Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

Let's abort!

http://mediamatters.org/items/200509280006

'Addressing a caller's suggestion that the "lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30 years" would be enough to preserve Social Security's solvency, radio host and former Reagan administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett dismissed such "far-reaching, extensive extrapolations" by declaring that if "you wanted to reduce crime ... if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Bennett conceded that aborting all African-American babies "would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do," then added again, "but the crime rate would go down."'

A lot of people think blacks and crime are correlated/causational. I don't doubt that the crime rate is high in the black community; I do doubt that the babies have anything to do with that.
Permalink sharkfish 
October 2nd, 2005
Society would be so much better without blacks. Yup.
Permalink sharkfish 
October 2nd, 2005
Fox News Sunday cracks me up.

Juan is saying "what if I said we could end all serial killing by aborting all the white babies?"
Permalink sharkfish 
October 2nd, 2005
Bennet is referring to a perfectly serious study that puts the case that the main reason for the decline in crime in the US in the 1990s is abortion.The study caused considerable controversy, and was the cause of heated controversy in a thread on Joel's, but the science stands up to scrutiny.

Now, Bennett has got it wrong; you don't abort all black babies, only those born to families, or more likely single parents, that didn't want them in the first place. And of course most of those foetuses are probably being aborted now anyway.

Much as it may offend those who would prefer to be politically correct than just plain correct, black teenagers are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime. And of course if you aborted the black babies then you would get a double whammy because most victims are black as well, and so the crime rate would go down because of that as well.

The only problem is that we can be sure that Mr. Bennett and ilk will immediately find new activities that need penalizing, to feed their love of repression and keep the penitenciary industry going (too many votes from prison guards, probation officers and a whole slew of other republican voters for any politician to risk creating unemployment from the two million or more that live off the law enforcement complex.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
October 2nd, 2005
I think it is a stupid academic argument.

For example, I agree that if you took all black babies born this year and compare their future crime rate with all white babies born this year, it will probably be higher.

Is that because blacks are born with some tendency to commit crimes? Of course not.

Instead, the reason (if it is in fact the case) would be:

-- blacks may be more likely to grow up in bad neighborhoods
-- blacks may be more likely to not have a dad [and this by itself isn't always bad, but I think one can argue that statistically having two parents is beneficial]
-- blacks may be more likely to be caught/imprisioned (i.e. profiling)
-- blacks are less likely to be able to take advantage of good opportunities

Having said all of that, I am not absolutely certain that all of the above stats are true. But the fact remains that one of the following statements will be true:

-- blacks born today as a whole will commit more crimes than whites
-- whites born today as a whole will commit more crimes than blacks
-- blacks and whites born today will commit basically the same number of crimes

It is not the case that if somebody is black then they automatically are going to commit crimes. (Everybody has a choice; however, large macroscopic trends tend to be predictable, and we know that one of those trends will be true, no matter what.)

Beyond that, Bennett was actually wrong. One of the blogs that mentioned the talk says that if something this dumb actually did happen, people (both black and white) would riot so the crime rate actually wouldn't go down.

Please don't take Bennett's statement too seriously. I just saw the Fox News take on the story and I saw that one of the commentators said some dumb equivalent of "let's exterminate the jews". People should be equally offended by him for suggesting such an absurd thing. [Is he an anti-semite? If not, then why is Bennett a racist?] (Further, I suppose people should be mad at me making this post because I mentioned some absurd things [which I don't agree with]).

One of the problems our country has is that even talking about racism is taboo. I'm pretty sure that this post is accurate (and if it isn't, I'd be glad to hear why it is wrong.) Regardless of any truths about crime rates for different demographics, as a person I should treat everybody that I talk with as a separate person outside of those trends and I try my best to do that.
Permalink - 
October 2nd, 2005
"The study caused considerable controversy, and was the cause of heated controversy in a thread on Joel's, but the science stands up to scrutiny."

It isn't anywhere near as conclusive. Several rebuttals by very prominant stasticians and sociologists have blown gaping holes in that study, including findings that some of the conclusions drawn from the data showed nothing near what was extrapolated.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
October 2nd, 2005
I think what Juan said on Fox News was how can you say what Bennett said, but find the statement "let's exterminate the Jews" offensive as well. ?

It is perfectly logical to state such. It is just as inflammatory and people who are perfectly fine with Bennett's statement will not understand how offensive it is unless you say something equally inflammatory about their own.

EVerything else you said, "-", is perfectly reasonable.
Permalink sharkfish 
October 2nd, 2005
Okay. I wasn't offended by that statement either (although I'm not Jewish) based on its context. Now, if somebody was seriously proposing that, I would have some issues with it.

I personally don't think that Bennett said anything that was wrong in itself. His mistake was he wasn't careful enough about what he says in public discourse. Any time a person says something, there will be a certain number of people who will misinterpret it in the worse way; if you use the words "kill", "black", and "babies" in the same sentence, the chances are good that some people will get really mad at your remarks, regardless of what you actually mean to say.

And incidentally, you talked about how the guy on Fox News mentioned exterminating Jews as a way to get people to react to Bennett's argument. The same could be said that Bennett mentioned this "killing black babies" thing to show the absurdity of the issue that was brought up on his radio program (I can't remember it offhand...)
Permalink - 
October 2nd, 2005
Read my religion post. Here is a response to the original post. The best school I went to, for a short time was at a good private highschool school. A jesuit school, most went on to Boston College and Harvard. I am proposing similar things for public education which in term could help in the schools that are mostly african-american.

And, I would love to have the stats on what catholic schools the senators send their kids to.

If we are going to solve the solution by giving kid school vouchers so that they end up in private schools anyway, it seems like a waste of trillions of dollars and not just learn from the privitized programs.

-----
From earlier thread, Response
-----

"I bet a majority of our senators and congressmen attend church every Sunday, possibly more; several times a week."

It's important to be Christian in government to get votes from other Christians. I wouldn't read more into it than that.

Berlin: I am sure they go to church more than most, and I am sure they absorb some of that message.

"I bet they send their kids to a private school that might be a christian, catholic or other school."

Agreed. Private school != Religious school but the majority of private schools are religious. Some people (myself included) sent their kids to religious private school but not because of (and in some cases, in spite of) the religion.

Berlin: once again, you probably sent your kids to a good school for all aspects of the program. I am sure the religious aspect was a large part of it. Don't you think there is a corollary between those programs and the religious foundation.


You can't teach "religion".. you can teach a religion and you can teach comparative religion (multiple religions) -- so which is it that you want?

Berlin: Anything will work...

"But, I would love to see a person who lives in absolute poverty say, "Wow, would horrible advice"... won't happen."

What does poverty have to do with it? Oh poor people don't care about how their children are educated? They don't want their children to come home and tell them their single mother is a sinner? I really don't get your point.

Berlin: That won't happen. If you learn Spanish, you start to speak spanish. If you learn music, you learn how to play an instrument....

...
Permalink Berlin Brown 
October 2nd, 2005
To the people saying Bennett's claim was true, but simply undiplomatic...

Let's say, hypothetically, that increased crime is *actually* caused, primarily, by low economic status.

Now let's say, still hypothetically, that we abort all black babies. What's more, we kill all existing black people.

Here's what will happen. The low-level jobs that all those black people had won't simply become unnecessary. There will be a vacuum in those positions that will be filled by the people who are left. Those people will become the new working poor. They'll end up living in the projects. Some of them will fall on hard times, or become addicted to drugs, and the same stimuli that caused the degradation of poor black neighborhoods will happen again. The same situations that make "black teenagers" responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime will reoccur. You will find that Bennett's hypothesis, that "aborting black babies will reduce crime" was incorrect because crime will return to approximately its original level.

Now, maybe you disagree that crime is really caused by low socioeconomic status. "Freakonomics" disagrees, at least with respect to violent crime. But there's only one hypothetical "cause" of crime that wouldn't similarly affect whites if we'd gotten rid of all black people, and that's the premise that there's something inherent in "blackness" that increases criminal tendencies. Maybe you do believe that, I don't know. But if you do, then you should outright say so, so that we can discuss the soundness of that argument. Don't dance around the claim that "I don't believe blacks are inherently more criminal, just that they commit more crime."
Permalink tailotg 
October 2nd, 2005
Dear Dennis

Perhaps you could link to the studies by several statisticians that blow gaping holes in the arguments. I gave links to all the original documents, and basically we are talking about one reply, which has been answered.

Whenever you are talking about statisitcal correlation there is always the possibility of coincidence instead of causation, but Leabitt does appear correct when he says the statistical correlation between the date of intordocution of legalized abortion and that of the decline in the crime rate are linked.

What his studies are much more valuable for is that they debunk many of the other explanations given for the decline.

--"Don't dance around the claim that "I don't believe blacks are inherently more criminal, just that they commit more crime."
Why not. The statement is perfectly logical.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
October 2nd, 2005
It's perfectly possible that "Blacks are NOT inherently more criminal", yet still "Blacks commit more crime".

"Blacks ARE inherently more criminal" is just one of many possible causes for the incarceration patterns we are seeing. And the most convenient one to make for the powers that be, since it lets them off the hook for doing anything about it.

Education funding (which I believe is STILL un-equal in black neighborhoods) is another possible reason. Economic opportunity is another possible reason.

I think there still is racism in America today, but it's buried under good sounding phrases like "state's rights".
Permalink AllanL5 
October 2nd, 2005
Stephen,

These were all covered previously. Levitt has been pretty widely ostracized for using the classic trick of chosing only the values that validate conform with his hypothesis, and some of his root assumptions were just outright wrong. Of course his "studies" sell to the easily convinced, but under a more critical light they are largely nonsense.

http://www.nrlc.org/news/2001/NRL06/randylaura.html
http://www.isteve.com/abortion.htm
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
October 2nd, 2005
Stephen and Allan, let me clarify my meaning. I also believe that statement is logically valid. But using it in the context of defending Bennett's hypothesis is not. If there's nothing inherent to blackness that encourages criminality, then aborting black babies *in particular* will not have a significant lasting impact on the crime rate.

By that logic, my contention is that people who agree with Bennett's argument (even if they think it was in poor taste) must necessarily believe that blackness inherently increases criminality.
Permalink tailotg 
October 2nd, 2005
Me: "Some people (myself included) sent their kids to religious private school but not because of (and in some cases, in spite of) the religion."

"Berlin: once again, you probably sent your kids to a good school for all aspects of the program. I am sure the religious aspect was a large part of it."

Umm, no. I'm athiest. I personnally believe that religion has caused more evil and death in the world than would have existed without it. Believe me, the religious aspect is not important to me.

"Don't you think there is a corollary between those programs and the religious foundation."

No. The corelation is between the church and community and community and education. The education is better because of the community, not because of the religion.

Berlin, your remaining points make no sense at all.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
October 2nd, 2005
Sharkfish:

There's not much to discuss, really.

Bill Bennett is an idiot. End of discussion.
Permalink Misanthrope 
October 2nd, 2005
Misanthrope, I agree, but then as tailotg said:

"But there's only one hypothetical "cause" of crime that wouldn't similarly affect whites if we'd gotten rid of all black people, and that's the premise that there's something inherent in "blackness" that increases criminal tendencies. Maybe you do believe that, I don't know. But if you do, then you should outright say so, so that we can discuss the soundness of that argument. Don't dance around the claim that "I don't believe blacks are inherently more criminal, just that they commit more crime.""


...and this is my beef with white America. There is an underlying assumption that needs to be discussed and aired.
Permalink sharkfish 
October 2nd, 2005
Aborting all [Choose group: black, white, chinese, redheads, blondes, etc] babies would reduce the crime rate.
Permalink KC 
October 2nd, 2005
Unless abortion itself were illegal.
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
Sharkfish:

There were few to none black people in 17th century England, yet the crime rate was high--damned poor people again.

Why not just eliminate poverty and be done with it? There'd still be some crime, to be sure, but the most blatent cause would be gone.

In the US, there is yet another large cause of criminality: the wholesale creation of criminal acts by passage of repressive laws against such things as smoking joints, etc. This has created a massive industry-- building jails, tasers, and privatized incarceration.

I have difficulty believing that Americans are much more criminal than Europeans, yet per capita we have many, many more people in jail than the folks across the puddle.

And NO, I don't believe in any predisposition for crime on the part of more pigmented people, whatever their origins. We are a single race, we humans, with very little genetic difference between us. No one, so far as I know, has discovered a criminal gene.
Permalink Misanthrope 
October 2nd, 2005
You're forgetting Gene Gotti.
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
Pah.
Permalink Misanthrope 
October 2nd, 2005
Gene Gotti is your "pa?" Does that mean you'll be predisposed to crime?
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
Double Pah. A pox on both your puns.
Permalink Misanthrope 
October 2nd, 2005
*realizes part of his life has just been wasted reading those puns*

Man, I gotti get out more.
Permalink tailotg 
October 2nd, 2005
I figure I can't participate in this thread constructively*, so I might as well kibitz.

One could draw parallels to certain segments of the population not being able to participate in certain aspects of society and "acting out" because of it.

But that would be participating in the thread, and I can't do that.
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
* because the OP has made up her mind about me, particularly with regards to race, and labels anything I say to/near her as condescending.
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
Hey, these puns are a useful distraction to me. I've done 85 math problems over the past few hours, and if a few puns & some mild trolling is what it takes to recharge my brain cells, so be it.
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
Relax, Mark. No big deal.
Permalink Misanthrope 
October 2nd, 2005
But, back to Bennett, et. al.:

Not too much that right-wingers (and particularly the Bush Bunch) say or do can surprise me anymore. Overstimulus, I guess.

So back to my original premise: an idiot, perhaps a moron. Not much else to say.
Permalink Misanthrope 
October 2nd, 2005
Big deals actually aid relaxation. Woops, that's probably a crime ...

Misanthrope has it cold - all can be explained in economic terms. Laws containing explicit racial references like Malaysia's job protection laws for Malaysia, Australia's aboriginal policies or South Africa's apartheid had economic drivers and I think the intent in the USA is keep an eye (and the boot) on the poor.

There are however legal systems elsewhere that target religions and cultures other than the one promoted by the lawgivers for reasons that go beyond the economic.
Permalink trollop 
October 2nd, 2005
"Why not just eliminate poverty and be done with it?"

But what if crime is about being poor*er*, not just poor? Then you'll never win. :(

Mind you, still a great goal, IMHO.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
October 2nd, 2005
Philo: communism it is, then. :)
Permalink tailotg 
October 2nd, 2005
Because if everyone is poor, there will be no crime?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
October 2nd, 2005
Anarchy it is, then.

Because if there are no laws, there will be no crime.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
October 2nd, 2005
Philo: based strictly on your hypothesis, yes. If relative poorness is the cause of crime, and everyone is equally poor, then there should be no crime, right?

For the record, I'm just being snarky, not serious at all.
Permalink tailotg 
October 2nd, 2005
That or everyone would break the law, as everyone would be equally desperate.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
October 2nd, 2005
That sounds like russia after the fall of communism.

"This line for toilet paper. This line for food."
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
Probably wanna switch those lines, Mark.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
October 2nd, 2005
And xava!'s line for crack.
Permalink MarkTAW 
October 2nd, 2005
Perhaps we should just abort all babies. Yep that would do it.
Permalink  
October 3rd, 2005
Bennett is one of those people who believe that if one commits a crime, they do so because they are weak, irresponsible and immoral. His logic then proceeds to make the same essentialist claim about people with dark skin: that they are inherently weak, irresponsible and immoral.
Permalink Peter 
October 3rd, 2005
Does Bennett really think that, Peter, or is he not conscious of these thoughts and actually believes his scientifically gathered statistics are good enough to substantiate his statements?
Permalink sharkfish 
October 3rd, 2005
I recommend you read the book Moral Politics.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0226467716/
Permalink Peter 
October 3rd, 2005
Looks like an interesting book,Peter.

The book's thesis (as summarized by the reviewers) supports my view that conservatives seem to think that hard work is the difference and some "ladder" out there will help you climb to success. These people never see that they are simply lucky, and if born in some other circumstance, it is highly likely they could be poor, too. They won't believe that they are lucky in no way shape or form.

Once we get down to that, there is no point in arguing. No one really wants their world view changed and will resist it beyond logic/rationale.

I think this is also why non-whites, particularly blacks, see conservatives as racist.
Permalink sharkfish 
October 3rd, 2005
Yes, it is an essential dichotomy. Those who believe in the ladder don't seem to believe in the need for a safety-net -- it just makes you lazy, they say.

Until NOLA gets submerged. Then they ALL go around crying about what went wrong, who needs to be punished, and we want our town rebuilt at Government expense, dammit!

On the other hand, at that point they quit disassembling the safety net for everybody else. For awhile, anyway.
Permalink AllanL5 
October 3rd, 2005
"The book's thesis (as summarized by the reviewers) supports my view that conservatives seem to think that hard work is the difference and some "ladder" out there will help you climb to success."

So is hard work and success uncorrelated? Inversely correlated?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
October 3rd, 2005
"So is hard work and success uncorrelated? Inversely correlated?"

I should have said that "only" hard work is the key, in the mind of the conservative, rather than some combination of hard work and luck.

I don't think there is as much correlation between hard work and success as some seem to believe. I have continually seen complete dolts rise to the top via networking and class. Maybe networking with like minds qualifies as hard work? Not to me.

Education is really key. Being able to anticipate trends and go against them in a knowledgeable, calculated way is what makes money in America.

I don't kow how many young blacks I know that go and learn how to do things that are basically useless in the long term, but are "cool" to know at the moment. How many years past 50 can you stand up all day and do hair for a living? How many cars can you fix for a living without your own garage? Can you spell and speak correctly? Do you know how to save money? Can you see beyond today and delay gratification? Have you ever seen any benefit to delayed gratification? What value is there in doing retail jobs? In fact, why work retail if you don't get any benefits such as tuition reimbursement, etc.

These are all things I learned at an early age.

But you know the biggest difference between me and poor blacks? I learned how to speak American English as whites expect it, and I am pretty good at communicating in the written form as well.

Speaking in "Ebonics" when it is inappropriate is the sure way to staying broke all your life. My parents chided me often for trying to sound like my childhood friends, to the point where I no longer had friends because not only did I not look like them, I didn't sound like them, either. But my parents knew/know you can't even get a bank loan even if you have collateral if you can't speak the language.

Blacks don't have Mexican/Korean/Italian/Spanish/Chinese/Japanese banks. So we don't own a goddamn thing. We speak our own lingo, but the banks we turn to don't want our business, so we have no power. The few black-owned banks thrive on the south side of Chicago, so that is where we own property, and to be honest, that is why even though I hate Chicago sometimes, I stay here. Blacks have power here, and I know some powerful people in the government and police that are more likely to protect me if needed. Okay, that's a tangent. But really I can't think of too many places that blacks thrive where there aren't black-owned banks.

So I am rambling, but you get the point....blacks have to assimilate in order to get anywhere.
Permalink sharkfish 
October 3rd, 2005
That's a very thoughtful response.

I would say the glass half full side of it is that hard work and effort is a good idea if you come from a disadvantaged background. And as you point out, that hard work should be directed toward obtaining the best education possible.

I agree that simply working hard at retail, repairing cars, or cutting hair ain't gonna git'r done, at least not without a plan to move up or on to something else.

With that in mind, I think a defense of the conservative position is that regardless of how much we would like to believe the State will make us all wealthy, happy and whole, past empirical evidence shows that's not very likely. Therefore, the responsible thing to do is to teach disadvantaged individuals how to succeed and improve their lot in the world as it is, not as we would like it to be.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
October 3rd, 2005
>So is hard work and success uncorrelated? Inversely correlated?
1 - There are people who have achieved success solely due to their family connections. Pres bush and Paris Hilton come to mind as samples.
2 - There are people who inherited wealth, but would have succeeded anyway. Donald Trump comes to mind. He would have succeeded even if his family didn't hand him millions of dollars. But then, most people would be a success if you were handed more than $10,000,000 at age 18.
3 - There are people who "work hard" their entire life and end up with nothing. Many blue collar workers can be used as examples of this.
4 - There are people who work hard and do succeed. Woz and Jobs come to mind. I'm sure you can think of lots more.
Silicon Valley was littered with thousands of start-ups where people worked hard and failed anyway.

Because of the sheer randomness involved, "hard work and success uncorrelated" is a valid statement. The vagina you drop out of has a higher correlation to success than the intelligence, training, work, and ideas that you could bring to the marketplace.

>how much we would like to believe the State will make us all wealthy, happy and whole...
No. That "State" is a straw-man. The concept of a safety-net is alien to conservatives, or at the politest minimum: "socialism."

The Protestant Work Ethic colors so much of the philosophical landscape of the US that one has to understand it, where it came from, and how it has corrupted mainstream Christianity to understand where conservatism comes from.

"Central to Calvinist belief was the Elect, those persons chosen by God to inherit eternal life. All other people were damned and nothing could change that since God was unchanging. While it was impossible to know for certain whether a person was one of the Elect, one could have a sense of it based on his own personal encounters with God. Outwardly the only evidence was in the person's daily life and deeds, and success in one's worldly endeavors was a sign of possible inclusion as one of the Elect. A person who was indifferent and displayed idleness was most certainly one of the damned, but a person who was active, austere, and hard-working gave evidence to himself and to others that he was one of God's chosen ones.

Calvin taught that all men must work, even the rich, because to work was the will of God. It was the duty of men to serve as God's instruments here on earth, to reshape the world in the fashion of the Kingdom of God, and to become a part of the continuing process of His creation.

Selection of an occupation and pursuing it to achieve the greatest profit possible was considered by Calvinists to be a religious duty. Not only condoning, but encouraging the pursuit of unlimited profit was a radical departure from the Christian beliefs of the middle ages."
http://www.coe.uga.edu/~rhill/workethic/hist.htm
Permalink Peter 
October 3rd, 2005
"The Protestant Work Ethic colors so much of the philosophical landscape of the US that one has to understand it, where it came from, and how it has corrupted mainstream Christianity to understand where conservatism comes from."

"The Protestant Work Ethic", as you describe it, is largely responsible for creating the wealthiest nation in the history of mankind.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
October 3rd, 2005
"The vagina you drop out of has a higher correlation to success than the intelligence, training, work, and ideas that you could bring to the marketplace."

But given similar vaginas, will the other traits not be correlated with success?

Also, are not intelligence, training, work and ideas also correlated with the vagina you dropped out of? If you can more equalize those things across people dropping out of diverse vaginas, would you not also more equalize economic attainment?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
October 3rd, 2005
"The Protestant Work Ethic colors so much of the philosophical landscape of the US that one has to understand it, where it came from, and how it has corrupted mainstream Christianity to understand where conservatism comes from."

<rambling>
My high school AP US History teacher taught us this through several readings, including primary sources. It was an eye-opener for me, but it also made me suspicious of religion. He was a liberal-leaning teacher, and the one responsible for writing the glowing reference that helped me get into a prestigious college.

Without him, I would have gone to the state school, I'm guessing. My grades and SATs were good, but I didn't have the confidence to apply. His left-iness was an interestng counter to the conservatives in the counselor's office that discouraged me from applying. The conservatives understood something that my family, my history teacher, and I did not understand: it really didn't matter what school I went to, my life as a regular middle-class hanger on wasn't going to change much because reality wins. For every exception, there are bright ones that stay middling.

I'm one of the bright ones that never got past middling. :)

I'm guessing that this reality thing is what happens to the poor, too. We all get kinda stuck.

</rambling>
Permalink sharkfish 
October 3rd, 2005
>"The Protestant Work Ethic", as you describe it, is
largely responsible for creating the wealthiest nation in the history of mankind.
Jim, PWE is the cause of the Cult Of Hard Work&#8482;. Hard work doesn't result in wealth for the hard worker. It usually results in wealth for SOMEONE ELSE. Oh wait. Karl Marx pointed that out over a hundred years ago. Damn commies.

The Cult Of Hard Work&#8482; loves to deny that luck has anything to do with success. The family you were born into has more to do with success than all the hard work you can do. Yet the members of COHW&#8482; will denounce luck: after all, chosing the particular family you'd be born into was a lot of hard work.

Part of the promise/potential of the information revolution was that people could work smarter and not harder. Some of that's happened, yet we still have politicking at the office. And much of the productivity gains in the last decade have come not from working smarter, but from working longer, unpaid hours.

>If you can more equalize those things across people dropping out of diverse vaginas, would you not also more equalize economic attainment?
Affirmative action? From you?
Permalink Peter 
October 3rd, 2005
I think that the primary advantage of falling out of the right vagina is the social network that surrounds you. Not just your family, but all of the connections that go along with it. You're just magically born into the good ol' boy club.

There are other ways into it, among the most common being fraternities/sororities in college as a cheap substitute for having truly wealthy friends. Those networks are not to be underestimated.

Unfortunately, because of my arrogance and pathetic lack of social skills when I was younger, I don't have much of a network to pass on to my kids yet. I have some work cut out for me.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
October 4th, 2005
"Oh wait. Karl Marx pointed that out over a hundred years ago. Damn commies."

Which is why all the people in those countries who followed Marx's ideas were more wealthy than the stupid capitalist Americans.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
October 4th, 2005
"Affirmative action? From you?"

Affirmative action as classically defined means not training or preparing people for success, then trying to force corporations or government to make those people successful anyways.

It doesn't work. It has never worked. Anywhere.

Companies find a way around it. If you do not have a good education and preparation in the 21st century market place, you are at a profound disadvantage. This is even more true for the most disadvantaged segments of society.

The U.S. must give all our citizens the best education possible. If this involves vouchers, variable teacher pay scales, charter schools, or whatever, we must improve on the system we have now for everyone. And especially for those falling out of less prestigious vaginas.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
October 4th, 2005
"You're just magically born into the good ol' boy club."

True. But historically immigrant groups have been able to band together and eventually form their own good ol' boy clubs.

The exception, of course, has been African Americans. The fact that it's somewhat difficult to form your own good ol' boy network when you and your ancestors and your descendants are in chains for centuries probably had an influence on this. Not to mention another century without true voting rights or adequate redress to the courts to address grievances.

My hunch is that African Americans have made a lot more economic gains than they have been credited with during the past 40 years or so since something approaching civil equality was instituted in the U.S.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
October 5th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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