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The Condy Raguet book is sold at half the Amazon price on mises.org

I suspect if you cornered Block, he'd acknowledge you can't completely eliminate the black/white wage gap. He was Becker's student after all.

The black-white gap came up in the Q&A section. From the article, it appears that Block's answer was merely a summation of two points of view regarding the black-white pay gap. Hardly controversial - assuming that's all that went down.

I suppose that might be the case, Mercutio, if Block hadn't cited The Bell Curve as one of only two ways––the "politically incorrect" way–– to think about the wage discrepancy between blacks and whites. Aside from grossly oversimplifying a complex issue, he gives far too much credit to a very controversial text, as though it were the ultimate authority on the matter.

"“It is important to note that the remark was offensive not just because it was racially insensitive, but because it was erroneous and indicated poor-quality scholarship. There is ample scholarly evidence that, after adjusting for productivity-related characteristics (e.g., years of schooling, work experience, union and industry status, etc.) a considerable wage gap remains."

It is important to note this statement is not only a Stalinist travesty of mendacious, witch-burning academic thuggery, but also indicates poor-quality scholarship. The most important "productivity-related characteristic" of all, the same one referenced by Block, is missing from the list. Adjusting for IQ closes 96% of the B-W gap in wages.

In this context, the term "politically incorrect" seems like coded wingnut-speak for "a Stalinist travesty of mendacious, witch-burning academic thuggery, but also indicates poor-quality scholarship."

Read the rest of Jason Malloy's post or pretty much anything written by Steve Sailor for more on this distinction.

Jason - Neal and Johnson don't have an IQ score in that paper. They have the AFQT. The abstract itself implies this isn't genetic directly when they link test scores to "observable differences in the family backgrounds and school environments of black and white children."

"Neal and Johnson don't have an IQ score in that paper. They have the AFQT."

Sorry, that bird won't fly:

"Is a set of age-referenced AFQT scores appropriately treated as IQ scores? We approach this issue from two perspectives. First we examine the internal psychometric properties of the AFQT and show that the AFQT is one of the most highly g-loaded mental tests in current use. It seems to do what a good IQ test is supposed to do -- tap into a general factor rather than specific bits of learning or skill -- as well as or better than its competitors. Second, we examine the correlation between the AFQT and other IQ tests, and show that the AFQT is more highly correlated with a wide range of other mental tests than those mental tests are with each other. On both counts the AFQT counts not just as an IQ test, but one of the better ones psychometrically." The Bell Curve, page 604

The abstract itself implies this isn't genetic directly when they link test scores to "observable differences in the family backgrounds and school environments of black and white children."

Who said anything about genetics? The linked article doesn't contain any claims by Block about genetics or etiology. That is a different issue entirely.

Black females have IQs that are about one half of a standard deviation above black males. The black-white IQ gap is usually stated as one full standard deviation or about 15 points. White females, by contrast, have IQs that are either slightly lower or the same as white males.

It's interesting that the "fearless" proponents supposedly committed to the free spread of information on the internet about genetics, race and IQ often forget to mention this fact.

On the other hand, the paper Jason Malloy refers to doesn't say anything particularly controversial. Black women have slightly higher wages than white women when adjusting for AFQT scores while black male wages are still slightly lower than white male wages when adjusting for scores. So we have to ask why black men have lower scores than both white men and black women.

Black females have IQs that are about one half of a standard deviation above black males... It's interesting that the "fearless" proponents supposedly committed to the free spread of information on the internet about genetics, race and IQ often forget to mention this fact.

The evidence does not support a higher IQ for black females relative to black males. See The g Factor.

I thought you were referencing the Neal and Johnson paper. The NJ paper uses AFQT, not IQ... Just pointing out that if you're going to cite a paper and say it says something, get it right. That's all.

Huh? Did you read what I just posted? The AFQT IS an IQ test.

You can tell who the racists are by how vociferously they post. Someone uninvested in the topic would politely share their information in a manner so that it would speak for itself and consider their part done.

jason voorhees,
what is the IQ test? Stanford-Binet? Would you deny that Wechsler is an IQ test? Raven's? To the best of my knowledge, IQ is not a brand name and, moreover, is used synonymously with g. It might be better always to use "g," because its purpose is to not be a brand name.

I could imagine that one might want to use "intelligence test" to mean something designed to measure intelligence, and not something that just happens to be g-loaded. The AFQT might be designed with some other goal; the SAT claims to be. But if you want to make a specific complaint like that, you should spell it out, because you aren't managing to convey it.

I was forced to take the Stanford-Binet once and got a certain score. The next year I was given some other piece of nonsense I don't recall and got a different score. All these "tests" appear to be biased and deeply flawed beyond usefulness.

My impression is that the whole concept is a sham. I am not sure there is any such thing as "g." I have yet to meet anyone who can meaningfully describe it, measure it in any way that doesn't appear ludicrous prima facie, or discuss its causes or its effects in any sensible, falsifiable manner. Thus I ask you: Why are you guys arguing about a ghost?

I made no arguments here about genetics

Seriously, Jason? You're really going to be that disingenuous after thumping your chest-thumping about integrity.

The points you made here are only meaningful in the context of IQ heritability. Why else all the fuss about the AFQT being an IQ test?

The story goes: IQ tests are an effective measure of intelligence, blacks score poorly on these tests, and there low scores are attributable to inborn, biological differences. Right? Isn't this essentially the argument you spent many hours constructing here?

Now, I'm done with this back-and-forth because it pisses Tyler off. But, you really ought to just come clean.

Anyone who has suffered through a corporate diversity program knows that large employers certainly don't want the appearance of racism.

So, are people flamed for these offenses because such statements are offensive, or because they contradict the socialist narrative? Both?

The question of why there is a pay gap is separate from fixing it, but you have to really understand the why if you really want to fix it, unless you just want to "fix" it with socialism, reparations, etc.

I can buy that people are paid roughly in line with their productivity. But they are also paid in line with supply and demand. So, if fewer people will employ blacks due to racism, then the employers that do employ them can pay them less, but it is not correct to punish the employers who actually employ blacks for racism. It is the ones who don't employ them, but which ones? And who cares, really, why not just focus on the education of the worthy blacks?

I'd start by studying the black men who do make the same as whites. Then, I'd consider applying to businesses in black communities who employ black teenagers a tax rate of zero. And, since a diploma means that a person has some training, but also a stamp of approval from an institution, reducing risk for a potential employer. Since high school surely has little to do with actual skills that are useful on the job, it must primarily serve as a stamp of approval. Perhaps we need some new certification programs that don't take as long as 4 year schooling that are more doable for people in challenging cultures. For example, why are there only "graduates" and "dropouts." Why not granulate this information for employers by saying "HS 3 yrs, 2.0" or such?

If there was enough racism to depress blacks' wages, then there would be enough racism to OBVIOUSLY accept the IQ answer. The fact that nobody wants to say that it's IQ should be sufficient evidence to say that there isn't enough racism to depress the wages of an entire race of people.

Oops.

Good reasoning Russell. Everyone knows that all forms of racism are equal. There is absolutely no difference between implicit and explicit racism.

"This was used as evidence of genetic difference, and for that it seems plausible to me though not proof. It doesn't imply that blacks are inherently not as good."

If we change "good" to the more relavent in this case "able to create wealth in a modern economy", wouldn't it be a far more surprinsing result if groups with different abilities were EXACTLY the same? After all, we don't expect individuals within groups that have different ability levels to be equally economically productive.

It's good to see that Walter Block has not lost his ability to offend. I found my copy of "Defending the Undefendable: The pimp, prostitute, scab, slumlord, libeler, moneylender and other scapegoats in the rogue's gallery of American society" and have started to read it again. It's just as much fun as the first time around - I see from the back blurbs that Fred Hayek also enjoyed it, too.

Someone commented that politically incorrect does not mean factually correct. True enough, but politically incorrect effectively means (in this case) that the result cannot be accepted as true, period.

Jason - Hey, I just gave a test to my undergrads. I'm going to call it an IQ test. I'm going to take a driving test later and I'll call that one too.

If you go to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFQT), IQ doesn't appear to even show up in its discussion of AFQT. If you google it, the first thing that comes up is a debate between Christopher Auld and Bryan Caplan, which I strongly encourage you to read through. Auld notes the problems you get when you have a measure that is correlated with noise with another measure that is itself correlated with noise with some underlying true ability. It's not a trivial problem. Not even bold makes it easier either! :)

"Hey, I just gave a test to my undergrads. I'm going to call it an IQ test."

Do you have quantitative evidence of its nomological validity? What is its g-loading? Do you have quantitative evidence of its convergent validity? How well does it correlate with other standard IQ tests?

If you provide evidence of its psychometric construct validity then the test you gave your students can be regarded as an IQ test, just like the AFQT.

Your quote from some anonymous Wikipedia editor does not advance your case. The specific content of an IQ test isn't relevant* -- this is called the indifference of the indicator -- but rather if and how well it captures a g factor. This is the defining quality of an IQ test.

Time constraints are completely irrelevant as well. Many standard IQ tests are timed.

*One exception would be if the content of the test generated bias, but the evidence shows the AFQT is not biased. At least not against any of the groups tested on the AFQT.

J Thomas: I'm merely pointing out that if racists had enough power to systemically depress wages, then there would be no cost to saying "Hey, blacks are dumb -- just look at their IQ scores." It's not a question of doing one thing and saying another. It's a question of succeeding at doing one thing and being constrained from talking about it. Makes no sense to me.

"if racists had enough power to systemically depress wages, then there would be no cost to saying "Hey, blacks are dumb -- just look at their IQ scores."

I disagree with this. Taboos can exist along with behavior that violates those taboos. In fact that is probably the case more often than not. Witness the Ted Haggards and Eliot Spitzers that we see on the news everyday. They persecute others as a way of atoning for their own self-loathed natures. Perhaps powerful or narcissistic people feel it is easier to change the world that allows their own demons to thrive, than to change themselves.

It's not that ideologues don't know the truth, it's that they are resentful it doesn't conform to their expectations. And the ideologue resents you, because your beliefs are shaped by things other than their enlightened authority. They have a Higher Truth that will make us all better off, but only if we can expunge all dissent.

Some of the most controversial statements in political and academic life are treated that way precisely because every one knows they're true. (e.g. men are more interested in things, women more interest in people) It just means opposition has to be that much more extreme, to force everyone in alignment.

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