The real assimilation dilemma

Much of the immigration debate has focused on assimilation rates for second and third generation Latinos.  But put that aside and consider the rest of the arrivals.  It is striking to me how very rapidly they assimilate, and I don’t just mean the Canadians (on a given day, could you tell which of the writers of this blog is from north of the border?).  I mean the Russians, the Iranians, the Chinese, the Indians, and many others, including most of the Muslim immigrants.  They don’t become culturally identical to the native-born, but in terms of economic and social indicators, you couldn’t ask for a much better performance.

The assimilation problem in fact comes from the longstanding native-born Americans, often of more traditional stock.  The country around them has changed rapidly, and they do not assimilate so well to the new realities.  And since they are not self-selected migrants who know they will face hardship, they are not always so inclined to internalize a “suck it up” kind of attitude.  Many complain, others settle into niches of failure or mediocre careers.

In this regard, encouraging the actual arriving immigrants to assimilate better or faster can make the actual assimilation problem worse, because it will change the home culture more rapidly too.

Often, the real impact of immigration is not on wages or electoral outcomes, but it is the assimilation burdens placed on some of the longer-standing traditional natives of the home country.  And the more productive and successful the immigrants are, the more serious these problems may become.

I am grateful to the Cato liberaltarian group for a discussion of this issue; I have drawn on remarks from that dialogue, including from Will.


Really? Illegally importing a bunch of impoverished Latinos from Central America is actually BETTER for existing citizens of the U.S. because their culture will change less than if we instead invited in wealthy, productive, entrepreneurial Asians? Is there any evidence for such a proposition whatsoever?

Read the first paragraph again, Cowen does not advance the proposition you attribute to him.

well, Cowen makes several very broad assertions in this piece with no facts to support them

"Cliff" clearly did not understand what the assertions were. Did you?

The proposition he advances is that ordinary non-exotic wage earners are obliged to sit there and take it while people like him muck with the landscape.

Did you know that the USA has the highest percentage of published foreign researchers among any advanced country?

Immigrants do more than mow lawns. It is not in the national interest to drive them out. (Even in balance, for Canada, which would be attractive to many people who would consider the US, the negative effects on the USA could possibly even be so large as to have a negative overall effect on Canada despite the additional pool of talent related to not choosing the US as readily.)

. It is not in the national interest to drive them out.

You're breaking character. You usually pretend to be a Cannuck who lives all over the world, no instructing us in our 'national interest' requires a bit of effrontery (which is in character, come to think of it).

Did you know that the USA has the highest percentage of published foreign researchers among any advanced country?

That's not a matter of much interest to me, and irrelevant to the point on which I was commenting.

Art beconmes immediately disinterested in national interest, the moment it coincides with maybe some brown-skinned researchers populating the halls of MIT and UCLA et al.

By "national interest", generally this refers to the capacity to create economic growth, under the assumption that this underlies potential national might (whether developed internally or bought).

Thankfully, there are many political mechanisms to ensure that life is much more pleasant than if such thinking dominated.

By “national interest”, generally this refers to the capacity to create economic growth,

Uh, no it doesn't. And declining to develop your own bourgeoisie has its costs.

It is true, that if you take the first half of a point which has the purpose of being able to make the larger second point, that the first point will not seem like the argument has been made.

I live in Brooklyn. to me a 1st generation hispanic immigrant is much less exotic than a 10th generation scots-irish immigrant.

in other words, the "outgroup" is contextual and local. you would do well to acknowledge that.

I think you need to read my comment again. Cowen advances exactly the proposition I attribute to him.

If you think Tyler's wrong about slow assimilation by native-born Americans, you might want to read J. D. Vance's book Hillbilly Elegy.

I don't think he is wrong on that, although "assimilation" is the wrong word. What he is wrong about is the idea that high-skilled professional immigrants make it harder for working class natives to adapt than hordes of illegal Latino immigrants

"the rest of the arrivals" ???

Once again the illegal immigrants are being mushed in with the legal immigrants and the native-born are being slammed for being "anti-immigrant."

This is rhetorical sleight of hand and it is not working, OK?

well given how much easier it is for my housekeeper to do her job (she got here illegally from Central America), and has no real issue accessing any of the state or federal social programs for her and her family, compared to say a professional who came here legally, obtained multiple degrees from US universities, who pays a six digit sum in taxes every year and has never been in the country out of immigration status, then I would say yes there is at least an issue with incentives on which kind of people you want here. took me 15 years to get a green card and expensive legal fees. in the meantime my employer had control of my fate, and ended up staying the last 5yrs with them because I wasn't allowed to switch while processing my GC.
so who do you think is more likely to stay here in the US? the housekeeper or the professional?
so i think if my coworkers rick and dave wanted more like me here, and less nannies from Honduras, then the incentives here would be different for immigrants.. .
the desire from wealthy, productive and entrepreneurial Asians to come here to the US will only keep going down given how difficult you make it for them to come here...
on the other hand a nanny from gang infested CA has nothing to lose and will keep trying to come here, especially given my friends rick and dave (and probably you cliff) have no issue hiring them to take care of your kids and clean your house at a massive discount....
don't be so ignorant Cliff....

just like my housekeeper (who somehow already got her GC as well), I am also from Central America, and not a week goes by when I don't consider moving back, and eventually probably will....
her on the other hand has never consider it, and now that she has her GC there is practically zero chance she will ever go back....
but hey at least you don't have to do little cliffy's laundry...

'has no real issue accessing any of the state or federal social programs for her and her family'

Wait until Trump hears about this, right?

Rereading this, and no offense, it just doesn't really add up. As a green card holder, you are welcome to spend 364 days wherever you wish in the rest of the world, as long as you spend an uninterrupted 24 hour period in the U.S. (at least that is what German green card holders have told me in the past). You will of course still be subject to double taxation, even though a non-citizen, on your world wide income.

In other words, there is absolutely nothing stopping you, today, from moving while still maintaining your ability to legally reside in the U.S. You are aware of this, right? Especially after all that expensive legal advice - if you are really paying a 6 digit sum in American taxes, it is likely that the legal advice to confirm this state of affairs is truly pocket change.

I don't think this is entirely correct. You have to maintain a residence in the US. Renting a hotel room doesn't count. You could probably find a cheap way to make such arrangements, but you need at least a valid mailing address that isn't a PO Box.

One of the great advantages that the UK had over the US was a relatively more benign immigration regime - tons of professionals ended up in London rather than NY for that very reason. More specifically, there were 2 reasons - the first being that the (legal) immigration rules and costs in the US are extremely complex and expensive compared to the UK of yesterday, the second being that while a lot of people from really poor backgrounds would be willing to put up with these, for "dignitarian" considerations like the ones you mentioned, many people from a slightly more comfortable background would find them insulting.

Professional-managerial strata make up about 13% of the workforce and a country can breed its own. You don't need 'tons' of them unless you'd like to replicate the social stratification of central Europe ca. 1925.

The upper middle class professional strata has been a growing section of the population for a while now.

A complex society is bound to have more highly specialized technicians, bureaucrats, researchers, etc. over time.

From 1979 to 2014, the US upper middle class grew from 13% to over 29% of the US population. The Yuppie Class is growing. That's why so many more people are drinking fancy coffee and organic vegetables. The class of people who can indulge in such things is growing in size and importance.

Some people and places have suffered real declines in living standards, especially since 2000, but overall the trend has been for people to move up, not down.

The upper middle class professional strata has been a growing section of the population for a while now.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers these are the shares of the listed categories of the employed workforce.

Management occupations: 5%
Financial specialists (for which certifications are common): 1.5%
Computer and mathematical occupations (less tech support): 2.3%
Architects and engineers: 1.3%
Natural scientists and social researchers: 0.5%
Counselors: 0.5%
Lawyers: 0.5%
Post-secondary teachers: 1.1%
Producers and directors: 0.1%
Editors: < 0.1%
Physicians and surgeons: 0.5%
Peri-medical professionals: 0.5%
Veterinarians: < 0.1%

That adds up to 14% of the workforce. Ralf Dahrendorf estimated this class in Germany in 1965 to encompass 12% of the workforce therein. Truman Hartshorn in discussing urban stratification in 1982 offered an estimate of 13%. Not much increase, though perhaps historical stats from the Bureau would demonstrate there has been.

You go out of your way to call the housekeeper illegal over and over, and then she just magically gets a green card. What exactly happened there? Illegal immigrants can't just suddenly and costlessly get green cards.

My guess (and it's just a guess) is that she came legally, maybe on a tourist visa (legal to visit temporarily but not permanently and without work authorization), had family here that had already gotten citizenship, and once here applied for an "adjustment of status," with sponsorship from those citizen family members.

The thing about that technique is that it's legality depends on a split second thought. If she entered on a visa with the intent to adjust her status, its illegal. But if she got the idea to adjust her status after entering, it's legal. Since a thought is hard to prove in court, it's rarely prosecuted (unless someone files for an adjustment almost immediately after entering), as it really is just about the thought at the exact moment of border crossing.

Point being, this is where things get complicated. Legality/illegality based on thoughts. She could have legally been in the country but not legally authorized to work. So not really an illegal immigrant but also not a legal worker. Or maybe she filed for exemptions while her case was being processed. There's all sorts of weird details to consider in our odd system, many of them leading to gray areas that not even govt really knows how to deal with (which is why presidential memos can have an effect since the law itself isn't clear and it's up to the chief executive to put forth a possible interpretation as a guide). This is why people push for reform.

The real story here is that there are big differences between various paths. Yours, through an employer, is notoriously hard (and in some sense, isn't meant to lead to citizenship). Paths through family sponsorship are easier as they're designed to lead to citizenship. That is, it's easier for me to make my spouse a citizen than it is for me to make my employee a citizen.

Despite what seems like anger and frustration on your part, I think most people would agree that it should be easier to make your spouse a citizen than your employee.

You seem to think you were more deserving and you're annoyed by her magical green card whereas you were tied to an employer but that's because technically she was likely immigrating via family sponsorship whereas your path was really a mechanism for a job, not a person, and you had to jump through a lot of legal loopholes to transfer the residency and work permissions associated with that job to you, the human.

Would most people really agree that the relative ease of paths to citizenship (or permanent legal status) via family sponsorship are such a great idea? Think of all the talk about anchor babies and the discussion of implementing jus sanguinis. I'm not saying that I disagree or agree, just that it is a contested issue.

"Would most people really agree that the relative ease of paths to citizenship (or permanent legal status) via family sponsorship are such a great idea?"

First, it is not "relatively easy". For Mexicans, the current Visa Bulletin ( shows they are working on applications from 20 years ago or more for family reunification visas, except for F2A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents) which has a date of April 2015.

Second, the reason for the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was to try to limit immigration to Europeans (i.e. racism) but not appear to be racist (as past country quotas had been), so the theory was that since most immigrants at that time were from Europe, they would just bring more European family members in. It took a while for Hispanics and Asians to dominate the flow of family reunification immigration.

The employment sponsorship route is notoriously hard, but once you get a green card there is no difference in the citizenship path. it works the same for people who were employer sponsored as family sponsored.

"My guess (and it’s just a guess) is that she came legally, maybe on a tourist visa "

My guess is that this housekeeper he speaks of is entirely fictional.

You're telling me that you're both so OK with such a situation that you hire this person, but then turn around and complain about it in a manner that is conducive to reducing such possibilities?

If you hired her, you're the one who's responsible -- she came here because there was demand for her labor. Your demand.

You did this.

If you are so great why can't you create value in your own country?

Read my comment again, you and I are in agreement.


Was it Cliff that was demanding that some brown-skinned somebody do his laundry? Don't you mean Tyler? It is precisely Tyler and Alec who want more low-skilled immigrants so that "Enstiens" (by which I think they mean themselves) don't have to do their own laundry. I doubt that Cliff cares so much about the skin tone of the immigrants, he is concerned about the number and their skill level. You and Cliff are on the same side.

The problem with Tyler's nifty new rationalization is that, for low-skilled native born, their problem with "assimilation" of the large numbers of low skilled immigrants is economic, not cultural. Large numbers of low-skilled immigrants lower the economic prospects of the low-skilled native born. Tyler, Will and others don't like to think about that so they re-imagine the problem as being a failure of native born to "assimilate" to a new culture (in which they won't have jobs).

Importing more "wealthy, productive, entrepreneurial Asians" would be problematic because their superior IQs will eventually create national underclasses of middling white service sector workers, Latino minimum wage laborers and unemployed blacks. Just look at the standard deviations.

Maybe with 500 years of huge flows of highly selective immigration.

Most of high test score results are related to giving a crap about dumb tests that have nothing to do with anything, and advantages like extensive tutor support from a young age.

How many Asian immigrants do you think would have qualified for entry without their childhood tutors who gave them a leg up on the competititon?

And now for those of you who decided to emerge from the hopelessness of the 1960s, 'Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR', where today IVF and CRISPR technologies have the potential to create smarter, more athletic, taller, and less violent children.

You ascribe stupidity to whatever you disagree with. Usually that means you're wrong.

Understanding genetics does not imply that failed statisticians should set agendas relating to race and eugenics. It also does not imply that we will be better off if every parent can make their children blue, purple or whatever according to their fancy.

CRISPR is exciting technology. Without constraining foundational research, its social applications must be severely constrained.

Almost everything in this post is completely wrong. Congrats.

If you can't point out what's wrong, then you're probably wrong. (Nb4 "I have better things to do than" wah wah wah - if you had better things to do, you wouldn't be here posting.

CRISPR and the like has potential to let us dramatically change humans now. We don't have enough knowledge to know what we're doing though, and people have ethical objections to just trying till we get it right.

But it's only a matter of time before someone tries it.

I was referring to TrollMe's claim that success on tests is mostly related to caring about the test (with the implication that raw intelligence plays a minor role) and his claim that East Asians are a high scoring ethnic group thanks to their tutors (with the implication that intelligence is taught and not innate).

Both those statements are empirically, 100% false. TrollMe is a well known blank slate behavioralist around these parts though


I theorize that 15 years of several hours additional daily study will affect average results on tests after those 15 years.

I also theorize that people who are not trained in the art of caring about tests that have no impact on their life will not try very hard on a test that has no impact on their life.

Has anyone tested your theories? My suspicion is yes, but you do not care and do not want to know whether they are true or not

Well, I've never tried the 15 years of continuous extracurricular study time approach.

But I do recall observing a fairly substantial change from one year to the next, after starting to try in school.

In my opinion, and now I understand that this is purely anecdotal and not scientific, it is very reasonable for me to conclude, on the basis of this personal experience of more study = higher test marks, will be true for most people.

Of course, the IQ test is different. It only measures a very limited number of things. But I also theorize that having seen many similar questions on many previous tests will make it easier to answer questions, as compared to people who have never seen such questions before, or at least not with such regularity (perhaps due to doing less homework).

Their IQs are not different enough from Europeans to matter, and anyway they have very high rates of inter-marriage with Europeans.

Why is it that whenever one walks into a casino he sees many wealthy, productive, entrepreneurial Asians with superior IQs losing their money at black jack, video poker and slot machines?

A) There are many Asians who are none of those things B) Some people like to gamble

Why is it you always see people wasting their time and money playing video games or watching movies?

There's no evidence that importing new people has any benefit. A century ago it could be argued that the nation had a dire need for people as it was mostly empty and industry was booming. Today, there's no economic argument to make and the people being imported are terrible.

The fact is, the immigration craze is just a way for guilty white liberals like Tyler to hate black people without being obvious about it. They can ethnically cleanse the parts of the city they wish to reclaim by first bringing in Latins and their gangs to chase out my people. Then they raise rents to push the Latins out and you have a hipsterville.

Neither the government nor proponents of liberty are telling people where they may or may not live when the come. Maybe a few pointers so they at least know how to find a place, some basics about the rules, perhaps, but you present it as a grand conspiracy.

The problem with Latin gangs is stupid laws that create turf to fight over, not proponents of liberty who don't mind competition with immigrants.

We know you hate dark people no need to put it in neon like this.

Sam on the other hand just loves him those dark people.

I theorize that dark people do not fight over turf when there is no turf to fight over. Much like non-dark people.

Free markets are so much easier.

I have met lots of recent immigrants and I am pretty happy with the ones that I know!

By leaving out the Latinos, he assumes away most of the problem.

Moreover, his focusing on the rest should then make us ask about subgroups that do not properly assimilate: some Muslims, lots of Africans, etc..? It might be more accurate to say that most Asians, Europeans, and some others assimilate well and add to the net value of the US. But the bulk of the others -- mostly from Latin America -- and those like the lower end Middle Easterners that Europe attracts do not.

What does it say about a policy that is biased towards the worst assimilators?

From where I sit I honestly see no difference in IQ between Latinos and whites. I have numerous co-workers with Spanish surnames like Alvarez, Saca, Guiterrez, Solarzano. These are all people with engineering degrees, so they aren't dumb. They are also all so assimilated that nobody even thinks of them as "Latino". Even though they have accents! Okay one of them is into soccer, but nobody cares, as a lot of white hipster dudes are into world cup soccer these days.
Other than the fact that working class Hispanics speak Spanish and listen to various types of Latino music, I have trouble telling what the huge cultural difference is supposed to be. They all like sports, drink beer, and drive pickup trucks. Maybe the Latino guys are bit more macho, but it's not like white working class guys aren't. They're like the fans of two opposing sports teams. Your team bad, my team good, but really they're both drunk and covered in face paint.

This is a low IQ argument: "latino and white engineers have the same IQ, therefore latinos and whites have the same IQ"

Well Hazel, here are the 2012 PISA Reading, Science, Math, and Mean scores by ethnicity for Americans:

Reading Science Math Mean
Asian Americans 550 546 549 548
White Americans 519 528 506 518
Hispanic Americans 478 462 455 465
African Americans 443 439 421 434

You will notice the Hispanic American lower PISA mean of 465 unfortunately results in the average American Hispanic student at 18 years old having the academic capability of a White middle schooler. This lower score also reflects the estimate that California’s state IQ hovers around 94.

A lot of this can be attributed to poverty or working class environments and language barriers. Public schools quality in the US varies by the economic status of the neighborhood. Hispanics live in poorer neighborhoods and thus tend to go to worse schools.

You are partially correct that by leaving out the Latinos, he assumes away most of the problem.

Except he then claims >Often, the real impact of immigration is not on wages or electoral outcomes, but it is the assimilation burdens placed on some of the longer-standing traditional natives of the home country.

What are those assimilation burdens? Here in Texas almost half the billboards are in Spanish. About 1/3 of broadcasts are in Spanish. I receive junk mail in Spanish. It is difficult to get a job if you do not speak Spanish. I have worked for a multinational corporation with numerous immigrants from a multitude of other countries, including Latinos who have learned English. I have never had any assimilation burden associated with any of them. I am not disparaging Latinos by any means, many of them are highly intelligent and well-educated but there is a flood of uneducated ones which hes asks us to put aside so he can shift the fault to longer-standing traditional natives unable to adjust to the changes they have created. Second and especially third generation Latinos usually have assimilated much better by learning English and rarely present a problem. I believe the real difficulty arises from the fact that the rate of immigration is at an unprecedented rate. See if you have any doubt.

>Often, the real impact of immigration is not on wages or electoral outcomes, but it is the assimilation burdens placed on some of the longer-standing traditional natives of the home country. And the more productive and successful the immigrants are, the more serious these problems may become.

Really? Because aside from a few stories about white flight from Asian schools and gripes about buying up the urban housing stock, I don't hear too many people complaining about the burden of Chinese or Indian immigrants. And while the Jewish immigrant experience wasn't completely smooth, the rocky parts weren't about Americans feeling a "burden."

I think if we didn't have an enormous, low performing immigrant block in the United States, our attitudes would be closer to Canada's.

Steve Bannon complained about too many Indian CEOs in Silicon Valley (even though there aren't really that many.)

A casual browsing of any alt-right website from the most respectable to the most disreputable will reveal that they dislike the fact that people not of European descent have been allowed to immigrate to America. More ire is typically directed at the 1965 Immigration Act than the lack of a wall on the southern border. Focusing on illegal immigration is, to them, a red herring.

Chain immigration rather than skills based laws aren't in the best interest of the country. The immigrant gets to reunite with his or her family, but we don't necessarily get more people who will contribute. I think the majority of deplorables (rather than Bannon or the weird guys who hang out on 4chan) find Indian CEOs less offensive than large families reuniting because one of them won a visa lottery a while back, or Colombians overstaying their visas.

So, you want your American born children to do stoop labor in the fields or care for children or the elderly or clean toilets while immigrants supervise them and employ them because they have the skills while native born people do not, to save the cost of educating native born US citizens?

"So, you want your American born children to do stoop labor in the fields or care for children or the elderly or clean toilets "

I'd rather my kids clean their own toilets versus importing an immigrant too do it for them. And maybe my kids will be bright enough to design a robot to economically clean toilets.

Is there evidence that "chain immigration" isn't good for the country? Because personally, if I had to choose between admitting an immigrant who has some a skill that's in slightly short supply and an immigrant who has ties to American citizens or permanent residents, I'd say the family member is more likely to assimilate and become a peaceful, loyal American. Other countries have skill-based immigration systems, but other countries also have high and escalating ethnic tensions, while immigration tensions in America seem to be a lot more one-sided.

One-sided how? Are you talking about Canada and Australia?

Kris: "Steve Bannon complained about too many Indian CEOs in Silicon Valley". Source?

That comment doesn't support your point. Bannon doesn't appear to be making a racist comment. He appears to be rebutting the argument that the US forces too many skilled training to leave.

This looks like some classic Fake News, where his comment is taken out of context.

@JWatts I think the intention is pretty clear he means we don't want 2/3 of Silicon Valley CEOs to be asian. After Trump said we have to keep talented people in the country, he then asked Bannon "I think you agree with that, do you agree?" And Bannon responded "When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think...A country is more than an economy. We're a civic society."

What do you think his final thought that our country "is more than an economy" and we're a "civic society" means if not that it's not all about keeping talented people here, we need to keep our (white) identity too? Genuinely asking for an alternative reading that I don't see right now but am open to.

Yeah, I agree the closing sentence does cast ambiguity on it.

An alternate reading is that our education system is failing our citizens if we consistently depend on foreign talent to make up for the lack of skills and inventiveness our education system is supposed to be delivering among our own citizens. If America is a corporation, focused on its bottom line (or our "economy"), then hiring the best talent -- even (especially?) at the expense of the current workforce -- is sound policy. If it is more than that -- a "civic society" -- that policy might not be so good.

A lot of fashionable people have had a lot of fun these last few months pretending Trump is Hitler and they're the good guys, so if that's you, I can see wanting to read a racist motivation in Bannon's utterance. Otherwise, I see nothing objectionable about saying America should focus on doing better for Americans.

I guess my question then is, if 2/3 of the Silicon Valley CEOs were Asian-Americans, do you think Bannon would have zero problem with that?

You can lump me in with the left wing crazies all you want, but maybe, just maybe, it's not that outrageous to think the former editor of Breitbart favors white people a little bit more than non-white people, and therefore his Silicon Valley statement isn't as much about Americans vs. non-Americans but about the lack of *white* Americans in Silicon Valley (which also, by the way, is completely laughable, as is his 2/3 comment to begin with).

I am not sure I agree with you, but a more Canadian-like approach would certainly give us richer immigrants, if that is your goal.

More importantly, do you really think that the US immigration system that allowed your Jewish ancestors to come here was created primarily because policy makers thought it was best for Americans already here? Don't you think our policy should also weigh heavily the extent to which it can provide opportunity to immigrants themselves? Marginally improving the life of an educated Indian tech worker is very different than giving people with virtually no opportunities in their home countries the chance to work and dramatically improve their standard of living. Both of these groups can do things like become business owners, and their families will assimilate within a generation.

"Don’t you think our policy should also weigh heavily the extent to which it can provide opportunity to immigrants themselves? "

Why should it?

It is in part a moral obligation. Most of us get to live in what many view as the best country in the world simply because we had the luck to be born here. Immigration is a way to extend the opportunity we have been blessed with to some others who were born into much tougher circumstances. We can do this, for some people, without drastically changing the things about this country that make it the place that so many want to live. And, in my view, we can do it in ways that in fact make America a better place.

I recognize some fundamentally disagree with that view.

I actually agree with everything but the first sentence (I am of the Caplanian mind that our moral obligations to strangers don't go very far beyond "do no harm"). The key phrase though is "for some people."

Yeah, and to clarify I was mainly referring to the moral obligation issue when I said I know some fundamentally disagree.

Certainly "for some people" is where it gets tricky. While I do think that completely open borders would really change this country, and probably not for the better, there is plenty of room for reasonable disagreement about how many people a country of 320 million can help, through immigration, without creating significant problems for us lucky Americans.

Does luck really have anything to do with it? My parents were Americans so I am an American also. If you don't want your child to be born outside of America then don't have kids outside America, right? I'm not sure where luck enters the picture.

This is literally the stupidest thing I've read on here today. Congratulations.

Does "stupid" mean that you can't understand it? If you can articulate to me in what way I am "lucky" to be an American let me know.

I'm glad you had the foresight and work ethic to make sure you were born in America, Cliff. You deserve it.

What does desert have to do with it? My parents are Americans and therefore so am I. Where is the luck? Could I have gotten unlucky and been born an Australian?

It is gauche and coarse and rude to speak in these terms, but yes, a certain "class" of immigrant is what we want. Unfortunately the Dems want voters, and until recently the Republicans wanted nannies and short order cooks.

It shouldn't be gauche or rude. The bad consequences of Sweden's approach couldn't be more clear.

Seconded. I want to hear what specific changes to the culture Tyler attributes to immigration and why natives are having difficulty adapting. The vague generalities discussed here just don't ring true to my ear.

My understanding is that it is not specific new changes from immigrants, but an acceleration of typical technological and cultural evolution given that immigrants increase the country's average rate of adaptation and thus the rate of change. It is possible that immigrants lead to increased preferences for diversity among the cosmopolitan.

"typical technological and cultural evolution" being what?

So basically white people are mad because it's cool to eat quinoa and Sushi and there are Thai restaurants opening everywhere. Too much diversity! Cosmos!
Why ain't hamburgers and soda-pop cool no more? bring back the 50s!

No, low skilled whites are mad because illegal immigration has significantly increased the pool of workers and depressed their wages. People do tend to get mad when others break the law and then cause them economic hardship.

I was making a joke. I'm just following the logic of the whole cultural assimilation thing.
I agree that it's ALL about competition for jobs.

The funny thing is that the arguments about cultural swamping and such, which are championed by the alt-right, are way more racist than the truth, but nobody wants to admit the truth.

You may have been joking, but yes, this is certainly a view I have heard from many folks in my hometown. Hell I've heard it from 40-something Dallas suburbanites

Canada has classes of visas which enable repeated temporary migration, which enables the workers to easily return to their families for extended periods of time with little or no concern about whether they will be able to return.

That is the reason that Canada does not have problems with less educated labourers ending up staying in the way that they do in the USA.

I.e., if it were easier to come, it would be easier to go. Because you could come back.

The visas are often for about 6 months (agricultural season) and can be easily accessed again the following year, especially once an employer has a known quantity that they are satisfied with.

The US also has a guest worker program like this...

There are two low-skilled guest worker programs in the US:

H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers: About 90,000 in 2014.
H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers: The H-2B cap is 66,000 per fiscal year.

Half a million a year with ten times smaller population.

Kinda makes it hard to find summer work on farms though. Bloody immigrants are too hard working.

Wouldn't brining in smarter, richer immigrants mean MORE competition for US workers not less?
The working class white guys might have to worry less about competing with Hispanics for construction jobs, but the white-collar white guys would have to worry more about competing with Asians for Engineering jobs. So that means.... whites move down to working class jobs while high-earning STEM jobs are occupied by immigrants. How is that going to make whites feel?

Lump of labor fallacy.

If you bring in predominately low-skill immigrants, it will tend to reduce the real wages of low-skill native workers but increase the real wages of high-skill native workers. If you bring in predominately high-skill immigrants, it will tend to reduce the real wages of high-skill native workers but increase the real wages of low-skill native workers.

Productive people create more jobs thank less productive people

> I mean the Russians, the Iranians, the Chinese, the Indians, and many others, including most of the Muslim immigrants.

All of these immigrant groups probably have at least 115 mean IQ. Even Muslim-American immigrants, who are archetypically Pakistani radiologists. It's a very different demographic than the typical low-skilled North African Muslim immigrant to France.

It's no surprise that high IQ people integrate well. They can learn the language, culture and customs at a much faster rate. They exercise better judgement, particularly in unfamiliar settings. High IQ is associated with personality traits of social conformity. It's also associated with low-criminality, stable facilities, and a whole litany of social pathologies, or lack thereof. The post-industrial West in general is a civilization primarily structured to accommodate the right-end of the bell curve.

Here's a simple prediction. Once you control for IQ, all non-Western immigrants assimilate at roughly the same rate. The difference between Chinese-Americans and Latino-Americans, is primarily that the former is over one standard deviation more intelligent on average.

'All of these immigrant groups probably have at least 115 mean IQ.'

Come now, let us be a bit more precise in our terminology. There is no such thing as 'Iranians' when using your framework. 'The CIA's World Factbook has estimated that around 79% of the population of Iran are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages,[299] with Persians (incl. Mazenderanis and Gilaks) constituting 61% of the population, Kurds 10%, Lurs 6%, and Balochs 2%. Peoples of the other ethno-linguistic groups make up the remaining 21%, with Azerbaijanis constituting 16%, Arabs 2%, Turkmens and Turkic tribes 2%, and others 1% (such as Armenians, Talysh, Georgians, Circassians, Assyrians).[300]

The Library of Congress issued slightly different estimates: Persians 65% (incl. Mazenderanis, Gilaks and Talysh people), Azerbaijanis 16%, Kurds 7%, Lurs 6%, Baluchi 2%; Turkic tribal groups such as Qashqai 1%, and Turkmens 1%; and non-Iranian, non-Turkic groups such as Armenians, Georgians, Assyrians, Circassians, and Arabs less than 3%. It determined that Persian is the first language of at least 65% of the country's population, and is the second language for most of the remaining 35%'

Not to mention that not everyone from China is Han Chinese. And of course, Russia comprises a number of ethnic groups, as does India.

You make racists look bad when being so sloppy. Particularly by demonstrating how meaningless such classifications actually are.

"There is no such thing as ‘Iranians’ when using your framework."

But there us a group called Iranian-Americans. And this group is certainly 115+. Not because they're representatives of some supehuman foreign race, but because they're highly selected.

'a group called Iranian-Americans'

The Armenians born in Iran and who came to the West after the rise of the Islamic Republic would dispute, quite vehemently, that they are 'Iranian' anything. The Assyrian I knew, a refugee from the Iran-Iraq War, would have joined in.

Somehow, I think the complexity of Iran is not captured in some distinctly inaccurate classification of the American government. Admittedly, the Persians I have known do definitely consider themselves Iranian, too. But the flow of people from Iran to the West since the rise of opposition to the Shah through the rise of the Islamic Republic, especially those considered to be refugees, is considerably less straightforward than the term 'Iranian' can easily encompass.

I doubt they are smarter than native born, but they have the perseverance to navigate the increasingly complex US immigration system, whether legally or not.

If they can jump through all the hoops to get into the US, raising money in compliance with all the regulations and starting new automaker or becoming a US rocket services contractor for the US government is child's play.

Meanwhile, native born US citizens expect getting money to start a business that makes them billionaires to be as easy as being born.

That's why Elon Musk has started a car company, rocket company, both involving massive government regulation requirements, as well as being a huge energy capital asset construction contractor operating in many government jurisdictions. Immigration was just a filter selecting people good at overcoming government regulation.

Your native-born citizen plan worked for our president.

And Obama would be the counterfactual. Hey, someone had to go there!

I have to admit it does require one to be excellent at filling out forms.

And if you control for IQ, low IQ Western immigrants also fail to assimilate, as demonstrated by Irish Americans in Charlestown and South Boston. Or Portuguese Americans in general.

Come now, you have left out the those papist fellow travellers of the Irish, the Italians. Who, if American popular culture is to be believed, have a true passion for crime.

Please go to Sicily and report back to me

On the little planet that is the Marginal Revolution commentariat the most important feature of a group is collective intelligence, imaginary as it might be, since there is only individual intelligence, if that. Nevertheless, ethnicities are deemed to have attributes and defects that run through them and that determine their "desirability". The concept of race and all that goes along with it has been transformed on Planet Marginal Revolution to an even more bogus one, collective intelligence, where those that are supposedly more intelligent as a group are better people than their duller peers and more worthy to pay rent and buy groceries in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Thus the MR commentariat sees the US of A as ideally an island of happy, productive consumers in an ocean of stupid, miserable, uncouth, probably unclean, genetic defectives.

There is something paradoxical about their hybrid of egalitarianism and brutal Darwinism (or a misreading of him, probably). Whatever it is, it's a new thing under the sun. "Revolution" is at least honest.

If your proposal is to use an IQ test to let in individual immigrants above a threshold, I can agree to that

Or below a threshold. I want immigrants who are dumber than me so I can lord it over them. How is one supposed to afford a ladies maid if all our immigrants are doctoral candidates?

Doug is arguing that you are taking a subset of these ethnic populations that happen to have a high IQ, not that the populations have different underlying IQs.


I'm confused as to why you're slagging on the intellect of Latinos, and how it affects their ability to assimilate. The point Cowen was making was that Latinos, *as well as* "the Russians, the Iranians, the Chinese, the Indians, and many others, including most of the Muslim immigrants," all assimilate just fine. That's in contrast to native born Americans who find themselves surrounded by a fast-changing world, and rather than assimilating to the new environment, "(m)any complain, others settle into niches of failure or mediocre careers." It's native-born Americans, not Latinos, who are having a tough time assimilating.

Now, if you want to rank the relative intellects of native-born Americans to Latinos and discuss how it affects their relative abilities to assimilate, let me make some popcorn.

This is sociopathic autism at its finest. You don't get to come into someone's home and force alien mores on them and then complain they don't assimilate. This is analogous to criticizing a kidnapee for not assimilating to the situation as fast as a kidnapper.

I'm'a start band called Sociopathic Autism.

The only thing I was critiquing was Doug and his tortured reading of Cowen's post.

If you think what America is currently experiencing, a population that is 13% foreign-born, is analogous to kidnapping, you should talk to an actual kidnapping victim. Or better yet, drive out to the reservations and talk to the folks there. I'm sure the average Native American would've been thrilled if the Pilgrims had mostly done the crap jobs, committed crimes at a lower rate than the natives, and within three generations had largely forsaken their mother tongues and learned the local language.

Wait, wait, wait. Committed crimes at a lower rate than the natives? Every illegal immigrant is a criminal, right?

Well, if you define the Spanish-speaking bario to be a state of assimilation, and those pesky hu-white English-speakers to be non-assimilated, than yes, you're right. But to do so is inane. The Straussian point Tyler is making is that the cultural marxists in fact do think like that, the immigrants are more "American" than their fellow American deplorables.

Forget it Scott. It's MR.

...I come back to the comments every few weeks/months hoping that the "race realists" will be gone, but usually there are more of them instead.

Facts are stubborn things

There is no need for any "race realism" in what Doug is arguing. You can believe that every race and ethnic group, looked at as a whole, has the same average IQ and the same IQ distribution. But if you take just the high IQ members of one ethnic group and compare them to the entirety of another ethnic group and the lower end of yet another ethnic group, you are going to get different results that are driven by the intelligence of the group and subgroups you selected, rather than by anything about the ethnicities involved.

Agreed. There's a lot of talking past each other.

Funny thing. Well educated people with lots of experience taking tests tend to do well on tests, especially compared to groups with little education and little experience taking tests.

Honestly, I think it's pretty OK to admit that we'd rather the immigrants with education and experience following various specific types of instructions.

But I find it offensive to make it a matter of "IQ", because this lends itself too easily towards the direction of dehumanizaing differentiation with a potential towards eugenicist and/or Nazi-like outlooks.

But, yeah, duh, we're not looking for lemons.

Enough lemonade already. Sugar is not in unlimited supply ...

I'm sure no one has ever studied whether experience with test taking affects IQ scores

It's kind of obvious, but I guess obvious things are not often prioritized for being verified.

Most of the questions on intelligence tests are very similar to what you see in math texts in middle school or high school. So you'll get false positives relating to having seen basically similar questions before, which is different from the question of being at ease with test taking in general.

What's kind of obvious is that you are spouting off about things you know nothing about.

You are wrong.

Section 1: Classification skills

Section 2: Vocabulary skills

Section 3: Maths and basic logic problems

Section 4: Mathematical rotations and visual pattern recognitions

Which of these do not appear in middle school and high school texts?

TrollMe is the type of person who would rather the truth not be mentioned at all if it has a chance of bearing negative consequences. Stalin would be proud of this comrade

Says the guy who thinks intelligence can be summarized completely with a test which views abstract thought as mathematical rotations and certain types of visual pattern recognition.

What do you think a kind of a foreign nation would express to a freely disloyal servent about this kind of situation, upon finding that the test was biased against their preferred modes of thinking?

I'm much more open to ideas like "in principle there is this notion of intelligence, and there are even some ways to measure it" as compared to "here's a test that summarizes all, and only, intellgence-related aspects of an individual".

I have two problems with the IQ test. 1) It doesn't measure a ridiculous number of relevant things, and 2) People who obsess over it usually are focused on the ability to use this indicator as a justification for believing that black people are inherently inferior.

If the objective were instead, say, to find genetic differences in learning styles which are common across ethnic groups, with the objective to develop better educational materials ... that would just be so different than the story always ending up with some variant of "actually, I hold grievances against black people".

High IQ is associated with personality traits of social conformity.

Not in my experience.

Nerds are by definition non-conformists because they are too socially inept to even understand what they are supposed to conform to. Nevermind that to a serious minded person who has strong narrow interests in scientific fields, all of that social stuff is frivilous anyway. In other words, why the hell would I waste mental energy attempting to figure out what the fuck is in fashion on any given day and conform to it? Why shouldn't I wear ten-years-out-of-date fashions and sandals around the office? Why do I have to comb my hair and put on make up. I should be able to wake up and go to work in my bathrobe and slippers.

This is why most of my co-workers are dressed in wrinkly dockers and old T-shirts.

Well your "experience" flies in the face of mountains of emperical research. Recommend reading Hive Mind by Garett Jones

I think she's referring to engineers, not intelligent people generally.

Most smart people aren't nerds, though nerds would like to think of they are as a way of excusing their shortcomings. Your average smart person is more socially attuned, not less. A BIGLAW partner has a high IQ, and you wouldn't call them socially maladroit. You need to argue in front of courtrooms and manage clients.

Socially clueless nerds are highly visible because they stick out, not because most smart people are like that.

I wouldn't use BigLaw partners as an example. Attaining a partnership in that environment requires building relationships with partners who will act as your patron, and most associates fail at that. Also, that's a line of work that requires verbal agility. I do encounter lawyers who just do not do numbers. At all.

There's a lot of politics on college faculties - and quite a mess of people who are arrested development cases or just plain crazy.

Or maybe smart people tend to focus their brain power on the things that are important to them. If you're into science, that's a field where you don't have to spend a lot of time dealing with clients or arguing in front of people. You might need good writing skills to produce papers, but not THAT good (reading difficult papers is a skill demanded of the reader, generally), but you don't have to look presentable 90% of the time. But if you are a lawyer, appearance and social intuition matter a lot.

However, I do think in general that really smart people are more likely to flout social conventions especially when those conventions are arbitrary or irrational, which they often are. And non-conformists are more likely to produce revolutions in their fields because they are willing to challenge the dominant paradigms. Even a brilliant lawyer can make the biggest impact by being willing to take on clients that nobody else wants to defend, and challenge the law on issues where popular opinion is against him. The smartest people almost can't help themselves - they'll see the arbitrary and and the irrational in society, and they won't be able to knuckle under to it.

when those conventions are arbitrary or irrational, which they often are.

That you're too indolent and incurious to understand a convention and too arrogant to respect your ancestors to that degree does not discredit the convention.

Oh so mean there's something really wrong with eating with the wrong fork or wearing white shoes after labor day, I'm just too stupid to understand it?

Did your mother slap you when you did that?

Nope, I'm just providing an example of an arbitrary and irrational social norm. Religion is another one. Most of the scientifically literate people I know are atheists. Going to church on sunday is socially conformist, and yet intelligent people tend not to do it. For some reason.
Intelligent people everywhere question norms. They do not blindly follow them.

Nope, I’m just providing an example of an arbitrary and irrational social norm. Religion is another one.

You're in a hole. Quit digging.

Oh, you're mad that implied that religious people aren't smart? I weep for you, snowflake.

Oh, you’re mad that implied that religious people aren’t smart? I

No, I'm irritated with your serial displays of blockheadedness bathed in unearned self-confidence in your own astuteness.

My understanding (admittedly an "amateur generalist" understanding) is that the relationship between IQ and social conformity is curvilinear. So a lot rides on what one means by "high" IQ. I submit it's very different for groups (115 was kicked around above, and I'd consider that quite high for a population average) vs. individuals (115 is probably in the "fairly bright grinders can do quite well" category).

I would consider "high" IQ to be 130+, personally. It's possible that a typical 115 IQ person is quite conformist. But I would not say that social conformity goes with average intelligence, but that basic life competency goes with average intelligence. The 115 IQ person is probably capable of getting out of bed in the morning, showing up on time, and not being wasted when they get there. Also paying the bills, living on a budget, and doing the laundry. A lot of below average IQ people can't manage those things.

Only around 16% of the population would be 115 IQ or higher.

But "fairly bright grinders can do quite well" seems about right. They are not going to coast through life or into a high position, at least based on their intellect alone.

There is no chance any ethnic group in the US has average IQ of 115. You're wildly underestimating what that would mean.

Not my subject, but if I'm not mistaken that is the median among Ashkenazic Jews.

"There is no chance any ethnic group in the US has average IQ of 115. You’re wildly underestimating what that would mean."

You didn't comprehend what he wrote. He didn't say a given ethnic group has an average IQ of 115, he was saying a subset of high skilled immigrants do.

Odds are the average American working in Saudi Arabia has an IQ of 115 also.

Tyler, where is this "the Will Wilkinson-Brink Lindsey Cato liberaltarian group" hosted at? I'd like to join, and I'm sure others as well.

Asking immigrants to assimilate is xenophobic, racist, and white supremacist, but demanding "fly-over states" assimilate is a-okay. Hey, you can't be racist or xenophobic to white people!l because they have all the power, specifically, the white people in power are xenophobic of the white people not in power.

SSC on the issue: "Our society is generally in favor of small, far-away, or exotic groups trying to maintain their culture. We think it’s great that the Hopi are trying to get the next generation to participate in the traditional dances. We support the Tibetans’ attempt to maintain their culture in the face of pressure from China. We promote black culture, gay culture, et cetera. We think of it as a tragedy when the dominant culture manages to take over and destroy one of these smaller cultures.
This is true in every case except with the cultures we consider our outgroups – in the US, white Southern fundamentalist Christian Republicans; in the UK, white rural working-class leave voters. In both cases, their ignorance is treated as worthy of mockery, their religion is treated as stupidity and failure to understand science, their poverty makes them “trailer trash”, their rejection of economic-growth-at-all-costs means they are too stupid to understand the stakes, and their desire to protect their obviously inferior culture makes them xenophobic and racist. "

“Our society is generally in favor of small, far-away, or exotic groups trying to maintain their culture"--this is only true up until a point, when those cultures are violating our own personal norms. There is outrage against female circumcisions, child marriages, etc. I don't think its unfair to say the same applies to other Americans. I won't get upset because of someones religion, however, if your religion is preventing you from getting vaccinated that's a different story.

Anti-vaccination in the US is driven almost entirely by Latino lack of conscientiousness and SWPL signaling.

I mean, sure, but the barely-disguised disgust people have of "backwards" WWC US culture has little to do with public health (is rural America even worse than California wrt vaccinations?) or human rights offenses. It takes on a moralistic tone that goes above and beyond what would be appropriate for a non-outgroup.

We see alcoholism, addiction, poverty, etc. on Native American reservations and our reaction is sympathy, not to morally shame them for tolerating mediocrity or failing to assimilate into modern society. The adversity their culture faced in the past was much more overt than what WWC are facing today, but how much does that matter from the perspective of the individuals that comprise these statistics? It's still two people looking out at the world and deciding to hit the bottle (of pills) rather than confront it, but in one case it's a tragedy and in the other case it's low-human-capital mediocrities who are failing the rest of the nation.

Economic, political, cultural, and technological changes have left a large group

Yes, vaccinations are not so much an issue in rural america. I just wanted to use an example we can all (or almost all) agree violates social norms. I don't think rural america is looked down on strictly for alcoholism, addiction, poverty by most (perhaps poverty to a degree). If your neighbor was an alcoholic or addicted to pills would you look down on them for it? If no, then those traits don't violate your norms. I'm not saying its fair, but middle america is looked down on for violating our social norms, proper english being the main one that comes to mind, but a whole host of other ones such as poverty can be lumped in as well. When you're evaluating an "exotic group" its much harder for your norms to apply in an entirely different context.

I guess my point is we are largely indifferent to other cultures unless they violate our norms. I for one don't care that middle america seems to love nascar since nothing about it violates my norms.

People HATE nascar

I went to a weekend of racing once, with a NASCAR race the main event. Drank a lot, saw some cars crash, saw some exposed breasts. All told, an enjoyable experience.

Watching on TV though? Just show me the crashes.

Fly-over staters need to assimilate to reality. Their current culture of opioids, alcohol, rising divorce, lack of faith, lack of college degree, and frankly lack of future is a culture of death that no one should assimilate to. A Muslim Pakistani radiologist is worth more to America than a drugged out, unemployed white West Virginian whose job could easily be done by someone with IQ of 80. Its not hard to dig a hole folks. Watch less Duck Dynasty read more books. Stop using the government to take from my wallet to pay for your walls, tariffs, and oxycontin.

One big way that West Virginians and blue collar Great Lakes Americans assimilated into a higher standard of living in, say, 1959 was to move to California. Even the threat of moving to California encouraged back home employers to pay better.

Read Robert Putnam's "Our Kids" about how he went to his 50th high school reunion in 2009 in a small industrial city in Ohio and his classmates did so much better in life than recent graduates of his high school.

One reason why raising a family is more of a Social Darwinian ordeal today seems not to have occurred to either Putnam or Murray: America has become simply a much more crowded and thus expensive country. The 1960 Census found the population was 181 million, compared to 321 million today. Some of the growth has been due to the Baby Boom that went on through 1964, but much has been due to the revival of mass immigration by Congress starting in 1965 after four decades of restraint, a subject that neither Putnam nor Murray discuss.

One advantage that Midwestern kids of the Putnam / Murray generation had over today’s Midwesterners is that they could easily afford to move to California. Back in 1960, when only 16 million people lived in the Golden State, compared to 39 million today, new freeways were bringing cheap suburban land within reasonable commuting range of decent paying factory and office jobs. The California magnet also benefited stay-at-homes by driving up the wages Midwestern employers had to pay to keep their workers from decamping for the West Coast.

seems like a leap to suggest increased immigration is responsible for increased housing prices. I can think of a whole host of other reasons--increased regulation, dual working spouses, etc. Of course its probably due to a myriad of reasons

with population growth, houses that are closer to desirable areas become more expensive. without it, new families can effectively move into old houses at the rate that they become empty.

Imagine that the population of the U.S. were 250 million instead of 320 million. It would seem that there would be a lot less need for housing, and given how slowly supply of housing has grown in the past few decades (especially in the Northeast and California) it would seem that housing would be much more affordable. That is to say, fewer people means less demand, and given how inelastic housing supply is in the country, less demand means lower rents and lower prices.

with population growth *all else equal* it would be more expensive. But cities have gotten denser over the past decades as well, so I don't necessarily by this. As to the inelastic housing supply part--I'd ask you why its inelastic? Could regulations have anything to do with it? Theres plenty of areas in the country where its not that difficult to build more and consequently prices aren't that high

So far, no one has come up with a politically viable way to do away with regulations (zoning, environmental impact studies, etc.) that make housing supply inelastic in the most economically dynamic metros in the U.S. So, given that no one knows how to break the political logjam and actually expand the supply of housing in the dynamic U.S. metros, immigration does contribute to rising prices by increasing demand, because no one is going to be building more homes whether or not the immigrants come.

Still easy & cheap to move to the high growth sunbelt of TX and AZ. And that shows in the pop growth stats.

reminds me of the saying when I was in school in the midwest; when the okies moved to California it raised the intellegence of both states.

Clown nose on or off?

The fact you would never say this about a black person dekmstrstes that you are a dickless bully.

"The Harsh Truth - Fly-over staters need to assimilate to reality. Their current culture of opioids, alcohol, rising divorce, lack of faith, lack of college degree, and frankly lack of future is a culture of death that no one should assimilate to."

That's classic bigotry/racism on display.

If you're asking them to adopt your xenophobic ways, that's a problem.

But at least, please, try "speak English" as better than "speak American", and maybe add a "please" or "do you mind", and simply explain that it makes you feel uncomfortable or something.

Apologies for the elitist imperialism to demand (politely request, in fact) your assimilation in such regards as a more constructive face forward in promoting those aspects of traditional culture and its ongoing manifestations which are worth holding on to.

Your criticism implies that any complaint of your extremes in demanding comformity (OK, be honest, you just don't like brown people, but then there's all that cultural difference you'd rather not have to face up to either) is then some inreasonable request.

By so unreasonably portraying the situation, you cut off most potential for anything constructive to arise in the direction that you want.

Are you not implying that you would prefer a situation where you can make more forthright requests about the types of integration you might suggest? Like ... I don't think asking them to bleach their skin or genetically engineer out the black is going to get very far. But mabye insisting on some basic principles relating to freedoms, human rights, etc.?

Thanks champ. That'd be great. I know you can't bear to budge an inch. It would be weak.

Haha. I was just pointing out the bigotry and hypocrisy of the left. The key is that the lefts hatred of the white working class demonstrates that there is no principled opposition to xenophobia on the left, meaning these Machiavellian political maneuvers are nothing more than political warfare in pursuit of wealth and political control.

Here's how I know that racists are actually impacted by calling spades spades, for eample calling bigots bigots and racists racists.

You love to throw the words back at people in ways that are calcualted to have irritating effect.

I'd have to search for the links but haven't studies found that Hispanic immigrants experience downward assimilation, in that their subsequent generations get worse in terms of income, education and crime?

In other words, they assimilate fine but do so with the American underclass.

I recall reading a few articles with similar findings for African immigrants but can't readily find them on Google. This article seems to contradict the articles I remember reading: But this Pew article says second-generation crime rates virtually match native-born crime rates: I thought the general consensus was that second- and third-generation immigrants assimilate into established, native racial groups (Africans will converge with African-Americans, Mexicans with Mexican-Americans, etc). But maybe that's not the case. I can't find the specific articles I remember reading but Google offers scores of articles supporting both sides.

This Pew research found that foreign-born blacks, especially those from Africa, do better than native-born blacks on most measures.

That's first generation, right?

The UCLA Chicano Studies Department published a big study of 2nd through 5th generation Mexican Americans in 2008, "Generations of Exclusion." There was a lot of progress from the first to the second generation, but not much after that:

A lot of influential people a couple of decades ago thought the Mexicans were going to be like the Italians and continue to progress in the 3rd and 4th generations (e.g., 17 of the Forbes 400 billionaires have Italian surnames, last I checked). But that seemed more plausible from the perspective of, say, theorists in Fairfax County or Westchester County than from the perspective of Los Angeles County, where Mexicans weren't a novelty.

I wonder how much of it is the fact that many Italian Americans are concentrated in areas like New York, with good education, high upward mobility and access to big money industries such as finance.

Ah yes, Magic Dirt Theory™

Control for race/ethnicity/whatever and then compare average incomes, educational attainment and upward mobility of people from NYC and people from LA. What do you think we'll find?

I have no idea, Jan.

This is a likely major effect - - "Does It Matter Where You Came From? Ancestry Composition and Economic Performance of U.S. Counties, 1850 - 2010" -

"Perhaps surprisingly, over the broad sweep of US. history since 1850 people from high-income countries tend to live in lower income counties on average ... The pattern is the same for predicted Trust in column 6 of Table A1. This reversal reflects the fact that, on average, since 1870 people with ancestries from rich countries in 1870 have lived in poorer places. Similarly, people from more trusting countries generally live in poorer counties.

What explains this negative correlation, which is the opposite of the usual selection bias in which prosperous areas attract prosperous people? The big driver of the correlation is the historical legacy of settlement, particularly among the English. While the English are a large portion of much of the US, they are highly in rural areas in the poor South and Appalachian states which received little migration after their first settlement. Later migrants, such as the Italians or Irish, while poor when they arrived, went to cities and prosperous areas, especially in the North-East. Finally, the great migration of African American from the South to the northern cities means that for most of our sample periods groups originally from countries with a lower GDP are concentrated in richer counties.

Generally later migration from poorer less trusting country+rich US counties contrasts earlier migration from richer more trusting country+poorer US counties.

Living in a richer county (e.g. African Americans) doesn't necessarily mean you would have a higher income, but it would probably be more likely. Today this may be an even stronger differential than it is comparing Italians vs English when comparing recent migrants vs White natives (since the recent migrants are even more likely to move to the US city that's "hottest" today, not just be living in one which was hot 100 years ago).

Drilling down within natives with mostly British ancestry might give an even more extreme example - Appalachians have ancestry mostly from the English Midland shires and to a lesser extent Southern Germany, which in 1870 would've been richest and earliest industrialising parts of Europe, but they are in the poorest and most isolated parts of the USA today...

California has used to have good education.

Also, remember that the Italians that came to the US were overwhelmingly from the poorer and dare I say dumber southern part of Italy. Think how much higher achieving their descendants would be if they'd come from the smart, successful part of the country.

Interestingly, in the recent study of 770,000 US genomes (, they found 75,859 of their samples fell into a cluster combining ancestry from Ireland with Southern Italy in measures about as equally strong (and with lesser ancestry from across Western Europe) while only 18,261 could trace ancestry almost exclusively from Southern Italy. So there looks like a fairly big potential combination of background (Southern Italian+Irish) in the US population who identify as Italian and who bear Italian surnames.

To this day, it does remain true that for natives considered alone, there is a big gap between Southern Italy and Northern Italy on the PISA scores. The south has similar scores about where Greece and Hungary are - on the low end, but better than the lowest performing Southeastern European nations (Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria) while the north performs similarly to France. A similar thing is true for Spain, but the south has less of a gap (lags less compared to the France-like north).

Still it's difficult to seem sure (or particularly convinced) this has genetic causes when there are other local gaps of greater size that people would not attribute readily to genes though - e.g. Estonia vs Latvia and Lithuania, Slovenia vs Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, and when distribution of PISA native European scores looks to a large extent like a function of urbanisation+distance from Switzerland, with a Northern European Baltic bump.

Give me IQ numbers or no numbers at all!

Hah, if you're looking for those (PISA scores from their data tables converted into an IQ measure to get a feel for what they represent, despite them not actually being IQ), I dumped (almost literally) some in the comments section on Anatoly Karlin's blog a while ago. Try - or or (if you can stand looking through that blog).

Estonians are more genetically similar to Finns than Latvians, no?

Probably to a slight degree, but still pretty similar to Latvians.

I remember those posts in, your analysis came up with too many weird results to be taken seriously.

Ali, I assume you didn't like that some group or other wasn't what you thought it would be. But in any case it a bit much to call it an analysis to take the numbers PISA gave and convert them from one scale to another. There's no math space where it had adjusted any raw position. All position / gap was in PISA's data anyway. So I can only assume what you mean is you don't take PISA seriously....

What about ethnic attrition? That is, I though that there were studies showing that upwardly mobile Mexican-Americans marry non-Hispanic whites, and their kids and grandkids are upper-middle class white people who do not identify as Hispanic? I know some people like that from college and from my alumni network.

Nice post but…

Really, the onus is on the natives of a nation to assimilate into immigrant cultures and values?

I get it---many immigrants work hard for less money. Gee, do you think illegal immigrants, with no voting rights, might be used to undercut native American employees?

Add on: If a nation or region has property zoning and restrictions on new housing stock, can it welcome immigrants?

Should such nations welcome capital inflows into housing markets (due to trade deficits), which push up housing prices?

Widening the aperture on the immigration and trade-deficit questions raises troubling issues….

"Really, the onus is on the natives of a nation to assimilate into immigrant cultures and values?"

No. The onus isn't on natives to assimilate into immigrant cultures. The onus on natives is to assimilate into the present. It's to assimilate into an urban, professional, educated work force rather than lament the loss of the rural, unskilled, high-paying union labor of the past that isn't ever coming back.

Do you really believe the future is an economy of ever more highly educated urban professionals? You don't think the US has... enough?

Do you want to take bets on whether this trend reverses in the next 10-20 years? This is long-term, global phenomenon and there isn't much sign it will stop.

I wouldn't take a bet on it, though I would say the trends I also see a superstar market in professionals (some few capture most of the market) and graduates tending to be increasingly overqualified for their employment.

If postsecondary education is effectively now mandatory though, as I say below, it needs to become mandatory and its institutions to be remodeled along the lines as the current mandatory schooling system is and with what works for public education - publicly funded, unselective intakes, depoliticised (sharp limiting of any "bastions of liberal thought" quality that blocks intake).

Fair enough. Of course higher ed should not be mandatory. And it's not likely to be effectively mandatory any time soon (look at current share of U.S. adults with bachelor's or higher). We will always need plumbers, nannies, soldiers, etc, and they don't need to go to college. In fact, I'm in support of more and easier opportunities to kids to learn trades or gain targeted technical skills without spending four years spending loaned money (Germany, I see you).

"Do you really believe the future is an economy of ever more highly educated urban professionals"

What's the alternative? Ever less educated ones? An end to progress?

I mean, maybe we'll find a way that works well that they don't have to be urban or something. Not really sure what issue you have with the notion of being both urban and educated, as a part of trends of people generally being more urban and more educated.


Rough translation of Tyler's post: Hey, native-borns, suck it up! Get off the couch and opiods and get a job. Any job.

Except for a job in an area that's so effectively been taken over by immigrants that you are effectively barred from entry. But that's okay, you didn't want to do that job, right? Yes, maybe your grandparents or great-grandparents did that job - but you're a completely different animal.

"They don’t become culturally identical to the native-born"

And they don't have to be. But don't the natives and even some immigrants have the right to preserve some of the old-stock culture regarding individualism, freedom, the American Way, etc.?

Look, there are tens if not hundreds of millions of enterprising people around the world who could do well in the U.S. Maybe most of them can become millionaires here. The potential problem is what happens to the baseline U.S. culture, the Anglo-Protestantism that Huntington says makes the U.S. what it is.

America is not all or even mostly about getting rich. I think it is more about the regular person living a decent life. And in the last couple of decades, when tens of millions of fellow Americans of all races are struggling, why not devote as much of our resources to first helping Americans?

The struggling person who might be falling behind economically may still have a greater allegiance to Huntington's values, even if they themselves fail to adhere faithfully to all aspects (who does?), than the successful immigrant. I believe that had the recommendations of the Barbara Jordan commission on immigration from the late 1990s been adopted (Bill Clinton expressed some interest), then we would not be here today. People are asking to be heard and for some additional limits immigration (for example, from 1 million legal immigrants a year to something lower, like 300,000). I believe the average American is open-minded and generous. But keep pushing them, and who knows.

I think that's pretty reasonable in a lot of ways.

But if the focus is to be on cultural preservation, then I don't think it's fair to, say, complain about differential economic or voting weight in places which are too focused on making money to concern themselves with cultural preservation.

In the meantime, one might be surprised to find that those who express less concern about cultural preservation are more occupied with living it. Not fair to direct at most people, but it's like comparing "wah wah wah, cultural loss" while other people are too busy perpetuating it to stop and complain.

(Minus the racism, homophobia, and get-in-the-kitchen-bitch sorts of attitudes ... maybe these people are less busy preserving those cultural aspects)

'on a given day, could you tell which of the writers of this blog is from north of the border'

Pretty easily. Like Andrew Sullivan, Prof. Tabarrok just doesn't understand many things that are routine in the U.S. As a recent concrete example, just take the silly posting of different prices at an Indian museum, without being aware that such a practice is utterly routine in the U.S., from local businesses and municipalities up to the federal government.

'The assimilation problem in fact comes from the longstanding native-born Americans, often of more traditional stock. The country around them has changed rapidly, and they do not assimilate so well to the new realities.'

So coy - as pointed out in Fast Food Nation, part of that reality was the destruction of union labor in the meat packing industry using undocumented workers. Almost as if people who were once paid a good wage were not on board with the rich getting richer.

'Often, the real impact of immigration is not on wages'

As noted above, often the impact is on real wages, not to mention working conditions.

pt2 there's a vacancy in the guardian comments section

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle for sure. The reality is that there are no more stockyards, commission firms and open outcry auctions of slaughter cows and pork adjacent to immense packing house complexes in cities like South Saint Paul, Chicago and Kansas City. Meat moves through different channels now and smelly packing houses have been pushed out of the suburbs. They now kill and cut beef and hogs in the neighborhoods where the animals are raised, small towns like Liberal, KS and North Bend, NB. Packinghouse workers didn't move from South Saint Paul to Liberal, they moved from Guanajuato to Liberal.

Social mobility among immigrants in America is a thing to be proud of if you compare it to the European case. Europe is very welcoming in most cases - don't let the current crisis fool you - but non-European immigrants struggle more to make progress in Europe than they do in America (unless they're soccer players).

Much of immigration into Europe was of manual labourers compared to the US. And there was little effort towards integration.

The lesson is that possibly it is not stupid for the government to actively engage in explicit integration efforts. One small example in Ontario is the responsible ministry has something to match people with mentors, who can then direct newcomers with regard to networking, job search and/or other career and social related advances (or ... whatever, I don't think it's formulaic at all).

What do you mean by "assimilation" if you don't mean conformity with longstanding natives? Did you mean to write "success"?

I assume that he means adopting the American--Horatio Alger--model of success (maligned of course by the usual academicians) and cultivating the character traits (e.g., work ethic, education, self-control, entrepreneurship, law-abidingness, etc.) that help one to achieve it. That constitutes at least partial assimilation (and their success causes envy among the natives).

Yes, it is a rather weak form of assimilation that changes the society to something new that the natives have trouble adapting to. The solution to the contradiction is probably that assimilation is not the right word for what Tyler Cowen is gesturing at.

Do you want them to ascribe to the values espoused in the US constitution, or are you looking for Hispanics to sport the Confederacy flag?

The Confederate flag is an assertion of Southernness. I'm sure you can find a good-ol-boy here or there with a chicano ancestor, but the two sets are pretty much mutually exclusive.

No, the Hispanics sporting the Mexican flag at rallies and protests is good enough. La Raza!!!

Presented with an opportunity to promote transformation of cultural inferiors to be more similar than their betters, and all you can think of is to draw attention to the existence of divisions and disagreements?

Yes, high skilled immigrants from Asia assimilate relatively well. It does not follow that the same goes for Middle Eastern refugees and labourers from Central America.

What I find odd is I grew up when everyone attended public schools to assimilate no matter origin or duration of family in the US or the region.

Today, the anti-immigrants claim they don't assimilated and then demand tax funding of custom schools that reflect in most cases a hundred different Christian ideologies.

I grew up when Catholic schools were considered almost anti-American. JFK was considered not really American, just like Obama by millions.

Today, the same people who questioned JFK's legitimacy are Catholic and want their kids kept out of public schools.

So, what does assimilation mean these days. Coming to the US to live in a segregated enclave?

Most middle eastern refugees are likely to be high skilled. It takes money & education to get out of Iraq/ Afghanistan/ Syria.

Most middle eastern refugees are likely to be high skilled.

No, they're not, and the recent collection in Europe are liberally salted with a disorderly bachelor herd.

Enter ... the case for the US trying to positively impact things in the Middle East and Central America.

Maybe be a little less fake next time trying to spread democracy, and perhaps toss out rules which can only be predicted to hugely increase the probability of neighbouring smaller states becoming narco states, with all the corruption and capacity problems that come with it?

Interesting point though as others point out the successful immigrant groups likely have above average intelligence while the native loser groups are probably often below average.

It's 'interesting' only in ways neither you nor they intended.

Come on, let's be honest.

Once the natice loser groups are done with, there's no need for yellow or brown skin is there?

After that, I propose starting with people whose name starts with "J". Why? Because Js are obviously inferior. Just look at the J? It's an inferior letter.

I have said before that Trump is living proof that white people are just as dumb as everyone else. At least as dumb, if not dumber.

How is casting a ballot for Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio or a member of Justin Trudeau's parliamentary caucus 'smart'?

Voting at all isn't particularly smart. Voting FOR a mentally ill fascist, just because he makes you feel good because he pisses off SJWs is particularly dumb.
The funny thing is all the people saying they voted for Trump to give the left a finger or because he pissed off "the right people" are basically admitting that they are driven by tribal loyalty. They're essentially saying they are ruled by emotion.

You say voting isn't smart in the first place - presumably because the odds of any voter having any impact on an election are so minuscule - but then you fault people who actually vote for voting on emotion. That doesn't make any sense. If voting is meaningless in terms of its effect on policy, as you seem to be positing, then it becomes a purely expressive activity. In which case, voting for entirely emotional reasons is the most sensible and welfare-maximizing approach.

Voting at all isn’t particularly smart. Voting FOR a mentally ill fascist, just because he makes you feel good because he pisses off SJWs is particularly dumb.

No, labeling a capable real estate developer who advocates little out of the ordinary and who just owned the media, the Democratic machine, and much of the Republican establishment at one blow a 'mentally ill fascist' actually is an indicator of stupidity.

In which case, voting for entirely emotional reasons is the most sensible and welfare-maximizing approach.

In the short run. Eventually the long-run effects of electing incompetent morons because they give you the feels will come home to roost.

In the short run. Eventually the long-run effects of electing incompetent morons because they give you the feels will come home to roost.

Yeah, you'll suffer for the Trudeau maneuver. Rob Ford as well.

I do see that Trudeau and Marco Rubio both have in common the fact of not being Trump.

On the matter of intelligence and dumbness as observed by cast ballots??

What of the 50% of Americans who didn't think it was worth trekking out to vote for either of these? Should we consider them more smart or unpatriotic?

I'm not sure why there is this perception of Latinos not assimilating in the U.S.. My wife's family is Mexican-American from LA. The first generation in her family speaks mostly spanish and enough English to get by while working menial jobs. Her generation, the second generation speak better English than Spanish ahd have working class and middle class jobs. The third generation barely speaks spanish and are just as American culturally as I am and most are attending some form of four year or two year colleges. This experience is not restricted to my wifes family. This seems rather typical of the latinos and asians I know in southern California.

Well it isn't and someone as basised as you wouldn't be whose impressions I'd feel inclined to trust.

LOL at us caring who you trust.

Well you can trust science or you can trust some guy on the Internet, take your pick

No you just respond to like 50 percent of my comments. Clearly you don't care at all.

LOL at you thinking my takedowns of your idiocy = caring about you. It's obviously the opposite. You care about the posters you insult here?

Sam has said this about me too. He thinks we are boyfriends.

Which explains why Canada and Australia, with much higher rates of immigration, are showing such signs of social stress. Oh wait ... they aren't.

Can't look at it in a vacuum. There are a lot of other factors that affect "social stress". For example, Canada and Australia also have better worker protections, such as paid maternity leave and significantly higher minimum wages, and social services, including universal public health care.

(SHHHHHHH!!! You might attract some highly skilled immigrants or something)

If your memory is short enough and selective enough you can say that.

Yes almost as if importing high IQ, orderly, pro-social East Asians leads to better outcomes than opening the floodgates to low IQ, violent Central American peasants. True head scratcher that one.

But I'm sure if we continue giving affirmative action and diverting resources to them, they'll catch up to the rest of the population one day. We all know all groups of humans are exactly the same with zero differences whatsoever and to even suggest that we *think* about exploring any other hypotheses is just vile racism (and probably white privilege too)

>> I mean the Russians, the Iranians, the Chinese, the Indians, and many others, including most of the Muslim immigrants. They don’t become culturally identical to the native-born, but in terms of economic and social indicators, you couldn’t ask for a much better performance.

IRC membership of civic / community groups / charity / volunteering (outside a few ethnic organizations) mostly sucks for migrant groups in the US?

One thing about natives is, although the university entrance and graduation rate is relatively low compared to most, their High School drop out rate is really low.

Difference here seems to be to me that university is seen by natives as an expensive and unnecessary further education stage, desirable only to those with strong intellectual inclinations, or those who really desire to make a lot of filthy lucre through a professional pathway.

But natives rarely fail to graduate High School, with the stigma of being a drop out and how it is seen to leave a person unqualified for any work and unable to "get by".

Now, if we're saying that in fact virtually everyone in the nation should be university educated professionals in order to even "get by" (and most natives *should* be assimilating to the norm of white urban professionals), rather than blame the natives for not responding to the signal and not choosing to go on to university, perhaps we should simply make post secondary mandatory and remodel it on the way High School education is proven to work for most natives?

That is: Mandatory, national curriculum, universal standard, publicly funded by the tax payer with no end user cost, efficient focus on producing economically valuable workers (not "Women's Studies", etc.) and very importantly, relatively low pay and standards for teachers and faculty (who are more treated as cogs in a machine, and like High School teachers generally, less as special snowflakes). Research institutes are formally separated from this system.

True this would mean decapitating much of the university system, and probably pay and status cuts for many professors, but wither went many privately funded schools with the expansion of public educated?

On the other hand, if university educated *is* only necessary for a relatively narrow elite, then something has to change with regards to how is delivered in jobs and opportunity for the masses of High School grad natives.

(British here, not American, but we have similar issues).

What about the home schooled religious freaks who don't even make it to a GED level in science/ math etc. They're almost wholly white natives.

He's not responsible for explaining characters you make up in your head.

"home schooled religious freaks "

I bet you think you a very tolerant person.

What happens when someone wants to know the labour supply response due to a change in trade policy, specifically with relation to women due to gender differences in a particular economic sector.

Damn women's studies. It's only a trillion dollar question.

Also included in the standardized curriculum should be lessons on Stalinist growth and militarist governance, with history and philosophy to be excluded except if and when consistent with Stalinist growth and militarist governance. (Also, feminine values and practices should not be allowed to infect leadership at any level.)

Um, they don't teach econometrics in women's studies department. Those sorts of departments are usually treated as humanities majors, not social science majors, so there isn't really a heavy emphasis on statistics, mathematics and model building, or constructing refutable hypotheses and then finding data to test those hypotheses. When someone wants to know the labor supply response to anything, they go ask an economist in the Economics department.

Yeah, but there were important issues raised by math-blind sociolgoy-like idiots, which alerted mathies to where innovation efforts were needed.

Entering into the age of robotics, AI, etc., I'd be concerned about those who might be so replaceable by computers. Unless, perhaps, you're among those who think we should outsource our political thoughts and debate to computer simulations.

Well here we can really blame the public school system and the teacher's unions.
If Americans are being out-competed in intellectual arenas by foreign immigrants you would think at least some of the blame would be assigned to the people who are supposed to be preparing Americans for university-level coursework. They aren't even adequately preparing them to graduate high school much of the time.
But somehow the victims of the public school system never, ever, trace the problem back to the teacher's unions and their allies. It's the foreign immigrants who are the problem, not the fact that they never learned how to do basic algebra.

So clearly the answer is to nationalize all the universities and put unionized teachers with automatic tenure in charge. It's worked so well in the past.

Aren't both the problem? If the school system sucks and makes it to where you can't compete with a new immigrant, you'd be better off if the school system was better, but also if you didn't have to compete with the immigrant. If you've already gone through school, you can't change that. But you can try to change the immigration system.

Ah, Hazel the Libertarian Bot.

Hard for me to blame the American public school system when it seems at least as effective on similar quality students as the best in the West and East.

Which is why the US ranks near the bottom of the OECD test scores in math. We're in a dead heat with Portugal. Because the Portugese have so many high quality students obviously.

What's wrong with the Portugese Hazel?

Portugal is a pretty poor country. Poor compared to Spain. When we rank lower than Spain, it's hard to blame our low test scores on Hispanics.

The real per capita income is similar to that in the U.S. 50 years ago. It's not that poor. Its income levels are about 25% shy of Spain's. It has an unemployment rate 1/3 lower.

Art has a special ability to disregard relevant points that amount to things like "if you erase 50 years of progress, it's basically the same" or "a trillion dollars is basically nothing, being only a percent or two of something".

Though I'm not actually suggesting universities be nationalised any more than private schools were nationalised (I understand that I've pressed the Libertarian Bot "Something is proposed to be done with taxation!" button here). Private schools just had to compete with the national school system, and have reached their level - often supplying a disproportionate amount of elite (mainly because they're selective rather than particularly competent institutions), but probably not as many as if there were absolutely no public schools at all, and crucially without as much difference in elite-non:elite status as if there were no public schools at all. (As thought every single country with a public school system at all).

America in particular, and the West in general, lost the ability to have a functional left half of the bell curve starting around the '60s. This became most apparent wherever concentrations of the left half of the bell curve were. So inner city blacks got it first, followed by "fish towns" and rural Appalachia. Immigrants, primarily Latinos, were brought in to do the work the left half wouldn't do anymore (at least for the wages the right half wanted to pay), but they quickly assimilated into the underclass norms of left half natives (2nd+ generation Latinos committee more crime, have less successful marriage rates, etc). Every generation a new batch is brought in, its cultural capital is eviscerated in the support of low low prices, and it goes on the dole too.

As our underclass grows larger and more diverse it becomes harder and harder to come up with any sort of workable solution that would reintegrate this large swath of the population. It's not just enough to say its robots or anything like that, because some of the most pressing problems have nothing to do with robots. This is the great tragedy of our age, but we aren't going to face it, and griping about being a cosmopolitan world citizen is one of the ways in which responsibility it dodged. The professional class needs such excuses because from a spiritual, evolutionary, artistic, and cultural POV they are nothing special. They produce no beauty, not truth, and no transcendence. They are mostly responsible for "Cost Disease", and they aren't even creating a new generation of themselves that might one day solve these problems. It's pretty pathetic that the most they can produce on the other side of the balance sheet is strip malls full of ethnic food.

Perhaps the real issue is "dissimilation". Retirees migrating to Sunbelt states, rich Boomers rejecting their local culture and taking their wealth somewhere else.

When Boomers move to FA or AZ, the service jobs their consumption creates will probably go Latin American immigrants instead of going back to the community where they got rich in first place. There may be two opposing realities happening at the same time: few services jobs in the MidWest and not enough people to cover services jobs vacancies in the Sunbelt states, thus the need to hire immigrants.

I made a quick search about the economic impact of "wealthy" Boomers (100+K housedhold income) leaving their communities but I found nothing, just demographic data showing retiree migrations happens.

What if retirees living in the same communities they spent their working life is something important to counties economic well-being?

Sounds like a manifesto to tax the retiring boomers capital income & spend the proceeds in the rust belt. ?

Probably easier than trying to force people with stiff joints to live out their final years in some town where there's no one to provide the services they are lookinf for at a cost they can hardly afford.

white americans did not see an assimilation issue when they conducted the genocide of native americans did they ?

There was no genocide, except in the imagination of the ignorant and malicious.

Art, Americans and Canadians stopped lying about that history decades ago already. Only, much of the population has not yet caught up.

The only "to be fair" part of the story is that most of them were dead from disease a hundred years or more before the colonist frontier arrived.

In Canada, development of trading relations between diverse native groups was common. But my understanding of US history is that the options presented to native were basically to go somewhere else or be killed.

Art, Americans and Canadians stopped lying about that history decades ago already.

No, they haven't. You see a lie uttered at 7:51 am on 23 February.

Troll me: But my understanding of US history is that the options presented to native were basically to go somewhere else or be killed.

It varied by tribe, time, and place.

The common perception--fueled largely by pop culture--is based on the experience of the larger and/or more resistant Great Plains and Interior Western tribes such as the Chiricahua Apache and the Lakota in the late 19th century. The dimension that's typically forgotten is that the native tribes fought with each other as much as they fought with the U.S. The U.S. exploited that, playing opposing tribes off each other. The tribes that allied with the U.S. tend to be those least dramatized in pop culture and thus the least known.

This isn't to say the U.S. didn't commit atrocities at points; it did (e.g. the Sand Creek Massacre). But, the full reality of it all is far, far more complex.

The AmerIndians also committed atrocities. Actually for many like the Comanche, atrocity was a routine part of life.

Usually, neither side had a strong enough government to control their people (braves/settlers). Naturally the settlers came into conflict with the Indians, at which time government forces would often step in to protect the settlers in the wake of some rape/mutilation massacre.

Right and the Apache and plains indians were horse cultures which had only existed for a couple of hundred years anyway, because horses were introduced to North America by the Spanish in the 1500s. The Apaches killed off the Hopi (mostly), then the US army killed off the Apaches (mostly) not long afterwards.

I don't think genocide is the right word here. Nobody was trying to systematically exterminate Native Americans, not even when they sold them small pox blankets (not an entirely accurate story either). They wanted them off the land they were getting ready to colonize, but it was more of an effort to kick them out further and further west than to kill them off. Ethnic cleansing is probably more accurate, although that has connotations of a concerted effort to expel ALL natives. Nobody really minded if the Native Americans showed up to trade as long as they didn't fight back when settlers moved in. I guess you could say it was ethnic cleansing lite.

There is no evidence that any pox blankets were ever given to American Indians. There is one letter from a guy suggesting that maybe they should do that, and as far as I know that is the sum total of the evidence.

Nevertheless, the Native Americans did get small pox and die off in large numbers. it would hardly be surprising if some enterprising settlers decided that instead of burning their infested blankets, they would make a nice profit by selling them to the Natives. I'd be shocked if it never happened.

I don't think you write, or keep, a letter like that if it never happened.

The assimilation problem in fact comes from the longstanding native-born Americans, often of more traditional stock. The country around them has changed rapidly, and they do not assimilate so well to the new realities.

IOW, elites and professional class types, contra their wishes, fold and spindle and mutilate the communities they live in and then define them as the problem and insist it's their responsibility to 'adapt' to foreigners they never had any interest in importing.

You couldn't come up with a more concise demonstration that the moderators have no conception of what it means to have a country. And, no, I cannot tell which of the moderators was born in Canada from their writings. I can give you a list of those in the Mercatus crew I wish the Cannucks would take off our hands.


It's clear TC means "assimilation" as "assimilation to 'Average is Over'." This is obviously not at all what we mean by national assimilation. If Greece, Bhutan, Egypt, France, America, whatever, chooses to reject "Average Is Over," the elites need to respect that decision. Electing a new People is national destruction. It is not moral "assimilation."

Imagine if Tyler said we needed to move Germans to Greece so we can overrule Greeks on austerity policy. Madness!

Though, based on my lived experience, high-skill immigrants do a fine job assimilating to America's urban cultures, though. I'll agree with TC to that extent.

You often use a lot of big words for someone who is so anti-professional.

You vocab matches perfectly your low wage low prospects field.

Lol +1

Thread winner!

Maybe you could start a TV show called "Humour for grade 3 assholes in training"?

Art Deco: IOW, elites and professional class types, contra their wishes, fold and spindle and mutilate the communities they live in and then define them as the problem and insist it’s their responsibility to ‘adapt’ to foreigners they never had any interest in importing.

Professional types don't "fold, spindle, and mutilate" their native communities so much as abandon them out of boredom and exasperation with the rigidity, backwardness, and lack of economic opportunity. The city is where the possibilities are so that's where they go. Then, the folks who stayed behind--who never liked them or cared for them to begin with--bitch and moan that they didn't stay behind, too, start businesses, and give them jobs. Thus, professional types' sense of "tribe" is more lateral (i.e. characterized by ambition and worldview) than linear (i.e. blood-and-soil allegiance to kin and place).

It's less natives vs. foreigners than it is "boomers" (those who go where the opportunity is) vs. "planters" (those who demand the opportunity come to them).

And, no, you can't bully, shame, or abuse the boomers into investing in the planters again. It's like a cuckolded husband trying to beat and rape his wife into loving him again. Won't work. The marriage is already over, man. Let her go.

Troll me: You often use a lot of big words for someone who is so anti-professional.

The thing you need to understand about Art Deco is that he's like that smart kid you knew in high school who had the chops to go out into the world and make it big, but for whatever reason decided to stay behind and teach. And, now, he's really fucking bitter about it.

Well said, especially re Mr. Deco.

Plenty of the group you're calling "planters" don't really have much of a chance to pursue opportunity regardless of where they go. And plenty of the "boomers" are looking to move to a place where they can be "planters": where someone else will create opportunity for them.

So another version of what you're saying would be that more intelligent, higher-skilled people often try to move to areas where they can get jobs from those who are even smarter/higher-skilled than them. That's why the cities are where the opportunities are: they can't ask their dumb small town neighbors to create good jobs for them; they have to go to cities and get really smart/skilled people to create jobs for them. So you end up with greater concentrations of high-skilled people in urban areas. But then some of the most intelligent/skilled among that urban group want to move away from the not-quite-as-smart people they are stuck investing in. So you get ever more exclusive enclaves of people, always trying to avoid investing in people dumber/lower-skilled than them.

You're postulating an inherent IQ/skill divide between "boomers" and "planters" that I'm dubious exists. It's less about ability than it is about attitude toward adaptation and change. There are plenty of low-skill, dumbass boomers and high-skill, high-IQ planters. The former become drifters of one stripe or another; the latter become what's left of the provincial middle class--teachers, small business owners, etc.

Thing is, markets and technological development incentivize efficiency, and efficiency in turn leads to consolidation, including of the geographic variety. Just because a particular place once offered opportunity doesn't mean it always will. Thus, in general and on balance, it is adaptive to go where the opportunity is and maladaptive to expect it to stay with/come to you.

But "to go where the opportunity is" is to go somewhere else and become the same thing as you are faulting a "planter" for being: to take advantage of the fact that someone smarter/harder-working/better-skilled can give them a job.

Most people who leave small towns that lack economic opportunity and go off to the big city don't go and strike out on their own. They find someone who can give them a good job. That is exactly what I did, coming from a small town with little local opportunity, and it is exactly what most of the smarter/better-skilled people from my town did.

"You’re postulating an inherent IQ/skill divide between “boomers” and “planters” that I’m dubious exists. It’s less about ability than it is about attitude toward adaptation and change."

To the extent that it doesn't exist (where my anecdotal experience would suggest it does, as it is mostly the smarter kids from my high school class who moved away from our small town), it just strengthens my previous point: if the boomers aren't actually smart and high-skilled, then they're just moving to go find someone else to create an even better job for them. The "planters" you describe may sit and complain and ask that someone bring opportunity to them, and curse the smart "boomers" for not creating jobs, but the "boomers" are just traveling parasites, going and finding someone smart who can create a good job for them.

But I guess on the whole, I agree it can be maladaptive to stay in one spot where there is no opportunity (though I think community and family do matter), and that people who sit around in their small town expecting opportunity to just come to them may be making a mistake - though I would contend that some of them just aren't going to have opportunity no matter where they go.

Mostly I am objecting to what seemed like a judgmental tone towards "planters," where I don't think it's deserved. I think many of them are screwed no matter where they go. That tone may have been a reaction to Art Deco's initial post though.

"Parasites"? Taking a job is a mutually beneficial exchange, there's no parasite or host involved. The employer needs a smart employee, the smart kid from the sticks needs a good job.

Parasites in the vein of "Then, the folks who stayed behind–who never liked them or cared for them to begin with–bitch and moan that they didn’t stay behind, too, start businesses, and give them jobs." Most of the "boomers," like the "planters," are looking for someone else to give them a job. The former are just willing to move somewhere for it. There is still a fundamental expectation of someone else providing it in both instances (for the great majority of "boomers").

But a job isn't a gift, it's a trade. The employer needs a worker, the worker needs a job. Now, there are plenty of networking aspects to this, and not everyone can go out in the world as easily as some people can (especially people from the 'lower' classes like blacks, Latinos, poor whites) but that still doesn't make employing someone an act of charity.

There is an expectation that someone else is going to provide it for you, whether you are the "planter" sticking around in the small town or the "boomer" moving to the city. I mean just that looking down on "planters" for expecting someone else to give them a job, in contrast to "boomers," is mistaken because most of the "boomers" also expect someone else to give them a job. That is the extent of my point. "Parasite" was a poor word choice.

If the professional class doesn't care, why are they telling people back in bumblefuck how to run their kids transgender bathroom policy. Or swooping into flyover country long enough to identify a Christian florist and try to destroy them. This seems oddly different from "disinterest".

Also, ambition unguided by ethnical values just descends into opportunism and exploitation. When I worked in investment banking or in medical insurance I encountered a lot of scam artistry and 0% of it was the responsibility of the WWC. Professional cosmopolitans wants to get rich any way they can, and they don't give much of a fuck whether its creating value to just stealing it. "Cost Disease" is not a phenomenon brought about by the WWC.

And worldview? Please. What fucking telos are you people operating under other then comfort + hedonism in (mostly) moderation + 1.0 TFR. I guess you mix in a little virtue signaling and ego rush now and again.

asdf: If the professional class doesn’t care, why are they telling people back in bumblefuck how to run their kids transgender bathroom policy. Or swooping into flyover country long enough to identify a Christian florist and try to destroy them. This seems oddly different from “disinterest”.

You're conflating a subset of the professional class--the professional activists--with the entire class. In my experience, most "professional cosmopolitans" don't give two shits about trying to liberalize bumblefuck. Our advice to transgender kids in bumblefuck would be: 1) do what you must in order to survive as unscathed as possible and 2) as soon as you can, GTFO of bumblefuck.

The problem with the professional activists is that they do care. They think they're helping bumblefuck. They want to "elevate" and "reform" it whereas those of us who know better understand that is a waste of time.

When I worked in investment banking or in medical insurance I encountered a lot of scam artistry and 0% of it was the responsibility of the WWC. Professional cosmopolitans wants to get rich any way they can, and they don’t give much of a fuck whether its creating value to just stealing it.

Your implication here is that there's some sort of inverse relationship between level of success and morality. There isn't. The incidence of amoral shitbaggery spans the socioeconomic spectrum.

I definitely don't get an "elevate and reform" vibe from the professional class on their feelings towards bumblefuck.

We just went through an election where "deplorables" was the number one term. Most news organizations are openly hostile. Comedy shows are full of mean spirited jokes at their expense. There are riots in most major metros against bumblefuck. Cowen routinely calls them garbage on his blog, as do most of his friends. Charles Murray and Nicholas Kristoff trade jokes about how people who clip coupons should just die off and get replaced. My Aunt, who is no professional activist, told me she hopes every single person in West Virginia should die of black lung because they are evil and deserve it.

These people want to uplift???

Your own comment is laced is invective.

"Do what you must in order to survive". Survive what? Not being told your shit smells sweet because your in a progressive group. Is there some outbreak of lynchings that isn't getting into the data?

"GTFO". To go where and do what? To move to the big city, fuck a bunch of people and probably get an STD or two in between psych appointments and drug use. Yeah, you people have all the best solutions, its not like everyone without a high IQ and a bank account gets shredded by progressive values when they move to the city. Those AIDS rates I see in my data every week have nothing to do with your fucked up attitudes, is that your position.

If you mean that most people don't give a fuck about most things that aren't a part of their lives, that's true across the spectrum. It's also true that your average cosmopolitan has a pretty strong strain of disgust for everyone else and can't seem to help making that disgust known politically, culturally, and economically. You can't tell me that Starbucks wanted to have a "conversation about race" when you buy a cup of coffee and these people don't give a fuck about shoving their ideas down people's throat.

My implication is that an awful lot of the high paying careers the professional class move to the city to get into don't appear to produce any value. The participants are often aware of this and don't care. On a society wide level the entire professional cosmopolitan nexus doesn't seem to have produced much for the average person. Whatever value some of them are creating is offset by value being destroyed or taken by some other professional carving out some fiefdom.

Professional types don’t “fold, spindle, and mutilate” their native communities so much as abandon them out of boredom and exasperation with the rigidity, backwardness, and lack of economic opportunity. The city is where the possibilities are so that’s where they go. Then, the folks who stayed behind–who never liked them or cared for them to begin with–bitch and moan that they didn’t stay behind, too, start businesses, and give them jobs. Thus, professional types’ sense of “tribe” is more lateral (i.e. characterized by ambition and worldview) than linear (i.e. blood-and-soil allegiance to kin and place).

I was mostly referring to a hypothetical.

Strange as it may seem to you, 'communities' can refer to concentrations of many dimensions. Strange as it may seem to you, small towns and small cities have a business and professional sector as well. It's not as variegated, specialized, or sophisticated, but it's there. They're often quite curatorial about the communities in which they live.

Neither I nor anyone else can do much about your inclination to caricature people or display your contempt for them. Like anyone of sense, I want you away from me, away from my family, and exercising no influence over anything of much important, because you're unfit to exercise such influence.

The thing you need to understand about Art Deco is that he’s like that smart kid you knew in high school who had the chops to go out into the world and make it big, but for whatever reason decided to stay behind and teach. And, now, he’s really fucking bitter about it.

The inclination of people to construct fantasy biographies and fantasy personality profiles of yours truly when they get their noses out of joint is vaguely amusing (and there are a couple of serial practitioners on these boards). I'm here to discuss issues, not me and not you.

"The inclination of people to construct fantasy biographies and fantasy personality vaguely amusing"

Is that why you persist in doing so for the moderators of the boards you comment on incessantly?

Art Fucko: I’m here to discuss issues, not me and not you.

Oh, bullshit.

This from the guy who five minutes previously said:
Neither I nor anyone else can do much about your inclination to caricature people or display your contempt for them. Like anyone of sense, I want you away from me, away from my family, and exercising no influence over anything of much important, because you’re unfit to exercise such influence.

You regularly insult, demean, and mock other posters. It's part of your shtick. Just like the rest of us around here, you enjoy running your mouth and talking ad hominem shit.

You're an asshole. Fine. But, don't be a hypocrite about it. At least have enough of a scrotum to own it.

As for this:
Strange as it may seem to you, small towns and small cities have a business and professional sector as well. It’s not as variegated, specialized, or sophisticated, but it’s there. They’re often quite curatorial about the communities in which they live.

I'm well aware. I grew up in western Kansas and Wichita. I'm quite extensively and personally familiar with rural decay, depopulation, and the long, slow death of Main Street. I've lived it.

The reality is that competition and technology drive efficiency which drives consolidation. Gradually, the big fish kill and/or eat all the little fish. Thus, unless your community is a) within commuting distance of a stable or growing metropolis or b) sitting atop a valuable and untapped natural resource, opportunity flows away from Main Street, not toward it.

Just a pile of ashes now where Art Deco used to be.

Theres a small pile of goo in front of msgkings at the computer in the library. Clean it up man.

This from the guy who five minutes previously said:

Which was uttered in direct response to your remarks about a large swath of humanity. No, I don't want you to have any influence. People who talk this way need to be kept away from others.

You regularly insult, demean, and mock other posters. It’s part of your shtick. Just like the rest of us around here, you enjoy running your mouth and talking ad hominem shit.

No, I'm regularly irked, bored, and impatient with what people say. They could do so much better. That hurts your pride, about which I do not much care. I don't talk about you. I wouldn't know you from a cord of wood. Go look up 'ad hominem' in the dictionary before you try using it again.

You’re an asshole. Fine. But, don’t be a hypocrite about it. At least have enough of a scrotum to own it.

You know, we often don't see ourselves as others do.

I’m well aware. I grew up in western Kansas and Wichita. I

Does that make this better or worse? If you lived in Manhattan, you might be forgiven for caricaturing Clinton or Chittenden County. You're telling me you lived there and still don't get it.

OK I LOL'ed at that one, Sam. Glad to see you care.

I've seen everyone in this line of posts be an asshole at various times on here (and I am including myself in that), and we would all probably do well to try to be less of assholes. At the very least, to treat it as a goal worth striving for.

Art Dipshit: Which was uttered in direct response to your remarks about a large swath of humanity. No, I don’t want you to have any influence. People who talk this way need to be kept away from others.

Making off the cuff sociological observations constitutes a primary symptom of sociopathy? Quick! Somebody call the APA! We need to update the DSM--stat!

No, I’m regularly irked, bored, and impatient with what people say.

That's putting it mildly. A post of yours without a sneering insult is the exception, not the rule. You're contempt personified.

I don’t talk about you.

You attack me with regularity.

You’re telling me you lived there and still don’t get it.

I get it more intimately and fully than you can possibly appreciate. That anyone can get it and still disagree with you is beyond your ability to comprehend.

Making off the cuff sociological observations constitutes a primary symptom of sociopathy? Quick! Somebody call the APA! We need to update the DSM–stat!

No, your observations indicate your dispositions are repulsive, that you despise people who've done you no injury, and you will injure people if given the opportunity. I leave the technical terminology to others.

You attack me with regularity.

I've seen your handle before, but it called little to mind I had to check back because I couldn't recall your modus operandi. You're gassy, drop the f-bomb on people, call people 'dip****'', 'assh***', and what not (SMFS seems to get under your skin), yap about Congress as if you worked there, and huff-puff-blow-everyone's-house-down about the President and his supporters. We had a couple of mildly rude exchanges in 2015 which had me crabbing at you. The rest of our exchanges featured your aggression. I think you should be able to handle that.

I get it more intimately and fully than you can possibly appreciate.

I appreciate what you're saying, and that's that you despise the people you grew up around. That's your problem. It should be part of public policy to not allow you to make it their problem.

No, your observations indicate your dispositions are repulsive, that you despise people who’ve done you no injury, and you will injure people if given the opportunity.

Stop projecting.

You’re gassy, drop the f-bomb on people, call people ‘dip****”, ‘assh***’...

I do enjoy profanity quite a lot. It's the spice of vocabulary.

By the way, it's almost charming that, for all your haughty derisiveness and pissy attitude, you're a prude about language. It's very schoolmarm-ish.

I appreciate what you’re saying, and that’s that you despise the people you grew up around.

A few of them, yes. The ones that have done me personal injury. Most, though, I just feel sorry for. They cling to an obsolete way of life out of fear, pride, nostalgia, and stubbornness. They lack the foresight, humility, and steel to adapt. Worse, some don't just angrily reject any offering of help, they interpret the offer as the worst possible insult. It's at that point my sympathy expires.

Those willing to adapt, and need help doing so, have my sympathy. Those who don't know any better have my pity. Those who do know better but are too proud and too obstinate to change have my indifference. They've made their choices and get to suffer the consequences.

It should be part of public policy to not allow you to make it their problem.

Rest easy, then, schoolmarm. I have no intention of ever running for political office at any level. It requires too much ass-kissing.

This article seems to contradict itself. If immigrants are doing such a good job of assimilating, why do current residents need to change? Shouldn't things just go on as they are for the current residents? Especially if you ignore changes in wages or elections. What is changing that current residents don't like?


TC really needs to defend that thesis.

This is really a dissembling exercise in cosmopolitan, open borders advocacy. First, let's take the largest part of the problem and completely ignore it (Mexican Immigrants). Then, let's exaggerate the importance of the smallest groups of immigrants. Finally, let's completely misrepresent the assimilation of Muslims into the US, which is mainly economic, not cultural. Finally let's move the pea again and label "native stock" (wow!) as unassimilated, using only the economic dimension, not civic or cultural. Throughout the entire anlysis pick the dimensions of assimilation that improve the case. Ignore the fact that immigrants coming in and taking high paying jobs without culturally assimilating will not be popular - ie good for them, not for the country. This is pure advocacy, not analysis.


Spanish speaking immigrants from other parts of the Americas must have a different idea of what they are immigrating to. They may cross a modern border, but in the case of the American southwest, they go to an area with deep native and Spanish roots.

You say it is the largest part of "the problem" but they might say with some justification "we were here first!"

The ancient pattern of barrios and gangs grow out of that history. They were here first, and then they were conquered and called less than the white man.

Hard to "integrate" your way out of that for most of American history.

They may cross a modern border, but in the case of the American southwest, they go to an area with deep native and Spanish roots.

The population of Mexican peninsulares, criollos, mestizos, and mission Indians in Texas was in 1836 about 3,000. There were about 15,000 in California in 1840. There were shy of 50,000 in New Mexico at that time. Your deep roots would just about populate greater Santa Fe as we speak.

How were those thousands of non-english speakers treated?

As with post-slavery populations, what you hear at grandfather's knee matters.

What portion of the current population is a direct descendant of those original populations?

The history was one of barrio and ghetto, and racial discrimination for generations. In the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930s about a million US born citizens of Hispanic descent were just shipped to Mexico.

That is not something we are responsible for today, but it is history, and history doesn't nearly just end. It shapes the relationship today.

What is the upshot though? If there are historical grievances that will shape the relationships and make assimilation more difficult, isn't that a reason to avoid trying to bring more people from that group in who need to be assimilated in the first place?

Sticking with what is different about Mexicans, it is important to remember that the Repatriation came in the Great Depression, and was a jobs issue for President Hoover.

That strikes me as a strong parallel to a post Great Recession crackdown happening now.

I don't think this relates to more normal immigration, where there is not this established "barrio" effect. We do not have generations of cruelty to Syrians. We have Steve Jobs.

The history was one of barrio and ghetto, and racial discrimination for generations. I

In 1929, about 60% of the households in this country had a personal disposable income which would put them below the official poverty threshold in use today. Living on short rations was nothing unusual at that time. Personal income per capita in New Mexico in 1929 was rather depressed (about 42% below national means), but it was about 2.2-fold greater than that in Mexico at that time. I tend to doubt the chicano population in Santa Fe or Albuquerque were doing all that badly given what they brought to the table or what their alternatives were.

As with post-slavery populations, what you hear at grandfather’s knee matters.

A dear friend of ours (black, but with something of an atypical background for 'a that) recently says on Facebook that when she travels on a train, she thinks of all the slaves who laid the track. Problem, about 90% of the railway mileage at its 1920 peak had been laid down during the post-bellum era and roughly 80% of all railway mileage there was in 1860 was in free states. I.e., maybe 2% of the track was laid down by slaves. Service personnel on trains in the post-bellum era were mostly black. They weren't enslaved, however. Sometimes what your grandfather tells you is an urban legend. Sometimes what shizzy history teachers tell you is as well. Sometimes the purveyors of Black History Month ain't so conscientious either.

What portion of the current population is a direct descendant of those original populations?

Predominantly descended? Close to nil. Mexican settlers incorporated into the United States in 1848 made up perhaps 0.2% of the whole country as it was at the time of the 1850 census. That's > 5 generations ago and they've likely done some intermarrying since then.

Well they conquered someone else first, and then got conquered in turn. I don't feel the need to give anyone special rights to an area because their ancestors temporarily conquered it. Most of the world doesn't, otherwise I am owed land stretching at the least from Ethiopia through the Caucasus and into the UK.

How many companies do you know who would go to all the effort of hiring an immigrant if they could find an American who was able to satisfy the needs of that high paying job at a remotely similar price?

While Google and Facebook have more billions upon billions than they even remotely know what to do with, some would rather restrain their access to labour in order to compete better for old economy jobs which are on their way out anyways.

The number of +3SD people in the world is incredibly small. Most of them outside the west are Asian. We could accept every single +3SD individual in all of Asia and it would be something like less then 1% of the current American population. We could accept every genius the world has to offer and it would still be incredibly small compared to the immigration we've seen.

Immigration is not about accepting the world's geniuses, which virtually all countries, including highly restrictionist countries, usually make accommodation for. It's about bringing in foreign auxiliaries to favor certain groups in internal economic, cultural, and political struggles.

I don't think there's really any question that most people would prefer more immigration of culturally similar individuals as compard to culturally different individuals.

But the culturally similar people just won't come.

So ... stagnate or welcome newcomers? Banning education relating to contraception might also work towards that end, but then you'll get too many teenage moms who never fully develop their potential for lack of access to related basic services and goods.

People on the left half of the bell curve have only slightly more then 2.0 kids, they are not a problem.

People on the right half have much less then 2.0 kids, that is a problem.

However, if someone is on the right side of the bell curve and a conservative traditional church goer they have 2.0 kids, so really the problem is progressive godless smart people. They didn't have kids, so they need to import some.

It is only "stagnation" by a currently popular image, where population and total GDP must be growing. GDP per capita can grow, as can wealth per capita, even as population declines. I have no need for the U.S. to be a mighty empire or to have the largest GDP or largest population in the world. I like open spaces and the natural world. I'd rather give my descendants a land of open spaces and an intact natural world than try to have a dick-measuring contest with other nations over population and GDP size. If people in this country freely choose not to procreate, good for them, more room for my descendants. There is no need to try to make up for their lack of reproduction.

It's kind of brainwashed into the people who "run the world", from the "realist" vs. "liberal" distinctions in introductory IR to "guns and butter" problems in introductory level economics.

It's good to know of this perspective, but to pretend that it serves the benefit of the general population, except by virtue of greater ease of achieving security at a lower share of output, is intellectual fraud.

The brutish conservative white men post, and now this about Americans who don't assimilate to new migrants. Tyler really dislikes heritage America.

TC would like to dissolve the people and elect a new one.


But why? Aren't all his needs being met?

We know he likes to travel, and probably like most very self-conscious travelers nowadays, he prefers to "meet the people and go in their homes," take tea with them, possibly eat their last egg - rather than, vulgarly, see the tourist attractions and wonders of nature and works of the past.

Perhaps a perfect world is where everyone from across the globe walks past his window.

Please be specific about which aspects of this heritage you're talking about.

Like, let's really open up the cultural preservation conversation. Are you talking about the right to go around calling brown people names with impunity, or are there some deeply cherished values and traditions that we can plainly put out in the open, to demand respect, if not adherence, to such traditions and values.

Say ... freedom. Human rights. Relatively equal application and availability of justice. Other ideas?

What about all of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs? The Knights of Columbus? Parochial schools? The role of the Church in African American communities? Trade unions? VFW? Local political parties? DAR? Basically all of the intermediate institutions which educated Americans and immigrants into responsible citizenship and channeled peoples activities towards community service and ethical (non-nihilistic) political engagement.

I really like this answer, and perhaps there is a lot more positive stuff happening (US case) through such channels as the ones you mention.

Of course some of those groups were inclusive of racist practices at times when basically everyone was at least a bit racist. But overall I believe they play hugely positive and constructive roles.

I believe he is referring to the people themselves.


I'm happy to provide a personal answer to the sneering question about our heritage. National parks. The conservation easement. Funding for open space protection. The endangered species act. A certain reverence for the environment and for wildlife that whatever its origins - pragmatism, despair, loss, a dollop of 19th century Romanticism - is in my view America's premier gift to the world (with assists from England).

This is conservatism in its purest form, of course, so few here would concur with me. But regardless, I'm sure many of us, if not our host, have aspects about America we're fond of, that amount to far more than ethnic takeout and easy access to yard men and house cleaners, and these things are threatened by immigration.

So: why does your vision of the future need to play out in this particular part of the globe? What is the significance of Here to you? And do you think Americans - so dumb - are yet especially saintly somehow, that in contrast to everyone else, have no fight in them for what they think is theirs?

We are, in this view, simultaneously Best and Worst, powerless and powerful. That doesn't make sense.

So if we close to immigration, make lots of babies, but become slavery-obsessed torture-loving authoritarianism worshippers, this is fine because it's preserving the people?

Personally, I think the cultural aspect is far more important.

I think the people aspect is most fundamental. The primary reason to care about my nation beyond my own time within it is because I expect my descendants and my family's descendants to live here. I hope they have a good culture too. But I wouldn't want my descendants to be replaced in order to "improve" the culture. Without the people connection I have no more reason to care about the future of this nation than any other.

What does that mean, your "descendants to be replaced"? Your descendants would be here, and then so would other people's descendants, some of whom would be from other places. The culture would change as it always has, with some changes brought in by people from other countries. Which is exactly how it's always been. The culture of the US has been changing since 1776 and will continue to change. All things change.

I am contrasting people and culture and saying people is more fundamental. If 100 years from now the culture is some utopian vision of culture but my descendants won't exist, that wouldn't bring me any satisfaction. Whereas if they will exist in 100 years and the culture will suck, that gives me some level of satisfaction and some desire to prevent it from sucking if I can.

The fundamental nature of people vs. culture is magnified by the rapidity with which culture changes. In 100 years I may barely recognize the culture, but based on family photos of my great-grandparents I might recognize my great-grandson.

I just don't see the opposition of culture and people. You can do your best to have great grandchildren by having lots of kids and hoping they have kids. The culture may change or not but how is that relevant to you having descendants?

There needn't be opposition. Trollme was positing that culture matters more than people. I am explaining why I think people matters more than culture. Chiefly, that without the people connection there isn't any particular reason to care about the future culture.

Wow, talk about projection. Americans are amazingly accepting of successful immigrants; university professors are the ones with a problem. It was the people who forced, e.g., the University of California to adopt race-blind admissions, which opened the door for expanded Asian presence, while the professoriate screamed in horror.

If you take a few of the best and brightest from a bunch of countries, you can make your native stock better off while also not rapidly changing the culture (or creating a large sub-culture).

If you take a bunch of the low-skill stock from another country, you create additional economic competition for much of your native stock (though for the high end of that stock or the best and brightest of the immigrants, they will be even better off), while also creating the conditions for a rapid change in culture or the creation of a large sub-culture.

The heart of so much of the discussion comes down to: is it wrong to want to try to maintain your culture or national identity as you believe it to be and to have been, to the extent of preventing current non-members from joining and potentially preventing them from improving their lot? I don't think it is. I think it is a perfectly reasonable and human thing to desire.

This is an argument for turning America into a suburban ethnic food mall populated by dentists from around the world with native stock bussing the trays and cleaning up after.

If you really believe that's where it's going, then you were going to get outcompeted from every angle anyways.

Which is not what I think is going to happen.

I live all the "toothless hillbilly" conceptions about "flyover" America on display here, including sadly the main post.

Most of the US between the coasts is doing fine. Even if we don't have Ethiopian street food places in strip malls.

Great Ethiopian in Tucson, fwiw. Zemam's.

"Most of the US between the coasts is doing fine"

Then what the hell are they so upset about?

Well right now it seems like the coastal types who are really, really angry.

The coastal types didn't vote to blow up the system. They're angry because it's being blown up. Actually those types are always angry about something.

My question is why do we keep hearing about how things are so bad for the flyover states if they are doing fine? Which is it? Do they need to take "their" country back or not?

There is a cultural war between the two groups. Both think it's the end of days when the other has power.

Flyover types would also respond that the current system is a blown-up version of the past one that they preferred, and that the coastal group blew that previous system up and forced the blown-up version on them. They are just trying to return it to its former self.

I don't think flyover types are doing particularly fine. But I don't think they're uniquely angry about the situation. They just happened to have a little imagined success of late, which really pissed the coasts off because they've been winning for so long. They're Pats fans complaining about a bad call.

So both sides of bitchers are wastes of oxygen. Agreed.

Maybe. Or maybe we're worse off if the people who are bitching decide to stop bitching and get out and try to change the world. Maybe bitching is the best use of oxygen available, as long as I don't have to hear it.

We all just heard it good and hard at the ballot box.

They are not upset, they just voted that they don't want to fund the welfare state that the coastal elite envisions.

This might be a problem similar to the Euro interest rate problem, optimal rate for Germany is not optimal rate for Italy.

The welfare optimizing size of welfare state in flyover country might result in riots in coastal high cost cities.

Ironically, Trump is not touching medicare, medicaid, ss, ss disability, these together run about a $1000B deficit per year averaged over the next decade. If the bond market finally wises up to the risk of lending to the US government, that casn easily add another trillion per year in cost, as the debt gets rolled over at higher interest rates. The uneducated immigrants are a clear social and budget cost, however, they are not the elephant in the room.

The welfare state most likely to irritate is composed of TANF, LIHEAP, Section 8, public housing, SNAP cards, and some manifestations of SSI and Social Security Disability. The first 5 are a modest share of common provision. With regard to all of these (especially SSI and Social Security Disability), I doubt you'll get a hearing much more sympathetic in the Jersey suburbs than you will in Quincy, Illinois. The escalatingly lax definition of 'disability' is the work of insiders - politicians, social workers, and especially a sliver of the legal profession. Demographically, the responsible parties are very few.

"they don’t want to fund the welfare state that the coastal elite envisions"

Statistically speaking ... isn't that the welfare state that the coastal elites pay for and which the group you speak of tends to benefit from?

Never mind. The American working class is famous for being manipulated by billionaires into voting against their interest.

Thinking about this some more, it's clear that Tyler has conflated two types of assimilation (cultural assimilation and economic assimilation), and then lamented that fact that native born 95 IQ guys are worse at assimilating to the modern economy than some 120 IQ high-skilled immigrants. Well, obviously. That 95 IQ guy isn't about to become a highly skilled electrical engineer or programmer, or an economics professor, or a doctor, or even a lawyer.

When the 95 IQ native is having a hard time assimilating to the modern economy (due largely to inherent limitations on his abilities), it seems like the worst thing we can do is bring more 95 IQ people into the country to compete with him for the rapidly-disappearing low and medium-skill work he can do. If we instead only bring in relatively small numbers of 120+ IQ, high-skilled people, the 95 IQ benefits because there is more competition at the higher ends of the labor market, reducing the costs for many of the goods and services he may use (healthcare, legal counsel, education).

Honest advice to natives who don't like what the "dern immigrants" are doing to their communities: Buy real estate and lots of it. That's been the racket all along. The old, established native-born families created their dynasties by taking advantage of the 19th Century federal gov't land-giveaways. Sure, they built factories on that land and promised you a managerial position, but the real estate was the game the whole time.

That's why, decades later, the Italian immigrants came along and repeated the process, buying up cheap land in the late-1800s/early-1900s and becoming new world dynastic moguls. (In Canada, it was the German and Ukrainian newcomers.)

Asian immigrants are touted as immigrants who assimilated well. Well, what did they do in the 80s and 90s? They bought a ton of cheap US land. Now it's the Chinese and the South Asians. They're buying land.

Much hay is made of the notion that Latinos "don't assimilate." But some do - and how do they do it? They start construction companies, buy land, develop it, and sell it back to the native-born population.

Now TC is suggesting that the native-born population isn't assimilating well. How much land do they own? If you want to secure a future for multiple generations of your family, not just you and maybe your child, then you ought to be buying land, and lots of it.

Get richer. Solid advice. They should try to be born with higher IQs too.

Right, and studies consistently show that having an external locus of control correlates with misery. You want to be happy, tell yourself that happiness is something you can achieve by changing your behavior. If you want to be miserable, go ahead and buy into any and every notion that justifies your Homer Simpson lament: "This is everybody's fault but mine!"

One behavioral change they could make would be to work to get their government to enact their immigration preferences, rather than passively accepting changes and buying land with imaginary money to profit from those changes. Complaining while making no effort to convince others or to enact their policy preferences would be surrendering to an external locus of control.

Yeah, well, to riff on your point a bit - good luck changing the system with a 95 IQ!

Sure. But at least they can try. And there are a lot more voters with IQs 95 and below than 120 and up.

They don't vote though. The 120+ crowd almost all do.

They could start to vote though. And even at present, 120+ IQ would have to be around 4 times more likely to vote than 95 and below IQ to have equal numbers. I'd be a little surprised if there is that large of a gap. Think of all the non-voting economists.

I remember 1970s protests against Vietnamese refugees in Garden Grove (later, Little Saigon).

The protesters didn't want change, but ultimately we did accept them and we did change. Not to lean too heavily on the food angle, but Pho is practically a national dish. Like the Indian food of London. We have more nail salons than we might otherwise.

So I agree that assimilation is in part integration, and I am for it.

There's one Pho place in my suburb that just opened in the last 6 months. And I live in a yuppie suburb that voted 70% (D) in the last general election.

The Los Angeles Times just explained "ramen" to readers as "a Japanese cousin of pho." I laughed.

"Noodles" wasn't clear enough?

Immigrants do change the environment by their very presence, and being newcomers, are willing to change and adapt. Natives liked the status quo and hate having to change and adapt. Ergo massive immigration poses serious discomfort to natives. They suffer more than the immigrants. In the current case of better endowed immigrants, natives take the way of the Red Man, i.e. drink and listlessness and extintion.

I had no idea that some people do not want taco trucks on every corner.
Me, I love Mexican and "Mexican" food.

When somewhat of an imperialist, quasi imperialist, neo-imperialist or some such variety of other "too true" sorts of views of the USA ... one has to recognize that there are two sides to the coin.

Do Americans ever stop to think for a second about the HUGE presence of US culture across the globe? Like, I bet this statement or thought doesn't even impress you.

And someone comes along and puts up pho across from your favourite mom and pop diner, and you think the entire country is under orchestrated cultural assault. (Which it very well may be, but I don't think this is at all related to the pho joint.)

If you ever manage to find your way to the other side of the wall (those who know there's not really a wall, shhhh....), maybe take a moment to notice that the films playing in the cinemas are mostly from Hollywood, much of the music on the radio is American, or at least Western, that American restaurants appear in all the major plazas and squares, American-designed phones and software predominate communications and related stuff throughout the days of all these people.

And then come and try to tell me the pho joint across from Ma and Pa's burger joint is undermining your culture.

Thicken your skin a little and learn to respect others.

It's like someone who will talk your ear off for an hour, and then get angry if you so much as reply with an opinion. But not quite.

THANKFULLY, we all know you're not all like that.

They have nothing to do with how American culture is received internationally.

I think people would not watch Hollywood movies in Saigon if the word on the street was that pho places tended to get torched in the US.

So, market expansion prospects in Muslim countries may not be good. Much partnering against extremism has occurred for some decades in many nations, but the blanket islamophobia among many Americans these days may permanently sour some dozens of nations, comprising 1.5 billion souls (and consumers) ... I dunno, just doesn't seem like the best of possible worlds, for anyone.

These working class guys are not the ones investing in the Middle East, nor do they care how well Hollywood movies do there. Nor do I think there is "blanket Islamaphobia"

Good point about who makes money from the movie sales and foreign investments. I'm extremely sympathetic to this situation, and believe that it legitimizes things like corporate taxes and moderate redistribution (e.g., by social benefits which are likely to benefit the working class, such as related to health care or education spending being partially covered).

On the question of "blanket Islamophobia", I'm think of individuals who are Islamophobic towards all Muslims regardless of anything. I'm not suggesting that "blanket Islamophobia" is a feature of the US political or cultural landscape (although it is indeed possible to portray it in that direction.)

Also, I think in the US, there is intense pressure to deny your former culture, which can have polarizing effects.

In Canada, with a first generation immigrant, it's very accepted if someone identifies more with their country of origin, and there are literally hundreds of types of "hyphenated Canadians". In a second generation, it is generally very respected if you still speak the language of the country of origin of your parents, but not so much so if this contributes to the parents' broader marginalization (exceptions for, say, it's obviously good if the grandkids can talk with their grandmother).

In the US, I believe that if you're Chinese, you really have to deny being Chinese. Questions like "Are you a real American" or statements like "he's not really American" presumably abound.

While this may lead to the presence of some slightly whipped and highly patriotic Americans (of course there are other better reasons for a newcomer to be patriotic), in balance the easily assumed polarization in effects seem ... well, just look, it's not working out so fantastically in the US as some other places.

I.e., I don't think forcing the assimilation issue is going to have the desired result. Maybe ... more so take a nod from the words of Ghandi. "Be the change..." - and if tradition is what you seek to uphold in cultural practices, then in a context of immigration, the effective strategy is one which makes immigrants receptive to adoption of those values. Beating them over the head with demands and offensive treatment probably is not going to help the matter.

n the US, I believe that if you’re Chinese, you really have to deny being Chinese. Questions like “Are you a real American” or statements like “he’s not really American” presumably abound.

Yeah, and you'll be shot by a cop if you look at him the wrong way. The utility of your fantasies about this country is that it keeps your irritating self elsewhere.


if you are so confident about the righteousness of cops, I would encourage you to do the following experiment:

1. Find a parked police car in the dark.
2. Walk up to it with a maglite, shine into the car, and inspect it from every angle possible.
3. Make sure you are observed by the regular driver of same car.

Have you attempted this with Joe Blow's car at the grocery store parking lot?

The police officer is in the business of order maintenance. That's why he has the discretion he does while he's on duty, and someone of sense appreciates it when he's being vigilant. Being vigilant is not my job except in extreme circumstances, and people ordinarily do not appreciate it.

There are people in this world who maintain for much of their life the disposition toward authority to be found among stoner adolescents. In our time, such people commonly refer to themselves as 'libertarians'.

Repeating for the hundredeth time your delusions that bad apples are rejected from policing with high accuracy (unfortunately not true, but if reality in fact reflected your beliefs, that would be fantastic) ... doesn't exactly support your argument about an unrelated theme.

You know nothing of urban life in this country, or of law enforcement in any venue, yet you persist with this pretense that you can instruct people who live here. Nathan, people dislike you for a reason.

There are no shades of grey in your view on the matter. I know that policing can be improved, and we should speak very freely about the observations which make this fact inordinately obvious.

We could talk all day about how IQ explains everything above, but the underlying point is more important. Cowen hates the white working class. Pointing out that the Latino or Muslim working class is as bad or worse really isn't important. He hates them all.

NAM auxiliaries are simply politically useful in the short term. If he's lucky Cowen will figure out just the right mix of working class ethnic groups that he can play off each other till the end of time. Maybe that's a dumb plan, but its the plan, so lets examine it on its merits if it were actually to succeed.

Cowen has stated many times he wants the bottom 85% or so of society to live a barrio style existence. With free internet and better security if it can be managed, but at the end of the day who really cares how those people live so if that can't be managed who cares. Above that perhaps 13% as professional servants of the elite. Working long hours to stay above the muck. Having all the basics but nearly everything going towards paying for the rent and the taxes necessary to support the underclass. Finally at the top 2% we have the anointed. Those that have lives worth living. They come in all skin colors, but they have one culture, one value system, one allegiance, and one driving goal. Stay on top by any means necessary.

In an important way Cowen shows how IQ isn't enough. High IQ people who hate you are way more dangerous then low IQ people. The fundamental driving force is disgust, IQ just amplifies to what degree you can weaponize your disgust. Importing a high IQ Muslim that hates you is an even worse idea then importing a low IQ Muslim.

We shouldn't be confused by theoretical sympathy for NAM immigrants. Cowen finds them as deplorable as the deplorable, and when he perceives them as the greater threat to his dominance then he WWC believe me he will turn on them too. For all the same reasons. The low IQ of all races are his slaves, and they should not rebel.

Those of us that care about life for our fellow countrymen certainly note the problems of low IQ immigration and and fallacies of people who say such immigration can solve various problems (Mexicans will solve our Social Security deficit, etc). What's driving us though is our sympathy for people we share meaningful bonds with across and IQ barrier, not base hatred for low IQ. It's because low IQ people immigrating hurt our neighbors that we dislike it. If they did not hurt them we would not care, but they do. A high IQ person could hurt our neighbor as well. It's the harm that matters.

Whether the harm comes from simple low IQ lawlessness or high IQ idealogical driven disgust and incompatibility it means a worse life for us and our fellows. Even if immigration was not an issue, the fact that our own native high IQ elite hates and has been trying to break down their fellows for decades now would be enough of a problem.

The white working class hated Cowen first.

The white working class has no clue who Cowen is. Mostly they want to be left alone and not have a bunch of radical changes they didn't agree to foisted upon them.

Everyone's talking about "Cost Disease" today. Well, the WWC didn't cause Cost Disease. If anything the industries they work in have become so efficient they don't even need the WWC anymore. It's the industries dominated by the professional class that caused Cost Disease. I'm one of them and I see it. And it wasn't an accident. Amoral strivers willing to exploit any loophole they could find to get ahead carved out the little fiefdoms that made Cost Disease. And why shouldn't they have. They have no attachment to society, its not even a real thing to them, and they have no ethical value system besides personal consumption mixed with posture and virtue signaling.

They hate Cowen's type, not him personally.

If they think anything about Cowen's type, it's that they're a bunch of elitists trying to force their preferred policies on the white working class, in economic and cultural opposition to their perceived best interests. It is a very defensive hate, if it exists at all. And most notable to me, it does not drip with condescension like you will often get from Cowen's type when discussing the white working class (though I think Tyler does a better job than most of avoiding it).

It is a very defensive hate, if it exists at all. And most notable to me, it does not drip with condescension like you will often get from Cowen’s type when discussing the white working class (though I think Tyler does a better job than most of avoiding it).

Cowen is obtuse about people and situations, not hostile. Hostile would be Scott Sumner, Tabarrok (in an attenuated way), and Bryan Caplan (to the extent he has ordinary emotions).

I think you would be shocked how little they think about anything outside their immediate social sphere unless that outside thing is interfering with it.

I think you would be shocked how little they think about anything outside their immediate social sphere unless that outside thing is interfering with it.

You're talking about the man-in-the-street, right? Most people (about 3/4) do not follow public affairs. Raise their property taxes, make a hash of emergency response during an ice storm, make a hash of agency response when some toxin is found in the water table, or cancel the high-school football season and you'll mobilize people. Screw with Medicare and Social Security and you'll at least get a subset riled.

Do some petitioning as required in many state election laws and you'll get a sense of how most registered voters approach public life.

Do you have any explanation for other people not being racist other than "they hate the white working class"?

You expressed this view at length numerous times, and it seems to be your preferred theme.

You see, I was the white working class. And not racist. And now .. not really working class any more. I don't hate myself. I still don't hate people who are unlike myself.

Why do you think that non-racism is evidence of hating poor white people?

Competittion is hard. Sorry. There are supports if it doesn't work out, and they should be (at least) preserved.

Not only supports, but supports in accessing further opportunities.

"Do you have any explanation for other people not being racist other than “they hate the white working class”?"


It's about the tenth time I recall him saying some variant of basically this exact thing.

Which ... well, I don't understand why that would even bother him, considering how easily he slips into deep condescenscion with regard to the various types and causes of inferior of the white working class as compared to their +3SD betters.

(I suspect that asdf is a -3SD EQ kind of guy, but maybe I'm wrong ...)

My guess is that he's a +4SD, or maybe even +5SD, "recruitable into Nazism" kind of guy ...

Wow, did you all know that Trump’s senior NSC communications advisor, Michael Anton, is not only "Flight 93" guy but as he works in the Whitehouse on National Security, he believes diversity is a “weakness,” and Islam as “incompatible with the modern West?"

Hard times.

Diversity results in lowered social trust and bigger government. It only works (that is, does not break out into violence) when there's consensus on which tribe which gets to run the place. Anglo-America still runs the US and keeps everybody in line. In Singapore, it's the Han. In Israel, it's the Jews.

Alternatively, I can see diversity working in a greatly decentralized system where everybody gets their own cultural safe harbors. But in that case, why pay taxes to the central government to distribute to other groups, and why enlist to fight in its wars?

Islam is not compatible with the West because Muslims can't out-marry in any significant number. Practically no Western men, and very few Western women, are going to volunteer for the baggage of a Muslim family.

This is very deep in a long page but for what it's worth, I think that Clash of Culture types may not realize the degree to which they create the future they fear.

And that is more or less Tyler's starting point today.

This is the "if you call muslims terrorists, they will murder you!" argument.

A couple/few studies showed that for some very particular times and places.

Mostly, when these studies are brought up, they are supremely over-intepreted, drawing conclusions that cannot be reasonable be drawn, especially in any generalizable sense, from the observed results of the study.

So ... maybe just keep that in mind. a) not representative sample of studies, and b) people who discuss these studies usually have a very obvious agenda. Both of these factors have high probability of leading to you falling into the very same traps.

As for requiring a single dominant group to run things effectively ... there are just SOOOOO many ways around that, many or perhaps all of which even better.


What do you think about adopting a limit on the number of times any one person could add a comment on your blogposts.

Maybe one comment per post. Thinking ahead, with a word limit.

It would be a big positive not to have to wade through the permanent troll class that plagues your comment section.

It would also be pro growth because maybe the mega-trollers could turn their efforts to a productive activity

+1. However, rebuttals i think are worthwhile in promoting exchange of ideas so i would not limit to one comment per post. I'd prefer to see comments limited to X number per month so people can choose how they spend their comments.

The value of comments at this site used to be higher before it developed a cast of regulars.

It would be easy to use an email confirmation to limit one post per email address. That would increase the burden of trolling, but the dedicated troll could use multiple emails, or IP proxies.

I think I could settle to one per email tho.

There is value in the back-and-forth, and value in having people say stupid things. While there are plenty of pointless back-and-forths, there are also useful discussions in which people genuinely try to engage with one another. I think any limitations make the latter less likely, as people become more concerned with just saying their piece and moving on. The comments work well as a bullshitting session rather than a debate competition.

But then I could just sign up with numerous accounts, such as RacistTroll1, RacistTroll2, RacistTroll3, RacistTroll4, etc.

Which would leave more honest people highly under-represented.

Interestingly, that suggestion comes up with some regularity on boards where I disagree with racists numerous times.

Maybe ... be less racist or come up with some arguments that don't fail scrutiny at a level of first year unviersity stats or kindergarden sandbox reasoning?

Says the guy who hates brown people with such a fury that he moved to china. Revealed preference racist.

You have been destroyed in every argument in this area, so maybe your next step should be to do some actual research instead of pretending that other people are racist or are losing the argument when they're not

The only reason it's not overt is because I'm here.

People are not upset that immigrants succeed economically in the US. They get worried when they feel their country is changing in ways that are not good when immigrants don't culturally assimilate. When the many don't become part of the one, it creates problems.

Tyler's writing on immigration is getting more and more bizarre.

Cowen's thesis is this. Lots of immigrants to the US assimilate quickly in terms of economic and social (but not cultural) indicators. That means that they do well. This creates a problem for natives who cannot assimilate to the new culture created by immigration. That means that they do badly.

So Cowen is using "assimilate" with two different meanings. For the immigrants, "assimilate" means "assimilate economically" while for the natives it means "assimilate culturally". When he really means is "encouraging the actual arriving immigrants to assimilate [economically] better or faster can make the actual [cultural] assimilation problem worse, because it will change the home culture more rapidly too".

That equivocation is not necessarily a problem with the thesis, but it does expose a premise of the argument, namely that economic success has cultural consequences. That may be empirically true in the US, but it might not be elsewhere. Why does the presence of (ex hypothesi non-culturally assimilated) immigrants change the native culture more if they are rich than if they are poor? Why is it not just a numbers game? Might it not depend on the culture: we can imagine a culture in which natives (of all social classes) say "we see that these immigrants are doing very well in economic terms, but they'll never truly belong here and we have no desire to change our ways because of them". Would that be better for natives? Or is the underlying premise that economic success translates into social success/influence? Again we can imagine a culture in which that is not true, e.g. because high status natives regard (economically) successful immigrants as arriviste johnny-come-latelies with no breeding. Would that be better for low status natives? Would it be better in part because it would make social success dependent on more extensive cultural assimilation on the part of immigrants?

If Cowen's idea is correct then the implication might be that the best thing for native Americans would be to develop a more highly developed class system in which social status is less correlated with income. Writing from the other side of the Atlantic, that looks well worth considering.

when the trump trains start running, i have a feeling tyler will be one of them, headed for the work camps...oh, happy day

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