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Searching for data on the relationship between wealth and intelligence almost inextricably leads to a study by a guy out of Ohio State saying that there isn’t one. He used the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY), the same one Murray and Herrnstein used for The Bell Curve.

It’s not my intention to cast aspersions on what he found. The GSS, however, offers an alternative finding. The following table shows the average IQ as estimated from mean wordsum results converted to IQ scores assuming a white average of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 by wealth category. To allow wealth formation to have occurred and to avoid racial confounding, results are restricted to non-Hispanic whites aged 35-70 years old (n = 824):

Wealth IQ
Less than $100k 98.2
$100k-$500k 101.4
$500k-$1M 105.7
$1M+ 105.8

The differences aren’t huge but they clearly exist. The correlation between wordsum scores and income in the GSS is 50% stronger than it is between wordsum scores and wealth (r-values of .27 and .18, respectively), a result I admittedly found surprising. I’d assumed that if anything wealth would correlate more strongly with income, the lottery winner who is broke a decade later or the former NBA player who is similarly so a decade after his career ends as salient examples of why.

On the other hand, a lot of wealth comes from inheritance. Income is primarily a function of an individual’s capabilities while wealth is more a function of the capabilities of his family.

The consequences of regression to the mean are blunted in the case of wealth but not so much in the case of income. A sharp guy with modest parents may earn a lot but having not started with much–while also shouldering a financial burden on behalf of his family–never accumulates that many assets. And the modest son with rich parents may not be able to command much of a salary, but affluence will still roll downhill to him.

GSS variables used: BORN(1), RACECEN1(1), WEALTH(1-5,6-8,9,10-15), AGE(35-70), CONINC

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: GSS, Intelligence, IQ, Wealth 
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  1. Age confounds and non-normality of the data are problems here.

  2. The relationship between IQ and income is stronger if you average income over several years:

  3. Anon,

    Right, but the large age range (I did restrict it some) has the effect of *attenuating* the true relationship, not artificially accentuating it.

    Spawk Talk,

    That makes intuitive sense, thanks.

  4. It *should* be your intention to cast aspersions on what the Ohio State guy found. The only conclusion he was allowed to find was that IQ does not matter. Universities function to subtract from the amount of knowledge in the world. The knowledge output of this blog exceeds the knowledge output of all social science departments in America in part because most research findings of social science in America is trivially demonstrated to be false. If Trump becomes king and shutters all universities, the amount of knowledge in America will increase. Tragically he wants to keep the universities open afaik.

  5. I imagine the IQs rise at higher levels of wealth. 1MM just isn't that remarkable at the end of a lifetime. Assume the house is paid off, your retirement accounts have been compounding for decades etc. I imagine the iq of billionaires is 130 or more.


    Perhaps 'wealth' should be replaced with 'success'?

    Maybe those who are smart enough realize they do work for imaginary fiat digital tokens and opt out of the rat-race to pursue more self-gratifying activities?

    As to accumulating wealth, perhaps a minimum IQ AND a certain amount to hoard temporal wealth/dominance is a better metric?

  7. Dan,

    My brother and I were talking the other day. He devotes a fairly sizable amount of his time following major media sources, not just for hard news but also things like Meet the Press. His reasoning is that he wants to get multiple perspectives, etc, which is laudable as far as it goes.

    My response, though, is that if the realities of HBD aren't taking into account, it's not worth my time unless for purely polemical reasons. It's like listening to football commentators who only talk about defense and special teams and refuse to talk about offense when doing pregame analysis. Social science in acadameia as a whole, with very few exceptions, refuses to acknowledge offense and their output is almost entirely worthless because of it.


    Using the wordsum as an IQ proxy is okay for signalling direction but it caps at about 130 for a perfect score, and thus doesn't capture the extremes well at all. Additionally, the number of people the GSS interviews who are multi-millionaires is small.

  8. The range in IQ scores is one-half standard deviation, which is really quite large.


    "Monday’s shooting marks the third time a police officer in Whittier was slain in the line of duty in the department’s 100-year history. Whittier officers were killed in 1977 and 1979, according to the city."

    The cop's white. Until we can get CA back, get the hell out of there. The lawyers, activists, politicians, etc. have no intention of taking our side. Take your business, your taxes, your sweat, and for chrissakes, your family out of there. I can't promise that you'll be perfectly safe or comfortable, but do the math. Outside of the SW, who else attracts so many gangbangers from a failed state? For those who say it's not THAT bad, consider this: crime is going to begin rising in the next several years (if it isn't already) and legions of Leftists are eager to embark on another mid-century type project of rehabilitating criminals. End result? Being around white people may be dangerous enough. Forget about being in areas that are more than 10-20% NAM.

    Folks, we may be heading back to a 1970's level of respect for police.

    Shooting deaths were in the 90's in the late 1970's and very early 1980's. They fell into the 80's in 1982-1983, and then from 1984-1993, shootings fell below 80. There was an outlier peak year in 1994, after which deaths resumed the post-Carter pattern and by the later 90's all kinds of violence was diminishing anyway.

    Even in the crack wars, violence against cops was relatively rare because agitation against authority was much less common among youths in the 80's and 90's then it was among people in the post-Kennedy/pre-Reagan era.

    I think we ought to draw a distinction between general wildness/risk taking that occurs independently of the activist zeitgeist and the cultural Marxist fomented wannabe revolutionaries perpetrating violence towards authority while Leftists cheer them on. Pat Buchanan in recent column pulled out some money quotes from 60's Dems like RFK and Humphrey encouraging urban and campus discord. The net result was aggressive forms of Leftism quickly losing appeal first among Middle Americans (letting the GOP get the presidency from the 70's-80's save for the Nixon impeachment lettling Carter in) and then by the late 70's virtually nobody in their right mind was bleating about the right's of criminals anymore.

    Alas, as we saw in the 60's and early 70's, it takes 15-20 years of uppity assholes trashing everything before we all lose patience and stop making excuses for them.

    The early 2010's actually had few shootings, but by 2016 the number had risen to 63 after being in the 40's for several years. Given how overall crime remains quite low, 63 cops shot dead is rather impressive.

  10. Feryl,

    I'm optimistic about our chances to avoid an uptick in cop-hating like we saw in the mid-60s through the 70s. Trust in institutions have been declining across the board for a couple decades now, but trust in police (and military) haven't really. We have a president who has no time for complaints about militarized police forces–if you're going to play, you better play to win–and who instinctively sides with order, never with chaos. Anecdotally, at least in my circles, Trump's frequent photo-ops with cops played extremely well with middle Americans.

  11. The danger is that continuing low crime rates will beckon people to elect utopian Dems (ala LBJ) who will visibly enact policies designed to "bring the margins closer to the middle" but ultimately seed greater violence and dysfunction.

    The much less white demographics of this era are a double edged sword. Positive because it's going to be much more difficult for white people to feel sympathy for so many non-whites, especially younger generations who don't remember a mostly white America. Negative because it's given Dems a demographic excuse to push for stuff that alienates many whites (the Dems always can play the card that one of these years white people will be a minority).

    WRT police force and capabilities, when cops are now increasingly dealing with media, superiors, judges, and lawyers who do not permit them to do their job, it doesn't really matter what the cop's weapons or training are.

    Appealing to people rendered clueless by 20+ of declining crime overrides what used to be common sense.

    One thing in our favor is age demographics. After all the Boomers were born, a huge portion of the population was young. That really intensified already negative trends in the late 60's and 70's. Since the mid 60's whites mostly didn't have kids (one exception: the early 90's) while other groups have seen falling birth rates (even Hispanics starting in the mid 2000's).

  12. typo: 20+ years of declining crime, I mean.

    Fatal cop shootings per year:

    1956 – 37
    1957 – 58
    1958 – 44
    1959 – 44
    1960 – 51
    1961 – 59
    1962 – 58
    1963 – 61
    1964 – 62
    1965 – 63
    1966 – 64
    1967 – 86
    1968 – 75
    1969 – 101
    1970 – 111
    1971 – 143
    1972 – 121
    1973 – 144
    1974 – 140
    1975 – 143
    1976 – 105
    1977 – 98
    1978 – 101
    1979 – 112
    1980 – 104
    1981 – 93
    1982 – 93
    1983 – 81
    1984 – 73
    1985 – 74
    1986 – 76
    1987 – 74
    1988 – 79
    1989 – 69
    1990 -60
    1991 – 73
    1992 – 64
    1993 – 78
    1994 – 85
    1995 – 70
    1996 – 60
    1997 – 69
    1998 – 64
    1999 – 43
    2000 – 50
    2001 – 65
    2002 – 57
    2003 – 49
    2004 – 56
    2005 – 54

    There's a slight rise in the 60's, in keeping with overall violence rising. It isn't until 1969 that the mood against order and authority is so hostile that all out war is basically declared against "the establishment". And it abates somewhat when the "real 70's" (disco and cocaine) begins with the bicentennial and the mood turns more conformist and peaceful, setting the stage for the Reagan era in which even teenagers lost interest in stirring the pot as the Boomers mostly reject the tactics (if not necessarily the goals) of the 60's and 70's.

  13. >>>I'm optimistic about our chances to avoid an uptick in cop-hating like we saw in the mid-60s through the 70s


    I am not.

    When someone walks up and shoots two cops in their car, just because they are cops, that's insurgency.

    It is an attempt to remove societal force majeure constraints (law enforcement) from their 'turf.' It is an attempt (succeeding) to change political will.


    Two points that make that data…questionable

    First, tne of the more under reported aspects of the FBI crime violence statistics is the huge improvement in gunshot trauma care since the 1960's.

    Apples to apples rates of murder/rates of societal violence comparisons to earlier eras are no longer possible in that the rate of death from the same gunshot wound in 2015 is less than 1/3 of that in the early 1960's.

    The implications of that for current rates of Urban violence (AKA Multiple by murders by three) are staggering.

    Second and more importantly, police body armor has removed many fatal (and some wounding) attacks from the cop murder/wounding statistic completely.

    The gist from the links below seems to suggest a concerted information campaign since 2007 to get US police officers to consistently wear body armor as general wear.

    Given wide spread use since 1987 — enough to justify tracking the lives saved — there also seems to be an element of generational turn over going on as the older cops who came up before wide spread body armor move out via retirement or promotion to desk jobs.

    1. This is the only hard number I have seen regards police officer lives saved by ballistic body armor:

    Since that time (1987) bulletproof vests have improved. Currently, a level IIIA bulletproof vest weighs approximately 5.5 pounds and can protect the wearer from almost all handgun rounds. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, bulletproof vests have saved over 3,000 officers' lives since 1987.

    2. See this link also, but it has anecdotal evidence only from 2008 —

    3. This link and the chart at the link has real officer mortality data from 1965 to June 2015 —

    "Mid-Year Fatalities: 1965-2015.
    For the third year in a row, traffic-related incidents were the leading cause of officer fatalities in the first half of 2015."

    Assuming those 3,000 officers lives saved (per Police chiefs above) were prorated across 1986 to 2015 (20 years for an even divider) we are looking at 150 officers a year saved added on the graph at the link.

    Effectively the 2007 officer death spike of 107, without body armor, would be double the peak officer death year of 1973 at 140.

    And it is actually worse than that compared to 1973 as the 2007 data includes the improvements in trauma care since then, we are looking at least 3-times the rate of attempted lethal violence against cops in 2007 compared to 1973.

    Even given the fact America was 203 million in 1970 compared to 308 million in 2010, ( per capita rates of attempted lethal violence against cops are higher now than in 1973.

  14. A.E.

    This is something to really chew upon regards the validity of FBI violent crime murder data as an American cultural violence marker and particularly the violence faced by police in light of improvements in American medical trauma care.

    The following link and text are from the CDC's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" (MMWR). —

    Injury Prevention, Violence Prevention, and Trauma Care: Building the Scientific Base


    October 7, 2011 / 60(04);78-85


    State of Trauma Care Before 1961

    Until 1961, major clinical advancements in the care of acutely injured patients had resulted primarily from novel medical and scientific advancements. Wilhelm Rontgen and Alexander Fleming's discoveries of x-rays and penicillin, respectively, introduced into clinical practice radiography in injury diagnosis and antibiotics in the treatment of wound infections (33,34). Hemorrhagic shock experiments by Carl Wiggers led to acceptance of intravenous fluid resuscitation of the acutely injured patient (35). Although certain clinical management principles were recognized, nationally accepted guidelines addressing care for the injured patient were lacking, resulting in an absence of standardized practices or a systematic approach to improve survival. Since 1961, acute injury care in the United States has rapidly evolved, resulting in decreased disability and death. This success can be attributed, not to a single advancement in technology, but rather to a comprehensive, systems-based public health approach incorporating federal, state, and local governments and nongovernment stakeholders.

    Key Developments in Trauma-Related Injury Since 1961

    Development of Trauma Centers and Standardized Care

    A major milestone in trauma-related public health was establishment of the first two U.S. trauma centers in 1966—one in San Francisco and the other in Chicago (36). These centers were developed to address increasing urban violence and marked recognition of the importance of systematic care for injured patients (36). This concept was furthered by R Adams Cowley, a U.S. Army trauma surgeon who established a Clinical Shock Trauma Research Unit in 1961 (37). In 1969, this unit developed into the Shock Trauma Center, the nation's first comprehensive health-care facility dedicated to trauma care. The Shock Trauma Center later became an autonomous clinical and research trauma institute. Cowley and colleagues subsequently developed a patient transportation and field communication system that became the first integrated, statewide trauma-response and emergency medical services (EMS) system in the United States (37).

    Next rock

  15. 2nd rock —

    Another milestone followed a plane crash in 1976, where orthopedic surgeon James Styner and his children were evacuated to a rural Nebraska hospital where they were treated by emergency department staff without specialized trauma training (38). Styner and his colleagues, motivated by the desire to standardize trauma care, produced the nation's first course in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), held in Nebraska in 1978 (38). Two years later, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT) adopted ATLS and began national and international dissemination (38). After establishment of the nation's first two trauma centers and widespread ATLS adoption, ACS and several state and local agencies initiated a trauma center verification process for validating appropriate resources for optimal trauma care. In 1994, ACS-COT piloted a consultation process facilitating regional trauma system development. These consultations, modeled on a comprehensive public health approach, were highly effective in facilitating trauma system development, primarily in areas related to planning and system design (39).

    The Effect of Military and Federal, State, and Local Government Involvement

    The combat experiences of the U.S. military have played a substantial role in the development of trauma systems. The use of organized field medics during the Vietnam War served as a precursor for paramedics in civilian areas (40). Air medical transport of injured patients, first developed during World War I, became routine during the Korean and Vietnam wars (40). Lessons from routine air medical transport of soldiers in Vietnam fueled the rapid increase of civilian air transport of trauma patients in the United States during the 1980s (41). The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan led to further advances in military trauma care, which offer great promise for use in civilian settings. These include management of traumatic brain injury, use of hemostatic dressings and tourniquets, phased surgical approaches for complex injuries, and new approaches to resuscitation (42).

    Legislation has been critical to the advancement of trauma care–related public health since 1961. The 1966 Federal Highway Safety Act mandated uniform guidelines improving EMS related to highway crashes (43). In 1973, the landmark Emergency Medical Services Systems Act established a program providing resources to state and local governments for implementing comprehensive EMS systems.

    EMS providers and their medical directors use field triage decision schemes to assist with expeditious and appropriate transport decisions to regional trauma centers. These are a combination of physiologic, anatomic, and mechanistic criteria intended to identify patients with, or at risk for, a severe injury. The first ACS-COT decision scheme was published in 1986 and revised three times (44).

    Next rock

  16. Last rock —

    In 2005, CDC and its partners established the National Expert Panel on Field Triage to guide the 2006 revision of the field triage scheme. The 2006 Field Triage Decision Scheme, published by ACS-COT, was endorsed by 17 national organizations. CDC subsequently published these guidelines in MMWR in 2009 (44). Other federal agencies, including the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and NHTSA, have played a substantial role in developing public health interventions for trauma care. Trauma care and EMS resources directed at children were outlined in the 1984 HRSA Emergency Medical Services for Children Program (43). Additionally, in 1992, HRSA released the draft Model Trauma Care System Plan as a template for states in designing comprehensive trauma care delivery (43). In 1989, NHTSA developed a program to assist in coordinating state- and regional-level trauma-care resources.

    NB: Violent crime data pre-1961 and post 1961 are apples to oranges comparisons.

    o Trauma care centers (1961),
    o Standardized trauma procedures (1978),
    o Adoption of military Korea/Vietnam medical emergency treatment & air transport procedures (1970's) and improved triage (1986)

    All have drastically reduced death in the USA from severe injury.

    Adjustments upward on murder data post 1961 are required to account for reduced mortality from the same level of wounds in order to have direct data comparisons to understand real cultural levels of lethal violence.

  17. Is there good data on the number of cops shot? That would be a better way to gauge social sentiment since it's rare that someone shoots a cop without the intent to kill, the only adjustment needing to be made being the per capita one to account for population growth. All I'm finding tracks fatalities, though.

  18. "Apples to apples rates of murder/rates of societal violence comparisons to earlier eras are no longer possible in that the rate of death from the same gunshot wound in 2015 is less than 1/3 of that in the early 1960's."

    We still can make comparisons across era; stats may be flawed. Just the same, we can tell they have at least some value based on how they reconcile with anecdotal evidence and the overall level of discord and strife. Riots, protests, no-go zones, urban flight, changes in civilian and LE practices to diminish risk, being a victim or knowing victims, etc. give us understanding.

    It ought to go without saying that fashionable Left-wing rhetoric absolutely does kill cops. When powerful mainstream figures condoned agitation in the late 60's, along with the various radical movements of the time (esp. the racial power movements), it led to seeking out confrontations with police as we can tell from the murder rates as well as the memories of those who lived through that turbulent time.

    You are onto something though with the notion that increased tech and knowledge is deluding a lot of Left-leaning people into believing that we've entered a golden era of non-violence. The last era of high striving (the mid-late 1800's) was quite unstable in just about every way imaginable. Reforms started to happen in the early 1900's, but the mayhem continued with organized crime skirmishes, immigrant anarchism, and bloody labor disputes. Granted, more outgoing periods seem to create more violence, but the cocooning and low striving environment of the late 30's-early 60's was quite placid compared to the cocooned but high striving late 90's-present day.

    BTW, 1971-1975 was utterly brutal for cops. And that's when Left-wing chic was at it's high point but also just before the militarization of cops begin in earnest. Our understanding and use of what famously came to be SWAT culture was developed in the mid-late 70's, primarily in CA (which of course was hit harder by unrest than anywhere else with the possible exception of Detroit and it's horrible Upper Midwestern black cohort). For all the moaning done about overzealous cops, the Left has nobody to blame but itself. As much as anything else, the change in police tactics/equipment is a legacy of The Sixties. It's a chicken or the egg thing; did criminals back down from tougher cops or was fashion changing, away from attacking authorities to more prosaic forms of criminality (robbery, rape, gang warfare, etc.) I think it was both.
    As long as both overall violence and civil unrest were at a low level from the late 90's-Obama's first term, we ought to see assaults on police remain pretty low. Why would they be high? I get that some horrible urban areas still saw some gun violence, but judging from victimization reports there really wasn't that much crime after the mid 90's. Probably more crime than in the wholesome 40's and 50's, but nowhere near the late 60's-early 90's.

  19. What really says a lot about cocooning and it's effect on crime is that since 1993 violent crime saw a greater decrease than property crime, according to that rightoncrime graph. When people interact with others more often and get more often, there's a greater likelihood of being accosted or getting into a brawl. Whereas in a cocooning era, there's less violence but we still are going to have a decent amount of people stealing and breaking stuff. As agnostic has pointed out, in cocooning times we see trends that fetishize the ability to do as much as possible without interaction with strangers.

    In Stand by Me (which takes place circa 1960 averaging out the book's date of 1958 and the movie;s' 1962 setting), King has the local hoodlums break stuff, steal stuff, and taunt/intimidate people, but in keeping with the period they don't seriously beat anyone, let alone rape or kill someone. As people start getting out more often in the later 60's, it started to "ping" the radar of dirtbags, who gradually feel emboldened to go further with their predations.

  20. I found a source for assaults on cops, but it evidently only goes back to 1987 (covered by the 1996 PDF):

    The 2015 chart,, classifies assaults by situation. Ambush and Civil unrest make up a very small number, but then again 14.9% are classified as "other"., in the intro it says that officers both killed AND assaulted were at there lowest levels in over 20 years. That PDF includes a table regarding officers shot in the upper body while wearing armor form 1987-1996.

    Well, here we go, assaults on non-Federal officers:

    1987 – 63,842
    1988 – 58,752
    1989 – 62,172
    1990 – 71,794
    1991 – 62,852
    1992 – 81,252 (crack wars/resurgence of Leftist activism in the early 90's)
    1993 – 66,975
    1994 – 64,912
    1995 – 56,685
    1996 – 46,695
    Civil disorder – 556
    Ambush – 236
    1997 – 49,151
    Civil disorder – 640
    Ambush – 179
    1998 – 59,545
    Civil Disorder – 812
    Ambush – 236
    1999 – 55,026
    Civil disorder – 573
    Ambush – 217
    2000 – 56,054
    Civil disorder – 799
    Ambush – 189
    2001 – 56,666
    Civil disorder -579
    Ambush – 179
    2002 – 58, 066
    Civil disorder – 656
    Ambush – 199
    2003 – 57,841
    Civil disorder – 738
    Ambush – 191
    2004 – 59,373
    Civil disorder – 734
    Ambush – 189
    2005 – 57,546
    Civil Disorder – 727
    Ambush – 181
    2006 – 58,634
    Civil disorder – 669
    Ambush – 179
    2007 – 59,201
    Civil disorder – 759
    Ambush – 198
    2008 – 58,792
    Civil disorder – 686
    Ambush – 227
    2009 – 57,268
    Civil disorder – 789
    Ambush – 228
    2010 – 53,469
    Civil disorder – 765
    Ambush – 248
    2011 – 54,774
    Civil disorder – 743
    Ambush – 212
    2012 – 52,901
    Civil disorder – 722
    Ambush – 267
    2013 – 49,851
    Civil disorder – 506
    Ambush – 234
    2014 – 48,315
    Civil disorder – 713
    Ambush – 167
    2015 – 50,212
    Civil disorder – 677
    Ambush – 240

    Take some of this with a pinch of salt. The civil disorder stat seems iffy, considering that the numbers don't change much recently even though, duh, rioting has grown a lot recently.

  21. I shoulda tracked gunshot deaths, sorry. But that data is over on the site if you wanna go look at it.

    It does look like the post mid 60's hostility towards cops never really waned, relative to the general violence rate.

  22. Typo: Make that gunshot deaths and assaults that I shoulda included.

  23. Feryl,

    Great find, thanks!

  24. I'd like to do something with those numbers but there isn't consistency from year to year in the percentage of the nation that each year covers.

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