Saturday, October 31, 2009

One year since Obama's election, blacks are MORE pessimistic about race relations

Here's a Gallup graph displaying trends in the belief that problems between blacks and whites will eventually be worked out. The main thing that jumps out at me is that as blacks have made unprecedented gains--the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Voting Rights Act of 1965; the implementation and institutionalization of affirmative action programs; the rise of the black middle class; the dramatic decline in white racism; enhanced penalties for hates crimes; a black President--the belief among blacks that they will finally get a fair shake in America has tended to decline. Perversely, progress has bred pessimism.

I wish I could say I was surprised that black faith in the system dropped 8 points (from 50 to 42 percent) since President Obama was elected. My guess is that most blacks identify very strongly with Obama. His success is their success, and when they see angry whites at tea parties and town hall meetings, they interpret it as hate directed toward them. And why wouldn't you believe the worst when whites like Jimmy Carter tell you that you are right? If race gets ugly at some point (I should say uglier) in the future--and God knows I hope it doesn't go that way--people like Jimmy Carter will have blood on their hands.  The reality is racial goodwill, but blinded by their hatred of white conservatives, all they see is racism.

Turning to another graph, I was a bit surprised how many Americans--black and white--feel that racism against whites is widespread. Forty-six percent of whites and an impressive 39 percent of blacks feel that way, and both estimates are up from last year. I'm not sure what blacks are thinking of--perhaps they know blacks who do not like whites--but I imagine whites are thinking of affirmative action. Believing that anti-white racism is prevalent has got to make many whites angry. It's no secret that injustice sets people off.  If Republicans had two brain cells, they would make more of this issue.

Like we're surprised--Northern states are most trusting

Gallup asked almost 180,000 Americans if they would trust someone who found their wallet to return it. The darkest states on the map indicate the most trusting states. Gallup concluded that states with higher of levels of well-being and access to services are more trusting. They seem to be hinting that collectivism breeds trust.
Collectivist California and New York are two of the most untrusting states in the country. And D.C. has half the level of trust seen in Utah--that bastion of liberalism.

It goes with out saying that percent white and ethnic homogeneity were not mentioned.

Focusing on aggregates

Americans are taught to judge people individually, and in situations where you can get to know someone, this makes sense. But the truth is that you can predict aggregates better than individuals.

Using General Social Survey data, I calculated the correlation between a measure of IQ (WORDSUM) and income (REALINC) for almost 17,000 people born in the U.S.  It turned out to be .28. If you square that number, you get .08 which is called R-squared. It is interpreted as the proportion of variation in income that can be explained by your IQ. In other words, if I know one thing about a person--his IQ square--I am not going to be able to predict his income level with any accuracy at all.

But the situation changes dramatically if I calculate mean IQs and mean incomes for the 29 ethnic groups which have at least 30 respondents in each group. Now the correlation jumps all the way up to .77. If we square that, we get .59, which means that 59 percent of the variation in mean income is explained by the variation in mean IQ scores. So if I've got a random group of, say, Americans of Russian descent, chances are their average IQ is high, and I can make a pretty good bet that the group will earn an above-average income as well.

This is why Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen's approach is so effective in IQ and the Wealth of Nations.  You grab a random guy in Japan, he might be smart or dumb; he might be rich or poor. But tell me the mean IQ of the country is 106, and I'm putting my money on it being a wealthy place.

HBD-ers are criticized for focusing on groups, but reality is most predictable at that level, and being scientific is being concerned with prediction.  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In the first three years of life, Hispanics fall behind in cognitive skills

Heather McDonald nails it on education and Hispanic immigration:

A forthcoming study on Hispanic children’s cognitive skills underlines the challenges the country faces in aspiring to close the achievement gap between these children and their white and Asian counterparts. Hispanic “children fall behind their peers in mental development by the time they reach grade school, and the gap tends to widen as they get older,” reports the New York Times. “The drop-off in the cognitive scores of Hispanic toddlers, especially those from Mexican backgrounds, was steeper than for other [low-income] groups and could not be explained by economic status alone. . . . From 24 to 36 months, the Hispanic children fell about six months behind their white peers on measures like word comprehension, more complex speech and working with their mothers on simple tasks.” ...

But the more interesting implications of the study and others like it are for immigration policy. Our de facto immigration policy is currently weighted to a population that appears to require massive additional government education spending — even before formal schooling begins — to be made academically competitive. This choice would not seem to be economically rational, at least so long as we aspire to universal college-going. If the country remains committed to sending a far greater number of students to college, as even many conservatives continue to be, we better get ourselves a different mix of immigrants if we don’t want to bankrupt our education budgets. Alternatively, if the open-borders lobby prevails and Latin American migration continues to dominate our immigration flows, it’s time to acknowledge that many students never will be college material, nor do they need to be to lead productive, fulfilling lives.

The majority of working women don't want to work full-time

This graph from a recent Pew study shows that 62 percent of working women would prefer to work part-time. This leaves out housewives, most of whom presumably prefer their status.

So to all the women out there who would like to stay home but get the message from others that, "Everyone wants to have a career now, and you must be a loser if you don't," politely tell those people to go to hell.

Immigrant unhappiness--again

In a recent post on unhappiness on immigration, I was told that I should have assessed how happy immigrants would have been if they had remained in their home countries (and that I lied because I didn't do that). I guess since I'm religious, readers assume I have access to God or something because He's probably the only one that can answer that question.

Bound as I am to the mortal sphere, I put together a table that lists the numbers from the earlier post in the left column, and the percent of those in the home country who are "not very happy," or "not all all happy" (as opposed to very or quite happy). These data are from the World Values Survey.  You can see that some countries were not asked the question that their counterparts in America were asked.

In 7 of the 11 eleven countries, a higher percentage of immigrants are unhappy than folks back home. In only 4 of 11 countries are people happier here.

Of course, these immigrants might actually have been more miserable had they remained home, so let's get it out there that I'm a liar in this post too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Among Mex-Ams, is there a relationship between race and education?

I get very few Mexican American students who are Amerindian looking.  Is that a reality or is it just me?

I looked at GSS data for Mexican Americans from this decade between the ages of 30 and 49 (N = 382). The mean years of education for those who give "other" as their race is 10.93. For self-described white Mex-Ams, it's 11.78.  The difference disappears, however, if I limit the analysis to those born in the U.S. The racial gap is created by less educated, non-white immigrants.

I checked, and there is no racial gap in mean IQ (WORDSUM) for the two groups if we limit the sample to American-born people of Mexican descent.

Notice how educational levels stink for both the white and non-white groups. The average Mex-Am, white or brown, can't seem to finish high school.

Mormon retention

Mormonism is an interesting faith. On the one hand, you would expect the church to have a difficult time holding onto its members since its claims are so bold. On the other hand, few members should leave  because the church does such a great job of developing commitment. Religion becomes the center of a Mormon's world; they can't imagine life without it.

Recently, I joined Facebook and within days had about a zillion friends. Many were Mormons who were childhood friends. I counted a total of 28 and proceeded to see how many had switched religions. Thirteen out of thirteen women have stuck with the faith--not one dropout in the bunch. The men are more independent: while 12 are the same, two described themselves as unaffiliated, and one has converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. (I'm not surprised that the first two say they're liberals, while the third one is conservative).

So 89% still call themselves Mormon. Now, I didn't know the beliefs of many of my schoolmates, and perhaps I was more likely to learn the religion of a devout person. If this is true, perhaps a higher percentage of mediocre Mormons have switched. Still, I'm impressed at the high level of retention.

Paleocons, HBD-ers, or whoever can learn something from Mormons. If you want to be successful with an unpopular image and message, be organized as hell--or should I say heaven?

Immigrants are more likely to be unhappy

Leaving your family, friends, and way of life to come to America is bound to take its toll on you. Imagine living the rest of your life in, say, Japan. You'd be a fish out of water for a very long time.

The General Social Survey for many years has asked respondents how happy they are. Answer-choices include "very happy," "pretty happy," and "not too happy." While only 11.6% of native-born Americans report that they are not too happy, 16.9% of immigrants feel that way. That's a statistically significant difference. And it varies by country of origin:

Percent of immigrants in America who are not happy (N = 31,869)

Puerto Rico 29.2
Africa 28.9
West Indian 28.6
Spain 24.6
Arab 21.1
France 19.0
Italy 17.8
Mexico 17.2
China 16.4
Japan 16.3
Scotland 16.0
Russia 14.7
England/Wales 12.9
Poland 12.3
India 10.6
Philippines 10.2
Ireland 10.0
Germany 7.7

Groups differ a great deal. Germans and Irish immigrants are just as happy as native-born Americans, but Puerto Ricans and Africans are 2 1/2 times as likely to suffer from unhappiness. People who are educated and speak English do better.  

Immigrants lose more than familiar customs and proximity to loved ones over here. At Secular Right, Heather MacDonald recently described how African immigrants are mistreated by native-born blacks, and I know that some Mexican Americans do the same thing to immigrants from Latin America.

People argue that immigration might not be particularly good for Americans, but it's good for the immigrants. Says who? For an extra buck, you make yourself miserable? You cut your children off from relatives back home? You exchange one mess for another, and lose your way of life in the meantime. Think twice about it, folks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Liberal degeneracy

The World Values Survey asked  a number of Muslim countries the following question: "If a woman wants to have a child as a single parent but she doesn't want to have a stable relationship with a man, do you approve or disapprove?"  Only 2.4% of respondents said they approved. 

The same question was posed to Americans. Fifty-two percent of them approve.  Liberal approval of father absence finds its way to the Islamic world through the global spread of American popular culture. Liberal degeneracy is one reason why so many Muslims don't like us.  

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blacks and the subculture of violence:  In Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Thomas Sowell argues that the South developed a violent culture because of Scotch Irish immgrants.  Blacks supposedly absorbed these values from their white neighbors and still have them, regardless of what region of the country they now live in. Among the values is a touchiness on matters of honor and manhood. If someone offends you, you don't walk away. You teach him a lesson. Sowell points to culture and thus avoids any biological explanations for the higher rate of violence among blacks.

General Social Survey data, however, don't back up his assertion.  Of course, it would be nice if respondents were asked a long list of questions about the appropriate use of violence, but we have at least one question: is it okay--yes or no--for a man to hit a drunk who bumped into his wife on the street?

A violent orientation among white Southerners should be most concentrated among the lower classes, and I would expect attitudes to differ from American norms most in the East South Central (ESC) part of the South which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  15.5% of these people agree with the statement about hitting a drunk man.  It's 18.9% if only men are included.

How does that compare to low-status blacks who live anywhere in the country? Only 7.9% of them said yes to the question, and the number for males is only 9.1%.  The number for all blacks does not differ significantly from the estimate for all Americans: 8.6%. By contrast, low-status whites from the ESC region are significantly more likely (at the 95% confidence level) to hold this violent attitude when compared to other Americans or to poor blacks.

So, it's possible that white Southerners are more prone to assault than Northerners because of their views toward the appropriate use of violence, but how do we explain the high level of violence among blacks? Liberal researchers will instruct us that a racist society makes blacks angry, and anger leads people to vent physically.  A biological explanation is an obvious possibility--I mean, racist whites, and the Scotch Irish for that matter, don't live everywhere blacks do around the globe--but it hasn't been investigated much because it might be true.        

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Among whites, liking your own race is associated with liking blacks

SDA 3.3: Tables
GSS 1972-2008 Cumulative Dataset
Oct 24, 2009 (Sat 05:07 AM PDT)




Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:

-Column percent

-Row percent

-N of cases





1: warm








2: neutral








3: cold
















Std Devs
Color coding:
N in each cell:
Smaller than expected
Larger than expected
Summary Statistics
Eta* =

Gamma =

Chisq(P) =
(p= 0.00)
R =

Tau-b =

Chisq(LR) =
(p= 0.00)
Somers' d* =

Tau-c =

df =
*Row variable treated as the dependent variable.

Allocation of cases
Valid cases
Cases excluded by filter
Cases with invalid codes on

row or column variable
Total cases


CSM, UC Berkeley

White General Social Survey respondents were asked how warmly they felt toward 1) other whites and 2) blacks. The cross-tab above shows the results.

The finding that really jumps out at you is that if you answer warm about one race, you are very likely to answer warm about the other. There is a strong tendency among whites to either like everyone or to dislike everyone.

Let's call those who dislike both blacks and whites Misanthropists, and those who like both Philanthropists. We'll call those who are neutral towards everyone Neutralists. To keep things simple, we'll label a white person a SWPL (pronounced "swipple") if they give a warmer answer for blacks than for whites. Racialists will be those who give whites a higher score than blacks.

It is clear from the table that the majority of whites are Philanthropists--55 percent to be exact. (Taking the cell totals, I get: 1199/2162 = .55. I calculate subsequent percentages the same way). Seventeen percent are Neutralists, and only three percent are Misanthropists.

Four percent of whites are SWPLs, and 22 percent are Racialists.

It is interesting that the observed pattern contradicts the image of whites who like their race. We're told that Caucasians who are pro-white hate non-whites, but the vast majority of whites who feel warmly towards other whites feel the same way about blacks. Philanthropists are by far the largest category. And even if we look at Racialists, a majority of them like whites and are neutral toward blacks (271 out of 466). Only 11 percent of whites who feel warmly about others in their race say they have cool feelings about blacks.