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Dehumanizing your opponent

Conservative commentator Michael Gerson draws some lines that cut through both existing parties and potentially every ideology:

One of the most significant divisions in American public life is not between the Democrats and the Republicans; it is between the Ugly Party and the Grown-Up Party.

This distinction came to mind in the case of Washington Post blogger David Weigel, who resigned last week after the leak of messages he wrote disparaging figures he covered. Weigel is, by most accounts, a bright, hardworking young man whose private communications should have been kept private. But the tone of the e-mails he posted on a liberal e-mail list is instructive. When Rush Limbaugh went to the hospital with chest pain, Weigel wrote, “I hope he fails.” Matt Drudge is an “amoral shut-in” who should “set himself on fire.” Opponents are referred to as “ratf — -ers” and “[expletive] moronic.”

This type of discourse is an odd combination between the snideness of the cool, mean kids in high school and the pettiness of Richard Nixon rambling on his tapes. Weigel did not intend his words to be public. But they display the defining characteristic of ugly politics — the dehumanization of political opponents.

Unlike Weigel, most members of the Ugly Party — liberal and conservative — have little interest in keeping their views private. “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh,” Ann Coulter once said, “is he did not go to the New York Times building.” Radio host Mike Malloy suggested that Glenn Beck “do the honorable thing and blow his brains out.” Conservatives carry signs at Obama rallies: “We Came Unarmed (This Time).” Liberals carried signs at Bush rallies: “Save Mother Earth, Kill Bush.” Says John Avlon, author of “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America,” “If you only take offense when the president of your party is compared to Hitler, then you’re part of the problem.”

The rhetoric of the Ugly Party shares some common themes: urging the death or sexual humiliation of opponents or comparing a political enemy to vermin or diseases. It is not merely an adolescent form of political discourse; it encourages a certain political philosophy — a belief that rivals are somehow less than human, which undermines the idea of equality and the possibility of common purposes.

via Michael Gerson – The Ugly Party vs. the Grown-Up Party.

Wanting your opponents dead or sexually humiliated and comparing them to vermin or diseases is, indeed, a long-standing trope of the vilest rhetoric.  It was a commonplace of Nazi propaganda, comparing the Jews, for example, to vermin, who thus need to be exterminated.  OK, maybe you can find examples of Luther talking this way about the pope, but that hardly excuses it.  The key point is that such rhetoric dehumanizes your opponents, and if you do not consider them human, then it is, in fact, easy to kill them, sexually humiliate them, exterminate them like vermin, or wipe them out like diseases.

I think you can be an extremely militant and argumentative conservative or liberal while still avoiding this fault.  Can we agree that it is wrong to dehumanize our opponents?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://thefragrantharbor.blogspot.com Catherine

    And you have the love the double standard of any “ugly party”. It’s okay to call someone names, but it’s not okay for them to call you names.

  • http://thefragrantharbor.blogspot.com Catherine

    And you have the love the double standard of any “ugly party”. It’s okay to call someone names, but it’s not okay for them to call you names.

  • Phil

    Read the imprecatory Psalms. Figure out how to love your enemy and love God’s Word.

  • Phil

    Read the imprecatory Psalms. Figure out how to love your enemy and love God’s Word.

  • Winston Smith

    Harboring personal animosity toward individuals is unacceptable for Christians, who are commanded to love their enemies, forgive others their trespasses, and pray for those in authority. (Does anyone pray for the salvation of those on the other side of the political debate?)

    That being said, it is still possible to thoroughly despise one’s opponents’ misguided and destructive politics and ideology.

    Actually, the evil genius of the intramural scrimmage known as the two-party system is that it sets ‘Pubs and Dem’s at each other’s throats, usually over minor issues, while the real enemy is the corrupt system itself.

  • Winston Smith

    Harboring personal animosity toward individuals is unacceptable for Christians, who are commanded to love their enemies, forgive others their trespasses, and pray for those in authority. (Does anyone pray for the salvation of those on the other side of the political debate?)

    That being said, it is still possible to thoroughly despise one’s opponents’ misguided and destructive politics and ideology.

    Actually, the evil genius of the intramural scrimmage known as the two-party system is that it sets ‘Pubs and Dem’s at each other’s throats, usually over minor issues, while the real enemy is the corrupt system itself.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Both sides are so easily “frighted with false fire” and become incensed. It’s the political version of Europe’s soccer hooliganism.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Both sides are so easily “frighted with false fire” and become incensed. It’s the political version of Europe’s soccer hooliganism.

  • WebMonk

    This is nothing new and will probably never go away until there is a new heaven and earth. Has anyone happened to read early American newspapers? Quite a few of them were definitely “ugly party” members.

  • WebMonk

    This is nothing new and will probably never go away until there is a new heaven and earth. Has anyone happened to read early American newspapers? Quite a few of them were definitely “ugly party” members.

  • Carl Vehse

    Gerson appears to prefers a pretty party of “form” rather than a ‘dehumanizing’ party of ideological “substance”. Maybe Gerson will now try chastizing this guy for what Gerson would perceive as “dehumanizing of political opponents.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Gerson appears to prefers a pretty party of “form” rather than a ‘dehumanizing’ party of ideological “substance”. Maybe Gerson will now try chastizing this guy for what Gerson would perceive as “dehumanizing of political opponents.”

  • Joe

    This is as old as the Republic. But that does not make it right. All fall short on this aspect.

  • Joe

    This is as old as the Republic. But that does not make it right. All fall short on this aspect.

  • Carl Vehse

    It seems petty to assign Ann Coulter in an “Ugly Party” on the basis of a single statement, when she has turned out a lot of great quotes like, “Why couldn’t Obama have picked somebody respectable as his running mate, you know, like John Kerry did?

  • Carl Vehse

    It seems petty to assign Ann Coulter in an “Ugly Party” on the basis of a single statement, when she has turned out a lot of great quotes like, “Why couldn’t Obama have picked somebody respectable as his running mate, you know, like John Kerry did?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Phil and Carl make a great point; there is a subtle, but crucial difference between certain harsh statements made on the basis of fact, and those made in absence thereof. The Scriptures certainly call people vipers, whitewashed tombs, whores, and such; the trick is that in those cases, God’s Word is entirely correct.

    If I point out that the governor is a philanderer, and he is, am I in the ugly party, or am I Peter Zenger, a founder of journalistic freedom in our country?

    There is also a subtle but crucial difference in the genre used; sometimes shocking things are entirely appropriate in humor, but entirely wrong in seriousness. Few doubted that Ann Coulter was joking when she made the wisecrack about McVeigh and the NY Times Building; Weigel’s comments do not seem to indicate humor at all.

    Ironically, it seems to me that the predominant party of “literary types,” the Democrats, doesn’t seem to get these literary distinctions. Hmmmm….

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Phil and Carl make a great point; there is a subtle, but crucial difference between certain harsh statements made on the basis of fact, and those made in absence thereof. The Scriptures certainly call people vipers, whitewashed tombs, whores, and such; the trick is that in those cases, God’s Word is entirely correct.

    If I point out that the governor is a philanderer, and he is, am I in the ugly party, or am I Peter Zenger, a founder of journalistic freedom in our country?

    There is also a subtle but crucial difference in the genre used; sometimes shocking things are entirely appropriate in humor, but entirely wrong in seriousness. Few doubted that Ann Coulter was joking when she made the wisecrack about McVeigh and the NY Times Building; Weigel’s comments do not seem to indicate humor at all.

    Ironically, it seems to me that the predominant party of “literary types,” the Democrats, doesn’t seem to get these literary distinctions. Hmmmm….

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    There is a balance between justice and charity. In disagreements where we fight for justice we ought to still have the charity to separate the injustice from those who are committing it.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    There is a balance between justice and charity. In disagreements where we fight for justice we ought to still have the charity to separate the injustice from those who are committing it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’d agree that we shouldn’t do it. I think you would also be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t done it. This is one of those laws we can all agree to, even as we all break it. Makes the case that the church is necessarily full of hypocrites by virtue of the fact that there isn’t a one of us alive that isn’t a hypocrite.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’d agree that we shouldn’t do it. I think you would also be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t done it. This is one of those laws we can all agree to, even as we all break it. Makes the case that the church is necessarily full of hypocrites by virtue of the fact that there isn’t a one of us alive that isn’t a hypocrite.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Ann Coulter is the poster child of the party of ugly.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Ann Coulter is the poster child of the party of ugly.

  • Kirk

    @ Bike,

    But then you have to question the point. Did Coulter’s “joke” add anything to the discourse regarding bias in the media? Anything at all? Couldn’t the debate have been better served with a more reasonable, less inflammatory statement? (Are there actually times when debates are served by being inflamatory?) And, considering that McVeigh murdered 180 people, is the joke even funny?

    But, since we’re all about calling thing like they are, Anne Coulter (or any of the commentators mentioned above) aren’t really out to convince anyone of anything. They’re essentially preaching to the choir and profiting off the natural biases of their side. This is exactly what’s dangerous about their rhetoric. They don’t engage with people they disagree with, they simply disparage while their opponents have to recourse to defend themselves.

  • Kirk

    @ Bike,

    But then you have to question the point. Did Coulter’s “joke” add anything to the discourse regarding bias in the media? Anything at all? Couldn’t the debate have been better served with a more reasonable, less inflammatory statement? (Are there actually times when debates are served by being inflamatory?) And, considering that McVeigh murdered 180 people, is the joke even funny?

    But, since we’re all about calling thing like they are, Anne Coulter (or any of the commentators mentioned above) aren’t really out to convince anyone of anything. They’re essentially preaching to the choir and profiting off the natural biases of their side. This is exactly what’s dangerous about their rhetoric. They don’t engage with people they disagree with, they simply disparage while their opponents have to recourse to defend themselves.

  • http://www.lordjimemperoroficecream.blogspot.com The Jungle Cat

    I would say that the Ugly Party can also express itself in a more subtle way which is no less damaging to political discourse. This occurs not when they present their opponents as something less than human but rather when they present themselves (or those of their party) as something more than human. The mainstream press, for instance, jumped on the the claim of Rand Paul that he would have marched with Martin Luther King even if he would not have supported the Civil Rights Act; they were quick to point out that, were Dr. King alive today, he would almost certainly not have supported Paul’s senate bid. This might be true, but it is not a constructive form of civic discourse. There’s no question that King’s Civil Rights Movement made America a more just place, but to put him on a sacrosanct pedestal is to ignore the possibility that on some issues–such as quotas, for instance–he might have been wrong. (Actually, I don’t know whether Dr. King supported quotas or not, but the point still stands: Though it is not as immoral, portraying an ally as an inerrant saint is as destructive to our discourse as portraying an opponent as a depraved demon.)

  • http://www.lordjimemperoroficecream.blogspot.com The Jungle Cat

    I would say that the Ugly Party can also express itself in a more subtle way which is no less damaging to political discourse. This occurs not when they present their opponents as something less than human but rather when they present themselves (or those of their party) as something more than human. The mainstream press, for instance, jumped on the the claim of Rand Paul that he would have marched with Martin Luther King even if he would not have supported the Civil Rights Act; they were quick to point out that, were Dr. King alive today, he would almost certainly not have supported Paul’s senate bid. This might be true, but it is not a constructive form of civic discourse. There’s no question that King’s Civil Rights Movement made America a more just place, but to put him on a sacrosanct pedestal is to ignore the possibility that on some issues–such as quotas, for instance–he might have been wrong. (Actually, I don’t know whether Dr. King supported quotas or not, but the point still stands: Though it is not as immoral, portraying an ally as an inerrant saint is as destructive to our discourse as portraying an opponent as a depraved demon.)

  • fws

    Luther points out that we find joy in catching people doing the wrong thing! we WANT people to be bad. We feel joy and pleasure in it.

    He is absolutely right.

    What a sad sad commentary on the state of our sinful condition.

  • fws

    Luther points out that we find joy in catching people doing the wrong thing! we WANT people to be bad. We feel joy and pleasure in it.

    He is absolutely right.

    What a sad sad commentary on the state of our sinful condition.

  • Matthew Surburg

    I find that the most tiresome form of name-calling is likening one’s target to Nazis. (This is distinguished from Dr. Veith’s reference to Nazi practice, which was based upon fact for purpose of illustration, and not simply to establish guilt by association. ) “So-and-so is as bad as Hitler” sends the message that you have nothing substantive to say, you only want to spew bile.

  • Matthew Surburg

    I find that the most tiresome form of name-calling is likening one’s target to Nazis. (This is distinguished from Dr. Veith’s reference to Nazi practice, which was based upon fact for purpose of illustration, and not simply to establish guilt by association. ) “So-and-so is as bad as Hitler” sends the message that you have nothing substantive to say, you only want to spew bile.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Kirk, agreed that the joke was at the least on the boundaries of good taste. I would further suggest that the more brutal assessment of Coulter is the other; that she may not be writing to convince, but rather simply…..to be read.

    It makes a paycheck, but not a society.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Kirk, agreed that the joke was at the least on the boundaries of good taste. I would further suggest that the more brutal assessment of Coulter is the other; that she may not be writing to convince, but rather simply…..to be read.

    It makes a paycheck, but not a society.

  • bunnycatch3r

    she may not be writing to convince, but rather simply…..to be read.

    I’m stealing this!

  • bunnycatch3r

    she may not be writing to convince, but rather simply…..to be read.

    I’m stealing this!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Jesus can do what we cannot and dare not do. He is righteous. We are not. He can judge and condemn. He tells us not to. God’s Word condemns the pharisees with the Law, but then with the Gospel converts some of them (like Paul).

    Isn’t it possible to disagree substantively, strenously, and harshly, without falling into this syndrome?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Jesus can do what we cannot and dare not do. He is righteous. We are not. He can judge and condemn. He tells us not to. God’s Word condemns the pharisees with the Law, but then with the Gospel converts some of them (like Paul).

    Isn’t it possible to disagree substantively, strenously, and harshly, without falling into this syndrome?

  • rlewer

    Even Washington was reviled by the press. Jefferson and Hamilton slandered each other through hired newspapermen. Read what even the northern the newspapers said about Lincoln. Calling him an ape was among their milder comments.

    Surveys seem to indicate that attack ads work.

    Still it would be a breath of fresh air and perhaps be noticed by voters if a candidate stuck to the issues and avoided personal attacks.

  • rlewer

    Even Washington was reviled by the press. Jefferson and Hamilton slandered each other through hired newspapermen. Read what even the northern the newspapers said about Lincoln. Calling him an ape was among their milder comments.

    Surveys seem to indicate that attack ads work.

    Still it would be a breath of fresh air and perhaps be noticed by voters if a candidate stuck to the issues and avoided personal attacks.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Mark Henderson

    Yes, it should be possible, Dr Veith.
    The level of vituperative rhetoric in American public discourse is often quite surprising, even shocking, to those of us in the Anglosphere who do not see it in our own societies. With our similar cultural roots, why should it be that the British, the Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders are definitely less tolerant of abuse in public discourse than Americans, especially when we perceive Americans as being generally a polite and well-mannered people in their private lives? To coin an American phrase, “What gives?”

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Mark Henderson

    Yes, it should be possible, Dr Veith.
    The level of vituperative rhetoric in American public discourse is often quite surprising, even shocking, to those of us in the Anglosphere who do not see it in our own societies. With our similar cultural roots, why should it be that the British, the Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders are definitely less tolerant of abuse in public discourse than Americans, especially when we perceive Americans as being generally a polite and well-mannered people in their private lives? To coin an American phrase, “What gives?”

  • fws

    rlewer @20.

    can you find anywhere with google a place where Obama has made personal attacks on others? I can´t and it doesn´t seem as though anyone finds that remarkable. It didn´t change a thing.

  • fws

    rlewer @20.

    can you find anywhere with google a place where Obama has made personal attacks on others? I can´t and it doesn´t seem as though anyone finds that remarkable. It didn´t change a thing.

  • fws

    mark henderson @21

    Our political system was designed to be deliberately adversaria. I think the idea was that if you had 3 branches of govt fighting with each other that there would be no need for political parties.

    I am assuming that that was the rationale for not adopting the parliamentary system here. What ended up happening is that we not only have an adversarial-by-design political system, we also have an even more virulently adversarial political party system that cannot seem to get past having only two parties.

    Add to that the fact the embedded also in our system is the compromise made to bring the southern slave states into the united states by giving each of them an equal vote in the senate to the more populated states. While this fosters a certain form of conservatism that I find good, it also feeds adversarialism because it impowers a state like wyoming to resist the popular will of new york, california, texas, illinois. A frustrated majority never bodes well even in a dictatorship.

    Add to this the fact that most politicians are former attorneys. Being adversarial is what they are trained to do.

    So it is in our constitutional-genetic code to fight with each other.

    I think this is why canada, england and australia manage to govern in a more civil fashion.

  • fws

    mark henderson @21

    Our political system was designed to be deliberately adversaria. I think the idea was that if you had 3 branches of govt fighting with each other that there would be no need for political parties.

    I am assuming that that was the rationale for not adopting the parliamentary system here. What ended up happening is that we not only have an adversarial-by-design political system, we also have an even more virulently adversarial political party system that cannot seem to get past having only two parties.

    Add to that the fact the embedded also in our system is the compromise made to bring the southern slave states into the united states by giving each of them an equal vote in the senate to the more populated states. While this fosters a certain form of conservatism that I find good, it also feeds adversarialism because it impowers a state like wyoming to resist the popular will of new york, california, texas, illinois. A frustrated majority never bodes well even in a dictatorship.

    Add to this the fact that most politicians are former attorneys. Being adversarial is what they are trained to do.

    So it is in our constitutional-genetic code to fight with each other.

    I think this is why canada, england and australia manage to govern in a more civil fashion.

  • John C

    Actually fws, the ways in which Austaralian and American politics differ are illustrated on this blog.
    Briefly, Australia is no longer a religious country and religion does not play an important role in politics. Australians accept abortion and homosexuality and these issues cannot be exploited by politicians to rally citizens to vote on election day. There is no equivalent to Southern Baptist Convention. Our current Prime Minister is an athiest and Australians are suspicious of God Botherers.
    Australians also believe that there is an important role for the state in nation building. State and Federal governments still subsidise education, health and transport services and it it is difficult to believe that the country could have developed into a thriving democracy without significant state intervention.
    The religious, class, race and gender fault lines that divide Americans are not that sharply drawn in Australia and so the rhetoric is not as heated and the national conversation is more civil.

  • John C

    Actually fws, the ways in which Austaralian and American politics differ are illustrated on this blog.
    Briefly, Australia is no longer a religious country and religion does not play an important role in politics. Australians accept abortion and homosexuality and these issues cannot be exploited by politicians to rally citizens to vote on election day. There is no equivalent to Southern Baptist Convention. Our current Prime Minister is an athiest and Australians are suspicious of God Botherers.
    Australians also believe that there is an important role for the state in nation building. State and Federal governments still subsidise education, health and transport services and it it is difficult to believe that the country could have developed into a thriving democracy without significant state intervention.
    The religious, class, race and gender fault lines that divide Americans are not that sharply drawn in Australia and so the rhetoric is not as heated and the national conversation is more civil.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Gerson is talking about some really nasty stuff that Weigel spouted on the Internet.

    Obama is not above ad hominem remarks. In recent weeks he has stated the following:

    Mitch McConnell is in bed with Wall Street “movers and shakers” — and is fronting “cynical and deceptive” arguments on their behalf.

    Sarah Palin can be ignored on arms control because “she’s not exactly an expert on nuclear issues.”

    And Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are just a “troublesome” twosome spreading “vitriol.”

    I have no problem with this, as presidents-and bloggers for that matter-are quite properly often involved in polemical debate with rhetorical elbows being gladly thrown.

    As to Great Britain itself, Parliament is a marvelous school of rhetorical invective. Some people here are confusing ordinary Victorian nicety and prudery with proper polemical debate. British politicians can sometimes outdo Luther when it comes to salty, even scatological, remarks.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Gerson is talking about some really nasty stuff that Weigel spouted on the Internet.

    Obama is not above ad hominem remarks. In recent weeks he has stated the following:

    Mitch McConnell is in bed with Wall Street “movers and shakers” — and is fronting “cynical and deceptive” arguments on their behalf.

    Sarah Palin can be ignored on arms control because “she’s not exactly an expert on nuclear issues.”

    And Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are just a “troublesome” twosome spreading “vitriol.”

    I have no problem with this, as presidents-and bloggers for that matter-are quite properly often involved in polemical debate with rhetorical elbows being gladly thrown.

    As to Great Britain itself, Parliament is a marvelous school of rhetorical invective. Some people here are confusing ordinary Victorian nicety and prudery with proper polemical debate. British politicians can sometimes outdo Luther when it comes to salty, even scatological, remarks.

  • bunnycatch3r

    @John #24

    Australians accept abortion and homosexuality and these issues cannot be exploited by politicians to rally citizens to vote on election day.

    I wonder if you could then give context to the Tegan Leach case. A 19 year old from Queensland is currently standing trial for using an equivalent of the RU486 abortion pill. Apparently, the rhetoric surrounding this issue became so heated that she and her boyfriend were forced into hiding after their home was firebombed. The article suggests that the issue of abortion (at least in Queensland) is still quite polarizing.

  • bunnycatch3r

    @John #24

    Australians accept abortion and homosexuality and these issues cannot be exploited by politicians to rally citizens to vote on election day.

    I wonder if you could then give context to the Tegan Leach case. A 19 year old from Queensland is currently standing trial for using an equivalent of the RU486 abortion pill. Apparently, the rhetoric surrounding this issue became so heated that she and her boyfriend were forced into hiding after their home was firebombed. The article suggests that the issue of abortion (at least in Queensland) is still quite polarizing.

  • NavyMom

    Agreed, Dr. Veith! While my convictions stand in sharp contrast to the liberals’ beliefs, I am aghast at the mean things that some of my brothers & sisters say about their political opposites. The glee some Christians have expressed about the Al Gore sex scandal is itself scandalous. While I don’t have any respect for Mr. Gore’s politics and hypocrisy, I don’t dare mock him for his alleged pecadillos. We need to remember who we are in Christ and act accordingly.

  • NavyMom

    Agreed, Dr. Veith! While my convictions stand in sharp contrast to the liberals’ beliefs, I am aghast at the mean things that some of my brothers & sisters say about their political opposites. The glee some Christians have expressed about the Al Gore sex scandal is itself scandalous. While I don’t have any respect for Mr. Gore’s politics and hypocrisy, I don’t dare mock him for his alleged pecadillos. We need to remember who we are in Christ and act accordingly.

  • fws

    peter @25

    look up the word “ad homen”.

    I am seeing an accusation coupled with observation of a fact/action/words spoken in each of the 3 cases you mention.

    I don´t see any of these attacking character. If these things were said about me, my response would not be that my character had been impugned. It would be to produce evidence that… my arguments were not tilted towards wallstreet….that I, sarah palin AM an expert on nuclear issues, and … that I, rush limbaugh and glen beck would NEVER spout anything that could be called vitriol.

    Ad Homem is not criticism of what people say and do. If all political comments were this mild I would be pleased indeed.

  • fws

    peter @25

    look up the word “ad homen”.

    I am seeing an accusation coupled with observation of a fact/action/words spoken in each of the 3 cases you mention.

    I don´t see any of these attacking character. If these things were said about me, my response would not be that my character had been impugned. It would be to produce evidence that… my arguments were not tilted towards wallstreet….that I, sarah palin AM an expert on nuclear issues, and … that I, rush limbaugh and glen beck would NEVER spout anything that could be called vitriol.

    Ad Homem is not criticism of what people say and do. If all political comments were this mild I would be pleased indeed.

  • Peter Leavitt

    FWS, examine Obama’s ad hominem remarks closely. You will find with relation to McConnell, Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh, Obama addresses them in a personal way as opposed to the issues involved. For example, when he accuses McConnell of being in bed with the movers and shakers of Wall Street without a stitch of evidence, he is involved in an ad hominem or personal remark. McConnell’s position on financial reform could well be based on a principled examination of issues as opposed to some unseemly influence from Wall Street.

    As mentioned at 25, I have no objection to this sort of polemical argument. Politics is not bean bag.

  • Peter Leavitt

    FWS, examine Obama’s ad hominem remarks closely. You will find with relation to McConnell, Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh, Obama addresses them in a personal way as opposed to the issues involved. For example, when he accuses McConnell of being in bed with the movers and shakers of Wall Street without a stitch of evidence, he is involved in an ad hominem or personal remark. McConnell’s position on financial reform could well be based on a principled examination of issues as opposed to some unseemly influence from Wall Street.

    As mentioned at 25, I have no objection to this sort of polemical argument. Politics is not bean bag.

  • sg

    “It would be to produce evidence that… my arguments were not tilted towards wallstreet….that I, sarah palin AM an expert on nuclear issues, and … that I, rush limbaugh and glen beck would NEVER spout anything that could be called vitriol.”

    He, he. Still waiting for Obama’s evidence/rationale for anything.

    Did you hear him in Wisconsin telling folks that without the stimulus, it would be even worse? Entirely baseless. He didn’t even attempt a defense of the position.

  • sg

    “It would be to produce evidence that… my arguments were not tilted towards wallstreet….that I, sarah palin AM an expert on nuclear issues, and … that I, rush limbaugh and glen beck would NEVER spout anything that could be called vitriol.”

    He, he. Still waiting for Obama’s evidence/rationale for anything.

    Did you hear him in Wisconsin telling folks that without the stimulus, it would be even worse? Entirely baseless. He didn’t even attempt a defense of the position.

  • sg

    John C is partly right about Australia being different from the US in its prevailing attitudes. In Australia, there are far fewer truly indigent ineducable people as a percentage and in absolute terms. So, even with extinction level birthrates, it is not as painful as what we endure in the United States. However, it will be. Hedonists cannot coast forever on cultural capital. Japan, the strongest of the non-Christian countries has been floundering for two decades despite their high intelligence, social cohesion and the lowest rate of social pathology on the planet. They are also a net exporter, etc. They have done everything right from the material rationalist point of view, and they had the raw material to do it with, healthy smart people. Yet, it isn’t working. They have extinction level birthrates. In terms of human capital it is a tragedy of the first order. Free gifts squandered. They don’t even see it. Like the Australians who think that the blessing of human capital will save them from their human folly. Time will tell. There is still a remnant among Americans who recognize the value of human capital but do not worship it, rather the One who gives it. My bet is on them over the Aussies.

  • sg

    John C is partly right about Australia being different from the US in its prevailing attitudes. In Australia, there are far fewer truly indigent ineducable people as a percentage and in absolute terms. So, even with extinction level birthrates, it is not as painful as what we endure in the United States. However, it will be. Hedonists cannot coast forever on cultural capital. Japan, the strongest of the non-Christian countries has been floundering for two decades despite their high intelligence, social cohesion and the lowest rate of social pathology on the planet. They are also a net exporter, etc. They have done everything right from the material rationalist point of view, and they had the raw material to do it with, healthy smart people. Yet, it isn’t working. They have extinction level birthrates. In terms of human capital it is a tragedy of the first order. Free gifts squandered. They don’t even see it. Like the Australians who think that the blessing of human capital will save them from their human folly. Time will tell. There is still a remnant among Americans who recognize the value of human capital but do not worship it, rather the One who gives it. My bet is on them over the Aussies.

  • moallen

    What if the rhetoric is true? For instance, in Houston years ago one of the candidates in a run-off for the Democratic Party chair was a fire torch murdering transsexual. He burned a person to death, went to prison, got out and changed sexes – and then went on to get enough votes to qualify for a run-off. Or Joseph Smith was a wife-stealing blaspheming adulterer false prophet. Is this article really just another case of trying to dictate that no one judge anyone else to be wrong? Is this article just another ploy to get people to shut-up about ideas and take and existential view towards everything… i.e. you feel Joseph Smith is a true prophet, while I don’t get that same feeling. ..oh well, everyone has their own beliefs. Or a candidate could take a back door to making something an issue that is true such as “I think that my opponent standing by his lesbian daughter despite her being a lesbian is quite commendable. Lesbian – his daughter – she is. He supports it. Lesbian. ” As long as we allow for the free expression of ideas there are going to be times when people go over the line. Some of it will be true, some will not. I think claiming fascism or Hitler is over used, unless the writer can point to some valid comparison. If it is just the Bushitler folks or the LaRouchites (with their Obama posters) claiming such with no actual reasoning, then yes, they are being just ugly children – and hopefully thinking people can see this and dismiss out of hand. However, I fear that taking this “ugly party” concept too far could lead to the complete neutering of ideas and political debate.

  • moallen

    What if the rhetoric is true? For instance, in Houston years ago one of the candidates in a run-off for the Democratic Party chair was a fire torch murdering transsexual. He burned a person to death, went to prison, got out and changed sexes – and then went on to get enough votes to qualify for a run-off. Or Joseph Smith was a wife-stealing blaspheming adulterer false prophet. Is this article really just another case of trying to dictate that no one judge anyone else to be wrong? Is this article just another ploy to get people to shut-up about ideas and take and existential view towards everything… i.e. you feel Joseph Smith is a true prophet, while I don’t get that same feeling. ..oh well, everyone has their own beliefs. Or a candidate could take a back door to making something an issue that is true such as “I think that my opponent standing by his lesbian daughter despite her being a lesbian is quite commendable. Lesbian – his daughter – she is. He supports it. Lesbian. ” As long as we allow for the free expression of ideas there are going to be times when people go over the line. Some of it will be true, some will not. I think claiming fascism or Hitler is over used, unless the writer can point to some valid comparison. If it is just the Bushitler folks or the LaRouchites (with their Obama posters) claiming such with no actual reasoning, then yes, they are being just ugly children – and hopefully thinking people can see this and dismiss out of hand. However, I fear that taking this “ugly party” concept too far could lead to the complete neutering of ideas and political debate.

  • John C

    sg,
    Raise the educational level of women and you tend to lower the fertility rate.The fertility rate of most western societies is falling. Increase immigration and the fertility rate increases. Fund parental leave from work and provide a ‘baby bonus’ and fertility rates will increase. This is called nation building and Australia has just undergone something of a ‘baby boom’.
    And what does abortion have to do with the following statement,
    “there are far fewer truly indingent ineducable people in absolute and percentage terms. So even with extinction level birthrates it is not as painful as we endure in the US. However it will be. Hedonists cannot coast forever on cultural capital.”
    What is ‘it’ and why is ‘it’ causing pain?
    Are Australians and Japanese hedonists? It’s news to me.
    I have no idea what the abortion rate is in Japan but abortion does not explain the economic malaise of the last 20 years. Fundamental economomic reform was not undertaken because the same political party has been in power for 60 years.
    Finally sg, developing cultural capital is pretty much all we have got. God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.

  • John C

    sg,
    Raise the educational level of women and you tend to lower the fertility rate.The fertility rate of most western societies is falling. Increase immigration and the fertility rate increases. Fund parental leave from work and provide a ‘baby bonus’ and fertility rates will increase. This is called nation building and Australia has just undergone something of a ‘baby boom’.
    And what does abortion have to do with the following statement,
    “there are far fewer truly indingent ineducable people in absolute and percentage terms. So even with extinction level birthrates it is not as painful as we endure in the US. However it will be. Hedonists cannot coast forever on cultural capital.”
    What is ‘it’ and why is ‘it’ causing pain?
    Are Australians and Japanese hedonists? It’s news to me.
    I have no idea what the abortion rate is in Japan but abortion does not explain the economic malaise of the last 20 years. Fundamental economomic reform was not undertaken because the same political party has been in power for 60 years.
    Finally sg, developing cultural capital is pretty much all we have got. God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.

  • John C

    Bunnycatcher, I’ve tried a couple of times to respond to your question but for some reason i was not published.

  • John C

    Bunnycatcher, I’ve tried a couple of times to respond to your question but for some reason i was not published.

  • sg

    “God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.”

    Sure He does. The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing. If our government had no debt and prohibited abortion, we would not be where we are now. Basic moral principles actually work. Imagine that. The Master of the universe gives simple clear directions which when observed spare us terrible grief.

  • sg

    “God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.”

    Sure He does. The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing. If our government had no debt and prohibited abortion, we would not be where we are now. Basic moral principles actually work. Imagine that. The Master of the universe gives simple clear directions which when observed spare us terrible grief.

  • sg

    “Raise the educational level of women and you tend to lower the fertility rate.”

    All without actually improving society.

  • sg

    “Raise the educational level of women and you tend to lower the fertility rate.”

    All without actually improving society.

  • John C

    Raising the educational level of women does not improve society — an interesting generalization, sg.
    Not all debt is a curse — beware of sweeping statements — even in the bible.
    I think by now even George W would agree: God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.

  • John C

    Raising the educational level of women does not improve society — an interesting generalization, sg.
    Not all debt is a curse — beware of sweeping statements — even in the bible.
    I think by now even George W would agree: God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.

  • sg

    “God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.”

    Repeating it doesn’t make it true.

    Who knows what GWB thinks or even if he thinks? Certainly you don’t know. Spurious non sequitur. FWIW, I live in Texas and never voted for GWB, not for gov. not for pres. not for anything.

    “Raising the educational level of women does not improve society — an interesting generalization, sg.”

    I notice how you deleted the other premise, reduced fertility among the brightest women. So, I will reinsert it. If intelligent women have fewer kids because they have more education and are pressured to waste their young fertile years pursuing careers, then society suffers because the next generation will have fewer smarter kids. That far outweighs the short term economic benefit of her lifetime earnings. Also her increased earnings come at the expense to the man who would be doing her job and providing for his family but for her participation in the labor market. So her increased income concentrates wealth at the top and contributes to the income disparity between rich and poor. Female participation in the labor market is a lose, lose, lose proposition. A loss for children, for society, for poorer families etc.

  • sg

    “God does not provide much guidance for the governance of the modern state.”

    Repeating it doesn’t make it true.

    Who knows what GWB thinks or even if he thinks? Certainly you don’t know. Spurious non sequitur. FWIW, I live in Texas and never voted for GWB, not for gov. not for pres. not for anything.

    “Raising the educational level of women does not improve society — an interesting generalization, sg.”

    I notice how you deleted the other premise, reduced fertility among the brightest women. So, I will reinsert it. If intelligent women have fewer kids because they have more education and are pressured to waste their young fertile years pursuing careers, then society suffers because the next generation will have fewer smarter kids. That far outweighs the short term economic benefit of her lifetime earnings. Also her increased earnings come at the expense to the man who would be doing her job and providing for his family but for her participation in the labor market. So her increased income concentrates wealth at the top and contributes to the income disparity between rich and poor. Female participation in the labor market is a lose, lose, lose proposition. A loss for children, for society, for poorer families etc.

  • sg

    I didn’t expound on differential fertility rates, when women are educated. This info makes the effect clearer. In the US the total fertility rate is about 2.1 which is stability. However, women with with IQ of 100 or higher have a tfr of about 1.7 and women with an IQ of below 100 have a tfr of about 2.4. This is how the total brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted when women are heavily pressured to work rather than have kids. Interesting aside, intelligent men have a higher number of children than men will less intelligence.

    The effect could be even worse if, as some geneticists suspect, many intelligence genes are carried on the x chromosome. That is a man inherits his mother’s genes whereas a woman inherits from both. I am not a geneticist but it is an interesting conjecture.

  • sg

    I didn’t expound on differential fertility rates, when women are educated. This info makes the effect clearer. In the US the total fertility rate is about 2.1 which is stability. However, women with with IQ of 100 or higher have a tfr of about 1.7 and women with an IQ of below 100 have a tfr of about 2.4. This is how the total brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted when women are heavily pressured to work rather than have kids. Interesting aside, intelligent men have a higher number of children than men will less intelligence.

    The effect could be even worse if, as some geneticists suspect, many intelligence genes are carried on the x chromosome. That is a man inherits his mother’s genes whereas a woman inherits from both. I am not a geneticist but it is an interesting conjecture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@39), notably missing from your analysis is data on what fertility rates used to be among those with above- and below-average intelligence. You can’t honestly draw any conclusions about how the “brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted” if you don’t compare how fertility rates have changed. So, how have they? Have more intelligent women experienced decreased fertility?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@39), notably missing from your analysis is data on what fertility rates used to be among those with above- and below-average intelligence. You can’t honestly draw any conclusions about how the “brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted” if you don’t compare how fertility rates have changed. So, how have they? Have more intelligent women experienced decreased fertility?

  • sg

    “Have more intelligent women experienced decreased fertility?”

    Don’t take my word for it, mine the data yourself.

    http://www.norc.org/GSS+Website/

  • sg

    “Have more intelligent women experienced decreased fertility?”

    Don’t take my word for it, mine the data yourself.

    http://www.norc.org/GSS+Website/

  • sg

    “Raising the educational level of women does not improve society — an interesting generalization, sg.”

    Just to take this in another direction. In their day, the group with the most literate/educated women on the planet were the Puritans in New England. They also achieved the highest fertility, and highest number of surviving children per woman ever recorded, along with some of the highest level of parental investment per child ever.

    And how did that work out?

    By any objective standard, astounding success (contrast with Spanish colonial efforts). So the point isn’t education of women, which is good, it is the problem of pressuring women to be more like men and not value or spend their time doing what women do. Childbearing is the female’s defining characteristic. Pressuring females not to pursue childbearing is oppressive by definition. Barrenness/infertility is a curse as explained in the Bible and is pathology in medical literature. Promoting barrenness is just more evidence of the depravity of the human condition as attested in the Bible.

    When education/indoctrination of women is the handmaiden of barrenness and dereliction of motherhood, then no, it isn’t very good education.

  • sg

    “Raising the educational level of women does not improve society — an interesting generalization, sg.”

    Just to take this in another direction. In their day, the group with the most literate/educated women on the planet were the Puritans in New England. They also achieved the highest fertility, and highest number of surviving children per woman ever recorded, along with some of the highest level of parental investment per child ever.

    And how did that work out?

    By any objective standard, astounding success (contrast with Spanish colonial efforts). So the point isn’t education of women, which is good, it is the problem of pressuring women to be more like men and not value or spend their time doing what women do. Childbearing is the female’s defining characteristic. Pressuring females not to pursue childbearing is oppressive by definition. Barrenness/infertility is a curse as explained in the Bible and is pathology in medical literature. Promoting barrenness is just more evidence of the depravity of the human condition as attested in the Bible.

    When education/indoctrination of women is the handmaiden of barrenness and dereliction of motherhood, then no, it isn’t very good education.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@41), it’s clear you know a thing or two about statistics (I only play at it), so perhaps you can tell me how to use the GSS to answer my question. I can’t see that the GSS tracks IQ or intelligence at all. Does it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@41), it’s clear you know a thing or two about statistics (I only play at it), so perhaps you can tell me how to use the GSS to answer my question. I can’t see that the GSS tracks IQ or intelligence at all. Does it?

  • sg

    Use wordsum scores as a proxy for intelligence. It follows the same curve. You can also use educational attainment as a proxy for intelligence if you prefer.

  • sg

    Use wordsum scores as a proxy for intelligence. It follows the same curve. You can also use educational attainment as a proxy for intelligence if you prefer.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@44), you appear to be using “intelligence” in some sense other than that which is measured by IQ tests. Educational attainment is not a good “proxy for intelligence”. Nor am I convinced that “wordsum” scores are, either. And since I obviously can’t use the GSS to confirm your statement that “wordsum” scores correlate well with IQ scores, how would you back that statement up?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@44), you appear to be using “intelligence” in some sense other than that which is measured by IQ tests. Educational attainment is not a good “proxy for intelligence”. Nor am I convinced that “wordsum” scores are, either. And since I obviously can’t use the GSS to confirm your statement that “wordsum” scores correlate well with IQ scores, how would you back that statement up?

  • sg

    Here is a limited analysis, (not mine) using GSS data.

    “…first year of the General Social Survey was 1972. …white women ages 50 and over for all surveys conducted in the 70s. The mean number of kids … women (Wordsum 0-4) was 3.02. It was 2.22 for smart women (Wordsum 8-10). That’s a ratio of 1.36.

    “Looking at this decade, … calculated means for white women ages 45-59. For the unintelligent group, the mean number of kids is 2.38, and it’s 1.76 for the bright group. That’s a ratio of 1.35.”

  • sg

    Here is a limited analysis, (not mine) using GSS data.

    “…first year of the General Social Survey was 1972. …white women ages 50 and over for all surveys conducted in the 70s. The mean number of kids … women (Wordsum 0-4) was 3.02. It was 2.22 for smart women (Wordsum 8-10). That’s a ratio of 1.36.

    “Looking at this decade, … calculated means for white women ages 45-59. For the unintelligent group, the mean number of kids is 2.38, and it’s 1.76 for the bright group. That’s a ratio of 1.35.”

  • sg

    There is quite a bit of misunderstanding about IQ, much of it purposeful. I think much of this comes from the dehumanizing of those of modest intellect. In virtually all cultures “stupid” is an insult. However, I agree that educational attainment is not a great proxy for intelligence especially these days where college is a business and fewer and fewer entering students honestly consider cost/benefit of college. Similarly, I have argued that wordsum overestimates female intelligence at least a little.

    That said, it is absurd to assert that as a group, people of average or better intelligence would not know most of the words on wordsum, or that the group of folks who don’t know most of them are a bright group. Equally absurd is assuming that as a group folks who did not finish high school are as intelligent as the group of folks holding a bachelor’s degrees. I say that even as one who deplores the rise of credentialism.

    Using the GSS assumes you are looking at trends not evaluating individuals. So, for the purpose of trend analysis, wordsum is a useful proxy even if imperfect. I certainly would not use it as an IQ test for individuals. That would be inappropriate even inaccurate.

    One way to test it is to compare the results you get when you use wordsum vs. the results you get when you use educational attainment. If you get the same trend, that should show you the relative comparability.

  • sg

    There is quite a bit of misunderstanding about IQ, much of it purposeful. I think much of this comes from the dehumanizing of those of modest intellect. In virtually all cultures “stupid” is an insult. However, I agree that educational attainment is not a great proxy for intelligence especially these days where college is a business and fewer and fewer entering students honestly consider cost/benefit of college. Similarly, I have argued that wordsum overestimates female intelligence at least a little.

    That said, it is absurd to assert that as a group, people of average or better intelligence would not know most of the words on wordsum, or that the group of folks who don’t know most of them are a bright group. Equally absurd is assuming that as a group folks who did not finish high school are as intelligent as the group of folks holding a bachelor’s degrees. I say that even as one who deplores the rise of credentialism.

    Using the GSS assumes you are looking at trends not evaluating individuals. So, for the purpose of trend analysis, wordsum is a useful proxy even if imperfect. I certainly would not use it as an IQ test for individuals. That would be inappropriate even inaccurate.

    One way to test it is to compare the results you get when you use wordsum vs. the results you get when you use educational attainment. If you get the same trend, that should show you the relative comparability.

  • John C

    ‘Female participation in the labour market is lose, lose, lose proposition.’
    The idea that employment should be determined by gender is preposterous. Remove women from the workforce and not only does the economy collapse, so does society. Don’t expect intelligent women to set aside the prospect of education and career and rely on their husbands as a source of income and security. I realize that the 1950s was a golden age for conservatives but I don’t think too many intelligent women or men would like to see those days return.
    You seem to be saying that America is becoming dumber and dumber because less intelligent women are having more children. I don’t know if there is any evidence to suggest this is the case.
    Furthermore, as far as I know, the Nature V Nurture IQ debate still rages. America may still have to invest in social capital. It may have to take public education seriously — engage in a bit of nation building.

  • John C

    ‘Female participation in the labour market is lose, lose, lose proposition.’
    The idea that employment should be determined by gender is preposterous. Remove women from the workforce and not only does the economy collapse, so does society. Don’t expect intelligent women to set aside the prospect of education and career and rely on their husbands as a source of income and security. I realize that the 1950s was a golden age for conservatives but I don’t think too many intelligent women or men would like to see those days return.
    You seem to be saying that America is becoming dumber and dumber because less intelligent women are having more children. I don’t know if there is any evidence to suggest this is the case.
    Furthermore, as far as I know, the Nature V Nurture IQ debate still rages. America may still have to invest in social capital. It may have to take public education seriously — engage in a bit of nation building.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG, perhaps it’s time you revisit your claim (@39) that we’re discussing here:

    However, women with with IQ of 100 or higher have a tfr of about 1.7 and women with an IQ of below 100 have a tfr of about 2.4. This is how the total brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted when women are heavily pressured to work rather than have kids.

    To which I replied (@40):

    You can’t honestly draw any conclusions about how the “brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted” if you don’t compare how fertility rates have changed. So, how have they? Have more intelligent women experienced decreased fertility?

    You then pointed me (@41) to the GSS. Now, let’s ignore for now the fact that you (and those you are pointing me to) are conflating vocabulary with IQ — a dubious leap. You then pointed me (@46) to this analysis to back up your claim (@39). But you seem to have missed that said analysis does not back up your claim at all, because what it shows (leaving aside the question of whether the analysis itself is valid) is that, at least in the 1970s, the number of children born to people born to women with poor and excellent vocabularies was in the same ratio as in the current decade! Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG, perhaps it’s time you revisit your claim (@39) that we’re discussing here:

    However, women with with IQ of 100 or higher have a tfr of about 1.7 and women with an IQ of below 100 have a tfr of about 2.4. This is how the total brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted when women are heavily pressured to work rather than have kids.

    To which I replied (@40):

    You can’t honestly draw any conclusions about how the “brain power of the next generation is so severely stunted” if you don’t compare how fertility rates have changed. So, how have they? Have more intelligent women experienced decreased fertility?

    You then pointed me (@41) to the GSS. Now, let’s ignore for now the fact that you (and those you are pointing me to) are conflating vocabulary with IQ — a dubious leap. You then pointed me (@46) to this analysis to back up your claim (@39). But you seem to have missed that said analysis does not back up your claim at all, because what it shows (leaving aside the question of whether the analysis itself is valid) is that, at least in the 1970s, the number of children born to people born to women with poor and excellent vocabularies was in the same ratio as in the current decade! Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!

  • sg

    “Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!”

    Sure it has. Mean IQ in the US has fallen. It is now 98, down from 100 in 1950. This despite profound growth of educational spending, educational attainment, improved access to vitamins, nutrition programs, vaccines, medical advances etc. My point was once the number drops below 2.1, it is a whole new ball game because the absolute number of bright folks is actually shrinking rather than just growing at a slower rate.

    So, there is a big difference between a ratio of 1.36 when both the numbers are above 2.1 and a ratio of 1.35 when one of the numbers is below 2.1. If you don’t believe me, get out a calculator. Any number below 2.1 is targeting zero. Any number above 2.1 represents growth.

    Look, I wish, wish, wish, truly and sincerely that none of this were the case.

    A few years ago, I was making the same arguments you are.

    Check out LCMS numbers (BTW LCMS members have IQ avg of 100 according to Pew Research)

    http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/2006/03/lcms-contracepting-itself-out-of.html

    “2004:
    Members–2,463,747
    Baptised Children–32,851
    Juniors Confirmed–25,325
    Adults Confirmed–19,153

    1961:
    Members -2,464,436
    Baptised Children–82,248
    Juniors Confirmed–52,445
    Adults Confirmed and Baptised–32,000″

    May God grant us all wisdom and discernment and love for His children. ;-)
    May He use us to further His kingdom.

  • sg

    “Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!”

    Sure it has. Mean IQ in the US has fallen. It is now 98, down from 100 in 1950. This despite profound growth of educational spending, educational attainment, improved access to vitamins, nutrition programs, vaccines, medical advances etc. My point was once the number drops below 2.1, it is a whole new ball game because the absolute number of bright folks is actually shrinking rather than just growing at a slower rate.

    So, there is a big difference between a ratio of 1.36 when both the numbers are above 2.1 and a ratio of 1.35 when one of the numbers is below 2.1. If you don’t believe me, get out a calculator. Any number below 2.1 is targeting zero. Any number above 2.1 represents growth.

    Look, I wish, wish, wish, truly and sincerely that none of this were the case.

    A few years ago, I was making the same arguments you are.

    Check out LCMS numbers (BTW LCMS members have IQ avg of 100 according to Pew Research)

    http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/2006/03/lcms-contracepting-itself-out-of.html

    “2004:
    Members–2,463,747
    Baptised Children–32,851
    Juniors Confirmed–25,325
    Adults Confirmed–19,153

    1961:
    Members -2,464,436
    Baptised Children–82,248
    Juniors Confirmed–52,445
    Adults Confirmed and Baptised–32,000″

    May God grant us all wisdom and discernment and love for His children. ;-)
    May He use us to further His kingdom.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@50), I’m having a hard time seeing how you can disagree with my saying (@49) that “Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!” After all, I was paraphrasing the very analysis you pointed me to (@46), which said, and I quote, “There is no difference between the two periods. The higher fertility of dull women seen prior to 1970 continues to the same degree today.” If you disagree with that, perhaps you shouldn’t have pointed me to it in the first place.

    As to your statement that “Mean IQ in the US has fallen,” I’ll need a source on that one. “It is now 98, down from 100 in 1950″? Really? This flies in the face of what people who care about such things (which normally doesn’t include me) are saying. It’s called the Flynn effect, and, according to this randomly-Googled Wired article, “US test takers gained 17 IQ points between 1947 and 2001. The annual gain from 1947 through 1972 was 0.31 IQ point, but by the ’90s it had crept up to 0.36.” If you can disprove Wired‘s claim go for it — there are many other sites out there saying the same thing.

    And sorry, but we were discussing IQ and “the total brain power of the next generation” (your words), not LCMS membership.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@50), I’m having a hard time seeing how you can disagree with my saying (@49) that “Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!” After all, I was paraphrasing the very analysis you pointed me to (@46), which said, and I quote, “There is no difference between the two periods. The higher fertility of dull women seen prior to 1970 continues to the same degree today.” If you disagree with that, perhaps you shouldn’t have pointed me to it in the first place.

    As to your statement that “Mean IQ in the US has fallen,” I’ll need a source on that one. “It is now 98, down from 100 in 1950″? Really? This flies in the face of what people who care about such things (which normally doesn’t include me) are saying. It’s called the Flynn effect, and, according to this randomly-Googled Wired article, “US test takers gained 17 IQ points between 1947 and 2001. The annual gain from 1947 through 1972 was 0.31 IQ point, but by the ’90s it had crept up to 0.36.” If you can disprove Wired‘s claim go for it — there are many other sites out there saying the same thing.

    And sorry, but we were discussing IQ and “the total brain power of the next generation” (your words), not LCMS membership.

  • sg

    “The idea that employment should be determined by gender is preposterous.”

    Typical baseless, “I think, therefore it’s true” line of reasoning. It already is determined by gender. Now that women are “free” (aka obligated) to work, when was the last time you saw a woman out pouring concrete or working sanitation, or as a phone lineman, cable installer etc? Women want prestigious jobs and easy jobs that are safe, and clean. Coal mining, offshore drilling? Are you kidding? Those jobs aren’t cool and they are dangerous. Heck, being a stay home mom is more fun than any of those real jobs. So, sure, women want to be doctors and lawyers and indoor workers but all that other stuff that they are “free” to choose, they just never seem to choose.

    “Remove women from the workforce and not only does the economy collapse, so does society.”

    We may live long enough to witness the economy collapse because the bright group committed demographic suicide. Demographers think Japan will be the first to go. It is almost comical to see the about face in the predictions about Japan over the course of a few years in the online journal, The Social Contract Press.

    “Don’t expect intelligent women to set aside the prospect of education and career and rely on their husbands as a source of income and security.”

    I personally know plenty of women who hold advanced degrees in the sciences, medicine, law who quit to be stay at home moms. It is well known that high earning professional women quit at rates far higher than men once they gain enough confidence to ignore society’s demand that they not waste their lives being mothers. Women who don’t have children have 2-3 times the rate of suicide and depression. So career≠happiness for many intelligent women.

    “I realize that the 1950s was a golden age for conservatives but I don’t think too many intelligent women or men would like to see those days return.”

    Women by their nature tend to submit to whatever authority is out there. Right now those in authority are preaching work, study, don’t breed. So compliantly, they obey. Case in point, women outnumber men in college even though men outscore women on the SAT and ACT. So either lots of qualified men aren’t going, or lots of unqualified women are. I go with the latter. When I say lots, I mean lots because for men to be equally represented, they would have to increase their numbers by 50%. Basically women go to college because authority says so. Men are nowhere near as compliant and do basic cost/benefit to figure out it isn’t going to be worth it. Even men who aren’t at the top are still smart enough and independent enough to see that college for the guy of average ability is a sucker’s game. Women want what they are told to want. 100 years ago virtually all women said they wanted to get married and have kids. Now virtually all say they want to go to college. The power of marketing.

    “You seem to be saying that America is becoming dumber and dumber because less intelligent women are having more children.”

    Actually, I am just repeating it.

    “I don’t know if there is any evidence to suggest this is the case.”

    I cited evidence. What if there were incontrovertible evidence? Would it matter? It only matters if you are willing to judge based on evidence. Evidence means nothing to some folks. Truth is, there is plenty of evidence and no one wants to touch it with a 10 meter pole because it doesn’t reinforce their beliefs. The problem with looking for the truth is that you may not like what you find. Then what do you do?

    “Furthermore, as far as I know, the Nature V Nurture IQ debate still rages.”

    Good point. However, only one side has the weight of evidence on its side. Basically IQ can be lowered but not raised. So living in an extremely deprived circumstance can lower IQ slightly, while virtually nothing can increase IQ in a given healthy individual. Korean war orphans who were severely and moderately malnourished grew up to have higher IQ’s on average than their American adoptive parents and their biological children. Obviously the biological children had the nurture advantage, but not the nature advantage. The debate is political not scientific.

    “America may still have to invest in social capital. It may have to take public education seriously — engage in a bit of nation building.”

    Should we all spend like the Los Angeles school district?
    $27K per student per year. 44% graduation rate.
    How much more would we have to spend to qualify as “nation building”?
    I guess it really doesn’t matter since we don’t have the money (there isn’t enough money in all the world) and those who were born in the “golden age for conservatives” will soon be retiring and expecting/demanding that the dollars flow to them.

    Two parent families are the very heart of social capital.

  • sg

    “The idea that employment should be determined by gender is preposterous.”

    Typical baseless, “I think, therefore it’s true” line of reasoning. It already is determined by gender. Now that women are “free” (aka obligated) to work, when was the last time you saw a woman out pouring concrete or working sanitation, or as a phone lineman, cable installer etc? Women want prestigious jobs and easy jobs that are safe, and clean. Coal mining, offshore drilling? Are you kidding? Those jobs aren’t cool and they are dangerous. Heck, being a stay home mom is more fun than any of those real jobs. So, sure, women want to be doctors and lawyers and indoor workers but all that other stuff that they are “free” to choose, they just never seem to choose.

    “Remove women from the workforce and not only does the economy collapse, so does society.”

    We may live long enough to witness the economy collapse because the bright group committed demographic suicide. Demographers think Japan will be the first to go. It is almost comical to see the about face in the predictions about Japan over the course of a few years in the online journal, The Social Contract Press.

    “Don’t expect intelligent women to set aside the prospect of education and career and rely on their husbands as a source of income and security.”

    I personally know plenty of women who hold advanced degrees in the sciences, medicine, law who quit to be stay at home moms. It is well known that high earning professional women quit at rates far higher than men once they gain enough confidence to ignore society’s demand that they not waste their lives being mothers. Women who don’t have children have 2-3 times the rate of suicide and depression. So career≠happiness for many intelligent women.

    “I realize that the 1950s was a golden age for conservatives but I don’t think too many intelligent women or men would like to see those days return.”

    Women by their nature tend to submit to whatever authority is out there. Right now those in authority are preaching work, study, don’t breed. So compliantly, they obey. Case in point, women outnumber men in college even though men outscore women on the SAT and ACT. So either lots of qualified men aren’t going, or lots of unqualified women are. I go with the latter. When I say lots, I mean lots because for men to be equally represented, they would have to increase their numbers by 50%. Basically women go to college because authority says so. Men are nowhere near as compliant and do basic cost/benefit to figure out it isn’t going to be worth it. Even men who aren’t at the top are still smart enough and independent enough to see that college for the guy of average ability is a sucker’s game. Women want what they are told to want. 100 years ago virtually all women said they wanted to get married and have kids. Now virtually all say they want to go to college. The power of marketing.

    “You seem to be saying that America is becoming dumber and dumber because less intelligent women are having more children.”

    Actually, I am just repeating it.

    “I don’t know if there is any evidence to suggest this is the case.”

    I cited evidence. What if there were incontrovertible evidence? Would it matter? It only matters if you are willing to judge based on evidence. Evidence means nothing to some folks. Truth is, there is plenty of evidence and no one wants to touch it with a 10 meter pole because it doesn’t reinforce their beliefs. The problem with looking for the truth is that you may not like what you find. Then what do you do?

    “Furthermore, as far as I know, the Nature V Nurture IQ debate still rages.”

    Good point. However, only one side has the weight of evidence on its side. Basically IQ can be lowered but not raised. So living in an extremely deprived circumstance can lower IQ slightly, while virtually nothing can increase IQ in a given healthy individual. Korean war orphans who were severely and moderately malnourished grew up to have higher IQ’s on average than their American adoptive parents and their biological children. Obviously the biological children had the nurture advantage, but not the nature advantage. The debate is political not scientific.

    “America may still have to invest in social capital. It may have to take public education seriously — engage in a bit of nation building.”

    Should we all spend like the Los Angeles school district?
    $27K per student per year. 44% graduation rate.
    How much more would we have to spend to qualify as “nation building”?
    I guess it really doesn’t matter since we don’t have the money (there isn’t enough money in all the world) and those who were born in the “golden age for conservatives” will soon be retiring and expecting/demanding that the dollars flow to them.

    Two parent families are the very heart of social capital.

  • sg

    “And sorry, but we were discussing IQ and “the total brain power of the next generation” (your words), not LCMS membership.”

    Yeah, that was just as aside in case you were interested. Point is the LCMS is not immune to the birth control plague.

    Thanks for the Wired link. I will try to read it later but can’t spend any more time on it today. Nice talking to ya. ;-)

  • sg

    “And sorry, but we were discussing IQ and “the total brain power of the next generation” (your words), not LCMS membership.”

    Yeah, that was just as aside in case you were interested. Point is the LCMS is not immune to the birth control plague.

    Thanks for the Wired link. I will try to read it later but can’t spend any more time on it today. Nice talking to ya. ;-)

  • sg

    “I’m having a hard time seeing how you can disagree with my saying (@49) that “Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!”

    Did you try the calculator?

  • sg

    “I’m having a hard time seeing how you can disagree with my saying (@49) that “Nothing has changed (again, since the 1970s, at least)!”

    Did you try the calculator?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@54), what “calculator”? You do realize that you have yet to show that the relative fertility rate of those with above-average intelligence has changed over time when compared to that of people with below-average intelligence, right? You have demonstrated that the ratio of children born to women with above-average vocabulary to children born to women with below-average vocabulary has not changed over time. You seem to think the latter proves the former claim, though I’m not sure how — likely due to assumptions like, I don’t know, people only have kids with people of similar intelligence or that intelligence is strictly a product of genetics and so can be selected for or against in certain populations. You tell me.

    And now you’ve added to that the claim that the average US IQ has dropped 2 points since the 1950s.

    I await your evidence, in either case.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@54), what “calculator”? You do realize that you have yet to show that the relative fertility rate of those with above-average intelligence has changed over time when compared to that of people with below-average intelligence, right? You have demonstrated that the ratio of children born to women with above-average vocabulary to children born to women with below-average vocabulary has not changed over time. You seem to think the latter proves the former claim, though I’m not sure how — likely due to assumptions like, I don’t know, people only have kids with people of similar intelligence or that intelligence is strictly a product of genetics and so can be selected for or against in certain populations. You tell me.

    And now you’ve added to that the claim that the average US IQ has dropped 2 points since the 1950s.

    I await your evidence, in either case.

  • John C

    ‘Women really want prestigious jobs and easy jobs that are safe and clean ……………… being a stay at home mum is more fun than any of these real jobs.’
    An interesting distinction between real jobs and and what I suppose you would say are ‘unreal’ jobs. Few men want to do real jobs and have to be paid a premium to do them.
    For some mothers being a stay at home mum is unmitigated drudgery.
    Sure, some mothers take time out from their careers to raise their kids but do not expect these mothers to discourage their daughters from taking advanced degrees.
    And goodluck with the following statement –
    ‘Women by their nature tend to submit to whatever authority is out there.’
    Japan is interesting. Their economic problems are mainly due to 60 years of conservative government. True, their natural birth rate is falling but they are unwilling to increase their birthrate in the way that most other developed nations do — a state sponsored migration programme.
    I would also add that at some point developed nations will have to shift from the current economic model of unlimited growth in a world of finite resources to a new economic paradigm. It will be interesting to see how Japan adjusts.

  • John C

    ‘Women really want prestigious jobs and easy jobs that are safe and clean ……………… being a stay at home mum is more fun than any of these real jobs.’
    An interesting distinction between real jobs and and what I suppose you would say are ‘unreal’ jobs. Few men want to do real jobs and have to be paid a premium to do them.
    For some mothers being a stay at home mum is unmitigated drudgery.
    Sure, some mothers take time out from their careers to raise their kids but do not expect these mothers to discourage their daughters from taking advanced degrees.
    And goodluck with the following statement –
    ‘Women by their nature tend to submit to whatever authority is out there.’
    Japan is interesting. Their economic problems are mainly due to 60 years of conservative government. True, their natural birth rate is falling but they are unwilling to increase their birthrate in the way that most other developed nations do — a state sponsored migration programme.
    I would also add that at some point developed nations will have to shift from the current economic model of unlimited growth in a world of finite resources to a new economic paradigm. It will be interesting to see how Japan adjusts.

  • sg

    Todd, the ratio that hasn’t changed is a comparison of two other ratios that have changed. It is a ratio of two other ratios. Certainly you understand that multiplying by a number equal to or greater than one means the product will be larger while multiplying by a number that is smaller than one will render a product that is smaller. That is the point. A birthrate of less than 2.1 targets zero.

    Here, quick and dirty. Start with say 10,000 just for illustration and multiply times half of the birthrate, say ten times. Repeat with the other birthrates. The number of times you multiply is the number of generations. Get it?

    A birthrate of 3.o renders a growth rate of 1.5
    A birthrate of 2.2 renders 1.1
    However, birthrate of 1.7 renders negative growth, 0.85. So each succeeding generation is only 85% the size of the previous generation until you get to zero.
    I thought it was so obvious, there was no need to explain in minute detail.

    I am talking to my actuary/economist husband while I type. He is rolling his eyes, sighing, and suggesting you try putting it in Excel. Likewise my 7th grade son thinks it is obvious. What can I say? We are nerds. No offense intended. Not everyone loves math, I guess.

    Okay, the Wired article. If you read it closely you notice it isn’t really a discussion of IQ, rather of the usefulness of the measurement instruments. Any test has to measure intelligence somewhat indirectly which is the point of the article. The most important items noted are the fact that the correlation of an individual with himself is only .87. This also reflects the limits of the measurement instrument. Obviously a person is himself so he should correlate perfectly if the test could measure him perfectly. Flynn notes that there have not been corresponding gains on measures of academic performance which he feels indicates the gains on IQ tests aren’t real gains in g. The biggest slam for the nurture effect is the zero IQ correlation for unrelated kids raised together.

    The drop in IQ in the US. When IQ tests were first developed the people were tested first. Then the average was arbitrarily labeled 100, and the standard deviation set at 15. A recent US national average IQ estimate was calculated by Lynn and Vanhanen for the book IQ and World Inequality. They estimate the current US average at 98.

    Please note that the accuracy for estimates of large groups is based on different criteria than accuracy for an individual assessment as I noted earlier.

  • sg

    Todd, the ratio that hasn’t changed is a comparison of two other ratios that have changed. It is a ratio of two other ratios. Certainly you understand that multiplying by a number equal to or greater than one means the product will be larger while multiplying by a number that is smaller than one will render a product that is smaller. That is the point. A birthrate of less than 2.1 targets zero.

    Here, quick and dirty. Start with say 10,000 just for illustration and multiply times half of the birthrate, say ten times. Repeat with the other birthrates. The number of times you multiply is the number of generations. Get it?

    A birthrate of 3.o renders a growth rate of 1.5
    A birthrate of 2.2 renders 1.1
    However, birthrate of 1.7 renders negative growth, 0.85. So each succeeding generation is only 85% the size of the previous generation until you get to zero.
    I thought it was so obvious, there was no need to explain in minute detail.

    I am talking to my actuary/economist husband while I type. He is rolling his eyes, sighing, and suggesting you try putting it in Excel. Likewise my 7th grade son thinks it is obvious. What can I say? We are nerds. No offense intended. Not everyone loves math, I guess.

    Okay, the Wired article. If you read it closely you notice it isn’t really a discussion of IQ, rather of the usefulness of the measurement instruments. Any test has to measure intelligence somewhat indirectly which is the point of the article. The most important items noted are the fact that the correlation of an individual with himself is only .87. This also reflects the limits of the measurement instrument. Obviously a person is himself so he should correlate perfectly if the test could measure him perfectly. Flynn notes that there have not been corresponding gains on measures of academic performance which he feels indicates the gains on IQ tests aren’t real gains in g. The biggest slam for the nurture effect is the zero IQ correlation for unrelated kids raised together.

    The drop in IQ in the US. When IQ tests were first developed the people were tested first. Then the average was arbitrarily labeled 100, and the standard deviation set at 15. A recent US national average IQ estimate was calculated by Lynn and Vanhanen for the book IQ and World Inequality. They estimate the current US average at 98.

    Please note that the accuracy for estimates of large groups is based on different criteria than accuracy for an individual assessment as I noted earlier.

  • sg

    “An interesting distinction between real jobs and and what I suppose you would say are ‘unreal’ jobs. Few men want to do real jobs and have to be paid a premium to do them.”

    Exactly right. That is part of the cost/benefit analysis guys make in their career choices. Notice women make different choices which goes back to the original point that gender determines jobs even when all jobs are ostensibly equally available to both genders.

    “Sure, some mothers take time out from their careers to raise their kids but do not expect these mothers to discourage their daughters from taking advanced degrees.”

    Right. And don’t expect them to stop pressuring and cajoling them to pursue them. Society demands. Women comply. Different demands, same paradigm.

    “And goodluck with the following statement –
    ‘Women by their nature tend to submit to whatever authority is out there.’”

    Simple and rather uncontroversial observation easily supported by virtually any social data set.

    “Japan is interesting. Their economic problems are mainly due to 60 years of conservative government.”

    Patently false. Japanese government has been highly interventionist.

    “True, their natural birth rate is falling but they are unwilling to increase their birthrate in the way that most other developed nations do — a state sponsored migration programme.”

    The joke among observers of Japan is that their national religion is “being Japanese”. Also immigration would hasten their demise by introducing social pathologies. Japan has the lowest crime and highest social cohesion of any society. No immigrant group has anything to contribute to Japan. The Japanese prudently acknowledge the fact. Japan has actually lowered the number of immigrants it accepts over the past decade or so. Smart move in their case.

    “I would also add that at some point developed nations will have to shift from the current economic model of unlimited growth in a world of finite resources to a new economic paradigm. It will be interesting to see how Japan adjusts.”

    Excellent point. I have thought so for some time. The economic growth model has served its usefulness. We definitely need a new paradigm. Some other metric is imperative.

  • sg

    “An interesting distinction between real jobs and and what I suppose you would say are ‘unreal’ jobs. Few men want to do real jobs and have to be paid a premium to do them.”

    Exactly right. That is part of the cost/benefit analysis guys make in their career choices. Notice women make different choices which goes back to the original point that gender determines jobs even when all jobs are ostensibly equally available to both genders.

    “Sure, some mothers take time out from their careers to raise their kids but do not expect these mothers to discourage their daughters from taking advanced degrees.”

    Right. And don’t expect them to stop pressuring and cajoling them to pursue them. Society demands. Women comply. Different demands, same paradigm.

    “And goodluck with the following statement –
    ‘Women by their nature tend to submit to whatever authority is out there.’”

    Simple and rather uncontroversial observation easily supported by virtually any social data set.

    “Japan is interesting. Their economic problems are mainly due to 60 years of conservative government.”

    Patently false. Japanese government has been highly interventionist.

    “True, their natural birth rate is falling but they are unwilling to increase their birthrate in the way that most other developed nations do — a state sponsored migration programme.”

    The joke among observers of Japan is that their national religion is “being Japanese”. Also immigration would hasten their demise by introducing social pathologies. Japan has the lowest crime and highest social cohesion of any society. No immigrant group has anything to contribute to Japan. The Japanese prudently acknowledge the fact. Japan has actually lowered the number of immigrants it accepts over the past decade or so. Smart move in their case.

    “I would also add that at some point developed nations will have to shift from the current economic model of unlimited growth in a world of finite resources to a new economic paradigm. It will be interesting to see how Japan adjusts.”

    Excellent point. I have thought so for some time. The economic growth model has served its usefulness. We definitely need a new paradigm. Some other metric is imperative.

  • John C

    sg,Conservative governments do intervene in the market. From memory I think the Japanese government intervened in ways that served entrenched interests. Governments, whether on the Left or Right, ossify after 10 years let alone 60.
    You seem to be saying that young women should either reject or defer education in order to take advantage of those years of maximum fertility; to marry and rely on their husbands to provide income and security. To rely on others to provide income and security is folly. This is not a contract young women will want to sign even if society demands it.
    As for your statement, ‘society demands, women comply’, I have yet to see research that asserts women are more or less compliant than men or men by their nature are less likely to submit to any authority that is out there.

  • John C

    sg,Conservative governments do intervene in the market. From memory I think the Japanese government intervened in ways that served entrenched interests. Governments, whether on the Left or Right, ossify after 10 years let alone 60.
    You seem to be saying that young women should either reject or defer education in order to take advantage of those years of maximum fertility; to marry and rely on their husbands to provide income and security. To rely on others to provide income and security is folly. This is not a contract young women will want to sign even if society demands it.
    As for your statement, ‘society demands, women comply’, I have yet to see research that asserts women are more or less compliant than men or men by their nature are less likely to submit to any authority that is out there.

  • sg

    “You seem to be saying that young women should either reject or defer education in order to take advantage of those years of maximum fertility; to marry and rely on their husbands to provide income and security.”

    I think that there is too much pressure on women to have careers they don’t want. If they wanted them so badly, they wouldn’t quit as soon as they can. I am not advocating keeping women out or outright discouraging them rather decrying males dumping their responsibilities on women. A father who wants his daughter to support herself is dumping his responsibility as is the the husband who expects his wife to work when there is less than absolute economic necessity. Also, as I said before, highly able women are likely to be married to successful men and don’t need the money and their participation takes jobs away from men who do need it to support their families. The net effect is concentrating wealth at the top. Social justice? Expecting and demanding women go out and share in Adam’s curse is misogynistic exploitation. Women may not be obligated to marry and be mothers, but they certainly aren’t obligated to take on men’s roles. It is a disgrace for men to expect and demand it of their wives and daughters.

    “I have yet to see research that asserts women are more or less compliant than men”

    Then you aren’t looking. It is common knowledge in social science. It is not continuously reported on in the popular press because they don’t like it.

  • sg

    “You seem to be saying that young women should either reject or defer education in order to take advantage of those years of maximum fertility; to marry and rely on their husbands to provide income and security.”

    I think that there is too much pressure on women to have careers they don’t want. If they wanted them so badly, they wouldn’t quit as soon as they can. I am not advocating keeping women out or outright discouraging them rather decrying males dumping their responsibilities on women. A father who wants his daughter to support herself is dumping his responsibility as is the the husband who expects his wife to work when there is less than absolute economic necessity. Also, as I said before, highly able women are likely to be married to successful men and don’t need the money and their participation takes jobs away from men who do need it to support their families. The net effect is concentrating wealth at the top. Social justice? Expecting and demanding women go out and share in Adam’s curse is misogynistic exploitation. Women may not be obligated to marry and be mothers, but they certainly aren’t obligated to take on men’s roles. It is a disgrace for men to expect and demand it of their wives and daughters.

    “I have yet to see research that asserts women are more or less compliant than men”

    Then you aren’t looking. It is common knowledge in social science. It is not continuously reported on in the popular press because they don’t like it.

  • sg

    “Conservative governments do intervene in the market.”

    Maybe we just aren’t calling the same thing “conservative government”. I would not call a government that intervenes in the market conservative. Explain what you mean by conservative government in Japan as you understand it. Maybe conservative isn’t the best label in this case. Thanks.

  • sg

    “Conservative governments do intervene in the market.”

    Maybe we just aren’t calling the same thing “conservative government”. I would not call a government that intervenes in the market conservative. Explain what you mean by conservative government in Japan as you understand it. Maybe conservative isn’t the best label in this case. Thanks.


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