Income inequality: It’s in the genes

Why you are a slackass.

Why you are a slackass.

It isn’t “The Man” that’s keeping you down, it is your great-great-great-grandparents.

To a striking extent, your overall life chances can be predicted not just from your parents’ status but also from your great-great-great-grandparents’. The recent study suggests that 10 percent of variation in income can be predicted based on your parents’ earnings. In contrast, my colleagues and I estimate that 50 to 60 percent of variation in overall status is determined by your lineage. The fortunes of high-status families inexorably fall, and those of low-status families rise, toward the average — what social scientists call “regression to the mean” — but the process can take 10 to 15 generations (300 to 450 years), much longer than most social scientists have estimated in the past.

In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. We can’t know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks — don’t hold up to scrutiny.

In other words, the fortitude to strive and overcome adversity is inherited as is the tendency to throw in the towel, say “screw it” and sign up for that EBT card.

This actually addresses a pet theory that I have had for many years.

I have contemplated what my ancestors went through in the mid 19th century to come to America and am quite impressed. They left their homes in Central Europe forever. When they said goodbye to their neighbors and countrymen, they knew full well that they would never see them again, or even hear their voices. They watched the land of their ancestors disappear as they traveled to a sea port and loaded into the stinking hull of a sailing steamer. They took a month to cross the ocean to a strange land. Then, after disembarking, they worked their way half way across a continent to break the sod on a wilderness prairie in order to bet their lives on grain.

That took courage, forbearance, fortitude and a willingness to survive and thrive at all costs. Presumably, many millions of their countrymen back in Austria, Bohemia, Bavaria, Prussia said, “screw that! Too much work.” If these traits are passed on generation to generation. The people of the United States must have inherited genes that promote a bit more determination than did our distant cousins back in the “old country”, right?

Of course the article points out that we all tend to regress to the mean over time; about 10-15 generations. That would mean that we are quickly using up our supply of super determined genes as we go about breeding them out. Meanwhile, my slack-assed 6th cousins back in Královéhradecký are getting their act together by now too.

Whatever the case, the left is going to hate this because, if genes are destiny, they can’t really build a better communist man by indoctrinating away his false consciousness.

That is just scratching the surface of the implications to here. Expect this study to be ridiculed, suppressed and ignored.

Much more here.

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10 Responses to Income inequality: It’s in the genes

  1. Locke n load says:

    Allow me to suggest that the ‘mean’ we are regressing to isn’t as high as we’d like to believe ;) I’m thinking double digits, like, say, LA’s avg temp. The Idiocracy is rising

  2. Bman says:

    The oldest ancestor that we have found in my family goes all the way back to the early 1800′s where Justice Cory Lyons was found out to be a chicken thief, (that’s the story anyway). Somewhere along the line, my family bucked the slackassed mentality.

    On a side note, when I was a youth, I did steal a pack of baseball cards once. Perhaps the slackass gene is still around inside me, but somewhat repressed by regular genes.

    • trebor snoyl says:

      Bman, Justice Cory Lyons was some kind of MD, maybe a bone crusher. It was his son, or grandson, George, that was the chicken thief.

      • Bman says:

        Ah! I stand corrected! So our family started out with an MD, and then we evolved to chicken thieves…

        I sure hope I haven’t let you down, Trebor :)

  3. Dave J says:

    Regarding EBT cards, I read yesterday that they are being used in Colorado to buy weed.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      That’s nothing new. Funds used to purchase food are fungible. Food stamps are used, in that regard, to purchase meth, prostitutes, Saturday night specials and Night Train. Always have, always will.

      • notamobster says:

        I think he meant “legally being used to buy weed”.

        Dave – sometimes folks confuse food stamps and ebt cards. Foods stamps are loaded onto EBT cards (electronic benefits transfer card) but so is “Cash Assistance”. Yep, you read that correctly. States actually give cash money (electronic) to people.

        The ‘money’ they are spending on weed is most likely “Cash Assistance” which has no restrictions relating to what can be purchased. It’s just like real money.

        All food stamps are EBT’s, but not all EBT’s are food stamps.

      • reboot says:

        Utopia, oh my!

  4. notamobster says:

    I had a different take on the information, as presented:

    If genetics pre-determine your ability to succeed or fail, then your failures aren’t your fault. You have a built in excuse for being a lazy, no-good, slovenly, gluttonous drag on productive society.

    This information only encourages the welfare nanny state. It advances the statist agenda and smooths the way for normalization and acceptance of the shackles of welfare slavery.

    I expect it will get more coverage than you think, long term.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      By golly, I think you are correct.

      My thinking was that the left would hate it because it says it isn’t The Man keeping you down, it is your own slack ass.

      They will say, however, that The Man is exploiting your slack ass – a slack ass that you have through no fault of your own – to take advantage of you.

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