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June 01, 2004

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"Did you ever get the feeling you'd been cheated?"

-- John Lydon

By the way, you know how to win a lot of votes for your party's candidate? Tell the people who didn't vote for your party last time that they're stupid. Always, always a winning strategy. Let me know how it works out for you.

P.S. I didn't vote for Bush. Always feel like I have to add that little disclaimer when I criticize this kind of silliness.

Edward, you really need to check out Snopes (or the equivalent) before you post stuff like this.

Holy hoax busting Batman! Yes, Phil, it is silliness. It was simply too silly not to share. Although I get a sense now that it's been around and debunked for quite some time (sloppy on my part not to check that, I'll admit).

Although, I don't think your source is totally nonpartisan or remotely well-balanced:

Well, it's a HOAX.

I own "IQ and the Wealth of Nations." I read it extremely carefully. I've written a lengthy review of the book: http://www.vdare.com/sailer/wealth_of_nations.htm. As the title suggests, it's about the average IQs of nations, not states. There's nothing in it about IQs by states.

Also, anyone familiar with the topic would quickly recognize the fallaciousness of the data. The 113 figure for Connecticut is way too high. That's about what Connecticut would be if it was all-Jewish. It's not. The 87 for Utah is a joke.

Somebody probably got the idea from Lynn & Vanhanen's book and made up some numbers by starting with the income table (that's why the correlation with IQ is so high). The goal, obviously, was to make Democrats feel superior.

The funny thing is that this hoax will be the first time that any liberals will have ever heard of IQ and the Wealth of Nations, which is probably the most important book published in this century.

Given the haughty tone and self-important texture of this hoax-busting diatribe, I'd say the chart (fake or not) at least struck a nerve.

What I find really interesting about his ongoing obsession with this chart is the "Honest data on smarts by state" he provides of 8th grade math and 8th grade reading scores. Unless 8th graders are allowed to vote in some states or there's any data on whether smarter people move from their home state or not, this data reveals nothing. (And no, I'm not saying that because Gore looses to Bush in this data, he actually edges out Bush in both).

Still, this guy has a photo of himself with Margaret Thatcher on his blog. Does anything scream "killjoy" any more loudly than that?

you really need to check out Snopes (or the equivalent) before you post stuff like this.

Yup, Slarti. You're right. I should.

What I get for blogging uncaffienatedly. I could just delete the post, but that seems dishonest. I'm actually just procrastinating to avoid blogging about Iraq or gas prices or what have you. I think I need a vacation.

The Pacific Northwest is really nice at this time of the year (and the Rose Festival in Portland this week and next).....

This is the kind of hoax I love. One that reinforces my prejudices in a healthy way. Who can argue that MS is the birthplace of dumb?

Another possible revealing metric: number of churches per 100,000 population. Haven't seen a study of this, but Metro Portland is blissfully free of church clutter, compared to, say, Mobile. Fewer churches = more blue, etc.

A good project for someone with clearly too much time on their hands.

Agreed. And, to be fair, Googling "IQ average by state" (sans quotes) reveals that this meme has acquired a fairly large following, so I imagine the pull to cabbage-patch on this was fairly strong.

Not that that actually means anything, given that the data didn't come from where it was supposed to have come from. Even the book it's supposed to have been referenced to is a bit flawed in the data area. These flaws are acknowledged, though.

While it's apparent this email is a hoax, some of the explanations of why it's a hoax aren't much better. Specifically, the iSteve debunking which relies on some pretty sketchy speculation and some outright WAGs.

Plainly, the fact that various state IQ averages are clearly fabricated is enough to doom this urban hoax. In fact, even if the IQ data were semi-accurate, not enough is known to support a correlation that passes the smell test.

Besides, IQ is only a relative measure of intelligence--and is really only an indication of potential as opposed to raw intelligence.

A better metric vis a vis Gore v Bush is a comparison of who won those states which received more in federal spending than they contributed in federal taxes.

I've seen something about that question (who won those states which received more in federal spending than they contributed in federal taxes) on Kos, I believe, Jadegold...again it favors those who voted for Gore, no?

At least Georgia ended up looking much more hypocritical than Massachusetts, if I recall correctly.

...thus rendering this little more than petty partisan wishful thinking.

Hmmm...I find that my wishful thinking runs the other way, sometimes.

/snark

Edward/Jadegold

Serious question. If we assume that progressive taxes are fair (i.e. those who earn the most, pay the most and rarely receive the same percentage of services compared to taxes paid that those who earn the least do) why is it not fair that those states in which those people reside receive less in federal funding than others?

I don't have a problem with that Crionna. But then I don't have a problem with a progressive tax either.

Neither do I Edward. I think it was Von that made a very good argument for the progressive tax early in OW history, can't find it though now.

I don't have a problem with that Crionna. But then I don't have a problem with a progressive tax either.

Now the purpose of the "hypocrisy" comment completely escapes me.

I'm confused Slarti...spending too much brain power on the art question.

Can I get back to this?

Now the purpose of the "hypocrisy" comment completely escapes me.

I believe the charge stems from the idea that the typical Bush supporter is for "smaller government" and thinks that most of the income redistribution goes to the big cities.

To the extent that this is true, I'd simply call it "ironic"; perhaps the charge of hypocrisy could be levelled at politicians who capitalize on this misconception.

...and thinks that...

Mandatory mind-reading penalty.

On whom is the penalty to be assessed? I was simply attempting to explain the charge, not subscribing to it.

Slarti has a quota. He needs to hand out X number of mind-reading penalties each month or have his VRWC membership revoked. ;P

Ken's right. My original thinking about hypocrisy was the politicians who capitalize on the both the idea that small government is good (and especially argue for "fairer" taxes for all Americans, even as they bring home the bacon (pork) to their state in disproportionate percentages.

Well, ken, you're either going to take a penalty for mind-reading Republicans, or for mind-reading the nameless, faceless others who hold the idea you described. And I'll take a penalty for failing to read and comprehend; it's only fair.

I think it's noble that the red-staters are advocating the reduction of something on which they clearly rely, as a matter of principle.

Well, I still disagree (I thought I hedged and framed my statements adequately), but I know better than to argue with the refs -- I'll just lodge a formal complaint after it's over.

I think it's noble that the red-staters are advocating the reduction of something on which they clearly rely, as a matter of principle.

At the risk of cross-threading this whole blog, think of it as a sort of voluntary conservation of resources.

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