What Accounts For Jewish Success?

Comments at Steve Sailer:

* Cochran figures a 12 point IQ gap fits well with the achievement distributions. Maybe the IQ gap is actually only 10 points and other traits account for the other 1/6th of the achievement gap?

* The key to understanding modern America is to forget about race and religion and look at IQ instead. In raw numbers, Jews are “over-represented” in the elites but if you adjust for IQ, they are just where you would expect them to be. Instead of “Jews” say “high IQ elites” – high IQ elites are disproportionately Jewish but not just Jewish – they are WASP and Asian too. And instead of blacks say “low IQ” and instead of “whites” say “middle IQ”. Modern America is based on a high-low coalition against the middle. The elites provide the intellectual leadership and the low provide the voting masses (in exchange for goodies) and they squeeze the middle to pay for it all.

* IQ plays a huge role but so does geography (Jews are more over represented than IQ alone would predict). Roughly 2/3rds of US Jews live in the Bos-Wash, Chicago, LA, and SF metro areas. 30% live in the NYC metro area by itself. US Jews are a high IQ group (110ish) that culturally values economic/academic success, and they overwhelming reside in premier metro areas where paths toward that success are both highly visible and more numerous. Those two factors lead to the over representation that exists.

By contrast only roughly 16% of US non Hispanic whites live in those metros. The horizons of a smart person growing up in the NYC or SF metro areas is going to be far different than someone growing up in Ohio or Tennessee.

* In addition to IQ there are certain network effects involving certain high profile industries. Just as Cambodians dominate the donut trade, Jews just happened to be in the right place at the right time to dominate the film industry, which has a higher profile than the donut business. Jews are also concentrated in large coastal cities which set the tone for the overall culture and are interested in sending their kids to high profile national universities. There are a lot of high IQ Midwesterners who are perfectly happy attending their flagship state university and then going back home to run their family farm/business/the local bank/ local law firm, etc. and Jews are UNDER represented in those places. Likewise, Jews are underrepresented in certain other businesses – in America they were mostly absent from aerospace/auto manufacturing and other heavy industry (but they were present in light manufacturing – e.g. the garment business). Possibly because these industries were centered in places that the Jews weren’t.

* When it comes to elite college admissions, Jews (and not just Jews but other “plugged in” elites) have an advantage. As I mentioned earlier, many otherwise qualified non-elite whites are just not interested in playing the game to begin with. They will attend their flagship state U, get a fine education and go on to fine careers in their home state.

BUT, even among those who want to attend, coastal elites are especially networked in. There is a whole network of college consultants who will help you to polish your application, tell you what summer internships you should do, maybe get you untimed testing on the SAT, etc. Maybe you know some prof. at that university who will write you a recommendation. Just going to an elite private school is already an advantage – these places remain feeder schools for the Ivies. Worst comes to worst (Jared Kushner) daddy may just make a huge donation and buy you into Harvard. If you are a rich person (Jewish or not) living on the Upper East Side or in some Superzip, there are a ten different angles that you can use to get your kid into an elite college and some parents begin plotting these from the moment of birth.

The average farm family in Iowa doesn’t even know that these things even exist (and if they did, they aren’t in a position to pay for them anyway). Their SAT study advice is “get a good night’s sleep and bring a #2 pencil.” On the other end, you have Asians who are first generation. Their idea of getting an advantage is cramming for a 1600 on their SATs. They (again not being plugged in) don’t understand that Ivy admissions officers LOVE to throw (not all – gotta keep those averages up so you can let in more minorities) Asians with 1600 SATs in the reject pile. Should have started that charity for the children of Rwandan coffee bean pickers – THAT would have impressed the readers, not playing 1st violin in the school orchestra.

Again, ALL coastal elites benefit from this network effect – it’s not just Jared Kushner, it’s Chelsea Clinton too. It just so happens that Jews are disproportionately plugged into this network already.

* Unz makes large numbers of basic factual errors in that article.

Kind of like his multiple attempts to show hispanics don’t have a higher crime rate than whites.

In both cases you get an overwhelming sense he started with his conclusion and looked for any possible justification for it and ignoring any possible contrary evidence.

Sure, antisemitic stereotypes, like stereotypes in general, rarely come out of nowhere. I can go even further and say I agree that Jews are disproportionately responsible for nearly all of the destructive cultural Marxist trends that are ruining America.

The problem with right-wing anti-Semites is even the less nutty ones exaggerate the disproportion, minimize the non-Jewish responsibility, never seek to weigh the damage caused by the cultmarx Jews with the benefits bestowed by others, and wink-and-nood their approval of genocide.

* In a complex transaction, it’s just not true that both sides would be better off if they did not hire a lawyer. We live in a complex world where no two business people have the time or the specialized knowledge needed to enter into a complex transaction. Say you are buying a used car and you have a professional mechanic look at it and talk to the dealer’s mechanic – have you both “lost” because you hired an expert?

Ignorance is only bliss until you find out what it is that you don’t know. Say that two businessmen follow your advice and don’t hire lawyers. Instead they write up some crappy two page agreement on the back of a napkin – I’ve seen it done. At first everything seems great – they didn’t have to “waste” money on legal fees and fight over all sorts of issues that might get covered in a complex contract and will probably never come up anyway. But then, stemming to “bad luck” one of those issues does come up – say you get a letter from the state sales tax people asking you to pay the business’s unpaid sales taxes from 2015. They are telling you that you are liable for this even though you only bought the assets of the business and not the seller’s corporation – they tell you that you should have gotten some kind of clearance certificate and you didn’t know that you were supposed to do this. Or maybe one of the company’s suppliers is saying that there are unpaid invoices and they won’t keep shipping to you unless you pay them. Or maybe someone pulls up with a truck and says they are here to repossess some machine – they show you that they have a recorded security interest on it and you didn’t know that you can look these things up. You don’t even know what a “security interest” is. You open up the 2 page agreement that you did with the other guy and you realize the contract doesn’t say anything about any of these things – you never even considered that they might happen. What do you do now? (That’s when you call me and I tell you that you should have called me BEFORE you signed that contract).

* Yes, Hollywood was great before the Jews ruined it. Mind you, it was just a bunch of orange groves before then, but they were great orange groves.

* Hitler permanently changed the stakes on anti-Semitism, even on American anti-Semitism which was never genocidal (or even close to genocidal). Before the Holocaust, it was possible to be a “polite” anti-Semite and make rational arguments about whether the Jews were in all respects 100% nothing but good for America and all Americans and should be included in every possible sphere (club, private business, etc.). People (especially Jews) might disagree with you but it was a valid (if somewhat controversial) POV. Henry Ford was openly anti-Semitic and remained a well respected figure. Lindbergh too.

But, the Holocaust changed everything for American Jews. They perceived (rightly or wrongly) that “polite” anti-Semitism might lead to the not so polite kind and that the stakes involved potentially were not just membership in golf clubs but literally life and death. Say you have some dandelions in your lawn – you might choose to live with them or fight it with half-hearted measures. But one day you realize that those weeds are not dandelions, they are really poison ivy. Suddenly you are not willing to tolerate them at all, even a little and will do everything in your power to stomp them out.

* Ron Unz: “The problem with dealing with fanatic Jewish-activist types like Gelman and Mertz (and “Lot”)”

* Lot: I am a Christian of a bit less than half Jewish heritage, was raised going to church semi-regularly in small metro areas that were under 1% Jewish and not knowing a single practicing Jew other than a single elementary school classmate. I have never been to Israel, have never been part of any Jewish organization, and know maybe three Hebrew words. I am also not an activist of any sort, though when I was in HS and college I was involved, at a low level, with Republican politics. And I am quite sure that you spend at least ten times the amount of time on these issues than I do, and with far more passion.

Same with Gelman. Looking at his website, there appears to be only a very minor interest in these issues, so low there are no topic categories nor a single reference on the front page to them, while on yours there is an enormous focus on the supposed misdeeds of Israel and Jews. I mean, you just mentioned you listen to Red Ice radio! While I don’t think there is anything wrong in being interested in these issues or writing about them to the extent that you do, it is pretty rich for you to throw around the word “activist” and “fanatic.”

I took (as did Gelman) Unz’s core point to be that there was evidence of the top colleges discriminating in favor of Jews compared to white non-Jews. In fact, the opposite is true, for two main reasons. First, there is a geographic diversity preference that results in an admission bump to the heavily non-Jewish residents of the low-population Western states, plus a few more states that produce few very high scoring students like WV and MS. Second, there is an athletic preference, which is strongest for men’s basketball, football and hockey, but exists to a smaller extent in many other sports.

I have no objection to these preferences by the way, but they both certainly exist, and work against Jews and to an even greater extent Asians in favor of non-Jewish whites.

At least on what I took to be his core point, the sloppy Jew counting, including taking Hillel’s absurd and internally contradictory estimates of Jewish student scares screwed up the rest of the work. As does the idea that you can measure talent at the population level with competitions like IMO and Putnam. You might as well conclude that 90% of the most qualified high school students are South Asian based on spelling bee results. The PSAT presents a better method, but the problem is that being a NMS semifinalist is below what you need to get into the very top schools, and also Unz’s Jew-counting was sloppy or biased there too.

* Ron Unz: I’d guess that roughly 80-90% of high-IQ American whites are non-Jewish.

Lot: Depends on where the cut-off for “high IQ” is. Using your 110 Jewish mean and a 25-1 ratio, at the 160+ IQ level the breakdown will be 64.8% non-Jewish and 35.2% Jewish.

At the 170 level it becomes 54.7% non-Jewish and 46.3% Jewish. And there are still hundreds of Americans at that 170+ level, and they likely are well represented in science Nobel winners and founders of large computer companies.

* Jews maximize the brains that they have and push for success in a way that non-Jews don’t. And, of course, some of their success might be looking out for each other at opportune times.

* I don’t mean to use antisemite pejoratively, and agree it is used too readily. But we do need a word to describe people whose negative opinions on Jews inform a lot of their worldview. You must agree it is a distinct group?

A couple months ago someone objected to the term, and I switched to their preferred “countersemite” without complaint, and have used it a few more times since when I thought it would be preferred.

If you don’t think they almost all wink and nod about the holocaust (while blogrolling those who explicitly approve) you’re either missing not very subtle jokes or we are thinking of different people.

* Sailer: 3-d cognitive skills are less correlated with the g factor than anything else. It’s kind of like in PCs that have a CPU chip and a separate 3-d graphics processor chip.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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