« Sexual conquests don't lead to happiness | Main | New York City, no longer safe for whites? »

June 09, 2011

Comments

That trend started in 1973 and has been written about a bazillion times since, starting in the 1980's.

Perhaps you should run for president. I like most of your ideas, and the field seems to be wide open. You do have a birth certificate, don't you?

Want to parrot Luke Lea here. Most of your ideas are things smart people figured out years ago. You are basically congratulating yourself on:

1) Figuring out stuff you would have much earlier if you came from a more privileged background and your parents told you or you picked it up from your environment.

2) Writing stuff that has been written about before but either isn't very PC or isn't widely talked about by the ignorant masses (which you already knew you were smarter then).

Look man, I get it. Your IQ is higher then the social station you were born in. People didn't tell you things you really ought to have been told. Been there, done that. I have a 140 IQ and my parents were 100 IQ proles. Don't let it go to your head, and don't let yourself think your clever for outwitting proles that aren't trying or PC straw men that people may talk about but nobody believes.

I get the feeling from you that you really want to be elite. Going back to law school is proof enough. Don't stress out about it. I've had an elite job at an elite firm before, its not all its cracked up to be. A lot of the people working there aren't all that better then you, many are a lot worse, and they don't all have better lives.

If your making six figures at a regular 9-5, even in NYC, you ought to be able to carve out a pretty happy lifestyle. Nothings holding you back. You don't need to constantly over think things or guess over and over again what the secret to happiness is. Work on yourself, become who you want to be and confidence, success, and happiness will flow.

All of these things were written about by several other individuals, HS. And people are already writing about 'value transference' without calling it that, which counts because it's a name you made up.

"You do have a birth certificate, don't you?"

Better check your recent twitters first too.

you're a bold, original thinker, but isn't the whole value transference thing the age old bias against middle men?

LOL, as Luke notes, this has got to be the most covered topic ever, starting decades ago. I do enjoy this blog, but sometimes wonder if HS is engaging in self-parody from time-to-time. If he actually believes this post, he's really undermining his credibility. Wow.

You're getting us to read your blog and respond on a regular basis - that's a pretty good indication that you have some talent. =)

HS,

I like your value transference theory somewhat. But from personal experience I must say that the worker bees, nerds especialy, who managers exploit often don't really seem to mind. Marx would have stated they weren't class conscious. Sure they complain, but mostly they just pay their taxes and get in line. No revolutionary force there.

I don't see how this system will change. James Burnham argued that 'managers' silently and slowly but surely took over power from capitalists -- bit by bit, until they, as a class, were out of power. These days managers transfer value from the middle classes to the elites for their own enrichment and the lumpenproletariat to pacify their anger and to get votes in exchange. Checkmate. For now.

Burnham's analysis did leave room for possible new (slow) social revolutions of the future. Someday, value transference as a system will vanish also. How long can a country survive with a drained and demoralized middle class? It can't. It will collapse under its own weight.

"Look man, I get it. Your IQ is higher then the social station you were born in. People didn't tell you things you really ought to have been told. Been there, done that. I have a 140 IQ..."

What test? Someone else with a 132 IQ or a 155 IQ on different tests could be in the same percentile as you are.

"Don't let it go to your head, and don't let yourself think your clever for outwitting proles that aren't trying or PC straw men that people may talk about but nobody believes."

"Look man, I get it. Your IQ is higher then (sic) the social station you were born in."

Learn the differences between then and than, "than" indicates comparison. In addition, "Look man, I get it" could be changed to, "Look man, I understand." since "get", while in this instance a semi-acceptable colloquial usage, is far too vague a word to have any real meaning. Additionally, "in" is a preposition, so "Your IQ is higher [than] the social station in which you were born.” Would be an improvement.

"I get the feeling from you that you really want to be elite."

-Who doesn't want to be elite in their given professions or other pursuits? Many people who strive for Harvard but have to settle for a lesser* most selective because they weren't in the top 10% of their given elite secondary school (where egalitarianism rears its ugly head again. Instead, HYP would rather diversify where they accept students from; meaning a gentleman's C at Exeter is no longer enough unless some strings are pulled).

"A lot of the people working there aren't all that better [than] you, many are a lot worse, and they don't all have better lives."

-Better in what manner? Morally better? Better at their given tasks? More productive? That is because people look after their own, and the elite are no exception. If one receives a prestigious unadvertised unpaid internship and even initiated at an exclusive Final Club like the Porcellian, Fly, or Skull & Bones then their high-ranking prestigious positions are guaranteed. The veep's son's boarding school roommate knows people at the top, so why wouldn't he be promoted over an "outsider"?

*But still considered a private most selective liberal arts college.

"If [you're] making six figures at a regular 9-5, even in NYC, you ought to be able to carve out a pretty happy lifestyle. [Nothing's] holding you back."

Making $100,000 or $900,000? In New York City, a person cannot even move into a post-war one bedroom doormanless building earning $100,000 per year.

I love how when you write about value transference the comments are very criticle of the idea in gneral. Now some comments are along the lines of, "eh, everyone knows about value transference already,"

There was a very simmilar idea created by an English economist and used by Marx; but so what its not a commenly accepted theory at all. I certainly hadn't heard of it untill half sigma.

*would.

"Sure they complain, but mostly they just pay their taxes and get in line. No revolutionary force there."

The working class is responsible for most of the disruptive innovations in popular culture. No longer being only the office of the working class, rock has organically evolved where it is no acceptable among other groups, the same with rap.

"Burnham's analysis did leave room for possible new (slow) social revolutions of the future. Someday, value transference as a system will also vanish. How long can a country survive with a drained and demoralized middle class? It can't. It will collapse under its own weight."

Hence, the need for more and increasingly disruptive solutions. If traditional methods are failing to serve the people and the standard of living incrementally decreases, then to alter the trajectory something needs to change.

People are losing their houses, average debt is being exacerbated, tuition costs are rising, wars that are burdensome on the economy, and the corporate elite not knowing when enough means enough and using their friends in government to ensure their artificial growth and unfair insulation from real competition is indicative of the need for drastic change. To quote George Orwell's 1984: "The only hope for the future lies within the proles." This is because the proles have the numbers, and therefore real (albeit unknown to them) power to act as a catalyst for change.

You also wrote a lot of excellent stuff about career tracks leading to high income and prestigious work, not IQ (above a certain threshold). You should write more on career tracks, as it's pretty relevant to lots of parents and ambitious young people.

The concept that some people make money by actually creating stuff and others make money by shuffling things around has been around for a loooooong time.

Usually it's one's own group which is productive and it's that nasty other group which is a bunch of parasites.

For example, Martin Luther apparently made this kind of an accusation against European Jews back in the middle ages.

___________

I do think HS deserves a little credit for being one of the first people to write about the law school scam.

Unfortunately the career tracks have been closed by landslides.

Jay M,

I find your choice of things to dig into fascinating.

1) The very first thing you question is my IQ. Is it unsettling or something? I've been quoting the 140 for a long time, if it makes you feel better I think it correlated to 99.5% of the population on that exam. I tested in the top 1% on most everything growing up. Did I pass your pretentious little test?

2) Then you try to qualify me with grammar. Perverse.

3) "Better in what manner? Morally better? Better at their given tasks? More productive?"

Any of them. 50% of the IB people I worked with were there because of a connection. They weren't that bright. Even some on merit had flaws. My guess is HS could be an effective investment banker if he was given the job, assuming he isn't too socially awkward.

Morally he is probably better then 90% of them. I've never met more disgusting terrible people in my entire life. I don't even need to know all that much about HS.

4) "Making $100,000 or $900,000? In New York City, a person cannot even move into a post-war one bedroom doormanless building earning $100,000 per year."

HS has quoted $130k, but let's round down to $100k. Does he have to live in prime locations of Manhatten? When I worked 60-80 hours a week I did, but he's got a regular 9-5. He can afford to commute a little. There is plenty of affordable housing for his income level in the five boroughs, hoboken, long island, or anything along the train going up through Connecticut. Heck as a single guy he can even afford to blow money on a nice apartment in a good location. He doesn't need to own a car in NYC (yes, he's written about this, but he's dead wrong). I can draw up a budget for a very fulfilling live in NYC on $100k. It doesn't include $40k/year pre-school, but I really don't think that's all that important.

"1) Figuring out stuff you would have much earlier if you came from a more privileged background and your parents told you or you picked it up from your environment."

Privileged people don't talk about this stuff either. You pulled that out of your ass. Rich people mostly repeat the same platitudes you'll see in liberal establishment op-eds. Political beliefs aren't borne of rational thought or choice except among us weirdos who frequent sites like these.

Some people here are convinced that elites, whoever they are, are secret cynics, and believe in HBD, value transference, and all the other niceties purveyed here. This is emphatically false. They mostly believe the stuff they say. HS addressed this, quoting me in a comment to that effect.

It it pretty obvious that the average person is better off now than in 1970. Back then, middle class meant that you lived in a 1500 square foot house, had two TVs (one in color) which got 4-5 channels. There was one family phone line. No internet. The furniture wasn't that great. Electric stove, no microwave, simple countertops. Your air conditioner was a big loud thing that stuck out the window. Your car was big, but broke down a lot.

A man today has no problem making enough money to have that standard of living, but people want more, so Mom works too. What's wrong with that?

HS has been in front of other bloggers, not to mention the mainstream media, on the law school scam, the problems of being an IT worker, and one or two other things. There is a reason I read his blog, usually as a lurker.

There are people living fairly happily in New York City on middle or low incomes. The rules on how to do this, however, are completely different elsewhere. Its no place to start a family, you rely on public transportation, you don't want a big place to live, your entertainment pretty much comes from walking around or hanging out in bars vs. hobbies or an expensive home entertainment system. Government assistance is more readily available for low income people, though you have to know how to work the angles. Most people in the rest of the country understandably don't want to live this way, but it is doable.

paul, what's uncommon about griping about middlemen?

"I've never met more disgusting terrible people in my entire life. I don't even need to know all that much about HS."

You should expand on this davver. I thought the people at Wal-Mart were a lot worse, but I've never actually been inside one so I can't be sure.

"Privileged people don't talk about this stuff either."

It is often even beyond what Basil said. Children of privilege are the biggest believers in Unicorns and Rainbows, and think they can go into the ghetto and save the misunderstood.

"It doesn't include $40k/year pre-school, but I really don't think that's all that important."

If you're an upscale white Manhattan resident with small children, you would sooner let them play with Liquid Drano and a loaded revolver than go without a $40K pre-school.

"Privileged people don't talk about this stuff either.... Political beliefs aren't borne of rational thought or choice except among us weirdos who frequent sites like these....Some people here are convinced that elites, whoever they are, are secret cynics, and believe in HBD, value transference, and all the other niceties purveyed here. This is emphatically false. They mostly believe the stuff they say. HS addressed this, quoting me in a comment to that effect." - Basil Ransom


If this is indeed the case how the hell do these people remain elite? How come we aren't the new elite? We have a much better understanding of everything than our own ruling class. How is this possible?

Half Sigma,

You're a Wharton grad, right? Why can't you get an alumni account with Penn career services and drop your resume? Of course your resume will eliminate the real big names, but are you sure that there aren't any botiques and weak consulting firms (think Booz Allen, Accenture, etc.) that wouldn't love to have a Wharton grad - even a middle aged one without any finance experience?

"A man today has no problem making enough money to have that standard of living, but people want more, so Mom works too. What's wrong with that?"

That's more a matter of stuff getting cheaper - cross country air travel dropped by 90% or more over 50 years in real terms, and internet went from infinity dollars to $200-500/yr. But there's a big difference between liberals and paleos/altright/MRAs contained here:

Liberals believe corporations decided to all screw over the working class, so women had to start working to keep up. But also they wanted to or something.

paleos/altright/MRAs believe feminism pushed women into working and the massive upward supply shock in labor dropped everyone's wages.

While I shudder at the number of young people who have come in here and actually asked HalfSigma for career or life advice, one of the big take-aways is that if you're in programming, get out while you still can.

"Privileged people don't talk about this stuff either. You pulled that out of your ass. Rich people mostly repeat the same platitudes you'll see in liberal establishment op-eds. Political beliefs aren't borne of rational thought or choice except among us weirdos who frequent sites like these.

Some people here are convinced that elites, whoever they are, are secret cynics, and believe in HBD, value transference, and all the other niceties purveyed here. This is emphatically false. They mostly believe the stuff they say. HS addressed this, quoting me in a comment to that effect."

What kind of privilege? Do you mean super elite rich? Those people don't get jobs as bankers or lawyers. Their parents encourage them to pursue art, athletics, or academics. The ones without a lot of talent become philanthropists (the buffet kids). They are insulated from the real world by their parents because there is no reason to understand it, money can solve problems born of their blissful ignorance.

Banking, consulting, and to a lesser extent law are seen as crass lower class professions through the eyes of the truly elite. Even a IB CEO isn't going to have his kids work in IB. People say IB people are overpaid, I have mixed feelings on this. Its the most miserable job I ever had. You would have to pay me exorbitant sums to do it. My problem isn't with the amount of pay (I think that is truly what it takes to get the talent, though the C level is probably too highly compensated), my problem is with the fact that 80% of what IB people do should be outlawed and fewer people should be employed in IB.

What about the next level down? Privileged but still needing to pay the bills. The talented ones become entrepreneurs and try to become elite (Zuckerberg). The ones with talent who don't like risk and have shaky morale values will become elite bankers and lawyers. The ones with mediocre talent become bankers, lawyers, and consultants at the mid level. Most become VPs making mid six figures. They are usually quite aware of how the world works, the cynical nature of their industries, etc. They conceal it, but get one of them behind closed doors and it comes out. The less privileged at birth and the smarter the more they know. The more privileged and dumber the less they know. People who grow up in this upper middle to lower upper range also have the benefit of being surrounded by this kind of environment, so even if their parents keep them in the dark they can pick it up anyway. The completely untalented of this group generally let the family wealth slip a class or two during their generation, they don't even make it as bankers.

Then there are people that grew up middle or lower class and who didn't learn a damned thing from either their environment or parents. Unless they have extremely high IQ like I had there is no way you are ever earning over 200k/year without a ton of work and luck.

Switching gears, anyone who noticed that IT departments were getting browner knew it wasn't a great career to get into. I don't think HS really tipped anyone off there. As for law school I never looked into it so I have no clue.

Posted by: Commander Shepard
"If this is indeed the case how the hell do these people remain elite? How come we aren't the new elite? We have a much better understanding of everything than our own ruling class. How is this possible?"

To become an elite you need to be really good at making money and holding onto it. This has nothing to do with having a more knowledgeable understanding of how the world really works. (at least nothing outside the art of making money) For example supposed you have this innate talent for being a good salesman. You can use this skill to become either a stock broker or real estate agent and make $250,000 a year. Congratulations you're now part of the elite but do you really posses some type of superior knowledge base which more accurately explains how the world works? Granted you may believe so, as all elites do! However, when it comes to understanding NAM's, elites often don't know crap despite their over confidence.

In all fairness Joe Sixpack has also been ignorant. Ever since the end of Jim Crow laws, gasoline has been relatively cheap, housing in the suburbs was affordable, and freeways were plentiful. This triple combination (unique to the USA) gave white people the luxury of distancing themselves from NAM's so they didn't have to see how NAM's really behave.

This "triple combination" is coming to an end btw....

Luke, a bazillion times? Let's not exaggerate. It's more like a hojillian.

I'm ahead of the times, too! Walter Williams just said what I said back in January:

Lots of things to get irked about these days
By: Walter Williams 06/07/11 8:05 PM
Examiner Columnist

There are a lot of things, large and small, that irk me. One of them is our tendency to evaluate a presidential candidate based on his intelligence or academic credentials.

When Obama threw his hat in the ring, people thought he was articulate and smart and hailed his intellectual credentials. Just recently, when Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy, people hailed his intellectual credentials and smartness as well.

By contrast, the intellectual elite and mainstream media people see Sarah Palin as stupid, a loose cannon and not to be trusted with our nuclear arsenal.

There was another presidential candidate who was also held to be stupid and not to be trusted with our nuclear arsenal who ultimately became president -- Ronald Reagan.

I don't put much stock into whether a political leader is smart or not because, as George Orwell explained, "Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them."

All the evidence that I see is that academics and intellectuals have messed up the world. I challenge anyone to show me a major calamity that was engineered by a stupid, inarticulate person, but those caused by intelligent, articulate persons are too numerous to count, from the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao to Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Obama.

My vision of a good presidential candidate is a person with ordinary intelligence but great respect and love for our Constitution. Maybe Palin's and Reagan's respect and love for our Constitution qualified them as dumb in the eyes of the mainstream media, intellectuals and academics.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/06/lots-things-get-irked-about-these-days#ixzz1OsZtUk8W

HS said: "As you see, I am ahead of the times on a lot of topics."

^ You're not "ahead of the times" and there are lots of people that are "ahead of the times" out there, it's just the mainstream media and mainstream opinion in nowadays America is extremely dumbed down by Soviet-style propaganda shoved down our throats by corporatist media and culture.

In fact, the USA is a new Soviet Union, but it's far more serious now.

John:

****It it pretty obvious that the average person is better off now than in 1970.****

You mean materially better off. I would argue that the average person is much, much worse off in other ways, but that's not the discussion I want to have right now. What I really want to point out is this:

****A man today has no problem making enough money to have that standard of living****

Well... yes - but.

The thing is that in 1970, you could have the lifestyle you describe and still live in a good neighbourhood, because everyone was living that way. Today, in contrast, a working-class family *can* scrape by with a modest income as long as they are willing to live a 1970 lifestyle, that's true. But the family will have to live in a terrible neighbourhood.

Steve Sailer writes about this fairly often, if I'm not mistaken: the idea that the worst part of being poor is living next to other poor people. This was not as much of a problem when everyone was at the same standard of living.

No doubt other bloggers will continue to write about "Value Transference" using the standard terminology of economic rents and rent-seeking, as they have always done. They probably won't dwell heavily on the basic principle, since 1817 was quite a while ago.

Samson makes a very interesting point when he says

"Today, in contrast, a working-class family *can* scrape by with a modest income as long as they are willing to live a 1970 lifestyle, that's true. But the family will have to live in a terrible neighbourhood."

I know for a fact that Samson is right, that in New York or Los Angeles, a working class family with a modest income can only afford to live in a neighborhood filled with violent and depraved neighbors.

However, My understanding is that there are a number of places in the USA where there are neighborhoods filled with people making $40k a year who are not violent and not depraved. For example, my understanding is that the Mormon religion keeps people in line so to speak. So if you go to a small city in Utah, it is 100% mormon and even in the neighborhoods where people only make $40k there is little violence and little pathology.

Can anyone here help me out? I was lucky enough to be born with a very high IQ and therefore make plenty of money. I don't need to find one of these inexpensive but non depraved neighborhoods for myself. But sometimes low IQ people, people who can't earn good money ask me where in America they should move to in order to live on a really small income and not be surrounded by violent depraved types.

Anyone else on this blog have suggestions?

Follow-up question after reading Pierce's analysis: I've got a high-enough IQ, am well educated (master's), make pretty-good-but-not-elite income ($45k or so), and also would like to raise my future children in a neighborhood free of violent depraved people.

The catch is that I'm partially blind and cannot live in a town where a car is necessary -- I *must* be within walking, biking, or subway distance of where I work. My wife is the same way.

If you read the media you get the impression that such people have nowhere to go unless they live in the super-rich enclaves of the big cities. The car-worshipping suburbs are off limits. (Supermarkets in the suburbs are virtually unusable even if you live close to one -- product package sizes presuppose that people can carry huge loads home with no physical strain. Throw in the hundreds of feet of parking lot that you have to trudge through just to get to the store, and you're in a bad mood before you walk in those automatic doors.)

Where do such people live and work in the USA?

"Where do such people live and work in the USA?"

You might try living in a somewhat remote college town like Ithaca New York, Hanover New Hampshire, or Williamstown Mass


"Where do such people live and work in the USA?"

When searching for a prospective home, don't even bother looking below the Mason-Dixon line or Ohio River...

@Sabril and Camlost - Thanks for those comments. I prefer Midwesterners' thinking and have wanted to go out there some time, but I figured as much: stay in the Northeast and live among liberals!

The comments to this entry are closed.