Friday assorted links


4. I am mostly Danish, and perhaps have somewhat typical Danish-American views. The thing is, in my Danish-American perspective, I see those views as entirely assessable to anyone. It's not like a bunch of Bloody Vikings we're always this way. At some point they made a choice, to free the serfs, and work towards egalitarianism.

You mean the thralls??

That too. From what I've been told, my grandmother grew up shoeless in 1890s Denmark, because farmers could be that poor. No plumbing, obviously.

The 20th century was a big one for improvement. Her son went to USC.

Nonsense. She would have had wooden shoes, albeit perhaps very worn ones. Just like my Danish grandmother and great grandmother, on one side of the family. On the other side of the family, they didn’t need shoes, because they walked on the broken dreams of communists.

Hey it’s made me what I am now — and what Denmark is now — a right of centre social democrat.

Then you should know that wooden shoes are outdoor, field, wear. And maybe shared by anyone going outside.

Like I said, she grew up shoeless. Well, I mean she had shoes for the outdoors.

But she’s didn’t have indoor shoes. Just like the Vikings.

Bedstemor is long gone, so I can't actually ask. It was her story to my dad, also passed. I do know that she and bestefar kept wooden shoes for the garden. So you know, put together what you will.

If it was no "church shoes" or "goin' to town shoes" that would fit my story.

And if she did have shoes "just like the vikings" just two generations ago, that fits my story too.

So you're Cherokee then.

Family stories match dna, except for a suspicious Belgian influence 100-150 years ago.

Same here. Apparently some Belgians made their way to DK and those were my ancestors.

It is interesting to note that the countries with less income inequality are also the countries with confiscatory tax policies. What they have done to "fix" income inequality is bring everyone down. Nice!

Most income inequality in free capitalist countries is a choice. Some people want instant gratification or simply don't know how to manage their money. Others put a lot of effort into working their way up the ladder of success and value saving over a flashy car. In a free capitalist society you are in charge of your own success. Freedom! It is a great thing.

Yeah, Nordic egalitarianism has shallow roots.

Income inequality has transformed over the last 50-100 years. See -

Britain used to be more equal than France and comparable to Germany and the Netherlands, for'ex, per the above.

Notably for the idea of "Nordic egalitarianism", the Norwegians also used to have higher income inequality than the USA in the 19th century - nice little paper on that and effects on migration by Ran Abramitsky -, and how it selected for low end migrants.

Neither do their estimates of income rank mobility really correlate much with the OECD's latest (Germany less income mobile than UK) -

I'm not skeptical that migrant groups don't change institutions of course (at all), but when you're talking about things which are subject to significant disagreement and change over time.

It's hard to believe that movements of British migrants >100 years ago can be associated with low egalitarianism and Nordic migrants >100 years ago with higher egalitarianism, when these groups at this time were not divergent in egalitarianism, or the trends were in exactly the opposite direction.

Right, we need to be careful to distinguish between signal and noise when it comes to cultural differences. Or between what's endogenous and what -- if anything -- is exogenous.

Japan's society has gone through several huge changes in the last 150 years. I think it's fair to say that there are still some deep cultural elements that have remained constant and that persist through at least a couple of generations of descendants of emigrants, but what they are and how long they will stay constant, who knows.

Or at a more shallow level (but we see people making this mistake all the time): there is no inherent cultural much less genetic proclivity of black people to play basketball or football rather than water polo or golf. Jewish players used to be over-represented in the NBA (and even more so its predecessor the BAA). American whites have become relatively scarce in the NBA, but white Euros such as the Nowitzkis and Doncics have become more common.

"there is no inherent cultural much less genetic proclivity of black people to play basketball or football rather than water polo or golf."

That seems like a bold statement to make. What makes you so sure? Aren't people more likely to play sports they are good at? Are you sure east africans have no genetic proclivity for long distance running?

Culture and societal preferences are what drive sports excellence, not genetics. Plus training opportunities and having the support network to concentrate on sports.

Did the Jewish players who used to be so common in the BAA and NBA become genetically inferior from the 1940s to the 1980s? Did American whites, who used to dominate in the NBA, become genetically inferior not just to American blacks, but in recent years to European whites, whose numbers have been rising steadily? What is the genetic factor that causes American men to be mediocre at soccer -- while American women excel?

The causes are overwhelmingly social, genetics don't change in just 40 years, or magically cause American men to be lousy at soccer while their genetic cousins in Germany, Italy, and Britain excel.

This is not to say that genetics has zero role. People who are five feet fall are not going to dominate in basketball. East African may have some genetic advantage -- but it's overwhelmed by social factors. How do we know this? Because if their genetics were so superior, why didn't they win Olympic gold medals until the 1960s? Because social factors (most likely a combination of poverty and not being particularly interested in Olympic gold medals) are way more important than genetics. Similarly why do Kenyans excel more than Somalis or Ugandans? Unless we believe there's some highly local gene, it's social factors, not genetic.

Re my comment on OECD earnings mobility data, for a cut down report, see -

Germany and the Nordic countries are polar opposites in intergenerational mobility; Germany quite low, Nordics quite high. New Zealand and Spain both have almost Nordic levels of mobility (which would be pretty inconsistent with a stance of cultural destiny on intergenerational mobility and projecting based on Britain and the former Spanish Empire in the Americas).

No "Great Gatsby curve" within European countries and developed offshoots considered alone.... Considering just countries in the "Gatsby curve" on the link at 4, that figure is totally wrong....

6. The correct answer is to fully support strong encryption, without back doors, by US companies.

If Apple can make its chips, and use strong encryption, all Huawei will see between iPhones is pseudorandom ones and zeroes.

'is to fully support strong encryption, without back doors, by US companies'

The NSA et al would much rather deal with a Huawei 5G future.

The really amusing thing is that GnuPG is two decades old, free, and multiplatform (including Apple) - yet somehow, no American company has apparently been especially interested in using it. A German web e-mail provider - - offers encrypted e-mails as part of its normal service (there are Germans who actually paid attention to what Snowden said), but oddly, it is pretty rare to find in the U.S.

Of course, it is likely due to the fact that encrypted communications remain of ever so dubious legality in the eyes of American law makers and law enforcement agencies. And a truly cynical person - without even referencing the data Snowden provided - would say that the current system allows American government security agencies a position that they do not want to share with competitors. However, the countries that manufacture things get to decide who to sell to, while those countries unable to manufacture state of the art equipment on their own are left jawboning everyone to keep using systems that benefit America.

I think you were commenting on paragraph 5, not 6.

Right. My comment on actual 6 would be that "going to college" is a culture that changes more slowly than I expected. Not that I was ever as aggressive as Christensen.

I'm a fan of strong encryption, but once they own the networking gear the can pull a man in the middle attack. Not sure if that's really been overcome.

#1 Trump's victory was the great secret of 21st century politics, maybe even of American politics altogether. Lots of people and corps - tons - knew he was going to win. For a variety of reasons of course, but mostly because so many people knew how terrible a candidate Hillary was.

The It's Her Turn campaign might as well have been a silver bullet, aimed directly at her candidacy.

#3 To use a British expression, Rubbish….

#4 You can take the 'whoever' out of the 'wherever', but you can't take the 'wherever' out of the 'whoever'...or at least it takes a long time for such marginal changes to become statistically significant.

This is why "magic dirt" theory is so pejoratively called. Taking people an ocean or a hemisphere away both geographically - as well as chronologically - and putting them somewhere else does not transform those people automatically into new 'whereverites'. That takes a long time, and no small amount of hardship and suffering.

What about through intermarriage? The maps I say on #4 show a large concentration of people with German ancestry in the Upper Midwest, and also a large concentration of people with Scandinavian ancestry in the Upper Midwest. I also didn't see any controls for race, which given that it was a study of the US, seems bizarre and potentially misleading. Is income mobility really low among whites in the Southeast? That is, the study shows correlations but doesn't really delve deeply enough to answer much of any questions as to why the correlation exists in light of some other, easily known facts.

Possibly, but only through experiential proximity, not genetics. There seems to be something that a lot of people forget when it comes to European ancestry as a whole, not dividing it between Saxon, Dutch, French, etc. etc. etc.


One of the single greatest factors in European domination (I would even go so far as to suggest it is genetic) is that Western Culture is a high-trust culture. Even despite all the horrors between European tribes, they are still higher trust than non-European groups. Trust is expensive. Trust is fragile. Trust takes generations upon generations to build. Trust requires a framework of repeated examples and demonstrations of fair-dealing both past and present to guarantee a future.

Importing people from 'low-trust' societies into 'high-trust' societies DOES NOT turn them into 'high-trust' people, possibly not even in multiple generations.

The book Albion's Seed touches on some of these concepts, one of which is the distinct 'borderer' nature of the Scots-Irish descendants of the American SouthEast and their distinctly 'tribal' and 'clannish' lack of trust stemming from a long and violent history in Britain's North-lands.

Just a theory, but it rhymes.

The problems with "low trust" "Borderer" SE USA culture are that large scale genetic data finds no particular link to the British borderlands, and neither is there evidence of low trust in neighbors or dislike of the state (they are ultra patriotic and civicly tight knit, if anything, not exactly skeptical libertarians).

Hillary sucked, which is why we could have had a much better President than Trump. We didn't have to wind up with an incompetent retard that is actively destroying what's left of the Republican party's libertarian principles. But a bunch of morons decided that only such a retard could beat Hillary, apparently.

Trump didn't destroy 'what's left' of the Republican party's libertarian principles. Republicans didn't need Trump's help for that.

"But a bunch of morons decided that only such a retard could beat Hillary, apparently."

I'll ignore the ad hominems (for now). Ready for a shocker? 'Those morons' are also going to help him beat 'any of the current 18 (D) candidates running in 2020, apparently'. do like ODB says and 'Diversify y'all bonds' yo.

I believe that was actually RZA.

Straight up. I stand corrected. Guess I just miss him. ODB was love. ODB was life.

Hillary sucked, which is why we could have had a much better President than Trump. We didn't have to wind up with an incompetent retard that is actively destroying what's left of the Republican party's libertarian principles.

Hazel's idea of 'libertarian principles' is what normal people would call, "Stuff that makes Hazel's life more convenient" conjoined to "Stuff that appeals to Hazel's racial neuroses".

I'd be pleased to see pix of the resort properties you've developed of late, since any 'incompetent moron' can do that, I assume that's your week-end diversion.

Must pix of conned business partners be sent too? What about tax returns?

Must pix of conned business partners be sent too?

They don't exist.

What about tax returns?

To satisfy your puerile curiosity (assuming you could make sense of them)? It's a reasonable inference Trump has received numerous colonoscopies from Lois Lerner's IRS.

Oh, I forgot. Trump bragged about knowing how to use the law, i.e. not paying supliers.

Meanwhile, President Captain Bolsonaro has NEVER conned anyone. He has been awarded a medal for heroism. But I guess Americans love swindlers.

Nice try, Señor Rathskellar. Vox already Voxsplained how audits work. Under Republican leadership since Reagan, the IRS only audits the poor for “EITC fraud.”

Rich people haven’t been audited in literal decades. A Trump paradise. Only the poor pay tax.

That's more of the Huffington Post kind of idiocy than Vox.

Yeah, the Vox source explains the stupidity of the comment. Overall you have less than 1% of an audit. If you make big bucks, >$10mil, you have a 35% chance., how refreshingly apropos.

If Vox said it, it's true. They've never been wrong before, and I know that because they don't issue corrections.

Motley fool in a pretty good site. Check out the the other stuff there.

"We didn't have to wind up with an incompetent retard that is actively destroying what's left of the Republican party's libertarian principles. "

Isn't Trump a mixed bag there? Clearly bad on trade and immigration, but not bad on judicial appointments (which will long outlive his presidency). Betsy DeVos trying to bring due process back to campus and get rid of the star chambers. Less clear is how the executive order concerning free speech on campus will play out, but it's hardly anti-libertarian. And despite the bluster, so far Trump has shown the least appetite for involving the U.S. in new international conflicts of any recent president. Can you imagine reading this story with Hillary ("We came, we saw, he died [evil cackle]") or Jeb in office? What else? Well, he's continued the push against unnecessary occupational licensing, and he's called off the dogs when it comes to enforcing federal laws where states have legalized marijuana (unlike his predecessor).

I didn't vote for Trump, and can't stand the protectionism or the 'build the wall!' xenophobia, but from a libertarian perspective, things could be worse.

Clearly bad on trade and immigration,

Love the 'clearly'.

From a libertarian perspective, yes, *very* clearly bad on trade and immigration.

I don't think Trump gets credit for much of that. His judicial appointments were almost certainly selected by someone else. Marijuana legalization was going to happen regardless of who was president, and the occupational licensing stuff is probably not his doing, and if he knew about it he would probably reverse it since it negatively impacts blue collar tradesmen who are currently protected by occupational licensing laws - the same class of workers he's happy to protect with steel tarriffs. Do you honestly think Trump is against occupational licensing?

"His judicial appointments were almost certainly selected by someone else."

True of all presidents.

"Do you honestly think Trump is against occupational licensing?"

Why not? When, for example, a state board, supported by self-dealing cosmetology schools, requires large number of training hours at high cost in order to be able to work, I think more Trump voters identify with the poor folks forced to spend thousands of hours and dollars for the privilege of working rather than with the well-heeled state board members and cosmetology school operators.

But I'm not all that big on playing the 'what does Trump really believe' game. The results are what they are. The Trump administration has not been uniformly terrible on issues libertarians care about.

Why not?
Because of the type of person he is. He's a New York real estate developer. He's made his living from rent-seeking, from exploiting government regulations to advantage himself. His trade policies explicitly demonstrate that he has no problem with imposing regulations to benefit a protected class of people. Again, that's exactly like what occupational licensing does, so why would he be against occupational licensing if he's in favor of trade protectionism?

He's made his living from rent-seeking, from exploiting government regulations to advantage himself.

You mean the rental property he develops has no value?

Mixed on trade. Trade is a subset of foreign policy, so if used to further a different gaol, then OK. You need to acknowledge the cost of the restrictions though. Immigration, he done very well. Most of the country wants exactly what he's doing. He's got 50% of the Hispanic vote now. It's the open border fringe vs the property rights libertarians facing off here.

He likely the most libertarian President we've had.

You’re right, he’s doing great on the border.

Thanks to him, everyone knows they can cross without issue! We have the highest rate of legal amnesty requests with illegal crossings in the history of the United States. These crossings will be declared legal in pursuit of amnesty, but ...

We are at the rate of 1.5 million illegal crossings per year, not including those who cross at legal ports of entry and request asylum. We are getting closer to 2 million a year, and that is fantastic!!

Trump completed the ultimate PR game of demonstrating that we, thankfully, have federal laws specifying open borders. Now all of Latin America knows it. And there is nothing he can do about it!

Let’s get it up to 10 million a year!!!

God bless trump!

You are not anonymous, you are an imposter, little better than a catnip mouse in a bubble pack.

Let the real mouse stand up on his little hind legs!

"libertarian" =/= "doing what most of the country wants".

True, but name a less authoritarian President in the past 100 years.

George H. W. Bush, Clinton, Carter, Reagan, Ford.

Add Coolidge, Hoover, Eisenhower, Kennedy

Reasonable post.

Doesn't seem much of a case in general that there are more and new restrictions on individual freedoms under Trump, or more growth of a state bureaucracy and regulation, and norms have clearly become more laissez-faire and less hung up on scandalous sexual behaviour and crude language (a shift libertarians should praise?).

International trade policy may have become more restrictive in some senses, but this is the case where it is most plausible that reciprocity and compromise to freedom to trade is needed for balance of power reasons and national security.

Whether or not libertarianism is a good political philosophy to have, it seems like an ambiguous at best case that Trump has eroded it. (Libertarianism is not simply "anti nationalism".)

That is, if you look at libertarianism as shorthand for a notion of a sort of capitalist, globalist emancipation for the world's poorest, away from born in restrictions of creed and country, then perhaps you could see Trump's presidency as eroding this ideology. But from a traditional civil libertarian PoV? The case is less obvious.

Let's not forget that concern about the budget deficit has also been tossed out the window.

International trade policy may have become more restrictive in some senses, but this is the case where it is most plausible that reciprocity and compromise to freedom to trade is needed for balance of power reasons and national security.

Post hoc rationalization if ever I saw it.

Whatever you believe the fact of the matter is that free trade with authoritarian and socialist states just isn't really a clear and longstanding principle on which there has been or is a clear libertarian consensus.

This is clear even should we trek back to 2011 (to stand well clear of any accusations of post-hoc rationalization), sampling the following by Ilya Somin, as far as I can tell a reasonably well informed libertarian thinker and member of the GMU / Cato mob - ("Libertarianism does indeed imply free trade between private individuals and firms. But trade with socialist governments is very different....Just as in the domestic context libertarianism is perfectly consistent with forbidding trade in stolen goods, in the international context it is consistent with forbidding trade with socialist governments.... Be that as it may, restricting trade with socialist states does not violate any libertarian principles.")

(Libertarians tend to low agreement on foreign and international policy, as far as I can tell, on relationships between states, and are most consistent in principle on domestic policy, of the relationships between individuals and their governing states).

Also low budget deficits are a libertarian principle? Maybe, but they certainly didn't seem very important under Dubya so hard to claim this is a longstanding Republican matter of principle being thrown out.

#2. Coastal homes along the DC-to-Boston Corridor are thus all over-priced? (Hypsometric data are becoming SO relevant all of a sudden!)

I suppose yachts can only maintain value as sea levels rise mysteriously.

4. What does this mean for immigration patterns? If egalitarianism is upward mobility is something we want, should we try to prioritize German and Scandinavian immigrants?

Or learn from them.

Don't accept the just-so story that we can't be like them. The German and Danish Americans know we can. We are.

Somehow I think that "peoples can change their ways" is the wrong message to take from that study.

There is, from my perspective, a strange resistance.

I was just thinking that without progress, and very importantly public education, my dad (or I) would be another generation of shoeless peasant.

My dad got his first degree, the first in the family, on the GI Bill. I bet many of you could say the same .. some of you while resistant to the future impact of such programs.

Of course genetics doesn't get you from serf to college graduate. Public education does that.

Typical leftist false dichotomy. Either accept government education or you're an oligarch telling others to eat cake.

The GI Bill is leftist now?

I have a horrible feeling that for many it is, and that they suddenly decide, one generation after the GI bill, that everything is genetic determinism.

Never mind where you would be without it.

Save the rant against the genetic determinists for people actually making that argument.

You know some people actually managed to attend college without government footing the bill. Of course it is more difficult to do now precisely because government is footing so much of the bill. Funny how that happens.

Then that's a different sort of bad argument, because it doesn't address the broad cultural transformation that the GI Bill made possible, even if you are so rare as to have no beneficiaries in your family.


Yes, let's talk about the broad cultural transformation known as middle class "entitlements" and the entitlement mentality that they foster.

They don't just provide "mentality," they built our world. Apple iPhones are by more than one path of descent the product of public education and government R&D.

None of that shit would have happened with a 3% rate of higher education.

The old but for this ridiculously wasteful government program it never would have happened argument.

You are referring to the catastrophic rise of credentialism and student loan debt?

The "Boom!" growth in your figure happens in the 1960s - not the GI Bill, probably the Baby Boom itself (greater numbers of potential students) combined with some policy change that has nothing much to do with military service.

The GI Bill is leftist now?

No, just the hamster's first step on the wheel. Peter Drucker offered a brief reminiscence about his young life. He completed high school in 1927 (atypical at a time when most left school around 14 or 15) and his father found him a job in an import-export firm. His family could have afforded tertiary schooling, but he wasn't interested and it wasn't strictly necessary in order to obtain salaried office employment (v. factory employment or miscellaneous wage employment). At that time, about 6% of each cohort were traipsing through colleges and universities, with low-single-digit shares attending junior colleges, normal schools, nursing schools, and stand-alone professional schools. North of 40% of those enrolled in colleges and universities were female. Graduate students were almost as likely to be female as undergraduates. It was only the professional schools (divinity, medicine, law, pharmacy, &c) which were a masculine preserve (with 89% of those enrolled male). The biggest changes in social stratification since 1928 have been the evaporation of the agricultural population and the gradual replacement of production workers with service workers with the latter more resistant to organization.

We've added many years since 1928 to the quantum of formal education people commonly receive. A great deal of it is just padding - half-assed liberal education for people who are never going to be intellectual hobbyists. A great many vocational and professional programs are wretchedly over-subscribed (law schools most egregiously).

As I've said elsewhere, I think education is ripe for ... perhaps not Christensen-esque destruction, but change.

That change should expand the human capitol available to our society. There simply aren't going to be enough good jobs for people who leave school at 14 or 15, and those workers aren't going to create enough innovation.

Why? What is it that people are learning at age 16 and 17 that is so useful on the job market? All the retail store employees, airport personnel, all the myriad random people you encounter every day- what benefit did they get from schooling?

I wouldn't trust the study, given that it doesn't try to grapple with racism in the US and how that would impact their findings of correlation.

If the goal is to increase economic mobility, then, yes. You're not going to magically transform people with different backgrounds into good little Scandinavians in a generation.

Of course, Asians have the highest economic mobility in the U.S., so they are the ones that our immigration policy should be tilting towards, not people from central/south America.

The conclusions reached in the “Deep Roots are Deep” article are similar to those in the book, “American Nations” by Colin Woodard. The cultural imprint on community left by the initial migrations to the US extend beyond identity to the source country. Most fascinating in Woodard’s analysis is how cultural norms of immigrants such as independence and suspicion of other groups transcends identification with national origin.

The most recent political results of these cultural tendencies came into play with the election of Trump. The “Proud, independent and disturbingly violet” groups “from the borderlands of the British Empire” Woodard identified as founding “Greater Appalachia” maintain outsized political influence. Often referred to as “hillbillies”, they occupy a wide swath of the mid-US from the western Carolinas to northern Texas. Including areas of southern PA and OH, they have extraordinary influence in many swing states prized by both parties. It’s no coincidence that Trump campaigned heavily in those areas and exploited Hillary’s foolish “Deplorables” campaign comment there with amazing success.

The “hillbillies” are also the reason Warren wants to pass a Constitutional Amendment to eliminate the Electoral College (which will never happen). Neutralizing the influence of this contentious, contrary and unreliable voting group in swing states is now front and center with Democratic efforts to shift the Presidential voting influence to the more populated areas that reliably vote Democratic. The more socialist message of the Democratic Party does not play well with these voters. It’s an interesting read for anyone who wants to understand the root cause of current political strategy for both parties.

Remember a mere 20 years ago when Bill Clinton carried those people by wide margins. Or when Dems where singing all those folk songs about coal minors.

Exactly. Bill Clinton understood how to talk to these people because he was reared in “hillbilly” country. Too bad for Hillary she didn’t learn these lessons from her husband.

Exactly. Bill Clinton understood how to talk to these people because he was reared in “hillbilly” country.

Clinton wasn't raised in the Ozarks. He grew up first in Hope, Ark. and then in Hot Springs. One is about 170 miles and the other about 100 miles south of the Ozark Plateau's southern extremity. His mother was a skilled employee (nurse-anaesthetist) and his step-father employed in the Clinton family's clutch of businesses (which included a car dealership and an auto-parts store). They lived in town, not in the country much less in the hills.

Clinton's mother was an amiably vulgar woman whose literary staple was the Daily Racing Form. His stepfather was a drunk and a mean one. They were, however, part of the local bourgeoisie.

The Mercatus spam filter will not allow the links. If you try an image search for the 'Clinton Boyhood Home', you can see their house in Hope (modest but satisfactory) and their handsome quasi-Tudor house in Hot Springs. It's doubtful the young Clinton would have known the Feathers and the Gutshall's from a cord of wood. Roger Clinton isn't a hillbilly. Middle class families occasionally produce dopey lowlifes, Roger Clinton and Tony Rodham among them.

Clinton's mother was an amiably vulgar woman whose literary staple was the Daily Racing Form. Being able to read and understand the DRF is hardly evidence of vulgarity. Horse racing was the most popular sport in the country until the nation's attention span became miniaturized by television's constant sensory overload. President emeritus Clinton's birthplace was actually the subject of a terrorist attack.

I am not so sure that socialism, of a type at least, doesn't play well with Appalachian voters. Social liberalism and wokeness definitively don't play well with Appalachians, as a population, but policies that benefit them and their communities do play well. Ever driven on the Robert Byrd highway? (The correct answer to that question would be, "which one?")

Agree. They would tend to favor policies that they view as personally beneficial, regardless of label. I view this more as classic pork barrel politics, which they would have no aversion to, instead of national socialism. They don’t seem to have any preset philosophies other than a general distrust of the establishment and a desire to remain independent. It’s an interesting cultural group and not easily defined. Particularly humorous was Woodard’s account that they will typically lie to or not answer pollsters attempting to know their voting intentions. Apparently, this has caused numerous miscalculations by various politicians over the years.

You're talking about Scotch-Irish heritage people, who are at least as "clannish" as any other minority group. (Maybe white-identity politics is actually celtic scotch-irish clannishness emerging in a different way?)

"Scots-Irish" is the proper term, Scotch is a drink. This is the class of people that have, on the census or social surveys, traditionally identified as ethnically/racially "American" by ancestry rather than African-American, Italian-American, German-American, Puerto Rican-American, Native American, and the like. It wouldn't be surprising if, since "American" has broadened so much over the past 120 years and especially the past 40, that these people now ethnically identify as "white American": they are repeatedly told that that is what they are.

One of my good college friends is from Venezuela, and he struggles to understand this American dynamic. According to him, Venezuelan people are simply "Venezuelan", there's no prefix or suffix. Granted, he's from a very wealthy family, so he probably ignores that the more indigenous or Afro sectors of Venezuelan society that may disagree with him.

Woodard had a few paragraphs in his book on this unique aspect of Greater Appalachian culture. He believes it’s an aspect of their independence. America is where they happen to be, so to them they’re “American”... period. Most have no recollection or desire to identify with their country of origin roots or past.

I guess the organization known as "The Scotch-Irish Society of the United States of America" (founded 1889) didn't get the memo.

I don't know which label "Scotch-Irish" or "Scots-Irish" is considered more correct or popular today, but a name created in 1889 might well be less popular today. The NAACP was for "colored people" and it's still in the organization's name, but most of today's members are not calling themselves "colored". Granted "people of color" seems to have risen in popularity lately.

You misunderstood. That's a Scotch drinking group of Irishmen. ;)

There's the best explanation :) The Scots-Irish are from the northern borders of England and the southern borders of Scotland though. They just kind of passed through Ireland, being relocated there to fight the Irish and settle Northern Ireland. The weren't liked much there, then moved to America. The were a PIA for the British before relocation as well.

This is the class of people that have, on the census or social surveys, traditionally identified as ethnically/racially "American" by ancestry

Exactly. That's the problem they think that "American" = "themselves" and not all of those other groups of people. Although seriously most German-Americans (And Swedes and Poles, etc) identify as "white" too. Though plausibly, the German Americans are less prejudiced about who else counts as American. I don't know. Some empirical data would be interesting. Appalachian hillbillies do appear to be a bit more racist than Minnesotans. Is the class of "whites" in America who are more racist determined by ethnic ancestry in a potentially genetic way? That would be an interesting data point to know.

Scotch-Irish are literally the problem with the US. They are what caused the Trump presidency. They also caused the Clinton “triangulation.” They are white trash, toothless retards, and reflexively support policies that their betters have decided are BAD.

To combat racism, what we need is a “Scotch-O-Caust” of these people. Convert to intersectionality or die etc.

I would like to think this is a parody, like Thiago's numerous impostors, but it also would not surprise me if this is anonymous's real view finally coming out into the open.

Well, maybe society should just recognize the inherent clannishness and racism that Scots-Irish people are prone to, so we can stop expecting them to fit into normal society like everyone else. We know that many Appalachian regions have levels of extreme poverty which might be due to genetics, and we should just accept this instead of redistributing wealth from high-trust societies like Minnesota (German-Swedish stock) to them.

Well, maybe society should just recognize the inherent clannishness and racism that Scots-Irish people are prone to, so we can stop expecting them to fit into normal society like everyone else. We know that many Appalachian regions have levels of extreme poverty which might be due to genetics, and we should just accept this instead of redistributing wealth from high-trust societies like Minnesota (German-Swedish stock) to them.

We're usually treated to your fantasies about blacks. Now we get to hear your fantasies about another communal segment of which you know nothing from abstract data and nothing from personal contact.

Some empirical data would be interesting.

Oh, but when you make sh!t up, it's so much more amusing.

This is the class of people that have, on the census or social surveys, traditionally identified as ethnically/racially "American" by ancestry

Eh... There actually aren't really many of these people though.

On the US General Social Survey (, when you look at how many provide "American" as their primary ethnic group (question - ETHNIC), it's 2.6% of the US population as a whole and within that group about 50% Black, 40% White and 10% Other.

Across the United States, only 1.2% of White Americans identify as American only.

Even within regions, within the south regions on the General Social Survey, only 2% ("South Atlantic"), 3.4% ("East South Central", incl. much of Appalachia), and 2.1% ("West South Central") of Whites identify as "American".

The idea of a large, election determining group of White Americans who are "Scotch Irish" and identify strongly as "American only" is something of a popular myth. Even White "deep Americans" tend to identify their ethnic background by the country that they perceive most of their ancestors to be from (accurately or inaccurately).

African Americans tend to be the most likely to identify as American only, and this is obviously because of how Transatlantic Slavery strongly broke any connection with any specific African nation and erased their knowledge about it.

You're talking about Scotch-Irish heritage people, who are at least as "clannish" as any other minority group.

Thanks for the ass-pull, Hazel. Always an education.

If you are interested in the borderlands people in america, you should definitely read "albion's seed" if you havent already.

Yes, I read that after I read American Nations. Thanks for the reminder. It’s an excellent account of the culture.

1. Just maybe Pharma stocks were rising because of some other unrelated reason? In other words, p hacking, of course some things will be correlated with a particular political change, but they don’t need to be related.
2. Hmm - really? i can’t read the paper but my guess would be this is related to already existing flood risk, not flood risk in the future.
3. Terrible thread. This is the worst kind of politics - assuming your opponents are stupid (simplistic thinking is just another way of saying stupid). Personally I have found that many people over-complicate things if they are too close to the subject matter, and over-simplfy if they are not. Every case needs to be taken on its own merit.
3. Genetics rule.
4. Huawei panic - simple to deal with, use encryption.
5. Boring.

Regarding standard flood risk versus the sort anticipated by sea level rise, I wonder if that 7% price difference was any different 25 years ago.

Also on #1: how many industries and sub-industries did they run the analysis on. I'm betting they did it (at the vary least) on hospitals and health insurance, and they probably ran it on some standard dataset of stock prices paired with industry groups.

Agree, #3 was a bad take. Brexit was and is a "big idea", i.e. simplism, which is what matters in terms of politics, a lot like "universal healthcare" or "free college" or even "hope and change". When you get down to the specifics of what a big idea entails, you tend to lose support. Reaganism and Thatcherism were based on big ideas about the free market and capitalism that widely disrupted the existing order, that of the carefully managed technocracy of the post-war Keynesian economic system and detente with the Communist world. That system was sick in the late 70s, much like America felt stuck when Obama proposed "hope and change". Had people known these big ideas in practice meant lower taxes for bankers or cancellation of their existing insurance plans with their preferred medical providers, they may not have signed up to them. Brexit is like this: the existing status of the UK within the EU was not satisfactory both to those who wanted a WEAKER relationship and those who wanted a STRONGER relationship. Thus Cameron's referendum.

Reagan and Thatcher cancelled people's insurance plans? Who knew?

I am pretty sure also that no-one who voted yes in the Brexit vote did so because they wanted more EU.


"Personally I have found that many people over-complicate things if they are too close to the subject matter, and over-simplfy if they are not."

Bingo. Brexit was about a backlash against unwanted immigration IMPOSED upon the English (not British) people by the insular elites in the EU. Everything else is noise. Follow the signal and ignore the noise.


You are truly clueless. Brexit was all about "it's the immigration, stupid".

Bill Clinton was a brilliant politician.

Study finds that supporters of German populist far-right party AfD scored relatively low on Aesthetic Sensitivity and Intellectual Curiosity -and particularly low on Agreeableness, showing a lack of compassion & interpersonal trust.

This, from 'Roland Smith'. Our institutions are run by the sort of people who fancy Frank Gehry's work worth admiring and emulating, who fancy men who want to be castrated and shot full of oestrogen have fine-and-dandy preferences and aspirations and if you say otherwise you're fired, and fancy other people should be curious about the contents of their work product and agreeable to them.

#4. I can't wait to see what the influx of Somalis (high in-group preference) will do to MN's egalitarian (low in-group preference) society.

A low in-group preference society might be the only thing that can actually open up a high in-group preference society. I don't see another high in-group preference society having the desired effect. That would just reinforce mutual mistrust.

Many people have high in-group preference when their in-group is in the majority, and low in-group preference when their in-group is in the minority.

I guess the way it will work is, the Somalis notice that Minnesotans didn't seem terribly upset that they, the Somali immigrants, had stolen tens of millions of dollars from the state in a fake daycare scheme involving no small number of members of that community. In fact, the Minnesotans didn't seem particularly eager to investigate the matter beyond "closing" a few fake daycares. And the newcomers would be so impressed by 'midwestern nice,' they'd become trusting themselves. And even if they didn't - well, funds are limitless - and maybe the onus is on the Minnesotans to trust that any further theft is just a down payment on the future. Anyway, if we could just get all children into the right government-funded preschool from birth, all differences will just melt away, because uniformity is our strength.

This is what happens when someone finds a group of people that ALWAYS COOPERATE in the prisoner's dilemma, and when that someone doesn't care about the cooperators' well-being.

Read for comprehension. The Somalis cheated.

I think you need to take your own advice

Did I get it backwards ... again?

They could just view it as a certain kind of tax. Yes, Minnesotans could stop being “Midwestern Nice” to keep Somalis from stealing money, but they rightly figure that the costs of changing their own cultural DNA are way higher than tolerating a small ethnic community full of cheats.

I don't think the solution to this problem is going to be to start treating all Somalis in Minnesota as untrustworthy outsiders. You need a basis to build mutual trust. Perpetual mistrust is not an answer.

Oh, I don't think that the Minnesotans are so treating them - quite the contrary. That's why it's such a good natural experiment.

On my head a hat that wasn't

Somlia was shredded into prehistory by INTRA-tribal inter-clan warfare in the mid 90s. Clannish behaviour, including mistrust of and cheating outsiders runs deep in their culture - read the epilogue in 'Black Hawk Down".

It is the Somalis that must adapt. Perhaps the state can provide counseling to Somali immigrants to help them integrate into a high-trust society. Unfortunately, such counseling jobs would most likely attract sjws with no interest in teaching immigrants how to assimilate into the host culture - that would be politically incorrect.

This is not going to work well.

1) If I were a pharmaceutical company I'd quietly be developing a drug that hones the ability to make such predictions -- e.g. Trump Wins or Auburn to the Final Four.

Interesting that the Ohio guy who picked the first 49 NCAA games correctly is a neurosurgeon.

Actually not at all interesting

4. Another tedious let's emulate blond-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian socialists story. And it won't work because multiculturalism demands that we not judge cultures of "marginalized" groups as being inferior (except to blame the "hegemonic" culture).

#4. Its not just the people/genes though, African Americans in the areas are also affected by it (could be hereditary counting on how far back the roots of these African Americans go though) but childhood exposure also plays a role.

It seems the authors posit a "founder effect" by these communities when they first emigrated and populated the areas...

Great point. Also explains why the East Coast remains persistently elitist (British heritage), even though it's population is far more mixed now. You still have these very British institutions like prep schools on the east coast and they remain very influential.

Ironically, those private prep schools attract the elite from across the US, though some wealthy 'Old Yankees' do send their kids to those schools.

This is my home turf, but as the progeny of Irish Catholics I don't fit in. We have our own culture, but have married outside of it.

The British east coast heritage, at least in the Northeast, is Puritan. The British themselves were so pleased with Oliver Cromwell's version of Puritanism that after the Restoration his body was exhumed and his head displayed on a pike for eighteen years. The return of Charles II produced the greatest celebration in British history, ever. The Puritan mindset lived on undiminished in Boston and the rest of New England. Puritans were the ringleaders in the treasonous American Revolution and the insane War Between the States. Their influence remains today in a somewhat altered form. Harvard University is the epicenter of evil in the Western Hemisphere.

4. By the way, look at the poor Russians. News today is that one-third of them cannot afford more than one pair of shoes per year. That is pretty darn close to my grandmother's condition. Those of you who lean towards "white makes right" might reconsider, especially as you tie that to the "great" job Putin is doing. Or should it be "Putin is looting?"

White people, but a culture that sucks.

California, too.

Much different than Soviet times when the elite immigrants were sought after, prompting the "brain drain" phenomenon. Supposedly, Soviet education system was high-end. Don't know what happened other than that gosh darn fall of communism.

Oh man, MR is priceless. where else could you find a contingent that prefers Russia to California. In a kidding, not kidding, way of course.

Among the 50 states, California has the highest poverty rate and has the second highest level of income inequality.

But we are told that more socialism will transform SF and LA from being vagrant sh*tholes into Singapore.

Exactly. Leftist ideology ruined Russia; now it's ruining California. Anonymous can get as indignant as he wants that someone pointed out this inconvenient truth; it doesn't change anything.

Conservatards like Jeff R: “California, it’s so terrible that everyone wants to move and live there!” The land of opportunity attracts many people of modest means. Haters gonna hate.

Meanwhile, in Sunny California, one of the largest economies in the world, tech leader of the world, entertainment leader of the world, agricultural leader of the world.....things are great.

We run a budget surplus to pad our rainy day fund, pensions are fully funded, and we are close to 100% green energy. We open new UCs. Affirmative consent rules the land. Electric cars everywhere! Gays have kids and drive them off cliffs just like straight men do! Women are believed. Equality reigns supreme. A Rawlsian paradise!!

Soon we will be the only state with high speed rail to rival Japan and France. Corruption is low, trust in institutions is high, and we are sending one of our AGs to the presidency, Kemala!

I have no idea if this other "anonymous" thinks (s)he's helping, but whatever.

When I was "the bear" I was impersonated too. So that's a constant. With "anonymous" I just find it less annoying.

Pensions are fully funded... Hahaha

Are you THAT LESS THAN ASTUTE to NOT KNOW the difference between RUSSIA and THE FORMER SOVIET UNION? And yeah, probably not gonna post here anymore just a bunch of angry people trying to assert their testosterone-driven arguments

Baby please don't go - Muddy Waters

Agree, MR is terrible. You should definitely not comment here anymore.

I'd give it up, but there are too many cat toys. You are one.

But THAT is funny! +1

I just insult you from time to time when you post something dumb or incoherent or both. If that in some perverse way is actually enjoyable to you, you've got a bizarre cognitive profile.

Buddy, you joined the Russia defense brigade. If that was just because you saw my "name" and couldn't control yourself, more pity you.

I didn't say anything about Russia. I said something about you.

I am bored now, and the pages corrupted with other "anonymous," but seriously be aware of the whole thread you are joining.

But we have McDonalds now!

#2 a few weeks ago a law was reformed to better price the flood risk. Insurance companies are now free to charge according to the risk they calculate. Before the flood risk was calculated by FEMA.

4. Great article. I wonder if results would be similar if they studied wealth instead of income. Scandinavian countries have low income inequality, but their wealth inequality is the highest in Europe. Wealth inequality in Sweden is higher than in China and only slightly lower than in the US. I believe wealth is a better measure of economic well-being than income, since people must trade their time to earn most of their income. Our understanding of equality, mobility, etc. could be radically different if we examined wealth rather than income.

4. Thank got for German and Swedish immigration, then, because without that, the US would have wound up with the inequality and upward mobility levels of the UK.
How come they didn't map Spain though?

I wonder how much of the British data is explained by the simple comparison of London and the Home Counties vs the rest of the country?

I had a friend who was an investment manager. Me: "Why don't you move to London, you'd make far more money?"

Him: "Because I couldn't have remotely as good a life as I enjoy in Edinburgh."

Edinburgh house prices are getting pretty high. I would say within 75% to 85% of upper end London suburbs (Richmond etc). Why is this?

The British change happened in a quick step change in the 1980s then remained static thereafter, while cost of living in the Smoke continues to rise.

#6: Given the cost, it absolutely boggles my mind that there aren't more closures of private institutions of middling academic quality. Why are people dropping 30k per year to go to a place like, say, Drexel University, with its 75% acceptance rate? The mind, it reels.

They're going to Drexel because they didn't get admitted to Penn or even Notre Dame. Probably didn't get admitted to Penn State either, and the other public colleges they got admitted to offered worse educations than Drexel does ... or are just plain over-enrolled and under-financed and don't have space for them.

It's a pretty good article, there's an underlying maybe even Straussian observation that Christensen's statement was grandstanding clickbait. Unfortunately Christensen seems to be trying to exploit this notoriety and tabloid economics by taking his own prediction seriously.

It's like Laffer and his eponymous curve. It's solid economics to posit the existence of the Laffer curve, but economic malpractice to pretend that most tax rates are on the downward-sloping part of the curve. Similarly it's valid to predict that more colleges will be closing in the future, but economic (or higher education) malpractice to say that half of the will close in 10 years -- and to then keep treating that prediction seriously.

I get that first part. The thing is, if I couldn't get in to Penn/Penn St/Temple even, I would just bite the bullet and go to say, West Chester or Millersville. But I guess to some people it's worth the extra 25k per year to try to show that you're a cut above the average West Chester or Millersville student? I dunno. Seems nutty to me, but I guess if you have wealthier parents than mine willing to foot the bill.....

The pharma paper is claiming that prediction markets had Hillary at over a 90% probability of victory. I've always heard from Robin Hanson that Trump had odds of about 40%. The former number just sounds too high to be plausible that close to the election.

The day before the election the best odds one could get on Hillary were -400. Trumps odds were +300. The LA Times and 538 took a beating in giving Trump a 30% chance, though post-election they were shown to have far better models. The Huffington Post and the NYC gave Clinton a 90% chance to win and hence felt welcome to disparage more realistic predictions.

Contrast that with 2008, where the odds the day before the election pretty much made Obama a lock at -2000+/-.

Not to mention, the pharmaceutical industry may well have come to an arrangement with the Clinton camp so the election results didn't matter. I've only read the abstract, so perhaps this is discussed in the article? Were there a bunch of insiders driving up the share price?

Much of the social support systems, public education, and safety net that developed in the US during the 1910-1940s are or were more in line with the Prussian and German Empire systems of the latter half of the 19th Century than what developed in Great Britain starting in 1906 under the Liberals and then Labour. Probably not a coincidence that Germans were the largest ethnic group in the US at the time, and their communities tended to be very close-knit and contained many socialist and trade unionist radicals. As far as labor and industrial relations go, though, we in the US ended up in the late 1930s with the British adversarial model. Unions have collapsed in the US much as they have in the UK; maybe German-inspired social systems are more durable?

6. How many higher ed institutions have been closing and what is the trajectory?

See ya later indoctrinater.

#3 yay. Another idiot on Twitter

"In 2013, Harvard Business professor Clayton Christensen made a bold prediction based on his ubiquitous innovation theory that maybe half of all postsecondary institutions could close within 10-15 years."

Global Warming strikes again!

Who cares if half of them close - it would save many poor suckers from borrowing money to buy a worthless product while wasting four plus years of their lives.

There are many other options, like an entry level job, trade school, online Ed, etc.

I would love to see the death of credentialing and the college board monopoly of post secondary education.

Did #2 adjust for the higher cost of insurance? Companies price down to small flood zones, particularly in the Southeast.

Hey Mindles! Have missed your wisdom and expertise.

#3) Straussian Reading: Tyler is showing how the Left--yet again--doesn't understand the Right. The Simplism is on the part of the Tweeter.

What idiot could believe this:

Leave/remain kumbaya

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