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September 04, 2008

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"Wrong kind of smart people". Ha!

So what's the right kind of smart person?

If smart people are so libertarian, and if New Yorkers are so smart, why is New York so god damn liberal?

Why is Texas so libertarian?

Oh, and we're not surrenduring anything to anyone. Christians and hicks are part of the Republican coalition.

Like it or not, this country is a two party system.

If you think public employees, teachers, and trial lawyers (the Democrat coalition) are going to support libertarianism, you're a nut.

Why don't you stop insulting the people who are more likely to be persuaded of your ideas, and do a better job of selling them on libertarianism?

"It’s the less intelligent people who are more easily swayed by the notion that if there’s a problem, than something needs to be done about it. The idea that nothing needs to be done about a problem is a more abstract idea which requires higher intelligence. "

It's my guess that the less intelligent are also more likely to decide that a problem is hopeless and that nothing can be done.

"If smart people are so libertarian, and if New Yorkers are so smart, why is New York so god damn liberal? Why is Texas so libertarian?"


I know you think this clever but it isn't. The evidence does show intelligence correlates with both social and economically liberal ("libertarian") beliefs. While demographics will certainly attenuate the picture, the trend still holds. Also Texans aren't particularly socially liberal, and Jews think more like economists than evangelicals do:

Question: Free trade is good for the economy even if it means the loss of a few US jobs.

Group/Yes to question

(most pro-Free Trade)
Jewish/48
Atheist, Agnostic/44
Traditionalist Evangelical/41

(least pro-Free Trade)
Black Protestant/16
Unaffiliated Believer/17
Latino Protestant/21
Modernist Evangelical/21

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002818.html

This is clearly not Palin-topic so your pledge streak (I am giving you DA, you had to strike while the iron was hot or wait years) is broken well before 26. You might as well just give it up.

OT: The smarter types are the ones who end up thinking that they can solve anything and end up launching into more and more programs. Eventually the projects stall out since the problems were underestimated in the first place. Now you have the original problem plus you have the problem of unrolling the program. eg the social security system has made things much worse. Had private pensions transitioned to 401K driven retirement without generations of voters clinging bitterly to their SSN payments maybe we could get something done. Likewise Medicare. Likewise Welfare. Likewise wiz-kid Robert MacNamera handling of Vietman and the World Bank.

Government was smallest and best scoped under Calvin Coolidge who didnt think everything should be jumped into. So you thesis
"I guarantee that surrending the Republican Party to regular people (the ones who cling to their guns and Christian religion) is not going to lead to smaller and more libertarian government"
is wrong, at least historically.

"Government was smallest and best scoped under Calvin Coolidge"

Before FDR, the Republican party was the smart people party, and the Democratic party was the regular people party.

Pushing religious stuff like creationism was the province of Democrats like William Jennings Bryan.

Then the Great Depression came, a really huge problem, and the regular people wanted government to do something about it.

Thanks for demonstrating my point.

But it was FDR brain trust that wanted to launch all these large programs and sold people on them. Approved by the smarties in NYC.

Feeding your desire for all things Palin- check out this prole signifier was under our noses unobserved yesterday:
http://gawker.com/5045478/three-trashy-palin-family+isms-that-turn-out-to-be-actually-cute

Well!
I was kind of hoping for one of those Gore kisses when they were up on the stage, but it didnt happen.

Libertarians are, by and large, very smart people. Unfortunately, half of Americans are dumber than average. Libertarians, who foresee no problems navigating a public life that would require massively more complicated personal decisions in the absence of government, are blissfully unaware of the unreality of their claims. When the majority of urban poor are born out of wedlock, and people don't save in 401ks until it's made the default option, it is ludicrous to claim that we need no stinkin' paternalism.

"In a previous blog post, I analyzed data from the General Social Survey, and discovered that smarter people are more libertarian on all issues, both economic and social. "

What about race realism? The Inverted World showed that reace realism is negatively correlated with education.

http://inverted-world.com/index.php/articles/articles/class/

I find extremly depressing that the most intelligent people get the world the most wrong, but that's what the evidence says.

Let me explain so you can understand: Politics is the art of slicing up the tax revenue pie into interest groups.

That is all it is: how big the pie is, and what slices go where.

Simple as that. All that other stuff is pretty irrelevant to the main point.

"Libertarians" merely want the pie smaller and themselves the biggest slice. "Average" people want the pie bigger and the slices going to them. "Smart People" want the pie generally bigger and going to them and their allies.

Thus, politics. That's all it is. And like most simple things, hideously complex.

Let me add, religion is merely the social glue that holds our fractious, intelligent, super-charged emotionally and intellectually species together.

Most of our time was spent as hunter-gatherers, and even the most rigid police state does not have a policeman for every citizen, and of course policemen must also be policed.

Hence, religion. Humans need it evolutionary wise to keep social peace among aggressive, hypercharged tool makers who can always kill someone if they're pissed off (even the weakest can kill the strongest with a weapon).

We will always have religion because we've evolved to require it.

"Hence, religion. Humans need it evolutionary wise to keep social peace among aggressive, hypercharged tool makers who can always kill someone if they're pissed off (even the weakest can kill the strongest with a weapon).

We will always have religion because we've evolved to require it."

Orientals don't require it and still don't kill and rape like we do. Then you've got Arabs who kill each other over religion but whose actual crime rate is nil.

Halfsigma, you should read Daniel Dennett "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon", it would substantiate your statement on religion.

I've myself seen that they are many extremely intelligent people who are not only religious but fundamentalist. For example, i knew well Mgr Lefebvre and Priest Georges de Nantes who where two of the most clever people (180 IQ i guess)i've ever met.

There is an explanation from Robert Nozick to why clever people are often "extremists" (school rewards versus lesser real word rewards) but it is not totally convincing because some of those people are really successfull in Life.

I think horrible people like Ann coulter or Fred Phelds are alas also over 145 IQ like (you're supposed to be) .


What HS says is right in that having above average intelligence is typically a prerequisite for holding libertarian beliefs. But this does not mean that if you are intelligent that you will always be libertarian. Think of Marx, Lenin, US Democrats, and so on.

Go into any neighborhood on the planet that has a low average IQ, and what you will find is exclusively socialists or future socialists once the right organizer shows up.

Rain and:

Perhaps you should know that there is a world of difference between "liberal" and "libertarian".

Bruno from Paris:

"I've myself seen that they are many extremely intelligent people who are not only religious but fundamentalist."

This is the ultimate oxymoron.

Dan Morgan - "What HS says is right in that having above average intelligence is typically a prerequisite for holding libertarian beliefs. But this does not mean that if you are intelligent that you will always be libertarian."

I believe that a careful look will reveal that what you will NOT find is libertarians of lower IQ.

People who are below average simply cannot "connect" with the level of reasoning required to understand why libertarian positions, which often reject government handouts which might even go to benefit them, make better sense in the long run that do positions which promise more immediate gratification.

So, while being smart doesn't necessarily correlate with libertarianism, being dumb definitely correlates with NOT being libertarian.

Bruno, This Lefebvre?

"In 1970, Lefebvre founded the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), which is still the world's largest Traditionalist Catholic priestly society..."

He was the real deal. Not what we in the states would call a "fundy". Traditionalist would be more correct and less evocative of a store front church huckster.

There are a couple of things going on here.

First of all, people further up the socioeconomic ladder tend to be libertarian, probably because they need the government less (whether stomping out porn peddlers or getting welfare). Smart people tend to be richer. Of course you've got the nerd cliff above IQ 130 or so, but that's a tiny, portion of the population. Unless you're going to scifi cons, smarter is better.

Second of all, our two-party system means libertarians have to choose either social or economic libertarianism; you can't get both because each party only aims for one. For reasons I'm not exactly sure of, most self-identified libertarians have plumped for the Republicans, but guys like Thomas Friedman and Robert Rubin (all of the DLC crowd, really) with their globalization mania are pretty libertarian if you don't count the environmentalism. Big if, I know.

So the upshot is that most well-off people, despite libertarian leanings, tend to support whichever one of the two parties they like better, depending on whether they're more concerned about abortion rights or not paying taxes, and the libertarian party never gets anything.

An interesting comparison is the German system, where there _are_ multiple parties, and there's a small 'liberal' (libertarian in the EU) party called the FDP. Of course they are far to the left economically of the LP here in America, but relative to the German political landscape that's what you'd get.

"For reasons I'm not exactly sure of, most self-identified libertarians have plumped for the Republicans"

Ordinary libertarians tend to throw their hats into the ring with the GOP because they know Democrat economic policies are geared to help the dumb and the poor at the expense of the well off.

It is easier for libertarians to ally with Christians Republicans because the libertarians think they can compromise on social issues by embracing cultural federalism, ie, letting the state decide whether to legalize abortion or marijuana and other issues but Democrats will not compromise on social issues.

In other words, libertarians feel Christians are more flexible on social policy but the Democrats will never budge on economic policy because poor stoopid minorities are too dependent on government handouts.

Also, Democrats like social engineering which makes libertarians question how libertarian Democrats actually are on issues not involving sex.

"It is easier for libertarians to ally with Christians Republicans because the libertarians think they can compromise on social issues by embracing cultural federalism, ie, letting the state decide whether to legalize abortion or marijuana and other issues but Democrats will not compromise on social issues."

That should be:

"It is easier for libertarians to ally with Christians Republicans because the libertarians think they can compromise on social issues by embracing cultural federalism at the state level, ie, letting the states decide whether to legalize abortion or marijuana and other issues but Democrats will not compromise on ECONOMIC issues."

Interesting. I never thought of it, but yes, a belief in federalism does create an asymmetry between the parties libertarians could exploit. Well, that does explain one of the political mysteries I've always wondered about. Thanks!

HS, I am not sure you know what "smart people" means. Seriously! Smart people have a great deal of common sense -- that has absolutely nothing to do with Ivy League or any other pseudo-education. There were pioneers in this country who had great common sense who never heard of this education bullshit. Common sense reveals an appreciation of human nature and the real environment around them and not some fantasy about how things "should be." Dreaming about how things should be could get one killed by rocks, bears, weather, and our fellow man. Wake up!

This is all so absurd.

First, what is the basis for assuming that Palin is IQ challenged? I think she's the smartest of the four candidates.

She's certainly the most successful governor in the country measured by what counts for politicians -- popularity.

HS apparently thinks this happened because she has a really smart political consultant from Yale whispering in her ear. That's absurd. I don't know how much of her success is just a good feel for politics, but she strikes me as very intelligence.

Most smart people didn't go to an Ivy League school for various reasons. My own SAT scores would have put me in the top 10% at at Harvard or Penn, where I was accepted but declined to attend due to the cost.

Many of the people who did go to Ivy's aren't that smart anyway because of affirmative action and alumni preferences and most very smart people come from middle class backgrounds.

Biden is a blithering idiot, McCain barely made it through the academy and for all of the song and dance, Obama hasn't done anything in his entire life to demonstrate the brilliance that we keep hearing he possesses.

So, no it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Palin has the highest SAT scores of the whole wretched lot.

-Mercy

SFG:
> Second of all, our two-party system means
> libertarians have to choose either social or
> economic libertarianism;

You're correct that the DLC is (or was) the closest thing to a Democrat Libertarian Caucus, but I dispute the contention that overall the Democrat Party is more socially libertarian.

Most libertarian ratings that I've seen rate the parties as equal or give the edge to Republicans:

http://www.republicanliberty.org/libdex/index.htm

Abortion splits libertarians who don't necessarily agree on when a human life becomes a person entitled to liberty, but gun control, commercial speech restrictions, campaign finance, "hate" speech codes and the fairness doctrine are all areas where the Republicans are generally more socially libertarian.

There is a lot of overlap between social and economic rights, but the people who are the overall most libertarian on both social AND economic issues are clearly Republicans (e.g. Ron Paul and Jeff Flake).

-Mercy

HS, you are clearly a libertarian, why does the top of your blog say "neither republican, nor democrat, nor libertarian"??

Mercy, you don't need an IQ test to get a rough measure of intelligence. Just listen to the words people use when they talk, especially when speaking extemporaneously. Obama is not only the smartest candidate, he is also the most intellectual, and therefore the most likely to depend on expert advisers. McCain scares me because he seems like a maverick who will make stubborn old-man choices on his own despite what people who know better tell him to do.

Palin may be intelligent, she may even be as intelligent as Obama, but no one is actually going to give her any responsibilities. Meanwhile, the well documented age-related decline in fluid intelligence makes it a sure bet that McCain is at least a dozen IQ points short of Obama. This blog is being a bit hypocritical by supporting McCain over Obama. If you really believe in the power of intelligence, you should put it ahead of party affiliation or professed ideology.

Buckley said something to the effect he would rathered be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than Harvard's faculty. Big deal. Buckley never said he would rather be governed by the first 100 names in the New Haven phone book than Yale's faculty. Remember, Buckley was a Yale man. Boola, boola.

How does that square with the Libertarian obsession with open borders?

Yes, Tired of smoke rings, Mgr Marcel Lefebvre, who founded FSSPX, was a "friend" of my grandfather. I remember when i was a child that some would say that tradtionalism is an heresy from medieval Navarre and called themselves "catholics of Tradition". Whatever ...

James wrote:
> If you really believe in the power of
> intelligence, you should put it ahead of
> party affiliation or professed ideology.

Good grief is that a stupid suggestion. North Korea (like most totalitarian states) probably has the smartest government officials in the world.

Is it really that hard to "believe in the power of intelligence" but also accept the importance of which ideology one holds?

Ideology is the rudder and intelligence is the engine.

I think you do need an IQ test because some people have oral communication skills above or below their general intelligence level.

When listening to Obama talk without his precious teleprompter, I get the impression that's he's a bit of a buffoon who, just like John Kerry, tries to sound more intelligent than he really is.

-Mercy

What does libertarianism have to do with common sense? A libertarian would believe, for example, that bringing in a billion third-world immigrants is a good thing if the labor market demands it, while a high school dropout with an IQ of 80 can see that it's a bad idea.

HalfSigma: "Then the Great Depression came, a really huge problem, and the regular people wanted government to do something about it."

Lefty urban types and immigrants wanted the government to do something about it.

"North Korea (like most totalitarian states) probably has the smartest government officials in the world."

Mercy,
What is your evidence for this crazy statement? What are you talking about? North Koreans are ignorant buffoons.

About ideology vs. intelligence, the president doesn't walk into office and push a "liberal" or "conservative" button. He deals with myriad issues and decides what to do. What was the ideological response to 9/11? What was the ideological response to Katrina? The options in many crises are "dumb" vs. "smart", not left or right. I think Obama would be more likely to choose the smart option, end of story.

Don't overrate ideology. Bush was supposed to be a "conservative", but it turned out he was just an idiot. There was hardly anything conservative about him other than his professed stance on certain social issues which he never did anything about. I suppose the only conservative things he did were his judicial appointments.

There is an even stronger correlation between gender (male) and Libertarianism.

Brilliant post, but too bad for you. In case you haven't noticed, a country club republican has been running things for the last eight years, and a democrat eight years before that. Small government doesn't sell to the voters so get off it. Libertarians will never win anything, and their Ron Paul delusions will only continue to cause desention and angst. My advice: join the Republican party where you at least have a chance of giving that slippery worm the strong backbone it needs to be viable.

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