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Amazing Chetty Facts: Boone County, WV Is "Very Good for Income Mobility," While "Marin County Is Extremely Bad for Children in Families in the Top 1%"
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Boone County in West Virginia is best known recently for the documentary “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia,” which was produced by Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame.

Screenshot 2015-05-04 20.29.35

But Raj Chetty — MacArthur Genius, Harvard economist, and adviser to Hillary Clinton — has the power of Big Data to tell him Boone County’s actually a pretty awesome place to raise your children. From the New York Times auto-generator of Amazing Chetty Facts:

The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares

Children who grow up in some places go on to earn much more than they would if they grew up elsewhere.

Boone County is very good for income mobility for children in poor families [25th percentile of national income]. It is better than about 86 percent of counties.

Location matters – enormously. If you’re poor and live in the Charleston area, it’s better to be in Boone County than in Logan County or Kanawha County. Not only that, the younger you are when you move to Boone, the better you will do on average. Children who move at earlier ages are less likely to become single parents, more likely to go to college and more likely to earn more.

Every year a poor child spends in Boone County adds about $170 to his or her annual household income at age 26, compared with a childhood spent in the average American county. Over the course of a full childhood, which is up to age 20 for the purposes of this analysis, the difference adds up to about $3,500, or 13 percent, more in average income as a young adult.

These findings, particularly those that show how much each additional year matters, are from a new study by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren that has huge consequences on how we think about poverty and mobility in the United States. The pair, economists at Harvard, have long been known for their work on income mobility, but the latest findings go further. Now, the researchers are no longer confined to talking about which counties merely correlate well with income mobility; new data suggests some places actually cause it.

Consider Boone County, W.Va., the focus of this article. (Feel free to change to another place by selecting a new county on the map or using the search boxes throughout this page.)

It’s among the best counties in the U.S. in helping poor children up the income ladder. It ranks 2,130th out of 2,478 counties, better than about 86 percent of counties.

Heck, Boone County is a swell place for the upper middle class to raise their kids, too.

Boone County is very good for children in rich families [75th percentile]. It is better than about 81 percent of counties.

A few hollers to the south of Boone County is McDowell County, which has been notorious for more than half a century as probably the worst white county in America. The New York Times reported last year:

50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back
By TRIP GABRIEL APRIL 20, 2014

… McDowell County, the poorest in West Virginia, has been emblematic of entrenched American poverty for more than a half-century. John F. Kennedy campaigned here in 1960 and was so appalled that he promised to send help if elected president. His first executive order created the modern food stamp program, whose first recipients were McDowell County residents. …

But a half-century later, with the poverty rate again on the rise, hardship seems merely to have taken on a new face in McDowell County. The economy is declining along with the coal industry, towns are hollowed out as people flee, and communities are scarred by family dissolution, prescription drug abuse and a high rate of imprisonment. …

McDowell County is in some ways a place truly left behind, from which the educated few have fled, leaving almost no shreds of prosperity. But in a nation with more than 46 million people living below the poverty line — 15 percent of the population — it is also a sobering reminder of how much remains broken, in drearily familiar ways and utterly unexpected ones, 50 years on.

Much of McDowell County looks like a rural Detroit, with broken windows on shuttered businesses and homes crumbling from neglect. In many places, little seems to have been built or maintained in decades.

Numbers tell the tale as vividly as the scarred landscape. Forty-six percent of children in the county do not live with a biological parent, according to the school district. Their mothers and fathers are in jail, are dead or have left them to be raised by relatives, said Gordon Lambert, president of the McDowell County Commission.

Beginning in the 19th century, the rugged region produced more coal than any other county in West Virginia, but it got almost none of the wealth back as local investment. Of West Virginia’s 55 counties, McDowell has the lowest median household income, $22,000; the worst childhood obesity rate; and the highest teenage birthrate.

But from the New York Times auto-generator of Amazing Chetty Facts:

McDowell County is about average for income mobility for children in poor families. It is better than about 46 percent of counties.

These findings, particularly those that show how much each additional year matters, are from a new study by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren that has huge consequences on how we think about poverty and mobility in the United States. The pair, economists at Harvard, have long been known for their work on income mobility, but the latest findings go further. Now, the researchers are no longer confined to talking about which counties merely correlate well with income mobility; new data suggests some places actually cause it.

Consider McDowell County, W.Va., the focus of this article. …

It’s about average in helping poor children up the income ladder. It ranks 1,139th out of 2,478 counties, better than about 46 percent of counties.

So if you are a MacArthur Genius, you can tell that McDowell County isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s exactly the same as Marin County, CA:

Marin County is about average for income mobility for children in poor families. It is better than about 46 percent of counties.

Typical Lake County loser

Of course, McDowell County isn’t Boone County, but at least it’s better than some loserville like Lake County, IL, home to Chicago’s North Shore suburbs of Lake Forest and Highland Park:

Lake County is pretty bad for income mobility for children in poor [25th percentile] families. It is better than about 30 percent of counties.

Lake County is pretty bad for children in average-income [50th percentile] families. It is better than about 35 percent of counties.

Lake County is about average for children in rich [75th percentile] families. It is better than about 45 percent of counties.

Lake County is about average for children in families in the top 1% [99th percentile]. It is better than about 55 percent of counties.

Those moronic One Percenters, crowding into Lake County, IL when their kids would do better in Boone County, WV, as proven by Raj Chetty:

Boone County is pretty good for children in families in the top 1%. It is better than about 70 percent of counties.

Of course, the real idiots are the One Percenters of Marin County:

Marin County is extremely bad for children in families in the top 1%. It is among the worst counties in the U.S.

Maybe you have some doubts about this as sounding kind of unrealistic, but that just shows you are not a Genius.

This is Science.

 
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  1. Very nice–brilliant!

    Instead of looking at his data and saying, “What the hell! This can’t be right. I must be missing . . . oh, right . . .” Chetty plows ahead and gets his nonsense featured (big time) in the NYTimes to provide really hilarious cannon fodder for iSteve until we all stop laughing and realize this guy has more weight and influence with people who can wreck our lives than any of us could ever dream.

    It’s just insane how much domestic policy is based on garbage, useless data when the answer smacks us in the face every waking moment–a Scandinavian welfare state is impossible in the US (and elsewhere) because there aren’t enough Scandinavians to go around.

    OT, in the Zombie Apocalypse around the corner (read, a violent and ugly Yugoslavia-like dissolution of the US) I’ll be putting my money on the good people of Boone and McDowell counties to survive remarkably in tact and not too worse for wear.

    • Replies: @27 year old
    OT, in the Zombie Apocalypse around the corner (read, a violent and ugly Yugoslavia-like dissolution of the US)
    I highly doubt this will ever happen. Who is going to lead an effective militia?

    I’ll be putting my money on the good people of Boone and McDowell counties to survive remarkably in tact and not too worse for wear.

    So, you've moved to WV already?
  2. Raj probably read this evisceration. Hopefully he’s questioning his work.

    • Replies: @Ed
    Heck if he just reads the comments accompanying the NYT article he'd be chastened enough. The top comment blames black culture, others scoff that the best numbers amount to $10 a month over a lifetime. Still more point out if you move enough poor folks to a nice suburb, it won't be a nice suburb for much longer.

    People are noticing.
  3. I just realized that Jesco White’s voice sounded familiar during the trailer Steve posted. Jesco has been a guest voice actor on Squidbillies a few times. Chetty’s data must mean that every child in Boone County can hope for such a remunerating career, hence the income mobility.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I happen to live in Boone county right now, unfortunately, and I see this Jesco White in town all the time. He's living in a dump apartment, the one pictured above actually. His career isn't going well I guess.
  4. Maybe they’re getting rich hunting ‘seng:

    • Replies: @Bill
    +1
    , @Brutusale
    Many a Maine redneck (Seabilly?) made serious coin back in the latter 1990s harvesting sea urchins in the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine for the Japanese market.
  5. All this talk about income mobility seems to elide one of the big dynamics over the last century: poor blacks migrating from the south to manufacturing jobs in the north, then those jobs disappearing, but the descendants of poor blacks remaining in places with high unemployment like Baltimore.

    Today, manufacturing jobs are more likely to be found in the south, and the cost of living there remains lower. Wouldn’t it make sense, as a matter of policy, to give unemployed folks in places like Baltimore relocation money to move to the south? Say, $10k each. Convert the projects into condos after they leave and you could recoup that.

    • Replies: @Kudzu Bob
    Don't even think about it, bro.
    , @The Z Blog
    That's been happening for two decades. The low-IQ blacks have stayed in their urban ghettos, but the blacks with something on the ball followed the jobs down south and not just factory jobs. It's not just for economics reasons either. Blacks want to live with other blacks like themselves in the suburbs, not in northern ghettos. It's why there is a black middle class in the South and none in the north.

    If you're a black person with a college diploma and anything on the ball, the suburbs of DC, Richmond, Charlotte and Atlanta are the places to be. You can live in the burbs, send your kids to decent schools and enjoy middle-class life. Most important you can have black friends doing the same thing.
    , @midtown
    No!!!!
    , @Jeff77450
    Dave, why would you wish such an awful fate on us? I can probably speak for most people in the "prosperous" South when I say that I want the Baltimore rioters and their ilk to remain where there are (and get vasectomies & tubals post haste). --Jeff York writing from Houston, Texas
  6. @Dave Pinsen
    All this talk about income mobility seems to elide one of the big dynamics over the last century: poor blacks migrating from the south to manufacturing jobs in the north, then those jobs disappearing, but the descendants of poor blacks remaining in places with high unemployment like Baltimore.

    Today, manufacturing jobs are more likely to be found in the south, and the cost of living there remains lower. Wouldn't it make sense, as a matter of policy, to give unemployed folks in places like Baltimore relocation money to move to the south? Say, $10k each. Convert the projects into condos after they leave and you could recoup that.

    Don’t even think about it, bro.

  7. Ed says:
    @Danindc
    Raj probably read this evisceration. Hopefully he's questioning his work.

    Heck if he just reads the comments accompanying the NYT article he’d be chastened enough. The top comment blames black culture, others scoff that the best numbers amount to $10 a month over a lifetime. Still more point out if you move enough poor folks to a nice suburb, it won’t be a nice suburb for much longer.

    People are noticing.

  8. FYI, from http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/index.php/faq-s :

    Areas with larger African-American populations have lower levels of upward mobility. Why is this, and what is the role of race in upward mobility?

    We do not observe race in our data, so we cannot directly measure mobility patterns by race. However, we do find that moving to an area with a larger African-American population reduces the prospects of upward mobility for a given child. In particular, we see that when a family with two kids moves to such an area, the younger sibling earns less in adulthood on average. Since race doesn’t vary within families, this shows that cities with large African-American populations reduce children’s odds of reaching the middle class – regardless of whether they are black or white.

    Cities with large African-American populations tend to be more segregated and have lower levels of investment in public schools and other public goods. This may explain why these cities generate poorer outcomes for children of all races. Irrespective of the root cause, it is clear that disparities across neighborhood amplify racial inequalities in the United States. We estimate that 20% of the earnings gap between black and white adults is explained simply by the county in which they grew up.

    (While enthusiastically waving my hand in the air…) Oooo, ooo, oo, wait, professor, call on me! I think Steve Sailer has an alternate theory explaining this observation! And he’s written about it on his blog, like, a million times! Just google, “regression to the mean”.

    Seriously, here they admit that percent African American affects mobility. But…. The NYT doesn’t list it as one of the five factors. (They list less segregation by income and race, lower levels of income inequality, better schools, lower rates of violent crime, and a larger share of two-parent households.) And lemme guess, lemme guess, lemme guess, all of these factors are confounded with percent black!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Cities with large African-American populations tend to be more segregated and have lower levels of investment in public schools"

    Like Baltimore!

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.

  9. @BayAreaBill
    FYI, from http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/index.php/faq-s :

    Areas with larger African-American populations have lower levels of upward mobility. Why is this, and what is the role of race in upward mobility?

    We do not observe race in our data, so we cannot directly measure mobility patterns by race. However, we do find that moving to an area with a larger African-American population reduces the prospects of upward mobility for a given child. In particular, we see that when a family with two kids moves to such an area, the younger sibling earns less in adulthood on average. Since race doesn’t vary within families, this shows that cities with large African-American populations reduce children’s odds of reaching the middle class – regardless of whether they are black or white.

    Cities with large African-American populations tend to be more segregated and have lower levels of investment in public schools and other public goods. This may explain why these cities generate poorer outcomes for children of all races. Irrespective of the root cause, it is clear that disparities across neighborhood amplify racial inequalities in the United States. We estimate that 20% of the earnings gap between black and white adults is explained simply by the county in which they grew up.
     
    (While enthusiastically waving my hand in the air...) Oooo, ooo, oo, wait, professor, call on me! I think Steve Sailer has an alternate theory explaining this observation! And he's written about it on his blog, like, a million times! Just google, "regression to the mean".

    Seriously, here they admit that percent African American affects mobility. But.... The NYT doesn't list it as one of the five factors. (They list less segregation by income and race, lower levels of income inequality, better schools, lower rates of violent crime, and a larger share of two-parent households.) And lemme guess, lemme guess, lemme guess, all of these factors are confounded with percent black!

    “Cities with large African-American populations tend to be more segregated and have lower levels of investment in public schools”

    Like Baltimore!

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.

    • Replies: @BayAreaBill
    Exactly! I just can't believe these people write such garbage. I am amazed that such clearly bright humans as Chetty can withstand the level of cognitive dissonance his brain must withstand on a daily basis.
    , @Anonymous

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.
     
    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren't necessarily getting access to educational technology. Because of the digital divide, they may be getting much less bang for the buck.

    http://mashable.com/2013/08/18/digital-divide/

    At one Newark public high school, accessible Wi-Fi can be more valuable than a bus ride home.

    In Newark, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S., many Newark Leadership Academy students can't afford home Internet access. At the school, like all public schools in the city, Wi-Fi isn't available to teachers or students. Instead, teens hungry for an online connection seek alternatives in order to fill out job and college applications, complete homework assignments and stay connected to the outside world.

    ...

    Hastings referenced a 2009 Digital Millennial study that looked at low-income neighborhoods in North Carolina. The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.
     
  10. Uh oh! One of Fred Reed’s Boys done’ it now! As Mayweather would say, “Easy Work.”

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence…

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Uh oh! One of Fred Reed’s Boys done’ it now! As Mayweather would say, “Easy Work.”

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence…

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/
     

    That article is silly. Schools like MIT, Cal Tech, etc. whip the ass of the Ivy League for scientifically-minded students with truly high IQs and logical minds. Compared to MIT, Harvard is for boneheaded yes men. MIT and its peers are the Ivy League of science.
    , @josh
    You keep podting these links with weird taunting phrases. I'm pretty sure you are not a spambot, because I have seen you say other things. Who are you arguing with and what are you arguing about?
    , @Difference Maker
    Don't want his genes and have no need of the ivy league
    , @midtown
    If he has earned his way to all those acceptances (and I would assume he has) then good for him. I doubt anyone begrudges accomplishment.
  11. @Steve Sailer
    "Cities with large African-American populations tend to be more segregated and have lower levels of investment in public schools"

    Like Baltimore!

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.

    Exactly! I just can’t believe these people write such garbage. I am amazed that such clearly bright humans as Chetty can withstand the level of cognitive dissonance his brain must withstand on a daily basis.

    • Replies: @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "I am amazed that such clearly bright humans as Chetty can withstand the level of cognitive dissonance his brain must withstand on a daily basis."
    He's probably related to that stupid inbred Nascar driver Richard Chetty.
  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "Cities with large African-American populations tend to be more segregated and have lower levels of investment in public schools"

    Like Baltimore!

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.

    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren’t necessarily getting access to educational technology. Because of the digital divide, they may be getting much less bang for the buck.

    http://mashable.com/2013/08/18/digital-divide/

    At one Newark public high school, accessible Wi-Fi can be more valuable than a bus ride home.

    In Newark, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S., many Newark Leadership Academy students can’t afford home Internet access. At the school, like all public schools in the city, Wi-Fi isn’t available to teachers or students. Instead, teens hungry for an online connection seek alternatives in order to fill out job and college applications, complete homework assignments and stay connected to the outside world.

    Hastings referenced a 2009 Digital Millennial study that looked at low-income neighborhoods in North Carolina. The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren’t necessarily getting access to educational technology.
     
    Oh please. Students don't need "educational technology." They need to study. Paper and pencil. A teacher at the board who expects them to follow through. Parents at home who demand the same.

    Learning is all about exercising the brain, not interacting with a machine and letting it do the heavy lifting for you.

    "Digital divide?" Is that a new catch phrase, like "achievement gap?"
    , @Mike Sylwester
    From the linked article about the "digital divide":

    Rachel Warzala, a 23-year-old Teach For America teacher at Newark Leadership Academy, found the use of smartphones as academic tools problematic for her students’ long-term computer literacy.

    “A lot of my students have smartphones, and that doesn’t mean they have a computer with Internet access at home. That doesn’t mean they can type or submit assignments,” she said.

    Every time the high school English teacher gave an assignment that required a computer or Internet access, she took a risk. She estimated nine out of 10 of her students didn’t have Internet access or personal computers at home.

    When Warzala gave a midterm assignment asking students to analyze gender in pop culture, she received varying results. One student handed in an essay about the portrayal of “fly girls” in hip hop videos written entirely on her iPhone.
     

    The fundamental problem is that US students are wasting their time on assignments to analyze gender in pop culture. The assignments themselves cause the students to waste even more time watching hip-hop videos.

    Instead, they should be reading Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha. In the following excerpt, warriors from all the Indian times have assembled to hear their god Gitche Manito admonish them to stop fighting each other.


    And they stood there on the meadow,
    With their weapons and their war-gear,
    Painted like the leaves of Autumn,
    Painted like the sky of morning,

    Wildly glaring at each other ;
    In their faces stern defiance,
    In their hearts the feuds of ages.
    The hereditary hatred,
    The ancestral thirst of vengeance.

    Gitche Manito, the mighty,
    The creator of the nations,
    Looked upon them with compassion,
    With paternal love and pity ;
    Looked upon their wrath and wrangling
    But as quarrels among children,
    But as feuds and fights of children !

    Over them he stretched his right hand,
    To subdue their stubborn natures,
    To allay their thirst and fever,
    By the shadow of his right hand ;

    Spake to them with voice majestic
    As the sound of far-off waters,
    Falling into deep abysses,
    Warning, chiding, spake in this wise :

    "O my children ! my poor children !
    Listen to the words of wisdom,
    Listen to the words of warning,
    From the lips of the Great Spirit,
    From the Master of Life, who made you !

    I have given you lands to hunt in,
    I have given you streams to fish in,
    I have given you bear and bison,
    I have given you roe and reindeer,
    I have given you brant and beaver,

    Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
    Filled the rivers full of fishes ;
    Why then are you not contented ?
    Why then will you hunt each other ?

    I am weary of your quarrels,
    Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
    Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
    Of your wranglings and dissensions ;

    All your strength is in your union,
    All your danger is in discord ;
    Therefore be at peace henceforward,
    And as brothers live together."
     

    , @PenskeFile

    The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.
     
    I would imagine the communications features of the phone enabled a bit of cheating as well. Just sayin'
  13. Here’s what it said in the May 4th article about Chatty’s study:

    “Mr. Chetty and Mr. Hendren based the latest estimates on the incomes of more than five million children who moved between areas when they were growing up in the 1980s and 1990s. These estimates are causal: They suggest moving a given child to a new area would in fact cause him or her to do better or worse.”

    I see that the present tense is used, as if all this is happening today and these study results could be used as the basis for parents moving their children in or out of places based on this study.

    But the conditions that existed in many of these places in the 1980s and 1990s have greatly changed — and are continuing to change.

    How can anybody assume there is any predictive value in any of this? Wouldn’t the only way be to do another study and see what the results were in another 15 or 20 years or so [by whcih tims the conditions in many places will also have signfiicantly changed]?

    I feel very confused. 2015 is not the 1980s or 1990s or like them, either. Saying something “is” when it “was” doesn’t change that.

  14. Did Chetty grow up learning math on a calculator? He doesn’t recognize an absurd answer when it’s staring him right in the face. He just believes the numbers he gets after he plugs in some data. That’s not science; that’s blind faith.

  15. @BayAreaBill
    Exactly! I just can't believe these people write such garbage. I am amazed that such clearly bright humans as Chetty can withstand the level of cognitive dissonance his brain must withstand on a daily basis.

    “I am amazed that such clearly bright humans as Chetty can withstand the level of cognitive dissonance his brain must withstand on a daily basis.”
    He’s probably related to that stupid inbred Nascar driver Richard Chetty.

  16. He seems to think everyone in the US lives in a mobile home and can just move around to where it’s good at the moment. It’s great in W Va? Pack up our stuff, we’re headed there.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Maybe that's why it's better, financially speaking, to grow up in a trailer in West Virginia than in a brownstone in Manhattan.
  17. @Anonymous

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.
     
    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren't necessarily getting access to educational technology. Because of the digital divide, they may be getting much less bang for the buck.

    http://mashable.com/2013/08/18/digital-divide/

    At one Newark public high school, accessible Wi-Fi can be more valuable than a bus ride home.

    In Newark, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S., many Newark Leadership Academy students can't afford home Internet access. At the school, like all public schools in the city, Wi-Fi isn't available to teachers or students. Instead, teens hungry for an online connection seek alternatives in order to fill out job and college applications, complete homework assignments and stay connected to the outside world.

    ...

    Hastings referenced a 2009 Digital Millennial study that looked at low-income neighborhoods in North Carolina. The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.
     

    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren’t necessarily getting access to educational technology.

    Oh please. Students don’t need “educational technology.” They need to study. Paper and pencil. A teacher at the board who expects them to follow through. Parents at home who demand the same.

    Learning is all about exercising the brain, not interacting with a machine and letting it do the heavy lifting for you.

    “Digital divide?” Is that a new catch phrase, like “achievement gap?”

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    No, it's an old catchphrase for something that doesn't exist. It means giving the Great Unwashed the latest tech will turn them into a bunch of Raj Chettys. American urban yoofs exposed to smartboards and all the latest educational technology are obviously winning the intellectual battle with those poor, benighted Asian kids in their medieval blackboard/rote learning classrooms.

    LAUSD just killed their IPad for every student program. I guess reality settled the science.
    , @Jeff77450
    Well said and I agree.
  18. @anonymous
    He seems to think everyone in the US lives in a mobile home and can just move around to where it's good at the moment. It's great in W Va? Pack up our stuff, we're headed there.

    Maybe that’s why it’s better, financially speaking, to grow up in a trailer in West Virginia than in a brownstone in Manhattan.

  19. @Truth
    Uh oh! One of Fred Reed's Boys done' it now! As Mayweather would say, "Easy Work."

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence...

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/

    Uh oh! One of Fred Reed’s Boys done’ it now! As Mayweather would say, “Easy Work.”

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence…

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/

    That article is silly. Schools like MIT, Cal Tech, etc. whip the ass of the Ivy League for scientifically-minded students with truly high IQs and logical minds. Compared to MIT, Harvard is for boneheaded yes men. MIT and its peers are the Ivy League of science.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The idea that Harvard doesn't have particularly good science students is a common impression, but it's true only in an average sense. Your typical undergrad at MIT or Caltech (note corrected spelling) is much better at math and science than your typical Harvard undergrad, but the cream of the Harvard crop is at least comparable, and might even be a little better. Harvard's Math 55, for example, a class open to freshmen who pass a special sectioning exam, is practically a reunion for participants in the International Math Olympiad (many of them gold medalists), and Harvard routinely dominates the Putnam Competition (the most competitive college math exam). Similarly, my entering Harvard class included a majority of the 20 American Chemistry Olympiad team—i.e., Harvard claimed more Chemistry Olympiad team members than all other schools combined. Meanwhile, of the 30 students in my field's entering graduate school class at Caltech, seven were from Harvard. Similar, if less dramatic, stories can be told about Princeton and Stanford. (It's true that Yale sucks, but what did you expect?)
  20. Whiskey says: • Website

    Chetty is not very smart. He’s not smart enough obviously to realize his beliefs are all bunk, by looking at how people actually behave not what they say.

    And that is the major problem in today’s society in the West — Blind unthinking religious faith. Yes it is a religion. One that has a priesthood, revealed truths, an organizing purpose, and end-state utopia. We live in a period of blind, dogmatic faith.

    Chetty is like those scholars in Medieval and Renaissance Europe who constructed ever more complicated and fantastical models to explain the movement of the planets, including retrograde motion, as more observations and particularly telescopes allowed better data on the planets movements through the night sky. Everyone was wedded to the Ptolemiac / Aristotle model, of a geocentric universe and perfect spherical motions. It just made religious sense, so they believed it.

    Chetty is the perfect example of the Asian grind, a man dutiful in his acceptance of received wisdom, doing his best to win favor from superiors by telling them what they want to hear. He is no Asian iconclast (post-War Japan, with shattered hierarchies, was full of the iconclasts).

    Steve wonders where innovation has gone? One partial answer is that society no longer rewards much successful iconclasts who provide a better way to do things, smarter, faster, cheaper, when they challenge perceived wisdom because their is no external threat perceived. No Stalin, Hitler, Tojo, Imperial European powers, etc. Ruling elites believe they can command the seas to fall and face no real threat.

    A recipe for Chettys. Not Kelly Johnson and Lockheed Skunk Works.

    • Replies: @Anonym
    BTW, it is "iconoclast".

    I think with the rise of China there is beginning to be such a threat. And an honest look at the Anglosphere, which is or used to be part of the power base of the US elite, would reveal that diversity, lowered human capital, increased subversion by high-human-capital immigrants and porous borders act to weaken that power base.
  21. You laugh, Steve, but I predict major downward social mobility for that Lake County Losers children. Heck, I bet they won’t earn half, what their father earned, whoever he is.

  22. @Truth
    Uh oh! One of Fred Reed's Boys done' it now! As Mayweather would say, "Easy Work."

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence...

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/

    You keep podting these links with weird taunting phrases. I’m pretty sure you are not a spambot, because I have seen you say other things. Who are you arguing with and what are you arguing about?

    • Replies: @Truth
    Josh, you misunderstand my intent; I'm just being a friend, and doing what friends do, I.e., you guys love to whine and feel sorry for yourself, so I give you ample encouragement.

    In other words, as I wise man I know would say;

    "They gave entrance to Harvard to a Black Guy?"
  23. @Dave Pinsen
    All this talk about income mobility seems to elide one of the big dynamics over the last century: poor blacks migrating from the south to manufacturing jobs in the north, then those jobs disappearing, but the descendants of poor blacks remaining in places with high unemployment like Baltimore.

    Today, manufacturing jobs are more likely to be found in the south, and the cost of living there remains lower. Wouldn't it make sense, as a matter of policy, to give unemployed folks in places like Baltimore relocation money to move to the south? Say, $10k each. Convert the projects into condos after they leave and you could recoup that.

    That’s been happening for two decades. The low-IQ blacks have stayed in their urban ghettos, but the blacks with something on the ball followed the jobs down south and not just factory jobs. It’s not just for economics reasons either. Blacks want to live with other blacks like themselves in the suburbs, not in northern ghettos. It’s why there is a black middle class in the South and none in the north.

    If you’re a black person with a college diploma and anything on the ball, the suburbs of DC, Richmond, Charlotte and Atlanta are the places to be. You can live in the burbs, send your kids to decent schools and enjoy middle-class life. Most important you can have black friends doing the same thing.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    It’s why there is a black middle class in the South and none in the north.
    --
    There actually are salaried employees and small businessmen among northern blacks. There are suburban residents as well. There are handsome black majority areas as well.
  24. I’ve seen some studies suggesting the children of extreme wealth have higher rates of drug addiction, divorce, and suicide, suggesting a happiness deficit, if true.

    But given all else being equal we’d probably all rather prefer receiving the trust fund. But then why has Warren Buffett allegedly disinherited his children from significant holdings?

    • Replies: @Travis
    Buffet gave each of his children 500 shares of Berkshire Hathaway class A shares in the 1970s, when they were young.
    today the value of 500 shares of BRK shares is 110 million dollars, larger than 99% of trust funds. So little need to give his kids much more

    in addition to the 500 shares of BRK he gave each of his 3 children, he has set up a trust for them , currently worth over $5 Billion.

    Looks like Nebraska was not a good place for the children of the worlds richest man to grow up. They are only each worth just $1.6 billion each , a big drop from their father.

    but since Chetty only looks at income, not wealth, his children may have done better than Warren (who only pays himself a yearly salary of $100,000 )
  25. @OsRazor
    Very nice--brilliant!

    Instead of looking at his data and saying, "What the hell! This can't be right. I must be missing . . . oh, right . . ." Chetty plows ahead and gets his nonsense featured (big time) in the NYTimes to provide really hilarious cannon fodder for iSteve until we all stop laughing and realize this guy has more weight and influence with people who can wreck our lives than any of us could ever dream.

    It's just insane how much domestic policy is based on garbage, useless data when the answer smacks us in the face every waking moment--a Scandinavian welfare state is impossible in the US (and elsewhere) because there aren't enough Scandinavians to go around.

    OT, in the Zombie Apocalypse around the corner (read, a violent and ugly Yugoslavia-like dissolution of the US) I'll be putting my money on the good people of Boone and McDowell counties to survive remarkably in tact and not too worse for wear.

    OT, in the Zombie Apocalypse around the corner (read, a violent and ugly Yugoslavia-like dissolution of the US)
    I highly doubt this will ever happen. Who is going to lead an effective militia?

    I’ll be putting my money on the good people of Boone and McDowell counties to survive remarkably in tact and not too worse for wear.

    So, you’ve moved to WV already?

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Well, this guy has:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/roscoe-bartlett-congressman-off-the-grid-101720.html#.VUi8qc5wcbY
  26. The story of Boone County is one of White Privilege.

    • Replies: @Flinders Petrie
    Critical Theory folks probably believe that this is how all whites would end up without trust funds.
  27. The eastern panhandle of West Virginia that veers towards the Washington DC metro area seems to be doing quite well compared to the rest of West Virginia. Berkeley County has grown by 6.1 percent since the 2010 census, while McDowell county has shrunk by 7.5 percent. Only 6 percent have a bachelor’s degree in McDowell versus 27 percent in Jefferson County, the most eastern WV county.

  28. @27 year old
    OT, in the Zombie Apocalypse around the corner (read, a violent and ugly Yugoslavia-like dissolution of the US)
    I highly doubt this will ever happen. Who is going to lead an effective militia?

    I’ll be putting my money on the good people of Boone and McDowell counties to survive remarkably in tact and not too worse for wear.

    So, you've moved to WV already?
  29. @Anonymous

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.
     
    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren't necessarily getting access to educational technology. Because of the digital divide, they may be getting much less bang for the buck.

    http://mashable.com/2013/08/18/digital-divide/

    At one Newark public high school, accessible Wi-Fi can be more valuable than a bus ride home.

    In Newark, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S., many Newark Leadership Academy students can't afford home Internet access. At the school, like all public schools in the city, Wi-Fi isn't available to teachers or students. Instead, teens hungry for an online connection seek alternatives in order to fill out job and college applications, complete homework assignments and stay connected to the outside world.

    ...

    Hastings referenced a 2009 Digital Millennial study that looked at low-income neighborhoods in North Carolina. The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.
     

    From the linked article about the “digital divide”:

    Rachel Warzala, a 23-year-old Teach For America teacher at Newark Leadership Academy, found the use of smartphones as academic tools problematic for her students’ long-term computer literacy.

    “A lot of my students have smartphones, and that doesn’t mean they have a computer with Internet access at home. That doesn’t mean they can type or submit assignments,” she said.

    Every time the high school English teacher gave an assignment that required a computer or Internet access, she took a risk. She estimated nine out of 10 of her students didn’t have Internet access or personal computers at home.

    When Warzala gave a midterm assignment asking students to analyze gender in pop culture, she received varying results. One student handed in an essay about the portrayal of “fly girls” in hip hop videos written entirely on her iPhone.

    The fundamental problem is that US students are wasting their time on assignments to analyze gender in pop culture. The assignments themselves cause the students to waste even more time watching hip-hop videos.

    Instead, they should be reading Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha. In the following excerpt, warriors from all the Indian times have assembled to hear their god Gitche Manito admonish them to stop fighting each other.

    And they stood there on the meadow,
    With their weapons and their war-gear,
    Painted like the leaves of Autumn,
    Painted like the sky of morning,

    Wildly glaring at each other ;
    In their faces stern defiance,
    In their hearts the feuds of ages.
    The hereditary hatred,
    The ancestral thirst of vengeance.

    Gitche Manito, the mighty,
    The creator of the nations,
    Looked upon them with compassion,
    With paternal love and pity ;
    Looked upon their wrath and wrangling
    But as quarrels among children,
    But as feuds and fights of children !

    Over them he stretched his right hand,
    To subdue their stubborn natures,
    To allay their thirst and fever,
    By the shadow of his right hand ;

    Spake to them with voice majestic
    As the sound of far-off waters,
    Falling into deep abysses,
    Warning, chiding, spake in this wise :

    “O my children ! my poor children !
    Listen to the words of wisdom,
    Listen to the words of warning,
    From the lips of the Great Spirit,
    From the Master of Life, who made you !

    I have given you lands to hunt in,
    I have given you streams to fish in,
    I have given you bear and bison,
    I have given you roe and reindeer,
    I have given you brant and beaver,

    Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
    Filled the rivers full of fishes ;
    Why then are you not contented ?
    Why then will you hunt each other ?

    I am weary of your quarrels,
    Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
    Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
    Of your wranglings and dissensions ;

    All your strength is in your union,
    All your danger is in discord ;
    Therefore be at peace henceforward,
    And as brothers live together.”

  30. @Buzz Mohawk

    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren’t necessarily getting access to educational technology.
     
    Oh please. Students don't need "educational technology." They need to study. Paper and pencil. A teacher at the board who expects them to follow through. Parents at home who demand the same.

    Learning is all about exercising the brain, not interacting with a machine and letting it do the heavy lifting for you.

    "Digital divide?" Is that a new catch phrase, like "achievement gap?"

    No, it’s an old catchphrase for something that doesn’t exist. It means giving the Great Unwashed the latest tech will turn them into a bunch of Raj Chettys. American urban yoofs exposed to smartboards and all the latest educational technology are obviously winning the intellectual battle with those poor, benighted Asian kids in their medieval blackboard/rote learning classrooms.

    LAUSD just killed their IPad for every student program. I guess reality settled the science.

  31. @eisermann
    I've seen some studies suggesting the children of extreme wealth have higher rates of drug addiction, divorce, and suicide, suggesting a happiness deficit, if true.

    But given all else being equal we'd probably all rather prefer receiving the trust fund. But then why has Warren Buffett allegedly disinherited his children from significant holdings?

    Buffet gave each of his children 500 shares of Berkshire Hathaway class A shares in the 1970s, when they were young.
    today the value of 500 shares of BRK shares is 110 million dollars, larger than 99% of trust funds. So little need to give his kids much more

    in addition to the 500 shares of BRK he gave each of his 3 children, he has set up a trust for them , currently worth over $5 Billion.

    Looks like Nebraska was not a good place for the children of the worlds richest man to grow up. They are only each worth just $1.6 billion each , a big drop from their father.

    but since Chetty only looks at income, not wealth, his children may have done better than Warren (who only pays himself a yearly salary of $100,000 )

    • Replies: @Forbes

    his children may have done better than Warren (who only pays himself a yearly salary of $100,000 )
     
    Buffet's W-2 income may only be $100,000, but his tax returns show considerably more. A few years ago Buffet stated (complained?) he paid a lower effective tax rate than his secretary, although Buffet's earnings that year were ~$40 million, IIRC. Doubt his children are anywhere near that income.
  32. @Anonymous

    Oh, wait, Baltimore is second only to NYC in the country in public school spending per student. Milwaukee is in the top five in the country.
     
    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren't necessarily getting access to educational technology. Because of the digital divide, they may be getting much less bang for the buck.

    http://mashable.com/2013/08/18/digital-divide/

    At one Newark public high school, accessible Wi-Fi can be more valuable than a bus ride home.

    In Newark, a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S., many Newark Leadership Academy students can't afford home Internet access. At the school, like all public schools in the city, Wi-Fi isn't available to teachers or students. Instead, teens hungry for an online connection seek alternatives in order to fill out job and college applications, complete homework assignments and stay connected to the outside world.

    ...

    Hastings referenced a 2009 Digital Millennial study that looked at low-income neighborhoods in North Carolina. The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.
     

    The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.

    I would imagine the communications features of the phone enabled a bit of cheating as well. Just sayin’

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Don't need no smartphone for cheatin'...

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0fjk6LmHtxA

    that has huge consequences on how we think
     
    Consequences on?
  33. @Anonymous
    Maybe they're getting rich hunting 'seng:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIyhjOBe3lI

    +1

  34. @Mike Zwick
    The story of Boone County is one of White Privilege.

    Critical Theory folks probably believe that this is how all whites would end up without trust funds.

  35. @Truth
    Uh oh! One of Fred Reed's Boys done' it now! As Mayweather would say, "Easy Work."

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence...

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/

    Don’t want his genes and have no need of the ivy league

  36. @Dave Pinsen
    All this talk about income mobility seems to elide one of the big dynamics over the last century: poor blacks migrating from the south to manufacturing jobs in the north, then those jobs disappearing, but the descendants of poor blacks remaining in places with high unemployment like Baltimore.

    Today, manufacturing jobs are more likely to be found in the south, and the cost of living there remains lower. Wouldn't it make sense, as a matter of policy, to give unemployed folks in places like Baltimore relocation money to move to the south? Say, $10k each. Convert the projects into condos after they leave and you could recoup that.

    No!!!!

  37. MQ says:

    So this paper uses a more sophisticated/involved methodology than the previous one. It doesn’t just look at the outcomes of children who live in a particular area. It looks at the outcomes of children who moved to a particular area, as compared to the outcomes of their older siblings who spent more time growing up in other areas. This is supposed to wash out genetic, racial effects etc. and supposedly you can interpret it causally. There are probably still problems here but it is more sophisticated than the first paper and more involved than Steve is giving it credit for.

    Paper is here:

    http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/images/nbhds_paper.pdf

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I don't doubt that some places are better than other places. I'm just not so sure they've found the right ones.
  38. @Truth
    Uh oh! One of Fred Reed's Boys done' it now! As Mayweather would say, "Easy Work."

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence...

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/

    If he has earned his way to all those acceptances (and I would assume he has) then good for him. I doubt anyone begrudges accomplishment.

  39. MQ says:

    They also do various other tests of their outcomes to try to rule out some confounding effect (e.g. they look at moves caused by plant closings at the like, they look at distributions of outcomes and not just the average, etc.) and do look at differences in place effects across time as well. It’s a much more rigorous analysis than the first paper.

  40. @The Z Blog
    That's been happening for two decades. The low-IQ blacks have stayed in their urban ghettos, but the blacks with something on the ball followed the jobs down south and not just factory jobs. It's not just for economics reasons either. Blacks want to live with other blacks like themselves in the suburbs, not in northern ghettos. It's why there is a black middle class in the South and none in the north.

    If you're a black person with a college diploma and anything on the ball, the suburbs of DC, Richmond, Charlotte and Atlanta are the places to be. You can live in the burbs, send your kids to decent schools and enjoy middle-class life. Most important you can have black friends doing the same thing.

    It’s why there is a black middle class in the South and none in the north.

    There actually are salaried employees and small businessmen among northern blacks. There are suburban residents as well. There are handsome black majority areas as well.

  41. @Whiskey
    Chetty is not very smart. He's not smart enough obviously to realize his beliefs are all bunk, by looking at how people actually behave not what they say.

    And that is the major problem in today's society in the West -- Blind unthinking religious faith. Yes it is a religion. One that has a priesthood, revealed truths, an organizing purpose, and end-state utopia. We live in a period of blind, dogmatic faith.

    Chetty is like those scholars in Medieval and Renaissance Europe who constructed ever more complicated and fantastical models to explain the movement of the planets, including retrograde motion, as more observations and particularly telescopes allowed better data on the planets movements through the night sky. Everyone was wedded to the Ptolemiac / Aristotle model, of a geocentric universe and perfect spherical motions. It just made religious sense, so they believed it.

    Chetty is the perfect example of the Asian grind, a man dutiful in his acceptance of received wisdom, doing his best to win favor from superiors by telling them what they want to hear. He is no Asian iconclast (post-War Japan, with shattered hierarchies, was full of the iconclasts).

    Steve wonders where innovation has gone? One partial answer is that society no longer rewards much successful iconclasts who provide a better way to do things, smarter, faster, cheaper, when they challenge perceived wisdom because their is no external threat perceived. No Stalin, Hitler, Tojo, Imperial European powers, etc. Ruling elites believe they can command the seas to fall and face no real threat.

    A recipe for Chettys. Not Kelly Johnson and Lockheed Skunk Works.

    BTW, it is “iconoclast”.

    I think with the rise of China there is beginning to be such a threat. And an honest look at the Anglosphere, which is or used to be part of the power base of the US elite, would reveal that diversity, lowered human capital, increased subversion by high-human-capital immigrants and porous borders act to weaken that power base.

  42. @MQ
    So this paper uses a more sophisticated/involved methodology than the previous one. It doesn't just look at the outcomes of children who live in a particular area. It looks at the outcomes of children who moved to a particular area, as compared to the outcomes of their older siblings who spent more time growing up in other areas. This is supposed to wash out genetic, racial effects etc. and supposedly you can interpret it causally. There are probably still problems here but it is more sophisticated than the first paper and more involved than Steve is giving it credit for.

    Paper is here:

    http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/images/nbhds_paper.pdf

    I don’t doubt that some places are better than other places. I’m just not so sure they’ve found the right ones.

  43. MQ says:

    Some of the findings are very common-sensical. For example, in my region (the DC area), Fairfax and Loudon counties are found to be associated with much higher adult incomes for kids moving to those areas, as compared to most other parts of the DC area. Fairfax and Loudon counties are — guess what — the two wealthiest counties in the US by household income. In fact the DC area counties are arrayed almost perfectly by household income. At least for the area around here they are just finding that it’s good to grow up among rich white two-parent families.

    I suspect that some of the weird findings are because of strange little localized patterns of income/class segregation, possibly including some misreporting of income or the like.

    But my only point was, some of the most obvious criticisms of this analysis as just being worthless are negated by what they are doing in looking at the variance across sibling income based on when you move somewhere.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I suspect the comic results stem from Chetty not knowing how to deal effectively with regression toward the mean and cost of living differences, with Manhattan being the most obvious example of both problems as the farthest from the mean in income and cost of living.

    It's not unreasonable for Chetty to calibrate his model to come up with sensible results for New York. Like the man said, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.

    , @Steve Sailer
    One simple thing Chetty could do is not post results for counties where he doesn't have much data. There aren't enough One Percenters in Boone County, WV, much less McDowell County, WV to worry about.
  44. @MQ
    Some of the findings are very common-sensical. For example, in my region (the DC area), Fairfax and Loudon counties are found to be associated with much higher adult incomes for kids moving to those areas, as compared to most other parts of the DC area. Fairfax and Loudon counties are -- guess what -- the two wealthiest counties in the US by household income. In fact the DC area counties are arrayed almost perfectly by household income. At least for the area around here they are just finding that it's good to grow up among rich white two-parent families.

    I suspect that some of the weird findings are because of strange little localized patterns of income/class segregation, possibly including some misreporting of income or the like.

    But my only point was, some of the most obvious criticisms of this analysis as just being worthless are negated by what they are doing in looking at the variance across sibling income based on when you move somewhere.

    I suspect the comic results stem from Chetty not knowing how to deal effectively with regression toward the mean and cost of living differences, with Manhattan being the most obvious example of both problems as the farthest from the mean in income and cost of living.

    It’s not unreasonable for Chetty to calibrate his model to come up with sensible results for New York. Like the man said, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    Chetty seems like an intellectual horse's ass to me. I'm not going to bother reading a study so fraught with facially absurd conclusions. But I'd add to Mr. Sailer's mention of regression to the mean another, just as significant, statistical issue: multi-collinearity. As Mr. Sailer and other posters have noted, Chetty's independent/explanatory variables are all highly correlated with one another. More than likely most of the supposed explanatory model of his model can be reduced to one variable and I'm guessing that is percent black.
  45. @MQ
    Some of the findings are very common-sensical. For example, in my region (the DC area), Fairfax and Loudon counties are found to be associated with much higher adult incomes for kids moving to those areas, as compared to most other parts of the DC area. Fairfax and Loudon counties are -- guess what -- the two wealthiest counties in the US by household income. In fact the DC area counties are arrayed almost perfectly by household income. At least for the area around here they are just finding that it's good to grow up among rich white two-parent families.

    I suspect that some of the weird findings are because of strange little localized patterns of income/class segregation, possibly including some misreporting of income or the like.

    But my only point was, some of the most obvious criticisms of this analysis as just being worthless are negated by what they are doing in looking at the variance across sibling income based on when you move somewhere.

    One simple thing Chetty could do is not post results for counties where he doesn’t have much data. There aren’t enough One Percenters in Boone County, WV, much less McDowell County, WV to worry about.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Does he really have enough people moving between Manhattan and Boone County for a decent sample size? People don't move to Manhattan or to Boone randomly, they have their reasons, which tend to be very different.
  46. @Steve Sailer
    I suspect the comic results stem from Chetty not knowing how to deal effectively with regression toward the mean and cost of living differences, with Manhattan being the most obvious example of both problems as the farthest from the mean in income and cost of living.

    It's not unreasonable for Chetty to calibrate his model to come up with sensible results for New York. Like the man said, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.

    Chetty seems like an intellectual horse’s ass to me. I’m not going to bother reading a study so fraught with facially absurd conclusions. But I’d add to Mr. Sailer’s mention of regression to the mean another, just as significant, statistical issue: multi-collinearity. As Mr. Sailer and other posters have noted, Chetty’s independent/explanatory variables are all highly correlated with one another. More than likely most of the supposed explanatory model of his model can be reduced to one variable and I’m guessing that is percent black.

  47. @Travis
    Buffet gave each of his children 500 shares of Berkshire Hathaway class A shares in the 1970s, when they were young.
    today the value of 500 shares of BRK shares is 110 million dollars, larger than 99% of trust funds. So little need to give his kids much more

    in addition to the 500 shares of BRK he gave each of his 3 children, he has set up a trust for them , currently worth over $5 Billion.

    Looks like Nebraska was not a good place for the children of the worlds richest man to grow up. They are only each worth just $1.6 billion each , a big drop from their father.

    but since Chetty only looks at income, not wealth, his children may have done better than Warren (who only pays himself a yearly salary of $100,000 )

    his children may have done better than Warren (who only pays himself a yearly salary of $100,000 )

    Buffet’s W-2 income may only be $100,000, but his tax returns show considerably more. A few years ago Buffet stated (complained?) he paid a lower effective tax rate than his secretary, although Buffet’s earnings that year were ~$40 million, IIRC. Doubt his children are anywhere near that income.

  48. Deciding on the best area to live in can be very tough if you’re working class with limited skills

    Jobs in extraction industries usually pay quite well, and if you’re young and mobile you can do ok simply by moving to wherever you can find reasonable paying temporary work. It’s also a great feeling when you receive a reasonable pay check and don’t have to get half of it away to your landlord. However, as people get older, they become more sedentary and just don’t feel like organising their whole lives around finding work. Hence, they are then stuck with the dilemma of living in a expensive area with more work opportunities or a cheap area with limited or very unstable job opportunities.

    And of course these days “unskilled” is a growing category that can mean everyone from working class kids with little formal schooling to liberals arts graduates and older people with skills and knowledge that are no longer useful.

  49. As far as schooling and employment success goes, there tend to be three problem areas:

    1. NAMs and working class Whites who just aren’t very bright and do poorly at academic schooling

    2.White people who are reasonably bright but just can’t master math or lack the spatial intelligence to do a lot of skilled practical jobs.

    3. Whites and Asians who are reasonably bright but lack the social skills or temperament to work in jobs requiring good people skills.

    All these areas are going to be very difficult to do much about, however, there certainly should be more research into two and three.

    • Replies: @Jeff77450
    Well said and you gave me something to think about.
  50. @Steve Sailer
    One simple thing Chetty could do is not post results for counties where he doesn't have much data. There aren't enough One Percenters in Boone County, WV, much less McDowell County, WV to worry about.

    Does he really have enough people moving between Manhattan and Boone County for a decent sample size? People don’t move to Manhattan or to Boone randomly, they have their reasons, which tend to be very different.

  51. “Instead of looking at his data and saying, “What the hell! This can’t be right. I must be missing . . . oh, right . . .” Chetty plows ahead and gets his nonsense featured (big time) in the NYTimes to provide really hilarious cannon fodder for iSteve until we all stop laughing and realize this guy has more weight and influence with people who can wreck our lives than any of us could ever dream.”

    No more ridiculous than Charles Murray’s assertions. BOTH are spurious in their data.

    “Blacks want to live with other blacks like themselves in the suburbs, not in northern ghettos. It’s why there is a black middle class in the South and none in the north.”



    Leading credence that IQ in this particular case tends to be driven by environmental factors. And, really, NO black middle class in the North, even in what is considered ghetto areas? Please offer data or retract your assertion.

  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Uh oh! One of Fred Reed’s Boys done’ it now! As Mayweather would say, “Easy Work.”

    Unzistas, I expect the white children you will never have to follow suit in this excellence…

    http://www.businessinsider.my/alexander-roman-is-turning-down-every-ivy-league-school-2015-5/
     

    That article is silly. Schools like MIT, Cal Tech, etc. whip the ass of the Ivy League for scientifically-minded students with truly high IQs and logical minds. Compared to MIT, Harvard is for boneheaded yes men. MIT and its peers are the Ivy League of science.

    The idea that Harvard doesn’t have particularly good science students is a common impression, but it’s true only in an average sense. Your typical undergrad at MIT or Caltech (note corrected spelling) is much better at math and science than your typical Harvard undergrad, but the cream of the Harvard crop is at least comparable, and might even be a little better. Harvard’s Math 55, for example, a class open to freshmen who pass a special sectioning exam, is practically a reunion for participants in the International Math Olympiad (many of them gold medalists), and Harvard routinely dominates the Putnam Competition (the most competitive college math exam). Similarly, my entering Harvard class included a majority of the 20 American Chemistry Olympiad team—i.e., Harvard claimed more Chemistry Olympiad team members than all other schools combined. Meanwhile, of the 30 students in my field’s entering graduate school class at Caltech, seven were from Harvard. Similar, if less dramatic, stories can be told about Princeton and Stanford. (It’s true that Yale sucks, but what did you expect?)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    In general, don't underestimate Harvard.
    , @Steve Sailer
    In general, don't underestimate Harvard.
    , @BayAreaBill
    Harvard doesn't routinely dominate the Putnam exam, especially in recent years.
  53. @PenskeFile

    The test gave students smartphones hooked up to Windows Mobile software, meant to provide algebra help. “Teachers told us that the phones took average students and turned them into honors students,” she says.
     
    I would imagine the communications features of the phone enabled a bit of cheating as well. Just sayin'

    Don’t need no smartphone for cheatin’…

    that has huge consequences on how we think

    Consequences on?

  54. @Anonymous
    The idea that Harvard doesn't have particularly good science students is a common impression, but it's true only in an average sense. Your typical undergrad at MIT or Caltech (note corrected spelling) is much better at math and science than your typical Harvard undergrad, but the cream of the Harvard crop is at least comparable, and might even be a little better. Harvard's Math 55, for example, a class open to freshmen who pass a special sectioning exam, is practically a reunion for participants in the International Math Olympiad (many of them gold medalists), and Harvard routinely dominates the Putnam Competition (the most competitive college math exam). Similarly, my entering Harvard class included a majority of the 20 American Chemistry Olympiad team—i.e., Harvard claimed more Chemistry Olympiad team members than all other schools combined. Meanwhile, of the 30 students in my field's entering graduate school class at Caltech, seven were from Harvard. Similar, if less dramatic, stories can be told about Princeton and Stanford. (It's true that Yale sucks, but what did you expect?)

    In general, don’t underestimate Harvard.

  55. @Anonymous
    The idea that Harvard doesn't have particularly good science students is a common impression, but it's true only in an average sense. Your typical undergrad at MIT or Caltech (note corrected spelling) is much better at math and science than your typical Harvard undergrad, but the cream of the Harvard crop is at least comparable, and might even be a little better. Harvard's Math 55, for example, a class open to freshmen who pass a special sectioning exam, is practically a reunion for participants in the International Math Olympiad (many of them gold medalists), and Harvard routinely dominates the Putnam Competition (the most competitive college math exam). Similarly, my entering Harvard class included a majority of the 20 American Chemistry Olympiad team—i.e., Harvard claimed more Chemistry Olympiad team members than all other schools combined. Meanwhile, of the 30 students in my field's entering graduate school class at Caltech, seven were from Harvard. Similar, if less dramatic, stories can be told about Princeton and Stanford. (It's true that Yale sucks, but what did you expect?)

    In general, don’t underestimate Harvard.

  56. Chetty has head buried so far up Hillary’s ass he just can’t see what’s really going on.

  57. For what it’s worth, Steve, my mother was one of five born in the West Virginia coal country (1948-1961) who all ended up moving out of WV and doing very well. She and her sister busted Fortune 500 glass ceilings, and the three brothers include a lawyer in DC, retired military, and a well-compensated auto mechanic. Likewise, my father was one of seven born in Kanawha County (1943-1959), who have also done well, with the two staying in state both now multi-millionaires and the rest all with lucrative professional/governmental careers. I’m also aware of a couple of my grandfathers’ brothers who lit out to califormia and Texas in the 40s and 50s and raised large families there who did well.

    There are some Scotch-Irish (heavy on the Scotch) and German-Americans in WV who know how to make an honest buck given the opportunity, and, as importantly, not to spend it foolishly.

    • Replies: @Jeff77450
    Very well said.
  58. And yet, both you, and Chatty, and virtually everyone else, is missing the real point. Neither this study, nor your comments, nor your commenters, nor virtually anyone else addresses the real disparity that affects every human being in the country-that is the ‘feralness’ of different neighborhoods/subcultures.

    Virtually every white person in the country is familiar with the Boone Countys of their region. We all have ne-er-do-well relatives, we all stop for gas in ugly little towns on the way to a road trip or temporary job, we all had to live in crappy conditions in college or graduate school, we all occasionally shop in WalMart in the middle of the night. Whether that happens to be in Boone County, West Virginia, or upstate New York, or littletown Kansas/Tennessee/Arizona/etc, we know those neighborhoods/towns/counties.

    And they are just not that bad. I would never want to live there, I would not socialize with the people in them, I wouldn’t want my kids to make friends with folks in those pictures, the people seem like apathetic tatooed losers, but they simply are on a different scale of violence/aggression/menace than comparable neighborhoods with black residents. Heck, I’ve driven through Charleston (and thought it was an ugly city), and when I read this post, I was almost curious about Boone County-how far off the highway is it? Could I drive through and see it?

    That would never occur to me in East Saint Louis, Detroit, the ghettos of LA, Washington D.C., Baltimore, the list goes on and on.

    Education level, ‘crime’ (but not aggressive crime), drug use, rates of illegitimacy, income, and so on. None of the mathematically measurable statistics of a neighborhood measure what is most important (and what every American, subconsciously, keeps track of every time they walk down the street). ‘Menace,’ or ‘aggression,’ or something similar is what matters.

    Self-destructive behavior, while unfortunate, is essentially irrelevant to the rest of us. Aggressive behavior, which shapes everything in our society, from education policy to the geography and planning of our cities, to the willingness of people to be outside in the evening or even go to the mall, is everything.

    joeyjoejoe

  59. @Anonymous
    The idea that Harvard doesn't have particularly good science students is a common impression, but it's true only in an average sense. Your typical undergrad at MIT or Caltech (note corrected spelling) is much better at math and science than your typical Harvard undergrad, but the cream of the Harvard crop is at least comparable, and might even be a little better. Harvard's Math 55, for example, a class open to freshmen who pass a special sectioning exam, is practically a reunion for participants in the International Math Olympiad (many of them gold medalists), and Harvard routinely dominates the Putnam Competition (the most competitive college math exam). Similarly, my entering Harvard class included a majority of the 20 American Chemistry Olympiad team—i.e., Harvard claimed more Chemistry Olympiad team members than all other schools combined. Meanwhile, of the 30 students in my field's entering graduate school class at Caltech, seven were from Harvard. Similar, if less dramatic, stories can be told about Princeton and Stanford. (It's true that Yale sucks, but what did you expect?)

    Harvard doesn’t routinely dominate the Putnam exam, especially in recent years.

  60. Truth says:
    @josh
    You keep podting these links with weird taunting phrases. I'm pretty sure you are not a spambot, because I have seen you say other things. Who are you arguing with and what are you arguing about?

    Josh, you misunderstand my intent; I’m just being a friend, and doing what friends do, I.e., you guys love to whine and feel sorry for yourself, so I give you ample encouragement.

    In other words, as I wise man I know would say;

    “They gave entrance to Harvard to a Black Guy?”

  61. @Steve

    You, sir, are going to draw Hitlery’s ire with this nonsense. I’d stay away from Mexican treadmills if I were you, lest ye be Vince Fostered.

    Back when the powers that be were pushing the ‘Just Say No’ campaign, they presented a study proving that steroids were ineffectual. Having personal experience to refute this conclusion, I set out to determine how such an obviously untrue outcome could be reached. It was a double blind study, with two groups doing the same number of reps with the same amount of weight. One group received placebos, the other the steroids. This is scientifically valid, but by eliminating the extra reps the steroids would have allowed one group to do, the advantage gained was nullified. The government funded the study, and they got the results they paid for. And that’s what’s important here. I sincerely doubt that exposing Chetty as a fraud will change anything. The propaganda machine will continue to trumpet his charade as if it is fact, and a sufficient quantity of voters will be convinced. Shamelessness here we come.

  62. @Dave Pinsen
    All this talk about income mobility seems to elide one of the big dynamics over the last century: poor blacks migrating from the south to manufacturing jobs in the north, then those jobs disappearing, but the descendants of poor blacks remaining in places with high unemployment like Baltimore.

    Today, manufacturing jobs are more likely to be found in the south, and the cost of living there remains lower. Wouldn't it make sense, as a matter of policy, to give unemployed folks in places like Baltimore relocation money to move to the south? Say, $10k each. Convert the projects into condos after they leave and you could recoup that.

    Dave, why would you wish such an awful fate on us? I can probably speak for most people in the “prosperous” South when I say that I want the Baltimore rioters and their ilk to remain where there are (and get vasectomies & tubals post haste). –Jeff York writing from Houston, Texas

  63. @Desiderius
    For what it's worth, Steve, my mother was one of five born in the West Virginia coal country (1948-1961) who all ended up moving out of WV and doing very well. She and her sister busted Fortune 500 glass ceilings, and the three brothers include a lawyer in DC, retired military, and a well-compensated auto mechanic. Likewise, my father was one of seven born in Kanawha County (1943-1959), who have also done well, with the two staying in state both now multi-millionaires and the rest all with lucrative professional/governmental careers. I'm also aware of a couple of my grandfathers' brothers who lit out to califormia and Texas in the 40s and 50s and raised large families there who did well.

    There are some Scotch-Irish (heavy on the Scotch) and German-Americans in WV who know how to make an honest buck given the opportunity, and, as importantly, not to spend it foolishly.

    Very well said.

  64. @unpc downunder
    As far as schooling and employment success goes, there tend to be three problem areas:

    1. NAMs and working class Whites who just aren't very bright and do poorly at academic schooling

    2.White people who are reasonably bright but just can't master math or lack the spatial intelligence to do a lot of skilled practical jobs.

    3. Whites and Asians who are reasonably bright but lack the social skills or temperament to work in jobs requiring good people skills.

    All these areas are going to be very difficult to do much about, however, there certainly should be more research into two and three.

    Well said and you gave me something to think about.

  65. @Buzz Mohawk

    Is that factoring in the digital divide? Areas like Baltimore may spend more nominally, but they aren’t necessarily getting access to educational technology.
     
    Oh please. Students don't need "educational technology." They need to study. Paper and pencil. A teacher at the board who expects them to follow through. Parents at home who demand the same.

    Learning is all about exercising the brain, not interacting with a machine and letting it do the heavy lifting for you.

    "Digital divide?" Is that a new catch phrase, like "achievement gap?"

    Well said and I agree.

  66. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I, too, was concerned about the face validity of these analyses. My county, which contains Ann Arbor, Michigan, was listed among the worst in the area, for both poor and rich children. Washtenaw County does include a fair number of less-privileged people, but it strikes me that the extremely high education average levels, combined with relatively moderate academic, non-profit and public-sector salaries may be skewing at least the conclusions (toward poorer earnings) for the high-income children. Ann Arbor and several of the other areas in the county have excellent public schools. The county has less than half the national average of the proportion of population in poverty. It runs strongly counter to my priors that children at the top and bottom of the distribution here are said to do very poorly relative to comparable children in other counties. Something doesn’t seem right here…

  67. @Aristippus
    I just realized that Jesco White's voice sounded familiar during the trailer Steve posted. Jesco has been a guest voice actor on Squidbillies a few times. Chetty's data must mean that every child in Boone County can hope for such a remunerating career, hence the income mobility.

    I happen to live in Boone county right now, unfortunately, and I see this Jesco White in town all the time. He’s living in a dump apartment, the one pictured above actually. His career isn’t going well I guess.

  68. @Anonymous
    Maybe they're getting rich hunting 'seng:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIyhjOBe3lI

    Many a Maine redneck (Seabilly?) made serious coin back in the latter 1990s harvesting sea urchins in the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine for the Japanese market.

  69. […] Raj Chetty’s “income mobility map” is really quite flawed. I pointed in out last year, and Uncle Steve is pointing it out now. […]

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