Can a Free Society Work for the Less Clever?

Posted by Zenphamy 5 years, 10 months ago to Philosophy
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From the Article: "Honestly now: Do you have what it takes? We all like to think we’re smarter than average, but the math is cruel. Half of us are below median intelligence, and some of us are considerably lower. So why should we think that freedom is a good policy for everyone?

I believe freedom is the best policy, but sometimes that is a hard argument to make. A free society presupposes that people are capable of living self-responsibly. That in turn presupposes that they have enough intelligence to do so. And a free democracy presupposes that the majority will consistently make good political decisions. That also presupposes they have enough intelligence to do so.

But a strong claim can be made that it’s naive to think that most people are smart enough. So let’s take up that hard challenge, since only by facing the best arguments on all sides can we be most certain of our own conclusions."
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The author goes on through various example and 'what ifs' to describe why a paternalistic approach to government might be justified in some thinking on how to deal with this situation, but that ethical concerns tell us that a 'free democratic' government is still better. But he doesn't really address what would happen to the less intelligent endowed, in a true 'free' government without the burden of a democracy that gives equal voting rights, regardless of intellectual ability.

Another way to describe such a government is the long sought one, strictly limited to only providing retaliatory force to initiators of force on others, defensive reaction to foreign aggression, and contract dispute resolution--with no opportunity to enact laws of taxation, mandatory fees, or any other forced collection/reimbursement device, and only free market capitalism to influence human interaction.

As an aside, one such way to ensure such a system is to require a super-majority vote for any legislative action and any and all financial related laws to be submitted to citizens, with again a super-majority vote required. But back to the point.

What happens to the less intellectual endowed with such a government that can no longer assert through a vote, any special considerations and more to the point, should we care. It's my contention that in such a system, those without such abilities, education, or drive would fail, and probably do so fatally. Over a very few generations, their numbers would drastically reduce to a point that they would be a true minority.

What would such a place look like? Would it look like a Gulch Nation? Would we all be comfortable there, and if we're not, should we leave or be forced to?

For those that don't like the sound of such a system, we've actually done this twice in our history. Once was the original settlement of the Eastern US, and the second was the settlement of the West during the 1800's. Individual and even group failure was rampant during those periods of this country and the man that pulled through such failures and went on to make it in other ventures was celebrated.
SOURCE URL: http://www.thesavvystreet.com/can-a-free-society-work-for-the-less-clever/


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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 years, 10 months ago
    I think that in a free society there would be good
    places for the less intelligent, in menial jobs suit-
    ed to their capacity (and, probably, their tastes
    also). Everybody doesn't have to be the same.
    Eddie Willers could never have invented Rearden
    Metal, but he appreciated it, and he was gain-
    fully employed.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 10 months ago
      Indeed. And we shouldn't look at lower skilled job performers without appreciation for their contributions and efforts, if the person is doing the job to his ability and with pride as a producer.
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  • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 10 months ago
    I do not think that high-IQ/ low-IQ is the proper division. I would let people choose - free choice!

    I suspect that over half the people - including most of the high-IQ folks - would freely choose to live in a socialist environment. This is something that is not taken into account when discussing personal freedoms.

    Jan
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    • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 10 months ago
      Then those who choose not to live in a socialist environment should be FREE to establish a new government for themselves.
      There is nothing sacred about the union dictatorship.
      Secession is the best peaceful answer.
      $^(% Lincoln and his %@$^&* union.
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      • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 10 months ago
        If we are trying to come up with a society in which everyone can live, we have to deal with the fact that our children and grandchildren may well want to be socialists. The point I have made before is that it is feasible for socialist microcosms to exist within a capitalist framework; the reverse seems to be less true.

        So, of course we are free to establish a new society, but if we want an enduring system, and don't want to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors, we should take what we have learned about our species into consideration.

        Jan
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        • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
          Why are we trying to come up with a society in which everyone can live? The power mongers, the looters, the moochers, the go along to get along, the psycho/sociopaths, those that choose to use violence and coercion and fraud to live.

          Should my children or grandchildren want to be socialists, they're welcome to leave and do so elsewhere, not with me. How can a social microcosm exist within a laissez faire capitalist framework with the requirement of private owned property. A lot of communes were tried in the 60's and 70's and didn't work then and won't work now.

          I think what we've learned about our species is that if humans are not taught or raised within a rational, selfish, environment that recognizes and celebrates the productive and emphasizes individual freedom, that insanity, idiocy, and ignorance will soon rise to be the norm and the brute will gain and exercise power over all and that system will fail as will those individuals within it.

          Socialism/collectivism/statism/progressivism has been shown again and again to not work for the betterment of mankind or individuals throughout man's history and no amount of understanding, inclusiveness, acceptance, or improvement will make it work.
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          • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 9 months ago
            Alas! I just replied in detail to a different post of yours.

            You bring up some additional topics, though: I do not think that self-selecting communes are universally failures. Religious communes have been profit centers over the years. I think that the communes in the 60's and 70's failed because they were incompetently managed.

            I think that educational environment can shift some of the population into a mode that emphasizes the worth of the individual (and that these people will be reasonably happy in that mode) but I do think that most of humanity would joyfully exchange freedom for security.

            Jan
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            • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
              'Incompetently managed' indicates to me that you believe there must exist competent management, which is the argument of collectivism/statism--that we should turn our lives over to the 'expert managers' of bureaucracy that is better able to manage my life than I am. That's nonsense.

              As to religious communes being profit centers, so were cotton plantations in the 18th and early 17th century. When you have slaves either chained literally or figuratively as in religion, somebody may be making a profit, but it's not the slave.

              The fact that a large percentage of our present population would exchange freedom for security, joyfully or not, speaks to my contention that the insanity of collectivism/statism needs to be 'rooted out' of the garden of humanity's belief system as an immediate threat to what private property and freedom we have left.

              Your comments about communes, socialism, and ideas of the numbers of people willing to give up their freedoms reminds me of the arguments of Robbie against Objectivism, because humanity produced Attila, Hitler, and Stalin.
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              • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 9 months ago
                My arguments are solely in the direction of the individual being able to freely choose their mode of life, even if I do not agree with it. I did not make any argument about Stalin, Hitler or Attila - that was someone else.

                As long as the basic structure of society supports individual freedoms, I am in good shape. If individual freedoms are supported, then someone is free to choose socialism. How do I then keep this choice from poisoning the whole system (as it has done in our current life)? It is not by ignoring what I perceive as a part of human nature, it is by trying to find a way to contain their preferences in a manner that does not endanger me.

                Jan
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                • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
                  Objectivism is the answer you're looking for. In a culture and society of Objectivist, it's not just individual freedom, it's what that comes from; rational, logically reasoned analysis of factual reality. In such a society, socialism/communism couldn't exist. If the non-productive and politician couldn't make his living from others, he'd have to move on. Our current system and our ancestors' system are and were not Objectivist. Humanity will always produce the weak minded and weak willed. It is of the utmost importance that such individuals and groups can not succeed or even survive.

                  Many might say that's cruel. It is not, it is reality
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                  • Posted by VetteGuy 5 years, 9 months ago
                    Hi Zen,

                    I would like to think that Objectivism is the ultimate answer for culture and society. For the vast majority of those here in the Gulch, that would indeed be a utopia. However, I think that there are a large number of people in the general population (maybe even most people) who either cannot or will not think for themselves in a rational manner. I strongly suspect if you took an exit poll for any election, and asked people WHY they voted for a specific candidate, very few would give answers that would be considered logical and reasonable here in the Gulch.

                    The same, unfortunately applies to personal and financial decisions. Credit card debt is a plague, even though the info is readily available that interest rates are ridiculous. People buy houses and cars they can't really afford. They take out student loans to get degrees in basket weaving (or something equally rewarding).

                    We here in the Gulch sometimes forget that we are the vast minority. I wish the world were full of rational individuals like I find here. Unfortunately, I believe we are increasingly rare.
                    VG
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                    • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
                      That was the intent of the Post. What would happen to the weak minded and weak willed in an Objectivist/Free society? Could they participate in such a society, to what extent? Could/would/should they survive?

                      And of course, how many Objectivist are strong enough in their philosophy to understand why they must allow the weak minded and weak willed to fail in their midst?

                      As to a minority, yes we are and probably always will be, but I think the last few years has seen a growth. Whether that will sustain or continue to gain traction, I don't know. Most days, I fear the worst, and still consider leaving this country.
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                      • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 5 years, 9 months ago
                        Hello zenphamy,
                        Me too. Everyday the news brings me more evidence of decline, of reduced freedom, of more Marxism... I search for an out, but now they even charge you to leave and become an ex-pat, while making it ever more difficult to gather sufficient resources to leave with some form/sense of security.
                        It is prison of their making imposed upon those of us that remember and desire sweet liberty.
                        Regards,
                        O.A.
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                  • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 9 months ago
                    Objectivism, or something similar, is probably my answer, but it is not the answer for the bulk of humankind. My right to a free choice strongly requires that other people be able to make their free choices too.

                    I am not interested in being 'pure', just in being functional and ethical. So I think we fundamentally disagree with each other here, Zenphamy. Perhaps someday we will sit around a fire, drinking brandy, and arguing this until the stars dim and the sun rises.

                    Jan
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        • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 10 months ago
          I am trying to get liberty for those who really want it. If someone wants socialism instead, he/she is not welcome, because we have seen that the result is the end of liberty. Liberty allows productivity, which usually results in a better life for everyone who is willing to work. This success attracts people who want to be free to achieve, but it also attracts people who just want something for nothing. The latter should be discouraged, educated on the facts of life, and if still unable to understand, the contract should include a buyout of that person's interests and a ticket on the next bus/boat out of town. This is why productive countries do not allow uncontrolled immigration.
          I am not in favor of unearned suffrage either.
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        • Posted by strugatsky 5 years, 9 months ago
          Israel is one example of socialist mini-societies within an essentially pseudo-capitalist framework. It works somewhat, by providing multiple safety nets to those that can't or don't want to earn a living. However, I would argue, that if it wasn't for the socialist anchors and drag chains, with their [always] associated corruption and inefficiencies, Israel could have been better, richer, happier and smarter, immesurably so.
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          • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
            I'm not sure how to define Israel, since at the time they were putting their state together and since, they've been on a war footing and see themselves as offering refuge for the Jews of Europe and Russia. I don't think it's as much socialism as it is the religiousness of Jewery, as illustrated by the ultra-orthodox that never work and instead devote their lives to study of the Torah, which the government supports, and the support given to any Jew that wants to immigrate that results in such a screwed up system.

            Israel is, at it's base, a religious state founded on that religion which is also their culture. Everything is about being a Jew.
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            • Posted by strugatsky 5 years, 9 months ago
              Jew and Judaism are completely different things (and concepts), and often at odds with each other. Israel was actually founded as a secular state - Zionism is a secular concept and is very much rejected by the Hasidim Jews. Israel has made tremendous (and in my opinion, undeserved) accommodations for the Hasidim and they have become the welfare class. But the main economic vows in Israel stem from socialism, which is arresting what otherwise would have been a very vibrant economy, in my opinion.
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    • Posted by $ Flootus5 5 years, 10 months ago
      I have always observed that the IQ business had nothing to do with common sense - that essential trait necessary for fruitful living. And that common sense is remarkably uncommon.

      That is how you get some of these whiz bang "intelligentsia" - Robert Reich comes to mind - saying some of the DUMBest things.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
      You're seriously stating that 'free choice' of socialism is of value to the concept of 'individual freedom' and Objectivist life. There is no personal freedom in a socialist environment, where you take from those that can and give to those that won't.

      I'll concede that many in this country no longer understand the difference between freedom and slavery, but that doesn't give it any weight in a value measurement. It only points out the foolishness of a lot of people.
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      • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 9 months ago
        Let me try to state my view carefully, since I do not want to be misunderstood on a topic this crucial. My ideal solution to the cultural problem of economic, technological, and ethical decline is not to subtract myself into a hidden valley of like-mined people: It is to take over the USA. I want the US to be my Gulch!

        My honorable ancestors have fought for freedom in this country since before it was a country. I would like to save my personal values from oblivion - and take the rest of the US with me. But, with the great infrastructure advantages this would bring, it would also bring a lot of luggage.

        I seriously suggest that if something like Objectivism ever gains the upper hand in governance of the US, one of the things we will have to deal with is the fact that a lot of intelligent people genuinely prefer socialism. My answer is the same as that of jdg: Let them form communes within the matrix of a free society. Society can treat with the 'commune' as an 'entity' (it must support itself and pay whatever taxes are appropriate, etc). The crucial proviso would be that no one could be prevented from leaving the commune whenever they wanted to.

        I have no personal love for socialism (!), but forcing everyone to live by my preferences would be like making everyone eat steak because I like it (yum!). Some people want to be vegetarians. And, yes, I do think that >50% of human beings in general would prefer to live in a socialism, even if they were raised in a free environment (and yes, these socialists would include some of the most intelligent people in the country).

        The topic of this post is "Can a free society work for the less clever"? I think that, for a free society to work at all (even were we to start over on another planet) we will have to take the basic nature of humanity into account - including the likelihood that some of our children and grandchildren will be socialists.

        Jan
        (edit grammar)
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        • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
          Check out "Looking Backward, 2062-2012, A View From A Future Libertarian Republic" by Beth Cody. Written similarly to Edward Bellamy’s novel, "Looking Backward: 2000-1887". Bellamy's book, written in the 20's, was a fictional account of a communist that awakens in the future (2000) to a communist world that has solved all the problems that communist of the early 20th century imagined that communism would solve. Cody does the same with a progressive professor that gets trapped in a University Time Capsule and wakes in 2067 to a US that has failed and split up to a couple of countries with one (flyover midwest) being Libertarian. She tackles her description similarly to what I sense you're describing with communities working from the basis of freedom of association, forming their own internal governance in any way they wish, within some general limitations of state and federal guaranteed freedoms.

          For myself, I look at socialism in any form as similar to a cancer in political and philosophical thought and a weed that should be 'rooted out' of humanities' garden of belief systems. The same treatment we should be able to apply to the magical belief of religious faith and altruism of any type. Although many in Libertarian and Objectivist circles agree that we all have the right of self defense, most limit that to physical types of immediate attack, I have no problem and even advocate for killing a nest of rattlesnakes discovered under my house as an appropriate measure of self defense.
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  • Posted by strugatsky 5 years, 10 months ago
    Traditionally, slaves have been taken care of by their masters. The masters did the thinking and made sure that the slaves had the required minimum to live - the safety net. The slaves, not having an opportunity to excercise their brains, never improved their IQ's. Isn't this what we have now?
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  • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 10 months ago
    No mention that the current system makes laws and exempts the well connected from the effects of the laws.
    If the system really allowed liberty for the more intelligent, wouldn't the laws exempt those with higher intelligence instead of those who are better liars?
    Bottom line is that the existing system is nothing like the article describes. A little tinkering won't fix it. Laws are not passed to protect everyone from poor thinking ability of the less intelligent. Laws are passed to centralize power in the hands of bullies who believe without any rational basis that they should control everyone else. It is little different from the divine right of kings.
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    • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 5 years, 10 months ago
      Hello freedomforall,
      Your last paragraph reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” ― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
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    • Posted by teri-amborn 5 years, 10 months ago
      You are correct.
      Ayn described the power lusters as "Attillas and Witch Doctors"...
      She needed to go one step further and simply see the power lusters as having successfully united money, prestige and power in an effort to wield mass control over the populace.

      Washington has certainly accomplished that.
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 10 months ago
    A Darwinian selection toward only those with ability, education, and drive simply by removing the hammock that now exists for those lacking ability, education, and drive would be welcome. I am not in favor of eugenics. Rather, I am in favor of letting those who should fail. fail, and those who should succeed. succeed.

    The implementation of "The Gulch" was based on the presupposition that Gulch-worth citizens were capable of living self-responsibly. Not all were invited, nor should they have been.

    As for the general population, America before 1900 pretty much had it right.

    Nice thread, Zenphamy. Thanks.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 years, 10 months ago
      A free society allowing people to succeed is not "Darwinism".
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      • Posted by $ Technocracy 5 years, 10 months ago
        -1 for a poor argument

        Darwinism has not applied to humans since society became serious about protecting the weak and disabled.
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        • Posted by jdg 5 years, 9 months ago
          As long as some humans die before they can reproduce, natural selection applies to us. Granted, the conditions we have to meet to live are different from those our uncivilized ancestors had to meet, but not entirely. Getting the boss very angry at you, for instance, is still a bad idea.

          There have been some movements, which I don't agree at all with, who wanted government to take over this power of selecting who reproduces and who doesn't. But even if human organizations don't seek to arrogate that power to themselves, to some degree they do still control it. The idea that as intelligent beings we're now above evolution is a megalomaniac's fantasy.
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        • Posted by ewv 5 years, 9 months ago
          Darwinism in the form "social darwinism" has been used to attack capitalism and freedom since the 19th century when it was openly advocated by the likes of Herbert Spencer, and it still is.

          "Society" did not become "serious" about anything. Societies are not entities that think. Individuals influenced by the destructive doctrine of welfare state collectivism, including conservative statists, have been more than serious about coercively imposing it as a false alternative to their malignant notion of freedom. A free society is not "Darwinism" and "natural selection" destroying the "weak and disabled" in a zero-sum political game.
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          • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
            While it's true that many in the early 20th century attacked Spencer's ideas of expanding theories of evolution into human affairs, he coined the phrase 'survival of the fittest' as well as strongly advocated for laissez faire capitalism and the progression of human society from the militarist to the industrialist to the stateless with a concentration on individual freedom and a belief that man should be able to ignore the state.

            But Spencer's main point of laissez faire was against the welfare programs and the paternalistic/elitist governance advocated by others in the latter 19th century which he saw as leading directly to socialism that he considered the ultimate evil. Whether Spencer was right or wrong, or partially fitting in either direction, I'll agree that a 'free society' does not destroy the weak and disabled and certainly not in a zero-sum form, however I do think that a 'free society' does reward the productive, strong, individualistic egoist and permits the weak and disabled, socialist minded to fall under the constructive destruction of a productive society made up of productive men, and again, not in a zero-sum.

            Since we've never see a truly 'free society', we'll have to wait and can only speculate the fate of those not capable or willing of performing successfully in such a society.
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          • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 9 months ago
            I specifically did not use the term "social Darwinism" for this reason. It is a pejorative, and incorrectly describes both what I said and what Darwin thought. It is a bastardization of the concept of natural selection as well. See Zenphamy's comment in response to this same statement of yours.
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    • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 10 months ago
      Agreed. If people want a safety net for every decision they make, they should choose to live in a socialist society with curtailed freedoms, high taxes, inequality of treatment, and artificial limitations. (Of course, that society will eventually fail economically because it would be founded on unsound principles, but I digress...) If people want freedom, they must by willing to take responsibility for their actions and in exchange they can have low taxes, equality of treatment, and potential for discovering one's own limitations.
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  • Posted by DeadRight 5 years, 10 months ago
    One outcome of a concept of free society is that the under IQ endowed can excel.
    There was an immigrant that started rebuilding starter motors and alternators in his kitchen table.
    He did thousands of them by himself to make a living. His company is the largest North American auto electric rebuilder. He may have been smart. Don't know. But I have seen many that have an excellent touch earn big bucks even if they are more artsy than crafty. Welding comes to mind.
    A kid can graduate high school with welding training and make $50/ hr within a year or two. After ten years a welder can pull in $250K/yr.
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  • Posted by ewv 5 years, 10 months ago
    It does not take exceptional intelligence to live in a civilized society. It takes much more to survive in one that is not.

    Those of the least ability have the most to be thankful for what is provided by the accomplishments of a small minority.
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 5 years, 9 months ago
      What I see more often is not that those of the least ability are thankful, but that they believe they are entitled to privileges, security, income, and cell phones, merely for breathing. All paid for by those who are capable and work for a living.
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  • Posted by philosophercat 5 years, 10 months ago
    Assume that the median means exactly what it says. 50% above 50% below in IQ. Now imagine a trade between two people, freely made. A regulated market is one set up to protect the lower percentile from the upper percentile in any trade. We now have a third party involved in the trade, the regulator. Which percentile is the regulator in? How does the regulator know which of the two traders is in which percentile and is he competent to know that? The probability is the average IQ in the trade with regulation goes down.

    What happens is all the regulators, except maybe the heads of agencies who are political appointees, come from the lower percentiles. Regulation dumbs down the trade, raise its costs, and lower the products quality.
    Those who cant do teach and those who cant teach regulate. Protect the lower percentile by having free markets where they are equals.
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  • Posted by term2 5 years, 10 months ago
    Its not intelligence that determines if you can be self-sufficient. Its how hard you work, and how determined you are to succeed. Something like a LZ (laziness quotient) would be a better determiner of future success.
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  • Posted by johnpe1 5 years, 10 months ago
    if you think that the "less clever" fare poorly in a free environment,
    you might want to consider Trig Palin -- when free people care,
    and they are more likely to do so absent government pressure,
    there are serious positive effects!!! -- j
    .
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    • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
      I'm not sure I understand the point of your comment.
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      • Posted by johnpe1 5 years, 9 months ago
        I contend that our society would do a better job of caring for
        the Trig Palins of the world (he is a Down's Syndrome child)
        if we were left alone to do it instead of being forced by
        the government to do it through their corrupt hands. -- j
        .
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        • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
          I just don't think that society has any business being involved in anyway with the Down's children of the world. If the parents or family of such a child wants to exert the extra effort to do so, good for them, but if they have to ask anything of society, that's not rational.
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          • Posted by johnpe1 5 years, 9 months ago
            sounds like a planned parenthood view -- does Margaret
            Sanger and selective culling of people seem rational? -- j
            .
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            • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
              No, resoundingly no. It's a free society of rationally self-interested, productive men of the mind. Allowing certain birth deformities to fail or even die by the natural selections of factual life, that otherwise require the assistance (slavery) of other men in order to survive at even a minimalist level sounds like common sense. And getting the state involved in such an activity is the very definition of tyranny, socialism/collectivism, and statism. I abhor the idea that taking money from me by force is based on and justified in the concept of caring for others. If others can't care for themselves, I have no pity or empathy for their situations.

              Great big difference.
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              • Posted by johnpe1 5 years, 9 months ago
                my view is that a free society would be significantly more productive,
                allowing voluntary assistance by the better-equipped people
                for those less-well-equipped, and never by state or State compulsion.
                currently, I devote thousands of dollars voluntarily, and further
                thousands involuntarily, for the less-well-equipped. . if we were
                operating in a freer society, many of my involuntary dollars would
                actually go to my intended receivers. . instead of graft-receivers. -- j
                .
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                • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
                  Voluntary charity is strictly up to the individual. I don't advocate it except on an one on one basis, since a large portion of the contribution is taken and used by the managers of those organizations, much as the government does.

                  But to each his own.
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                  • Posted by johnpe1 5 years, 9 months ago
                    I strive for 80 percent effectiveness in private charities,
                    and expect about 30 percent effectiveness in government
                    extortion money. . could be worse. . it's getting worse. -- j
                    .
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  • Posted by scojohnson 5 years, 10 months ago
    What about the fact that half (or in my experience - many more than half) of the government employees that are supposedly employing these parental approaches and policies, are themselves well-below the average intelligence.

    See my thread also today on California doubling-down on stupid programs that were supposed to cost $500 million but save a billion or more, but are now costing $500 million and barely saving $200 million... but "they just haven't been given long enough to work yet".
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  • Posted by scojohnson 5 years, 10 months ago
    The world needs ditch-diggers too... sad, but its a fact. Fortunately, many of those jobs pay as well as stuff needing an education... or they can always be a little industrious and start their own business.
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  • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 5 years, 10 months ago
    Bizarrely in the current situation some of the least knowledgeable are actually among the more intelligent who have had the 'benefit' of a college education.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 9 months ago
    This addresses some things I've been thinking about -- how automation and IT could do may functions previously provided by people with simpler minds, and I'm afraid that fact will lead to bad decisions like more socialist policies.

    I like the idea of a Gulch Nation, but the effects of automation/IT are working against it. It will be an uphill struggle but one worth pursuing.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 9 months ago
      Many people seem to think that automation/IT eliminates jobs--it's just the opposite. It increases productivity, makes things more affordable, and improves opportunity for the weaker amongst us to achieve. It is not zero-sum.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 9 months ago
        It's the opposite of a zero-sum development, as you say. It makes more with less. It lowers barriers of entry. Someone starting the next Facebook can do it more cheaply than someone starting the next Ford in the industrial age.

        In the agricultural and industrial ages, the location of the jobs was simplier and more stable. (i.e. they weren't as good.) My concern is people will see that simplicity going away and say that a market economy is just too complicated for the modern world. I'm afraid it will allow the best teachers to broadcast lectures and write teaching software to reach millions, making life harder for average teachers who before had a captive audience of people who could commute to school. This same thing is happening to average engineers like me, who must constantly struggle to find ways to solve customers' problems as the world changes rapidly.

        All of this leads to some pressure for someone to pass a directive like in AS to stabilize things. I'm not saying they will win. There's a need for this site and articles like this though.
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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 9 months ago
    While I've never found a case of unfettered capitalism (an economic system) it's always controlled therefore not free - I've yet to find a case of successful socialism (a social and political system with not much in the way of economic know how.) Apples and rutabagas.

    We'll probably never find out with no choice but the government controlling citizens mind set of the current one party system.

    That leaves using ability to 'work' the system faster than it works you. But that's how to get ahead in any socialist society. Gather ye bread crumbs whilst they fail and rosebuds in the Spring. Pretty soon you'll have a whole loaf and be ahead of whomsoever believeth in les crapaud du Potomac.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 5 years, 9 months ago
    Government can never solve this problem and abet, it will always make it worse.
    Given all things equal and as intended, having a proper education that teaches 'Integrated' thinking and helps everyone find their own essence, (what one has a propensity and a passion for) this would likely not be a problem and yes there will always be 'some' for a myriad of reasons that might be problematic. At that point it should be up to the community, not government, that helps that individual to find his or her place in the community.
    I think of the Andy Griffin show where Gomer was not the brightest bulb but was a useful and happy member of that community as a mechanic.
    Just like in nature, everyone and everything has it's place in this world.
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  • Posted by blackswan 5 years, 9 months ago
    If there were no government rules restricting free trade, this discussion would be moot. One of the things that has been a constant has been the attempt by the elite to make the world work the way they think it should work, rather than the way it does work. For example, the slaughterhouse rules forbade street vendors where established stores (or other businesses) were established, even though the street vendors were more competitive. They were flat out outlawed. So, a person with lower intelligence or finances was forced out of business by the more intelligent or better financed. That doesn't sound like laissez faire capitalism to me. If government actions create a class of dependents, don't look at them as the problem; look at the government, which caused the problem. If the government would get out of the way, and stop protecting the low-intelligence cronies, the high-intelligence folks with pluck would naturally rise to the top.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 10 months ago
    This smacks of the same societal arrangements proposed in Plato's "Republic". He posited an aristocracy made of the most intelligent controlling a military consisting of the next most intelligent. Further down were the merchants and finally the farmers and common laborers.

    One of the problems I have in this arrangement is that it assumes a static technology base. In today's society, this pyramid gets turned completely on its head, as it is the "dunces" of society who gravitate towards government and the smartest who choose the route of private enterprise. (One interesting note: the modern military is composed of the brighter-than average individual.)
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  • Posted by Turfprint 5 years, 10 months ago
    It is known fact that all media personnel are smarter than the "little people" and thus are honor bound to feed them the truth for otherwise the unwashed masses wouldn't know right from wrong. They know this is true because the Ivy League schools have told them that it is true. And in fact this is doubly true for the rarefied denizens occupying the hallowed halls of academia; who must bear the agonies and struggles to give stamp of approval on those they send forth to make a better world through the image they have fostered upon their disciples.
    The true elite of society, frustrated occasionally by those stinking people who survive despite, do persevere to enlist any chance of individual success to be predicated as evidence and homage vouchsafe mounted prominently for all to see, and shouting uncompromising logic to the heathens: “I am smarter than you and this diploma proves it.”
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