On IQ and opportunity, the entirety of which can be found here:
“Sowell’s argument is a relatively simple one: “innate” mental abilities do not develop spontaneously but must undergo development, which is differentially fostered by different cultures, even when the abilities are general and abstract and do not consist of items of cultural knowledge. “
“…Sowell’s approach splits the difference between “nature” and “nurture“…“
There’s a lot going on here, but notice Sowell doesn’t negate the injustice and historical legacy of slavery in the United States (a different, deeper and more raw discussion), but instead focuses in a more positive direction: The never equal distribution of intelligence occurs naturally and is fostered and developed differently. Across our society, never absolutely equally represented immigrant groups thrive and advance within different professions and with different skill-sets.
From this, young people, especially, can thrive not only when they have access to education (where all of our money can easily be wasted in over-promised, under delivering classrooms, though admittedly addressing some of the worst problems there are), but also out in the labor market, where small gains and new skills can be learned daily, where attitude matters, and where just showing up can be a valuable lesson learned.
**I realize this doesn’t address the black market, people learning useful, but criminal skills, and having to learn reasonable life skills that can conflict with even basic job requirements, whatever their background.
We’re all arguably better off when someone’s innate intelligence, acquired skills, drive and determination get them ahead, supposing their ability and effort isn’t put to criminal ends.
We’re all arguably worse off when getting ahead has even more to do than it does now with mere political patronage, redistributing the wealth of others, nepotism, and is dependent even more upon who you know rather than what you’ve accomplished and done for yourself.
Feel free to highlight my ignorance. Any thoughts and comments are welcome.