Sunday, May 03, 2009

A reader asks:

The popular press constantly excoriates rich "WASPs" (or European-American Protestants) as the prime movers in this exploitation of people of color. Yet when you measure actual income and education levels, you find out that Jews are the most prosperous ethnic group, followed by Japanese and Chinese Americans. European-American Protestants rank below European-Americans of Italian, Polish and Irish descent, and are only marginally above African-Americans.

Is this correct, 'Ron'?

The General Social Survey does not do a particularly good job of measuring income, but we can use the best question which asks about annual respondent income, the top category being $110,000 or more. Means range from 12 to over 18. 12 is the code for $17,500-$19,999 and 18 is for $40,000 to $49,999. (These are 1998 dollars). Don't forget that these are all Americans:


Mean annual income (N = 5,884)

Jews 18.25
Asian Indian 16.82
Finnish 16.62
Japanese 16.55
Non-Jewish Hungarian 16.11
West Indian 15.92
Czech 15.80
Chinese 15.66
Greek 15.46
Italian 15.32
English/Welsh 15.26
Swedish 15.21
Scottish 15.05
Austrian 14.88
Norwegian 14.76
Non-Jewish Russian 14.60
Irish 14.56
Danish 14.53
German 14.47
Non-Jewish Polish 14.45

All Americans 14.41

Arabic 14.25
Filipino 13.87
Puerto Ricans 13.65
French 13.37
Black 13.36
Dutch 13.13
Amerindian 12.94
Mexican 12.82

Americans (like myself) of English or Welsh descent are 11th on this list. Polish and Irish Americans are not high on the list as the quote suggests. Three of the groups above English Americans are non-white. I thought elites kept brown people down. Four of the groups are non-Christian (or are not generally Christian). I thought Jesus lovers kept pagans in their place. West Indians are 6th on the list. I thought racist America doomed a man with black skin to the ghetto.

15 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

What's with the Dutch?

Peter

Jim Bowery said...

The Dutch provided sanctuary for the Jews in 1492 and the Jews have never forgiven us.

Anonymous said...

I notice a positive correlation with low intermarriage rate (Jews, Asian Indians, East Asians). I'm not trying to say anything, it's just a quick observation.
I also agree that the Dutch numbers are very surprising.

Pin said...

Odd. Some of the lower scoring groups-Dutch, German, and Danish are from the most economically advanced/high IQ countries. Greeks, Armenians, Sephardim-that whole cluster- earn a lot but the old country is a mess or at least worse off then countries farther north. Their performance on PISA/TIMSS(high g loading) also confirm lower intelligence too-plus the Spanish/Italian populated Argentina does poorly so its not just regional politics preventing development(imo). Supposedly Iranian Jews earn even more then the older generation American-Ashkenaz Jews! Does anyone have any theories?

Blode0322 said...

You guys are probably thinking of income as a good proxy of what is conventionally thought of as social status. In fact I think it is a rather weak proxy. A lot of kids of affluent backgrounds are using social status and money to go and get multiple university degrees which will help them generate more ... social status. These groups may well be getting degrees in English, Queer Studies, Sociology, Peace Studies, etc., and deciding to let future income take care of itself.

Note that Euro-Americans are generally mongrels. (I am.) If someone is partly English and partly descended from other European countries, what are they going to answer on their survey forms? We can't say for sure, but I can sure as heck say that, other than the USA, the least popular "nation" on Earth in the eyes of all the leftists I've known is England (these are the types of folks who claim to know all about "British imperialism" but often can't correctly identify the actual name of the country they loathe so much).

The same personality traits which will cause someone to go out and take courses in Radical Linguistics and Pornography As Revolution just may make a three-quarter Anglo-Saxon, one-quarter Dutch-American identify as "Dutch". With her part-time job at More Independent Than Thou Book 'n' Gifts, she'll bring down the Dutch income average. (Her uncool sister will make a fortune in real estate and bring up the English average.)

Just a thought, I don't have any proof.

Blode0322 said...

... Not to mention that France is pretty unpopular among a lot of American rightists.

Anonymous said...

Running a successful country takes a different skill set than succeeding in a successful county. Lots of Iranians and Armenians are hardworking an have strong family values, which allows them to thrive in the U.S. In their own homelands though, their high level of chronic dishonesty and poor civic behavior retard growth. The same can be said for Greeks and Italians.

Anonymous said...

The "French" in question here
are primarily the Cajuns and
their northern cousins the
Quebecois of New England. They
are the decendents of rough
frontier people and not necessarily representative of average French I.Q. of modern
France.

Also, Dutch here might be mixed
up with Dutch West Indies (just an idea).

Jim

Jewish Atheist said...

What does "actual income and education levels" have to do with the "prime movers in the exploitation of people of color?" Are you claiming that the most rich and educated are the same as the most exploitative? That's an odd view of the world.

"I thought elites kept brown people down."

"I thought Jesus lovers kept pagans in their place."

"I thought racist America doomed a man with black skin to the ghetto."

Don't be cute. You didn't think any of those things. You're just trying to straw man liberals.

Ron Guhname said...

Ron: "I thought racist America doomed a man with black skin to the ghetto."

JA: "Don't be cute. You didn't think any of those things. You're just trying to straw man liberals."

Right. Liberals don't attribute lower black incomes to racism.

Ron Guhname said...

"What does 'actual income and education levels' have to do with the 'prime movers in the exploitation of people of color?' Are you claiming that the most rich and educated are the same as the most exploitative? That's an odd view of the world."

Allow me to respond for the reader. You make a good point--why couldn't it be poor people who are the exploiters? They could be extraordinarily incompetent oppressors who are always taking resources from others, but the wealth magically disappears before they are able to use it. And the people they take it from get magically rich from the victimization.

Jewish Atheist said...

Right. Liberals don't attribute lower black incomes to racism.Do they? Any more than conservatives do? I thought liberals attributed lower black incomes to lower opportunity and worse environments. Sure, we recognize that racism does exist and is a factor (for example, those studies that sent out identical resumes but for names that sounded either white or african-american and showed the whites were asked for interview more often) but I doubt many think it's the dominant factor. Don't judge all liberals by the dumbest liberal you know.

You make a good point--why couldn't it be poor people who are the exploiters? Are you being sarcastic? I don't get it. Obviously, it's easier to exploit if you're rich, but it doesn't follow that the richer you are the more exploitative you are. There are plenty of ways to earn honest and very large incomes. So your whole argument that the Jews and Asians etc are richer therefore WASPs can't be exploiters makes makes no sense.

Ron Guhname said...

JA: Please pay attention. It's not my argument; it's the readers.

Jewish Atheist said...

Ron:

Didn't you write the last paragraph? It's not blockquoted.

Anonymous said...

Where are the Scots-Irish?