Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Charles Adams: While watching Charles Adams, the son of the great American Founding Father, drink himself to death in the HBO mini-series John Adams (it's great--I recommend seeing it) I wondered if this was a tendency among the sons of great men.

The General Social Survey asked 1,479 men about their father's occupation, and if they sometimes drink too much. I compared the group with fathers in the highest one percent of occupational prestige with everyone else:

Percent who drink too much

Men with very prestigious fathers 70.6
All other men 43.6

There is a clear difference here. Now it might be that these guys from elite families just party more or are more willing to report their excesses, but I wonder if some of it reflects the difficulty in having every advantage but not measuring up to such a successful father.

If I'm right, this phenomenon shows the destructive nature of knee-jerk blank slatism. Junior was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, so why isn't he matching or even surpassing the old man's achievements?

Someone with even a basic understanding of reality knows that, using Adam's family as an example, his children were unlikely to match their father's accomplishments because they would likely regress toward the mean.

These sons need to be told that their fathers are freaks--why would you expect lightning to strike twice? No one should expect you to be a carbon copy of Poppy, and if they do, they are ignorant people with harmful beliefs.

But it makes me compassionate to believe that people have tremendous potential, and that only disadvantage holds them down, says the liberal. No, it does not make you compassionate. It destroys lives.


  1. Anonymous7:26 PM

    The fate of the eldest son undermines this line of thought somewhat.

  2. George H. W. Bush:

    Youngest Naval aviator in US history.

    Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale in 2.5 years with a degree in Economics.

    Successful businessman.

    Went out to become a Congressman, director of the CIA, Vice Presdent,

    When George W. Bush arrived at Phillips Andover academy, he was confronted by his father's framed photograph, displayed as one of the most accomplished graduates of the school.

    I don't think I'd want to grow up with that either.

  3. Genetic explanations - based on the inheritance of personality - would first need to be eliminated e.g. by sibling, adoption and twin studies.

    As Judith Rich Harris showed in The Nurture Assumption, inferences about the child's environment affecting their adult behavior are almost always wrong when studied properly.

  4. And when Africans and Indigenous South Americans are constantly told that they have the same capability as Europeans and Asians ... no wonder they become bitter when their average achievement level is low. And no wonder they blame "discrimination" and "bigotry".

    This will continue forever ... until the racial realism is accepted.

    Then we can institute remediation policies such as appropriate career choice, appropriate education, and possibly genetic engineering.

    And even more possibly, immigration restrictions so that unskilled jobs demand high wages.

  5. Anonymous11:18 AM

    I'm a drunk because my dad was.

  6. But it makes me compassionate to believe that people have tremendous potential, and that only disadvantage holds them down, says the liberal.

    As opposed to the conservative, who says that everybody could be a stellar success if only they weren't so damn lazy and irresponsible. As long as we're stereotyping.

  7. Anonymous10:31 PM

    The more inherited wealth a person knows he has, the more he knows in the back of his mind that he can slack off-- he knows he can be drunk all the time and still avoid being homeless. On the other hand, people with less wealth in the family might hold jobs during the weekend, even on Saturday or Sunday morning, and would develop the habit of avoiding getting too drunk on the weekend nights.

  8. JA,

    Ron's point and your accompanying 'counterpoint' are primary reasons I can't waste my time on talking head debates in the major media. It is a waste of time.


What's the profile of a person who believes astrology is scientific? (Answer: the exact opposite of me)

Clearly, anyone who believes that astrology is scientific doesn't understand what science is, but how common is this belief, and what...