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Helping Hillary's Idea Man Raj Chetty Understand America
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In 2015, Americans spend a lot of time listening to advice about American from high IQ immigrants from other countries, such as Hillary Clinton’s Idea Man Raj Chetty:

Chetty was offered tenure at the age of 28 and accepted at 29, becoming one of the youngest tenured faculty in the history of Harvard’s economics department. He is a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal and a 2012 MacArthur Fellow. Currently, he is also an editor of the Journal of Public Economics.

One minor problem with this is that individuals like Chetty tend to be pretty clueless about America, as I’ve noticed the more I’ve dug into the immense pile of data Chetty has assembled about “social mobility” and “equality of opportunity.”

From Bloomberg:

Where You Grow Up Makes a Huge Difference in Your Salary as an Adult

… by Jeanna Smialek 10:07 AM PDT April 8, 2015

… “We think there are really large causal effects of local communities on children’s long-term success,” Chetty said during his presentation.

… This new research builds on two 2014 studies, which you can read here. In one, the researchers followed the earnings of a core sample of children born between 1980 and 1982. They found huge geographic variations in upward economic movement, as you can see in the map below. Lighter-shaded areas have better mobility.

This map shows the average percentile rank of children who grow up in below-median income families across areas of the U.S. (absolute upward mobility). Lighter colors represent areas where children from low-income families are more likely to move up in the income distribution.

Chetty’s FAQ explains what’s being mapped a little more precisely:

Statistically, we define absolute upward mobility as the average percentile in the national income distribution of a child who is born to parents at the 25th percentile in the national income distribution. In areas with higher absolute upward mobility, children from low-income parents earn higher incomes on average as adults.

Chetty’s team got their hands on a giant amount of IRS data allowing them to match up the incomes of individuals around 30 years old in 2011/2012 with their parents’ incomes in 1996-2000. This map shows how far individuals who were in families at the 25th percentile nationally (not regionally) in income in 1996-2000 regressed toward the mean in 2011-12.

Among the top 50 “Commuting Zones” (and even more sprawling version of metro areas to include in more rural regions), the young people in Charlotte, NC in 1996 had the lowest “absolute upward mobility” in 2011. Somebody whose parents in Charlotte were at the national 25th percentile in 1996 was, on average, in the 36th percentile nationally in 2011/12. (Note that this is regardless of where they live in 2011/12.)

In contrast, Salt Lake City had the most absolute upward mobility: the average 25th percentile resident in 1996 is now at the 46th percentile nationally in 2011.

Obviously, Regression Toward the Mean is playing a huge role here. Chetty’s most American Dream-crushing hellhole, Charlotte, still saw over half as much absolute upward mobility as his utopia, Salt Lake City.

Nationally, the typical kid who was at the 25th percentile in 1996 was at about the 40th percentile in 2011. What’s the reason? No particular reason, other than regression toward the mean. That’s just the way the universe works.

Note that Chetty is not interested in where to move to in this decade; instead, he’s trying to measure which ex-teenagers had the foresight to pick the right place to be from in the 1990s.

The goal is to find something about the Salt Lake Cities that make them so much better to have been from than the Charlottes.

Bloomberg goes on:

Figuring out why economic mobility varies so greatly and what causes mobility to increase or decrease is important. It might give economists and policy makers clues to how to give kids a better chance at climbing the economic ladder.

Does Charlotte have too much sprawl compared to Salt Lake City? Is it … segre gation?

So let me help Prof. Chetty figure out why “economic mobility varies so greatly and what causes mobility to increase or decrease.”

First, as I’ve pointed out before, the most obvious thing about his map above is that it’s basically a map of where the blacks are, plus giant Indian reservations like the Navajos’ reservation that’s mostly in the Arizona quadrant of the Four Corners. In other words, blacks and reservation Indians tend to regress toward lower means.

Chetty seems irritated by people pointing this out, like I did in 2013. He didn’t get a huge grant just to discover that, all else being equal, black people tend to be poorer than white people everywhere. There must be some sinister reason instead. Chetty wrote in 2014.

This correlation could be driven by two very di↵erent channels. One channel is an individual level race effect: black children may have lower incomes than white children conditional on parent income, and hence areas with a larger black population may have lower upward mobility. An alternative possibility is a place-level race effect: areas with large black populations might have lower rates of upward mobility for children of all races. …

Unfortunately, we do not observe each individual’s race in our data. As an alternative, we predict race based on the parent’s 5-digit ZIP code (in the year they first claim their child as a dependent). We use data from the 2000 Census to measure racial shares by ZIP code. Figure IXa replicates the map of absolute upward mobility by CZ, restricting the sample to ZIP codes within each CZ in which at least 80% of the residents are non hispanic whites. In this subsample, 91% of individuals are white. The spatial pattern in Figure IXa is very similar to that in the original map for the full sample in Figure VIa. Most notably, even in this predominantly white sample, rates of upward mobility remain low in the Southeast and are much higher in the West.

Screenshot 2015-04-26 21.53.27

(Note that Chetty is playing misleading games with his color buckets, especially the darkest red one: on his map of everybody, the darkest red bucket starts at 26.0%, while on the mostly white zip code map it starts at 36.0%).

Actually, the West doesn’t look so hot in this map of the >80% white zip codes within Chetty’s Commuting Zones: look at the northwest Pacific Coast from far northern California to the Olympic Peninsula. Instead, it’s the northern Great Plains where it looks like white people did pretty well from 1996 to 2011. (Apparently, that’s the West to Chetty.)

In contrast, Northern lower Michigan looks bad, as does Maine, and the southern Appalachians got hammered.

What horrible ghost of Jim Crow infests western Oregon, northern Michigan, Maine, and western North Carolina? What do they have in common that, say, North Dakota doesn’t have that causes them to look bad from 1996 to 2011, while blue collar kids from the Dakotas and Nebraska are flying high in 2011?

Well, here are the top 10 places in Chetty’s database for absolute upper mobility among mostly white zip codes from 1996 to 2011:

Dickinson ND, Linton ND, Williston ND, Lemmon ND, Sidney ND, Parkston SD, Rugby ND, Lisbon ND, Superior NE, Carrington ND

Oh, now I get it! The reason early 30s blue collar white people who are used to working outside in the Great Plains winter were making so much more money in 2011 than their parents were making in 1996 has less to do with Chetty’s Deep Thoughts about Sprawl and Segregation and Social Capital than it has to do with the North Dakota fracking boom. From Wikipedia:

North Dakota oil boom is an ongoing period of rapidly expanding oil extraction from the Bakken formation in the state of North Dakota that followed the discovery of Parshall Oil Field in 2006, and is continuing as of 2015. Despite the Great Recession, the oil boom has resulted in enough jobs to give North Dakota the lowest unemployment rate in the United States. … North Dakota, which ranked 38th in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in 2001, rose steadily with the Bakken boom, and now has per capita GDP 29% above the national average.[7]

There are three reasons for the oil boom, not just in North Dakota but nationwide:

- the recent discoveries of shale gas reserves in the United States
- initiatives to seek independence from unstable energy sources, such as Venezuela and nations in the Middle East
- the successful use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which have made energy deposits recoverable[8]

This energy boom has drawn in blue collar workers from other cold weather states, like South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t drawn in that many illegal aliens from warm weather Latin American countries, allowing some blue collar Americans to, for once in their lives, get ahead for awhile.

Chetty is staring at the same maps I am. Sadly, the Magic Eye pattern never emerges from the murk for him. He’s tantalizingly close when he writes:

For example, many parts of Texas exhibit relatively high rates of upward mobility, unlike much of the rest of the South. Ohio exhibits much lower rates of upward mobility than nearby Pennsylvania. The statistics also pick up much more granular variation in upward mobility. For example, South Dakota generally exhibits very high levels of upward mobility, …

What could the connection be?

Well, South Dakota is next to North Dakota. Even Chetty should have heard of the connection between Texas and energy. (There’s an oil and gas boom going on in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation in South Texas.) What’s the difference between, say, Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2011? Pennsylvania is where oil drilling was invented in 1859, so there remain energy resources in the ground that were untappable until the new technology came along over the last decade. Ohio, in contrast, is mostly dirt without good geology for oil and natural gas.

In contrast to the treeless Great Plains, why were blue collar regions with a lot of trees — e.g., western Oregon, Maine, northern Michigan, and especially Appalachia south of the Pennsylvania-West Virginia coal and fracking belt — doing badly in 2011 relative to 1996? Here is a countdown of Chetty’s bottom ten commuting zones for white zip codes for 2011 v. 1996:

Morristown TN, Winder GA, Morganton NC, Wilmington NC, Fayetteville NC, Rome GA, Wayne IN, Dublin GA, Gastonia NC, Hickory NC.

Here’s the Wikipedia explanation of the economy of Hickory, NC, Chetty’s worst place for white people in 2011 relative to 1996:

… wagon-making know-how, proximity to expansive forests, and excellent transportation via two intersecting railroads provided fertile ground for the emergence of the furniture industry. …

The furniture industry in Hickory is not as strong as in the decades previous, but still a primary component in the area economy, and includes HSM (formerly Hickory Springs, founded 1944), a leading manufacturer of mattress coils.

Currently the area is home to many leading manufacturers of furniture, fiber optic cable, and pressure-sensitive tape. It is estimated 60% of the nation’s furniture used to be produced within a 200-mile (320 km) radius of Hickory.

Emphasis on used to be. Here’s an article on the collapse of the North Carolina-Virginia hardwood furniture factory belt.

The Housing Bubble of the 2000s drove wood-oriented industries, such at lumbering, furniture-making, and home-building, to prosperity. And thus it helped forested regions like the Appalachians, western Oregon, and Maine. In turn, the ensuing Housing Bust meant that the incomes of blue-collar whites who came from wood-working regions like western North Carolina got hit very hard in 2011-12, harder than the treeless Great Plains.

There’s a direct causal connection between the oil boom and the wood bust. When the price of gasoline spiked upwards in 2008, that killed off the last hopes that the mid-2000s building boom in the distant exurbs made economic sense because long commutes would continue to be cheap. High oil prices (along with much else) helped kill off construction of wooden homes in the exurbs, along with major purchases of new furniture to fill the mcmansions.

In turn, high energy prices justified spending a lot on wages for workers to do horizontal drilling and fracking in North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania, and the like.

Like the Lion King says, it’s all part of the great circle of life.

In other words, Chetty is getting distracted by economic and technological cycles that aren’t particularly closely tied to very long term reasons he’s looking for for why some places are more upwardly mobile than other places. It’s too bad that his results gets batted around so much by local booms and busts, but that’s a serious problem that he needs to deal with, perhaps by getting more years of data.

There is of course something to be learned from his data: one of the most obvious points is that it’s better economically to be a blue collar American these days in places that are too cold for the comfort of Latin American immigrants. The Census Bureau found North Dakota was only 2.9% Hispanic in 2013 vs. 17.1% for the whole country. In contrast, Hispanics have grown from 1.2% of North Carolina’s population back in 1990 to 8.9% by 2013.

Now, if you look at big Commuting Zones, what has had the most absolute upward mobility from 1996 to 2011 for young people from mostly white zip codes?

1. New York, New York

2. Newark, New Jersey

Please note that Chetty defines Newark not as the black-ruled inner city, but as the huge suburban sprawl that’s home to many people who commute to Wall Street or Midtown Manhattan.

So, the lesson to be drawn from Chetty’s analysis would appear to be that you should try to make sure your hometown is located within convenient commuting distance of Wall Street during a gigantic financial industry boom.

Does that mean the standard of living has gone up more in New York and Newark than anywhere else? Maybe. It has if you own your own home since 1996. If you are thinking of buying today, however, maybe not so much.

When the New York Times first aired Chetty’s map back in 2013, I pointed out in the NYT that Chetty should adjust for cost of living differences using the ACCRA data. He actually went out and got the ACCRA data, but now he claims that he doesn’t need to adjust because he checked and it didn’t matter much and you should just trust him on it. Why would you want to look at a cost-of-living adjusted map?

In summary, there’s a lot of interesting data that Chetty has assembled; it’s just too bad that over the two years he’s been promoting it, he doesn’t seem to have hired anybody who knows much about America to analyze it for him.

But he’s got the ear of the frontrunner for the Presidency, so who cares if his talking points don’t make much sense?

 
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  1. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    Piketty meet Chetty.

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    • Replies: @Lurker
    Piketty, Chetty, Piketty, Chetty

    Let's call the whole thing off
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  2. “The statistics also pick up much more granular variation in upward mobility.”

    Is “granular” becoming a trendy buzzword?

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Is “granular” becoming a trendy buzzword?" It had that status in my world at least a decade ago. Which means, I suppose, it's trendy no longer. In my world.
    , @BurplesonAFB
    'Granular' has been a pervasive buzzword in Management Consulting for at least the 8 or so years that I've been paying attention. I know the tech guys like to use it as well, although not nearly as much as 'disruptive'.
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  3. That white spot in the center of Texas was controlled by the Klan until the ’90s, unless I’m really bad at comparing squiggly areas on maps.

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  4. “But he’s got the ear of the frontrunner for the Presidency, so who cares if his talking points don’t make much sense?”

    After Hilary becomes president, I wonder what kind of draconian policies we can expect from this map?

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    • Replies: @foxy
    you surely love hyperbole
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  5. foxy says:
    @Nathan Wartooth
    "But he’s got the ear of the frontrunner for the Presidency, so who cares if his talking points don’t make much sense?"

    After Hilary becomes president, I wonder what kind of draconian policies we can expect from this map?

    you surely love hyperbole

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  6. no name says:

    “In 2015, Americans spend a lot of time listening to advice about America from high IQ immigrants from other countries…”

    It seems like every article I read has a quote from an Asian professor. I actually expect it now and am surprised when they have an Anglo sounding name.

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  7. Whiskey says: • Website

    Hillary is not the frontrunner. NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders. A Hillary Presidency means hell to pay for the Obamaites who crossed her in 2008.

    So that won’t happen. Look for a Medvedev placeholder. Cory Booker, Adrian Fenty, someone like that. Obama owns the Democrats. Pantsuits has no chance.

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders.

     

    I think you're right. A deal's being cut somewhere with someone, and I'm getting more and more curious about who our next dear leader will be.

    Those names you mention are known to political junkies, but they're way down (or just nowhere near being on) the general electorate's recognition list. So is the Obama machine sufficiently powerful to engineer the election of one of these nobodies, or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?
    , @The Z Blog
    Martin O'Malley. I've been saying it for a long long time now. The Cult of Modern Liberalism has no tolerance for losers and they see Hillary as a loser. They never forgave her for blundering on health care in the 90's. Her unwillingness to submit to a struggle session has only made it worse.

    O'Malley is a the perfect stooge. He has nothing to do and he has been cozy with the Clintons so he has many of the same friends. He's happy to run, elevate his name and then cash in after he loses. He can always win a Senate seat in Maryland once Elmer Fudd retires.
    , @Lagertha
    I agree. Her deep ties (most of her generation & Gen X'rs) to Wall Street/hedge funds ruins her chances to appear that she cares about "everyday" Americans. I don't see any strong candidates from the Dems...or the Repubs. It is a mystery. No one good wants to be president anymore.

    Big money used, to sway election results, is backfiring (haven't they already figured this out with Romney losing?) since the little guy has been stuck so many times and is wounded roadkill now, wondering what the choices are for survival.

    This entire map is just so silly. It does not take a Harvard degree to understand that people flock to areas that seem to have jobs/leave areas that are hard hit. And, having traveled in all states, I find it amusing that the gigantic National Parks (often next to large Indian reservations) and Redwood trees/rainforests (in the west) are deep red color! - or "no-data" checkered!
    , @EvolutionistX
    When is Michelle running?
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  8. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Eastern Kentucky, in particular, has lost a lot of coal mining jobs.

    Note that w/ the 80% white filter, he changes the buckets associated with each color which minimizes any differences. For example, the least mobile category (darkest brown) changes from 26-37.4 to 36-40. Assuming it’s not a typo, there must not have been any below 36.

    In other words, the racial effect is not so trivial. He certainly seems to have wanted the face-saving result he trumpets:

    The spatial pattern in Figure IXa is very similar to that in the original map for the full sample in Figure VIa. Most notably, even in this predominantly white sample, rates of upward mobility remain low in the Southeast and are much higher in the West.

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  9. Economist says:

    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18.

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    • Replies: @Big Bill
    Also being raised in (and still living in) an upper caste community and household that have a 2500 year indifference/contempt for outsiders, particularly poor outsiders and manual laborers.

    This lack of practical knowledge and life experience is not limited to Indian economists. I work with Indian mechanical engineers who have never so much as held a wrench or screwdriver in their hands. To them, book learning and CAD models are sufficient knowledge of the real world.
    , @EvolutionistX
    Honestly, if I had moved to India as a kid and had to depend on *my* parents to help me learn about the country, and then spent the rest of my life at a university, I'd be completely ignorant of India. It helps a lot to have parents/friends/relatives around who can pass on some clue, and my parents are especially clueless.

    A lot of my friends are immigrants or grown children of immigrants who've lived here virtually all their lives, and they by and large really just don't get the culture here. It doesn't help that there's so much that people know but won't say out loud in polite company. This leaves people who don't already know the unspoken things quite confused.
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  10. @Whiskey
    Hillary is not the frontrunner. NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders. A Hillary Presidency means hell to pay for the Obamaites who crossed her in 2008.

    So that won't happen. Look for a Medvedev placeholder. Cory Booker, Adrian Fenty, someone like that. Obama owns the Democrats. Pantsuits has no chance.

    NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders.

    I think you’re right. A deal’s being cut somewhere with someone, and I’m getting more and more curious about who our next dear leader will be.

    Those names you mention are known to political junkies, but they’re way down (or just nowhere near being on) the general electorate’s recognition list. So is the Obama machine sufficiently powerful to engineer the election of one of these nobodies, or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?

    Read More
    • Replies: @jo S'more
    I think democrats know deep down Hillary is unelectable. People who can't stand here will turn out to vote against her. I know I would. Blacks will not turn out to vote for her.
    , @Escher
    How well known was Obama in 2006-07 before he mysteriously became the face of hope and change?
    , @Paul Mendez
    ... or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?

    Michelle!

    Who better to excite the Democratic base, continue Barack's legacy, and maintain Valerie Jarrett's hold on power?
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Here's the thing. Unlike Bill Clinton, who had Hillary waiting in the wings for a future presidential run, and of course the endless dynastic ambitions of the Bushes, starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over. Michelle isn't going for a presidential run and probably neither are her two children. Really? Seriously? Starting in 2044, vote for Malia or Sasha just cause....? Why exactly?

    Unlike the Clintons/Bushes, Obama doesn't have an extended family (in this country) that wants to get in on the whole running for president thing just cause they're his offspring. That's it.

    Not for nothing was his political hero growing up Jimmy Carter. And Jimmy's offspring, distant relatives aren't much known nationally and certainly they aren't running for president.

    Nope, it's gonna be Aloha to Hawaii, there to retire amid the swinging palm trees and amongst Oprah and Zuckerberg, his neighbors on his mansion/plantation/estate with occasional jaunts throughout the rest of the world to collect those high six figures per each speech on the lucrative lecture circuit.
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  11. Tell me if I’m wrong………..

    but my interpretation is that Midwest and Rocky Mountain whites come from a region with a low cost of living and low wages. So it’s easy for them to increase their income just by moving, which is harder for those from higher-cost, higher-wage regions.

    Let’s say a kid grows up in a plumber household that makes $30,000 a year in Nebraska. Then the kid becomes a plumber too, but moves to Seattle and makes $40,000. The map will show he’s upgraded his economic position. Given that many younger people have left this region, this actually happens fairly often.

    Now take another kid who comes from a plumber family in Seattle that makes $40,000 a year. Let’s say the kid becomes a plumber too and makes $40,000 a year. The map will show he didn’t experience upward mobility.

    Is this correct or am I missing something?

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.

    Chetty's refusal to adjust for cost of living differences geographically and over time leads to some obvious anomalies.

    , @EvolutionistX
    I think you're right.
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  12. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-27/george-w-bush-bashes-obama-on-middle-east

    So typical.

    Another GOP whore who’s totally silent on Obama’s domestic policy of open borders and homo filth BUT gets all excited about Zionist issues in the Middle East.

    So disgusting.

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  13. Whiskey,

    I think the Left Establishment has collectively come to the conclusion that Hillary is a loser, and so they want to sink her now so someone else can have a shot.

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.

    And, the GOP has almost always (since ’64) gone with the “next in line” — that would seem to be Jeb Bush this time. A depressing thought — Biden vs. Bush.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.

     

    Hmmmmm. I can't quite see this. Doesn't the Dems' turn away from Hillary indicate that they're already trying to avoid making the 'most obvious' choice, so why would then they then default to the [next] most obvious choice?

    I'm wondering if the Dems figure they've pushed America far enough out into soft totalitarian happy land to really get going with the established dictator-succession-planning approach: e.g. the spouse of the outgoing leader (well, Michelle's lots younger than Hillary!), or maybe some other relative (Obama's got plenty of half-siblings, although none who's much on the radar), or . . . a scion of a royal family? If JFK Jr hadn't been an amateur pilot, he'd likely be in Sioux City right now.

    , @Geschrei

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.
     
    What do the three Dem-Veeps-turned-Presidential-nominees in bold above have in common? That fact alone should remove Biden from serious consideration, even if the party apparatchiks ignore his other significant flaws as a candidate (Congressional track record, disingenuous tendencies, propensity for gaffes, brittle personality, heck, pretty much everything about the man).

    But since the Evil Party and the Stupid Party have essentially merged into the Evil And Stupid Party over the last couple of decades, it probably doesn't matter whom either side ends up nominating, nor whom ends up taking the now-meaningless oath in January 2017. It's as our esteemed former Secretary of State said: what difference, at this point, does it make?

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  14. @PhysicistDave
    Whiskey,

    I think the Left Establishment has collectively come to the conclusion that Hillary is a loser, and so they want to sink her now so someone else can have a shot.

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time -- vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey -- and Biden has indicated he wants it.

    And, the GOP has almost always (since '64) gone with the "next in line" -- that would seem to be Jeb Bush this time. A depressing thought -- Biden vs. Bush.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.

    Hmmmmm. I can’t quite see this. Doesn’t the Dems’ turn away from Hillary indicate that they’re already trying to avoid making the ‘most obvious’ choice, so why would then they then default to the [next] most obvious choice?

    I’m wondering if the Dems figure they’ve pushed America far enough out into soft totalitarian happy land to really get going with the established dictator-succession-planning approach: e.g. the spouse of the outgoing leader (well, Michelle’s lots younger than Hillary!), or maybe some other relative (Obama’s got plenty of half-siblings, although none who’s much on the radar), or . . . a scion of a royal family? If JFK Jr hadn’t been an amateur pilot, he’d likely be in Sioux City right now.

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    • Replies: @SFG
    Naah, they believe in this diversity crap and want a woman now that they had a black guy for 8 years.

    Hillary's too powerful within the party, they've got no way to make her go away.
    , @Jim Sweeney
    To me, the truly obvious choice is: John Kerry, liberal, an almost president against Bush, secretary of state like Mrs. Clinton, telegenic and a Viet Nam "hero" or something. Biden is the butt of too many "gaffe" type jokes by the press and other comedians.

    Would Kerry want the job? He's been salivating for years to be president.
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  15. @JohnnyWalker123
    Tell me if I'm wrong...........

    but my interpretation is that Midwest and Rocky Mountain whites come from a region with a low cost of living and low wages. So it's easy for them to increase their income just by moving, which is harder for those from higher-cost, higher-wage regions.

    Let's say a kid grows up in a plumber household that makes $30,000 a year in Nebraska. Then the kid becomes a plumber too, but moves to Seattle and makes $40,000. The map will show he's upgraded his economic position. Given that many younger people have left this region, this actually happens fairly often.

    Now take another kid who comes from a plumber family in Seattle that makes $40,000 a year. Let's say the kid becomes a plumber too and makes $40,000 a year. The map will show he didn't experience upward mobility.

    Is this correct or am I missing something?

    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.

    Chetty’s refusal to adjust for cost of living differences geographically and over time leads to some obvious anomalies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    Introduction of the notion of "Affordable Family Formation" to Sociology is really an outstanding achievement by Steven Sailer.
    , @Anonymous

    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.
     
    Steve, you can talk with your buddy Charles Murray about this. He lives in western Fredneck County, near West Virginia. West Virgina, especially the Charles Town and Martinsburg area, have become suburbs of D.C. (while once lily-white and prosperous Montgomery County has become third-world immigrant central-- except for Bethesda and Chevy Chase). Fed workers take the MARC train or drive from WVA to fed employment in MD/DC/VA. Also, there is a huge, massive, ginormous CPB facility in Harpers Ferry employing lots and lots of high-paid fed workers. In Martinsburg they have a massive IRS facility. FBI also has a huge complex in WVA.
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    He definitely should adjust for cost of living.

    He could also have looked at upward mobility in educational attainment or occupational prestige. That is less affected by differences in the cost of living.

    Another method would be to assign an average income to each profession. Then code each sampled individual by profession. He could use that method to determine income by area. Obviously this method has its drawbacks (higher-end professionals earn more in elite metros even if you apply a COLA), but I don't think it'd skew median income values that much. Mr. Chetty has access to the Census data, so he probably could do this.
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    Much of the South, the heartland, Maine, and Western Oregon don't look too good (for the 80% white zipcodes). What are your thoughts on those regions?

    Some of those areas have substantial numbers of blacks (and maybe middle-class blacks in 80% white areas regress very sharply and pull down the overall numbers), but there are plenty of overwhelmingly white areas too that under perform. Like Maine.
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  16. SFG says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.

     

    Hmmmmm. I can't quite see this. Doesn't the Dems' turn away from Hillary indicate that they're already trying to avoid making the 'most obvious' choice, so why would then they then default to the [next] most obvious choice?

    I'm wondering if the Dems figure they've pushed America far enough out into soft totalitarian happy land to really get going with the established dictator-succession-planning approach: e.g. the spouse of the outgoing leader (well, Michelle's lots younger than Hillary!), or maybe some other relative (Obama's got plenty of half-siblings, although none who's much on the radar), or . . . a scion of a royal family? If JFK Jr hadn't been an amateur pilot, he'd likely be in Sioux City right now.

    Naah, they believe in this diversity crap and want a woman now that they had a black guy for 8 years.

    Hillary’s too powerful within the party, they’ve got no way to make her go away.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    I think this is correct, though somebody is clearly gunning for Hillary.

    The Obamas don't strike me as particularly byzantine; they seem more like they've always been carried along. I'm betting they just want to cash in and live large after 2016.
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  17. SFG says:

    I’m not sure having an idea man from the US would help that much. They have to come up with some clever idea about inequality, and they can’t look at anything that’s not PC. So you get this stuff. Remember early childhood intervention?

    And I never got why everyone here hates Piketty so much. If the billionaires had less money, it’d be a lot harder for them to buy Congress and stick you with more immigration, among other things. If you had campaign finance reform, how powerful would Sheldon Adelson be?

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  18. dearieme says:
    @Lackawanna
    "The statistics also pick up much more granular variation in upward mobility."

    Is "granular" becoming a trendy buzzword?

    “Is “granular” becoming a trendy buzzword?” It had that status in my world at least a decade ago. Which means, I suppose, it’s trendy no longer. In my world.

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  19. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @Steve Sailer
    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.

    Chetty's refusal to adjust for cost of living differences geographically and over time leads to some obvious anomalies.

    Introduction of the notion of “Affordable Family Formation” to Sociology is really an outstanding achievement by Steven Sailer.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Introduction of the notion of “Affordable Family Formation” to Sociology is really an outstanding achievement by Steven Sailer."

    Well, only 250 years after Franklin did it in 1754.
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  20. Anonym says:

    OT: great comment in the DM

    Its not going to stop until every last native European person and area is CHASED DOWN. I repeat that. CHASED DOWN. No vote, no freedom of association, no social contract, no secession, no way out. There can’t be european schools, no european neighbourhoods, no european communities, no European cities, no European homelands. No where to go; pushed in ALL and EVERY white living space. In 15 years native Brit newborns will be a minority. Don’t you see what is happening? I’ll not say the word but I will say this: It does not have to be violent according to UN nor does there have to be intent. Just effect. Please post the truth. Free speech DM. And to think we give so much to EU. Where’s the money gone? Why MUST we now suffer this? Why did you remove this hours after approval? Shameful behavior. Shameful.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3054810/Germany-leader-Angela-Merkel-calls-UK-immigrants-wake-refugee-crisis-Mediterranean.html#ixzz3YVVAzZ5u

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  21. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    You’ve pretty much exploded this person’s grand idea, making him look foolish, at least to those who read this website. He’s a clueless incompetent although he impresses by seemingly working with large amounts of data. Should his eye wander over here then he’d probably steal some ideas without ever giving anyone else credit. Most of these highly acclaimed gurus usually turn out to be more image than substance.

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  22. Beliavsky says:

    Unrelated to Steve’s post, but perhaps of interest:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2599243

    Genetic Distance and Cognitive Human Capital: A Cross-National Investigation

    Oasis Kodila-Tedika
    University of Kinshasa – Department of Economics

    Simplice A. Asongu
    African Governance and Development Institute

    April 26, 2015

    2015 African Governance and Development Institute WP/15/012

    Abstract:
    This paper explores the determinants of intelligence by focusing on the role played by barriers to the diffusion of competence and human capital. The results based on cross-sectional data from 167 countries consisting of 1996-2009 averages suggest that, genetic distance to global frontiers has a negative relationship with human capital. Countries that are genetically far from leading nations tend to have lower levels of human capital with the negative correlation from the USA frontier higher relative to the UK frontier. The sign is consistent with the relationship of genetic diversity and robust to the control of macroeconomic, geographical, institutional and influential variables. Policy implications are discussed.

    Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

    Keywords: Intelligence, Human Capital, Genetic distance

    JEL Classification: G15, O50, O16, F15, N07

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  23. Big Bill says:

    I would love to see a Chettanalysis of Mexico. Mexico City dark red because of all the well-settled, immobile 500-year Conquistador owners, surrounded by myriad tiny blazing dots of intense white for all the villages who have decamped en masse to the Mexican ghettos of East LA.

    We should all move to tiny San Juan de Pobre Mojado for our children’s sake. There is something magical about that (now deserted) village — at least to Indian economists.

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  24. “…such is the circle of life.”

    Sometimes people try to influence the circle. Low oil prices appear to be a US-Saudi creation (http://bit.ly/1Jv4FSW); the US gains by punishing the Russians, Iranians and Venezuelans; Obama gains by this amazing two-fer – lower commodity prices for Americans is an economic stimulus while punishing the fracking industry and it’s high income blue collar workers in red states.

    The Saudis get our blessing and endorsement to continue ending the Assad regime while gaining market share.

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  25. JimB says:

    Figures never lie, but liars figure. Kind of like the global warming fraud which is the reason d’être for huge government subsidies funneled to political patrons in Silicon Valley, Chetty’s social mobility theories justify at least a decades worth of billion dollar social justice crusades by the Obama appointed crew at the DOJ whose jobs have been converted into lifetime sinecures.

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  26. TBA says:

    What about corresponding data for downward mobility?

    Read More
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  27. Big Bill says:
    @Economist
    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18.

    Also being raised in (and still living in) an upper caste community and household that have a 2500 year indifference/contempt for outsiders, particularly poor outsiders and manual laborers.

    This lack of practical knowledge and life experience is not limited to Indian economists. I work with Indian mechanical engineers who have never so much as held a wrench or screwdriver in their hands. To them, book learning and CAD models are sufficient knowledge of the real world.

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  28. George says:

    The only thing interesting about Chetty is he represents a changing of the guard from Ashkenazi Jewish intellectuals (Chetty’s faculty advisor: Martin Feldstein) to Asians.

    Obama admin gave Chetty unprecedented access to IRS records so he could compare listed dependents adult IRS filings to their parents.

    How Two Economists Got Direct Access to IRS Tax Records

    http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/05/how-two-economists-got-direct-access-irs-tax-records

    Read More
    • Replies: @Formerly CARealist
    Access to everyone's IRS data? Is that cool? Is all that stuff public now?
    , @Jo S'more

    How Two Economists Got Direct Access to IRS Tax Records
    http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/05/how-two-economists-got-direct-access-irs-tax-records

     

    And for what? To tell us blacks are poor and tend to stay poor?

    Everyone already knows this.

    This kind of work is just welfare for those educated beyond their intelligence.
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  29. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Sailer
    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.

    Chetty's refusal to adjust for cost of living differences geographically and over time leads to some obvious anomalies.

    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.

    Steve, you can talk with your buddy Charles Murray about this. He lives in western Fredneck County, near West Virginia. West Virgina, especially the Charles Town and Martinsburg area, have become suburbs of D.C. (while once lily-white and prosperous Montgomery County has become third-world immigrant central– except for Bethesda and Chevy Chase). Fed workers take the MARC train or drive from WVA to fed employment in MD/DC/VA. Also, there is a huge, massive, ginormous CPB facility in Harpers Ferry employing lots and lots of high-paid fed workers. In Martinsburg they have a massive IRS facility. FBI also has a huge complex in WVA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Senator Robert "Klan" Byrd knew how to grow pork in WVA, including the facilities at Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry and other locales.
    , @E. Rekshun
    Fed workers take the MARC train or drive from WVA to fed employment in MD/DC/VA. Also, there is a huge, massive, ginormous CPB facility in Harpers Ferry employing lots and lots of high-paid fed workers. In Martinsburg they have a massive IRS facility. FBI also has a huge complex in WVA.

    Yep, a lot of that is due to former W. VA democrat (and former KKK member) Robert Byrd's fifty years in the US Senate and his long tenure as Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.

    From Wikepedia: ...Byrd also ensured that many Federal complexes were built in West Virginia, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Criminal Justice Information Services Division complex in Clarksburg, the United States Coast Guard's National Maritime Center in Kearneysville, and a training center and firing range for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers near Harpers Ferry. Clarksburg's FBI facility was the first of the major Federal complexes to be built under Byrd's leadership as chairman of the appropriations committee. In West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, Byrd helped bring ten federal facilities that employed more than 3,200 people...More than 50 buildings built with funds from his economic contributions to West Virginia are named for either Byrd or his wife, Erma Ora Byrd (née James).[2] Several transportation projects named for Byrd have gained national notoriety, including the Robert C. Byrd Highway...
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  30. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.

     

    Hmmmmm. I can't quite see this. Doesn't the Dems' turn away from Hillary indicate that they're already trying to avoid making the 'most obvious' choice, so why would then they then default to the [next] most obvious choice?

    I'm wondering if the Dems figure they've pushed America far enough out into soft totalitarian happy land to really get going with the established dictator-succession-planning approach: e.g. the spouse of the outgoing leader (well, Michelle's lots younger than Hillary!), or maybe some other relative (Obama's got plenty of half-siblings, although none who's much on the radar), or . . . a scion of a royal family? If JFK Jr hadn't been an amateur pilot, he'd likely be in Sioux City right now.

    To me, the truly obvious choice is: John Kerry, liberal, an almost president against Bush, secretary of state like Mrs. Clinton, telegenic and a Viet Nam “hero” or something. Biden is the butt of too many “gaffe” type jokes by the press and other comedians.

    Would Kerry want the job? He’s been salivating for years to be president.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    A white man won't motivate the fringe coalition.

    But, in the big picture, the best case scenario for the Dems might be a Jeb win. He won't reverse any of Obama's acceleration of demographic change favorable to Dems, and, with the stock market near record highs now, there's likely to be a crash on the next president's watch.

    The Dems can run another woman or a Hispanic in 2020.

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  31. Geschrei says:
    @PhysicistDave
    Whiskey,

    I think the Left Establishment has collectively come to the conclusion that Hillary is a loser, and so they want to sink her now so someone else can have a shot.

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time -- vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey -- and Biden has indicated he wants it.

    And, the GOP has almost always (since '64) gone with the "next in line" -- that would seem to be Jeb Bush this time. A depressing thought -- Biden vs. Bush.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.

    What do the three Dem-Veeps-turned-Presidential-nominees in bold above have in common? That fact alone should remove Biden from serious consideration, even if the party apparatchiks ignore his other significant flaws as a candidate (Congressional track record, disingenuous tendencies, propensity for gaffes, brittle personality, heck, pretty much everything about the man).

    But since the Evil Party and the Stupid Party have essentially merged into the Evil And Stupid Party over the last couple of decades, it probably doesn’t matter whom either side ends up nominating, nor whom ends up taking the now-meaningless oath in January 2017. It’s as our esteemed former Secretary of State said: what difference, at this point, does it make?

    Read More
    • Replies: @ben tillman

    It’s as our esteemed former Secretary of State said: what difference, at this point, does it make?
     
    Or, as Townshend/Daltrey said:

    Meet the new boss.

    Same as the old boss.

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  32. @SFG
    Naah, they believe in this diversity crap and want a woman now that they had a black guy for 8 years.

    Hillary's too powerful within the party, they've got no way to make her go away.

    I think this is correct, though somebody is clearly gunning for Hillary.

    The Obamas don’t strike me as particularly byzantine; they seem more like they’ve always been carried along. I’m betting they just want to cash in and live large after 2016.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lagertha
    Hawaii - they will go there asap. Probably get an apt. in NYC/Boston as the girls will be in college in the northeast...Palo Alto, if Stanford. Hawaii is "the Colony" a la 'Children of Men.' It seems all the billionaires have homes there now. No fracking there!, no "boat people," no factories, no real civil unrest, infrastructure good, more flights to mainland, plenty of native Hawaiians doing the service jobs...maybe some Vietnamese or Thai. Weather is good. Waves are epic if you surf.
    , @Bill Jones
    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He's been very carefully steered (and carried, with, for example his wife's $200k non-job) the destruction of Jack Ryan in the Illinois Senate race is one obvious instance and two autobiographies before he reached 50 in an attempt to nail down the narrative about him is another.
    Deval Patrick is another black lawyer being carefully steered at least until 2014, Perhaps someone discovered something too big to whitewash.
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  33. jo S'more says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders.

     

    I think you're right. A deal's being cut somewhere with someone, and I'm getting more and more curious about who our next dear leader will be.

    Those names you mention are known to political junkies, but they're way down (or just nowhere near being on) the general electorate's recognition list. So is the Obama machine sufficiently powerful to engineer the election of one of these nobodies, or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?

    I think democrats know deep down Hillary is unelectable. People who can’t stand here will turn out to vote against her. I know I would. Blacks will not turn out to vote for her.

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  34. Escher says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders.

     

    I think you're right. A deal's being cut somewhere with someone, and I'm getting more and more curious about who our next dear leader will be.

    Those names you mention are known to political junkies, but they're way down (or just nowhere near being on) the general electorate's recognition list. So is the Obama machine sufficiently powerful to engineer the election of one of these nobodies, or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?

    How well known was Obama in 2006-07 before he mysteriously became the face of hope and change?

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  35. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Fayetville, NC aka “Fayetnam” is a depressing military town that is universally considered by North Carolinians a blight on their great state.

    I wonder how the children of white military people are doing, in general? I would guess not great based on everything I’ve seen about PTSD, divorce, domestic violence, and the effect on children of moving around.

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  36. Ivy says:

    Salt Lake City has upward mobility in part because Mormons in general tend to be pretty capitalistic. They have quite a drive to earn, then tithe. The quality of life there is good, too.

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  37. The Z Blog says: • Website
    @Whiskey
    Hillary is not the frontrunner. NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders. A Hillary Presidency means hell to pay for the Obamaites who crossed her in 2008.

    So that won't happen. Look for a Medvedev placeholder. Cory Booker, Adrian Fenty, someone like that. Obama owns the Democrats. Pantsuits has no chance.

    Martin O’Malley. I’ve been saying it for a long long time now. The Cult of Modern Liberalism has no tolerance for losers and they see Hillary as a loser. They never forgave her for blundering on health care in the 90′s. Her unwillingness to submit to a struggle session has only made it worse.

    O’Malley is a the perfect stooge. He has nothing to do and he has been cozy with the Clintons so he has many of the same friends. He’s happy to run, elevate his name and then cash in after he loses. He can always win a Senate seat in Maryland once Elmer Fudd retires.

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  38. @The Last Real Calvinist

    NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders.

     

    I think you're right. A deal's being cut somewhere with someone, and I'm getting more and more curious about who our next dear leader will be.

    Those names you mention are known to political junkies, but they're way down (or just nowhere near being on) the general electorate's recognition list. So is the Obama machine sufficiently powerful to engineer the election of one of these nobodies, or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?

    … or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?

    Michelle!

    Who better to excite the Democratic base, continue Barack’s legacy, and maintain Valerie Jarrett’s hold on power?

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  39. charlie says:

    In terms of Ohio and gas, the Marcellus shale formation includes large chunks of Ohio.

    Perhaps state level is too high up to reflect that difference.

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  40. countenance says: • Website

    Nationally, the typical kid who was at the 25th percentile in 1996 was at about the 40th percentile in 2011. What’s the reason? No particular reason, other than regression toward the mean. That’s just the way the universe works.

    Could it be that between 1996 and 2011 we imported a substantial low IQ underclass, and that statistically helps anyone who was already here in 1996 and had a higher station that those who came here in the 15 years that followed? If I was in a room with 100 people, my income was right at the 50th percentile for people in that room, and then suddenly 100 more people come into the room after just having arrived from Guatemala, with their 85 IQs, then all of a sudden I’m at the 75th percentile.

    This energy boom has drawn in blue collar workers from other cold weather states, like South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t drawn in that many illegal aliens from warm weather Latin American countries, allowing some blue collar Americans to, for once in their lives, get ahead for awhile.

    Maybe not in huge numbers, but some are trying. A few years ago, at a no-tell motel just outside the St. Louis suburban sprawl, some Hispanics, all “undocumented,” got into a fight, and one wound up stabbing and killing two others. It was reported that they were all just staying here for one night on their way to North Dakota to look for work.

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    • Replies: @JimB
    I think the business model in many blue collar trades has been to replace four semi-autonomous laborers (IQ 100) with one semi-autonomous supervisor (IQ110) and three peons (IQ 85) under strict instructions. Then employer wage costs go from 4 x $60K/yr to 1 x $50 K + 3 x $25 K/yr, a cost savings of $115K per four employees. Productivity has to drop below 2 semi-autonomous FTEs for the employer to lose. Kind of hard now with the existence of cheap engineered building materials, new fastening technologies, and CNC machines.
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  41. TBA says:

    (I asked this question in an earlier comment, but it was apparently moderated away. Still, I think it’s a worthwhile question, so here it is again.)

    Have there been studies of downward mobility? Do people who stay in or move to certain states tend to sink rather than rise?

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    • Replies: @carol
    From my experience in a Rocky Mtn state, it looks like the very small towns see a lot of downward mobility. You'd think they'd be kind of static, and charming, but instead they tend to be the final stop for drunks, dopers and retards. Excepting of course a few rich people whose vacation homes are scattered out along the rivers.
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  42. Mr. Anon says:

    “no name says:

    “In 2015, Americans spend a lot of time listening to advice about America from high IQ immigrants from other countries…”

    And Indians are among the worst, such as noted neo-liberal scold (and plagiarist) Fareed Zakaria, who has the arrogant presumption to tell Americans what should become of their own country.

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  43. Mr. Anon says:

    “Economist says:

    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18.”

    A lot of knowledge of one’s country – how it often really was – comes from ones parents.

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    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    A lot of knowledge of one’s country – how it often really was – comes from ones parents.
     
    It also comes from being apart of a rooted community of people, a community with traditions and historic memory. When newcomers come from different ethnic and cultural traditions, they don't fully plug into those traditional structures. Even worse, when these newcomers become sufficiently large in numbers, they inadvertently (though sometimes deliberately) bring about the dissolving of these communities.

    America has become a much more atomized and less rooted society in the last several decades. Immigration is one factor, but there are other factors too. As people have have lost contact with their communities and traditions, they've become more reliant on tv and entertainment to give them a sense of how things were and how things are.

    In the 1970s, many Americans lived in parochial places like Southie or Hell's Kitchen or the rural South. In 2015, Americans overwhelmingly live in generic residential areas and, to the extent they belong to any culture, they're apart of a homogenized national pop culture. This culture is very much shaped by a few celebrities and entertainment industry execs. The culture is propagated on the tv, radio, and movie screen.

    I think one reason that Americans are so easily brainwashed about so many issues is that they rely so heavily on electronic devices to inform their reality.

    By the standards of his age group, Mr. Chetty isn't particularly clueless.

    Here's a question: In the long term, what happens when people become cut off from their past?

    , @ben tillman

    “Economist says:

    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18.”

    A lot of knowledge of one’s country – how it often really was – comes from ones parents.
     
    Or, more broadly, it comes from family members who live/lived in this country in other times and places.
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  44. alcogito says:

    Out there in the middle of the wheat fields on the eastern border of Washington is a pale patch with a matching pale patch on the western edge of Idaho. What’s in these 2 counties that accounts for upperward mobility? Washington State University and U of Idaho, just 10 miles apart.

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  45. Svigor says:

    But Steve, the man’s got Credentials. They’re way more important than silly context.

    I think the Left Establishment has collectively come to the conclusion that Hillary is a loser, and so they want to sink her now so someone else can have a shot.

    Hillary is not a people person. She doesn’t even seem to like people. This is what you get when you invest in the spouse of a natural politician; pot luck. It’s amazing that it’s taken this long for the leftist corporate media & establishment to figure this out.

    If JFK Jr hadn’t been an amateur pilot

    The Kennedy family’s propensity for physically risky hobbies (not counting motorcades & hotel kitchens) is bad for them, but good for the rest of us.

    The Obamas don’t strike me as particularly byzantine; they seem more like they’ve always been carried along. I’m betting they just want to cash in and live large after 2016.

    This. They are absolutely itching to get their payoffs (to the tune of a billion or so) and do whatever it is they want to do but can’t because presidency.

    Maybe not in huge numbers, but some are trying. A few years ago, at a no-tell motel just outside the St. Louis suburban sprawl, some Hispanics, all “undocumented,” got into a fight, and one wound up stabbing and killing two others. It was reported that they were all just staying here for one night on their way to North Dakota to look for work.

    No doubt. But oil extraction is dangerous work. Not the kind of dangerous work those rednecks are going to want to complicate with language and culture barriers.

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    • Replies: @Lurker

    A few years ago, at a no-tell motel just outside the St. Louis suburban sprawl, some Hispanics, all “undocumented,” got into a fight, and one wound up stabbing and killing two others
     
    Which would be recorded as the (racist?) killing of Hispanics by a 'white'.
    , @Anonymous
    I work in the North Dakota oilfields. There are lots of Latin American and African immigrants working here, although as far as I know they aren't illegal immigrants and they make the same wages us "rednecks" are making.
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  46. Lagertha says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic
    I think this is correct, though somebody is clearly gunning for Hillary.

    The Obamas don't strike me as particularly byzantine; they seem more like they've always been carried along. I'm betting they just want to cash in and live large after 2016.

    Hawaii – they will go there asap. Probably get an apt. in NYC/Boston as the girls will be in college in the northeast…Palo Alto, if Stanford. Hawaii is “the Colony” a la ‘Children of Men.’ It seems all the billionaires have homes there now. No fracking there!, no “boat people,” no factories, no real civil unrest, infrastructure good, more flights to mainland, plenty of native Hawaiians doing the service jobs…maybe some Vietnamese or Thai. Weather is good. Waves are epic if you surf.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Mooch, Mrs. Robinson, and the girls have never lived there and have no family there (other than Maya Ng and her family, who are relations to the girls only). The place has a small black population (2% of the total which is, if I am not mistaken, disproportionately ex-military). BO declined to settle there and has not been a resident since 1982.

    The Polynesian share of the local population does not exceed a quarter (most of whom have non-Polynesian ancestry as well), so they're not dominating service employment.

    Manufacturing is of scant consequence (< 2% of local domestic product). About 9% of the local domestic product is attributable to tourism and allied sectors. Finance, insurance, and real estate account for north of 20%.

    It's a city of middling size with an agreeable climate and a rural and small town hinterland spread out over a mess of islands. I doubt there are many billionaires with a primary residence there, though Larry Ellison did buy Lanai off the Dole Pineapple Co. The city itself is ticky tacky, and very affluent people commonly live in high rise condos because detached housing is so expensive. The academic institutions therein are very rank-and-file. It's off the beaten path and has (one suspects) fewer sinecures in the non-profit sector than most other loci. I doubt they'll settle there.
    , @MEH 0910
    Unless this write-up was an April Fools' Day joke, Malia Obama has already been accepted at Williams College in Massachusetts.
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  47. @Steve Sailer
    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.

    Chetty's refusal to adjust for cost of living differences geographically and over time leads to some obvious anomalies.

    He definitely should adjust for cost of living.

    He could also have looked at upward mobility in educational attainment or occupational prestige. That is less affected by differences in the cost of living.

    Another method would be to assign an average income to each profession. Then code each sampled individual by profession. He could use that method to determine income by area. Obviously this method has its drawbacks (higher-end professionals earn more in elite metros even if you apply a COLA), but I don’t think it’d skew median income values that much. Mr. Chetty has access to the Census data, so he probably could do this.

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  48. Lagertha says:
    @Whiskey
    Hillary is not the frontrunner. NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders. A Hillary Presidency means hell to pay for the Obamaites who crossed her in 2008.

    So that won't happen. Look for a Medvedev placeholder. Cory Booker, Adrian Fenty, someone like that. Obama owns the Democrats. Pantsuits has no chance.

    I agree. Her deep ties (most of her generation & Gen X’rs) to Wall Street/hedge funds ruins her chances to appear that she cares about “everyday” Americans. I don’t see any strong candidates from the Dems…or the Repubs. It is a mystery. No one good wants to be president anymore.

    Big money used, to sway election results, is backfiring (haven’t they already figured this out with Romney losing?) since the little guy has been stuck so many times and is wounded roadkill now, wondering what the choices are for survival.

    This entire map is just so silly. It does not take a Harvard degree to understand that people flock to areas that seem to have jobs/leave areas that are hard hit. And, having traveled in all states, I find it amusing that the gigantic National Parks (often next to large Indian reservations) and Redwood trees/rainforests (in the west) are deep red color! – or “no-data” checkered!

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  49. @Steve Sailer
    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.

    Chetty's refusal to adjust for cost of living differences geographically and over time leads to some obvious anomalies.

    Much of the South, the heartland, Maine, and Western Oregon don’t look too good (for the 80% white zipcodes). What are your thoughts on those regions?

    Some of those areas have substantial numbers of blacks (and maybe middle-class blacks in 80% white areas regress very sharply and pull down the overall numbers), but there are plenty of overwhelmingly white areas too that under perform. Like Maine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lagertha
    Maine has always been poor. The entire western half of Maine is federal forest land...beautiful for camping/hiking/lakes like Moosehead. There are plenty of people living in tar paper shacks in central (40 miles inland from the coast) Maine.

    The coast is what the world knows: Kennebunkport being the summer town of the elite in Boston; Bar Harbor, Boothbay, Camden, Rockport, etc. being the beautiful coastal towns very dependent on tourists. Lobstering is a hard life, and there are a lot of restrictions now, to this slowing way of life. Weekend homes support the coastal Mainers....and some colleges and universities. Why they dumped a large group of Somali's into Maine is such a mystery. They are in the college town of Lewiston....thinking that college people would be more receptive to them, I suppose.

    Maine really has no manufacturing. My father did enjoy ordering 2 different size shoes from Rockport, as it was the only company in the 60's and 70's to ship him a pair of different sizes.

    It is a hard, granite, super rocky coast with year 'round icy water. By November the weather is miserable until late May...not kidding. Maine is very much like Nova Scotia, and, NS is never thought about as some sort of economic power house in Canada. Both areas are known to depend on tourism because of the natural beauty of their coasts...and dependent on very wealthy people who like the privacy and austerity of the landscapes. Flowers are beautiful there in the summer.

    , @Boomstick
    The Western Oregon numbers correspond pretty strongly to the timber counties. Almost all the land in those counties is part of National Forests or belongs to the State of Oregon (via old railroad land grants), and the economy has historically been dependent on timber extraction and timber mills.

    Starting in the 80's the mills underwent a vast technology change that reduced employment. In the 90's the spotted owl endangered species fight reduced timber cuttings to near zero on public land. Timber harvests:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/ppet/imgs/tbl16-oregon.gif

    Predictably this had bad effects on the economies of the timber counties. The county budgets are largely propped up by federal offsets, and the dream job is to get hooked up with the feds or the State of Oregon.
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  50. JimB says:
    @countenance
    Nationally, the typical kid who was at the 25th percentile in 1996 was at about the 40th percentile in 2011. What’s the reason? No particular reason, other than regression toward the mean. That’s just the way the universe works.

    Could it be that between 1996 and 2011 we imported a substantial low IQ underclass, and that statistically helps anyone who was already here in 1996 and had a higher station that those who came here in the 15 years that followed? If I was in a room with 100 people, my income was right at the 50th percentile for people in that room, and then suddenly 100 more people come into the room after just having arrived from Guatemala, with their 85 IQs, then all of a sudden I'm at the 75th percentile.

    This energy boom has drawn in blue collar workers from other cold weather states, like South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t drawn in that many illegal aliens from warm weather Latin American countries, allowing some blue collar Americans to, for once in their lives, get ahead for awhile.

    Maybe not in huge numbers, but some are trying. A few years ago, at a no-tell motel just outside the St. Louis suburban sprawl, some Hispanics, all "undocumented," got into a fight, and one wound up stabbing and killing two others. It was reported that they were all just staying here for one night on their way to North Dakota to look for work.

    I think the business model in many blue collar trades has been to replace four semi-autonomous laborers (IQ 100) with one semi-autonomous supervisor (IQ110) and three peons (IQ 85) under strict instructions. Then employer wage costs go from 4 x $60K/yr to 1 x $50 K + 3 x $25 K/yr, a cost savings of $115K per four employees. Productivity has to drop below 2 semi-autonomous FTEs for the employer to lose. Kind of hard now with the existence of cheap engineered building materials, new fastening technologies, and CNC machines.

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  51. Bugg says:

    As a resident of very expensive NYC, an economist that fails to account for significant differences in the cost of living in different markets isn’t much of economist. He’s supposed to be explaining variables and how they impact people’s lives.Cost and Race are 2 variables he very intenionally ignores or pretends to factor into his data. When youy pointedly refuse to take account of the variable of race, Chetty’s conlusions don’t correspond to his supposed conclusions at all. In fact looks like he gathered up some conclusions first (that he likes) and then threw some data that barely or doesn’t corrobrate them, when in fact other variables he ignores completely change the conclusions, if done logically. In short, the man is an over-promoted moron.

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    • Replies: @Annie

    Chetty’s conlusions don’t correspond to his supposed conclusions at all. In fact looks like he gathered up some conclusions first (that he likes) and then threw some data that barely or doesn’t corrobrate them, when in fact other variables he ignores completely change the conclusions, if done logically. In short, the man is an over-promoted moron.
     
    He is barely even a researcher. He just does what he is told. Who (with power) is going to contradict him? He was given tenure because like the high caste Indian he is, he derives his identity from the group, in his case the panache of his employer. He isn't an "individual" in the sense that other prominent researchers have been. He is a yes man.
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  52. Brutusale says:

    I recently read Beth Macy’s “Factory Man”. The COLA discussion is highlighted by the numbers in the book, where good salaries in Martinsville, Virginia were, to this Boston resident, shockingly low.

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  53. @The Anti-Gnostic
    I think this is correct, though somebody is clearly gunning for Hillary.

    The Obamas don't strike me as particularly byzantine; they seem more like they've always been carried along. I'm betting they just want to cash in and live large after 2016.

    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He’s been very carefully steered (and carried, with, for example his wife’s $200k non-job) the destruction of Jack Ryan in the Illinois Senate race is one obvious instance and two autobiographies before he reached 50 in an attempt to nail down the narrative about him is another.
    Deval Patrick is another black lawyer being carefully steered at least until 2014, Perhaps someone discovered something too big to whitewash.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He’s been very carefully steered
    --
    Thanks for your input, Mr. Garrison.
    , @anonymous
    Yup, how many people write autobiographies while they're still in their thirties and have no accomplishments to their credit? He looks like he was spotted and groomed early on for advancement to bigger and better things.
    , @Brutusale
    The punderati may debate Obama's place at the bottom of the list of presidential competence, but there's surprisingly little disagreement in Massachusetts that Deval Patrick was one of the worst governors, even given its long history of hacks and tokens.
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  54. Excellent work, Steve. Again, I would propose that the National Science Foundation be required to have you review all grants in the social sciences and economics, to prevent just this sort of boondoggle.

    Here’s a map of oil-producing shales in the U.S., which looks nearly exactly the same as Chetty’s white-dominated upward mobility map:

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    • Replies: @ben tillman

    Here’s a map of oil-producing shales in the U.S., which looks nearly exactly the same as Chetty’s white-dominated upward mobility map:
     
    That's a map of oil-producing shale in less than half of the US.
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  55. Luke Lea says:

    Oh, dear. So this is how Hillary is going to get in touch with working- and middle-class Americans. Does not bode well.

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  56. @Lackawanna
    "The statistics also pick up much more granular variation in upward mobility."

    Is "granular" becoming a trendy buzzword?

    ‘Granular’ has been a pervasive buzzword in Management Consulting for at least the 8 or so years that I’ve been paying attention. I know the tech guys like to use it as well, although not nearly as much as ‘disruptive’.

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  57. Lagertha says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Much of the South, the heartland, Maine, and Western Oregon don't look too good (for the 80% white zipcodes). What are your thoughts on those regions?

    Some of those areas have substantial numbers of blacks (and maybe middle-class blacks in 80% white areas regress very sharply and pull down the overall numbers), but there are plenty of overwhelmingly white areas too that under perform. Like Maine.

    Maine has always been poor. The entire western half of Maine is federal forest land…beautiful for camping/hiking/lakes like Moosehead. There are plenty of people living in tar paper shacks in central (40 miles inland from the coast) Maine.

    The coast is what the world knows: Kennebunkport being the summer town of the elite in Boston; Bar Harbor, Boothbay, Camden, Rockport, etc. being the beautiful coastal towns very dependent on tourists. Lobstering is a hard life, and there are a lot of restrictions now, to this slowing way of life. Weekend homes support the coastal Mainers….and some colleges and universities. Why they dumped a large group of Somali’s into Maine is such a mystery. They are in the college town of Lewiston….thinking that college people would be more receptive to them, I suppose.

    Maine really has no manufacturing. My father did enjoy ordering 2 different size shoes from Rockport, as it was the only company in the 60′s and 70′s to ship him a pair of different sizes.

    It is a hard, granite, super rocky coast with year ’round icy water. By November the weather is miserable until late May…not kidding. Maine is very much like Nova Scotia, and, NS is never thought about as some sort of economic power house in Canada. Both areas are known to depend on tourism because of the natural beauty of their coasts…and dependent on very wealthy people who like the privacy and austerity of the landscapes. Flowers are beautiful there in the summer.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Maine really has no manufacturing.
    --
    Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the state's domestic product, which is about the national mean.
    --
    Maine has always been poor.
    --
    The per capita personal income is about 8.5% below national means, which is about what one would expect in a place which has one city where lives < 10% of the state's population. They're not that poor.
    , @Lagertha
    I did say that coastal Maine is fine...it is a tourist state, after all. The population is just around 1,300,000.

    As far as Bath Iron Works, it is still in business, but, I can actually, assure you, it is small potatoes for shipbuilding...where it once was one of the great ones. Don't make me think about shipbuilding - too depressing. There are small boat-building industries, sail making, LL Bean, furniture making, Rockport, small "artisinal" businesses. But, there is not enough growing businesses in Portland (no skyscrapers & huge corporations here) in the state to have an economy that is improving every year to attract new technology corporations, or the lucrative bio fields in MA. Real estate is expensive in coastal Maine, so commuting to Boston is not an option.

    Most of the chambers of commerce in Maine towns take advantage of the natural beauty of the state and the fact that most of it is federal land, state forests, Acadia National Park...tourism is the main business. The season is short (there is a thriving ski business at Sunday River & Sugar Loaf) and it sounds like you have never been there.
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  58. Svigor says:

    Big money used, to sway election results, is backfiring (haven’t they already figured this out with Romney losing?)

    Why would they, when the Romney campaign ran out of money in the final days of the election, and Obama spent nearly as much as Romney did?

    Besides, you can spend all the money you want advertising dogshit (which is what the American voter apparently thought of Romney), doesn’t mean people are going to buy it.

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  59. @George
    The only thing interesting about Chetty is he represents a changing of the guard from Ashkenazi Jewish intellectuals (Chetty's faculty advisor: Martin Feldstein) to Asians.

    Obama admin gave Chetty unprecedented access to IRS records so he could compare listed dependents adult IRS filings to their parents.

    How Two Economists Got Direct Access to IRS Tax Records
    http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/05/how-two-economists-got-direct-access-irs-tax-records

    Access to everyone’s IRS data? Is that cool? Is all that stuff public now?

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  60. @Whiskey
    Hillary is not the frontrunner. NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders. A Hillary Presidency means hell to pay for the Obamaites who crossed her in 2008.

    So that won't happen. Look for a Medvedev placeholder. Cory Booker, Adrian Fenty, someone like that. Obama owns the Democrats. Pantsuits has no chance.

    When is Michelle running?

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  61. @Economist
    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18.

    Honestly, if I had moved to India as a kid and had to depend on *my* parents to help me learn about the country, and then spent the rest of my life at a university, I’d be completely ignorant of India. It helps a lot to have parents/friends/relatives around who can pass on some clue, and my parents are especially clueless.

    A lot of my friends are immigrants or grown children of immigrants who’ve lived here virtually all their lives, and they by and large really just don’t get the culture here. It doesn’t help that there’s so much that people know but won’t say out loud in polite company. This leaves people who don’t already know the unspoken things quite confused.

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  62. Boomstick says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Much of the South, the heartland, Maine, and Western Oregon don't look too good (for the 80% white zipcodes). What are your thoughts on those regions?

    Some of those areas have substantial numbers of blacks (and maybe middle-class blacks in 80% white areas regress very sharply and pull down the overall numbers), but there are plenty of overwhelmingly white areas too that under perform. Like Maine.

    The Western Oregon numbers correspond pretty strongly to the timber counties. Almost all the land in those counties is part of National Forests or belongs to the State of Oregon (via old railroad land grants), and the economy has historically been dependent on timber extraction and timber mills.

    Starting in the 80′s the mills underwent a vast technology change that reduced employment. In the 90′s the spotted owl endangered species fight reduced timber cuttings to near zero on public land. Timber harvests:

    Predictably this had bad effects on the economies of the timber counties. The county budgets are largely propped up by federal offsets, and the dream job is to get hooked up with the feds or the State of Oregon.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Spotted Owl - tastes like chicken.
    , @Boomstick
    http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/72-november-2009/2478-trouble-in-timber-town

    Has a good narrative about why that Coastal NorCal/Oregon/Washington map is so dark red.

    http://oregoneconomicanalysis.com/2012/01/23/historical-look-at-oregons-wood-product-industry/

    "In summary, the Wood Products Industry in Oregon used to have 70,000+ jobs that paid 30% more than state average, however due to economic cycles, increased competition, increased productivity and decreased timber harvests on federal lands, the industry now has approximately 25,000 jobs that pay the state average. "

    So, 2/3 of the jobs in the main local industry disappeared during the childhood of the study subjects, plus knock-on effects in other local businesses. Any kid that remained in the area in which he grew up would have greatly diminished prospects.

    If you're a moneyball type guy I think coastal Oregon real estate is a great buy. It has some of the last ocean front property in the US that's still undeveloped and relatively cheap. Steve could probably sell is San Fernando Valley digs, get a place in Bandon, and play the links the rest of his days. (Bring Goretex.)
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  63. @JohnnyWalker123
    Tell me if I'm wrong...........

    but my interpretation is that Midwest and Rocky Mountain whites come from a region with a low cost of living and low wages. So it's easy for them to increase their income just by moving, which is harder for those from higher-cost, higher-wage regions.

    Let's say a kid grows up in a plumber household that makes $30,000 a year in Nebraska. Then the kid becomes a plumber too, but moves to Seattle and makes $40,000. The map will show he's upgraded his economic position. Given that many younger people have left this region, this actually happens fairly often.

    Now take another kid who comes from a plumber family in Seattle that makes $40,000 a year. Let's say the kid becomes a plumber too and makes $40,000 a year. The map will show he didn't experience upward mobility.

    Is this correct or am I missing something?

    I think you’re right.

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    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Thanks.
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  64. Ivy says:
    @Anonymous

    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.
     
    Steve, you can talk with your buddy Charles Murray about this. He lives in western Fredneck County, near West Virginia. West Virgina, especially the Charles Town and Martinsburg area, have become suburbs of D.C. (while once lily-white and prosperous Montgomery County has become third-world immigrant central-- except for Bethesda and Chevy Chase). Fed workers take the MARC train or drive from WVA to fed employment in MD/DC/VA. Also, there is a huge, massive, ginormous CPB facility in Harpers Ferry employing lots and lots of high-paid fed workers. In Martinsburg they have a massive IRS facility. FBI also has a huge complex in WVA.

    Senator Robert “Klan” Byrd knew how to grow pork in WVA, including the facilities at Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry and other locales.

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  65. Ivy says:
    @Boomstick
    The Western Oregon numbers correspond pretty strongly to the timber counties. Almost all the land in those counties is part of National Forests or belongs to the State of Oregon (via old railroad land grants), and the economy has historically been dependent on timber extraction and timber mills.

    Starting in the 80's the mills underwent a vast technology change that reduced employment. In the 90's the spotted owl endangered species fight reduced timber cuttings to near zero on public land. Timber harvests:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/ppet/imgs/tbl16-oregon.gif

    Predictably this had bad effects on the economies of the timber counties. The county budgets are largely propped up by federal offsets, and the dream job is to get hooked up with the feds or the State of Oregon.

    Spotted Owl – tastes like chicken.

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  66. Jo S'more says:
    @George
    The only thing interesting about Chetty is he represents a changing of the guard from Ashkenazi Jewish intellectuals (Chetty's faculty advisor: Martin Feldstein) to Asians.

    Obama admin gave Chetty unprecedented access to IRS records so he could compare listed dependents adult IRS filings to their parents.

    How Two Economists Got Direct Access to IRS Tax Records
    http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/05/how-two-economists-got-direct-access-irs-tax-records

    How Two Economists Got Direct Access to IRS Tax Records

    http://news.sciencemag.org/2014/05/how-two-economists-got-direct-access-irs-tax-records

    And for what? To tell us blacks are poor and tend to stay poor?

    Everyone already knows this.

    This kind of work is just welfare for those educated beyond their intelligence.

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  67. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Amongst themselves, academic economists admit that these studies are pretty worthless. As you say, he doesn’t have enough years of data, so of course big local trends are going to swamp whatever subtle effect he’s trying to tease out.

    Behind closed doors, economists will admit that the point of these studies is to develop new theories and statistical techniques. Then when your second string students get jobs with the government and access the mother lode of data, they will know what to do with it. The point is not to generate accurate results, the point is to set up your second string students to generate accurate results ten years from now.

    Human nature being what it is, academics are defensive about admitting this in public, and fall in love with their own papers and come to believe them. But that’s another story.

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  68. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Lagertha
    Maine has always been poor. The entire western half of Maine is federal forest land...beautiful for camping/hiking/lakes like Moosehead. There are plenty of people living in tar paper shacks in central (40 miles inland from the coast) Maine.

    The coast is what the world knows: Kennebunkport being the summer town of the elite in Boston; Bar Harbor, Boothbay, Camden, Rockport, etc. being the beautiful coastal towns very dependent on tourists. Lobstering is a hard life, and there are a lot of restrictions now, to this slowing way of life. Weekend homes support the coastal Mainers....and some colleges and universities. Why they dumped a large group of Somali's into Maine is such a mystery. They are in the college town of Lewiston....thinking that college people would be more receptive to them, I suppose.

    Maine really has no manufacturing. My father did enjoy ordering 2 different size shoes from Rockport, as it was the only company in the 60's and 70's to ship him a pair of different sizes.

    It is a hard, granite, super rocky coast with year 'round icy water. By November the weather is miserable until late May...not kidding. Maine is very much like Nova Scotia, and, NS is never thought about as some sort of economic power house in Canada. Both areas are known to depend on tourism because of the natural beauty of their coasts...and dependent on very wealthy people who like the privacy and austerity of the landscapes. Flowers are beautiful there in the summer.

    Maine really has no manufacturing.

    Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the state’s domestic product, which is about the national mean.

    Maine has always been poor.

    The per capita personal income is about 8.5% below national means, which is about what one would expect in a place which has one city where lives < 10% of the state's population. They're not that poor.

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    I accidentally replied to Johnny Walker when I meant to reply to Art Deco about Maine...why Art Deco, btw? Never, mind, I don't want to know.
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  69. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Bill Jones
    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He's been very carefully steered (and carried, with, for example his wife's $200k non-job) the destruction of Jack Ryan in the Illinois Senate race is one obvious instance and two autobiographies before he reached 50 in an attempt to nail down the narrative about him is another.
    Deval Patrick is another black lawyer being carefully steered at least until 2014, Perhaps someone discovered something too big to whitewash.

    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He’s been very carefully steered

    Thanks for your input, Mr. Garrison.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    To keep an appropriate distance, with plausible deniability, the contact was via Brzezinski's TA, Cartman.
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  70. Annie says:
    @Bugg
    As a resident of very expensive NYC, an economist that fails to account for significant differences in the cost of living in different markets isn't much of economist. He's supposed to be explaining variables and how they impact people's lives.Cost and Race are 2 variables he very intenionally ignores or pretends to factor into his data. When youy pointedly refuse to take account of the variable of race, Chetty's conlusions don't correspond to his supposed conclusions at all. In fact looks like he gathered up some conclusions first (that he likes) and then threw some data that barely or doesn't corrobrate them, when in fact other variables he ignores completely change the conclusions, if done logically. In short, the man is an over-promoted moron.

    Chetty’s conlusions don’t correspond to his supposed conclusions at all. In fact looks like he gathered up some conclusions first (that he likes) and then threw some data that barely or doesn’t corrobrate them, when in fact other variables he ignores completely change the conclusions, if done logically. In short, the man is an over-promoted moron.

    He is barely even a researcher. He just does what he is told. Who (with power) is going to contradict him? He was given tenure because like the high caste Indian he is, he derives his identity from the group, in his case the panache of his employer. He isn’t an “individual” in the sense that other prominent researchers have been. He is a yes man.

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  71. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Jim Sweeney
    To me, the truly obvious choice is: John Kerry, liberal, an almost president against Bush, secretary of state like Mrs. Clinton, telegenic and a Viet Nam "hero" or something. Biden is the butt of too many "gaffe" type jokes by the press and other comedians.

    Would Kerry want the job? He's been salivating for years to be president.

    A white man won’t motivate the fringe coalition.

    But, in the big picture, the best case scenario for the Dems might be a Jeb win. He won’t reverse any of Obama’s acceleration of demographic change favorable to Dems, and, with the stock market near record highs now, there’s likely to be a crash on the next president’s watch.

    The Dems can run another woman or a Hispanic in 2020.

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    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Here's an idea for the Democrats: Run on economic issues.

    The US has an economic system designed to enrich a tiny oligarchic elite of connected politicians, speculators, lobbyists, financiers, executives, and military-industrial-DeepStaters. It'd be nice if a future president reconfigured this system so that the bottom 99.9 percent of the population could start to share equitably in the nation's economic output. It'd be a strategy that'd bring in NAMs, women, gays, and even the much reviled straight white men.

    We could end immigration, put up tariffs and trade barriers, end the "War on Terror", raise taxes on the wealthy and financial speculators, re-regulate banking and finance, pay down our debt, raise the minimum wage, give unionization efforts a boost, bring in price controls in healthcare pricing, and institute East Asian-style public-private economic planning (with an emphasis on labor-intensive manufacturing). We could even prosecute some of the people behind the 2008 financial catastrophe. That'd be popular with almost everyone.

    I don't expect that to happen. The Democrats and Republicans aren't going to bite the hand that feeds them. Hillary Clinton's son-in-law is a former Goldman Sachs exec and now a Hedge Fund Manager. Her husband Bill hangs around with billionaires. The odds of her following through on a pro-worker platform are very low.

    The best part of a pro-fringe, anti-core campaign is that it allows Democrats to get out the vote without making promises that could harm oligarchic interests. Rather than bring the large majority of people together on issues like the minimum wage and out-of-control healthcare costs, bring a slim majority together on their mutual revulsion towards straight white male patriarchy.

    Of course, Republicans will do the same. Rather than focus on an issue like immigrants taking jobs, they'll focus on "socialism" or the Democratic party's "anti-semitism."

    The 2016 election will offer us a choice. Vote Democrat and take a stand against the straight white male menace. Vote Republican and stand with Israel.

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  72. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Lagertha
    Hawaii - they will go there asap. Probably get an apt. in NYC/Boston as the girls will be in college in the northeast...Palo Alto, if Stanford. Hawaii is "the Colony" a la 'Children of Men.' It seems all the billionaires have homes there now. No fracking there!, no "boat people," no factories, no real civil unrest, infrastructure good, more flights to mainland, plenty of native Hawaiians doing the service jobs...maybe some Vietnamese or Thai. Weather is good. Waves are epic if you surf.

    Mooch, Mrs. Robinson, and the girls have never lived there and have no family there (other than Maya Ng and her family, who are relations to the girls only). The place has a small black population (2% of the total which is, if I am not mistaken, disproportionately ex-military). BO declined to settle there and has not been a resident since 1982.

    The Polynesian share of the local population does not exceed a quarter (most of whom have non-Polynesian ancestry as well), so they’re not dominating service employment.

    Manufacturing is of scant consequence (< 2% of local domestic product). About 9% of the local domestic product is attributable to tourism and allied sectors. Finance, insurance, and real estate account for north of 20%.

    It's a city of middling size with an agreeable climate and a rural and small town hinterland spread out over a mess of islands. I doubt there are many billionaires with a primary residence there, though Larry Ellison did buy Lanai off the Dole Pineapple Co. The city itself is ticky tacky, and very affluent people commonly live in high rise condos because detached housing is so expensive. The academic institutions therein are very rank-and-file. It's off the beaten path and has (one suspects) fewer sinecures in the non-profit sector than most other loci. I doubt they'll settle there.

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  73. Boomstick says:

    The Southeast does look odd, assuming that the data is correct and he actually is limiting himself to Whites, and given the generally strong growth in the sunbelt.

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    • Replies: @carol
    Few people seem to realize that there is an enormous swath of a demographic in the SE known as the Black Belt. They've been there since antebellum days.
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  74. carol says:
    @TBA
    (I asked this question in an earlier comment, but it was apparently moderated away. Still, I think it's a worthwhile question, so here it is again.)

    Have there been studies of downward mobility? Do people who stay in or move to certain states tend to sink rather than rise?

    From my experience in a Rocky Mtn state, it looks like the very small towns see a lot of downward mobility. You’d think they’d be kind of static, and charming, but instead they tend to be the final stop for drunks, dopers and retards. Excepting of course a few rich people whose vacation homes are scattered out along the rivers.

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  75. carol says:
    @Boomstick
    The Southeast does look odd, assuming that the data is correct and he actually is limiting himself to Whites, and given the generally strong growth in the sunbelt.

    Few people seem to realize that there is an enormous swath of a demographic in the SE known as the Black Belt. They’ve been there since antebellum days.

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    • Replies: @Boomstick
    Presumably the black belt runs along the crosshatched gray region of "no data" thorough the deep South. They couldn't find mostly-white zip codes.

    I think the "80% non-hispanic white" zip codes do not capture the dynamic in the Southeast. For example, Huntsville is 30% black. They're going to be mostly in the bottom half of the income distribution. So, even in zip codes that are 80% white, many of the lower income people being examined for income mobility could well be black.

    Northern and Central Florida are odd. The place has been growing for decades.
    , @ben tillman

    Few people seem to realize that there is an enormous swath of a demographic in the SE known as the Black Belt. They’ve been there since antebellum days.
     
    The Black Belt is not a Southeastern thing; it's an Alabama thing, It really refers to a region of black soil, but since Black slaves were brought to the black soil, the term now also refers to the Black people on that land.
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  76. @Mr. Anon
    "Economist says:

    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18."

    A lot of knowledge of one's country - how it often really was - comes from ones parents.

    A lot of knowledge of one’s country – how it often really was – comes from ones parents.

    It also comes from being apart of a rooted community of people, a community with traditions and historic memory. When newcomers come from different ethnic and cultural traditions, they don’t fully plug into those traditional structures. Even worse, when these newcomers become sufficiently large in numbers, they inadvertently (though sometimes deliberately) bring about the dissolving of these communities.

    America has become a much more atomized and less rooted society in the last several decades. Immigration is one factor, but there are other factors too. As people have have lost contact with their communities and traditions, they’ve become more reliant on tv and entertainment to give them a sense of how things were and how things are.

    In the 1970s, many Americans lived in parochial places like Southie or Hell’s Kitchen or the rural South. In 2015, Americans overwhelmingly live in generic residential areas and, to the extent they belong to any culture, they’re apart of a homogenized national pop culture. This culture is very much shaped by a few celebrities and entertainment industry execs. The culture is propagated on the tv, radio, and movie screen.

    I think one reason that Americans are so easily brainwashed about so many issues is that they rely so heavily on electronic devices to inform their reality.

    By the standards of his age group, Mr. Chetty isn’t particularly clueless.

    Here’s a question: In the long term, what happens when people become cut off from their past?

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    They become introspective, agoraphobic, despondent, and depressed. They buy a Harley, Lamborghini, or a horse, or horse farm, or vineyard (if they can). They get plastic surgery to look younger. They do the "bucket list" and surf the flight and airbnb sites for deals around the world. They lose all perspective about what matters; they kill themselves...couldn't resist, you left that open for Mad Libs, big time!
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  77. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Bill Jones
    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He's been very carefully steered (and carried, with, for example his wife's $200k non-job) the destruction of Jack Ryan in the Illinois Senate race is one obvious instance and two autobiographies before he reached 50 in an attempt to nail down the narrative about him is another.
    Deval Patrick is another black lawyer being carefully steered at least until 2014, Perhaps someone discovered something too big to whitewash.

    Yup, how many people write autobiographies while they’re still in their thirties and have no accomplishments to their credit? He looks like he was spotted and groomed early on for advancement to bigger and better things.

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  78. @Dave Pinsen
    A white man won't motivate the fringe coalition.

    But, in the big picture, the best case scenario for the Dems might be a Jeb win. He won't reverse any of Obama's acceleration of demographic change favorable to Dems, and, with the stock market near record highs now, there's likely to be a crash on the next president's watch.

    The Dems can run another woman or a Hispanic in 2020.

    Here’s an idea for the Democrats: Run on economic issues.

    The US has an economic system designed to enrich a tiny oligarchic elite of connected politicians, speculators, lobbyists, financiers, executives, and military-industrial-DeepStaters. It’d be nice if a future president reconfigured this system so that the bottom 99.9 percent of the population could start to share equitably in the nation’s economic output. It’d be a strategy that’d bring in NAMs, women, gays, and even the much reviled straight white men.

    We could end immigration, put up tariffs and trade barriers, end the “War on Terror”, raise taxes on the wealthy and financial speculators, re-regulate banking and finance, pay down our debt, raise the minimum wage, give unionization efforts a boost, bring in price controls in healthcare pricing, and institute East Asian-style public-private economic planning (with an emphasis on labor-intensive manufacturing). We could even prosecute some of the people behind the 2008 financial catastrophe. That’d be popular with almost everyone.

    I don’t expect that to happen. The Democrats and Republicans aren’t going to bite the hand that feeds them. Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law is a former Goldman Sachs exec and now a Hedge Fund Manager. Her husband Bill hangs around with billionaires. The odds of her following through on a pro-worker platform are very low.

    The best part of a pro-fringe, anti-core campaign is that it allows Democrats to get out the vote without making promises that could harm oligarchic interests. Rather than bring the large majority of people together on issues like the minimum wage and out-of-control healthcare costs, bring a slim majority together on their mutual revulsion towards straight white male patriarchy.

    Of course, Republicans will do the same. Rather than focus on an issue like immigrants taking jobs, they’ll focus on “socialism” or the Democratic party’s “anti-semitism.”

    The 2016 election will offer us a choice. Vote Democrat and take a stand against the straight white male menace. Vote Republican and stand with Israel.

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  79. dsgntd_plyr says: • Website

    Imho WV Democrat Senator Joe Manchin could be President if he wants it:
    1. Not anti-white, so he would break 40% among non-hispanic whites
    2. Opposes Obama’s executive immigration actions
    3. Socially conservative

    I’d vote for him over Rubio or Bush.

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  80. @Immigrant from former USSR
    Introduction of the notion of "Affordable Family Formation" to Sociology is really an outstanding achievement by Steven Sailer.

    “Introduction of the notion of “Affordable Family Formation” to Sociology is really an outstanding achievement by Steven Sailer.”

    Well, only 250 years after Franklin did it in 1754.

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  81. Business Insider has figured out the achievement gap:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/direct-instruction-vs-inquiry-learning-2015-4

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  82. pinto says:

    No doubt. But oil extraction is dangerous work. Not the kind of dangerous work those rednecks are going to want to complicate with language and culture barriers.

    Exactly. First, big redneck white dudes are much stronger and have more endurance than Guatemalan Indios. Second, those redneck white dudes are not stupid. They can read, listen, understand and execute instructions in English. If you need workers who are both physically robust and reasonably intelligent who can speak and read English, then you are going to go with redneck white guys.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Historically, the oil business seems to have generally had a model of good pay for good work, with less emphasis on squeezing the workers than in, say, factory farming today or in coal mining a century ago.
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  83. @Anonymous

    You can see how West Virginia looks like a paradise of upward mobility, even though West Virginia whites are falling further behind whites in the rest of the country in test scores. Some of that percentile increase is from West Virginians moving to much higher cost of living areas, such as the greater Washington DC area, which stayed fairly prosperous through the recession due to your tax dollars at work.
     
    Steve, you can talk with your buddy Charles Murray about this. He lives in western Fredneck County, near West Virginia. West Virgina, especially the Charles Town and Martinsburg area, have become suburbs of D.C. (while once lily-white and prosperous Montgomery County has become third-world immigrant central-- except for Bethesda and Chevy Chase). Fed workers take the MARC train or drive from WVA to fed employment in MD/DC/VA. Also, there is a huge, massive, ginormous CPB facility in Harpers Ferry employing lots and lots of high-paid fed workers. In Martinsburg they have a massive IRS facility. FBI also has a huge complex in WVA.

    Fed workers take the MARC train or drive from WVA to fed employment in MD/DC/VA. Also, there is a huge, massive, ginormous CPB facility in Harpers Ferry employing lots and lots of high-paid fed workers. In Martinsburg they have a massive IRS facility. FBI also has a huge complex in WVA.

    Yep, a lot of that is due to former W. VA democrat (and former KKK member) Robert Byrd’s fifty years in the US Senate and his long tenure as Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.

    From Wikepedia: …Byrd also ensured that many Federal complexes were built in West Virginia, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division complex in Clarksburg, the United States Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center in Kearneysville, and a training center and firing range for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers near Harpers Ferry. Clarksburg’s FBI facility was the first of the major Federal complexes to be built under Byrd’s leadership as chairman of the appropriations committee. In West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, Byrd helped bring ten federal facilities that employed more than 3,200 people…More than 50 buildings built with funds from his economic contributions to West Virginia are named for either Byrd or his wife, Erma Ora Byrd (née James).[2] Several transportation projects named for Byrd have gained national notoriety, including the Robert C. Byrd Highway…

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  84. @pinto

    No doubt. But oil extraction is dangerous work. Not the kind of dangerous work those rednecks are going to want to complicate with language and culture barriers.
     
    Exactly. First, big redneck white dudes are much stronger and have more endurance than Guatemalan Indios. Second, those redneck white dudes are not stupid. They can read, listen, understand and execute instructions in English. If you need workers who are both physically robust and reasonably intelligent who can speak and read English, then you are going to go with redneck white guys.

    Historically, the oil business seems to have generally had a model of good pay for good work, with less emphasis on squeezing the workers than in, say, factory farming today or in coal mining a century ago.

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  85. Boomstick says:
    @carol
    Few people seem to realize that there is an enormous swath of a demographic in the SE known as the Black Belt. They've been there since antebellum days.

    Presumably the black belt runs along the crosshatched gray region of “no data” thorough the deep South. They couldn’t find mostly-white zip codes.

    I think the “80% non-hispanic white” zip codes do not capture the dynamic in the Southeast. For example, Huntsville is 30% black. They’re going to be mostly in the bottom half of the income distribution. So, even in zip codes that are 80% white, many of the lower income people being examined for income mobility could well be black.

    Northern and Central Florida are odd. The place has been growing for decades.

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  86. Lurker says:
    @Priss Factor
    Piketty meet Chetty.

    Piketty, Chetty, Piketty, Chetty

    Let’s call the whole thing off

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  87. Lurker says:
    @Svigor
    But Steve, the man's got Credentials. They're way more important than silly context.

    I think the Left Establishment has collectively come to the conclusion that Hillary is a loser, and so they want to sink her now so someone else can have a shot.
     
    Hillary is not a people person. She doesn't even seem to like people. This is what you get when you invest in the spouse of a natural politician; pot luck. It's amazing that it's taken this long for the leftist corporate media & establishment to figure this out.

    If JFK Jr hadn’t been an amateur pilot
     
    The Kennedy family's propensity for physically risky hobbies (not counting motorcades & hotel kitchens) is bad for them, but good for the rest of us.

    The Obamas don’t strike me as particularly byzantine; they seem more like they’ve always been carried along. I’m betting they just want to cash in and live large after 2016.
     
    This. They are absolutely itching to get their payoffs (to the tune of a billion or so) and do whatever it is they want to do but can't because presidency.

    Maybe not in huge numbers, but some are trying. A few years ago, at a no-tell motel just outside the St. Louis suburban sprawl, some Hispanics, all “undocumented,” got into a fight, and one wound up stabbing and killing two others. It was reported that they were all just staying here for one night on their way to North Dakota to look for work.
     
    No doubt. But oil extraction is dangerous work. Not the kind of dangerous work those rednecks are going to want to complicate with language and culture barriers.

    A few years ago, at a no-tell motel just outside the St. Louis suburban sprawl, some Hispanics, all “undocumented,” got into a fight, and one wound up stabbing and killing two others

    Which would be recorded as the (racist?) killing of Hispanics by a ‘white’.

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  88. @The Last Real Calvinist

    NYT and WaPo are running story after story on the Clinton Foundation corruption. On Obamas orders.

     

    I think you're right. A deal's being cut somewhere with someone, and I'm getting more and more curious about who our next dear leader will be.

    Those names you mention are known to political junkies, but they're way down (or just nowhere near being on) the general electorate's recognition list. So is the Obama machine sufficiently powerful to engineer the election of one of these nobodies, or is there a Big Name waiting in the wings?

    Here’s the thing. Unlike Bill Clinton, who had Hillary waiting in the wings for a future presidential run, and of course the endless dynastic ambitions of the Bushes, starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over. Michelle isn’t going for a presidential run and probably neither are her two children. Really? Seriously? Starting in 2044, vote for Malia or Sasha just cause….? Why exactly?

    Unlike the Clintons/Bushes, Obama doesn’t have an extended family (in this country) that wants to get in on the whole running for president thing just cause they’re his offspring. That’s it.

    Not for nothing was his political hero growing up Jimmy Carter. And Jimmy’s offspring, distant relatives aren’t much known nationally and certainly they aren’t running for president.

    Nope, it’s gonna be Aloha to Hawaii, there to retire amid the swinging palm trees and amongst Oprah and Zuckerberg, his neighbors on his mansion/plantation/estate with occasional jaunts throughout the rest of the world to collect those high six figures per each speech on the lucrative lecture circuit.

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    The Colony.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    . . . starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over . . . .

    I certainly hope that this is the case.

    But the recent unpleasantnesses plaguing the Hillary campaign really have me wondering. Why would the NYT devote an enormous article to her Russia/uranium bribes scandal? This kind of thing is par for the course for the Clintons; why doesn't the NYT, which sets the agenda for The Narrative, just gloss it over? And why are stories appearing reporting how Charity Navigator and the Sunlight Foundation, both charity watchdogs, have suddenly declared the Clinton Foundation to be essentially bogus? This has also been obvious for years, so what convinced these organizations to suddenly, publicly, turn on the Clintons?

    I guess all could go according to plan, with Hillary grinding out the nomination over the next year, but lots of signals in the mainstream media coverage of her corruption, and her campaign's lame rollout, leave me thinking there's something going on. It's like they're playing the usual Clinton theme song, but transposed into a minor key.

    Perhaps I'm just overreacting to the media's return to only 85%-biased coverage after the six-year propaganda feed we've just come through . . . .
    , @Paul Mendez
    ...starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over. Michelle isn’t going for a presidential run and probably neither are her two children. Really? Seriously? Starting in 2044, vote for Malia or Sasha just cause….? Why exactly?

    It's not about Barack. It's not about Michelle. It's not about Sasha or Malaria.

    It's about Valerie Jarrett.
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  89. Ivy says:
    @Art Deco
    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He’s been very carefully steered
    --
    Thanks for your input, Mr. Garrison.

    To keep an appropriate distance, with plausible deniability, the contact was via Brzezinski’s TA, Cartman.

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  90. Lagertha says:
    @Lagertha
    Maine has always been poor. The entire western half of Maine is federal forest land...beautiful for camping/hiking/lakes like Moosehead. There are plenty of people living in tar paper shacks in central (40 miles inland from the coast) Maine.

    The coast is what the world knows: Kennebunkport being the summer town of the elite in Boston; Bar Harbor, Boothbay, Camden, Rockport, etc. being the beautiful coastal towns very dependent on tourists. Lobstering is a hard life, and there are a lot of restrictions now, to this slowing way of life. Weekend homes support the coastal Mainers....and some colleges and universities. Why they dumped a large group of Somali's into Maine is such a mystery. They are in the college town of Lewiston....thinking that college people would be more receptive to them, I suppose.

    Maine really has no manufacturing. My father did enjoy ordering 2 different size shoes from Rockport, as it was the only company in the 60's and 70's to ship him a pair of different sizes.

    It is a hard, granite, super rocky coast with year 'round icy water. By November the weather is miserable until late May...not kidding. Maine is very much like Nova Scotia, and, NS is never thought about as some sort of economic power house in Canada. Both areas are known to depend on tourism because of the natural beauty of their coasts...and dependent on very wealthy people who like the privacy and austerity of the landscapes. Flowers are beautiful there in the summer.

    I did say that coastal Maine is fine…it is a tourist state, after all. The population is just around 1,300,000.

    As far as Bath Iron Works, it is still in business, but, I can actually, assure you, it is small potatoes for shipbuilding…where it once was one of the great ones. Don’t make me think about shipbuilding – too depressing. There are small boat-building industries, sail making, LL Bean, furniture making, Rockport, small “artisinal” businesses. But, there is not enough growing businesses in Portland (no skyscrapers & huge corporations here) in the state to have an economy that is improving every year to attract new technology corporations, or the lucrative bio fields in MA. Real estate is expensive in coastal Maine, so commuting to Boston is not an option.

    Most of the chambers of commerce in Maine towns take advantage of the natural beauty of the state and the fact that most of it is federal land, state forests, Acadia National Park…tourism is the main business. The season is short (there is a thriving ski business at Sunday River & Sugar Loaf) and it sounds like you have never been there.

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  91. Lagertha says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Here's the thing. Unlike Bill Clinton, who had Hillary waiting in the wings for a future presidential run, and of course the endless dynastic ambitions of the Bushes, starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over. Michelle isn't going for a presidential run and probably neither are her two children. Really? Seriously? Starting in 2044, vote for Malia or Sasha just cause....? Why exactly?

    Unlike the Clintons/Bushes, Obama doesn't have an extended family (in this country) that wants to get in on the whole running for president thing just cause they're his offspring. That's it.

    Not for nothing was his political hero growing up Jimmy Carter. And Jimmy's offspring, distant relatives aren't much known nationally and certainly they aren't running for president.

    Nope, it's gonna be Aloha to Hawaii, there to retire amid the swinging palm trees and amongst Oprah and Zuckerberg, his neighbors on his mansion/plantation/estate with occasional jaunts throughout the rest of the world to collect those high six figures per each speech on the lucrative lecture circuit.

    The Colony.

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  92. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Here's the thing. Unlike Bill Clinton, who had Hillary waiting in the wings for a future presidential run, and of course the endless dynastic ambitions of the Bushes, starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over. Michelle isn't going for a presidential run and probably neither are her two children. Really? Seriously? Starting in 2044, vote for Malia or Sasha just cause....? Why exactly?

    Unlike the Clintons/Bushes, Obama doesn't have an extended family (in this country) that wants to get in on the whole running for president thing just cause they're his offspring. That's it.

    Not for nothing was his political hero growing up Jimmy Carter. And Jimmy's offspring, distant relatives aren't much known nationally and certainly they aren't running for president.

    Nope, it's gonna be Aloha to Hawaii, there to retire amid the swinging palm trees and amongst Oprah and Zuckerberg, his neighbors on his mansion/plantation/estate with occasional jaunts throughout the rest of the world to collect those high six figures per each speech on the lucrative lecture circuit.

    . . . starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over . . . .

    I certainly hope that this is the case.

    But the recent unpleasantnesses plaguing the Hillary campaign really have me wondering. Why would the NYT devote an enormous article to her Russia/uranium bribes scandal? This kind of thing is par for the course for the Clintons; why doesn’t the NYT, which sets the agenda for The Narrative, just gloss it over? And why are stories appearing reporting how Charity Navigator and the Sunlight Foundation, both charity watchdogs, have suddenly declared the Clinton Foundation to be essentially bogus? This has also been obvious for years, so what convinced these organizations to suddenly, publicly, turn on the Clintons?

    I guess all could go according to plan, with Hillary grinding out the nomination over the next year, but lots of signals in the mainstream media coverage of her corruption, and her campaign’s lame rollout, leave me thinking there’s something going on. It’s like they’re playing the usual Clinton theme song, but transposed into a minor key.

    Perhaps I’m just overreacting to the media’s return to only 85%-biased coverage after the six-year propaganda feed we’ve just come through . . . .

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  93. Lagertha says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    A lot of knowledge of one’s country – how it often really was – comes from ones parents.
     
    It also comes from being apart of a rooted community of people, a community with traditions and historic memory. When newcomers come from different ethnic and cultural traditions, they don't fully plug into those traditional structures. Even worse, when these newcomers become sufficiently large in numbers, they inadvertently (though sometimes deliberately) bring about the dissolving of these communities.

    America has become a much more atomized and less rooted society in the last several decades. Immigration is one factor, but there are other factors too. As people have have lost contact with their communities and traditions, they've become more reliant on tv and entertainment to give them a sense of how things were and how things are.

    In the 1970s, many Americans lived in parochial places like Southie or Hell's Kitchen or the rural South. In 2015, Americans overwhelmingly live in generic residential areas and, to the extent they belong to any culture, they're apart of a homogenized national pop culture. This culture is very much shaped by a few celebrities and entertainment industry execs. The culture is propagated on the tv, radio, and movie screen.

    I think one reason that Americans are so easily brainwashed about so many issues is that they rely so heavily on electronic devices to inform their reality.

    By the standards of his age group, Mr. Chetty isn't particularly clueless.

    Here's a question: In the long term, what happens when people become cut off from their past?

    They become introspective, agoraphobic, despondent, and depressed. They buy a Harley, Lamborghini, or a horse, or horse farm, or vineyard (if they can). They get plastic surgery to look younger. They do the “bucket list” and surf the flight and airbnb sites for deals around the world. They lose all perspective about what matters; they kill themselves…couldn’t resist, you left that open for Mad Libs, big time!

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  94. Lagertha says:
    @Art Deco
    Maine really has no manufacturing.
    --
    Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the state's domestic product, which is about the national mean.
    --
    Maine has always been poor.
    --
    The per capita personal income is about 8.5% below national means, which is about what one would expect in a place which has one city where lives < 10% of the state's population. They're not that poor.

    I accidentally replied to Johnny Walker when I meant to reply to Art Deco about Maine…why Art Deco, btw? Never, mind, I don’t want to know.

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  95. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Here's the thing. Unlike Bill Clinton, who had Hillary waiting in the wings for a future presidential run, and of course the endless dynastic ambitions of the Bushes, starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over. Michelle isn't going for a presidential run and probably neither are her two children. Really? Seriously? Starting in 2044, vote for Malia or Sasha just cause....? Why exactly?

    Unlike the Clintons/Bushes, Obama doesn't have an extended family (in this country) that wants to get in on the whole running for president thing just cause they're his offspring. That's it.

    Not for nothing was his political hero growing up Jimmy Carter. And Jimmy's offspring, distant relatives aren't much known nationally and certainly they aren't running for president.

    Nope, it's gonna be Aloha to Hawaii, there to retire amid the swinging palm trees and amongst Oprah and Zuckerberg, his neighbors on his mansion/plantation/estate with occasional jaunts throughout the rest of the world to collect those high six figures per each speech on the lucrative lecture circuit.

    …starting January 20, 2017, the Obama presidency is over. Michelle isn’t going for a presidential run and probably neither are her two children. Really? Seriously? Starting in 2044, vote for Malia or Sasha just cause….? Why exactly?

    It’s not about Barack. It’s not about Michelle. It’s not about Sasha or Malaria.

    It’s about Valerie Jarrett.

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  96. @Geschrei

    The obvious choice is Joe Biden: the Dems usually want a new, fresh, exciting face, but they have not turned down their sitting (or most recent) VP for a long time — vide Gore, Mondale, Humphrey — and Biden has indicated he wants it.
     
    What do the three Dem-Veeps-turned-Presidential-nominees in bold above have in common? That fact alone should remove Biden from serious consideration, even if the party apparatchiks ignore his other significant flaws as a candidate (Congressional track record, disingenuous tendencies, propensity for gaffes, brittle personality, heck, pretty much everything about the man).

    But since the Evil Party and the Stupid Party have essentially merged into the Evil And Stupid Party over the last couple of decades, it probably doesn't matter whom either side ends up nominating, nor whom ends up taking the now-meaningless oath in January 2017. It's as our esteemed former Secretary of State said: what difference, at this point, does it make?

    It’s as our esteemed former Secretary of State said: what difference, at this point, does it make?

    Or, as Townshend/Daltrey said:

    Meet the new boss.

    Same as the old boss.

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  97. @Mr. Anon
    "Economist says:

    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18."

    A lot of knowledge of one's country - how it often really was - comes from ones parents.

    “Economist says:

    Chetty grew up outside Milwaukee since the age of ten, after moving here from India. Unless knowledge of America comes from where one is a small child, any such lack of knowledge is probably better explained by only having been at Harvard or Berkeley since age 18.”

    A lot of knowledge of one’s country – how it often really was – comes from ones parents.

    Or, more broadly, it comes from family members who live/lived in this country in other times and places.

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  98. MEH 0910 says:
    @Lagertha
    Hawaii - they will go there asap. Probably get an apt. in NYC/Boston as the girls will be in college in the northeast...Palo Alto, if Stanford. Hawaii is "the Colony" a la 'Children of Men.' It seems all the billionaires have homes there now. No fracking there!, no "boat people," no factories, no real civil unrest, infrastructure good, more flights to mainland, plenty of native Hawaiians doing the service jobs...maybe some Vietnamese or Thai. Weather is good. Waves are epic if you surf.

    Unless this write-up was an April Fools’ Day joke, Malia Obama has already been accepted at Williams College in Massachusetts.

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  99. @Flinders Petrie
    Excellent work, Steve. Again, I would propose that the National Science Foundation be required to have you review all grants in the social sciences and economics, to prevent just this sort of boondoggle.

    Here's a map of oil-producing shales in the U.S., which looks nearly exactly the same as Chetty's white-dominated upward mobility map:

    http://i.imgur.com/glDk1D7.jpg

    Here’s a map of oil-producing shales in the U.S., which looks nearly exactly the same as Chetty’s white-dominated upward mobility map:

    That’s a map of oil-producing shale in less than half of the US.

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  100. @carol
    Few people seem to realize that there is an enormous swath of a demographic in the SE known as the Black Belt. They've been there since antebellum days.

    Few people seem to realize that there is an enormous swath of a demographic in the SE known as the Black Belt. They’ve been there since antebellum days.

    The Black Belt is not a Southeastern thing; it’s an Alabama thing, It really refers to a region of black soil, but since Black slaves were brought to the black soil, the term now also refers to the Black people on that land.

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  101. Boomstick says:
    @Boomstick
    The Western Oregon numbers correspond pretty strongly to the timber counties. Almost all the land in those counties is part of National Forests or belongs to the State of Oregon (via old railroad land grants), and the economy has historically been dependent on timber extraction and timber mills.

    Starting in the 80's the mills underwent a vast technology change that reduced employment. In the 90's the spotted owl endangered species fight reduced timber cuttings to near zero on public land. Timber harvests:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/ppet/imgs/tbl16-oregon.gif

    Predictably this had bad effects on the economies of the timber counties. The county budgets are largely propped up by federal offsets, and the dream job is to get hooked up with the feds or the State of Oregon.

    http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/72-november-2009/2478-trouble-in-timber-town

    Has a good narrative about why that Coastal NorCal/Oregon/Washington map is so dark red.

    http://oregoneconomicanalysis.com/2012/01/23/historical-look-at-oregons-wood-product-industry/

    “In summary, the Wood Products Industry in Oregon used to have 70,000+ jobs that paid 30% more than state average, however due to economic cycles, increased competition, increased productivity and decreased timber harvests on federal lands, the industry now has approximately 25,000 jobs that pay the state average. ”

    So, 2/3 of the jobs in the main local industry disappeared during the childhood of the study subjects, plus knock-on effects in other local businesses. Any kid that remained in the area in which he grew up would have greatly diminished prospects.

    If you’re a moneyball type guy I think coastal Oregon real estate is a great buy. It has some of the last ocean front property in the US that’s still undeveloped and relatively cheap. Steve could probably sell is San Fernando Valley digs, get a place in Bandon, and play the links the rest of his days. (Bring Goretex.)

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  102. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Svigor
    But Steve, the man's got Credentials. They're way more important than silly context.

    I think the Left Establishment has collectively come to the conclusion that Hillary is a loser, and so they want to sink her now so someone else can have a shot.
     
    Hillary is not a people person. She doesn't even seem to like people. This is what you get when you invest in the spouse of a natural politician; pot luck. It's amazing that it's taken this long for the leftist corporate media & establishment to figure this out.

    If JFK Jr hadn’t been an amateur pilot
     
    The Kennedy family's propensity for physically risky hobbies (not counting motorcades & hotel kitchens) is bad for them, but good for the rest of us.

    The Obamas don’t strike me as particularly byzantine; they seem more like they’ve always been carried along. I’m betting they just want to cash in and live large after 2016.
     
    This. They are absolutely itching to get their payoffs (to the tune of a billion or so) and do whatever it is they want to do but can't because presidency.

    Maybe not in huge numbers, but some are trying. A few years ago, at a no-tell motel just outside the St. Louis suburban sprawl, some Hispanics, all “undocumented,” got into a fight, and one wound up stabbing and killing two others. It was reported that they were all just staying here for one night on their way to North Dakota to look for work.
     
    No doubt. But oil extraction is dangerous work. Not the kind of dangerous work those rednecks are going to want to complicate with language and culture barriers.

    I work in the North Dakota oilfields. There are lots of Latin American and African immigrants working here, although as far as I know they aren’t illegal immigrants and they make the same wages us “rednecks” are making.

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  103. Like the Red Menace of the Cold War era, the Green Peril–green being the color of Islam–is described as a cancer spreading around the globe, undermining …

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/48754/leon-t-hadar/what-green-peril

    Now with the Cold War relit we have the Black Peril. They need more victims to build the movement and get the donations flowing.

    Homeland Security color warnings: 1982 the baltimore museum ofart mounted an exhibition of nauman’s neons and … in bright colors of orange and green, turquoise and peach, white and hot pink, … white anger, red danger, yellow peril, black death/eat; none sing/neon sign; …

    We use the Tape System: Normal Scotch, Elevated Masking, High Duck, 911 600MPH Speed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_tape

    All other political crises Video.

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  104. In stagecraft, a spike is a marking, usually made with a piece of tape (although some houses (theatres) use paint pens), put on or around the stage. This marking is used to show the correct position for set pieces, furniture, actors and other items which move during the course of a performance and are required to stop or be placed in a specific location.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spike_%28stagecraft%29

    Also useful in urban operations to mark zones. The bodies were here here and here…burned car here.

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  105. Brutusale says:
    @Bill Jones
    I think Barry was selected way back when he was at Columbia and met Brzezinski. He's been very carefully steered (and carried, with, for example his wife's $200k non-job) the destruction of Jack Ryan in the Illinois Senate race is one obvious instance and two autobiographies before he reached 50 in an attempt to nail down the narrative about him is another.
    Deval Patrick is another black lawyer being carefully steered at least until 2014, Perhaps someone discovered something too big to whitewash.

    The punderati may debate Obama’s place at the bottom of the list of presidential competence, but there’s surprisingly little disagreement in Massachusetts that Deval Patrick was one of the worst governors, even given its long history of hacks and tokens.

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    there’s surprisingly little disagreement in Massachusetts that Deval Patrick was one of the worst governors, even given its long history of hacks and tokens
     
    That's a little debatable, Old Boy.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/deval-patrick/


    Democratic leaders Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Deval Patrick have slightly higher approval ratings than they did five months ago. Warren’s approval jumped to 52-39 from 44-39, and Patrick’s was 50-43, up from 48-41.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governorship_of_Mitt_Romney

    Nov. 2006[233] 34% 65% Lowest approval of governorship.
    Dec. 2006[233] 39% 59% Last full month of governorship

     

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  106. Mr. Anon says:

    “Art Deco says:

    “”Maine really has no manufacturing.””

    Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the state’s domestic product, which is about the national mean.”

    So what do they manufacture, smart-guy? Manufacturing gas-turbines and manufacturing shoes don’t necessarily have the same economic impact. I’m not in a position to assess Lagertha’s claims. However, unlike Art Deco, I don’t think that having ready access to Wikipedia is a substitute either for knowledge or thought.

    Cutting and pasting tidbits from Google doesn’t make you come across as someone smart – it makes you come across like Ralph Wiggam.

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  107. Anthony says:

    Even the 80% or more white will not eliminate racial confounding.

    There’s a difference between 1% black and 19% black, and that might be enough to explain the South in that map. The low-mobility regions outside the South seem to be those with lots of Hispanics or American Indians.

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  108. Truth says:
    @Brutusale
    The punderati may debate Obama's place at the bottom of the list of presidential competence, but there's surprisingly little disagreement in Massachusetts that Deval Patrick was one of the worst governors, even given its long history of hacks and tokens.

    there’s surprisingly little disagreement in Massachusetts that Deval Patrick was one of the worst governors, even given its long history of hacks and tokens

    That’s a little debatable, Old Boy.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/deval-patrick/

    Democratic leaders Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Deval Patrick have slightly higher approval ratings than they did five months ago. Warren’s approval jumped to 52-39 from 44-39, and Patrick’s was 50-43, up from 48-41.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governorship_of_Mitt_Romney

    Nov. 2006[233] 34% 65% Lowest approval of governorship.
    Dec. 2006[233] 39% 59% Last full month of governorship

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  109. @EvolutionistX
    I think you're right.

    Thanks.

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