Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Another Reason for Income Disparity?

The smarter you are, generally the more money you make in life.  Are smarter people reproducing at a rate less than the dumb?   Is income disparity more a result of lower classes having more kids?  Perhaps.

We stopped that the WalMart near the airport in Jacksonville.  When it first opened, it was a ghost town - a beautiful store and no one in it.   Well, it has been "discovered" and it is mobbed these days.  And today, well, it seems they let the zoo out, it was a total freak show.   It got me to thinking, though, there are a lot of dumb people in the world, and dumb people do dumb things like gamble, use check-cashing stores, buy cars from used car dealers, rent-to-own furniture (or even bling rims) and other shitty deals such as payday loans, which quickly take away what little they have.

And maybe, the reason why we (allegedly) have increasing income disparity in this country is that there are more and more dumb people giving their money away to a smaller and smaller group of smarter, wealthier people.

And then I thought about it.   Perhaps it is a stereotype, but in the ghetto and the rural trailer park, people have a number of children, starting when they are children themselves.   Wealthier folks, particularly professionals, tend to have one or two children - if they have any at all.   The days of the wealthy patriarchal family with a brood of children have gone by the wayside, it seems.

Of course if you say that, you are accused of being racist, classist, or some other sort of -ist.  But the numbers don't lie - the richer you are, the fewer kids you are likely to have.  Of course, there is an inverse explanation as well - if you have children at an early age, the less likely you are to be wealthy later on in life, as you will be spending your formative years raising kids, instead of finishing high school, going to college, or establishing a career.  But this relationship between income and fertility is inverse - across the board, not only in the USA but in other countries as well.  And the poorer the country, the more likely they are to have more kids.

Does having more children cause poverty or does poverty cause you to have more children?   And can we make the connection between wealth and intellectual ability and say that the smarter you are, the fewer children you are likely to have, and the dumber you are, the more likely you are to have a brood?

If so, it might explain income disparity.   There are fewer and fewer smart people in the world, as a percentage of the population and a whole lot of dumb folks.   Read the paper.  Honor killings in Pakistan, and "Florida Man" always up to something.  There are a lot of people in the world dumb as posts and usually they are poor as dirt as well, and yes, there is a connection.

Maybe in the past, when your typical young executive would have a family of four or six children, this gap was not as large.   Today, young professionals have far fewer children - because of the expense, concerns for world overpopulation, because of career duties, and maybe because of social pressures (when all your neighbors have only two kids, you'd feel weird being the guy with 10).

Of course, this presupposes intelligence is hereditary.   It may be, to some extent.  But in terms of nature versus nurture, the kid growing up in the poor household, such as Cletus Spuckler's shown above, are not going to be intellectually stimulated as a child in a wealthier, more affluent home.   His kids are not reading books or going to computer camp, to say the least.

It struck me, in WalMart, that it seems we are becoming a dumbed-down society more and more.   Ignorance is valued over intellect.  People are more willing that ever before to embrace "Rebel Pride" or "Ebonics" - and posit that ignorance is a better deal that being "smart".   And a lot of people feel this way, across America.   This is how Donald Trump got elected.

And maybe that is one reason I am not so concerned about the 1%'ers or whatever.   Actually, I fear for them, as the mob, once in power, will do stupid things like vote themselves a pay raise, which you can only do to a certain point, when you run out of other people's money.

Sadly, I am not sure how this trend could be reversed, either.