Some Kind Of Solution

Here’s the incomparable Jordan Peterson, talking about a frightening statistic.  I urge you to watch it first before continuing to read this post.Peterson worries about how to address the problem of low-IQ population, but he should perhaps avail himself of a study of how The Netherlands handles it.

Whenever you see Dutch unemployment statistics, you have to add 9% to whatever the number is,  So, for example, if they say that unemployment stands at 5%, it’s actually more like 14%.

This is not really an attempt to cook the books, so to speak, because the ever-pragmatic Dutch worked out a long time ago that about 10% of their ordinary population (the statistic that terrifies Peterson) is ineducable and therefore probably unemployable, in any kind of meaningful job or income-bearing activity.  They have therefore set up a comfortable system aimed at that decile — comfortable in that state welfare carries enough benefits (e.g. everyone is entitled to a modest home, furniture and TV, with food stamps to cover basic nutritional needs) so that the needs of that 10% are met in order to live outside abject poverty and misery.

Is that system open to abuse and fraud?  Yes, of course it is;  but the Dutch take great care to ensure that it isn’t.  (Actual crime, needless to say, is left for the police to handle.)  Successive Dutch governments have also undermined their own system by allowing into the Netherlands a jillion Third World immigrants, who are very adept at gaming the system and will eventually cause the whole thing to collapse;  but that’s an issue for another time.  (The current movement headed by people like politician Geert Wilders that wants to limit further immigration is composed of people who have seen the coming catastrophe.  Need less to say, that’s why Wilders has to live a life in the shadows after all the death threats aimed at him and his family by the aforementioned immigrant population.)

I’m not suggesting that the U.S. should adopt a similar, Dutch-like policy because our status quo already contains a double-jillion of the aforesaid Third Worlders, and any such policy would be doomed to failure right out of the gate.

Nevertheless, it is an interesting hypothesis, albeit one abhorrent to most conservatives, in that it ties in with a government policy which worked quite successfully for many decades, because the pragmatic and liberal Dutch people saw a real social benefit — and not just for reasons of altruism — in taking care of the ineducable and unemployable.


  1. The cold-hearted conservative in me wants to say.. there’s always Soylent Green. (which incidentally was set in 2022)

    1. The somewhat-less-cold-hearted conservative in me points out that we could simply make contraception a mandatory requirement to receive welfares.

      1. Or at least just refuse to give people any extra benefits for children produced after they start taking welfare. Right now a lot of women have discovered that if they don’t get married, don’t know who the father(s) is(are) and produce babies roughly every three years they can keep the money flowing from Uncle Sugar. If suddenly, instead of getting more benefits for each new child, there would be no change, I don’t think it would take long to see a significant drop in the number of kids born into welfare.

        1. That might reduce the birth rate of bipedal parasites by 50-75%, but it certainly won’t be 100%. What do you do when the children of those too stupid or too impulsive to use birth control are starving?

  2. Since I am against theft of any kind I am also against the spending of any said theft.

  3. From the time that useful data became available, essentially the Roman Empire, with lapses, about 5% of the population was incapable of functioning in social and economic terms. Disability and mental illness are the main drivers. However, it is possible to increase this number with dysfunctional policy. It appears that the Dutch have done so. Remember, you always get more of what you subsidize.

  4. I had a boss who constantly reminded me that “half of the people you meet are below average”. He also believed that the amount of intelligence in the world was fixed but the population was increasing.

    I’ll recommend a science fiction short story written by C.M. Kornbluth about 75 years ago called “The Marching Morons”. The title says it all.

  5. This is why I’m not against legalized Drugs. Let the bottom 20% take as much as they want. Preferably too much. Fortunately the bottom percentile tends to self identify with large visible tattoos.

    Jack Welch was a firm believer in concept of annually firing the bottom 10% of GE’s work force. Worked out well while he was still in charge. I’m not sure it’s a great long term procedure, since GE rapidly went downhill after he left. But as long as you have a system to replenish the work force it’s probably workable.

    1. And this is why I am against legalized drugs. Richard (above) said that Disability and Mental Illness are the main drivers of the permanent underclass Jordan Peterson talked about in the link.
      Speaking of Marijuana alone, there’s a study Clayton Cramer linked to a number of years ago that showed a connection between marijuana use and psychosis. As I recall, the use, even once, had a one-in-eleven chance of causing the psychosis. Before the epidemic of panic over Covid, I distributed water and burritos to the mentally ill homeless people in Venice, California. I would bet on a substantial number were either users in their youth, or currently users. The connection between marijuana and motivational issues is without question. Couple that with the effects of the harder drugs, and the origin of the mentally ill on the streets in the last fifty-five years is not a mystery.
      It is notable that even though marijuana use is becoming legal without restrictions in more and more states, and (correct me if I misstate it), in the Netherlands drug use has been decriminalized so long as one is registered with the state, in China, as I read SOTI, marijuana is illegal, except for use by foreigners as a sort of “favor”. The West is not only selling the rope to hang themselves with, we are ensuring that when China wants the US as their colony, we will have the collective brainpower of Jamaica, home of Rastafarianism and Ganja.

      And I had a professor in college who had been a sales-rep for GE. He told how one year he had made a very big sale, and the commission agreement then in effect meant that he and a couple of other sales reps would make more money that year than the CEO, which, when the CEO found out about it, was not happy. So, the commission structure was changed. Soon after that, my professor decided that he had not actually been outside his car or a building for about three months, as Rochester has serious winter weather, and all he did was drive from underground garage to underground garage. so he moved to California and went into teaching.

      I don’t know when Jack Welch left GE; presumably this was after that, although the professor did not mention who the jealous CEO was.

  6. I get the concept, but it worked because of the Dutch culture.

    Also, I think our moron quotient is way higher than 10%, and we already pay out the nose for them.

    Doesn’t stop them from the knockout game, stealing stuff, and generally being a nuisance and feeling that somehow their lives are our fault.

    1. Don’t confuse low IQ with immorality. The problem with the thugs, thieves and other nuisance makers isn’t that they’re stupid, it’s that they lack morality and empathy.

      Also don’t confuse low IQ with lack of education, my mother was an extremely intelligent woman despite being a high-school drop-out.

      Mark D

      1. You’re both right. What it makes a case for is considering “salvage value” in sentencing criminals. Smart ones might become useful citizens. Stupid ones are going to be a burden no matter what – so you execute them.

  7. Dons flame-retardant suit.

    It’s no secret that there’s percentage of humanity that will never live a fully productive life for reasons beyond their own control, like disability whether mental or physical. Of the two I’d have to say mental disability is the one more likely to render someone unproductive (paging Stephen Hawking). Sometimes the disability is temporary, sometimes permanent. Ravenwood’s suggestion of going Soylent Green notwithstanding (you think a government wouldn’t cook the IQ books to rid themselves of undesirables, deplorables, and problem children?), a decent, prosperous society has the means and the will to provide for such people. One of the hallmarks of Western Civilization is a belief in the overwhelming WORTH of the individual, and there’s no IQ test to determine such.

    Now it’s certainly arguable whether the funds to care for such people ought to come from government or private coffers. Government-charity like welfare has become a double-edged sword, before such programs were in place people gave of their surplus to help those in need. Since the advent of welfare, more and more people ask “Why should I pay taxes toward welfare and ALSO help people myself?” It’s notable that if you give to an established charity, even if they do fuck-all to help the unfortunate (United Way, call your office) you don’t pay taxes on that money, but if you DIRECTLY support someone who’s in need (like helping your neighbor who can’t work temporarily because he broke his leg) you are taxed on that money. On top of which, individuals are much more likely to make sure they’re not wasting their money than government agencies are, after all a government can always raise taxes if they “need” more money.

    Mark D

  8. I have a good friend and shooting buddy who explained one of the facts of life that I had overlooked. He came out to the gun range after stopping off at Walmart to purchase an electronic item that on his phone said was in stock, several of them. My friend told me that a person, with a strange haircut with purple green highlights, plenty of tattoos and bits of metal stuck on his/her face, he never figured out the gender of the person and it only took three times as long for him to explain to the clerk creature what he wanted and then together they finally found the item. After my friend explained all of the problems he had been through he said,

    “I fucking love Walmart, they hire the unemployable. If those folks can work there, they can actually be paid for just showing up and it keeps the government from having to pay them to not work.”

  9. That’s great when you have a homogenous population. But what happens when you have a melting pot and it becomes obvious that for certain people groups, that below 83 IQ margin is roughly 5%, but for other people groups that number might be 20%, 30% or higher? And the most visible difference between those people groups is skin color. And we now have a “benevolent tyranny” that absolutely forbids us from noticing such things.

    And we still need people to pick up trash, mow yards, etc. Surely the below 83 IQ can handle that. If they can cash a govt check and buy groceries, they have enough intelligence to do simple manual labor. Hell, if they can figure out the remote control for their govt bought TV’s, they can do basic WalMart level shelf stocking.

  10. another minor problem I hadn’t noticed addressed is that not only does this segment not produce: they reproduce at alarming rates, like rabbits, having almost nothing else to occupy their time.

  11. While the Soylent Green or Marching Morons solutions might be emotionally satisfying, they both rely on government coercion, which *will* be abused against politically the inconvenient. If the government is going to be involved (and realistically, it will) then how about this: all welfare benefits are accompanied by taxpayer-funded sterilization. Want to live on the public dime? Fine. But no more offspring for you! End the cycle of dependence and marching idiocracy.

    Want to keep your ‘nads intact? Don’t live on the dole. Easy-peasy. Guess who’s more likely to take advantage of such a program.

    Of course now the argument is “what constitutes welfare”, but that’s a debate for another time. I will say that while I consider Social Security to be just another form of welfare (financed with a dedicated payroll tax, but still welfare), obviously sterilizing people receiving SS bennies is pointless as they’re all probably sterile due to old age anyway. My proposal would be aimed primarily at people still young enough to reproduce.

    1. …while I consider Social Security to be just another form of welfare….
      In many cases it is because it has become ( over decades ) a veritable slush fund
      doled out selectively by politicians to get or stay elected so that now we
      have millions collecting SS benefits who never paid a dime into it !
      Calling it ‘welfare’, to those of us who were FORCED to pay into it – in my case
      for every DAY I worked – is an insult !
      Yes, yes , I know that my ‘contributions’ were used to pay people who were
      getting benefits at that time and that my current ‘benefits’ are coming from
      people who are currently ‘contributing’ to it but that changes NOTHING. The
      damn thing was set up as a ‘pay as you go’ so the day it was signed into law,
      people , who had never paid a dime into ANYTHING started getting benefits !
      The pols who wrote and passed it KNEW it was a Ponzi scheme dependent on a continuously growing population and, I suspect, also KNEW that by the time
      it would go broke, ALL of them would be dead and buried ! There are STILL dancing
      to the same tune when it comes to budgets and deficits, hence our current
      ‘national debt’ !
      One item often overlooked, last time I checked, is that SS TAKES 7.5% of your
      gross pay. What a surprising number of people DON’T know is that your
      employer ALSO ‘contributes’ and EQUAL AMOUNT on your behalf and has
      NO CHOICE in the matter !l
      Which means, if the numbers are still the same, 15% of whatever you earn is taken
      from you BEFORE you ever see it.
      I tried, I really tried. I said I would sign ANYTHING stating that I would be
      ineligible for ANY ss benifits forever and that I would NEVER try to collect
      ANY SS benefits, for ANY reason, EVER, to get my employer
      and the Federal gov’t to STOP taking MY MONEY and let me be responsible
      for myself. Give me 15% or my gross pay from the first day I work to the day I retire
      and I wouldn’t have needed SS or anything else !! There were, at the time, insurance
      and investment companies that would have made me a millionaire at retirement if
      I could have convinced some people. NOBODY and i mean NOBODY in the gov’t
      or my company would even discuss it !!
      Calling it ‘welfare’ is an insult. They took MY MONEY my ENTIRE WORKING CAREER(s).
      I had no say so in the amount that was taken or what was done with the money. Just promises by politicians that I would be paid back, so now, I want it back !
      Don’t tell me it’s ‘welfare’. More like being forced to loan money every week to
      Vito Corleone with only his promise that it will be repaid !
      I’ve told my children to not expect ANYTHING from SS. The ‘plan’ to save SS
      – because out and out eliminating it in any way, shape or form is political suicide –
      is to keep increasing the eligibility age(s) so the no one will live long enough to
      collect anything or if they do live long enough to collect some benefits they will not
      live long enough to collect very much!
      Fire away !

      1. Folks who are self-employed find out about that 15% real fast since they have to pay both the employee and the employer portions. At least they don’t have to pay income tax of the 7.65% that is the “employer” portion, but it’s still a heck of a hit and quite a shock for many.

    2. jabrwok:

      I worked for over 40 years as a design engineer “contributing” (at the point of the federal gun) to SocSec every step of the way. When I retired at age 60 started my SocSec withdrawals as soon as possible, since the lower rate of payment gained by starting early wouldn’t be offset by the higher rate at a later date for another 20 years. I didn’t figure the system would last that long.

      You are utterly and completely wrong in assuming it is “welfare” for those who actually paid into the system. I am a perfect example of why.

      The total dollar value, in non-adjusted dollars since 1975 (according to SocSec itself) that I and my employers “contributed” was on the close order of $250,000 over my employment history. The value of my payout is on the order of $1,900 a month. Note when I retired I could have bought a personally-funded annuity for approximately that amount.

      Had I been allowed to keep my own money and invest in reasonably-secure securities and stock funds, there would have been at least some rate of return, or at a minimum, interest, on those funds. I put together a spreadsheet which allows me to adjust rates-of-return on a decadal basis for the fund that I “contributed” (had stolen from me) for each year.

      Even assuming ridiculously low rates of return, my minimum dollar total at the time I retired would have been on the close order of $450,000…higher rates of return (like those that could have been earned in the high-interest/high-inflation periods of the 70’s and 80′) bring that closer to $600,000. But focus on the lowest probable rate of return and the annuity I could have purchased from that total investment figure, and my monthly payout would have been on the close order of $3,600. That’s almost 1.9 times higher than what SocSec is paying me. Rates of return similar to what I’ve earned in my 401(k) would have been more like 2.4 times as much.

      By screwing over the middle- and upper-middle-income earners to pay out to those who never contributed a dime, SocSec is welfare ONLY to those who didn’t pay into it. The fact that you can be “disabled” by choosing to be a junky is just sort of mind-boggling. It’s just another damned tax on the productive to pay for the parasites.

      P.S.: For those who say, “Well, you’d never have actually saved that money”, I say BS. I paid into my 401(k) the full 17% for my employment history, and retired with a fair chunk of change, plus the investment returns, without any problem at all. The only issue now is that those were all pre-tax dollars and I will be taxed on them when I start withdrawing as income…but now living in an income-tax-free state, I’ll only owe the feds, rather than giving a lot of it to the Soviet Socialist State of Minnesota where I earned it.

    3. I sometimes consider Social Security as reparations for being taxed all my working life. It would have been better to have that money to invest as I saw fit and. in fact, estimating conservatively, my “nest egg” would be at least twice what it is now if I just had the SS money. Unfortunately, absent the Feds paying me back with interest, I will probably have to be content with reparations and whatever my investments add to my liquid assets when I finally retire.

      1. I did the experiment. My company had a 401K plan to which my contribution plus their match nearly always was 15%, equal to the social security bite. When I retired, my 401K was equal to almost exactly FOUR times the NPV (I used a 6% discount rate for the NPV calculation.) of my expected social security payments. (I assumed the social security payments would inflate at 3%. So far, they haven’t done that well.)

        Oh well, what would I do with an extra $81,000 per year, the extra income I’d have if the social security tax had been invested in my 401K? I’d probably just waste it on bigger pickup trucks, more guns, better booze, and loose women, the last of which would have the wife using one of those guns to be sure I didn’t enjoy that extra income nearly as long as I assumed in the above mentioned NPV calculation😉

    4. I find it amusing that everyone’s getting angry about my characterization of Social Security as just another form of Welfare (it is, see Flemming vs. Nestor:, rather than my “sterilize the bums” program. I guess we all agree on that one at least:-).

      As for Social Security, the fact that we’ve all been robbed for years or decades (I’m 52, so decades in my case) to finance other people’s retirements, with no recourse to withdraw from the program, and that the promises that we’ll receive future benefits extracted from *other* people’s taxes, is exactly why I characterize SS as Welfare. We have no contractual rights to a return on SS. Congress could zero out all bennies tomorrow and no one would have standing to sue.

      Yes, those of us forced to finance the system would’ve been better off had our money not been stolen. So what? Our money is gone, given to people who did nothing to earn it. Now we get to look forward to receiving money stolen from younger people. Yay!

      Calling it an insult doesn’t change the facts.

  12. Jordan has another lecture where he also talks about IQ and Africa. That’s even more terrifying, not only because the numbers are staggering bad, its a subject that cant be talked about.

  13. Another thing one needs to remember is that the middle eastern Muslims are allowed, under sharia law to marry first cousins (among other family members). This leads to a devastating decline in IQs as evidenced by looking in the CIA Factbook or any other reference which compares average IQ by country.

    1. Not over time. It doesn’t change the gene pool, it just causes more immediate congenital problems.

      In any case, first cousin marriage is legal in lots of countries – Britain for instance. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were first cousins (her mother and his father were siblings).

      What nails the Middle East is that cousin marriage is encouraged and even imposed, so it happens at a relatively high rate.

      “…the CIA Factbook or any other reference which compares average IQ by country.”

      The Factbook doesn’t have any such data, AFAICT. And I would be astonished if it did. I don’t know of any generally available reference which does.

  14. I believe there’s a workable long-term answer to the problem of the useless class: not just the stupid, but people who have serious congenital problems getting their act together.

    Make contraception extremely easy, free, and 100% reliable. In particular, make it something that goes on and stays on with no further effort. It’s contraception: it can come right off if that is consciously chosen. (But with a modest cost, so very few of the useless class ever will.)

    Also, make it for men as well as women.

    There are technologies that can just about do this now. It would take some work to get it completely right, but I think it’s doable.

    The vast majority will take it up, especially if there’s a modest incentive.

    It would drive down working, middle, and upper class fertility as well, but that’s happening anyway. But I think it would crash useless-class fertility.

    Within a generation or two, the useless class would be largely gone.

    1. There is a time-delay birth control capsule, injected just under the skin and good for 6 months. It’s been out for at least 20 years, and the Michigan welfare agency (FIA) offered it free to women on their rolls. It did not make much difference.

    2. The male birth control pill is much more difficult, and probably impossible. Women’s fertility is normally off, and only turns on for a few days each month if the conditions are right. Women athletes and anorexics often have their periods stop because their endocrine system thinks excessive exercise and/or starvation makes it a bad time for a baby. So it’s not particularly difficult to trick that system into shutting down ovulation; what took more work was not also shutting down menstruation, because male doctors thought monthly bleeding was required for a woman to feel normal.

      But males are naturally fertile from early puberty until you’d have to extract the sperm with a needle because not even viagra will get it up anymore. (I have an aunt that’s younger than my oldest child, because my 60-something grandfather got his secretary pregnant – and that was decades before viagra.) There’s no natural shutdown path short of simulating a severe illness, extreme old age, or the effects of a Nazi concentration camp – the side effects of that pill would be as unacceptable as castration.

      The one acceptable way to shut down male fertility is mechanical – cut and plug the sperm ducts, or otherwise block them. Infections can arise from the surgery, but they are rare if it’s done right. But you have to think of that as permanent; surgeons can try to undo a vasectomy, but I get the impression there are more failures than successes. It’s also possible to implant valves in the sperm ducts. _If_ that doesn’t cause swellings that block the sperm ducts, the valves may be opened with a magnet to restore fertility. I’ve also heard of injecting a plug into the duct that can be dissolved later with another injection, but I suspect that every way of tampering with the sperm ducts will involve some risk of complications that make the infertility permanent.

  15. Another way to look at Social Security: compare the retirement payout/contributions ratio for different income levels. It’s hard to find the payout schedules on-line, but I could compare my wife’s and my own SS statements. She worked at low-paying jobs for about 7 years before we married, and only intermittently after that, but she did make the 10 “quarters” requirement to fully qualify for retirement. I’ve been working for over 45 years, most of it at higher paying jobs; on my paycheck alone, we’ve been a little above the median household income for most of that time.

    I’ve involuntarily contributed 26 times as much, and I get 5 times as much as she would if she had to claim social security on her own contributions. (Instead, she gets 50% of the rate they pay me.) So it looks to me like overall the SSA retirement payout is 20% based on contributions to the fund (but with no legal obligation for the government to continue paying), and 80% welfare. It gives those who’ve barely worked much, much more than what they put in plus a reasonable interest rate – although not really enough to live on – and those who’ve provided most of the support for the previous retirees a bare living, but much less than any decent private plan would have for the same contributions.

    As for the Ponzi scheme aspect of the SSA, I think that _if_ we have a plan where the government pays out, it’s better that it be a Ponzi scheme where taxes on workers go directly to retirees, than a Government Bureau of Investments. Just imagine the politicking and corruption involved if the government is picking stocks and bonds. And imagine how bad those picks would be; this might turn out to be the only large investment plan ever that lost money steadily over many decades.

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