My guess is that your thesis is more accurate than Smith's. But I am going to go off at a bit of a tangent on the subject of emigration/immigration:

The only sane immigration policy for an rich society to adopt would have been to filter/select for the immigrants who could convincingly show a very positive identification with the values of the host society. (Immigration to19th/early 20thc. America was approximately that way....or am I romanticising?) They would not necessarily have had to be intellectually top notch....just keen to contribute. You could even make a case that the emigrant culture would benefit from off-loading some of its more culturally alienated citizens (although not a strong case I suspect).

I have said "would have been" deliberately because - in the US and much of Europe - that horse has long ago bolted in the wake of 'multiculturalism'. (For instance, any documentation produced by the UK National Health Service these days will convey some useless bit of information followed by several pages of translations of said information into upwards of 30 different languages because God forbid that they should feel the need to learn the language of their new home) Rant over. https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/

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I don't think the horse has necessarily bolted for good. Look at Kazakhstan: Soviet population transfers pushed Kazakhs into being a minority in their own country, but since regaining their national pride they have restored themselves to being a majority again. It's not over until it's over.

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Sep 5, 2023·edited Sep 5, 2023Liked by Aporia

"The only sane immigration policy for an rich society to adopt would have been to filter/select for the immigrants who could convincingly show a very positive identification with the values of the host society."

I once believed that was the case, but have gradually reconciled my views on the subject with the viewpoint which Isaiah Berlin assigns to Herder:

"Germans can be truly creative only among Germans; Jews only if they are restored to the ancient soil of Palestine. Those who are forcibly pulled up by the roots wither in a foreign environment, when they survive at all: Europeans lose their virtue in America, Icelanders decay in Denmark. Imitation of models (unlike unconscious, unperceived, spontaneous influenced by one society on another) leads to artificiality, feeble imitativeness, degraded art and life."

The immigrants in question, within my view, would never genuinely adapt to the values of a European/Christian/Caucasian society, no matter how much they exhibited the outer vestiges of such an identification. Culture recapitulates biology; the more mixed a society becomes, multicultural or otherwise, the less original it becomes, step by step.

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Sep 6, 2023Liked by Aporia

Indian IT workers have not done anything for the US except lower wages for American IT workers who are eventually replaced by Indians. Filipino nurses have not benefited the US, it's just lowered wages and created Filipino enclaves all over the US further adding to the ethnic confusion that is the US today. These workers and now residents, send billions of dollars home in remittances that might benefit India and the Philippines, but is money lost permanently to the US. The importation of "skilled" workers who are too genetically different from the European majority in the US has been an unmitigated disaster.

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Convincing. It would be interesting to see a similar analysis looking at unskilled migration. Does it provide a benefit to the country of origin? In other words, are unskilled immigrants coming from the other end of the tail, or do they possess other valuable attributes (e.g. determination, persistence)?

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Sep 7, 2023·edited Sep 7, 2023

You clearly didn't actually read the article, and are only reacting to what you think it's about based on the thumbnail and subheading.

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“For example, the average intelligence of US college graduates has been trending downward over time because less and less intelligent people have been enrolling in college.” Fewer and fewer?

And is this even true? Or is the proportion if the intelligent population applying to college mostly stable, while the mediocre and ret*rded portions rising? Otherwise great article

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Sep 7, 2023·edited Sep 7, 2023Liked by Aporia

You and he are saying the same thing. The "less and less" is actually correct and important to the understanding of the sentence. He's not saying that fewer people of high intelligence are enrolling; he's saying people of ever lesser intelligence are also enrolling, therefore depressing the average intelligence of US college grads.

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Sep 5, 2023Liked by Aporia

He would profit a lot from reading rindermanns cognitive capitalism

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Sep 6, 2023Liked by Aporia

"The Nazis’ dismissal of Jewish scientists had a much greater negative impact on research output than did the wholesale destruction of buildings and equipment by allied bombers..."

This is automatically assuming that the research that was being done by Jewish scientists was useful. A large number of the Jews who were doing "research" in Germany were in the "soft sciences" and theoretical physics, neither of which are very useful. These "scientists" all fled to the United States and we can see the fruits of their labors today. Half of the young population doesn't know what sex they want to be, boys chasing boys and girls chasing girls, a scientifically illiterate population that takes shots that haven't been tested that thinks that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

Germany lost the war because they couldn't match the manufacturing of the United States when it was at it's peak, much the same as the United States and Europe are losing the Ukraine war because they can't match the manufacturing might of Russia and China. If the Jewish scientists had stayed in Germany it would've had very little impact on the outcome of the war, there would've been more gender confusion and useless books about the big bang and discussions on whether the term "black hole" is racist or not.

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Dec 21, 2023·edited Dec 21, 2023

There's a lot of things I disagree with in this article, but let me concentrate on one paragraph, to be concrete:

"An economist sees a country lose 100,000 college graduates to emigration before gaining 200,000 through increased education, and concludes that human capital has doubled. But if those 100,000 were among the smartest and hardest-working people in the country, human capital has not doubled; it has almost certainly fallen."

The marker of "increased human capital" is not "Increased education", but rather "passing a licensing examination".

Take the example of the nurses study. Let's say the top nurses emigrate to the US. What happens to nursing in the Philippines?

The paper found that the average "marginal nurse quality" was worse because of increased supply and demand -- but there were 10 times as many LICENSED nurses. There people didn't just take a nursing course, they PASSED a nursing licensing exam -- same as before. This means that, if we're just looking at "nursing capital", we had 10 times as many people above the bar of "intelligent / knowledgeable enough to pass a nursing exam".

How is this not evidence of increased human capital?

To anticipate some objections:

Maybe you can argue that the top nurses have so much human capital that even if 10 times as many nurses are now above the bar, it still means the total capital has fallen. But this has to be demonstrated, not handwaved at.

Maybe the smart people from other areas just happened to go into nursing now. And the total capital has not increased. That can happen, sure. But if you have any evidence that this effect dominates the other effect, do present it.

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