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As I argued in my 2011 article on National Wealth and IQ at the Edge: American Exceptionalism, East Asian Mediocrity, the US is surprisingly wealthy for a country for a country of its national IQ, which is respectable but modest by developed country standards.

There are many possible reasons for it, which I listed (e.g. economies of scale, “American alpha” in finance, etc).

One of the strongest ones, and which also apply to Israel and India, is that it has a large smart fraction. Furthermore, this smart fraction gets massively turbocharged every year by aspiring foreign inventors (graph h/t Patrick Collison).

Look at that! Even Germany, which has sucked up something like a quarter of Romania’s doctors, is basically only treading water. So is sunny Australia, with its excellent climate and Anglo culture.

So far as globally minded inventors go, the US has long been the only game in town.

But the US is now destroying itself on account of some crazed leftists exploiting invented minority grievances, and the likely election of Biden – who is less economically progressive than even HRC in 2016 – promises renewed infighting between the neoliberal/centrist Dem elites and socialist insurgents, as conservatives skunk away to the corner. The chaos isn’t going to end any time soon. Will the US still be able to continuing poaching talent from the rest of the world in the state it’s in? I doubt it.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Cognitive Elitism, Immigration, United States 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. The sooner the US crumbles, the better for white america and the rest of the world (apart from China which will lose its main export market and will have to sort the financial mess resulting from a US collapse). The US is experiencing a huge second wave of covid infections in the middle of summer and unemployment benefits are running out in July. Can we optimistically expect Civil War in september?

  3. I’m going to state the obvious here but, 2000 – 2010 was a very different time period for China than 2010-2020, or for that matter what will be 2020-2030. I would not be surprised if those trends had already begun to turn post 2012.

    Also 2000-2010 was a time when the USA still held uni-polar dominance over the world, with Russia and the former Soviet Union still rebuilding. Basically from 90s to 2010 the US was one of the best options for high skilled laborers/immigrants looking to make a big pay day.

    • Agree: Guillaume Tell
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @Pericles
  4. AaronB says:

    I would much rather the US just became less focused on innovation and become more of a relaxed, normal country, and a better work/life balance.

    Unfortunately, the current Leftist craziness demonstrates a commitment to being free from the constraints of reality and human nature, which is exactly the attitude that drives innovation.

    It is the more realistic and down to earth countries like Russia and China, with their heavy sense of the limitations of human nature and the constraints of reality, that limit innovation.

    • Agree: Andy, Anuxicus
  5. Dmitry says:

    The scary thing in this chart that despite its wealth and high standard of living, Great Britain still has a net negative positive. Of course, because of America, which they are particularly vulnerable to being brain-drained with by ease of movement between countries, and commonality of language/culture.

    America has such absurdly high salaries for professional people, that even Great Britain’s high salaries and massive internal funding do not protect it.

    What is the per capita brain drain in this diagram of inventors? (It’s impossible to read the numbers close to the line – although possibly Israel and Austria are being raped the most, the latter presumably by Germany).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Almost Missouri
  6. lay says:

    As long as the brain drain newcomers can stay away from the mob and damage, I think their prospects remain positive. Perhaps the cognitive elite will even increase the gap and distance from the rest of the country.

    Off-topic, Anatoly, what is your opinion on the historical analysis of Andrey Fursov?

  7. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    possibly Israel and Austria are being raped the most, the latter presumably by Germany

    Also Canada looks like one of the worst position per capita – problem of living next to America.

  8. @Swarthy Greek

    The sooner the US crumbles, the better for white america and the rest of the world (apart from China which will lose its main export market and will have to sort the financial mess resulting from a US collapse).

    The USA does currently buy about 1/6 of China’s total exports (dropping year by year), but a total collapse of the American economy (or even disintegration of the USA) may not hit China as hard as that suggests, simply because China may expand into markets lost by the USA’s collapse.

    The removal of the USA from the international scene might also free up trade that has otherwise been thus far suppressed by the Exceptional Nation’s unilateral sanctions and other nefarious skulduggery.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  9. Mitleser says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    No, just accelerated decline.
    Dominance of the neoliberal/centrist US elites is too entrenched for any American civil war in the foreseeable future.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  10. The US is now destroying itself on account of some crazed leftists exploiting invented minority grievances,

    Rightoid cope in its most hilarious and distilled form. 🙂

    Most highly educated immigrants are minorities themselves. They’re not going to be induced into a racialised coma because bigotry is openly talked about – if anything, it’ll be an additional pull because it signals a welcoming environment for outsiders. The racist hysteria of this blog is a massive outlier. Don’t make the mistake of externalising it onto others.

    To the extent the US could hurt itself, it will not be from the left but from the *right*, i.e. blocking highly skilled Chinese migrants.

    Marco Polo, the premier think tank in the US on all things Chinese, has a great tracker of AI talent on their website. The US has almost 60% of all global top AI talent yet ‘only’ 20% of them were born there. A significant share of the 40% differential came from China. Another big issue is H1B reform, which is long overdue (need to remove any country caps while at the same time raise the wage floor).

    What other alternatives are there? The failing EU? Can’t even get a proper rescue package to the southern corrupt/bankrupt countries without massive infighting. China is still only 1/6th the income of the US per head and is more indebted as a share of total GDP once you include private debt. GDPpc matters more for luring migrants – Switzerland is a great example of that; adjusted for population, they get more inventors than the US. India is going to be Hindu Brazil, though with less crime and better culture/music.

    The importance of language has to be reckoned with. The US is now the passive recipient of English being the lingua franca in technology/science. Nobody’s going to learn Hindi (not even many other Indians) or Mandarin, living outside those countries. India could on paper provide an edge here due to their English-speaking educated urban classes, but India wouldn’t be a candidate until 2050 at the earliest, if ever. India is still too much of a poor shithole and will remain so in the overseeing future.

    I think Ron Unz’s argument that what we’re seeing now is a national re-run of what happened in California in the 1990s is fundamentally correct. It’s basically the last stand of a beleaguered white rightoid camp. Once this nonsense has washed away, the US will be free to pursue much more sensible immigration policies which will maintain its position. The only real potential spoiler will be the neoliberal apparatchiks who could set their brains on fire with a ‘Chinagate’ which would dwarf any Russiagate nonsense. But even if you take height for that eventuality, the massive drawbacks of any other peer competitor are far too great to mount any serious challenge in the fight for global talent.

  11. @AaronB

    I would much rather the US just became less focused on innovation and become more of a relaxed, normal country, and a better work/life balance.

    I agree with your basic idea about normality and quality of life, but I doubt that the drive for “innovation” is the obstacle to those ideals in the USA today.

    Industrial innovation is supposed to yield increasing efficiency and higher quality at lower cost, and generally new and better ways of doing things. That doesn’t seem to be what’s happening in the USA over the last 20 years or so.

    Rather, it seems that the American cultural ideal is just to get rich by any possible means. Necessity is the mother of invention, and greed is the mother of fraud.

    Not that I would suggest that the common folk in the USA are all a bunch of crooks – but it sure seems like most of the people running the show are.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @goldgettin
  12. Even Germany, which has sucked up something like a quarter of Romania’s doctors, is basically only treading water.

    I remember listening to an older German couple marvelling at all the doctors and engineers Germany was going to get among Merkel’s Millions. I would be challenged to think inheriting large numbers of Romanian doctors was going to add much to the human capital of Germany.

    The secret to the USA was the availability of capital to throw at ideas, many of which would be doomed to failure, but some that would hit big. Creative destruction. Europe spends far too much time trying to pick winners with its limited capital, while US investors are far more willing to throw the dice while spreading their bets across far more opportunities. Look for that to change as wokeness drives malinvestment increasingly less attractive and far more moneylosing SJW causes. Add to that, that near zero interest rates makes it far to easy to throw capital at even the stupidest moneylosing ideas, to wit Hertz.

    Watch a few recent episodes of the Keiser Report, like today’s, to see stellar examples of people who have no idea of what wealth really is talk about how they are going to keep wealth within their “community” of like minds and types. Coming to the US: Economic Apartheid, imposed by those who think they are the oppressed.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  13. @Archimedes

    US salaries are still insanely higher than Chinese salaries – and will remain so for many decades.

    Speak to any European in high-skill professions and many will profess about an ongoing braindrain to the US – despite a much smaller paygap than China vs US. I wouldn’t expect a radical shift.

    You could see fewer migrants overall from China to the US, just as you’re seeing fewer EE migrants going to Western Europe, but high-skill migrants are their own category. It’s important to think of them that way. They are highly mobile, highly ambitious and want to waste no time working at the maximum capacity in their best years. Case in point: I covered Israel’s worsening brain-drain last year. This is a country that has a sophisticated tech sector and net salaries on par with Sweden. If a rich country like Israel has a braindrain which is getting worse, why would China see a radical improvement? Again, we’re talking about the very high-end here, not the overall flows. Israel’s overall net migration outflows are quite low.

    To the extent that I’d expect any large swing in that chart it would be Canada. They’ve has been getting a lot more skilled migrants in recent years due to a much more liberal immigration regime. It is quite easy, comparatively speaking, of getting a permanent residence card in Canada. Getting citizenship after that also isn’t a hassle.

    After Trump’s self-defeating ban on new H1B visas until the end of the year, we could see an acceleration in this trend, which had already begun by the middle of the last decade.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  14. Pericles says:
    @Archimedes

    Basically from 90s to 2010 the US was one of the best options for high skilled laborers/immigrants looking to make a big pay day.

    Not if you work with computers. 2010-2020 seems like a great decade in that respect.

  15. @Dmitry

    Yeah, I think several language/culture pools are visible in the chart:

    • The US sucking up talent across the Angloshpere (UK-Canada-Australia)
    • Switzerland sucking up German speakers from Germany and Austria
    • Singapore taking a whack out of Chinese (and maybe Indian?) émigrés.

    I don’t see France in the chart. Maybe also feeding Switzerland, along with Italy?

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  16. [the US] has a large smart fraction

    That’s a very polite way of saying we used to be smart enough to keep our acknowledged useless underclass (who make our average deceptively low) sidelined.

    ——

    the likely election of Biden – who is less economically progressive than even HRC in 2016 – promises renewed infighting between the neoliberal/centrist Dem elites and socialist insurgents

    Whatever Biden’s economic “views” were, they are now irrelevant, not only because he is non compos mentis, but also because as a longtime Beltway/Party creature, he holds no views and takes no actions other than what his masters tell him to. They are not socialist insurgents.

    ——

    skunk

    I think you mean “skulk”.

    I know you speak more languages than I do, but I try to help where I can.

  17. @Thulean Friend

    Once this nonsense has washed away, the US will be free to pursue much more sensible immigration policies which will maintain its position.

    Do you foresee a Dem-led US shutting off the gushing spigot of sub-90 IQ immigration any time soon?

  18. TG says:

    “the US is surprisingly wealthy for a country for a country of its national IQ”

    I don’t mean to deny that “National IQ” has no importance, but overall, history shows that it is mostly irrelevant compared to other factors such as demographics.

    The Han Chinese are, arguably, on average genetically a few IQ points smarter than American whites. In the 19th century, when their population was pressing up against the limits, their society was miserably poor and corrupt and stagnant. After Mao passed and population pressure was reduced, now China is surging. The national IQ didn’t change: only the amount of resources and industrial capital available to the average Chinese.

    A person with a genetic IQ of 102, who is chronically malnourished and has no tools or resources, compared to a person with a genetic IQ of 98, who is well fed and has abundant resources and perhaps a million dollars of capital investment per capita… who do you think will do better?

    The reason behind the ‘exceptionalism’ of the United States is obvious: it was an industrialized nation with a sane economic policy and abundant resources, and low population pressure (it was periods of low immigration that most advances in living standards came from). Of course, as the rich keep opening up the borders to unlimited third-world immigration, that is changing.

    National IQ is not unimportant, but demographics is destiny.

  19. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    It might vary by profession, but in America there really are the most absurdly high salaries, combined with very civilized working conditions for gastarbeitars, and from what people have said to me – with a very pleasant office culture as well. (Often the same companies, can pay much higher in America, for the same workers, than they do in other locations, and provide them with more civilized conditions, and even less stressful managers).

    However, from people I know that live there, and what they say – there are a really lot of lifestyle difficulties for foreigners in America. Every gastarbeitar in America I met, speaks in a quite negative way about the lifestyle in the country, and seems to plan to exit the country when they have enough money.

    One problem – which I think might be the main cause of discontent – is the automobile culture. Although at least if you live in Palo Alto you could still cycle to the office, as I know personally people who does that live there. (But then you need to rent inside the city – and when I stayed there I thought it was boring).

    Since the 20th century, most cities in America are designed in functionalist way for you to drive from the office to the house, and back. I imagine this is ok if you go already with a wife and children, but not for a normal city life.

    Another difficulty is that a significant part of social life in America is organized around religion. So, I know atheist immigrants to America, have joined churches for social events.

    Then bourgeois/professional Americans themselves, are apparently not especially social or welcoming (despite external appearances).

    So gastarbeitars in America, are often feeling like they sacrifice personal for professional life.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  20. @Almost Missouri

    I don’t see France in the chart. Maybe also feeding Switzerland, along with Italy?

    There’s no linguistic reason why Switzerland would pick up high-skilled Italian immigrants. The Ticino is not really an economic hub, except for for tourism and any of the limited salary increases would be eaten up by the higher cost of living. For this reason, Italians who work in Switzerland often commute across the border or work in Switzerland only temporarily.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  21. AaronB says:
    @Ultrafart the Brave

    Its not innovation per se that is the problem.

    American culture focuses on work and getting rich to the detriment of enjoyment and play, and that is s big part of why it’s so appealing to innovators. The work culture.

    It is changing. The past 25 years has seen an incredible improvement in the quality of life, and there is more emphasis on enjoying life rather than just working. This is driven largely by immigration from Europe and Asia, and globalization more generally, which transformed the American lifestyle in a very positive way.

    I remember 25 years ago I couldn’t wait to get out of America – now I actually quite like it here. Part of it is that much of the rest of the world got worse.

    But – America still has a ways to go. If present trends continue America might be a truly livable country in 20 years.

    • Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave
  22. Hacienda says:

    City Upon a Hill. But for How Much Longer?

    I’m betting a lot longer. US, China, India, Brazil, India, Pakistan are 200m population+ countries.

    US contains visionary populations (I just made up the term) in California, Massachusetts, DC/Virginia/Maryland triangle, lesser extent in Washington, Colorado, New York.

    Let the blind fools in food production states wail about Minneapolis, crazy California. Buy guns for insurrections that will never come.

    There’s just a huge split between enlightened redwood/benevolent AI/concierge health care/ethical drone California/Seattle/Portland/MIT vs regressive/dying rightard/rifle/diabetic/macular degenerated/bonespur Alabama/Mississippi/Arkansas.

    Inventors and brilliants will continue to come to California. The idiots will settle the Indiana.

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    , @EldnahYm
  23. BlackFlag says:
    @AaronB

    Or innovation and high income creates resentment among people who can’t hack it. Academic grievance studies are word games for midwits who can’t start their own tech company.

  24. EldnahYm says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Despite the obvious trolling, your overall comment is likely correct in that current political shenanigans(which are not very impressive relative to events early in the 20th century much less the 19th) are not going to cut off “high skill” immigration(some of which isn’t really high skill, hence the scare quotes). However:

    Marco Polo, the premier think tank in the US on all things Chinese, has a great tracker of AI talent on their website. The US has almost 60% of all global top AI talent yet ‘only’ 20% of them were born there. A significant share of the 40% differential came from China. Another big issue is H1B reform, which is long overdue

    AI researchers aren’t a very useful class of people. The U.S. could deport 90% of those people and it would have no impact on the lives of the average person. AI is generally a stupid area to devote much research to. Not only does it have a poor record of results, but it is easily copied. If the Chinese want to put a bunch of resources into it, fine. Their interest in it is likely for the same reason Salvador Allende was interested in cybernetics. Namely they think it will satisfy their totalitarian fantasies. Like Project Cybersyn, it will likely do no such thing, but that’s besides the point.

    The need for better search algorithms is not so great. If Chinese immigrants were the bulk of workers in the petroleum/natural gas industry, then losing them would be a big negative. But losing AI workers is negligible. Central American meat packers have more value than AI researchers.

    (need to remove any country caps while at the same time raise the wage floor).

    Make America great for Indians.

  25. SIMP simp says:

    Maybe the benefits of having a large smart fraction (I miss La Griffe du Lion’s wit) will be decreasing if:
    1. the US has deeply anti-intellectual SWJ comissars that meddle in everything.
    2. A dumb fraction increasing in numbers and violence sends the smart fraction fleeing.
    3. Scientific and technological progress are slowing down and becoming more and more expensive. If each new step doubles the number of people needed to make it you eventually run out of smart people and money to pay them.
    4. R&D funds may decrease in favor of welfare/UBI/reparations/corruption etc
    5. We are hitting the ceiling of what our cognitive abilities can solve.
    6. People treat scientific development like the tech tree of a Civ game, but there is no guarantee that human interplanetary flight, fusion reactors, AI, gene editing, quantum computers, proof of string theory etc are possible or practical.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  26. Svevlad says:

    You’d be surprised how cringy and brainwashed they are. US can become NK tier obsessed with wokeism and they’ll STILL suck 20 billion miles of cock to move there

  27. @Almost Missouri

    Do you foresee a Dem-led US shutting off the gushing spigot of sub-90 IQ immigration any time soon?

    Dogmatic thinking yields lots of cognitive dissonance because it often ignores possibilities that violate the rules.

    The clue is in ‘Rightoid’.

  28. Inventor migration is a doubled-edged sword.

    US benefited much from inflow of Jewish talent but Jewish wealth and power worked to undermine white America.
    US takes in lots of Hindus and Yellows but these talented newcomers now work with Jews against whites.

    So, while the economy may grow from this and new technologies in high tech may be formed, it leads to greater demise in Traditional America.

    Hindus have done much work in High Tech, but most work for white displacement.

    Tech boom and white doom.

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    , @LondonBob
  29. EldnahYm says:
    @Hacienda

    Dumb comment. European and northeast Asian companies have invested heavily in manufacturing facilities in the southern U.S. They know better than you do.

    Quite opposite to your remark, U.S. states have varied demographic profiles, wage structures, regulatory environments, natural resource bases, and geographies, which means no state will dominate all industries. You mentioned Alabama, which last year had its record highest amount of FDI in the state’s history. https://www.madeinalabama.com/2019/08/record-year-for-foreign-investment-sparks-growth-in-alabama/

    The most important innovations in the U.S.(and the world) have not been in IT, they have been in the oil industry. Those weren’t based out of California(they also didn’t start in the U.S., Soviet Russia is actually the origin point, and the U.S. later made contributions).

    There is also no shame in being a food production state. U.S. food production is its greatest national asset, and possibly the most consistently improving area in the U.S. economy from the founding of the country. Food production is also an area of innovation, or are you going to tell me the Dutch are idiots too?

    • Agree: Mark G., LondonBob
    • Replies: @Hacienda
  30. @Thulean Friend

    Most highly educated immigrants are minorities themselves. They’re not going to be induced into a racialised coma because bigotry is openly talked about – if anything, it’ll be an additional pull because it signals a welcoming environment for outsiders. The racist hysteria of this blog is a massive outlier. Don’t make the mistake of externalising it onto others.

    This is decreasingly true, and basically incorrect so far as many Chinese are concerned, the vast majority of post-grads have been repatriating over the past decade. In China, they have comparable salaries, but with more purchasing power, a familiar culture, and much better dating prospects.

    Anyhow, we’ll see, that’s the good thing about the world not being a monoculture, we can get real time experiments on whether “signalling a welcoming environment for outsiders” through soaring crime rates, ever more affirmative action, the final collapse of any pretense at meritocracy in universities admissions (which are already stacked against East Asians – the main immigrants who are actually of any value), etc. will be good or not.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Thanks: fnn
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  31. EldnahYm says:
    @Priss Factor

    Hindus have done much work in High Tech, but most work for white displacement.

    A large fraction of those Hindus tech workers grossly incompetent. Unlike the Chinese, Indians high skill labor is mostly a scam.

    • Replies: @gate666
  32. SafeNow says:

    Metaphor alert. A recent study showed that it takes 8 times longer to change the radio station on a car radio than it used to. (Touchscreen vs. buttons, knobs, and sliders.) Innovation is a mixed blessing. Among other problems, it creates a masking effect, giving the appearance of progress to changes that are actually steps backward.

    I have strong doubts about the above word “relaxed.” Here in my California, I watched for decades while proficient/conscientious/fastidious unraveled into a more relaxed standard of “get it basically okay.” This then expanded nationally, and has been widely applied to occupations, institutions, government and daily life. Where are the masks and test kits?

    • Agree: EldnahYm, Beckow
    • Replies: @Hacienda
    , @dfordoom
  33. @SIMP simp

    Having masses of dull people in the lower rungs of society isn’t ruinous if filtration mechanisms into the elites remain meritocratic. After all, an 80 IQ worker can give (almost as) good a haircut, on average, as a 100 IQ worker. But when you start on the road of affirmative action, disparate impact laws, etc., you start getting problems. When alienated counter-elites realize they are useful cannon fodder against the ruling elites, these problems become really serious.

    • Agree: Mr. XYZ
    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    , @Mr. XYZ
    , @LondonBob
  34. @Thulean Friend

    US salaries are still insanely higher than Chinese salaries

    For those few in US who still have a job, lmao

  35. Beckow says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    There will be no collapse, only the usual downward adjustment. Things will be the same except worse. There could be mayhem after November elections, but it’s a big country, it will get lost.

    The world has no place to go: financially, militarily, culturally and identity-wise. It is at an ultimate cul-de-sac caused by really stupid, jejune and narcissistic elites for 1-2 generations – people who can’t think long-term, who don’t understand consequences, and don’t care.

    The world is run by people who don’t believe in any form of afterlife – maybe correctly so, but that’s besides the point. Elites like that always run things into the ground, why wouldn’t they? Still, countries with natural resources and large internal markets will do better, everyone else is f..ed for a while. It also helps to be further up north and have European or East Asian demographics. You can do the math.

    • Agree: Ano4, Lowe
  36. mal says:

    US is a high cost country, chiefly due to healthcare prices. This is not a problem if you are young, healthy, and single though, so for those kinds of people, if they have a patentable idea and don’t mind SJW minefield, US is the place to be. If you are not young, healthy, or if you have children, US is a far more questionable destination.

    US will likely continue to maintain legacy leadership in critical industries (material science, industrial automation, microchip designs etc) for decades to come because it is difficult to build those up quickly in other countries. That said, they are not valued highly in US, so opportunities may exist where other countries can buy those technologies relatively cheap. By market cap, the most valued American companies are Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. All of them derive their value from being a spyware, and with exception of Microsoft, none of them are socially important. (All business is done on Windows PCs). Substitutes are readily available globally – even Russia has Yandex and VKontakte.

    Aside from legacy industrial leadership, US has Elon Musk who is trying to do something new, and the military industrial complex (together with university research ecosystem working for it). As I mentioned before, MIC has been taken over by Karens, and universities by rampaging SJWs, neither are great for innovation. This is not looking very promising in the long run. Explains Tesla stock valuation though.

    • Agree: Guillaume Tell
  37. EldnahYm says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Affirmative action and disparate impact aren’t new. So far affirmative action hasn’t actually had that much impact on the private sector overall. It’s made going to the post office and such more annoying(blacks are lazy). But the private sector just works around affirmative action. I don’t expect that to change. Look at what rich white liberals do in their lives. They preach about how great diversity is, but when it comes to picking where they live, they show no difficulty in avoiding the problems of diversity. I doubt private companies are that much less capable than private individuals.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  38. @EldnahYm

    Well yes, as pertains the corporate world at least, those laws weren’t enforced making them no big deal in the grand view. But now that BLM is state religion and if/when Kamala Harris is VP or President?

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  39. EldnahYm says:
    @Hacienda

    I would also add that if California continues to import Indian workers, the state’s rate of diabetes will go up.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
  40. @EldnahYm

    Fortunately, the USA is insulin self-sufficient. Eli Lilly (USA) controls the largest share of insulin produced in the world, followed by Sanofi (French) and Novo Nordisk (Denmark).

    So the West can import all the diabetic Indians in the world.

  41. Hacienda says:
    @EldnahYm

    Why dumb? Do you not see that you and I have no points of disagreement?

    Same elephant, different legs.

    Innovative immigrants pool in coasts, including Texas. Factories, investments, patents can settle anywhere.

    Unfortunately for Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, and the rest of Trump’s states (not including swing, Texas is a swing now); none of them have a major tech company or a world respected university.

    I haven’t checked for agri companies, I’m not including them.

  42. Anon729 says:

    The US still retains the ability to deeply integrate immigrants, something that is lacking in most of Europe and East Asia. Europe taken as a whole has deep pockets and so does Japan, so access to US capital markets is not a sufficient explanation for a gap of this size. The US will remain attractive because its society is much much more open to outsiders than its competitors. This has real world effects, for example, I think VC funding in the US is less likely to have a home bias than Europe or East Asia. I don’t see the left turning against immigrants in general and I don’t see the right turning against high skilled immigration in particular. Agglomeration plays a role but I think societal openness explains more of the difference.

  43. Hacienda says:
    @SafeNow

    I have strong doubts about the above word “relaxed.” Here in my California, I watched for decades while proficient/conscientious/fastidious unraveled into a more relaxed standard of “get it basically okay.”

    This is one area where pluralism has its downsides in California and the US overall. Can’t get strong leadership even when very needed. We’re like helpless women, left to the fates.

  44. Sean says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/Y5EWUOKY3RBFDLQX5BPSWSA42M.JPG&w=916

    OBEY GIANT
    —–

    ttps://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01723-9

    EDITORIAL 10 JUNE 2020
    Note from the editors: Nature joins #ShutDownSTEM
    We will delay publication of the journal, and spend the day planning how to help eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/researchers-around-world-prepare-shutdownstem-and-strike-black-lives.

    America will continue to attract really smart people but they will be there to make money right? US corporations have given up R&D spending which does not add immediate shareholder value. The state is not funding it either, so where will the advances come from? Those innovations the US will produce cannot be kept while China is luring in US businesses on the promise of access to the huge Chinese market, then shaking down the foreign corporations with forced technology transfers. America is distraught to find the both Britain (Huawei 5G) and Israel are getting on the China train.

    Wall Street index funds and everyone’s pensions are in in inextricable entanglement with continuing Chinese growth. The domestic Chinese demand is what every corporation in the world wants access to. China knows all it needs is to get through the next couple of decades they cannot be stopped becoming a regional hegemon, and so the Chinese are loudly threatening use of an ElectroMagnetic Pulse if America tries to get kinetic.

    Since the Clinton presidency the Dems are the party of big business, so Biden wins, then the corporations and Wall Street make huge profits even as China overtakes America. It will end in war, because that will be the only way left to stop China.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
  45. Mass looting, arson, and monument toppling hardly looks like the shining city on the hill. Even docile emasculated Europeans started to suspect something.

    • Agree: Ano4
  46. Astarte says:

    The income of Americans is greatly inflated by the reserve status of USD, which in turn parlty enabled its attraction to high quality immigrants, imo those two are the main reasons America has high productivity on paper. When they go down, they will go down together, perhaps US GDP per capita will drop to South Korea level by then.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  47. @Sean

    China won’t survive the economic sanctions America will put on it, starting with blocking its access to TSMC.

    That, and the global economic turmoil ahead.

    • Replies: @Sean
  48. dfordoom says: • Website
    @SafeNow

    Innovation is a mixed blessing. Among other problems, it creates a masking effect, giving the appearance of progress to changes that are actually steps backward.

    A very good point.

  49. I’d argue the UK has potentially bigger problems than the US. All this BLM racial animosity has spilled over into the UK big time, in fact I get the sense that the underlying racial animus might be worse in the UK than it is in the US, this country at the moment feels like it’s on the verge of race riots, and the overt race baiting and attacks on historical figures in the British media seems even more aggressive and anti-white than it does in the US.

    The big advantage the US has is that it’s mostly quite racially segregated, when blacks riot they for the most part only destroy their own ‘hoods, it doesn’t affect white areas much. This is simply not the case in the UK, in British cities native whites are mixed in with blacks and other non-whites and when they riot native British suffer as much as anyone if not more so.

    Also, as those charts show, the UK lacks the sheer economic grunt of the US, especially with the uncertainty of Brexit and the ongoing lock down and huge government furlough scheme so basically I think this country’s ability to bounce back from widespread civil unrest would be far less than the US.

  50. @Ultrafart the Brave

    Obviously China longs for US collapse so that Cuban, Nork and Iranian consumers get a taste of chinese consumer goods/s. China has a lot to gain politically in the long term, but a rapid US decline like we are experiencing will create huge economic pain, unemployment and domestic turmoil. One positive tho is that glorious gensek Xi Jinping may decide to invade Taiwan for the lulz and to get a hand on those sweet TSMC foundries.

    • Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave
  51. @Mitleser

    But still, if the federal government can’t pay its armed goons the US may as well dissolve and fall into anarchy with local warlords, kind of like 1920s China. The US is a very fertile ground for warlordism:the population is very much divided territorialy along political, ethno religious and racial grounds, state power is already very fragmented and military gear and weapons are widely available. A wignat/Nazbol movement could very easily take advantage of a dislocation of state power.Numbers don’t matter, at least initially: After all there were less than 10 persons at the CCP’s founding congress in 1921 if my memory serves me right.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  52. Mr. XYZ says:

    Look at that! Even Germany, which has sucked up something like a quarter of Romania’s doctors, is basically only treading water. So is sunny Australia, with its excellent climate and Anglo culture.

    Just how much inventors do you think that Russia would have gotten and lost had it not been for 75 years of Communist rule and the legacy that it resulted in for Russia? In such a scenario, do you think that Russia would have actually been capable of being a serious challenger to the US in regards to this, Anatoly?

    and the likely election of Biden – who is less economically progressive than even HRC in 2016

    What makes you think that HRC was (is?) more economically progressive than Biden is?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  53. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly, have you ever considered reading and writing a review of Ilya Somin’s recent pro-open borders book “Free to Move”? :

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Free_to_Move/-V_dDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=free+to+move+ilya+somin&printsec=frontcover

    I think that this is a pro-open borders book that would be worth for nationalists to respond to given the large and often good arguments that the author of this book makes.

  54. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The US could still be attractive to more liberal and/or more freedom-minded & liberty-minded Chinese, no?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  55. Mitleser says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    As long as institutions loyal to the US government can print as much $ as they need to fund the pro-government henchmen and the $ does not lose much value thanks to its special status, there is not much reason for them to worry about.

    The old Chinese central government had to suffer many setbacks before its authority completely collapsed in the 1910s.
    The modern US central government is in a much better shape than them.

  56. Sean says:
    @JohnPlywood

    Relative power is the thing, as with COVID-19 China is unlikely to be particularly vulnerable to economic shocks. The pundits have given up predicting that China will suffer internal unrest. In the old Conversations with History episode with Mearsheimer, he said that the US would try and slow down China’s growth, but would be unable to. Looking increasingly prescient.

  57. @Mr. XYZ

    more liberal and/or more freedom-minded & liberty-minded Chinese still value personal safety without crime at a very high premium: the US is failing at his

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
  58. @Almost Missouri

    Do you foresee a Dem-led US shutting off the gushing spigot of sub-90 IQ immigration any time soon?

    Contra to popular “wisdom”, the US has been getting more cognitive elitist in their immigration policies since the 2000s. The big rush of Mexican migration happened in the 1990s, which is when it peaked as a percentage share of the population. Bush did some tightening, and even built a wall (a real wall, unlike Drumpf’s bollard fences!). This trend increased under Obama. Obama deported more people than Bush and pushed migration even more towards Asian skilled migrants.

    More than 60% of migration to the US is now high-skill. So, the answer to your gotcha question is that yes, it already has happened under multiple administrations, including a democratic one. True, it is a tightening rather than a shutting off, but *only* selecting high IQ migrants isn’t necessarily good. The median age of white america is 43, so you need more people across the board.

    Lastly, as Rindermann has shown, the smart fraction is more important to human progress and a country’s development. This is self-evident. Joel Mokyr in his magisterial books on the Enlightenment also conclusively proved that the vast majority of Europeans were irrelevant to human progress. It was driven by a very small intellectual and cognitive elite, no more than maybe 1-2% of the population. There’s no reason to think that has substantially changed since.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  59. @Dmitry

    Since the 20th century, most cities in America are designed in functionalist way for you to drive from the office to the house, and back. I imagine this is ok if you go already with a wife and children, but not for a normal city life.

    Yes, I’ve been bashing car-centric urban planning on this blog since the beginning. So I am happy to signal boost others who do the same! Yet there is a strong counter-argument to be made against this.

    Namely, that many poorer countries are now aping this same crappy urban design themselves. So it’s not like America is a standout anymore. Here is Noida, India, a rapidly developing satellite town to New Delhi:

    This is a recurring pattern(Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia etc), as many are obsessed with the US and are uncritically repeating the same mistakes they did. So, this might be an argument for a sophisticated European who has a real alternative but that isn’t the case for most of the world.

    Another difficulty is that a significant part of social life in America is organized around religion.

    Much less likely to be a factor going forward as atheism and especially agnosticism is increasing very rapidly in the US, especially among the young.

    So gastarbeitars in America, are often feeling like they sacrifice personal for professional life.

    This is true everywhere you go, though, and isn’t necesssarily an argument against America per se. Becoming an international migrant is a significant personal sacrifice. And despite all its flaws, there is no obvious better alternative. Many people from outside Europe will say that Europeans are worse in terms of racism (but in a more subtle way), there’s less focus on diversity in Europe and of course the language issues outside of the British Isles are obvious. India is very hostile not just to outsiders but even internal migrants. Being a ‘bihari’ is a slur and a put-down. North-Eastern Indians get attacked as ‘chinks’ openly. Nepalis are stereotyped as low-level slave wagers. Darker-skinned Indians are demeaned as ‘kallu’. And so on. China is very isolationaist.

    Despite all the problems, there is simply no other game in town than the US. They just have to move past this phase of white rightoid resistance to the future and sort out the kinks, because right now immigration policy is being held hostage by rightoid hysteria. This too shall pass, as it did in California.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  60. @Daniel Chieh

    No, the US is succeeding:

    The US murder rate is now at 4.9 per 100,000. It was around 11 in the early 1990s. Most Western European countries are about 1.5 per 100,000. So the USA is still more violent than Western Europe, but has been trending towards their level for decades. And the USA is less violent than Eastern Europe.

    People seem to have selective amnesia about the higher level of criminality in late 20th century USA, probably because it contradicts alt-right predictions that the USA would become less violent as it got more black and Hispanic. You people are just hysterical and freaking out iver a summer riot (an American pasttime) that will pass, and we will enter 2022 with an even lower homicide rate than before.

    For sure, the United States is getting safer. And Russia-tier violence hasn’t dissuaded Asians from migrating there; there’s quite a few Chinese in Russia. Nobody is afraid of crime in the USA except for gullible people who watch too much CNN or read too much about the black crime ratio, while ignoring the overall crime rate.

    Me, personally? I walk around unarmed 24.7, do not own any firearms, sleep on the couch with my front door totally unlocked and wide open, etc. I know most criminals today are just a bunch of hapless kids who are afraid of paint drying on the wall.

    A significant part of the reduction in violence in this country has just been due to things like Instagram, Twitter and unz.com keeping everybody indoors and glued to their screens. If it weren’t for the internet, Daniel Chieh over here probably would have hopped in his Humvee and drove around blasting fools just to keep his heartrate below 150bpm. That’s what happens when you’re part of an online community that suggests, with increasing intensity, that there
    is a platoon of chimpanzees out there that is about to take over this country – – and your internet connection suddenly cuts off.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  61. @Thulean Friend

    It’s sobering to see that even in 2020 despite Beijing (pollution is still an issue), Shanghai, and Shenzhen being nice cities less than half of top Chinese AI talent lives outside of China. (According to Marco Polo, Chinese origin AI talent is 29% of the top total and 11% of top talent works in China.)

    However, I think there is going to be a steep increase in the number of return scientists. I don’t think college towns and university neighborhoods will become such terrible places that it will push scientists back home. The cardinal factor to use Karlin’s term is Trump admin investigations into Chinese scientists working in the US. NIH reports at 189 scientists investigated. What is the total number of Chinese scientists who are being investigated or have been in the last few years by all US agencies? When there are so many government investigations targeting your profile it creates a bad mood and complements Chinese government initiatives to encourage the return of Chinese research scientists.

    Some 54 scientists have resigned or been fired as a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Institutes of Health into the failure of NIH grantees to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. For 93% of the 189 scientists whom NIH has investigated to date, China was the source of their undisclosed support.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/fifty-four-scientists-have-lost-their-jobs-result-nih-probe-foreign-ties

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  62. @Swarthy Greek

    China has a lot to gain politically in the long term, but a rapid US decline like we are experiencing will create huge economic pain, unemployment and domestic turmoil.

    The potential for greater turmoil might come from US attempts to use all its super-dooper military innovations to arrest its decline.

    Xi Jinping may decide to invade Taiwan…

    If only we could all just get along…

  63. @The Alarmist

    I would be challenged to think inheriting large numbers of Romanian doctors was going to add much to the human capital of Germany.

    A lot of those Romanians have ethnic German or Hungarian ancestry and are a net gain for Germany. That has nothing to do with “Merkel’s Millions” which was the crazy idea that Syrian and Afghanis were going to improve Germany, to say nothing of the coming hordes of SubSaharan Africans. Romanians are quite welcome relative to those choices.

  64. @JohnPlywood

    Unlike you, I speak Chinese and am familiar enough with the trends to know they perceive the US as unsafe. This is nothing new in a way, but the escalating levels portrayed will definitely dissuade.

    The rest of your rambles can rest happily with Trollvile. You also know no criminals, I bet. Don’t try me there.

    • Agree: Denis
  65. @Anatoly Karlin

    In the current environment Kamalah Harris would be a lot better than a white woman desperate to prove how woke she is. A black former prosecutor might even be the safest choice the Dems can offer. The fact that a lot of “progressive” whites seem to dislike Kamalah also speaks in her favor.

  66. @AaronB

    American culture focuses on work and getting rich to the detriment of enjoyment and play, and that is s big part of why it’s so appealing to innovators. The work culture.

    I believe your observations are accurate within the context of your experience, and with reference to high-salaried creative occupations.

    BUT I also suspect that this may represent an atypical ecosystem within the larger American context.

    I have a bee in my bonnet about this. The author, Mr. Karlin, above states that –

    US is surprisingly wealthy

    I think the US reputation for wealth, once founded on unparalleled industrial might and genuine technological innovation, is now largely an illusion, smoke and mirrors enabled by the special reserve status of the US dollar and enforced by international racketeering tactics. The surprise being that this charade has been allowed to persist for so long.

    I had the pleasure of visiting the USA on an extended business trip some 35 years ago, being hosted by a variety of military and corporate institutions. Cars were cheap – real cheap. I bought a Delta 88 Oldsmobile for $300 in Ohio and drove it all across the USA, and sold it to a blind used car salesman in San Diego for $30 before flying out. Material items seemed very inexpensive in the USA then, about half of what the same things would cost in Australia. What really struck me more than anything else, though, was that everyone – EVERYONE, even military personnel – seemed to be holding down two or even three jobs. At that time in Australia, one income was still more than sufficient to buy a home and raise a family. So, ordinary Americans did seem prosperous to me, with standards of living about on par with Australians at the time, but boy, did they work for it.

    Fast forward to the present time, and now we’re reading how 25% of American families are on food stamps, 40% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency, actual unemployment is up around 20% (now 40% with all the Corona Chan mayhem), and hundreds of thousands of people are either homeless or living in tent cities. All this at the same time trillions of US dollars are pouring into the ruling oligarchy’s pet tech projects and military adventures.

    While a proportion of Americans, innovators included, might be driven to become workaholics by the desire to get rich, and may indeed become unreasonably wealthy because of this, I have a strong impression that far more Americans are driven by the desire to just survive and keep the bills paid week to week, while a good proportion of them seem to be falling through the cracks.

    I don’t want to rain on the USA, because I know from personal experience that American folk are kind and generous people. However, I do believe that Mr. Karlin’s article understates the distortion of the wealth issue (because, understandably, that’s not the point of the article). For a microcosm of American society, including the innovator’s niche, the workaholic lifestyle might yield spectacular wealth, but IMO for the majority of Americans, being a workaholic is now a matter of survival.

    It didn’t used to be like this. Just sayin’.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    , @utu
    , @AaronB
    , @Wency
  67. @Daniel Chieh

    Here comes another truth bomb to compliment your rainy day:

    https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/chinese-immigrants-united-states

    The population of Chinese immigrants in the United States has grown nearly seven-fold since 1980, reaching almost 2.5 million in 2018, or 5.5 percent of the overall foreign-born population. Whereas in 1980 Chinese immigrants did not appear among the ten largest foreign-born groups in the United States, China in 2018 replaced Mexico as the top sending country. After immigrants from Mexico and India, the Chinese represented the third largest group in the U.S. foreign-born population of nearly 45 million in 2018.

    The Chinese immigration will just keep on flowing, baby. Chinese people are too high IQ to fall for the US crime hoax.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  68. @Daniel Chieh

    What’s your view on the similarities and differences between Chinese and Indians?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  69. @Ultrafart the Brave

    Seems like? What rock have you been living under?
    We’re # 1,that’s all you need to know,feel better yet?
    When every person takes ” THE HAPPY PILLS” we’ll be SAVED…
    Haven’t read Brave New World yet, eh? Biblical game plan?
    May the force be with all of us.

    Peace,Love,Life

  70. @china-russia-all-the-way

    It’s sobering to see that even in 2020 despite Beijing (pollution is still an issue), Shanghai, and Shenzhen being nice cities less than half of top Chinese AI talent lives outside of China.

    ‘AI’ is a pump-and-dump scam, so of course aspiring confidence men go to the undisputed world leader of white collar finance crime – the USA.

  71. @JohnPlywood

    You exist in the wrong year.

  72. @JohnnyWalker123

    I suppose both have an overdeveloped drive for mercenary and status concerns but almost everything else is opposite – even the means by which status is acquired.

    I work with Indians a great deal but they are quite alien to me. To their credit, I believe they are generally more capable of expressing themselves in an emotive manner, which helps provide for the success of Bollywood as opposed to the more soulless Chinese stereotype(and all stereotypes have some truth).

  73. gate666 says:
    @EldnahYm

    they outearn your average white nationalist.

  74. I get the impression that Russians would support BLM over Western whites if they had to take sides, because for one the chaos doesn’t affect them and isn’t likely to and the fall of America and Britain will deal a huge economic and ideological blow to the West that Russia and its allies can only benefit from.

    Also, I think Russians are more likely to respect BLM as the more masculine and violent side, as the more powerful side. I would wager Russians see their values reflected more in black rioters than Western whites.

  75. Znzn says:

    There is no proof that working more than 9 hours a day, or sleeping for 3 hours every day makes you more productive?

  76. “Will the US still be able to continuing poaching talent from the rest of the world in the state it’s in?”

    I imagine China is sanguine about the prospects of having ethnic Chinese in positions of power and influence in USA technology.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  77. @Europe Europa

    Also, I think Russians are more likely to respect BLM as the more masculine and violent side, as the more powerful side.

    American wannabe gangstas and revolutionaries might think that breaking some windows, looting some cheap Chinese plastic junk and pulling down some shitty statues makes them big and strong, but Russians see real strength where they see it and laugh at these wannabes.

    Not the real deal
    The real deal

  78. Znzn says:

    Does the US even make a lot useful inventions? European whites and East Asians seem to be better in making hardware, and a lot of US software, like social media, are time wasters of dubious use, or financial products of limited use. And working more than 9 hours a day, or sleeping less than 7 hours a day is counterproductive, taking a month long vacation helps to recharge your brain also.

  79. Znzn says:

    Even SpaceX is not useful, since putting the idea that there is an escape valve will just make them trash the planet even more than they already are.

  80. @Europe Europa

    Since when is BLM masculine or powerful? It’s majority female and a masochist movement. The “impression” you speak of is paranoid schizophrenia and critically low testosterone levels.

  81. LondonBob says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    Geneva is a hub for France, not far from the French financial capital in Lyon, many French commute in to Gemeva whilst living in France.

  82. LondonBob says:
    @Priss Factor

    Unquestionably America was a better country before the great wave migration, smart fraction or not. A smart fraction is a compensatory factor that mitigates the impact of a large number of lower IQ people, better still the traditional European social structure of a homogeneous population largely similar.

  83. LondonBob says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Disagree, it is ruinous, lower IQ function less efficiently on every metric, even if they might cut your hair nearly as well, it is the difference between Japan and America.

  84. Znzn says:

    Well how much baby for the buck is the average American getting for these inventions?

    • Agree: Lowe
  85. Britain’s rate of brain drain looks surprisingly bad by Western standards. At least Germany is more or less replacing the inventors that leave but Britain appears to be loosing large amounts of them to other countries, probably the US mainly, but not replacing them.

    Only Canada has a similar rate of brain drain in the Western world, but that’s not surprising considering it borders the US and Anglo Canadians are basically identical to Americans so it’s not surprising that large numbers of them work in America. Britain doesn’t have that excuse however. It’s long been this way though, many people with brains leave Britain for America, Australia, etc, and get replaced (and then some) by low IQ Africans and Muslims.

  86. @Mr. XYZ

    What makes you think that HRC was (is?) more economically progressive than Biden is?

    What Biden thought when he still had a functional brain is irrelevant. Not to mention that back then he mostly thought of corrupt schemes to enrich himself and his family. Now he is senile, so he is a perfect puppet of those who prefer acting behind the scene. Hence their support for this formerly disgustingly corrupt and now simply senile puppet.

  87. @Ultrafart the Brave

    IMO for the majority of Americans, being a workaholic is now a matter of survival.

    It didn’t used to be like this. Just sayin’.

    Was researching something recently on a whim and found this. It illustrates, at a low level, how the lower classes have been impoverished in the USA:

    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/110215/how-much-money-do-you-need-retire-italy.asp

    The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Italy ranges from about $519 outside a city to $680 in a city center. Buying an apartment costs about $214-$366 per square foot, depending on location. A meal out for two at a mid-level restaurant averages $55. (All prices were converted from euros.)

    For comparison, here are the averages for the United States. A one-bedroom rental costs about $1,089 a month outside a city, on average, and $1,357 a month in a city center. Buying an apartment averages about $193-$265 per square foot, depending on location. That meal for two at a mid-level restaurant costs about $55.

    Interesting that it costs less to buy in the USA, and to rent in Italy. Of course,to buy you need a down payment and a stable job to get a mortgage, both unavailable to the working class in our outsourced shithole country. The working class pays TWICE the rent of the Italian citizen. Let’s not even talk about the scam that is healthcare, where Italy is cheap and yet of decent quality.

    And dining out? I found out in Verona how affordable it could be, at least compared to NYC. To obtain the same quality of food and wine I would need to pay 2.25-3x what I paid in Turin and Verona.

    When we are told that the US is surprisingly wealthy, this is usually an average, not a median. And the average wealth has been increasing as the predatory elite skim more and more, but the median citizen has barely treaded water, or declined.

    • Thanks: Ultrafart the Brave
    • Replies: @AP
  88. @Thulean Friend

    you need more people across the board.

    1: To whom does “you” refer? 2. Could you explain why?

    • Replies: @Znzn
  89. Znzn says:
    @TomSchmidt

    Thulean Friend is an Indian masquerading as a Scandinavian. Just like AaronB is a Jew pretending to be a white person.

    • Thanks: TomSchmidt
  90. @Europe Europa

    I think Russians are more likely to respect BLM

    Not to my knowledge. Many Russians feel OK that BLM is destroying the foundations of the US, speeding up an inevitable decline of the Empire, but that’s only one side of the story. Russians despise BLM for its purely destructive actions and tendency to make banner cases out of drug addicted career criminals, like Floyd.

  91. Znzn says:

    Or else why would a Swede be so exercised about what the British Raj did?

  92. @Astarte

    GDP per capita is the first step in understanding. You’re already ahead of the people who cheer increases in GDP. Now go further.

    Ignore the average, which does not hold in a power-law distribution, and look at the median. The USA has the 2nd-highest average income, but fifth-highest median:
    https://blog.datawrapper.de/weekly-chart-income/

    Just eyeballing the chart, the US has one of the lowest ratios of median to average income.

    • Replies: @AP
  93. Znzn says:

    There is a positive correlation between acceptance of social decadence and attracting high IQ talent, because high IQ people are attracted to places where they could be as socially and sexually deviant IN PUBLIC as like, without it resulting in social ostracism and shunning? I mean if Peter Thiel or Elon Musk worked in Moscow and announced that he had a sex change which turned him into a woman, and is then marrying a man who used to be a woman but had a sex change and had a artificial strap on attached to simulate a penis, and Thiel/Musk led as a grand marshal in a pride parade in the middle of Red Square wearing ONLY A THONG, he would end up getting socially shunned in polite society in Russian circles and end up in jail? Whereareas in Silicon Valley he would he celebrated as a hero and get free drinks and standing ovations wherever he goes for breaking free of the sexual morality straitjacket. Let us just say I got this idea after reading Heinlein and the plot of Stranger in a Strange Land.

  94. Znzn says:

    Someone should just neutron bomb Silicon Valley and the entire bay area, and let the Mennonites colonize it or something.

  95. Corvinus says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    “I imagine China is sanguine about the prospects of having ethnic Chinese in positions of power and influence in USA technology.”

    Thanks to Trump.

  96. @Europe Europa

    Also, I think Russians are more likely to respect BLM as the more masculine and violent side, as the more powerful side. I would wager Russians see their values reflected more in black rioters than Western whites.

    Definitely not. I’ve met plenty of liberal Eastern-Europeans — most of whom would be SJWs if brought up in the West — who are shocked and saddened by Western Europe’s immigration policies. You also make the common error of pitting Europe’s western and eastern nations against each other, which is not how Eastern-Europeans see things. To them, we are all part of a great European family (with allowances for regional quirks).

  97. utu says:
    @Ultrafart the Brave

    “…business trip some 35 years ago…” + “What really struck me more than anything else, though, was that everyone – EVERYONE, even military personnel – seemed to be holding down two or even three jobs. ” – Nonsense.

  98. AaronB says:
    @Ultrafart the Brave

    I definitely agree with you on the inequality in America. It’s a big problem.

    You can live reasonably on a single minimum wage job. The reason many Americans work multiple jobs is because they want more stuff and money. Its the national psyche.

    Now, I’m not defending the system, which I think pays far too little for low end jobs and far too much for CEOs and the like. And in a culture that judges you by how much money you have, its cruel to have this unnecessary inequality – although maybe that’s the point.

    But I think there is a national culture of work being the point of life, and everyone wanting to be rich. Maybe it’s the Puritan heritage.

    Its changing – and Americans are learning to enjoy themselves. Interest in spending time in nature has skyrocketed. Food and drink quality and availability has exploded.

    And there is a small shift away from material possessions and towards experiences. There is a growing “van life” movement, where people travel the country and live in their renovated – often beautifully – vans. Some people have good paying jobs who do this, many give up a career to take low end seasonal work and spend their off time travelling.

    This is definitely some kind of spiritual awakening, low key for the time being and not very large, but meaningful all the same.

    I think the world may be reversing roles. In 75 years, Chinese poets and artists will be writing about how soulless and materialistic, boring and over-serious, life in China with its focus on technology and getting rich will have become, and start fleeing to a West that has rediscovered that the point of life is to have fun. Approximately the attitude 19th century Europeans artists had to their own culture contrasted with that of China, but in reverse. And after that, China will develop the usual social diseases that come from being too materialistic, some of which we are seeing in the West now.

    Everything goes in cycles.

    Japan may already be showing the way – the current generation is resigned and has no ambition, and reports being happier than any recent generation if Japanese. They are jokingly called the “Satori Generation” – in Zen, satori means enlightenment, when you become perfectly content with things as they are.

    America will always be a wealthy, powerful, and innovative place, but it is redefining itself as about more than just that.

    • Thanks: Ultrafart the Brave
  99. orionyx says:
    @AaronB

    Unfortunately, the current Leftist craziness demonstrates a commitment to being free from the constraints of reality and human nature, which is exactly the attitude that drives innovation.

    On the contrary, I would say that it is precisely those who accept reality and love their human nature who would be most capable of innovation.

    So I would ask you to list at least some of those of your own innovations you ascribe to dissatisfaction with the commitment etc., so we may better judge the merit of your view.

  100. Wency says:
    @Ultrafart the Brave

    A lot of the struggling is just degenerate consumer behaviors that are promoted here. For people who manage their debt, learn a trade, do their jobs, and live within their means, the US is still one of the easiest places to get by. I know plenty of simple working people who live just fine.

    The trouble is that only a few corners of our society really encourage people to do this. So a lot of people don’t seem to figure it out until they’re about 30, at which point they’ve accumulated massive debt and have some post-secondary education but never finished a degree, let alone learned a trade of any kind.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave
  101. AP says:
    @TomSchmidt

    When we are told that the US is surprisingly wealthy, this is usually an average, not a median

    Median income for an adult in the USA is $35,600. In Italy it is $23,023.

    And dining out? I found out in Verona how affordable it could be, at least compared to NYC

    NYC is probably the most expensive American city to dine out in. A meal at a diner there costs double what it would cost elsewhere in the USA.

    To obtain the same quality of food and wine I would need to pay 2.25-3x what I paid in Turin and Verona.

    So Turin and Verona are only slightly less expensive than Chicago or other American cities that are not New York. A meal at a New York restaurant probably costs about 1.5 -2x what it would cost at a comparable one in Chicago.

    BTW, median individual income in New York City is $50,825. More than double that of Italy.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  102. AP says:
    @TomSchmidt

    While this is true, American median income is still very high by global standards.

    Also, American inequality is not driven by a super-rich 1% as in the third world but by a very prosperous 10%-15% (engineers, health care professionals with advanced degrees, attorneys, successful individual business owners including contractors or plumbers) who live much better materially than do their peers anywhere else in the world.

    The next tier live about the same as do their peers in other developed countries. An American cubicle-dwelling “office plankton” of the sort depicted in “The Office” TV show is about as prosperous as his English or German counterpart.

    Only the working class live more poorly.

    The approach in many European countries seems to be, to leave the 1% alone but tax the hell out of the 10%-15% and give it to the poor. This is probably more palatable in a homogeneous society.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  103. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    aping this same crappy urban design

    In Spain, Russia, etc, people are also using cars to move into suburbs, outside of historical cities. So in some sense, people spreading into suburbs seems to be simply a universal preference created by the market (people choose lower price, more space, instead centrality).

    However, there is a difference from the American version, as many suburbs in countries like Spain, Russia, are ultra high density and have some mixed use.

    I’m not condoning these “anthill” suburbs – but it shows a different model to the American ones. (Also I used to think high-density suburb development was encouraged by a climate with longer winter, but I saw the same antihill style of development in warm countries like Spain, Israel and Italy.).

    Here is one of the most popular cheaper version of the suburb – the ultra-high density anthills outside the city. It’s not at all the 20th century American model, although it is problematic in its own way. Everyone squeezed so close together still allows for some kind of (if slightly weak and artificial) community events.

    true everywhere you go, though, and isn’t necesssarily an argument against America

    It depends a bit on the job.

    So, in Western Europe I know doctor gastarbaiters, who really feel like they sacrifice their life for career – because of extremely long working hours imply they have no available free time at all.

    But for many types of jobs, it can be more socially relaxed culture to be gastarbaiter in Western Europe. In my experience, colleagues still want to drink beer in the park after work. I.e. it’s not like quite what I hear from people that worked in America.

    Even cities like Palo Alto has a pleasantly relaxed and multinational culture. You see most people are sitting in the cafe on their own with the laptop. Or driving past you to hide in their suburban houses.

    • Thanks: Thulean Friend
  104. @AP

    NYC is probably the most expensive American city to dine out in. A meal at a diner there costs double what it would cost elsewhere in the USA.

    No doubt. Though I have found Boston to cost about the same, except for local seafood, which is cheaper there. The shocker to me in 2017 was when we found that equivalent dining out in London to NYC was 65-75% of the NYC cost. London has always been my measure for an expensive city, not having been to Tokyo. My guess is the asset inflation in the USA has driven the cost of property so high that the cost of restaurant rent has been driven high enough that meals have become ridiculously expensive, relative to global peer cities.

    Of course,I expect property prices in NYC to drop quite a bit now.

    BTW, median individual income in New York City is $50,825. More than double that of Italy.
    You’d need to compare NYC to Turin or Milan. There are a lot of places in Italy that are literally giving away houses for $1 because of depopulation. Didn’t find a median, but one average salary was about 36K and another was 57K; so much for salary websites. My guess is the median is down at about 36K.

  105. @AP

    I’d have to look a bit more at income distribution, but your explanation is plausible.

    Some interesting charts here:
    https://www.oftwominds.com/blognov18/getting-ahead11-18.html

    He states, as of Nov 2018, that the median income in the USA is about the same as 1998 (no growth in 20 years), while the median house price doubled. And there is this chart of the top 1% and the winner-take-all rewards:

    I cannot begrudge the contractors their 85th percentile wages, nor, for that matter, the people rewarded for real risks taken. People prospering from the Cantillon effect, on the other hand, deserve to lose it in the socialist revolution they’re spurring every day.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @AP
  106. @Wency

    The trouble is that only a few corners of our society really encourage people to do this.

    Thanks for your insights.

    Viewing the USA from the other side of the planet, various media is mostly all we have to form opinions. It’s generally easier to see what’s going on outside of the USA, than what is REALLY going on within it.

    I do get a sense that even within the USA, a citizen’s view depends a lot on what part of the USA he/she is from.

    • Replies: @Wency
  107. Wency says:
    @Ultrafart the Brave

    Sure. Well, clearly, large parts of the country are basically invisible to the media, academia, etc. These parts aren’t very influential, and clearly the media-dominated vision is the direction things are headed. But when it comes to the way the average person makes a living and is able to live out his life, at this present moment, the media vision is probably not very informative.

    Also things you might not pick up: I’m close to 40, and I’ve never had a negative encounter with a police officer, nor has anyone whom I know personally ever told me about a negative encounter with a police officer. I speed everywhere I go; I’ve been pulled over three times in my life, but never got a ticket.

    I’ve lived in most parts of the country, and the place where I noticed working people getting along the best, in material terms, was probably TX. I think it’s because Houston and Dallas have practically limitless flat land in every direction, which makes for cheap real estate, and while TX has a lot of values in common with the South, it has less of the sleepy Southern mentality (which sometimes translates to being content with poverty) and more of a business/”get rich” mindset. So it sometimes felt like basically everyone you might encounter (or at least every white person) had a nice house in the suburbs, once you started talking with him.

    • Thanks: Ultrafart the Brave
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  108. AP says:
    @TomSchmidt

    It is more accurate to look more carefully at those below the top 1%. This article in CNN makes the upper middle class more broad by including household incomes of $100,000 to $350,000, thereby classifying 29% of the US population as “upper middle class”:

    https://money.cnn.com/2016/06/21/news/economy/upper-middle-class

    I would probably limit it to $150,000 or so, which would be around 15% of the population. While this group is the most heavily-taxed in the USA because they earn their money through salary rather than capital and their high earnings place them in the higher tax brackets, they are taxed much less than are their counterparts in Europe and their incomes are also higher than those of their counterparts in Europe.* In terms of material well-being, there is probably no better place in the world to be an engineer, pharmacist, physician, owner of a plumbing business, research chemist for pharma, etc. than in the USA. Parts of America that are loaded with such people, such as southern New England and certain swathes of suburbia (much of Oakland county outside Detroit, Chicago’s northern suburbs along the lake) enjoy a very high quality of life.

    *According to payscale.com, the average salary for an electrical engineer in the USA is $75,000. In Germany it is only $55,14o.

    The American engineer will bay 22% of income in federal taxes. The German will pay 24% at that income.

    An average salary for a pharmacist in the USA is $114,000. In Germany, only $43,300. At this level, the American will pay a higher tax rate than his German peer.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  109. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    I’m close to 40, and I’ve never had a negative encounter with a police officer, nor has anyone whom I know personally ever told me about a negative encounter with a police officer.

    Police officers are bullies and bullies are generally cowards. So how well or how badly your interactions with the police go depends almost entirely on whether the cop in question sees you as someone he can easily get away with bullying or whether he sees you as someone who could cause him problems if he does so.

    If you look prosperous and middle class cops will treat you with respect. If you look wealthy and upper middle class they’ll grovel to you. If you look poor or lower class they’ll treat you like dirt.

    I’m not talking about the U.S. here – this is pretty much a universal rule with cops.

    I had an encounter once with the cops that could have been very unpleasant for me. They perceived me as someone they could easily bully. Then I got my solicitor involved. Suddenly the cops were the ones grovelling.

  110. Owen C. says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    In Australia, my state of Victoria is going through a second wave, especially in Melbourne, where they had to put 36 suburbs under full lockdown.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-30/coronavirus-live-news-covid-victoria-lockdown-queensland-border/12403274

  111. @AP

    I would not put a couple earning 100k near any major city (except Detroit and St.Louis) in the upper middle class. Your 150k in income makes much more sense. Even that isn’t a lot in NY.

    The American will pay 20.61% total assuming single and working for a firm that withholds social security, and his marginal rate is 22%, up to about 84k in taxable income. There might also be state income taxes in this of another 3k or so, leading to his paying about 18,500 in Federal and State income taxes, and SS/Medicare taxes. Of course, he has no healthcare yet; someone has to pay that pharmacist 2.5 times what she earns in Germany.

    The difference with my link was in wealth, not income. I wonder how much wealth a working American can accumulate when asset inflation has enriched the top group (the graph I posted) by wealth so much more. You can borrow, and then you pay out interest on mortgage debt, so that high asset prices translate into high financialized income. If you’re lucky and the wealth pump continues (I’ve been lucky at buying in lulls), you eventually get on the asset-inflation train. My guess, going along with what you mentioned about progressive taxation, is that the system is set up to transfer those higher UMC salaries into mortgage interest for bankers and higher marginal taxes for governments.

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