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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What can have changed?

The US infrastructure is decaying and local, state, and federal governments all lack the wherewithal to effectively replace it. I wonder what could possibly explain this loss of capability?
Guess what blatant reactionary wrote the following words: “It seems plausible to wonder if government can build a nation abroad, fight social decay, run schools, mandate the design of cars, run health insurance exchanges, or set proper sexual harassment policies on college campuses, if it can’t even fix a 232-foot bridge competently.”

Stumped? The answer is Lawrence Summers, secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, presidential senior economic adviser in the Obama administration and, in between, president of Harvard, writing in the Washington Post. For more on the fiasco of the rebuilding of the Larz Anderson Bridge, between Cambridge and Boston’s Allston neighborhood, see another opinion article by Summers in the Boston Globe.

As it happens, I wrote a column myself back in 2010 on how long it was taking to fix the Humpback Bridge, a portion of George Washington Parkway which rises about 30 feet above an inlet of the Potomac. From the top of that bridge you can see the Pentagon, still the world’s largest office building, which was built in 18 months. I’ve had occasion also to write columns on how excellent books by Philip K. Howard, Peter Schuck and John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge which illustrate that, as I put it, “gummit don’t work good.” And I’ve written more recently on the tragic deterioration of the Metro, Washington’s “Great Society Subway.”

So even as we hear from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton how government is going to painlessly provide us with free healthcare, free college and free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (uh, just kidding about the last one), we see all around us how government is unable to do things it could easily do 50, 100 and (think Flint water) 150 years ago. What makes anyone think it can take on additional tasks and perform them satisfactorily? Apparently Summers, lifelong Democrat and frequent advocate of more government spending on infrastructure, is having his doubts.
Interesting. "We see all around us how government is unable to do things it could easily do 50, 100 and 150 years ago." I wonder what changed 50 years ago? When would that have been, 1966, right?

Now, what happened in 1965?

This is the result of losing a mere 4-5 IQ points on average. Imagine what the USA is going to look like when the idiocratic average declines another 5 points.

Labels:

161 Comments:

Blogger Ahazuerus May 31, 2016 11:33 AM  

Now that's a scary thought...

Mr Trump: put up that wall!

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 11:40 AM  

The decrease in average intelligence is bad enough, but on top of that we're facing ever more regulatory muck we must wade through to do even the simplest of things. The collapse isn't some hypothetical future event, it's happening now.

Anonymous TLM May 31, 2016 11:42 AM  

The IQ drop from the glorious 1965 Act is one reason, but I'd be willing to bet that another contributing factor is that 'government jobs' are purposely filled with applicants that wouldn't stand a chance of being competent enough in their duties to hang on, let alone excel, at similar positions in the for-profit sector. The upper tiered positions are filled with what you've referred to in the past as the mid-wits that actually believe they are smarter than everyone else, and the lower-tiered ranks are crammed with the "I don't give a f*ck, you can't fire me, gimme my benefits" types.

Anonymous trk May 31, 2016 11:45 AM  

We will look like South America meets a desert roaming tribal people led by a coalition of upper class older white women who are good at PowerPoint.

Blogger Earl May 31, 2016 11:46 AM  

What changed 50 years ago is that they started building bridges with Reardon Metal.Fail.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 31, 2016 11:46 AM  

we're facing ever more regulatory muck we must wade through to do even the simplest of things

Which provides even more opportunity to employ yet more people thus aggrandizing government. You don't even need to have actual illegality. You just add more regulation, which means more people need to be employed to enforce regulation and on and on it goes.

And of course, the high trust society we used to have is being destroyed before our very eyes. And the atomization of the culture continues apace.

But its OK, because somewhere a Tranny felt pain and the government moved.

Blogger CarpeOro May 31, 2016 11:47 AM  

It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the emphasis on awarding contracts to minority/female run firms to build diversity and opportunity. Something that also didn't exist in 1965.

Anonymous Longtime Lurker May 31, 2016 11:48 AM  

DC Metro kills. Now it's tourist season.

Anonymous Elijah Rhodes May 31, 2016 12:04 PM  

A drop in IQ is certainly troubling, but I don't think that's what's going on here. What we're seeing is the fruit of massive government expansion. Behemoth organizations are always slow, inefficient, and non-innovative At least in the private sector there are competitive pressures. But when you remove that element you end up with crap (not to neglect the massive corruption that is more present now). In the past, maintaining roads and bridges was one of the primary functions of a relatively limited government, so there was more pressure to do the one thing relatively well. Those days are gone.

Blogger VD May 31, 2016 12:05 PM  

A drop in IQ is certainly troubling, but I don't think that's what's going on here.

You're wrong. It's the most important factor.

Blogger YIH May 31, 2016 12:06 PM  

TLM wrote:The IQ drop from the glorious 1965 Act is one reason, but I'd be willing to bet that another contributing factor is that 'government jobs' are purposely filled with applicants that wouldn't stand a chance of being competent enough in their duties to hang on, let alone excel, at similar positions in the for-profit sector. The upper tiered positions are filled with what you've referred to in the past as the mid-wits that actually believe they are smarter than everyone else, and the lower-tiered ranks are crammed with the "I don't give a f*ck, you can't fire me, gimme my benefits" types.
As Derb pointed out in the column that liberated him from NR:
(12) There is a magnifying effect here, too, caused by affirmative action. In a pure meritocracy there would be very low proportions of blacks in cognitively demanding jobs. Because of affirmative action, the proportions are higher. In government work, they are very high. Thus, in those encounters with strangers that involve cognitive engagement, ceteris paribus the black stranger will be less intelligent than the white. In such encounters, therefore—for example, at a government office—you will, on average, be dealt with more competently by a white than by a black. If that hostility-based magnifying effect (paragraph 8) is also in play, you will be dealt with more politely, too. “The DMV lady“ is a statistical truth, not a myth.
I've pointed out before, most Africans aren't 'unemployed' they're unemployable, as in no one in their right mind would hire them for any purpose.
The only reason there is any ''black middle class'' of any note is government jobs.

Blogger Adm Trell May 31, 2016 12:06 PM  

"This is the result of losing a mere 4-5 IQ points on average. Imagine what the USA is going to look like when the idiocratic average declines another 5 points."

See the movie "Idiocracy"

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 12:07 PM  

Ah, MWBE firms. I've been in a situation where the choice was between hiring someone incompetent, or hiring a guy who was whiter than me and pay him about double the going rate because he had a Spanish surname.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 31, 2016 12:08 PM  

A drop in IQ is certainly troubling, but I don't think that's what's going on here. What we're seeing is the fruit of massive government expansion.

You say like the two are unrelated.

Blogger Earl May 31, 2016 12:09 PM  

Good news if fedgov rules that men can be women for restrooms, then perhaps men can be women for woman owned/operated federal contracting subsidies. And everything else women get subsidized.

Blogger Austin Ballast May 31, 2016 12:09 PM  

You're wrong. It's the most important factor.

So a massive expansion in government would work without immigration? Color me skeptical.

A stronger case would need to be made that the push for government to expand was not present until 1966, something that is certainly not true as the New Deal was long before that.

Anonymous JAG May 31, 2016 12:10 PM  

The shitlib elite had been hoping to create a 1984 & Animal Farm society, but instead they are getting Idiocracy for their efforts.

Anonymous FP May 31, 2016 12:10 PM  

Its either the diversity crowd or eco-nuts who can't plan or build anything. Should the bridge have light rail on it? Pedestrian and bike paths? Is it environmentally sound and aesthetically pleasing? Millions later... no bridge or bridges and major traffic jams.

But hey, Portland got a new tax passed for funding the arts and wants all the surrounding counties to pay for its light rail expansions.

Blogger ThirdMonkey May 31, 2016 12:14 PM  

It's easier for states to ignore maintenance and wait for a flood/tornado/bridge collapse, have an emergency declared by the governor, and get federal funding. We move from one disaster to the next, and the politicians get their pockets filled and re-election because they secured federal funding to get the bridge rebuilt. I saw this happen with the school/community swimming pool where my parents live. Contractor comes in, builds the pool, 5 years later it leaks, school gets a grant to fix it, same contractor "fixes" it, 5 years later it leaks, etc. Nobody cared because there was always a grant to come in and fix it. Build it right the first time, and you won't make any money fixing it later.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 12:14 PM  

You're wrong. It's the most important factor.

The most observable manifestation of this is the diminished understanding of republican government and lawful restraints on government power. Many of these diversity hires simply believe that because they have a government job, they have the authority to decree anything they choose to the public. And because they're surrounded by other diversity hires and people who don't dare risk being seen as hostile to "minorities," this belief is seldom corrected.

Anonymous Golden Flowers May 31, 2016 12:15 PM  

We need huge tax increases to pay for our crumbling infrastructure.

Too bad selfish whites refuse to pay their fair share

Anonymous Jack Amok May 31, 2016 12:15 PM  

So a massive expansion in government would work without immigration? Color me skeptical.

You're asking the wrong question. The massive expansion is much less likely to happen without immigration. Pretty much every batch of immigrants we've let in since, oh, 1840, have been more inclined to bigger government than the founders were. That's not strictly a function of IQ, but the two do exacerbate each other.

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 31, 2016 12:16 PM  

Well, at least in Houston, y'all need to see the amazing job that the civil engineers do in repairing, expanding a new road construction. Then, there are the fly-over bridges to join the various highways we have.

My Dad (RIP), a civil engineer, every time he came to visit, was amazed at something new in the road construction. I still am.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 12:17 PM  

@VD: "You're wrong. It's the most important factor."

And yet, in Boston, you could easily find engineers, formen and workers (many of whom would like to actually have some work) who are just as smart as ever, despite the drop in average IQ.

So, even if I stipulate that you are correct, there is still something else going on. Something big.

OpenID denektenorsk May 31, 2016 12:20 PM  

Most government jobs are welfare for mid-wits. Source: try getting a building permit.

Blogger Salt May 31, 2016 12:22 PM  

Infrastructure is simple not as important as the social safety net. I can't say such ordering of priorities is lower IQ driven, but it sure isn't a sign of intelligence either.

Anonymous JAG May 31, 2016 12:25 PM  

The same government worker mid-wits make me laugh when they claim they pay taxes too. Uh, no you don't. The money to pay you was confiscated by force from the public. It was not generated via products or services rendered in the private sector where supply and demand rule.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 31, 2016 12:26 PM  

And yet, in Boston, you could easily find engineers, formen and workers (many of whom would like to actually have some work) who are just as smart as ever, despite the drop in average IQ.

So, even if I stipulate that you are correct, there is still something else going on. Something big.


You're not thinking this through. Who do those engineers work for? Who creates the rules and regulations they have to follow when building a bridge? Who chooses where budgets are spent, how much goes to maintenance, how much goes to art, how much goes to reasonable projects vs idiotic fantasies? Who picks the engineering firm to hire in the first place? Who does (or does not) hold those people accountable for screwing up?

Average IQ matters a lot. Especially when you let people vote.

Blogger Badmojo May 31, 2016 12:27 PM  


It's Asimov's Foundation where the Empire got really good at doing nothing but looking like they were doing everything. Or Rand's Atlas Shrugged where the accomplished just left because the inmates were running the asylum.

We know how this plays out.

Blogger Stilicho May 31, 2016 12:28 PM  

What happened in 1965? Namath signed with the Jets. That must be it.

Anonymous Peter Blood May 31, 2016 12:30 PM  

Tainter's "The Collapse of Complex Societies" is illuminating. A big problem is SCALE and complexity, which an ever-dimmer populace can deal with less and less.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 12:30 PM  

And yet, in Boston, you could easily find engineers, formen and workers (many of whom would like to actually have some work) who are just as smart as ever, despite the drop in average IQ.

If someone drops a turd in the punchbowl - even if there's still as much prosecco as before - it's still not quite the same, is it?

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 12:34 PM  

"Who chooses . . ."

In my rust belt city, the descendants of the same Dutch, German, Irish and a smattering of Poles who built the infrastructure in the first place.

And most of the work crews are still made up of the same as well.

Yet the inability to get anything done, never mind done right, arrived here, rather suddenly, in the early oughts, when the city took on a roadworks restoration project that should have taken three weeks, but took 3 years and was already showing signs of deterioration before it was even finished.

OpenID basementhomebrewer May 31, 2016 12:34 PM  

@23 It's a variety of reasons but most can be traced back to immigration. Graft is an accepted part of many of the societies that are being imported. Lower IQ results in a populace that believes the equation "spending more money = fixing more problems" despite decades of evidence to the contrary.

As others have pointed out, just because the engineer is smart it doesn't mean his affirmative action boss won't squander the engineer's talent/ability and instead focus it on ways to benefit himself rather than the public.

Anonymous BGKB May 31, 2016 12:41 PM  

This is the result of losing a mere 4-5 IQ points on average.

Govt contracts get handed out preferably to businesses with the most non Asian minorities. Many businesses would be better off if they could just pay non Asian minorities but not have them do any work than going through the motions to entertain their bad ideas. When my parents replaced their pool fence I had to go see what happened when they company broke the underground power line, the new & old fence went from 1 foot from the power meter with the nearest pole on the other side of the pool. They were not smart enough to call the power company to mark the line & they got upset when my parents asked for a discount for going without power till it was hooked back up. I talked to one that said the old post was only 3 feet away from the power line, & I thought "fuck 3 feet is precision now?"

hiring a guy who was whiter than me and pay him about double the going rate because he had a Spanish surname.

Career advice, change your name to Shitavious Cuntswella.

Blogger J Melcher May 31, 2016 12:49 PM  

" Graft is an accepted part of many of the societies that are being imported."

This has been true for a long time before 1965.

The first New York subway system was started over the objections of city government. The owners went forward under the guise of building an unusually large pneumatic tube messaging system. They no doubt bribed NYC inspectors to accept this ludicrous facade. In time no less than three competing underground rail systems were all showing profit hauling people around the city at a nickle per head. (So much for the economic concept of "a natural monopoly") When the political machine promised voters to save the nickle fare from greedy capitalists, and confiscated the 3 systems, they also made upgrades and improvements less (competitively) necessary or likely. Of course the owners were bribed as well as coerced into the sale.

"Honest graft gets the roads built" it was said of NYC. Yeah, well, that never meant the builder was supposed to be chosen by popular vote.

Anonymous Azimus May 31, 2016 12:55 PM  

I have not done any research on this, but I expect the decline in IQ is not uniform across all professions, namely engineering, but that there is a more intense drop in low-skill laborers and our rapidly growing welfare force. Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

The death of accountability and responsibility is as much to blame as the decline in IQ for our crumbling nation. Nobody knows, or nobody is able, to hold anyone accountable for failure anymore. Sure there's probably some financial penalty from the gov to the contractor for the failure to perform, but nobody says "we failed because John f-ed up." Because today we fail as a team! And so there are no consequences for failure, even to the point of not being able to say "John - it was you. We didn't fail John, you did. You failed."

Blogger MC227 May 31, 2016 12:55 PM  

The IQ has definitely gone down since 1965. We are importing garbage from 3rd world countries. Also look at the colleges offering preposterous majors like gender studies, feminist studies, African American studies. Basically any birdbrain can graduate from college with a worthless degree that the federal gov't loves to hire.

Blogger Alexander May 31, 2016 12:56 PM  

We've lost 4-5 points on average of the whole of society.

I'd bet the loss for members of Congress is more than that. And I'd bet that the civil bureaucrats of major urban areas for no particular reason at all have fallen a full standard deviation, near enough.

Anonymous gxg May 31, 2016 12:56 PM  

IQ is definitely a factor, but it's also the fact that the first waves of even non-diverse government employees are far superior to the subsequent waves. Why? Because they've gained their experience and work ethic in the private sector, where standards are higher. (Stefan Molyneux discusses this in some of his podcasts. The one on Baby Boomers is particularly damning.)

I worked at a government facility. Government employees (sadly of every color) become absolutely useless after a few years in that dysfunctional environment. They're coddled. They're told they have it rough. They can't be fired. In this weird echo-chamber, they truly believe they're down-trodden and underpaid regardless of what they're making. It's crazy to see up-close. These are people making 90K a year who wouldn't be worth 20K in the private sector.

And even crazier, most of the people in government today have NEVER worked in the private sector. As a result, they have no concept of consequences or providing value.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 12:58 PM  

The death of accountability and responsibility is as much to blame as the decline in IQ for our crumbling nation.

Understanding the societal necessity for accountability and responsibility requires intelligence.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 31, 2016 12:58 PM  

Who picks the engineering firm to hire in the first place? Who does (or does not) hold those people accountable for screwing up?

We had a situation in the area I live in, not to long ago, where the local big city government awarded a contract to build a new high school that was supposed to be a state of the art learning center. Not long after completion it began to fall apart because of sub-standard construction.

A diverse councilperson was all set to lead a crusade against the oppression represented by this situation, until the local power structure shut him down before the local news outlets had to stop not mentioning the diversity of the contractor.

Anonymous fop May 31, 2016 1:00 PM  

What happened?

We went from Ansel Adams to Robert Mapplethorpe.

Blogger Salt May 31, 2016 1:00 PM  

Alexander wrote:I'd bet the loss for members of Congress is more than that.

Oh yeah.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab May 31, 2016 1:02 PM  

I watched a road expansion for about fifteen miles that a Roman Legion would have done in a few months and would have lasted for thousands of years take six years and will last maybe ten or twenty if we are lucky.

Blogger Otto Lamp May 31, 2016 1:02 PM  

Construction has always been done by people with avg to below avg IQ, but the people in charge (the project managers and engineers) were always pulled from the higher IQ ranks.

Consider though, that 50 years ago the typical high IQ person that went into engineering went into construction, electrical, or mechanical engineering. They built physical things.

I'd wager that the majority of engineers being produced today are software engineers--a field that barely existed 50 years ago.

So, part of the problem is there isn't enough smart people to fill all the jobs that require a high IQ to perform properly. And, this problem isn't just limited to engineering.

When someone with a BS in computer science (4 years of study) can make more than a medical doctor (8+ years of study) why would anyone choose to become a doctor? Hence, the coming doctor shortage (made worse by Obamacare).

I can see a time (say 100 years from now) when the world will be divided between workers and non-workers. People will be non-workers, not because they are lazy, but because there are no jobs they have the mental capacity to perform. With the rise of robotics and automation, the need for manual and low-skilled labor will all but disappear.

We think the welfare state is bad today. What happens when 60% of the population must be supported by the other 40%? What will society look like? Bread and circuses or Brave New World?

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 1:03 PM  

"I'd bet the loss for members of Congress is more than that."

The change in average IQ is certainly not evenly distributed throughout the workforce. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the average IQ in a public facing unemployment or DMV office was 70.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 1:05 PM  

So, part of the problem is there isn't enough smart people to fill all the jobs that require a high IQ to perform properly. And, this problem isn't just limited to engineering.

That's not it. Also, with the tools we have available today, it's astounding what one competent engineer can do now compared to what he could do 30 years ago.

Anonymous Instasetting May 31, 2016 1:08 PM  

Strauss and Howe of the excellent 'Generations' and the lesser 'Fourth Turning' predicted this as the Civic generation of G.I. Joes left the scene. They are materially minded team players who know how to do big projects. Our Millenials are supposed to replace them.

One other area of disagreement is the area of character.....which is more important than intelligence. G. Washington was said to have a second-rate mind (by extremely bright guys) but a first rate temperment.

Bridges are not that difficult that it requires genius. The IQ drop would be more noticeable out at the second step from the bleeding edge, I would think. You can train an 80 IQ guy to understand why a big gov't is bad.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab May 31, 2016 1:13 PM  

Look at the roadwork especially the tunnels done in the Depression. Those were some marvels and the tile work was beautiful. Something you cannot say about any road construction today. Those tiles still hold up. Imagine that if you can. There is a sloppiness and slovenliness even when there is no fraud. Even if they weren't milking every job for every dime they would still be feckless and not even know how to fix it in most cases.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 1:13 PM  

"Also, with the tools we have available today, it's astounding what one competent engineer can do now compared to what he could do 30 years ago."

The speed of prototyping has gone up by orders of magnitude compared to 50 years ago and I can do myself, in an afternoon . . .

. . . what a team of a dozen 20 somethings who are perfectly American, perfectly white with perfectly acceptable IQ for the given task can't seem to even get started on in a week.

Blogger Otto Lamp May 31, 2016 1:18 PM  

"G. Washington was said to have a second-rate mind (by extremely bright guys) but a first rate temperment."

I have always thought the aspersions of Washington's intellect to be spurious.

Consider that Washington's peers (those extremely bright guys you mentioned) almost to a man considered Washington to be the greatest among them. A man with a second-rate mind would not have command that type of respect.

What's more likely is that Washington excelled both intellectually and in his character. A rare combination to find in any man, and it was that rare combination that garnered him the respect of his peers.

Blogger Otto Lamp May 31, 2016 1:23 PM  

@49,

There's a reason Disney's golden age of animation was during the depression. He could hire large numbers of highly skilled men and pay them peanuts.

Construction projects in the 1930's were done by throwing hoards of men (who had been out of work for years) at a project. They took the time to do the little detail work, because otherwise men would have been standing around doing nothing. The goal was to put men to work, not to build efficiently.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 1:27 PM  

Feynman, by IQ, had a second rate mind. Second rate doesn't mean stupid.

And I think perhaps you are not giving enough weight to how important character was at the time.

Around Boston/Marblehead/Gloucster the highest compliment you could pay a man was not, "He's really smart," but "He will do sober what he promised drunk."

Anonymous Red Pilled by reality May 31, 2016 1:44 PM  

@7 No. Vox is right. The problem isn't that minorities are affirmative-actioned into a fat slice of the contract pie, it's that they have low IQ's and can't get the job done properly. 'Minorities' is a confound. If the minorities had equivalent IQ's, then there would be no problem, except for the obvious one of blatant racial discrimination against European-Americans.

Our civilization will succeed or fail on the question of whether we can successfully come to grips with the fact that it is low IQ, not white racism, that is to blame for NAM failure.

Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis Revised edition (December 17, 2015) Richard Lynn

Anonymous Gen. Kong May 31, 2016 1:46 PM  

Adm. Trell
See the movie "Idiocracy"

Idiocracy wasn't really about the future. It's about the present state of affairs in the Hollow Banana Empire. Just wait until the floods of 70-IQs from Afreeka - already flowing across the southern border - start polluting the already dumbed-down gene pool. Presidente Camacho will seem like a Voxian super-intelligence by comparison. The Churchians will have even more dindus to worship. Detroilet writ larger than Moochelle Obama's arse.

Blogger Rantor May 31, 2016 1:48 PM  

Look at the German Bureaucrats who expected to design and build an airport for Berlin. Scheduled to open in 2012... still closed. But air conditioned and lights are on (built mostly without light switches). Also have to run a train or two through the station everyday to keep the tunnels from becoming stagnant. Supposedly costs over $1,000,000 a month to sit there. The insanity of bureaucracy should not be underestimated. The loss of intelligence coupled with that is certainly a chronic and probably fatal condition.

Anonymous Gen. Kong May 31, 2016 1:51 PM  

We went from Ansel Adams to Robert Mapplethorpe.

From a man on the moon to a monkey in the white house in less than 50 years.

Anonymous Athor Pel May 31, 2016 1:54 PM  

" Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 1:13 PM
...
The speed of prototyping has gone up by orders of magnitude compared to 50 years ago and I can do myself, in an afternoon . . .

. . . what a team of a dozen 20 somethings who are perfectly American, perfectly white with perfectly acceptable IQ for the given task can't seem to even get started on in a week."


Problem solving is related to IQ but it is not the same thing. It is intrinsically linked to creativity, curiosity and desire.

If you kill or natually lack any one of those three things then you might have a high IQ smart person but he couldn't solve a mildly complex physical problem even if he wanted to.

What you're seeing is the result of public schools and a media society that is inculcated on spoon fed solutions arrived at before the episode ends.

To be a problem solver, to do things no one you know has ever done before requires a distinct way of seeing the world.

I try to teach problem solving at work. Some people are shockingly resistant to it. Others just naturally see what needs to be done and do it. I try to teach problem solving because I want them to work through a problem to arrive a good solution rather than merely rely on some rote memorized procedure that might give a good answer or might not.

Blogger bob k. mando May 31, 2016 1:56 PM  

34. BGKB May 31, 2016 12:41 PM
Career advice, change your name to Shitavious Cuntswella.




career advice, just point to Obama's tranny bathroom policy and identify as a black woman on all further employment applications.

Blogger praetorian May 31, 2016 1:56 PM  

So, part of the problem is there isn't enough smart people to fill all the jobs that require a high IQ to perform properly. And, this problem isn't just limited to engineering.

No. There are plenty of reasonably smart whites that are currently unemployed. The government makes building competent infrastructure impossible by hiring diversity and then red-taping things to death.

When someone with a BS in computer science (4 years of study) can make more than a medical doctor (8+ years of study) why would anyone choose to become a doctor? Hence, the coming doctor shortage (made worse by Obamacare).

No. My wife is a doc, I have a masters in CS from Stanford. If I were a W2, I wouldn't be able to touch her salary.

The competent doctor shortage will be because medicine is filled with women, who, like my wife, will retire mid-career, and with bindis who test well but are shit docs and end up meat-warehousing elderly whites to maximize medicare billing.

Diversity is our strength.

Blogger Xoph May 31, 2016 1:57 PM  

As Ben Franklin replied to a woman who asked what form of Government we had - "A republic Madam if you can keep it." Our IQ was never enough to keep it. The decline in IQ just makes the problem worse.

Anonymous Instasetting May 31, 2016 1:58 PM  

Otto,
Or maybe they were smart enough to realize character mattered more than intelligence. And by the standards of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, a second-rate mind is still very good indeed.

You could be right.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 31, 2016 2:07 PM  

I try to teach problem solving because I want them to work through a problem to arrive a good solution rather than merely rely on some rote memorized procedure that might give a good answer or might not.

This is an issue I often run into at work. A lot of people, absent a prescribed procedure, are completely useless. Some, from diverse cultures, will not only be unable to function without instructions, but are absolutely terrified of doing so.

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 2:12 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Arthur Isaac May 31, 2016 2:23 PM  

Sitting here watching a multiplate culvert go in. With regulations and permitting I would say that it's installation is twice as expensive and thrive as complex. Bridges are even more ridiculous (especially if they have ever had a smidgeon of lead paint).

When your engineers and pend more time with lawyers and environmentalists you are going to see this.

Can't drive from point A to point B but we sure hits us some clean water....

Anonymous Mr. Rational May 31, 2016 2:25 PM  

Vox wrote:I wonder what changed 50 years ago? When would that have been, 1966, right?

Now, what happened in 1965?

It wasn't 1965, it was 1964 (and doubled-down on in 1968).

Affirmative Blaction ruins everything.

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 2:30 PM  

kfg wrote:Feynman, by IQ, had a second rate mind. Second rate doesn't mean stupid.

It is improbable in the extreme that Feynman really had such a low IQ score, especially given that he had the highest scores on record for both the Princeton admissions exam and (despite no preparation) the highest score in the country on the Putnam mathematics competition exam.

But I have no doubt that IQ denialists nonetheless will go on repeating that silly and obviously untrue story until the last tick of recorded time.

Blogger Sheila4g May 31, 2016 2:33 PM  

All the issues listed - drop in IQ, increase in minorities and immigrants, government red tape - are relevant. One thing I haven't seen mentioned, however, is the concept of the public good. The desire to produce something of quality not merely to reflect on oneself, but on one's society - and to function for the benefit of all. Sure, the mixed European immigrant descendants from the late 1870s - 1910s needed work in the '30s - but I'd argue there was also a sense of public pride in making public works in America the best they could, because it reflected not merely on them but on the country as a whole. Again, all goes back to immigration and IQ, but is another contributing factor to note.

Blogger Karl May 31, 2016 2:35 PM  

The overall level of craftsmanship is declining as well.
-------------------------
The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/how-nasa-brought-the-monstrous-f-1-moon-rocket-back-to-life/

"The welds on this engine are just a work of art, and everything on here was welded." The admiration in his voice was obvious. "Today, we look at ways of reducing that, but that was something I picked up on from this engine: just how many welds there were, and how great they looked."

"You look at a weld that takes a day," he continued, "and there are thousands of them. And these guys were pumping engines out every two months. It's amazing what they could do back then and all the touch labor it took."

"One thing I notice when I look back at older engines," commented Coates, the senior engineer, "was just like Nick and Erin were alluding to: the complexity of the welds. You didn't have the kind of advanced manufacturing we had today, so quite honestly, these were hand-made machines. They were sewn together with arc welders, and it's pretty amazing to see how smooth and elegant it came out. Today, you'd look at doing precision casting, not these thousands of welds."

Anonymous bgkb May 31, 2016 2:37 PM  

Certainly on topic: She must have thought it was against EBT http://thehayride.com/2016/05/video-democrat-state-rep-barbara-norton-attacks-declaration-of-independence-on-house-floor/

"Have a look at Norton’s cranky questioning of Hodges about the Declaration of Independence, and consider the prospects of Louisiana’s legislature contributing positively to the state’s civic progress"


SOme good news http://newobserveronline.com/liberals-shot-wounded-calais/

Anonymous Discard May 31, 2016 2:41 PM  

It was not George Washington, but Franklin Roosevelt who was said, by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, to have a "second class mind, but a first rate temperament". There is a bio of FDR by that title.

Washington was perhaps not as smart as Hamilton or Jefferson, but that's a pretty high standard. He was definitely a much better man.

Blogger Chris Mallory May 31, 2016 2:48 PM  

@45 "Construction has always been done by people with avg to below avg IQ,"

What do you base this on?

Blogger clk May 31, 2016 2:49 PM  

There certainly is a correlation between what you imply without saying (those damn hate speech laws in Europe :) ) but who knows if there real causation. Its was only a year earlier that the first beetles album was released in the US .. maybe this is just the effect of rock and roll on the young minds.

Anonymous Discard May 31, 2016 2:49 PM  

kfg and Kudzu Bob: Richard Feynman was a notorious prankster, and liked to fuck with people not as smart as himself. A ((( prick ))), in other words. The low IQ story was just more of his BS.

Anonymous Discard May 31, 2016 2:53 PM  

One part of the problem of poor workmanship is that the guy who would have become a good electrician or machinist 60 years ago, nowadays goes to college and gets a degree in something-or-other. Instead of a good tradesman we get a mediocre office drone.

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 2:54 PM  

Discard wrote:kfg and Kudzu Bob: Richard Feynman was a notorious prankster, and liked to fuck with people not as smart as himself. A ((( prick ))), in other words. The low IQ story was just more of his BS.

As can be inferred from the title of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 2:54 PM  

. . . what a team of a dozen 20 somethings who are perfectly American, perfectly white with perfectly acceptable IQ for the given task can't seem to even get started on in a week.

These are the people who have largely replaced Boomers in the workforce. Good times.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 31, 2016 2:57 PM  

The feeding and caring for the low IQ drones saps our wealth. Take for instance the mini controversy in Chicago today of a South Side beach absolutely covered in trash after the Memorial day weekend, I guess throwing away trash in the proper container is "White Sooooopremacy" or something. Now tax dollars are taken from something to pay some other drones to pick up trash from other drones utter stupidity.

Anonymous Minion #0172 May 31, 2016 3:07 PM  

I, a white guy, have worked for 4 minority-owned construction companies. At every one the senior staff were white or Asian. When it comes to their own best interests, when it's their money at stake, minority owners hire solely on merit.

Also, in every case, the "disadvantaged" minority owner had a background much more privileged than this one-generation-removed-from-dirt-poor-Appalachian-coal-miner boy.

Blogger RobertT May 31, 2016 3:12 PM  

Plus, all the government employees were plucked off the welfare rolls. You can quadruple the IQ drop.

OpenID peppermintfrosted May 31, 2016 3:26 PM  

The Romans used to get bridges built that were much more impressive than that 232 foot low bridge over the Charles that can still be driven over with trucks today.

Hail Trvmp!

Blogger weka May 31, 2016 3:27 PM  

@59
There are plenty of reasonably smart whites that are currently unemployed. The government makes building competent infrastructure impossible by hiring diversity and then red-taping things to death.

The problem is that managers are now afraid of being hauled into a diversity enquiry, or a RICO charge. Or that a rare fish will be found in the groundwater. The country is over regulated, and the regulations run by morons, to the point that local (NZ) firms set up their factories in Malaysia (for the rest of the world) and Mexico (for the USA) where such things can be managed -- the fisher and paykel two drawer dishwashers beloved by the tribe is the example I'm using.

And, no, Fisher and Paykel manufacture their medical stuff in NZ, because then they can control the quality better.

The competent doctor shortage will be because medicine is filled with women, who, like my wife, will retire mid-career, and with bindis who test well but are shit docs and end up meat-warehousing elderly whites to maximize medicare billing.

Diversity is our strength.


Most of the premedical testing is about memorization of facts and reciting them back. The girls learn the physics by rote (and it is dumbed down). The consequences are that we have to train about twice as many docs -- the local medical schools are now at maximum capacity which is limited by the number of places you can get clinical experience -- because you can expect them (being sensible women, in general) to marry and have kids and then work part-time.

And in a socialized country you don't warehouse the old in rest homes. You keep them in their own homes, with minimal wage home help. Because it may be better for the elders, and it is certainly cheaper for the state.

The more converged states, however, seem to somehow discover euthanasia. I did not go to med school and get my qualifications so I can kill: but then, the converged state is an evil state.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 31, 2016 3:28 PM  

Otto Lamp wrote:
We think the welfare state is bad today. What happens when 60% of the population must be supported by the other 40%? What will society look like? Bread and circuses or Brave New World?



I hate to be the one to break this to you, but we are already there. Many of the people counted as "employed" in the employment index are not supporting themselves on the wages they earn, so they also collect whatever benefits they can.

I have also met people who make plenty of money who collect benefits just because it's there and they feel no shame about it. In fact, their expressions tell me they feel very clever.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 31, 2016 3:33 PM  

Oh, and many people who are "employed" are being supported by family members. This includes most of my generation (employed at Starbucks, et al) and the vast majority of single mothers.

I would not be surprised if the proportion of financially independent people is as low as 30%.

Anonymous gxg May 31, 2016 3:35 PM  

I, a white guy, have worked for 4 minority-owned construction companies...In every case, the "disadvantaged" minority owner had a background much more privileged than this one-generation-removed-from-dirt-poor-Appalachian-coal-miner boy.

True. And here's two more dirty little secrets:

(1) For government work, many of these minority-owned companies fall under the category of "female-owned." Often, the female "owner" has very little to do with the actual business, because her husband is the one who's really operating it. But by slapping a female name on the business, the business gets special privileges.

The whole system is corrupt. A man shouldn't have to slap his wife's name on a business to obtain government contracts.

(2) Another dirty little secret. On average, "diverse" government employees score lower on their performance evaluations. Or at least, this WAS the case until the Obama administration intervened with rumblings of racism investigations. Now, smart managers know better. They must rate diverse employees higher than they deserve, unless they're willing to risk their own career advancement.

I've seen the belly of this beast. And it's uglier than people even realize.

Anonymous Quartermaster May 31, 2016 3:39 PM  

LBJ's "Great Society" happened as well. The mammoth burgeoning of the welfare state is killing our ability to fund things we need.

I'm a Civil Engineer, and we have the people needed to do the design work. That's not an issue. Funding the construction, that's another kettle of a different color.

Anonymous Quartermaster May 31, 2016 3:41 PM  

@peppermintfrosted
That's "Ave Trvmp!!"

OpenID peppermintfrosted May 31, 2016 3:44 PM  

Mr. Rational wrote:it was 1964 (and doubled-down on in 1968).

1950s: Communist party and labor movement are purged of "White chauvinism" on evidence like giving a Black comrade a chipped coffee mug.

Schools are force-integrated at bayonet point. School employees are required to either express approval or keep their mouths shut.

Police and other government employees are required to express approval or keep their mouths shut.

1964: Snivel rights are passed by weepy-eyed cuckolds (and, also, ****) on the grounds that it’s worse for souls to say the word **** than to be raped by ****. It is now illegal not to hire Blacks of equal qualifications. It is illegal to have a "hostile workplace" for Blacks, i.e. coworkers must express approval or keep their mouths shut. It is illegal to have a "hostile environment" for Black employeers, i.e. customer-facing employees must express approval or keep their mouths shut.

1971: Griggs v. Duke Power Co. It is illegal to test prospective employees for intelligence or anything else that is not directly related to job performance. Workaround is to require college degrees. Everyone must go to college.

1979: FUCKING WHITE MALE sues the United Steelworkers arguing that affirmative action policy violates his civil rights. Supreme Court rules that CRA doesn't bar employers from favoring women and minorities (this means the unions were fully on board with affirmative action as soon as 1979).

1988: Exam for promotion in a police department had earlier been found to be discriminatory. FUCKING WHITE MALEs tried to sue for promotions arguing that they passed the relaxed standards; lost.

ca. 1990s: offshoring

ca. 2000s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33ZjqJKt6sY (it is illegal to not hire Black men who will piss on the corn flakes conveyor belt and videotape themselves doing so)

ca. 2010s: wait, where are all the jobs?

Anonymous VFM #7916 May 31, 2016 3:46 PM  

I work with many small municipalities. Most have had their water, sewer, streets, and electrical infrastructure built for them 50 to 100 years ago. They have not paid into their utilities at the rates needed for the replacement of their systems. Typically they have to get low interest loans from their state, or borrow using a USDA guaranteed 40 year bonds at low rates.

With the increase in their debt service costs I typically see rates rise about 30%. They have a high hurdle to raise it further in order to save for their next capital replacement.

If they use USDA or state money to replace their systems they typically have to pony up about 40% more in costs, follow prevailing wages, and get locked into the "hired contractor" model.

If they funded it out of their own pocket, they could do it with city staff and equipment, at their current wage rates.

However, most chose to go with low utility rates to make their constituency happy. They paid little over time, and now have to pay far more in the future.

Quite typical.

Anonymous johnguest May 31, 2016 3:48 PM  

I'm afraid this is all on purpose, by design.

Here is how William Binney, a former intelligence official turned whistle-blower puts it:

"We were coming into conflict with what I refer to as 'feasting' by the corporations that were leeches on the side of NSA and other agencies of the government, the 'military industrial happiness management complex'. They were keeping each other happy: officials would retire from government, go to work for those corporations, the corporations would send people in to manage the programs, they'd get the contracts back and they'd feed some more.

It's a circle, it just keeps going round. The entire leadership at NSA was focused this way and they wanted no creativity, no innovation, no problem solved, "keep the problem going so the money keeps flowing" that was their vision statement, I just didn't realize it.

They didn't want success, because that means you solved the problem, which they need to ask for more money to feed the corporations."

Paraphrased from a talk he gave at HOPE 2012.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 31, 2016 3:50 PM  

The ruling class of humanity has always preferred to rule over ghettos of mud huts because fancy civilizations require classes of men that are not properly enslaved, and in any case the ruling class is not in danger of starvation or discomfort.

Anonymous Peggy May 31, 2016 3:57 PM  

Destruction is easy and fun, building is fun but not easy, and maintenance is neither easy nor fun.

OpenID peppermintfrosted May 31, 2016 4:08 PM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:The ruling class of humanity has always preferred to rule over ghettos of mud huts because fancy civilizations require classes of men that are not properly enslaved, and in any case the ruling class is not in danger of starvation or discomfort.

That's as far as you can get with static class analysis that sees only static classes of winners and losers. Then you can call the middle class the loser aristocracy and hope that they lose big soon so they can join with the rest of the losers and overthrow the winners and establish a dictatorship of the losers to adiminister a losers' paradise.

What really exists are families, into which are born normal people, smart people, and dumb people.

The normal people are expected to find normal work and have a normal family.

The dumb people need to be taken care of by the normal people and the smart people.

The smart people exist to help their family (and nation); they may or may not have time to get married (like Getafix and Gandalf, Hitler and Lovecraft).

Normal families are the people who build everything and are everything. The smart people are mostly born into their families.

"The Rich", those extra smart people who can get some money together, can maybe keep one or two generations of their family ahead of the curve.

Trust fund babies, seeing that their kids are probably going to be normal, end up supporting communism, in the hopes of being seen as leaders, or at least not seeing anyone above them. They ruin everything, because they would rather destroy the middle class than be middle class.

Also occasionally there are autistics born into families. The Nazi state of the future will mark autistics as special from birth and give them government money or cushy jobs with government regulated wages to funpost on infinity chan all day with their penetrating analyses of the problems of the day, and when they all agree about something, the smart people will listen to them.

Anonymous Quartermaster May 31, 2016 4:20 PM  

@Jack Amok
1. Who do those engineers work for?
Most work for consulting firms. This is increasing as well.states are cutting back on the number of employees in DOTs.
2. Who creates the rules and regulations they have to follow when building a bridge?
An organization known as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AASHTO. A committee made up of AASHTO members maintain the bridge design manual. The Federal Highway Administration is also a kinda/sorta member of this as well.
3. Who chooses where budgets are spent, how much goes to maintenance, how much goes to art, how much goes to reasonable projects vs idiotic fantasies?
This is where the rubber meets the road. Like it or not, no matter how much the states huff and puff, decisions on what gets built is political. There is too much money floating around in thius arena to escape this simple fact.
4. Who picks the engineering firm to hire in the first place?
Usually a committee evaluates responses to “request for proposal” for each project. The Brooks Act on the Federal Level, and the so-called “Mini Brooks Acts” on the state level forced this sort of decision process since under the acts hiring decisions can’t be made based on competitive bidding when government money is used to fund the project. With small governments where the consultants are well known, this can work very well. On the state and Fed lever, the predictions that most of the work would go to the “big boys” has been borne out.
5. If the Engineer is made the scapegoat, then the board of registration for Engineers will punish the Engineer for his/her screw up. If the problem is at the contractor level, they may walk away scot free, or, at worst, having their bond pulled, which would put them out of business.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 31, 2016 4:25 PM  

Noah B wrote:. . . what a team of a dozen 20 somethings who are perfectly American, perfectly white with perfectly acceptable IQ for the given task can't seem to even get started on in a week.

...because of the red tape, regulations and threat of lawsuit put in place by Boomers.

FTFY

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 4:30 PM  

@66: "It is improbable in the extreme that Feynman really had such a low IQ score . . ."

The article you link to is wrong. Oh, not about Feynman's intelligence, but about his IQ test. He actually never took an IQ test at all. The 125 figure comes from a personal estimation, by one of his high school teachers as recall.

@73: His joke about anybody being able to win a Nobel, but his was special because of his low IQ, is one of my favorites. Guy was a pisser.

And I note that he always knocked 5 off the reported 125 for effect.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 4:33 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 4:34 PM  

@92

But the engineer doesn't just get to say, "I designed this bridge according to the AASHTO manual" and move on. No, he has to have his plans reviewed by armies of halfwits, many of whom have never heard of the AASHTO manual. Of those who have, few are capable of correctly applying it. And even so, the AASHTO manual simply doesn't cover everything, especially when rebuilding existing infrastructure. Sound judgment and design ability are still necessary, and low-intelligence, low-skill bureaucrats have endless opportunities to interfere.

Blogger Rusty Fife May 31, 2016 4:40 PM  

Salt wrote:Infrastructure is simple not as important as the social safety net. I can't say such ordering of priorities is lower IQ driven, but it sure isn't a sign of intelligence either.

Isn't the argument that without the social safety net; they would be dying in the streets? Their IQ is reported, by the Left, to be so low that they can't even feed or shelter themselves.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 4:44 PM  

The left deplores the idea of people dying in the streets because they prefer people dying in camps.

Anonymous andon May 31, 2016 4:44 PM  

I think it was Molyneaux who had a scientist on his show that said once a nation's avg IQ drops below 90, there is difficulty sustaining a democracy.

Blogger Rusty Fife May 31, 2016 4:45 PM  

Noah B wrote:The death of accountability and responsibility is as much to blame as the decline in IQ for our crumbling nation.

Understanding the societal necessity for accountability and responsibility requires intelligence.


nope. Testosterone.

Blogger Noah B May 31, 2016 4:49 PM  

nope. Testosterone.

Wrong. Blacks don't have a testosterone shortage.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 4:54 PM  

"The left deplores the idea of people dying in the streets because they prefer people dying in camps."

I'm laughing at the joke, and crying at the truth of it.

Blogger YIH May 31, 2016 4:58 PM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:Otto Lamp wrote:

We think the welfare state is bad today. What happens when 60% of the population must be supported by the other 40%? What will society look like? Bread and circuses or Brave New World?



I hate to be the one to break this to you, but we are already there. Many of the people counted as "employed" in the employment index are not supporting themselves on the wages they earn, so they also collect whatever benefits they can.

I have also met people who make plenty of money who collect benefits just because it's there and they feel no shame about it. In fact, their expressions tell me they feel very clever.

Remember four years ago when Romney took some flack over his, IIRC, statement 47% of Americans pay no taxes?
Ironically it's rather true, depending how you define it, the number is between about 40% (no net taxes of any kind) to 55% (no federal income taxes alone).

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 5:05 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Rusty Fife May 31, 2016 5:11 PM  

Otto Lamp wrote:I'd wager that the majority of engineers being produced today are software engineers--a field that barely existed 50 years ago.

So, part of the problem is there isn't enough smart people to fill all the jobs that require a high IQ to perform properly. And, this problem isn't just limited to engineering.


The US graduates plenty of engineers. Only about 50% stay in the occupation.

http://www.nspe.org/resources/blogs/pe-licensing-blog/80-myth-engineering-profession-part-ii

On any given project, you can add more people, more technology, or more time to get the quality that is desired.

Quality on projects is most driven by return on investment. Yes most engineering decisions are about cost and schedule. The joke goes, "you can have it done well, cheap, or fast; pick two." Time is money so the MBAs pick cheap and fast. It is only as well done as necessary.

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 5:13 PM  

@94.

First you cited Feynman's mediocre IQ as proof that IQ doesn't matter, and now you say that his IQ was never measured in the first place.

In the future, you might want to cite evidence that actually exists when attempting to make some point or other.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 5:20 PM  

" . . . your attempt to downplay the role of IQ."

You have misunderstood me entirely. I was playing up the intelligence of George Washington.

"In the future, you might want to cite evidence that actually exists when attempting to make some point or other."

I'm afraid I'll continue to take after Feynman on certain matters. And I'm not the sort of guy who sits in the audience loudly explaining how the illusionist is doing it, or the comedian's joke.

If you aren't so fond of Feynman's humorous illusion as I am, you can try to take it up with him.

Blogger Rusty Fife May 31, 2016 5:21 PM  

Noah B wrote:nope. Testosterone.

Wrong. Blacks don't have a testosterone shortage.


But those gang-bangers sure know how to hold each other accountable for the drugs they are selling.

Anonymous Gen May 31, 2016 5:31 PM  

VD:

"A drop in IQ is certainly troubling, but I don't think that's what's going on here.

"You're wrong. It's the most important factor."

Because of Affirmative Action we can't always hire the best person for the job. I imagine there are a lot of very bright white people who are unemployed, because jobs that would be good for them are filled by less competent AA hires. AA contributes to an unnecessary, forced reduction of workforce IQ, regardless of what the overall population IQ might be.

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 5:32 PM  

@107.

I am afraid that at best you are a second-rate performer.

Blogger Bob Loblaw May 31, 2016 5:40 PM  

The decrease in average intelligence is bad enough, but on top of that we're facing ever more regulatory muck we must wade through to do even the simplest of things. The collapse isn't some hypothetical future event, it's happening now.

The US is going to end up like Mexico, where there are all sorts of well-intentioned laws that nobody obeys because otherwise nothing gets built. You just need to add 15% to your bid so the right people look the other way.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 5:43 PM  

"I am afraid that at best you are a second-rate performer."

I thought was implied by my being the sidekick, not the headliner.

But I'm good enough as a sidekick not to just blow the gag.

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 6:13 PM  

@112.

kfg wrote: But I'm good enough as a sidekick not to just blow the gag.

Wrong again.

Blogger John Wright May 31, 2016 6:28 PM  

"Now, what happened in 1965?"

The Leftwing stepped into the vacuum of the moral high ground created when the Right retreated from any public position proffering a robust faith in God: contraception became normalized, and, as the Pope predicted and was mocked for predicting, the womanfolk of America lost their virtue, and went crazy, and it drove their men crazy.

Never blame on genetics what can be adequately explained by vice.

Blogger Bernard Brandt May 31, 2016 6:29 PM  

I would beg to differ slightly with Vox, but ultimately, to agree and to amplify upon his analysis.

If we're talking about the Voting Rights Act of 1965, then it is unlikely that that would have dropped IQs of voting population America to 4-5 IQ points alone. Simple proof: White populations had an average IQ of 100; Black populations an average IQ of 85; Blacks composed 10% of the American population. If one quantifies the 90% white pop. as 9000 (90% x 100 IQ), the black pop. as 850 (10% x 85 IQ, adds the two sums, and then divides by 100, one gets a total average IQ of 98.5, a drop of 2.5 points.

On the other hand, if one considers the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which mandated affirmative action, and Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (the 1971 US Supreme Court case which prohibited the use of IQ tests for employment), then the one-two punch of affirmative action and the removal of such things as civil service exams means that the average IQ of government workers suddenly drops from 120+, to 30% black population at IQ 85, and 70% white population at IQ 100. A similar calculation to the one above would give an average IQ of 95.5, the drop that Vox was looking at.

Of course, in city and state governments where blacks are the main or exclusive population (e.g., Detroit and Compton), the IQ would be even lower. And the results would seem to bear out what happens when lower IQ populations run things.

P.S. #30. Peter Blood, thanks for the reference to Dr. Tainter's work. Much appreciated.

Anonymous Cheddarman May 31, 2016 6:41 PM  

I wonder how much the white IQ has dropped on average. I would expect some of the 5 point drop is a dilution effect of the 85 iq average of blacks and Hispanic mestizos added to an average white iq of about 100.

Anonymous Cheddarman May 31, 2016 6:43 PM  

I did not see the above post before I posted. Dooh!

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 6:52 PM  

@114.

John Wright wrote:Never blame on genetics what can be adequately explained by vice.

Abundant evidence exists that many forms of vice, including alcoholism, drug addiction, and possibly pedophilia, have their roots in genetics.

Anonymous BGKB May 31, 2016 7:18 PM  

"Construction has always been done by people with avg to below avg IQ,"

I have drank water from a still working roman aqueduct in Europe, yet charities have to send white people to Africa to dig wells.

We think the welfare state is bad today. What happens when 60% of the population must be supported by the other 40%?

If you count actual private sector employment that doesn't use govt contracts we have been there for a while. Govt employees don't actually contribute to prosperity. I would have to look but we are in the 30s.

The left deplores the idea of people dying in the streets because they prefer people dying in camps.

That's because they would rather have the people smart enough to catch their fraud dying instead of the low IQ welfare recipients that they poverty pimp for productive peoples money.

Bernard Brandt White back in 1965 meant non Hispanic white, Mexicans have an IQ about 1/2 way between whites and blacks. If nothing changes whites will be a minority in the next decade.

drug addiction, and possibly pedophilia, have their roots in genetics.

Apparently you can recognize pedos by their noses.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/new-israeli-facial-imaging-claims-to-identify-terrorists-and-pedophiles/

Blogger praetorian May 31, 2016 7:20 PM  

Never blame on genetics what can be adequately explained by vice.

John, you are too smart for a false dilemmas like this.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 31, 2016 7:26 PM  

YIH wrote:Remember four years ago when Romney took some flack over his, IIRC, statement 47% of Americans pay no taxes?

Ironically it's rather true, depending how you define it, the number is between about 40% (no net taxes of any kind) to 55% (no federal income taxes alone).


I do remember, and I believe he was being overly cautious.

peppermintfrosted wrote:Aeoli Pera wrote:The ruling class of humanity has always preferred to rule over ghettos of mud huts because fancy civilizations require classes of men that are not properly enslaved, and in any case the ruling class is not in danger of starvation or discomfort.

That's as far as you can get with static class analysis that sees only static classes of winners and losers.


Then it's a good thing I'm only summarizing a conclusion from a rather more green pill analysis.

You're awfully impressed by normal people. Maybe a 100 IQ used to be more impressive.

I'm not an IQ supremacist by any means, but if we're talking sociology then it's pretty clear civilization cannot be built or maintained by people of average intelligence. No one below 110 pulls their own weight, and the influence of the right tail of the distribution is difficult to overstate.

"The Rich", those extra smart people who can get some money together, can maybe keep one or two generations of their family ahead of the curve.

The health and wealth gospel is just another pyramid scheme.

Also occasionally there are autistics born into families. The Nazi state of the future will mark autistics as special from birth and give them government money or cushy jobs with government regulated wages to funpost on infinity chan all day with their penetrating analyses of the problems of the day, and when they all agree about something, the smart people will listen to them.

Is that so? Because that is the opposite of what the actual historical Nazis wanted to do, which is to exterminate them as untermenschen. They were only dissuaded when Hans Asperger pointed out that killing all of the scientists and engineers would hamstring the war effort.

But hey, saps gonna sap, eh?

Anonymous andon May 31, 2016 7:29 PM  

103. YIH May 31, 2016 4:58 PM
Remember four years ago when Romney took some flack over his, IIRC, statement 47% of Americans pay no taxes?
Ironically it's rather true, depending how you define it, the number is between about 40% (no net taxes of any kind) to 55% (no federal income taxes alone).


yes I think its true. not sure why folks got bent out of shape other than they living in some fantasy world where they tell themselves they are actually contributing to society when they arent.

Anonymous andon May 31, 2016 7:33 PM  

105. Rusty Fife May 31, 2016 5:11 PM

Quality on projects is most driven by return on investment. Yes most engineering decisions are about cost and schedule. The joke goes, "you can have it done well, cheap, or fast; pick two." Time is money so the MBAs pick cheap and fast. It is only as well done as necessary.


i'm surprised you can choose to have it built well and cheap.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 31, 2016 7:35 PM  

Speaking of engineers and Aspartame Burgers, how weird is it that we can't even build bridges anymore. It's SO WEIRD.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 31, 2016 7:44 PM  

Noah B wrote:The left deplores the idea of people dying in the streets because they prefer people dying in camps.

Lol!

http://i.imgur.com/wMywrAx.png

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 31, 2016 7:49 PM  

kfg wrote:@66: "It is improbable in the extreme that Feynman really had such a low IQ score . . ."

The article you link to is wrong. Oh, not about Feynman's intelligence, but about his IQ test. He actually never took an IQ test at all. The 125 figure comes from a personal estimation, by one of his high school teachers as recall.


Not even true.

People who are genuinely interested in the difference between genius and intelligence should read that section of Paul Cooijmans' website. He's the guy who designs entrance tests for the Giga society and he knows a thing or two.

Paul Cooijmans = Aeoli-approved!

Blogger Robert What? May 31, 2016 8:20 PM  

Another reason the states and municipalities can't repair their infrastructure is because their government retiree pension liabilies are bankrupting them. Eating up, I many cases, more than half their budgets. The results of collusion between the unions and politicians selling out the taxpayers.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 8:29 PM  

@126: ". . . People who are genuinely interested in the difference between genius and intelligence . . ."

Feynman's chief strength was that he didn't self censor. Any idea he had he went with, no matter how bad it was. Even a bad idea was worth thinking about.

And amongst his many, many bad ideas he had a few brilliant ones, which he didn't lose out of fear that they might turn out to be bad.

Blogger Rusty Fife May 31, 2016 8:35 PM  

andon wrote:

i'm surprised you can choose to have it built well and cheap.


Sure. It just won't be on schedule. Your project becomes the filler work for everyone.

Blogger TM Lutas May 31, 2016 8:44 PM  

Reading through this thread, I see a lot of conclusions but not a lot of rigorous measurement. If you want things to work better, you need to measure.

1. The US infrastructure is decaying
Well, maybe, but the only people who seem to be seriously measuring this is the American Society of Civil Engineers. They put out an infrastructure report card. The grades remain poor, but they are actually improving over the past couple of report cards (I believe they've gone from D- to D+).

2. local, state, and federal governments all lack the wherewithal to effectively replace it
Again, maybe, but it's impossible to tell because there's no way to do apples to apples comparisons. We don't even have a comprehensive listing of all governments, much less a comprehensive listing of the infrastructure they control, much less how much proper maintenance would cost, much less any way to realistically do a capacity analysis based on their budgets. They don't even have a common chart of accounts.

In the 21st century, we should be able to do a trip plan and every time we hit a cruddy road patch or obviously poor bridge to mark that and, at trip end, to file a complaint at the end of the trip, and when that complaint is ignored, to notify your friends who vote in those jurisdictions of the dereliction. It's really not that complex a software app. We're just missing the basic prerequisites. Once you make maintenance malfeasance dangerous to political careers, I would expect there to be improvement.

Blogger VD May 31, 2016 8:50 PM  


Never blame on genetics what can be adequately explained by vice.


It can't be. The demographic mix of the country is very different than it was in 1965. Based on population averages alone, the average IQ is four points lower than in 1965. Any additional decreases caused by vice would be stacked on top of that.

Anonymous Wanderer May 31, 2016 9:05 PM  

This is the result of losing a mere 4-5 IQ points on average. Imagine what the USA is going to look like when the idiocratic average declines another 5 points.

While I think it is highly likely that the average has dropped like that, the impact on the number of people with IQs over, say, 115 would likely not be that dramatic, although I will have to get out R to check it out.

I suspect that the impact of removing the civil service exams and getting lots of half-savages in government employ in the US has not helped.

Blogger kudzu bob May 31, 2016 9:12 PM  

@132.

The impact on the number of people with IQs over 115 is PRECISELY where a drop of 5 points would be most dramatic.

Anonymous kfg May 31, 2016 9:18 PM  

"In the 21st century, we should be able to do a trip plan and every time we hit a cruddy road patch or obviously poor bridge to mark that and, at trip end, to file a complaint at the end of the trip . . ."

It's not only possible, that's pretty much how the Dutch handle bike path issues. It's volunteers for the Dutch Cyclists Union (like AAA for cyclists, and AAA actually started as an offshoot of the American cyclists union) that actually do the surveys and lodge the complaints, and they carry gear to properly record the problem.

Anonymous Quartermaster May 31, 2016 9:54 PM  

@96
Yeah, they do get to do that. And an Army of half wits doesn't get to review the plans. That "Army" has no idea what they are looking at so they can't "review" them. If you don't know the AASHTO Bridge Manual, you won't be reviewing the plans.

This is the area in which I make my living. Don't come in and act like an idiot.

@124
We can, and do, build bridges. I go through a construction site on US 74 twice a day where NCDOT is building the bridge that carries the north bound side of the road. They finished the south bound side about 4 months ago. I built several bridges when I was a County Engineer in Ohio for 6 years.

I assure you, we can build them and build them quite well.

The US graduates an adequate number of Engineers every year to take care of our needs. The two biggest hurdles any infrastructure project has to get over before it can be started is funding and environmental reviews. Just one, for a culvert carrying "live water" requires drawings and about 4 months of review time. There have been a couple of times I've gotten returns form the Corps of Engineers within 2 months, but not often. I've got 4 road crossings of live water tat have been pending for over a month while the Corps of Engineers decides we can do what we want to do.

By comparison, the political wrangling on projects is minor stuff.

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 31, 2016 10:34 PM  

Doubt the Roman road can handle 18-wheelers and the thousands of cars that a modern road can.

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 31, 2016 10:44 PM  

Highway 10, over the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana. Would the Romans able to build it?

Anonymous Jack Amok May 31, 2016 11:53 PM  

I assure you, we can build them and build them quite well.

So then you explain the Anderson bridge.

Blogger Gapeseed June 01, 2016 12:20 AM  

JFK's executive order allowing for unionized federal workers, Johnson's Great Society and Civil Rights legislation, Nixon's institution of the EPA and OSHA, and expanding workman's compensation laws are probably more direct causes of increased infrastructure costs than any decline in IQ.

Blogger Noah B June 01, 2016 12:27 AM  

This is the area in which I make my living. Don't come in and act like an idiot.

Me too. I suspect you do engineering but aren't responsible for actually obtaining permits or plan approvals.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 01, 2016 12:47 AM  

This comment thread is the perfect example of the old saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think. Vox laid it out pretty easy, but so many are so dedicated to being obtuse about this.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 01, 2016 1:33 AM  

kfg wrote:@126: ". . . People who are genuinely interested in the difference between genius and intelligence . . ."

Feynman's chief strength was that he didn't self censor. Any idea he had he went with, no matter how bad it was. Even a bad idea was worth thinking about.

And amongst his many, many bad ideas he had a few brilliant ones, which he didn't lose out of fear that they might turn out to be bad.


Cooijmans has named this very trait "associative horizon". I'm impressed that you were able to correctly identify and describe it.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 01, 2016 1:34 AM  

Linus Pauling said it best: "The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas."

Anonymous Barko Ramius June 01, 2016 3:27 AM  

I made six figures working on a bridge for 8 months. Lots of overtime but mostly EPA and OSHA regs that helped me make that much. We couldn't not a single rivet out without building full containment around the area. Took up half the day sometimes. But no one complained for the obvious reasons.

Anonymous Discard June 01, 2016 4:07 AM  

116. Chedderman: The loss of intelligent prospective mothers to the office cubicle would also contribute to the drop in average White IQ. Every capable female lawyer or administrator is a loss to the gene pool.

115. Benard Brandt: Duke vs Briggs Power did not outlaw civil service exams. Governments continue to use them, if only to choose which Blacks and Mexicans to hire instead of Whites. Only private employers are forbidden to use tests. Except, of course, private colleges like the ones that the Justices of the Supreme Court went to, as do their offspring.

Blogger Kona Commuter June 01, 2016 4:57 AM  

IMHO nobody wants to pay to maintain things (public infrastructure)

Anonymous Sg June 01, 2016 5:29 AM  

"Presidente Camacho will seem like a Voxian super-intelligence by comparison."

Hilarious.

Anonymous Desiderius June 01, 2016 7:35 AM  

John Wright,

"The Leftwing stepped into the vacuum of the moral high ground created when the Right retreated from any public position proffering a robust faith in God"

Not unlike the eunuch takeover of the late Ming after the Emperor withdrew to the Forbidden City.

Anonymous Big Bill June 01, 2016 7:55 AM  

"The US infrastructure is decaying and local, state, and federal governments all lack the wherewithal to effectively replace it."

The first thing to go in Negro countries is maintenance.

OpenID peppermintfrosted June 01, 2016 2:47 PM  

The bridge in question could absolutely have been built by the Romans; next time I'm in the area I'll take a picture and show you. It's been torn up for at least a year by now. Massachusetts is supposed to have one of the better job markets amongst the United States. The inability to finish this bridge is annoying, but amusing. Would that the infrastructure near Harvard could collapse first, but, leftists try to never personally face the consequences of their decisions.

Anyway, whether or not you're impressed with the abilities of normal people, the fact is that most of the people you will interact with are normal people with normal people concerns. You can either model them as sheeple homo economicus human soul atoms, or as people, male or female, at some stage in their life, that belong to some family, and have some career.

Your parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, chances are most of these are normal people.

I am impressed with the abilities of normal people. They may not know how to build anything complicated, but that's what smart people are for; they can do it. White normal people have a great work ethic from ten thousand years of farming, ingrained cooperativeness from ten thousand years of monogamy, and a great deal of compassion and empathy which leftists prey on.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper June 01, 2016 4:41 PM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:Oh, and many people who are "employed" are being supported by family members. This includes most of my generation (employed at Starbucks, et al) and the vast majority of single mothers.

I would not be surprised if the proportion of financially independent people is as low as 30%.


Welcome to the efficiency trap.

When it comes to unemployment we can blame automation as much as anything. We don't need people to do nearly as much work as the used to and can't even conceive of like a 25 hour work week at good pay. The hell of it is, its not even a new problem, the Kellogg Company had a 30 hour work week back 80 years ago, it got everything they needed done. Of course the stock holders were appalled with this, put the kibosh on it and got exactly the same amount of production. They got a 25% percent decline in productivity but give them worse lives that's all that they really wanted.

Now this same factor, a lack of steady independent employment is a big part of why birth rates are down so much. Not all of it of course but people making low wages and having unsteady work can't afford families.

As for Idiocracy, no we won't get that. Everything there worked, it was designed for the 75 IQ high time preference populace of that setting and was nigh indestructible and just worked. We are going to get a revolution or another 3rd or 4th tier country , maybe Afghanistan if we get unlucky

Also re: taxes. Unless they are buying nothing but food, everybody pays taxes if only sales tax, tariff and fees Your typical poor person probably pays more of his or her income in taxes than a wealthy person did at the turn of the 20th century.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 01, 2016 5:39 PM  

Don't forget inflation-fueled bailouts, grants, and various other corporate gibs. This is a hidden tax on anyone who doesn't receive the bailout.

If there's an ounce of gold left in Fort Knox today, I'll be happily surprised.

@peppermint, I have nothing left to say on the subject.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 01, 2016 5:55 PM  

If I understand correctly, most government spending is debt-financed, not tax-financed, so what I said above about inflation also applies to welfare, medicare, etc. because created debt is our money supply.

Anonymous Wanderer June 01, 2016 7:42 PM  

@133:

OK, I think you are correct. I used R and estimated the mean and SD of a population of 1M people with a mean of 100 and SD of 15 plus 1M people with a mean of 91 and an SD of 15.

After that, using pnorm, I got the fraction of people with an IQ > 105 (La Griffe du Lion's smart fraction) for the combined population and one with a mean of 100 and SD of 15.

There was a large reduction (from 37% [36.9] to 27% [27.2]).

Of course, the actual details are important, and maybe using a smaller population of lower-IQ 'half-savages' would change things a bit, so I should check different ratios.

Anonymous Wanderer June 01, 2016 7:51 PM  

@154: It is possible that the forces pushing diversity on the US are aware of the long-term effects and are deliberately using that strategy.

Blogger Owen June 02, 2016 9:24 PM  

Vox,

It's Horrible what the city of San Francisco is done. The so-called central subway is turning into a multibillion-dollar boondoggle. I think it's the most expensive subway ever, and not even close to finished

OpenID peppermintfrosted June 03, 2016 10:13 PM  

http://imgur.com/a/Jxbcn

This is the bridge mentioned in the article. It's restricted to one lane either way during construction, which has been going on for over a year. Bonus picture is a nearby mural.

Blogger TM Lutas June 18, 2016 1:05 PM  

All respect to the Dutch for doing this. The U.S. problem is orders of magnitude more complex because we literally have more than 10,000 infrastructure owning governments and often have as many as five operating in the same area. Suburban NY had the setup of overlapping village, town, county, state and federal roads.

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