Saturday, May 21, 2005

Spending a lot of time at Lambert's, generally well spent I think as I enjoy the different points of view there. Here's one of the best comments I've seen, from Stickwick.
Ian and Tall Dave, your comments lead to two ideas. 1) You can't have equal outcomes between different groups when IQ is not equal. 2) This is an undesirable situation that ought to change without infringing on other people's rights.

The situation can, in fact, be changed, and there is a historical precedent showing how IQ can be increased. At the time of the first world war IQ testing (which was a new thing) was used to determine suitability of people for various jobs. Jews, as a group, scored low. But because Jewish culture reveres knowledge and learning, they filled the libraries, created schools, and learned like crazy.

The inner cities' hip hop culture, however, does not prize these things. It doesn't matter where the inner city culture came from, but it's there and it's destructive. If I'm right and culture is the determining factor we have no choice but to change it.

The political right has made mistakes with regard to this, the biggest of which is the war on drugs which has made the drug culture extremely profitable. As much as I hate drugs, we have to look at the fact that this thing has been a horrible failure and created problems for the inner city. It's time to repeal the drug laws. Now, for those on the political left, if they are honestly concerned about their fellow Americans, they have to acknowledge that blaming and punishing white people doesn't help, and that throwing money at a dysfunctional culture makes the problem worse.

And this relates to what Ben said about the correlation between abortion and crime rates. There are plenty of poor people who produce children who become functioning members of society rather than criminals. Second generation children of poor immigrants from places like the West Indies and Asia tend to do very well in America. It's not a matter of poverty or of race -- the only difference between these people and the ones who abort potential criminals is one of culture.

So if you want to improve the outcome, the question becomes how to change the culture.
My thoughts:
Amen to that. People really need to start talking about the culture issue instead of praising everything good or bad about a culture as multiculti heritage and therefore uncriticizable. Similar to your Jewish example, Asian-Americans have a higher average income/education than white Americans because their culture values hard work and education.

I also agree the drug war has horrible unintended consequences everywhere from U.S. inner cities to S America. People probably shouldn't use drugs, but then there's a lot of things people probably shouldn't do that they're free to do as long they don't hurt anyone else. You can't litigate stupid or self-destructive behavior out of existence. You would think the Right would have learned restricting freedom didn't result in greater societal morality with Prohibition, but apparently not.

One of the worst effects of the drug war is the effect on inner-city culture and economics, as described in "Drug Crazy" by Mike Gray and also in "Freakonomics" which I have on order and am looking forward to.

4 Comments:

Blogger chaudes said...

mmm...well
I have posted some of
my photos here

2:08 PM  
Blogger RadicalReformer said...

More "pron" for TallDave. Just super.

5:32 PM  
Blogger TallDave said...

I'm up to two now.

The pr0n actually got posted like 5 sec after the original post. Must be a Blogger-watching bot.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Veeshir said...

I don't know if you can blame drug wars all on the right. The left has had their chances and declined. Most recently from 1992-1993 when they controlled all three branches of the federal gov't.
In NY they're called Rockefeller laws, and he wasn't on the right.
Until a majority of congress-critters are born in the mid 50s and later you will not see drug laws relaxed.
The generations that have grown up since the 60s have a different view of drugs. The ones before grew up with Reefer Madness defining drugs for them.

11:45 AM  

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