Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Hispanics means more alcoholics: In America, drunken bums bring up the image of a white or a black man, at least it does in my mind. This might have something to do with the fact that in my town, I get hit up constantly for money at gas stations from mostly blacks and a few whites.

This blog has shown that many stereotypes are rooted in fact, but not all of them. Centers for Disease Control data show that the image of the black drunk is false. It should be replaced with the image of the Mexican borracho.

I calculated the average number of people who died from alcoholic liver disease per 100,000 total population for the years 1999-2001 for all U.S. counties with more than 250,000 people. (I averaged over three years since these are rare events). Next, I calculated the Pearson correlations between this variable and percent Hispanic, percent black, and 14 other variables:

Pearson correlations, N = 220

percent Hispanic/alcoholism .40**
percent black/alcoholism -.09

**p < .01, two-tailed test

More Hispanics means more alcoholics, but not so for blacks. Of the 16 independent variables only the percent unemployed was more strongly related to the rate of death due to alcoholism (.41).

I'm not sure exactly why, but Hispanic alcoholism is more hidden than for blacks or whites. Families must keep members off the streets. We don't see it on our streets as much, and this explains the lack of a stereotype.

Let's leave those immigration doors wide open: everyone loves a drunk!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More on crime among Native Alaskans: In the lower 48 states, American Indians are not known for high rates of crime. The Uniform Crime Report tells us that AIs are slightly more than 1 percent of all arrests for serious crimes, which is close to matching their share of the U.S. population (1.0%). They only seem to have a noticeable problem with family violence and alcohol-related crimes.

Not so with Alaska natives. Using arrest data, I calculated how their rate of serious crime compares with white Alaskans. I've listed the ratios here:

Ratio of Alaskan native crime rates to whites

Murder 4.3
Rape 5.7
Robbery 3.4
Aggravated assault 3.7
Burglary 3.4

These are huge differences--similar in magnitude to black-white differences. It's typical though how crime in Alaska is portrayed as a white problem. Those hell-raising rednecks (which I'm sure are actually lily white up there).

So how do we explain the propensity to act violently, especially in light of the fact that American Indians are similar to whites? Have these descendants of hunters not lost their fierce ways yet? Did the White Man kill off many of the aggressive males down here?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The media didn't mention that the Alaskan barbarians are Indians: CNN continues the media pattern of making Alaska look like a state of Neanderthals with their story of how high the rape rate is in the state and how Wasila did not pay for rape kits while Palin was mayor. I've browsed data on Alaska's rate of alcoholism and murder--they're unexceptional. Just now, I looked at the 2006 rape rate. CNN neglected to mention that 45% of the rapes are committed by American Indians, even though they are only 15% of Alaska's population.
Question: Am I crazy, or is some of the Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome a Jewish thing? Watch this clip of Sandra Bernhard. I began to suspect this when I heard Michael Savage, a right-winger if there ever was one, flip his nut when Palin was selected. He was screaming to the skies (of course, he always does that) that McCain must tell Palin to bow out.

I mean, it's understandable if some Jewish folks fear small towners since they are not famous for their tolerance. (I'm reminded of Blazing Saddles where Mel Brooks calls these kinds of people "morons.") As long as they're in their little villages, no problem, but put one a step from the White House and "Holy Shit!" But I don't know why people worry so much. Not all country bumpkins are the same. I'm no historian, but I don't recall a long list of American frontier pogroms. If anything, Sarah will nuke Iran to save Israel.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What percent of whites are likely to vote for Obama because he's black? Since last Friday, I've been reading and watching all the hand-wringing that the media is doing over the AP-Yahoo News poll finding that Obama might lose the race because of racist whites. They're already setting up the explanation, in the event that the Democrats lose: we lost because of evil whites. The language is much magnified over what you read in the initial report that concludes that Obama is disadvantged by 6 percentage points.

The researchers pushed respondents into characterizing blacks, and now the media is flipping out over the fact that 22% of white Democrats think that blacks are complainers. I interpret this, not as an indication of hatred, but a sign that only one-fifth of white Democrats pay attention to what blacks are actually like. Most of the characterizations are positive: 25% of dopey Dems stereotype blacks as being school smart. Generalizations only make sense in comparison to something, and I presume that people use themselves as the reference group, so one-quarter of white liberals think blacks are smarter than whites.

But I digress. How many times have we heard the media conclude that America is still a racist society? This is not news--it's ancient and boring. What is fascinating is that this survey actually asked whites, "Does the fact that if elected, Barack Obama would be the first black president of the United States make you more likely to vote for him, less likely to vote for him, or does it not affect your vote either way?" Even better, they first called respondents on the phone and then had them answer questions online. This gets rid of the problem of giving PC answers to the interviewers.

So what percent of whites are voting for Obama because he is black? Six percent. Combine that with the media cheering for him, and the fact that more blacks will make the effort to vote--Obama is in fine shape.

The media is panting over the parts of this poll that they like, but you'll never see them so anxious to report evidence that Obama might in some ways have an advantage, and that some whites are so generous. Imagine a black person voting for McCain because he is concerned about the welfare of whites. No, no, we mustn't give whites any credit. And this, in spite of the fact that Obama himself said on 60 Minutes yesterday that some whites are probably voting for him to make history.
Percent Hispanic predicts poverty better than percent black: I'm putting together Census data on all U.S. counties with populations over 250,000 as of 2000. Allow me to list some interesting findings. First, it turns out that percent Hispanic is positively correlated with a measure of income inequality (GINI index). And the correlation becomes stronger with percent black added in:

Pearson correlations, N = 220

percent Hispanic/inequality .39
percent black/inequality .34
percent poor minority/inequality .58

Liberals are so concerned about inequality, they created an entire discipline--sociology--devoted to its study. Somehow in their thousands of studies, sociologists failed to report that mass Latino immigration is growing our inequality problem, and immigration restrictions will make America more equal.

Next let's look at the percent poor:

Pearson correlations, N = 220

percent Hispanic/poverty .56
percent black/poverty .36
percent black-Hispanic/poverty .74

Blacks are the stereotypically poor group, yet a Hispanic presence predicts poverty even better. I don't recall the researchers telling us that a key approach to fighting poverty in America is to shut the door on Latino immigration.

Finally, let's look at the unemployment rate.

Pearson correlations, N = 220

percent Hispanic/unemployment .57
percent black/unemployment .07
percent poor minority/unemployment .53

Once again, unemployment brings to mind young blacks hanging on the steet corner, yet the percent of the county that is black does not predict the unemployment rate. (This is the only correlation in this post that is not statistically significant at the .05 level). Having lots of Latinos around, however, is a good sign that many people are without jobs. (Perhaps some of the unemployed are native-born people who have lost jobs to immigrants).

This, of course, contradicts the liberal claim that the American economy would come to a dead halt without the heroic labors of Latino immigrants. And would I sound repetitive if I mentioned that our beloved professors have not pushed reduced immigration from the south as an important way to reduce unemployment?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Michelle Obama asked voters today not to vote for someone based on her looks. Evidently, she is laying the groundwork for her own political career.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palin power: I'm probably wrong, but it's fun anyway to throw out wacky ideas. I cannot figure out why, according to's poll of polls, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are toss up states! These non-Republican states are split, even though the economy is in the crapper? If I recall correctly, they were clearly leaning for Obama before the conventions, so what has happened? Call me crazy, but I wonder if folks up there are responding to two things: 1) Palin is a gun nut, and 2) she has a Fargo accent.
Obama, the racial healer: In this piece in the Wall Street journal, Rush Limbaugh shows that the quotes of him put in Obama ads were actually parodies, not the hate speech they have been portrayed as. (Not to mention that tying McCain to Limbaugh is a joke). Obama is trying to stir up anti-white anger among Hispanic voters, and we're supposed to believe that racial healing is in his DNA.

In the spirit of tit-for-tat, will we see a McCain ad showing Obama's minister of 20 years--where there's actually a meaningful relationship--stirring up anti-white sentiment among black parishioners? Or perhaps Obama himself choosing as his career to politically organize blacks as blacks at the expense of whites and other groups? I ain't holding my breath.
"White trash voters": With Sarah Palin on the ticket, lots of good-hearted folks are saying things like Republicans are the white trash party. Let's set aside the racial slur, and define this group as whites with the lowest status jobs. Here's how whites voted in 2004:

Percent of whites voting for Bush in 2004 by job status

Low 50.3
Low-medium 57.9
Medium 63.0
Medium-high 58.9
High 54.1

"White trash" folks are the least likely of all whites to vote Republican. The GOP is a white, middle class party, if anything. The Democratic party is a Black, Hispanic, Jewish, immigrant, whiterpeople party, and poor whites are split.

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.
How to get help fast: My bank has you sign in and wait on a couch if you need to sit down with someone to discuss something. I had just finished a large iced coffee, and was really revved up. I was so wired, I couldn't sit down but just paced back and forth. I'm sure it also helped to be a man, and a masculine-looking man at that.

In a matter of seconds, the woman at the desk asked if I needed help. I said that I had signed in and was just waiting to see her, and returned to my pacing. I swear they put something in my coffee. Not a minute later, a woman came out of her big office and asked me if I needed help. I asked her my question, and she explained everything. I was on my way in less than five minutes, and the poor folks in front of me in line were still sitting there.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Randall Kennedy on (the) race: Randall Kennedy writes that if Obama loses--whatever the reason--he will have "feelings of dejection, anger and resentment." If someone as reasonable as Kennedy is going to be mad, how is the average street-corner black man going to feel? If there is a perception that the election was stolen or lost because of racist white voters, I recommend that you white folks don't do any driving through black neighborhoods on November 5th.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Does the South have a culture of violence? Many writers haved claimed that the South is more likely than other regions to turn to violence to deal with perceived problems, but I haven't seen much systematic data to back it up, expect for higher rates of violence.

The General Social Survey asked 7,697 men if they would approve of someone hitting a stranger who was drunk and bumped into the man and his wife. Here are the percent who answered yes by region of the country:

Percent of men who are pro-violence

New England 5.2
Middle Atlantic 6.6
East North Central 7.2
West North Central 7.3
South Atlantic 11.2
East South Central 14.7
West South Central 11.4
Mountain 8.8
Pacific 6.5

Clearly, most men don't think a quick resort to violence is right, but there are a few especially in the South. Now, who knows the causal connection between attitudes, behaviors, and other related variables, but we can say that the South, especially the East South Central division (TN, KY, MS, AL) has more violent, pro-violent, and low IQ people than other regions.

Let's see how well violent attitudes match patterns of actual violence:

Percent who are pro-violent

Men 10.0
Women 7.6

Whites 8.6
Blacks 7.8
Others 12.1

Chinese 15.6
English/Welsh 8.3
German 7.4
Irish 8.0
Italian 4.7
Japanese 16.2
Mexican 11.1
Dutch 12.0
Polish 5.4
Puerto Rican 9.3
American Indian 10.4
Arab 21.7

Ages 61+ in 1972 18.1
Ages 18-30 in 1994 4.0

Overall, these estimates are not consistent with patterns of violent behavior. Chinese and Japanese Americans, for example, are on the high end with respect to values, but are on the low end of actually assaulting someone. Perhaps we're not validly measuring attitudes, but there is little reason here to think that behavior matches values.

I included the last two estimates to show that pro-violent attitudes are more common among older people surveyed in earlier years. The GSS hasn't asked the question in this decade, but the 70s through the first half of the 90s show decreasing support for violence.

The World Cultural Map

In case you folks haven't seen this, here's a very interesting world cultural map based on the World Values Survey:

"This map reflects the fact that a large number of basic values are closely correlated; they can be depicted in just major two dimensions of cross-cultural variation.

"The World Values Surveys were designed to provide a comprehensive measurement of all major areas of human concern, from religion to politics to economic and social life and two dimensions dominate the picture: (1) Traditional/ Secular-rational and (2) Survival/Self-expression values. These two dimensions explain more than 70 percent of the cross-national variance in a factor analysis of ten indicators-and each of these dimensions is strongly correlated with scores of other important orientations.

"The Traditional/Secular-rational values dimension reflects the contrast between societies in which religion is very important and those in which it is not. A wide range of other orientations are closely linked with this dimension. Societies near the traditional pole emphasize the importance of parent-child ties and deference to authority, along with absolute standards and traditional family values, and reject divorce, abortion, euthanasia, and suicide. These societies have high levels of national pride, and a nationalistic outlook. Societies with secular-rational values have the opposite preferences on all of these topics.

"The second major dimension of cross-cultural variation is linked with the transition from industrial society to post-industrial societies-which brings a polarization between Survival and Self-expression values. The unprecedented wealth that has accumulated in advanced societies during the past generation means that an increasing share of the population has grown up taking survival for granted. Thus, priorities have shifted from an overwhelming emphasis on economic and physical security toward an increasing emphasis on subjective well-being, self-expression and quality of life....

"A central component of this emerging dimension involves the polarization between Materialist and Postmaterialist values, reflecting a cultural shift that is emerging among generations who have grown up taking survival for granted. Self-expression values give high priority to environmental protection, tolerance of diversity and rising demands for participation in decision making in economic and political life. These values also reflect mass polarization over tolerance of outgroups, including foreigners, gays and lesbians and gender equality. The shift from survival values to self-expression values also includes a shift in child-rearing values, from emphasis on hard work toward emphasis on imagination and tolerance as important values to teach a child. And it goes with a rising sense of subjective well-being that is conducive to an atmosphere of tolerance, trust and political moderation. Finally, societies that rank high on self-expression values also tend to rank high on interpersonal trust.

"This produces a culture of trust and tolerance, in which people place a relatively high value on individual freedom and self-expression, and have activist political orientations. These are precisely the attributes that the political culture literature defines as crucial to democracy."

Where do you fall on the map? I might not sound like it, but I'm a moderate on the traditional/secular axis, but I'm more of a worrier than most Western Europeans, and feel we can't afford the luxury of very much self-expression when disaster might be right around the corner.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Full of it(self) media: I don't make a habit of linking Charles Krauthammer, but he nailed it this time. He was one of the first people to use the term "Bush Doctrine", and he shows that it has four meanings, the most recent being Bush's desire to spread democracy to the four corners of the earth.

I watched Gibson's interview of Sarah Palin, and it made me think of the old pattern of sneering liberals who assume conservatives are stupid, and then turn out to be wrong on just about everything they believe. And the media wonders why we loathe them.
Typical liberal hypocrisy: Bob Herbert of the New York Times, always a giggle to read, calls Sarah Palin "dimwitted." It puts the silliest grin on my face to see flaming liberals suddenly convert to a belief in native intelligence. Perhaps Bob thinks that IQ is genetically determined for white trailer trash, but is a racist mismeasure of black intelligence.

Allow me to speak in the voice of a lefty who actually believes his ideology: "We should very well oppose Palin on account of her right-wing views, but this talk of lack of intelligence is silly. All people are capable of being vice-president or president. It's just a matter of proper training. Sarah clearly does not know enough now, but an intense term at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government will turn anyone into a policy genius. Expertise might take many years to develop at a run-of-the-mill university, but this is Harvard, people. She would be ready when sworn in on January 20th."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gender? Nah: Everybody's buzzing about how Palin's popularity is driven by the gender effect. I'm skeptical. Reading USA Today yesterday (don't get confused) I noticed that, according to their poll, 9% more men after both conventions said they plan to vote McCain than before them. For women, it was only 3% more.

If it's not gender, that leaves the populist, reformist, and right-wing appeal. I don't think most women really give a damn about the sisterhood.
Small towns: Time's Joe Klein writes that Palin has exploited America's myth of the frontier and the small town. According to Joe, this is pure nostalgia. America of the past 50 years has suffered the same kinds of defeats the South did from 1965 through the Civil Rights Era, so we yearn for the innocent days of Little House on the Prairie.

Realism, by contrast, lies in the urbane figure of Barack Obama. He is the 21st century.

In my view, this is the liberal fantasy of the Black Man. Modern urban life produces Obamas--thank God for it.

But let's get real. More often the big city gives us the black hustler. The absent black father. The black predator. Looking at the General Social Survey, 32.1% of black males in cities of at least 500,000 admitted to having been arrested, at least once. The corresponding number in towns under 25,000 is 23%. Arrest is a pretty good indicator of a dim future, so for every two guys that go down in towns like Wasilla, Alaska, three go down in the Big City.

Allow me an anecdote to illustrate my view that small towns produce less dysfunction, especially for blacks. My best friend when I was a kid was Henry, one of the only black boys in our small town. There was zero black subculture. Henry grew up in a close-knit white world, and there was no place to go if he didn't like it. And I don't think it was an accident that he turned out to be such a great guy. He got excellent grades in school. He never got into trouble. Henry was an incredible athlete. He graduated from a nearby university and ended up earning his MA. Last I heard, he is a working as a... okay, I think it's something like a community organizer, but we can live with that.

For all the injustices they suffered, black families showed much less dysfunction before achieving legal equality, and some of this, I think, was due to the fact that many blacks hadn't moved to the city yet, and small town life is good for people. There's more informal social control, an absence of deviant subcultures, and blacks especially seem to thrive in this kind of environment.

I might sound like a social engineer here, but at least I'm not pretending that all groups of people react to a given environment in the same way.

Klein seems pleased to see this old way life fading into the sunset, but we need more, not fewer small towns.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To Luis (a Hispanic reader):

You have given me a good opportunity to say a word about the fact that many of my posts document the problems we see in the Hispanic community.

Let me say first of all that I'm surprised that such a sensitive reader as yourself did not complain about my many posts that reflect negatively on blacks, women, homosexuals, etc. One of themes I stress here is that, in contrast to past immigrant groups, the ethnocentrism of Hispanics does not seem to be fading, and all too many are not entering the cultural mainstream. You respond by standing up for your Latino brothers.

You suggest that I change jobs so I don't have to be around Hispanics, and if I'm understanding you correctly, I shouldn't hide the views presented on this blog from my students.

You can't be serious. If I talked in class like I write on this blog, I would be terminated in short order, no questions asked. It doesn't matter in the least that most of what I post is analysis of data. I push it as far as I can in class, but I'm no martyr: I've got hungry kids to feed.

This blog gives me the chance to publish all the things I can't otherwise. If we lived in a society that welcomed hard talk on issues like immigration, the Inductivist would be unnecessary. Our society generates so much race hysteria, you assume that because some white dude documents Hispanic social problems, he must hate Latinos and does not want to be around them.

I wrote in an earlier post that 98% of my interactions with Hispanics have been positive. I've known many fine folks: I attend mass with Latinos every week. The complaints I have about Latino students, I have for students in general: as a group, they don't give a damn. They're indifferent and incurious.

The difference between me and most people is that I take statistics very seriously. And, in contrast to messages from the mainstream media and punditry, Hispanics do not have the same numbers as Middle Class America. Their stats are troubling and do not bode well for their long-term assimilation.

But you asks, what's my point? Isn't that obvious? Blacks are a low-income group. Their population reduces the Middle Class nature of America. The same can be said of American Indians and Hispanic citizens. The fact is that all these folks are part of our society. We have to make the best of a challenging situation.

By contrast, Hispanic immigration is not an inevitability. It's a choice. Since I value an America dominated by middle class families, I document the low-income nature of the Hispanic community in order to make the argument that mass immigration from Latin America is moving us toward a divided society with a large low-income population at the bottom and a small number of elites on top, with fewer middle class folks in between.

One reason why America has been such a good country is because it has been a heavily middle class country. I want to keep it that way. Immigrants that are allowed to come to this country should be the type to raise that middle, not expand the bottom.

America's slide into the muck of liberalism is another concern of mine. One of the most important issues to me is abortion, and every year the country has hundreds of thousands of new Hispanic immigrants who are likely to turn their backs on their religious beliefs and vote for pro-choice Democratic candidates. Latino immigration is tilting the country left, and it doesn't have to happen.

At work and in social situations, our PC culture forces me to walk on egg shells. For me, a blog is a great place to let loose--sensitivities be damned. Face to face, my comments could easily lead to violence, but in this forum, you're able to see in stark terms how some people really think. Most whites are not like me because their thinking on these issues never goes beyond the superficial, so don't take me as an indicator of what your neighbor is really like. Almost all these folks are people with the best of intentions and good will. I'm the same way, only I'm mad.

And you detect my anger--it's not hard to. I'm not sure if I'm very good at self-analysis, but let's give it a stab. I was more or less apolitical growing up, although I was raised in a conservative home. Later, college turned me liberal. I thought of myself as a good guy because my main concern when voting was the welfare black Americans.

After a few years, out of belief that one can learn from all sides, I started to read conservatives. It surprised me how good some of their ideas were, but I remained unmoved. Then I started to read about all the anti-white animus that so many blacks felt. And I started to get pissed off.

Here, when it came to politics, I was more concerned about them than my own family. I was even willing to have my own children and other relatives stand aside so blacks could take their jobs and college spots--and the response I got was that I was an incurable hater and the cancer of humanity.

Basically, I've been pissed off about the whole PC racket ever since. If people get pushed too far, this is what you get. By nature, I have good will toward everyone, but when I start analyzing data and thinking about issues, I will admit that it makes me angry, and I see no reason to feel bad about that.
Gotta love them damn Mormons: Which U.S. county with a population over 250,000 had the lowest percent voting for Kerry in 2004? Maybe some place in, I dunno know, Texas? Wrong. Only 14% (!) of voters in Utah County, Utah voted Democrat. Provo and Orem are the main cities there--this is where Brigham Young University is located. Mormons of all classes reject liberalism hook, line, and sinker. God love 'em.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More on my county data: I'm collecting data on all U.S. counties with populations over 250,000.

Which of these counties would you guess has the most poverty? Perhaps Hinds, Mississippi (Jackson) which has the highest concentration of blacks--65.2%? Wrong--the poorest county is Hidalgo, TX. Almost one-third of the residents (31.7%) fall under the poverty line. What could explain all that poverty, even more poverty than the Bronx (25.4%)? Could it be that 89.4% of Hidalgans are Hispanic?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Conspiracy theory: I see that, according to the USA Today/Gallup poll, McCain is now up by 10 points. I suspect that there is a genius Republican plot going on. It's so good, Rove must be behind it. The GOP must have planted people in the media and the blogosphere and ordered them to obsess about how Palin is Alaskan trailer trash. It is brilliant: nothing is going to convince Reagan Democrats to vote Republican better than telling them that someone they identify with is low-class. It's "clinging to guns" all over again. I am truly impressed.
Liberalism doesn't stop unwanted pregnancies, but it sure as hell kills a LOT of fetuses: Democrats tell us that the answer to reducing abortions among teens is not to make them illegal; rather, we need to support and expand the programs which address the factors that lead to abortion. In other words, we need to put Democrats in charge of the problem.

So, is there empirical support for this idea? Using Guttmacher and County and City Book data, I calculated the correlation between voting Democrat in 2004 and abortion rates among white girls ages 15-19 across the 32 states for which data are available. While I was at it I also looked at pregnancy rates (for white girls 15-19) and white IQ rates (Audacious' data):

Pearson correlation coefficients, N = 32

percent Democrat--abortion rate .64
percent Democrat--pregnancy rate -.15
pregnancy rate--abortion rate .11
IQ--pregnancy rate, -.65
IQ--abortion .14
IQ--percent Democrat .22

If you want to reduce abortions, the LAST thing you want to do is trust Democrats to do it--the positive correlation between the two is large.

And it's those idiot Red States that have all the white teen pregnancies, right? You know, the abstinence-type approach and all the Bible thumpers are total failures, compared to the scientific liberal strategy. Hardly--the correlation is trivial in size (-.15).

And the idea that (Republican) states that have all the pregnancies will consequently have all the abortions falls apart here as well--the correlation once again is insignificant (.11).

So, in other words, liberalism doesn't stop unwanted pregnancies, but it sure as hell kills a LOT of fetuses.

While I'm at it, I wanted to look at white IQ. My analysis supports the idea that smart states are able to avoid unwanted pregnancies (r = -.65) making them not have higher abortion rates (r = .14).

Finally, the positive association between being a Democrat state and having a high white mean IQ is small (.22).
Two howlers I heard on the talk shows: 1) Did you know that Hispanics who, last I heard, are going to vote more than 2 to 1 for Obama, are SWING voters (I thought "swing" meant that they can tip majority either way, but what do I know); and 2) the liberal mentality concerning Obama was revealed when Donna Brazile said on CNN that Jesus was a community organizer.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Starr County, Texas: America's future: I’m in the process of putting together a U.S. county-level data set, and I ran across the most Hispanic county I’ve ever seen. Starr county, on the U.S-Mexico border in southern Texas, is 97.4% Hispanic. Looking at the county website, Starr looks like a nice enough place.

But there’s two little problems. The Census says that 90.7% speak Spanish at home. Sounds something like Mexico to me. And only 6.9% of Starr’s residents have a bachelor’s degree. I don’t know the number, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mexico’s graduation rate is in the same ballpark.

And the rate isn’t so low because this is a county of a few dozen ranchers. As of 2007, the county had 62,000 residents. That’s bigger than the semi-rural county I grew up in, which by the way has a graduation rate of 24.9%.

Starr's population grew 15.2% from 2000 to 2006. Welcome to the future.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Question: My last post got me thinking. If I'm not mistaken, women who get an abortion most often abort their first child, but research tells us that the oldest, on average, is the smartest. So, are we killing our most capable? (Not that it would be a good thing to kill our less capable). (A related post by Sailer here.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Everybody's a sociologist when it comes to teen marriage: Let me follow-up on my last post with a comment on today's article in the NYT on teenage pregnancy. They took news of Palin's daughter's pregnancy as an opprtunity to remind readers how teenagers, especially girls, are doomed if they get married and have babies when they're teenagers.

What has happened to Bristol is not the best way to go, but let's use our brains for a second. First, early marriage was widespread 20 years before the divorce explosion of 1965-75. Most divorces take place in the first few years of marriage. If I get time, maybe I can look at this more closely, but I'm guessing that the divorce rate among those who married at 18 in 1950 was lower than those of people marrying at 30 nowadays. There isn't something inherent in early marriage that is conducive to divorce and failure.

Second, so many of these studies on negative outcomes assume that those who have babies as teens are in all important ways the same as those who don't. I haven't seen these studies typically control for things like IQ, talent, farsightedness, self-contol, industriousness, persistence, etc. I have read studies that have indicated that teens who have babies would have turned out poor even if they hadn't gotten pregnant.

To use a personal example, as I did in the last post. My brother got a girl pregnant when both of them were 16. He and the girl were excellent students, but their strict religious upbringing led them to have sex without confronting head-on what they were doing and what needed to be done to prevent pregnancy. (Plus, my bro was unhappy at home and irrationally thought a pregnancy might be a way out).

So the girl got pregnant. Most kids in their shoes would have gotten an abortion, but our type of people is a tad uncomfortable with slaughtering children, especially our own. Our parents and her parents pushed for adoption, but my brother and the girl told them all to go pound sand. They got married in our church 5 months before the baby was born.

Fast forward two decades. My brother has almost finished his MBA, he is the regional director over a number of large assisted-living facilities, and he makes probably three times what I make. His wife got her B.A. and was a very popular local TV news anchor for several years. Double careers were a little too much for them, so she scaled back her career a bit.

They have four beautiful children, and the oldest (the one conceived out of wedlock) has earned a 4-year full-tuition scholarship to a university where the average ACT is close to 30. He is majoring in math, and his college GPA is just about perfect.

Now, of course the sociologists would have predicted disaster for my brother and his wife. So why was the prediction wrong? Because sociologists, along with America's elites, believe that you are the product of your circumstances. If you get zapped with a baby at 17, you're done for. My bro and his wife made it because they are industrious, talented, relentless people. They would have been successful without the early marriage; they were successful with it.

If a sociologist says so, you know he can't be completely right.
Embarassing Red State fertility: I'll return to data analysis tout de suite, but all this fascination with Sarah Palin and Red State fertility makes me want to confess something.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but my family, as David Letterman said of Palin's, could do a Jerry Springer show. It's embarassing, but my parents have 15 grandchildren, and I'm afraid we are probably not finished. You'll be shocked, but I have 20 cousins on my father's side and 25 on my mother's. I am unable to count the total number of children they have had, but relatives seem to average 3 or 4 kids.

We can't seem to get a handle on our baby making, so I'm sorry to say that we'll have to leave the very highest ranks of society to you Blue Staters. I do have siblings and cousins who are doctors, attorneys and business executives, and we do have kids who ace their exams--so I guess we've got something there--but as a group, we're pretty ordinary.

We're going to have to turn to you folks to save an overcrowded planet by limiting family size. Somebody's gotta run things and do the right thing. But hey don't pat yourself on the back too much for your sacrifice, because everyone looks up to you. Your name will be remembered. Nobody ever admired my ordinary clan of a couple hundred people.

So you just keep up the heroic choices, and my relatives, unfortunately, will keep on doing what they have always done.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Question: Are any of you guys like me? Every time I see a clip of Sarah Palin shooting a gun, I get tingly all over.

Reacting to Obama, Chris Matthews reported a thrill up his leg. My response to Palin has been slightly different.
A visit from an African priest: A visiting priest from sub-Saharan Africa celeberated our mass yesterday, and he really left an impression on me. I'm not very good at describing this type of thing, but he had a powerful kind of dignity. I'm not sure if it was his resonant baritone voice, his large physique and black-as-coal skin, his humble demeanor, the priestly robes, or something less tangible.

He was educated in a Catholic school, along with the 40,000 other kids taught there since it was established in the early 70s. I'm not sure what the net impact of Christianity is on Africa, but it does seem to be educating a lot of kids. It certainly seems to have helped this priest.

Are gun owners mentally ill?

  Some anti-gun people think owning a gun is a sign of some kind of mental abnormality. According to General Social Survey data, gun owners ...