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Last year I published Race, IQ, and Wealth, presenting the overwhelming evidence that group IQs were far more malleable and shaped by social influences than is widely acknowledged in many quarters. The result was a lengthy and ferocious Internet debate, including an overwhelmingly negative and even hostile response to my suggestions, mostly by bloggers who... Read More
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Amid the fury over the ex-Heritage staffer's work the question to ask is: was he right?
Amid loud cries of “Witch! Witch! Burn the Witch!” an enraged throng of ideological activists and media pundits late last week besieged the fortress-like DC headquarters of the conservative Heritage Foundation, demanding the person of one Jason Richwine, Ph.D., employed there as a senior policy analyst. The High Lords of Heritage, deeply concerned about any... Read More
For a combination of demographic and ideological reasons few topics in American public life are more explosive than those involving race. Racial factors obviously underlie a wide range of major public policy issues yet are almost always ignored by nearly all participants. However, every now and then a careless statement or uncovered document will suddenly... Read More
Although I have not read Thomas Sowell’s latest book Intellectuals and Race, a discussion of its contents in his April 23 column makes me less than eager to read it. For years I enjoyed reading Sowell’s commentaries, and his early research showing the economic progress of American blacks before the passage of federal antidiscrimination laws... Read More
The season of college admissions is now upon us, weeks of envelopes fat and thin. With so many teenagers now discovering their future life-prospects as dealt out by our academic gatekeepers, discussions of the selection process are appearing in our media, and some of these include reference to my own Meritocracy article of almost five... Read More
As an individual who often regrets his decades-old defection from the academic community, I was remarkably pleased to see anthropologist Peter Frost very generously discuss my recent China article under the rubric “the Clark-Unz Model.” The senior researcher identified is obviously economist Gregory Clark, whose influential 2007 book A Farewell to Alms had suggested a... Read More
In modern American society, few terms carry the negative and socially disreputable ring of “eugenics,” first coined by Darwin's cousin Francis Galton and later widely advocated by Margaret Sanger, America’s founding mother of birth control and abortion. Denouncing one’s opponents as eugenicists has become a mainstay of political rhetoric across both the Left and Right,... Read More
About the only detailed public criticism of my Meritocracy article by an academic has come from Prof. Janet Mertz, a Wisconsin cancer researcher. Since her analysis draws so heavily upon her own 2008 academic paper on top performing math students, I decided that paper warranted a close examination. The primary focus of her article was... Read More
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A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.
During the three decades following Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 reforms, China achieved the fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history, with the resulting 40-fold rise in the size of China’s economy leaving it poised to surpass America’s as the largest in the world. A billion ordinary Han Chinese have lifted themselves economically from oxen... Read More
Several years ago, Harvard President Larry Summers spoke at an academic conference on diversity issues, and casually speculated that one of the possible reasons there were relatively few female mathematics professors might be that men were just a bit better at math than women. Although his remarks were private and informal, the massive national scandal... Read More
For reasons best known to himself, Columbia University statistics professor Andrew Gelman has now seen fit to publish his sixth(!) lengthy blogsite column discussing or sharply critiquing my analysis of Ivy League university admissions. Just like most of his previous ones, he seeks to rebut my particular claim that there is a highly suspicious degree... Read More
In publishing a 30,000 word article covering such a broad range of complex and controversial topics, I was certain that my work would necessarily contain at least a few factual errors or omissions. The hundreds of individuals examining my material over the last three months have located several, and being from an academic background, I... Read More
One noticeable disappointment in the ongoing discussion of my Meritocracy article has been the relative lack of critical commentary. Both my previous Hispanic Crime and Race/IQ series had unleashed vast outpouring of harsh attacks, thereby assisting me in sharpening and refining my analysis. But I think that so far the overwhelming majority of the many... Read More
Earlier this week Washington Post Columnist Matt Miller published an excellent piece making the case for a large increase in the federal minimum wage, including arguments drawn from a wide range of prominent business and political figures, as well as mention of my own recent New America article on that issue. Given the importance of... Read More
I just returned from attending a couple of events at Yale University, all in connection with the controversial issues raised by my Meritocracy article. On Tuesday, I participated in a large public debate organized by the Yale Political Union on the somewhat related question of whether Affirmative Action on college admissions should be ended. The... Read More
As all writers know, a good title should be both descriptive and provocative, and both these considerations certainly apply to Russell Nieli's very detailed 2200 word review of my Meritocracy article "Asians as the New Jews, Jews as the New WASPs," recently published on Minding the Campus, a prominent education-oriented webzine affiliated with The Manhattan... Read More
Although my Meritocracy article focused primarily on public policy issues---the admissions systems of our elite academic institutions---it necessarily touched on some scientific ones as well. Therefore, it is quite heartening to see that a detailed 1500 word summary and discussion of the piece has now been published by the Genetic Literary Project, affiliated with George... Read More
As I had previously mentioned, the length and range of topics covered in my Meritocracy package resulted in a wide dispersion of responses, many of which seemed to contain almost no overlap in their discussions. Just as in the fable of the Blind Men and the Elephant, a casual reader might almost assume that the... Read More
Doing so would be just as arbitrary as college admissions at present
Given the enormous length of my Meritocracy package---over 35,000 words including sidebar, endnotes, and appendices---it’s hardly surprising that certain parts have received a great deal of discussion, while others have not. For example, my suggestion that our top universities now operated more as hedge-funds than as educational institutions was widely distributed and discussed, as was... Read More
Late Monday night I received a most remarkable and unexpected Christmas present delivered straight from august offices of the New York Times, as David Brooks, one of America's most prominent center-right journalists, named my recent piece "The Myth of American Meritocracy" as one of the winners of his annual Sidney Awards for outstanding articles of... Read More
The New York Times, America's national newspaper of record, has published a forum debating the existence of Asian-American quotas in the Ivy League. My own contribution, drawn from my recent article The Myth of American Meritocracy, focused on the statistical evidence: Statistics Indicate an Ivy League Asian Quota Ron Unz, The New York Times, December... Read More
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Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
Just before the Labor Day weekend, a front page New York Times story broke the news of the largest cheating scandal in Harvard University history, in which nearly half the students taking a Government course on the role of Congress had plagiarized or otherwise illegally collaborated on their final exam.[1] Each year, Harvard admits just... Read More
The surprisingly wide national victory of President Barack Obama over his Republican challenger has occasioned quite a lot of political second-guessing, including among the GOP donors who contributed well over one billion dollars in cash to their candidate, only to be crushed on Election Day despite record-high national unemployment. To reverse JFK's famous phrase, it... Read More
With my long sequence of articles and columns on Race/IQ having now apparently wound to a close, I thought I'd provide a full collection of the entire series and accompanying debate for convenient future access, not least for myself. Running almost a dozen separate items across nine weeks and totalling some 23,000 words, the pieces... Read More
Although the vast majority of the angry responses greeting my Race/IQ article focused on a few of the ethnicities I had examined---Irish, Mexicans, Italians---my coverage had actually been quite broad, and I presented a large number of IQ gaps whose existence seemed inexplicible from a strictly genetic perspective. Indeed, the first example I cited was... Read More
Determining American reality is sometimes difficult due to the flaws of government statistics, with the contentious subject of race and crime being a perfect example. The FBI publishes a Uniform Crime Report, providing a vast quantity of public data on crime and arrest statistics, including the recorded race of offenders. Anyone interested in learning the... Read More
Although the claims regarding Irish IQ had unexpectedly attracted so many of the angry attacks on my recent Race/IQ series, it seemed quite obvious to me that this represented merely a stalking-horse for the related question of Mexican IQ. In my original article, I had pointed out that up to the early 1970s, both Mexicans... Read More
One of the many surprises I've encountered when reading the dozens of web pages and many hundreds of comments attacking my Race/IQ analysis is the overwhelming focus of these critics upon my Irish data. Although I discuss similar ethnic IQ evidence regarding the Greeks, Balkan Slavs, Southern Italians, Dutch, Germans, and various other European peoples,... Read More
Given the vast outpouring of agitated and angry remarks by those bloggers and commenters whose long-cherished beliefs have been challenged by my Race/IQ article, it's always very nice to discover a supportive voice, even if I might not necessary agree with absolutely every single point made. For example, Jason Antrosio's popular academic blog "Living Anthropologically"... Read More
Richard Lynn has now produced a lengthy and detailed rebuttal to my article Race, IQ & Wealth questioning his theories, as has Helmuth Nyborg, another leading IQ expert and strong supporter of Lynn. Their analyses have been published or highlighted on several prominent racialist websites, and I am herein providing my own rejoinder. First, I... Read More
As I've often told my friends over the years, the careful investigation of racial and ethnic differences presents huge difficulties in present-day American society. On the one hand, the topic is a very interesting and important one, especially in a society with America's enormous diversity, but the powerful social taboos surrounding such discussions have dissuaded... Read More
If New York is America's finance capital, with Los Angeles filling the same role for entertainment and Silicon Valley for technology, then surely the Boston area constitutes our center of academic and intellectual life, being home to a host of top universities such as Harvard, MIT, BU, Tufts, and many others. Partly for this reason,... Read More
As I have recently mentioned to several people, I had been aware of the large anomalies and logical inconsistences in the Lynn/Vanhanen IQ model for nearly a decade, and had repeatedly pointed them out on various Internet discussion forums. But since nobody ever paid the slightest attention to what I was saying, I finally decided... Read More
The central finding of my recent article "Race, IQ, and Wealth" was a simple one. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen today rank as perhaps the world's leading academic advocates of the theory that the innate IQ of a given nation is fixed and determines its international success on a host of major economic and social... Read More
They may not be racist, but voter ID laws undoubtedly boost Republicans.
The voter ID law recently enacted in Pennsylvania and which already operates in other states has occasioned considerable controversy. Although a majority of Americans polled favor the idea that would-be voters should be required to identify themselves with a license or with some other persuasive document, opposition persists. Allow me to express my considered view,... Read More
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In “Race, IQ, and Wealth,” I examined the pattern of IQ scores for various European peoples as presented by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in IQ and the Wealth of Nations and noted the considerable evidence for a large socio-economic influence. In nearly all cases, impoverished, rural populations seemed to exhibit far lower IQ scores... Read More
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What the facts tell us about a taboo subject
At the end of April, Charles Kenny, a former World Bank economist specializing in international development, published a blistering attack in Foreign Policy entitled “Dumb and Dumber,” with the accusatory subtitle “Are development experts becoming racists?” Kenny charged that a growing number of development economists were turning towards genetic and other intrinsic human traits as... Read More
The attacks on Herman Cain that I’ve encountered in recent weeks have gone from dumb to outrageous. I’m not speaking of any substantive complaint, for example, that his 9/9/9 flat tax plan may be simplistic or that Cain took two opposing positions on abortion in the same interview. A longtime businessman, he is admittedly a... Read More
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The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution
Will mass immigration destroy the GOP? Can our middle-class society survive high immigration levels? Is there any political solution to our current immigration difficulties? Last June the U.S. Census disclosed that non-white births in America were on the verge of surpassing the white total and might do so as early as the end of this... Read More
His-Panic: The Myth of Immigrant Crime Ron Unz, The American Conservative (Print Edition), March 2010 ================== 1. Jews and The American Conservative Hunter Wallace, Occidental Dissent (62 comments), Jan. 26, 2010 "An important corollary is that Jews should be totally excluded from our media and organizations." 2. According to The American "Conservative", Khalid Sheikh Mohammed... Read More
I'm afraid that Jason Richwine's latest posting in the Great Hispanic Crime Debate makes a very silly claim. He seemingly comes close to accusing me of intellectual dishonesty for pointing out that the PPIC Hispanic incarceration data for California is within 10% of my own California figures for the 15-44 age range, arguing that I... Read More
Kudos to Jason Richwine for his fine shoe-leather work in contacting the PPIC staff and determining that the ethnic incarceration figures provided in their 2006 report Who's in Prison? were already age-adjusted, which he mentioned in a weekend blog item, The Great Hispanic Crime Debate. I do think that anyone reading the explicit text on... Read More
With four long replies to my Hispanic crime article having appeared just in the last 24 hours, I obviously cannot respond to every point raised, but I’ll try to address the key issues. First, Jason Richwine’s article in AlternativeRight (Model Minority?) raises some perfectly valid points. He devotes the first half of his article to... Read More
My thanks to Ed Rubenstein for producing a fine rejoinder (Ron Unz Vanishes Hispanic Criminality ... Not!) to my own recent analysis of Hispanic crime rates (His-Panic). Most of the previous rebuttals to my original article seemed either utterly risible (Statsholic) or ideologically shrill and analytically weak (Unzism, a Dangerous Doctrine). Although I certainly disagree... Read More
My thanks to Matthew Roberts and Steve Burton (MR+SB) for publishing a detailed critique in Chronicles of my recent article on Hispanic crime rates. However, since I believe their analysis is largely mistaken, I'm providing a response: (1) One major point which they and various others have criticized is my effort to exclude federal inmates... Read More
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Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
According to Lou Dobbs, “a third of the prison population in this country is estimated to be illegal aliens,” and Glenn Beck regularly warns of “an illegal alien crime wave.” Congressman Tom Tancredo insists, “The face of illegal immigration on our borders is one of murder, one of drug smuggling, one of vandalism for all... Read More
Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions, by Christian Lander
Our brains process information coming from our senses. Since we are social animals, a great deal of the processing concerns social information — data about the members of the various groups we belong to, and about our own place in those groups. There is no consensus among neuroscientists about the way this is done, but... Read More
Today, thunderous matters of cosmic import: why has the West dominated scientific and technological advance practically forever? This has certainly been the truth for many years. From—take your pick: 1500 on?—the West has produced both the scientific giants and the fields in which they flourished. Many of the towering figures are unknown today, but they... Read More
Yale University law professor Amy Chua writes in World on Fire that “free market democracy” has an Achilles’ heel: market-dominant minorities. The disproportionate success attained by market-dominant minorities foments ethnic hatreds. Democracy provides the envious and resentful majority the means to strike at the successful minority, making conflict inherent in “free market democracy.” What is... Read More
Category Classics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
What the facts tell us about a taboo subject