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  1. #1
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    The Wrong Kind of Women Are Having Babies

    IT WAS an unusual book launch. Journalists jammed themselves into a suite of overcrowded rooms at the headquarters of Berlin’s press corps. Security was tighter than for appearances by the chancellor. When the author at last showed up he was greeted with the flashbulb fireworks you expect on the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre. The centre of the fuss was Thilo Sarrazin, a rather dour economist who sits on the board of the Bundesbank. His book, "Deutschland schafft sich ab” (“Germany does away with itself”) is explosive.

    In a nutshell, Mr Sarrazin’s argument is that the right sort of German women are having too few babies and that the wrong sort—Muslims and those with little education—are having too many. The result is not only that Germany’s population is shrinking, it is also getting dumber. “With higher relative fertility among the less intelligent, the average intelligence of the population declines,” he writes. His defence of eugenics—through policies to encourage fertility among smart women—seems like a throwback to a grimmer time.

    For this Mr Sarrazin has been roundly and nearly unanimously denounced by the political establishment. The Social Democratic Party (***), to which he surprisingly belongs, has started proceedings to expel him. Angela Merkel, the chancellor, accused him of “dividing society.” The Bundesbank is wrestling with the question of whether to sack him, which might require the approval of the German president.

    But among a lot of ordinary Germans Mr Sarrazin has struck a chord. The publisher cannot ship the book to shops fast enough—many are sold out. In one survey conducted by a television news station, 95% of the respondents did not think his statements went too far. Unlike many of its neighbours Germany does not have strong right-wing parties led by populist rabble-rousers. Mr Sarrazin looks to many like Germany’s leading candidate to fill the gap. Comparisons with Geert Wilders, the flamboyant anti-Islamic leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, are common.

    This does not seem right. The dry, understated Mr Sarrazin can fill a conference room but probably not a concert hall. Although the *** wants to be rid of him, he means to keep his membership “to the grave” if he can. The issues he discusses should be addressed by the big political parties, he thinks, not left to radical right-wing forces, which he regards as “very dangerous”.

    Much of what he says has been said before by perfectly respectable people. Mr Sarrazin is not the first to notice that the children of immigrants from Turkey lag behind those from Vietnam or Greece in education and employment (Italians also seem to underperform). Nor is he the first to point out that Germany’s relatively generous welfare system saps the initiative of badly educated migrants. Ministers routinely bemoan the growth of “parallel societies” among Muslim immigrants and their children. The government encourages middle-class women to bear children by offering a parental leave stipend linked to the parents’ salaries, the sort of family policy Mr Sarrazin would like to see more of.

    Where he runs into trouble is with two theses that are normally found on the fringes of polite society. The first is his sweeping condemnation of Islam, which could easily be echoed by Mr Wilders or his compatriot, Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Mr Sarrazin rehearses the usual accusations of intolerance, illiberalism and penchant for violence and concludes that “at bottom, Islam today has a fraught relationship with western modernity.”

    The second is his claim that, because people at the bottom of the social pyramid are less intelligent and have more children than those at the top, and because intelligence is largely inherited, “the inherited intellectual potential of the population is being progressively diluted.” Mr Sarrazin compounded the damage by referring carelessly in an interview to a “certain gene” shared by “all Jews”. This appeared to bring him perilously close to the pseudo-scientific ranking of ethnic groups that the Nazis engaged in.

    But the accusations of racism and anti-Semitism seem overdone. It is fairly clear that he likes Jews, who are not known as underachievers and do appear to be biologically linked to one another, although not in the crude way Mr Sarrazin at first suggested. He does not propound the preposterous idea that Muslims are genetically inferior to non-Muslims; his objections to the religion are cultural and political. At one point he graciously suggests that Germany could use well-educated workers from Turkey and Egypt. Mr Sarrazin’s sin is to condemn on different grounds two large groups—Muslims and the lower class—whose integration into German society is vital for its future and who are not, in fact, doomed from birth.

    In a way, the stir he has created is a tribute to Germany’s political culture. The mainstream parties are not blind to the problems he identifies but strive to be politically correct about them. The few openly xenophobic parties are marginalised. Mr Sarrazin has given voice to fears and resentments that have no political outlets. Germany has rightly worked hard to close them off. Now that Mr Sarrazin has prised one open, politicians will have to work doubly hard to prove him wrong.
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsb...on_row_germany

    In a way, I do agree with some of the things that he says. The poor often have more children than they can support and put a greater strain on society than their counterparts with higher paying jobs. Now this brings up, which came first, the kids or the fact that they're less educated on average?

    Anyway, discuss.

  2. #2
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    Or that they grow up in a liberal no blame society? I used to like that column in Playboy by Chip Rowe....

  3. #3
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    He stole that from Idiocracy.

  4. #4
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    As sad and pathetic as some of the individuals were, it still made me chuckle. Kind of like the guy that robs the bank wearing a clear plastic bag as a disguise......

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    He stole that from Idiocracy.
    Which in a weird way I enjoyed quite a bit

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    Very sensitive subject. Nobody bats an eye at terms like "slow white guy" or studies about the physical advantages one race may have over another, but if anyone does a scientific study about intelligence advantages of different races this is likely to be labeled as racism. I tend to look at the values and/or priorities of different races/cultures and see that as being a major contributor to the differences. It's a very complex issue and not easily defined.

  7. #7
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    Also. This is a German guy? His books are flying off the shelves in Germany? So...Germans are buying them?

    And Geert Wilders is Dutch?

    No no no. Impossible.

  8. #8
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    To me some of the things he says is similar to the grievances of some Americans. Many immigrants come here, both illegally and legally, and end up having a lot of kids. Often, these folks are at the bottom of the income ladder and consume a greater ratio of public resources to the funds they contribute than your average American. Their human capital is often diminished by not being able to speak English fluently. However, a lot of times we see that they operate fine within niche markets. Would they be better off if they were fluent? Sure.

    They also "fail to assimilate" into American society according to some observers.

    Some of his messages take on the tone of what Americans have expressed before. How does this country prepare itself for an emerging minority group that seemingly doesn't share similar values? How do we slow down a seemingly exponential growth in this minorities population so that we can maintain a higher living standard and not drag down limited public resources? Should we even try to slow the growth rate down? Should we do things to promote a higher growth rate in other parts of society? Should we be limiting everyone? (lol I realize this last paragraph is something along the lines of what that nutcase at the Discovery Channel building would worry about but addressing it in a slightly different way).

  9. #9
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    just think if all the women were having babies who didn't want to have them:

    http://freakonomicsbook.com/freakono...pts/chapter-4/

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    while i do agree with his conclusion that the lower educated of society are having more babies than those higher on the social ladder....

    ...his hypothesis could lead to dangerous results. does Hitler's "superior race" ring a bell?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOBolous View Post
    while i do agree with his conclusion that the lower educated of society are having more babies than those higher on the social ladder....

    ...his hypothesis could lead to dangerous results. does Hitler's "superior race" ring a bell?
    Should fear of Hitler's legacy stop us from using science to explore these issues? Science has explained why African sprinters are fastest and why European swimmers are fastest, it has to do with center of balance and that center is determined by where in our abdomen our umbilical chords were. (belly button) So if science studies our brains and determines differences in intelligence and figures out why, is it racist for them to do this? Is it unreasonable to think that one race may have more technical intelligence while another may have more social intelligence? If science proves this, would it still be racist? I realize this is a sensitive issue but that doesn't mean it should ignored altogether. I believe those studies are actually happening and the results may be held secret due to potential problems from the public. I also believe our value system determines what type of intelligence we are most successful in. Apparently diet plays a role in intelligence too, some foods are known to stimulate the brain more than others, especially fruits. Cultural values vary in different parts of the world and this can also be a factor.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertrat218 View Post
    Should fear of Hitler's legacy stop us from using science to explore these issues? Science has explained why African sprinters are fastest and why European swimmers are fastest, it has to do with center of balance and that center is determined by where in our abdomen our umbilical chords were. (belly button) So if science studies our brains and determines differences in intelligence and figures out why, is it racist for them to do this? Is it unreasonable to think that one race may have more technical intelligence while another may have more social intelligence? If science proves this, would it still be racist? I realize this is a sensitive issue but that doesn't mean it should ignored altogether. I believe those studies are actually happening and the results may be held secret due to potential problems from the public. I also believe our value system determines what type of intelligence we are most successful in. Apparently diet plays a role in intelligence too, some foods are known to stimulate the brain more than others, especially fruits. Cultural values vary in different parts of the world and this can also be a factor.
    You keep saying Science but the guy who wrote this book is an economist. I didn't see anything in the article about him using scientific data to make his points. Sounds like most of this is his opinion.

    Sure its a problem when people in poverty are having too many children but the whole intelligence thing seems ignorant. How can you compare the intelligence of 2 people born with the same intelligence level who grow up in different class levels. An IQ test would still be biased if the person growing up in poverty was never taught to read properly and never challenged by teachers to excel in the classroom.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry34 View Post
    You keep saying Science but the guy who wrote this book is an economist. I didn't see anything in the article about him using scientific data to make his points. Sounds like most of this is his opinion.

    Sure its a problem when people in poverty are having too many children but the whole intelligence thing seems ignorant. How can you compare the intelligence of 2 people born with the same intelligence level who grow up in different class levels. An IQ test would still be biased if the person growing up in poverty was never taught to read properly and never challenged by teachers to excel in the classroom.
    So let me ask, if it's ok to use science to determine why some races excel in different athletic endeavors, then wouldn't it be ok to use science to study differences in intelligence too? As I already said, there are a variety of reasons why the differences may exist, but are we so afraid of the politically correct extremists that we should not bother to try and understand what the differences are and why? I know there are already studies being done, and a lot of theories about why different results occur. Science has the ability to zoom in on what part of the brain is triggered while performing different tasks, understanding how the brain is wired, and recognizing certain regions of the brain are more developed than others. Some people have great hand-eye coordination, some people are clumsier than anyone else and have brilliant IQs. Why do some regions of the brain outperform other regions of the brain and is it something that we have the ability to alter?

    This just happens to be a subject I'm fascinated with and read a lot of science journals relating to it. Artificial Intelligence is the aspect that interests me the most, as well as scares the hell out of me the most.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertrat218 View Post
    Should fear of Hitler's legacy stop us from using science to explore these issues? Science has explained why African sprinters are fastest and why European swimmers are fastest, it has to do with center of balance and that center is determined by where in our abdomen our umbilical chords were. (belly button) So if science studies our brains and determines differences in intelligence and figures out why, is it racist for them to do this? Is it unreasonable to think that one race may have more technical intelligence while another may have more social intelligence? If science proves this, would it still be racist? I realize this is a sensitive issue but that doesn't mean it should ignored altogether. I believe those studies are actually happening and the results may be held secret due to potential problems from the public. I also believe our value system determines what type of intelligence we are most successful in. Apparently diet plays a role in intelligence too, some foods are known to stimulate the brain more than others, especially fruits. Cultural values vary in different parts of the world and this can also be a factor.
    yes. it should. what does it accomplish? nothing. what can it lead to? racism. "studies" like this no doubt will lead to racism which...in hard times...will lead to racists like Hitler coming to power and try to commit genocide or control sex in an effort to create "a superior race."
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    I already have that scrizzguap on the Dubs winning a 'ship.
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  15. #15
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    I have to agree with both desert and FOB here...

    The intentions will be good, but in the end result, what comes from the studies, will be twisted.

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