Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Been there, done that

The Raw Story | Intelligence not linked to wealth, according to US study

Intelligence has nothing to do with wealth, according to a US study published Tuesday which found that people with below average smarts were just as wealthy as those with higher IQ scores.

"People don't become rich because they are smart," said Jay Zagorsky, research scientist at Ohio State University whose study appears in the Journal Intelligence.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey included 7,403 Americans who have been interviewed repeatedly since 1979. Based on 2004 answers, people who are now in their mid-40s showed no link between brain- and earning-power.

"Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth. And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty," Zagorsky said.

The study confirmed previous research which has shown that smarter people tend to earn more money, but pointed out there is a difference between high pay and overall wealth.

"The average income difference between a person with an IQ score in the normal range (100) and someone in the top two percent of society (130) is currently between 6,000 and 18,500 dollars per year," it said.

"But when it came to total wealth and the likelihood of financial difficulties, people of below average and average intelligence did just fine when compared to the super-intelligent."

Your humble scribe, more than two years ago, putting a bit of political context around the facts:
One of Dubya’s newer rhetorical sleights is the use of the phrase “ownership society” to describe the dismantling of the social safety net and the individualization of risk. But when George Bush talks about the ownership society, what he really means is that he wants to create an atmosphere in which there is no guilt associated with ownership – a place where those who inherit wealth will feel unapologetically entitled to it.

This, then, is the New Entitlement. Where once progressive social programs that redistributed resources from rich to poor were (perhaps unfortunately) called “entitlements,” for unhappy “haves” like our President, the term now means “what’s mine is mine, and you ain’t getting any of it.” And so he schemes to end the limits on transgenerational transmission of wealth by framing the inheritance tax as the “death tax.” He demanded sharp reductions in taxation on income from wealth (dividends and capital gains), while tax rates on labor are largely unchanged. And he jousts with the Social Security windmill because a system that rounds off the sharp edges of poverty and misfortune is a reminder to everyone of the role of chance in the distribution of the wealth. And if net worth depends even in part on chance, his claim of entitlement is suspect.

Blue Meme. Reporting the facts, even before they are facts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh huh. And Ronald Reagan used to say that trees were the worst polluters of all. Didn't make it so. And now we have today's "news". The only reason that survey isn't just a flat out joke is that it is reporting accurately on the relationship between IQ scores and wealth, not between intelligence and wealth. IQ scores don't measure gullibility (as a negative intelligence indicator), and they sure don't measure intelligence. IQ scores show how well you do on the IQ test. Thus, most of you not rich people are reading this bit of non-news and consoling yourselves with "Oh well, at least I get to be smart." Wrong. You get to be gullible. Otherwise, with even a few less gullible Americans, W would have long since departed this mortal coil, with Scotty, going where no man has gone before. Gullible is better than money. Money gets spent and it's gone. You can go back to the gullible well over and over, forever (apparently).


(Oh yeah, just in case anyone has any doubt about this: Wealth has to do with greed and nastiness. Period.)

11:01 AM  

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