Saturday, April 22, 2006

Let's practice "horizontal eugenics": Eugenics aims to improve society by reducing the birthrate of children with undesirable traits while encouraging the number of babies born with desirable characteristics. The problem with this idea is not only that it collides head-on with our Judeo-Christian values, but that you never know what kind of Frankensteins we might create.

Trying to improve the quality of child over parents could be called "vertical eugenics." "Horizonal eugenics," on the other hand, refers to improving the quality of society through controlling the entrance of already-born humans into membership in the community, something described more simply as selective immigration. This form of eugenics is preferable since there are fewer ethical concerns, plus we don't have to predict the future behavior of the individual: we already have an adult with a history of well-established behavior.

So, in your opinion, which immigrants are most eugenic--or most dysgenic--to American society? Let's begin to look at this question with a behavior that is a cornerstone of American culture--working. Below is a ranking of unemployment among immigrants by ethnicity (from best to worst--included are countries with at least 50 respondents):

1. Filipinos 1.3%
2. Indians 2.6
3. Spain 6.8
4. Mexicans 7.0
5. Germans 8.0
6. Africans 8.3
7. Chinese 9.1
8. English/Welsh 9.8
9. Italians 10.0

We value education as well. Here are the numbers of those with at least a bachelor's degree (ages 30-60):

1. Chinese 74.1%
2. Indians 71.6
3. English/Welsh 54.0
4. Filipinos 51.2
5. Africans 41.8
6. Spain 31.9
7. Germans 22.6
8. Italians 14.8
9. Mexicans 6.3

So, looking at employment and education together, Indians and Filipinos come out on top, Mexicans and Italians on the bottom. In later posts, I'll look at other important characteristics (e.g., crime, values, family life) and will construct what I could call an "index of quality."

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