what the people's talents could create on their own. In other words, the "Resource Cursed" countries would be sub-Saharan Africa-style hellholes without the mineral wealth.

Anonymous said...

"In general, the happiest thing to be is a smart, large, resource rich, relatively-lightly populated English-speaking country with a British-descended system of government and culture. Australians don't call Australia "the lucky country" for no reason."

Immense hubris. You are a very arrogant and proud man, Steve. And of course, you used Australia as a proxy to avoid appearing too xenophobic and nationalistic. The country you really mean is the U.S.A.

Funny how, despite being such a smart country, the average WHITE(emphasis needed) American cannot locate his country in an Atlas, or name who were the men involved in crafting the constitution, or who led the northern stated during the war of secession. Perhaps you could explain this paradox to me?

Anonymous said...

Friedman is flat.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading for years but have never donated nor clicked on any ads.

Anonymous said...

Funny how, despite being such a smart country, the average WHITE(emphasis needed) American cannot locate his country in an Atlas, or name who were the men involved in crafting the constitution, or who led the northern stated during the war of secession. Perhaps you could explain this paradox to me?

Hum, perhaps it is not true? Are you sure of this claim? Which white Americans, those over 50 or those under 10? Perhaps this is typical anti-American agit-prop, only vaguely factual? Do others in the world do better on this test? On similar tests about their own country? Does it matter?

Indeed, why is this all about Americans and not about PISA and the world?

Anonymous said...

"Immense hubris. You are a very arrogant and proud man, Steve. And of course, you used Australia as a proxy to avoid appearing too xenophobic and nationalistic. The country you really mean is the U.S.A."

Uh oh. Another angry, drunken Australian. Even when you try to be nice and praise them, they get all pissy. Best to ignore them completely. They don't matter, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Muslim lebaneses in Australia are not too far behind with the muslim "youth" in Europe, they already getting Somalians and Sudaneses to help them.

Anonymous said...

Funny how, despite being such a smart country, the average WHITE(emphasis needed) American cannot locate his country in an Atlas, or name who were the men involved in crafting the constitution, or who led the northern stated during the war of secession. Perhaps you could explain this paradox to me?

No paradox at all. The average white American is better with practical things than any man in any other country. Other people learn to recite propaganda fed at an early age by self-appointed mandarins. Americans tune out and do things instead of memorizing trivia.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how the jewish Friedman emphasizes Arab low scores but neglects to mention that India scores at the very bottom. Talk about agendas...

He quotes his Indian-American friend in the article: "if one has no resources, one has to become resourceful". As if India is known for its resourcefulness like Japan or Taiwan, rather than its poverty, hunger, abysmal infrastructure.

India has done a pitiful job cultivating it's human resources throughout history, thanks to the anti-meritocratic caste system.

rec1man said...

Regarding anti-meritocratic caste system,


Despite 60 years of affirmative action quotas, there is no sign that the 75% lower castes , who get quotas , can graduate from quotas, even after 3 generations of quotas

When I went through the CA- National Merit list, 90% of winners were from the upper castes, 10% from middle level castes and zero from lower castes

--

And regarding Indian PISA scores, I have a detailed analysis why it is wrong

http://pisa2009.acer.edu.au/interactive.php

has the interactive PISA report

The sample was deliberately slanted to focus on bilingual kids, rural kids, and public school malnourished kids who come for the free mid-day meal


First of all 83% of the Himachal Pradesh PISA participants were bilingual kids, facing a PISA in a language not their own

Meaning in Himachal Pradesh, Tibetan kids were facing a Hindi PISA exam

If you look at math scores alone,

The raw PISA math for Himachal Pradesh is 338

However, remove the bilingual kids and the PISA-math becomes 401

Next, there are 5 quintiles of urbanisation
Village, Small Town, Town , City and Large City

Himachal Pradesh had zero sampling from City and Large City ( where most of the upper castes live ) and 67% sampling of village. And in the Town category, there is strong evidence, that the worst slum school was selected.

Village = 329;
Small Town = 379 ; Town = 339

Next in Himachal Pradesh, 85% of the students were from govt public schools and only 15% from private schools

In India, the only kids who go to govt public schools are the starving kids who go for the mid-day meal. Once they move into lower middle class, the go to private schools
There is a 45 PISA spread in favor of Private schools which is the effect of removal of malnutrition

rec1man said...

Qatar, 153 school average for Science, Math, Reading = 379, 368, 372 = 81 IQ

The middle-class expats are boosting the average score

Qatar School Ranking, top 30 schools out of 153

Mean PISA = 500 = IQ 100
SD PISA = 100 = IQ 15


Science, Math, Reading scores
---

For comparison Shanghai = 575, 600, 566 = 112 IQ

1. Al-Khor Indian Stream, ( GEMS ) = 566, 592, 604 = 113 IQ = Indian Hindu technicians and Engineers of NGL
2. The International School of Choueifat ( SABIS ) = 554, 562, 565 = 109 IQ = Lebanese Xtian
3. Doha College Private ( British Embassy ) = 572, 553, 563 = 109 IQ = UK
4. DPS Modern Indian School ( Delhi Public School Society ) = 552, 538, 563 = 107 IQ = Indian Hindu
5. Qatar Academy ( US educators ) = 540, 547, 562 = 107 IQ
6. American School of Doha, ( US Embassy ) = 553, 546, 559 = 108 IQ
7. Park House English ( UK ) = 568, 528, 552 = 107 IQ
8. Birla Public School = 586, 539, 549 = 108 IQ = Indian Hindu
9. Qatar Intl Private School ( UK ) = 539, 529, 540 = 105 IQ
10. Al Bayan Girls = 481, 464, 516 = Muslim Arab = 98 IQ
11. Cambridge Intl Private School = 531, 484, 514 = 101 IQ
12. Doha Modern Indian School ( Jai Gopal Jindal ) = 554, 525, 514 = 104 IQ = Indian Hindu
13. Al-Khor British Stream ( GEMS ) = 507, 505, 503 = 102 IQ
14. Dukhan English School ( UK ) = 529, 501, 500 = 102 IQ

15. Debakey High School for Health ( USA ) = 492, 467, 493 = 98 IQ

16. Qatar Canadian School = 451, 456, 491 = 95 IQ
17. MES Indian School ( Muslim Education Society ) = 484, 469, 490 = 97 IQ = Indian Muslim
18. Ideal Indian School Girls, ( Muslim ) = 481, 450, 489 = 96 IQ = Indian Muslim
19. Sudanese School = 463, 411, 488 = 93 IQ , remarkably high for black-arab mullatos
20. Al Arqam = 454, 451, 484 = 95 IQ
21. The Gulf English = 468, 448, 482 = 95 IQ
22. Philipine School = 466, 461, 480 = 96 IQ
23. Jordanian School = 446, 422, 472 = 92 IQ
24. Tunisian School = 459, 436, 463 = 93 IQ
25. Lebanese School ( Muslim ) = 444, 501, 463 = 96 IQ
26. Middle East Intl = 484, 452, 461 = 95 IQ
27. Al Andalus = 446, 397, 454 = 90 IQ
28. Ideal Indian School, boys ( Muslim ) = 462, 465, 453 = 94 IQ = Indian Muslim
29. Egyptian School = 463, 435, 434 = 92 IQ
30. American Academy = 462, 434, 434 = 92 IQ

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of Indian-Americans in the US, UK, Canada, Australia descend from the low castes. They do far better than the vast majority of Brahmins who remain in India, most of whom are deeply impoverished working in jobs like domestic servant/cooks etc.

It is only recently that Brahmins have begun emigrating in substantial numbers, coming as H1-B workers etc. Because of the anti-meritocratic caste culture of India Brahmins have been heavily disproportional in higher education in english.

India's backwardness can be blamed on the Brahmins who comprised the lion's share of the notoriously incompetent Indian bureaucracy, media and prime ministers.

Anonymous said...

It is exactly opposite of what Anonymous @ 3/10/12 11:20 PM has stated.

rec1man can you inform why the Telegu, Naidus and Reddys are the largest admits to IITs, Have all Iyers and Iyengars immigrated to US? WHy cant SI
Brahmins compete with Andhraites when they also have access to caoching?

Steve Sailer said...

Communism worked okay for awhile precisely because the Soviet Union had so many natural resources to exploit. Yeah, capitalism is better at drilling for oil than central planning, but in the early decades when the oil is squirting out of the ground, either one will more or less get the job done.

The real failure of the Soviet economy was in not serving the women of Russia. It shouldn't have been hard to make Slavic women look good, but Communism failed spectacularly at that. Yeltsin's barely in office and suddenly there's this unexpected new bounty of leggy blondes on the world market. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

First of all 83% of the Himachal Pradesh PISA participants were bilingual kids, facing a PISA in a language not their own

Meaning in Himachal Pradesh, Tibetan kids were facing a Hindi PISA exam

If you look at math scores alone,

The raw PISA math for Himachal Pradesh is 338

However, remove the bilingual kids and the PISA-math becomes 401



Pure self-serving dishonesty. As usual. You keep pulling numbers out of thin air.

http://pisa2009.acer.edu.au/interactive_results.php

60% of the students took the test in the language they speak at home, yet you claim 83% who took the test speak a different language at home!

Secondly, the bilingual students actually scored better across the board, in reading, math and science. Yet you claim bilingualism was a handicap and even concocted a number!

Thirdly Tibetans are a tiny minority, yet you are insinuating that they brought the average down. Himachal Pradesh is 95% hindu, with Sikhs and Tibetans constituting most of the 5% minority.

Fourthly, if malnutrition is to be blamed for HP's scores than the rest of India must be far more handicapped being much hungrier.

Across the board the indian students performed at absolutely abysmal levels. At the very bottom, along with Kyrgyzstan. And these are students from two of the better off regions of India. There is no escaping the fact that the Indian educational system is among the very worst in the world.

IHTG said...

Somebody's been reading naughty websites.

Anonymous said...

This 'natural resources' theme of Friedman's is a bunch of crap - and I hope he knows it.
There is no causal link - it just happens that the odd way natural resources are distributed around the globe makes for odd patterns - that's all there is to it.
I suggest a better correlation for Friedman.PISA scores and perpendicular distance of the capital city from the equator.Now that would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

But Steve, no nation in history has ever done more for the cause of 'female equality' than the USSR, no I'm not joking here this is a documented and historic fact, 'female equality' was a linch pin of the communist agenda right from the start and the communists vigorously enforced it to the fullest extent.
The strange irony is that the aggressive pursuit of 'female equality' is the only communist idea that succeeded and was copied by the capitalistic world. ERA, AA for white women, women in the miitary in car plants, female doctors, lawyers, coalminers, pilots etc are really only rehashes of what the communists did 90 years ago in Russia.
It is usually unremarked, but this communist lead development has probably changed the face of the western world and the USA more than anything else during the last century, much more than any immigration or 'racial' policy.

Anonymous said...

"And of course, you used Australia as a proxy to avoid appearing too xenophobic and nationalistic. The country you really mean is the U.S.A."

No. I'm sure Steve really meant Australia. Australia is 92% white European stock; GDP is soaring; resources are abundant; the currency is strong; the top ten countries of origin for the (relatively manageable) immigrant intake are China, India, UK, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Africa, South Korea, Ireland, Malaysia, Thailand.

You wish Australia was just like the US, or you would if you were smart enough.

Gilbert P.

ja nee said...

Gilbert P you say Australia is 92% white, or is that a random statistic? If true that's got to be the highest rate anywhere outside of Iceland.

Well, at any rate there are some people helping on that score:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80_BugBDym4&t=1m23s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyg8ungEAzQ&t=24s

Anonymous said...

The Achilles heel of Australia is its criminal (lack of) justice system and its gun laws. It would harder to design a country that is more favorable to criminals.

Anonymous said...

"But Steve, no nation in history has ever done more for the cause of 'female equality' than the USSR"

Yeah, but they approached it from a male viewpoint. If they had approached it from a female viewpoint, instead of the vodka-chugging rough ruskies there would have been tough competition to shy swedish men.

Anonymous said...

"The Achilles heel of Australia is its criminal (lack of) justice system and its gun laws. It would harder to design a country that is more favorable to criminals"

And to that I would add, the naivety of its citizens. But that is like criticizing a beautiful virgin for her lack of worldliness. She can gain experience. A slut can't reclaim her innocence.
GP.

Anonymous said...

"90% of winners were from the upper castes, 10% from middle level castes and zero from lower castes"

What's the percentage breakdown in India of these groups?

Anonymous said...

2. The International School of Choueifat ( SABIS ) = 554, 562, 565 = 109 IQ = Lebanese Xtian

---

Fascinating enough for its own post. Who knew Lebanese Christians were that smart?

Anonymous said...

I have to take exception to Steve's comment about Australia carefully selecting immigrants.

It's true that the average immigrant to Australia is more educated, and intelligent, than your average border jumper.

However, it's also true that immigrants - often refugees, or products of family reunification, disproportionately inhabit Australian prisons and welfare lines.

Anonymous said...

Russia is rich in minerals but nearly all this wealth was discovered under Communists, including almost all oil. Russia exported next to no oil or other minerals until 1060s. And initially oil may have gushed out of the ground but it did so in the middle of the freaking Siberia. The truth is, extracting this oil and bringing it to civilized placed is extremely difficult. And, unlike Saudi Arabia or even Norway, the Russians did it all by themselves without outside help.

As for beautiful women, Communist Russia was just as full of them as ever. All travelers remarked on this. You could walk in Moscow and see a supermodel per city block. And it was even better in places like Archangel. But these girls mostly stayed home, got married, and had kids; and all you saw in the West are stupid Wendy's commercials.

swimming swan said...

Is Canada really doing all that well immigration policies and all?

Big Bill said...

"Actually, Israel's overall PISA scores are mediocre. ...This may say more about limitations in PISA than about Israel."

Sadly, it says more about the Jewish people. A huge percentage of Jews in Israel are religious fundies and crackpots.

Jewish fundies are dedicated to keeping their children uncorrupted by not teaching them English, Math, Science, Geography, or Literature, and even less for their womenfolk.

This wouldn't be a problem except that they have 8-10 kids per woman (!), refuse to join the Jewish Army and are bankrupting the Jewish welfare state.

You broke out US PISA scores by ethnic group and showed how foolish it is to lump all scores together as one "American" number. By lumping scores together on a national level it leads people to mistakenly believe that US schools are failing when they are not. As you demonstrated in your analysis, the real problem is that the NAM percentage is growing.

Likewise in Israel: the Jewish fundie percentage is absolutely exploding as compared to the white-skinned, over-educated leftist Jewish percentage.

Big Bill said...

The strange irony is that the aggressive pursuit of 'female equality' is the only communist idea that succeeded and was copied by the capitalistic world.

I would say "socialist" idea. The German National Socialist party (Nazi) platform had proportional representation by women as one of its top five planks as I recall.

German national socialism and Marxist/Leninist scientific socialism were both vying for the female vote.

Jim said...

Regarding the what if possibility that Communism had taken over the advanced German economy indstead of the Russian Empire - Well it is one of the most amazing facts in history that the Communists were able to so totally fuck up the Russian economy which not only had natural resources out the ying yang but had been growing rapidily before the disaster of WWI.
Compared to the German economy the economy of the Russian Empire was far simpler with the vast proportion of the population peasents. You would have thought that once Russia had recovered from WWI that the three stooges could have run the Soviet economy.
Presumably Communists would have made a complete shambles of the more complex German economy but perhaps the German communists were smarter than the Russian communists.

Old Pete said...

"They are measuring how much resources a country has by what percentage of its economy stems from natural resources. So, dumb countries that don't have anything else going for them beside natural resources are measured as having lots of natural resources, while smart countries with lots of resources, like Australia, Canada, and the United States, also do other things economically, so they don't appear to be as dependent upon natural resources as dumb countries."

Put another way, Friedman is focusing on the numerator and ignoring the denominator. This kind of "denominator blindness" is typical when semi-numerate people attempt to do any sort of quantitative analysis.

A more revealing approach would be to separate non-resource GDP per capita and resource GDP per capita and do a correlation analysis for each with PISA scores. I'd be willing to bet both are positively correlated, with non-resource GDP strongly so.

Anonymous said...

"Russia, along with other territories that made up the Soviet Union, was so vast and abundant in natural resources that it could sustain itself alone against the entire capitalist/fascist world."

Russia's vast size also enabled it to pull back and weather the Nazi onslaught. If Russia had been the size of France, it would have been overrun too.

rec1man said...

In Himachal Pradesh, the total student sample was 1500 students

The samples were not a random and fair sampling

The HP sample ( not the whole state ) was over-weigthed towards linguistic minorities, 83%, the starving, 85% and the rural, 67%

-

HP PISA had 1616 students
Costa Rica PISA had 4578 students

The Population of HP is 7 million and the population of Costa Rica is 4 million
-

In the interactive PISA site,

under School variables, SC08Q01 asks

'"About how many students in in your school have a that is not ?".'


Category-1 means over 60% of the students are from a linguistic minority and Category-6 means all students are from the linguistic majority

In HP, 83% of the student sample was in Category-1 and they scored 327 mean for PISA math
and only 10% of the student sample was in Category-6 and they scored 401

In any good sampling system, 95% should be in category-6 and just 5% of student sample in Category 1

The PISA mean was 338, but for Hindi students answering PISA in Hindi, the score was 401

--

OECD countries, Category-1 = 5% of sample , 457 score

HP = 83% of sample, 327 score

OECD countries, Category-6 = 29% of sample, 467 score

HP = 10% of sample, 401 score

So while Tibetan and Punjabi kids are about 10% of the population, they were 83% of the sample for PISA

Anonymous said...

I wonder... is this a roundabout way for liberals to discuss racial differences in IQ? Friedman attributes differences in scores to educational facilities and programs, but there is something racial in suggesting "smart Jews" and "dumb Arabs". Friedman isn't saying but he's hinting, wink wink.

Anonymous said...

Israel does worse on the PISA than Russia, which has a resource-driven economy. Israel has a smart fraction, definitely, but even that doesn't appear to be all that spectacular according to what PISA measured. (This may say more about limitations in PISA than about Israel.)



That's a really odd comment.

In theory the "HBD-sphere" is all about looking at the hard data, which refutes the conventional liberal wisdom about people all being the same.

But when the hard data contradicts the widely-held belief that all Ashkenazi Jews have an IQ of 112 (or is it 115? 120? 125?) then the assumption is that the data must be wrong, and must be wrong in a particular direction.

Anonymous said...

Israel's low pisa scores can be explained by its large Arab population.

Peter A said...

" 'female equality' was a linch pin of the communist agenda right from the start and the communists vigorously enforced it to the fullest extent."

Bullcrap. Stop swallowing the Communist propaganda. Once Stalin took command "female equality" became a joke in the USSR, for foreign consumption only. You can count the number of female politburo members between 1930 and 1985 on the pinkies of a Yakuza gang member. While women were given some opportunities in traditional male occupations - like medicine and higher education - men were never expected to take on feminine occupations, as feminists demanded in the West. Soviet men never cooked, cleaned or raised children. No Soviet women ever complained about "the patriarchy" or "phallocentricism", or burned bras or refused to use make-up as a political statement. Those ideas always seemed ridiculous to Russians. The lack of Western style feminism is why to this day women in the East bloc countries are so much more feminine than women in the West. Soviet "women's equality" is really nothing like Western feminism.

Anonymous said...

The basic principle here - that people in resource rich countries evolve to be less intelligent than people in resource poor countries - is one that we should not dismiss out of hand.

But a big problem with it is that many resources, such as oil, only became resources in the last half-century. So you can't really argue that "Libyans do poorly on the PISA test because they have all that oil", when for the last several centuries they have been resource poor. Taken seriously, the theory predicts that many countries which in fact do poorly on the PISA ought to do much better.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Friedman didn't mention Africa because he'd have had to think about the (still) richest country there -- resource-rich South Africa.

Anonymous said...

"He quotes his Indian-American friend in the article: "if one has no resources, one has to become resourceful". As if India is known for its resourcefulness like Japan or Taiwan, rather than its poverty, hunger, abysmal infrastructure."

maybe he meant resourceful in escapism thru meditation, and indians seem to be have been experts at that.

Anonymous said...

"But Steve, no nation in history has ever done more for the cause of 'female equality' than the USSR, no I'm not joking here this is a documented and historic fact, 'female equality' was a linch pin of the communist agenda right from the start and the communists vigorously enforced it to the fullest extent."

I think that is Sailer's point. Communist equality of sexes meant that women had to do heavy labor in factories and gulag just like the men, and that ruined their looks.
Also, emphasis on equality discouraged women's fashions and cosmetics as narcissistic and capitalist, and so most Soviet women wore drab clothes.

Though many radical feminists were socialist leaning, Western feminism turned into a kind of materialist careerism. The iconic model of feminism is not the female worker who does manual labor--like Sarah Palin catching fish--but professional women one sees in SEX AND THE CITY.

Anonymous said...

"The strange irony is that the aggressive pursuit of 'female equality' is the only communist idea that succeeded and was copied by the capitalistic world. ERA, AA for white women, women in the miitary in car plants, female doctors, lawyers, coalminers, pilots etc are really only rehashes of what the communists did 90 years ago in Russia.
It is usually unremarked, but this communist lead development has probably changed the face of the western world and the USA more than anything else during the last century, much more than any immigration or 'racial' policy."

Actually, women's movement was gaining momentum without and outside communism. Actually, communism was so much feminist as asexualist. It was one where men and women would wear the same clothes and did the same work. Consider the Mao suits wore by men and women alike in Red China. It wasn't about empowerment of women but empowerment of working class of which women were seen as a part. Thus manhood and womanhood merged into one. Since a person's identity was economic and since women could do most work men could do, most professions became asexualized. Thus, under communism, women had to give up their womanly identity to gain power as a worker. It's like there's equal rights for blacks in Cuba as Cubans but not as BLACK cubans. Black cubans must give up their racial identity politics to gain rights in Cuban society. Similarly there was no place for feminist identity politics in the USSR. Women could be equal only as WORKERS.

There was another reason for women entering lots of professions in the USSR. After WWII, nearly 2/3 of working age population were women since so many men went to battle. There was some of this in the US as well during WWII when lots of men went off to fight. But if most American men returned from war to fill up the factories, many millions of Soviet men died on the battlefront and so women had to keep working in factories, especially since there was a lot more to rebuild in the USSR than in the US which was hardly touched by war. Also, the inefficiency of the Soviet economy necessitated more workers. With such low productivity, all hands were needed, male as well as female.

In the end though, neither workers nor women had real power in the USSR since it was a police state run by an oligarchy. Soviet workers and women had to accept the official line that they were living in the workers' paradise of perfect equality cuz if they disagreed, they'd be sent to the gulag away out places.

In the West, it was really legal power--fear of lawsuits--and electoral power--necessity of women's votes--that fueled the rise of modern feminism.
In reality, USSR and most communist nations were staunchly male-run and nationalistic. Buchanan would actually have felt more at home in Eastern Bloc nations under communism than in America of today. Thus, capitalism is indeed the most revolutionary force.

Henry Canaday said...

Some Economic Numbers

Economic Performance v. US. 2010

GDP/Cap GDP/Hour
Australia 100% 88%
NZ 68% 60%
Canada 88% 79%
Argentina 29% 33%
Czech 56% 44%
Denmark 82% 79%
France 75% 93%
Germany 79% 89%
Iceland* 99% 78%

*2008, pre-crash
All at PPP

Top-of-head reactions:

Australia does very well, might do better without that high minimum wage, but Australians still work very hard.

New Zealand lacks resources and still a little over-socialized.

Canada has it all, but Francophone socialist policies hold it back.

Argentina has resources, but heritage of Latin socialist policies.

Czechs have no resources and lost 40+ years to Communism, but are doing well in light of burdens.

Denmark doing well for resource-poor welfare state.

France does well by having smart, productive workers who do not work all that much.

Same for Germany.

Iceland does amazingly well, by working very hard and smart, with no resources.

Anonymous said...

"A lot of the ideas that are broached early on iSteve end up being kicked around later in the prestige press"

LOL

Tell me: what color is the sky in your world?

Maya said...

"It's been said it was a curse for communism that the first nation to become communist was backward Russia, but I'm not so sure. Russia, along with other territories that made up the Soviet Union, was so vast and abundant in natural resources that it could sustain itself alone against the entire capitalist/fascist world."

It's also important to count human beings as a natural resource when betting on the ability of a backwards country to withstand something or other, for awhile.

For example, Russia could send people into coal and uranium mines without any type of protection, feed them once a day, and then replace them in three months with new meat ad infinitum. (Well, not exactly ad infinitum, but long enough to make everyone nervous.)

Maya said...

"Funny how, despite being such a smart country, the average WHITE(emphasis needed) American cannot locate his country in an Atlas, or name who were the men involved in crafting the constitution, or who led the northern stated during the war of secession. Perhaps you could explain this paradox to me?"

Ah, I used to worry about the whole "Americans are stupid" thing. Then, I went to live and teach abroad in 2 of the most educated countries in the world, one in Western Europe and one in East Asia...

News flash, sir: Most people, even those with college degrees in prosperous countries are very poorly informed about, well, everything that doesn't touch their lives directly. Most E Asian and W European professionals I've encountered in their home countries would mix up all things American and English (like which one is on which continent) and be only very vaguely aware about the existence of the other English speaking countries, if at all. They'd say other funny things too like: Tokyo is the capital of China, or Mexicans are Muslim, which horrified me only because they were saying it in the classroom setting, to their students.

Overall, very few people are interested in history and geography enough to remember anything they learned from their textbooks.

Rev. Right said...

The "Resource Curse" idea is quintessential Friedman: simple, novel, counter-intuitive, and wrong.

Maya said...

About USSR spreading feminist equality around the world... Please, be serious.

Soviet Union put women to work. That's all. Most people in charge of everything were/are men.

People like to site the large number of Russian women doctors as some sort of a feminist victory. What they don't understand is that in Russian culture, medicine had always been a woman's field. North-eastern Slavs didn't have shamans and medicine men, they had witches and medicine women. They still do, actually, if you're into that. So, come 20th century, most of the family doctors and general practitioners were women. It's not the cushiest job either. Sick Russians and Russian babies don't go to the doctor's office. Their generalist is expected to come see them at home. In USSR, these ladies would make rounds and visit their flock on foot. Of course, the majority of high end specialists, surgeons and doctors of the political elite were men.

In USSR, everyone HAD TO work. A woman could be a stay at home mother, but not a stay at home wife. Generally, though, people couldn't afford to raise a child on one income. There is a reason why day care/pre-school was an established, available government-run institution in USSR. All those women had to put their kids somewhere, and there weren't any young women available to be nannies. Everyone, not enrolled in full time day classes, HAD to have a job affiliated with the government, unless they were home with their own kids. Sometimes, grandmothers provided childcare, but, usually, they too had to work full time. Women became grandmothers between the ages of 38 and 56, far from the retirement age.

And the vast majority of all those factory workers, nurses, doctors, pre-school teachers and so on were still expected to get married and bear a child or two before their mid 20s, and they usually did. As a side note, equal pay for the same job wasn't a priority in USSR.

Everyone's family was different, of course, but women were, generally, expected to do all the housekeeping/child stuff, after their work day was done. Men were expected to take out the garbage and change light bulbs.

Some of my favorite stories are those of birthing children. If a woman was, generally, in good health, her reaction to her water breaking was to calculate how many hours she's got before it's essential for her to get to the hospital. Since she was going to be gone for a few days, it was important to hurry up and get some food bought and cooked before leaving. I admit that all such stories not about the first pregnancy, but still.

Over there, "gender equality" was never like what it is over here.

eh said...

That's because they carefully select immigrants to, explicitly, boost the welfare of natives.

Do you have some evidence for this? Particularly in the case of Canada? Because anecdotally I've spent some time in Canada, and that did not seem to be the case to me.

For example:

25 of 28 Toronto gun victims black males

Also, an observation: as in the US, the vast majority of immigrants to Canada are non-white, and immigration is slowly but surely eroding the white majority in Canada, albeit not as quickly as in the US. I question whether such brutal demographic change really 'boosts the welfare of natives', as the cost seems pretty high.

the Dude said...

Why are "you guys" obsessed so much with PISA scores? Why do you put so much credence in this test and its results? Can you not see how these (tests and results) can be manipulated/skewed/faked by different countries? Or, a much simpler Occam's Razor explanation, for USA at least: many, many kids do not care about this PISA test. It does not carry any weight on their GPA or any other scholastic achievement. Therefore, they do not put any effort into scoring great on this (at least in my neck-of-the woods) little known test.
For ascertaining the level of IQ and hard-workiness (hey, how about that!), a better measure would the results of the International Mathematics Olympiad. Of course, this would be for the top-of-the-top high-school students and would not be reflecting the much-larger huddled masses in their respective countries.

TGGP said...

A lot of Portugese have apparently been moving to Angola in recent years to work in the oil business while their home country circles the drain behind Greece. But those resources hadn't been doing Angola a whole lot of good in prior decades.

Anonymous said...

So while Tibetan and Punjabi kids are about 10% of the population, they were 83% of the sample for PISA

Total BS. As always.

Anyone can check out the PISA site and see how brazenly you are lying.

By the way, the Tibetans and punjabi Sikhs (and Parsis) are the least likely of all Indians to be malnourished. Yet you insist that PISA tested mostly the malnourished kids. You can't even keep your lies consistent.

The undeniable fact is that hindu India since independence has been unforgivably misled by its corrupt and incompetent Brahmin dominated leadership, bureaucracy, media, educators. It has the world's worst record in feeding and educating its children. India can only be compared to subsaharan Africa in in the Human Development Index.

rec1man said...

Anonymous said...
"90% of winners were from the upper castes, 10% from middle level castes and zero from lower castes"

What's the percentage breakdown in India of these groups?

--

Upper castes = 20%
Middle castes = 30%
Rest = 50%

rec1man said...

Anon wrote - The vast majority of Indian-Americans in the US, UK, Canada, Australia descend from the low castes.

--


Canada and UK Indians are mostly mid-level castes like Jat Sikhs and Patels

In the USA, when I was analysing the STARS scores,

There were 4900 Indians in grade 11, in CA

Of which, I estimate, about 400 were low castes, about 2000 were mid-level castes and 2500 upper caste

rec1man said...

rec1man can you inform why the Telegu, Naidus and Reddys are the largest admits to IITs, Have all Iyers and Iyengars immigrated to US? WHy cant SI
Brahmins compete with Andhraites when they also have access to caoching?

--

I estimate that 20% of the top IQ decile of South Indian brahmins are in USA, where hundreds of them win National Merit instead of IIT in India

In the CA National Merit list, there are 89 South Indian brahmins and 17 Telegu castes such as Reddy

Anonymous said...

Canada and UK Indians are mostly mid-level castes like Jat Sikhs and Patels

You are anointing low caste sudras as "mid-level caste" or "landlord caste" when they are successful, just to deceive the HBD crowd into thinking that low caste Hindus, the great majority of Hindus, are congenitally stupid. No wonder 75% of Indians consider Brahmins a deceitful and dishonest lot as a recent poll showed.

In Hinduism there are the "twice-born" castes, the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas who are a minority. The rest are sudras or low caste. Then there are the outcastes and tribals.

There is no such thing as "landlord" caste in the varna or caste system. Stop with your endless BS already.

Anonymous said...

"Communism worked okay for awhile precisely because the Soviet Union had so many natural resources to exploit. Yeah, capitalism is better at drilling for oil than central planning, but in the early decades when the oil is squirting out of the ground, either one will more or less get the job done.

The real failure of the Soviet economy was in not serving the women of Russia. It shouldn't have been hard to make Slavic women look good, but Communism failed spectacularly at that. Yeltsin's barely in office and suddenly there's this unexpected new bounty of leggy blondes on the world market. Who knew?"

It should have been Soviet policy that all Soviet Women would have high quality diamonds. They'd have won the Cold War right there.

Anonymous said...

"You wish Australia was just like the US, or you would if you were smart enough."

I certainly wish it were back to being the other way around(America like Australia).

Anonymous said...

For ascertaining the level of IQ and hard-workiness (hey, how about that!), a better measure would the results of the International Mathematics Olympiad. Of course, this would be for the top-of-the-top high-school students and would not be reflecting the much-larger huddled masses in their respective countries.


If it does not reflect the IQ of the "huddled masses", then it is useless as a way of determining national IQ.

rec1man said...

I went through the top 100 for 2011- IIT

Out of this 100

27 South Indian brahmins ( half telegu brahmins )

21 North Indian brahmins

( no bengali brahmins )

34 North Indian merchants ( mainly Khatri, Sindhi, Jain )

1 Bengali Kayasth

8 Dravidians ( Mostly Reddy and other Telegus, no Tamil Velala )

1 Jat Sikh

2 Muslims

No Patels

Anonymous said...

Look.
My point was that the communists, the original revolutionaries, the scions of Marx and Engels who seized control of the Russian Empire in 1917, were from the very beginning committed to full equality between men and women.They were just as committed to that as to the 'class struggle'.It was a central ideological plank along with atheism etc - and was one reason that conservative Europe was so unsettled by communism.
Full equality between men and women means just that ie no legal or moral or any distinction between the sexes was to be made anywhere - why oh why is this such a difficult concept for certain posters here to grasp, and why are they quibbling so much about the historically obvious?
As an aside when the Soviets invaded Afgahnistan in 1979 and started all that shit over there, the main reason was that the Afghans, quite correctly, realised that the Soviets wanted to impose female equality - initially they wanted to do this by forcibly taking Afghan girls away from their families to be educated in boarding schools in Russia.
This enraged Afghanis like nothing on earth.That's why they fought back like demons, and why tthey've undergone 30 years of hell since.

beowulf said...

WHy cant SI Brahmins compete with Andhraites when they also have access to caoching?

This may be the most obscure sentence I've ever read in the English language. Truly an unanswerable question.

Russian women, beautiful as they are, are as good-natured and trusting as a prison guard at Folsom. Some tough chicks, they.

Maya said...

"Full equality between men and women means just that ie no legal or moral or any distinction between the sexes was to be made anywhere - why oh why is this such a difficult concept for certain posters here to grasp, and why are they quibbling so much about the historically obvious?"

Because Soviet Union always made legal and moral distinction between men and women. There was no equal pay for the same jobs. Girls who got pregnant while in high school were kicked out, unless they could somehow hide it and have their aunts pretend to have had the baby, while the admitted fathers of these babies didn't suffer the same consequences. Stewardesses on many planes that served the elite had to go through frequent virginity checks while no one even questioned the male personnel about such matters. The list goes on and on.

Oh, you mean there was even less gender equality in one of the most backwards Muslim countries in the world? You don't say! I guess according to your logic, present day USA doesn't have a problem with an out of control feminist interests group successfully lobbying for special advantages. Because, you know, since that problem is even more pronounced in Sweden, that means it can't exist anywhere else in a slightly lower magnitude.

Whatever it is that Marx envisioned for women didn't really come to pass in USSR. You'll be shocked but they didn't eradicate poverty nor abolish money either.

Maya said...

As long as I'm here, why don't I add a few more examples of how the Soviets made "no legal or moral or any distinction between the sexes"?

From the get go and now still, all young men had to serve their country for 2 years. During the relatively safe and prosperous years, boys who got into good professional colleges and maintained their grades could "train" on weekends and never had to leave home. Everyone else got sent to some bumblefuck location and endured 2 years of unpaid labor. Girls never had to worry about any type of national service.

When enemies of state were sentenced to a term in a work camp, men and women faced quite different realities. God forbid any of us ever have to endure what these Soviet ladies went through, but it couldn't be compared to what awaited their brothers and husbands. You see, women tended to survive their sentences in much larger numbers than men. No one ever sent women to mine uranium, or anything else, for that matter.

In Soviet schools, there was a subject called "manual work". Little kids would glue matchsticks together, or something, but from the 5th grade on, the girls were taught how to cook and use a sewing machine while the boys had wood shop class.

corvinus said...

Russia is the "unlucky country" because of its rotten history. Too bad they didn't have the Magna Carta over there. But in some respects the history of Russia in Siberia was similar to that of North America. Canada is basically Britain's version of Siberia, except for that it is not directly attached to the British Isles.

The real failure of the Soviet economy was in not serving the women of Russia. It shouldn't have been hard to make Slavic women look good, but Communism failed spectacularly at that. Yeltsin's barely in office and suddenly there's this unexpected new bounty of leggy blondes on the world market. Who knew?

Soviet Communism included feminism within itself. In Soviet times, women all entered the work force, dressed like men, and had small families and free abortions. Soviet women were stereotyped as harsh old babushkas. (One big reason Eastern Europe has been collapsing demographically is simply because they've had a low birth rate since the 1950s, with the exception of Catholic countries like Poland.) Then came the collapse of the USSR, and European fashions flooded in.

Anonymous said...

""You wish Australia was just like the US, or you would if you were smart enough."

I certainly wish it were back to being the other way around(America like Australia)."

Yes. Of course that's how I meant it. Mind you, I don't want to be complacent about Australia. How many failed-state, problem-region dysfunctionals does it take to ruin a country?
Not that long ago, if people asked what Australia's outlook was, I would tell them, 'Great. It's just like the U.S. In fact, it's just like an affluent subset of the U.S. - say California.'

I don't use the California analogy anymore.

Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

"WHy cant SI Brahmins compete with Andhraites when they also have access to caoching?

This may be the most obscure sentence I've ever read in the English language. "

Andhraites = people of Andhra Pradesh, a southern state in India, Telugu the state's main language. They make the largest percentage of students that are admitted to IITs.

SI brahmins or Tamil brahmins that rec1man so much valorises,=are from the southernmost state of Tamil Nadu.
The two groups don't seem to mingle well.

"They can be broadly divided into three religious groups, Gurukkals who follow Saivism, Iyers or Smarthas and Iyengars who follow Sri Vaishnavism."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_Brahmin

"rec1man can you inform why the Telegu, Naidus and Reddys are the largest admits to IITs, Have all Iyers and Iyengars immigrated to US? "

Anonymous said...

Stalin outlawed abortion, as any gender studies graduate can tell you that is misogynistic and hardly a female equality thing.

corvinus said...

Stalin outlawed abortion, as any gender studies graduate can tell you that is misogynistic and hardly a female equality thing.

Pro-natalist policies by certain Commie dictators such as Stalin (and Ceausescu in Romania) doesn't change the overall fact that Communism is harmful to a country's demographics. The Soviet birth rate took a nosedive in the decade or so after Stalin's death in 1953.

rec1man said...

To anon @ 6.39

In my post of 3/11 at 11.25

In the top 100 for IITs, for 2011, there are 8 dravidian Telegus vs 13 Brahmin Telegus ( out of 27 South Indian Brahmin ) , 21 North Indian brahmin and 34 North Indian merchant.

I estimate that 20% of the top decile of Iyers / Iyengars ( the top decile wins most academic contests ) are now in the USA, thanks to the 69% official quota ( 99% actual quota ), and dravidianist harassments such as 99% unofficial ban on state govt bureacratic jobs, state govt college professor jobs, etc.

I have gone through National Merit lists, in many US states, and each year, several hundred win the National Merit and presumably if they had not migrated to the USA, many would have shown up more in the IITs

rec1man said...

Calculating Average Indian IQ from PISA

TN raw math PISA score = 351
TN implied IQ = 100 - 1.5 x 15 = 78

HP raw math score = 338
HP implied IQ = 100 - 1.62 x 15 = 76

Indian Avg IQ based on raw PISA = 77

--

Next step is to remove the bias caused by the PISA sample having
75% bilingual kids

( Tibetan kids facing Hindi PISA exam and Telegu kids facing Tamil PISA exam )

TN mono-lingual = 378
Implied IQ = 500 - 1.22 x 15 = 82

HP mono-lingual = 401
Implied IQ = 500 - 15 = 85

--

Next there is a 40 point difference between scores for 'Village' and scores for 'Large city'
In HP and TN, The village category is over-represented by a factor of 4
Even worse, in HP, City and Large City are entirely removed from the survey sample

So adding an urban correction of 20 ( half the village-large city difference )


TN semi-urbanised mono-lingual = 378 + 20 = 398
Implied IQ = 85

HP semi-urbanised mono-lingual = 401 + 20 = 421
Implied IQ = 100 - 0.79 x 15 = 88

Current Indian IQ = 86

--

Next we look to the future as malnutrition is removed

The only Indian kids who go to govt school is for the mid-day meal,

If they are not starving they go to private school

Private schools score 45 more than govt schools and thats the future as poverty reduces

--

HP - future - semi-urbanised- mono-lingual = 401 + 20 + 45 = 466

Implied IQ = 95


TN - future - semi-urbanised - mono-lingual = 378 + 20 + 45 = 443

Implied IQ = 91

Future Indian IQ = 93

Given the huge bias in sampling towards over-representing the lower end IQ,
by the poverty pimp NGOs, I am certain that none of the CBSE or Cambridge schools
that serve the top 15% upper castes are included in the survey

And they have an entirely different IQ profile and cause an IQ bulge at the top end

Indian middle-class expat schools in Qatar, score like white countries and some of them score at Shanghai levels

RKU said...

It's been said it was a curse for communism that the first nation to become communist was backward Russia...Historians like John Lukacs says it would have been a great boon to communism if industrially advanced Germany

Actually, I think this is a widespread myth, which strangely persisted in America throughout the Cold War.

According to the figures I've seen, the highest economic growth rate ever achieved in Russia was during the decade or two just before WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution. In fact, the growth rate of Russia's industry (and population) was so enormous there was a widespread belief the country might soon become strong enough to completely dominate all of Europe, including Germany. German fears in this regard were a major contributing factor to its willingness to fight a "preventative" war against Russia once the 1914 crisis erupted.

Once the Bolsheviks came to power, they quickly eliminated the problem of Russia's unduly rapid economic (and population) growth rate, and Europe was permanently saved from looming Russian domination.


On an unrelated matter, it seems like almost one-third of the thread comments represent fierce arguments between upper-caste and anti-upper-caste Hindus on matters too detailed and obscure for me to easily comprehend. I suspect this sort of endless ethnic bickering is a major factor behind India's own internal social problems.

Anonymous said...

"I suspect this sort of endless ethnic bickering is a major factor behind India's own internal social problems. "

A sign of things to come? More drama for everybody!!

Silver said...

RKU,

According to the figures I've seen, the highest economic growth rate ever achieved in Russia was during the decade or two just before WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution

Links or it didn't happen...

J/k, but per capita Soviet growth between '45 and '89 averaged around 3% per annum. I'm not aware of any country on earth growing so rapidly (not the USA, no one) around the turn of last century. 3% annual per capita growth is profound; over a decade it leaves no one in any doubt that things are getting better. If things were improving as quickly and noticeably as you suggest how were the communists would have been able to drum up so much support?

There's a further problem. The rule with historical GDP is that, because national accounts are a modern innovation, the further back in time we go the more speculative (or specious) the numbers. Cross-country comparisons are further complicated because the purchasing power parity (PPP) whose use is required can quite easily vary by 15% up or down, and it can often seem like your say is as good as mine which it should be. So when someone claims, in effect, that Russia was the fastest growing economy on earth before the revolution, I'm inclined to be skeptical, to regard it as more likely capitalistic, anti-commie propaganda than the result of careful investigation.

David said...

>if one has no resources, one has to become resourceful<

A typically inane Friedmanism. It feels good, but when analyzed turns out to be hollow. Resources come from resourcefulness and allied virtues. If there are no resources, it's because the very people you're addressing are either

a. not resourceful
b. explorers stepping into virgin territory.

We can rule out b.

So F. is saying "If you aren't resourceful, you need to get resourceful." He isn't an economist. He's a vain scold.

Anonymous said...

The only Indian kids who go to govt school is for the mid-day meal, If they are not starving they go to private school

Since 28% of indian children go to private schools that means, according to you, 72% of indian children are starving. Other data suggests it is closer to 50%, much higher than subsaharan Africa.

Only 7% of indians get a high school education, mostly a bad one at that, and 25% get no education at all. In other words India is full of underfed and undereducated people. How can indians hope to compete with the West and Far East?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_India#Private_education

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malnutrition_in_India

Anonymous said...

Despite rec1man's endless boastings the reality about brahmins in India leads to the conclusion, playing by his own rules, that they must have even lower IQs than the very low average IQ of indians:

http://ia.rediff.com/news/2006/may/23franc.htm?q=tp&file=.htm

With the average income of Brahmins being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.


this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins.

The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line -- below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.

There is no reason to believe that the condition of Brahmins in other parts of the country is different. In this connection it would be revealing to quote the per capita income of various communities as stated by the Karnataka finance minister in the state assembly: Christians Rs 1,562, Vokkaligas Rs 914, Muslims Rs 794, Scheduled castes Rs 680, Scheduled Tribes Rs 577 and Brahmins Rs 537



So it looks like christians are much better off economically than brahmins, and hindus in general. So are parsis. So are sikhs. So are jains. These non-hindu communities are also disproportionally represented in the indian-american population. Warren Buffet's presumed heir is a Jain and both the indian-american Governors are christian.

Anonymous said...

What year is the future IQ?

Anonymous said...

Funny how, despite being such a smart country, the average WHITE(emphasis needed) American cannot locate his country in an Atlas, or name who were the men involved in crafting the constitution, or who led the northern stated during the war of secession. Perhaps you could explain this paradox to me?

Are you sure thats WHITE Americans, got studies to back that up?

Over here in the UK the media love to propagate that idea, Americans being dumb and that American means white American. Yet I strongly suspect that the inability to locate the US on the map is stronger among blacks and hispanics.

Anonymous said...

Rev Australia and immigrants. While they seem fairly selective Im sure some form of regression to the mean and family reunification will grind down any long term quality.

Anonymous said...

On an unrelated matter, it seems like almost one-third of the thread comments represent fierce arguments between upper-caste and anti-upper-caste Hindus on matters too detailed and obscure for me to easily comprehend. I suspect this sort of endless ethnic bickering is a major factor behind India's own internal social problems.

Once in online debate about a film relating to the break up of Yugoslavia, I pointed out that this film and the ensuing debate highlighted the inherent flaws of a multiethnic society. Hilariously SWPL types rose up to assail me. Comedy gold because meanwhile all around Serbs, Croats & Muslims continued to knock lumps off each other - you couldnt ask for a better illustration! Even funnier because some of the Yugoslavians stopped typing in english.

In SWPL terms means there is no problem, if the conflict isnt in english, it isnt happening.

Thus Indian squabbles about caste are rarely held in english, they know better than to frighten the horses with such frank talk. Thus they and white liberals can present a sort of united front to the english speaking audience ie there is no real problem with caste, nothing to see here etc

Anonymous said...

Re: Canada and Australia score well because they are the only rich countries whose immigrants, first and second generation, don't drag down the national averages.

I can't comment on Australia, because I don't know it well enough, but Canada has taken in tons of immigrants who have dragged the country down. Start with the large number of West Indian Blacks and Somalis that have overrun Toronto and go from there. Immigration since the 60s (when, like the US, the quotas were dropped) had a mostly negative effect on Canada.

Anonymous said...

What Friedman conviniently skipped is the PISA score of India.

David said...

Maya: but I doubt those two unnamed countries constitute, together or severally, a global imperium as the USA does. It's one thing if a doof in Dusseldorf thinks Mexicans are Muslims. It's quite another if USA intelligence is ignorant of the languages of the peoples it is bombing. Students in an empire ought to be able to find their empire on a map, at least.

Anonymous said...

"On an unrelated matter, it seems like almost one-third of the thread comments represent fierce arguments between upper-caste and anti-upper-caste Hindus on matters too detailed and obscure for me to easily comprehend. I suspect this sort of endless ethnic bickering is a major factor behind India's own internal social problems."

Yeah, but when it comes to the sizes of the voting populations, the anti-upper-caste Hindus vastly outnumber the upper-caste Hindus. That's a good enough reason for this upper-caste Hindu to flee the wretched country, as it gets more and more steeped in quota-ism and affirmative action at all levels.

Anonymous said...

"Warren Buffet's presumed heir is a Jain and both the indian-american Governors are christian."

Jindal and Jain both belong to high-IQ Marwari/Trader groups. This is a senseless argument - John Von Neumann could be any religion (he converted to Catholicism on his deathbed), but he was really Jewish at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

"So it looks like christians are much better off economically than brahmins, and hindus in general."

Where is the original data? All the references to the data are references to the article itself. Rec1man's already given you the breakdown of castes for IIT, and Southern Indian Brahmins are vastly overrepresented. That's rebuttal I.

"WHy cant SI
Brahmins compete with Andhraites when they also have access to caoching?"

Andhraites (sic) is a LINGUISTIC group. Brahmin is a CASTE. Andhra Brahmins ARE South Indian Brahmins. Your real evidence for Brahmins being un-smart is that one subgroup of Brahmins seems to be dominating another?

Anonymous said...

"What Friedman conviniently skipped is the PISA score of India."

Given the anti-upper-caste rhetoric that seems pervasive in India, I've turned anti-India myself. I have much the same sentiment toward India that Jews post Kristallnacht had for Germany.

Anonymous said...

That's a good enough reason for this upper-caste Hindu to flee the wretched country,

And who made India such a wretched country? Brahmins are 4% of the population yet have constituted the great majority of its Prime Ministers, bureaucracy and media. It is the anti-meritocratic caste culture of the Hindus that allowed such incompetent, corrupt, and treacherous fools to lead the Hindus for millennia.

Now that the discriminated low caste hindus are gaining political power through democracy and claiming affirmative action quotas, the Brahmins, who themselves have always benefited from the most anti-meritocratic social system in the world are crying foul. Talk about hypocrisy!.

It is worth noting that the rise of the low castes is slowly turning intractably hopeless India around.

By the way, considering how treacherous these Brahmins are towards their own co-religionists and countrymen, it would be a mistake to allow them to immigrate to America. It seems to me that rec1man's posts are all designed to facilitate such immigration.

Anonymous said...

Regarding those poor, hopeless, dumb Americans who can't find the right side of a map, National Geographic magazine started publishing in 1888 and is still going strong. For someone who might not be familiar with it (is anybody on the planet not?) it is a non-fiction magazine that consists of travelogue-type and somewhat encyclopedia-ish articles that often seem a little on the glossy side. It's full of maps. And lots of photos... (I only read it for the maps.) Circulation about 4 and a half million.

That's a lot of maps. Does any other country have something similar? Something that's been around that long and that has had that much readership? Are those poor dumb Americans more into geography than most of the rest of the world? We really shouldn't notice that Americans like National Geographic. We should just believe all the incessant whining.

We might need more than Occam's razor here. Anyone seen Occam's flamethrower?

RKU said...

According to the figures I've seen, the highest economic growth rate ever achieved in Russia was during the decade or two just before WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution

Silver: Links or it didn't happen...

J/k, but per capita Soviet growth between '45 and '89 averaged around 3% per annum. I'm not aware of any country on earth growing so rapidly (not the USA, no one) around the turn of last century. 3% annual per capita growth is profound; over a decade it leaves no one in any doubt that things are getting better. If things were improving as quickly and noticeably as you suggest how were the communists would have been able to drum up so much support?

There's a further problem. The rule with historical GDP is that, because national accounts are a modern innovation, the further back in time we go the more speculative (or specious) the numbers. Cross-country comparisons are further complicated because the purchasing power parity (PPP) whose use is required can quite easily vary by 15% up or down, and it can often seem like your say is as good as mine which it should be. So when someone claims, in effect, that Russia was the fastest growing economy on earth before the revolution, I'm inclined to be skeptical, to regard it as more likely capitalistic, anti-commie propaganda than the result of careful investigation.


Well, I was quoting from memory, an offhand reference in a Russian history book I read decades ago. But when I just now spent 30 seconds Googling "Czarist Russia Economic Growth" I found a seemingly credible and detailed source which put the figure at 3.3%, so I think I was probably correct.

Your points about the fuzziness of growth rates from a century ago are certainly correct, but I might also say the same thing about growth rates in a non-market economy such as Stalinist Russia. If you double the volume of blast-furnace-output but it doesn't produce anything useful, it's not clear that you've doubled GDP. Also, since Stalin ended up executing his entire Census Bureau as saboteurs after they discovered a mysterious "shrinkage" in the national population, I really wonder how far we can trust the much less objective economic statistics produced by such a system, either then or afterward.

But as for my central point, whatever the precise figure for Czarist economic growth, the contemporaries of the time certainly regarded it as the fastest in Europe and with few foreseeable limits in population or natural resources, and German fear of the rapidly growing Russian industrial colossus was a major factor behind WWI.

As for why the Russian Revolution occurred, I think suffering total military defeat and millions of dead may have been an important contributing factor...

Anonymous said...

Regarding Canadian immigration policy, here's a solid study arguing that quality of immigrants has fallen steadily since the 1980s, and each recent immigrant, on average, each use $6000 more in government services than they pay in taxes.

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/display.aspx?id=18103