Joined: Jan. 2006
OK, I'll start with you.
|you want to waste time speculating on why African Americans don't (on the whole) seem to benefit from your 'free market thinking' to the same extent as other groups in the US.|
No. I'm trying to understand (1) Why blacks have not rebounded from the very real discriminatory laws they suffered under for so long; and (2) Why very sincere, very expensive good-faith efforts to effect such a rebound have had such a lousy record of success.
|Persisting in calling Black entry into your country 'immigration' on a par with voluntary immigration by Europeans overlooks the one huge fact that ought to be staring you in the face.|
Again, you misunderstand. These other groups, different as they may be for any number of reasons, are nonetheless the only basis we have for comparison. I presume you are arguing that their various circumstances have simply been too dissimilar to tell us anything useful. You may be right. I may be searching for patterns where there are none.
|Pretending that discrimination against Black people ended with the abolition of slavery misses another fact.|
Since I have never said such a thing, and in fact said *repeatedly* that very real discrimination continues in force, I don't know how you find any "pretense." This statement is either dishonest or stupid. You can pick either one. AND you can apologize.
|Even debating the possiblity with Paley that differences in economic performance could be due to 'IQ' is the beginning of a slippery slope for you my friend.|
Slippery slope to what? My goal here is to examine *every possible reason* for this difference. Apparently you have roped off one particular difference, despite a century of indirect evidence in strong support, as simply not to be considered. Your "let's not look at what we don't wish to notice" attitude is good hearted, I'm sure, but brainless. You just can't seem to see a difference between pretending something doesn't exist, and studying it to determine how much (if any) a contribution it may be.
My own conclusion, tentative and subject to change, is that there ARE some biological differences, but they are WAY lost in the noise of socialization factors.
|Of course you won't do that because it might interfere with the blessed 'free market'. Tax cuts for the mega rich are a much more pressing priority for Mr Bush.|
How is this even remotely on topic? I spend post after post after post talking about the nature-nurture debate, about IQ testing, about history, and suddenly you start talking about Bush and taxes. Please, take irrelevancies to another thread.
|We're far from perfect - but the general consensus here is that everyone deserves a fair chance to get the most out of life. Paley can happily rationalise why certain 'ethnic groups' should be treated differently.|
Your platitudes are wonderful, but the practice is unfortunately a lot harder. Yes, we want no unfairness, we want everyone to maximize their personal potential, we want no racial discrimination per se, we want everyone to have an equal chance to run the race. The problem is, what should we do when we discover that one group of people invariably finishes well behind everyone else?
Sure, we can take your attitude (indeed, we HAVE taken that attitude) that this difference in performance must be due to circumstances beyond their control. They don't CHOOSE to be descendents of slaves, or to be discriminated against in law and practice. It's not (at least proximately) their doing that the society they live in provides strong disincentives to achieve anything. How much blame should we attach if the disincentives of discrimination have a social effect?
And so we can attempt to change circumstances so they don't present any barriers or handicaps. But we also need to monitor our efforts closely, because we know what the road to, uh, heck is paved with. If our efforts are counterproductive, we need to recognize this and stop doing it. I'm certainly not recommending inaction. I DO reject the idea that we should make circumstances even worse on the grounds that we need to DO something, and we WANT our actions to work. Wanting, even wanting real real hard, so far hasn't worked very well.
|How did you both come to that conclusion?|
Personal observation. It's not just that the executives are all white and the peons are all black. The unskilled laborers are all black *except* the foreman, who is white. ALL the janitors are black except the head janitor, who is white. Surely you are familiar with "tokenism"? Blacks face the same sort of ceiling as women - only the truly outstanding individuals get the recognition granted to *adequate* white males.
|Not to denigrate your friend but as a generalisation, people who say such things tend to not work hard anyway.|
Permit me to laugh. People who work very hard, follow all the procedures, cut no corners, and STILL get no rewards, eventually don't work so hard. "Well, he's doing pretty well for a black, he's certainly risen above his station, no need to promote him any further, it will cause our deserving (read: white) employees to think we are discriminating!
|Sir_T.J. has experience of working with blacks at the University level. So they are obviously succeeding.|
Chuckle. First, you complain about generalization. The very next sentence, you refer to "they", which just happens to refer to one in a thousand. Hello? I work with a black engineer, and he is excellent. Of course, I live in Alabama, the local college turns out hundreds of black engineers a year, my division employs 50 engineers, and one of them is black. He's very good. He also manages people and projects pretty well, and has expressed a desire to become a manager. After 18 years, he's still waiting.
|I have worked very closely with the US military in the past and they have blacks of all ranks.|
This is a good point. In the military, color-blindness is rigidly enforced, everyone starts at the bottom (of their enlisted or officer tracks), merit is assessed as objectively as you'll find anywhere. And you're right: blacks and whites compete on equal terms; there are no visible inherent differences at all. As far as I'm concerned, the military experience shows as well as anything could that we're not talking about heriditary stupidity here. Which implies that whatever IQ tests are truly measuring, little if any of it is biological.
|Back to the estate I mentioned in Wigan. Parents there tended to be on welfare and have low expectations for their children. They tended to take little interest in their young ones education. The children would tend to have low aspiration.|
Understood. And I should point out that within Asian and Jewish families, expectations tend to be high and parental oversight of education tends to be close and responsible. So culture matters a great deal. The question remains: what is the most effective way to alter a toxic culture?