The poor really are dim

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Something we really might want to do something about as well.

12 thoughts on “The poor really are dim”

  1. No, they are sick because they are poor.

    Poor countries aren’t poor because of all their interesting diseases, rich countries had malaria too, but they could afford to eradicate it.

  2. Poverty increases the amount of sickness.

    Sickness in the short-term makes you poorer in a poverty stricken society but in the long-term reduces IQ (from what I understand from a brief glance at the Gates missive).
    Poverty (real poverty, dying of hunger poverty, throughout society, not PlayStation British poverty) becomes entrenched through less resourceful people.

    Good water, micro-credit, basic vaccination and health programmes, stimulus for locally sustainable businesses (getting yams to market when prices are high, or whatever goes) might do it. Merely pouring aid into massive western style development programmes won’t.

  3. “Something we really might want to do something about as well.”

    Or you could consider the sentiments in The Dead Kennedys song

    “Kill The Poor”

    Efficiency and progress is ours once more
    Now that we have the Neutron bomb
    It’s nice and quick and clean and gets things done
    Away with excess enemy
    But no less value to property
    No sense in war but perfect sense at home:

    The sun beams down on a brand new day
    No more welfare tax to pay
    Unsightly slums gone up in flashing light
    Jobless millions whisked away
    At last we have more room to play
    All systems go to kill the poor tonight

    Gonna
    Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor:Tonight

    Behold the sparkle of champagne
    The crime rate’s gone
    Feel free again
    O’ life’s a dream with you, Miss Lily White
    Jane Fonda on the screen today
    Convinced the liberals it’s okay
    So let’s get dressed and dance away the night

    While they:
    Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor:Tonight

  4. Sorry Tim – I see a number of correlations here, not just disease, but education, opportunity, poor living standards/accommodation, etc. all of which (especially in combination) have an effect on personal development and therefore (to an extent), IQ.

  5. It depends on how you measure IQ.

    The IQ tests are probably skewed towards an urban educated western population rather rural uneducated people. That dosen’t mean the rural folk are dim, just that they use their intelligence in a different way which means that their IQ scores are lower.

  6. Could the increase in IQ be related to something else – end of WW2 , or introduction of TV, coming of meat etc?

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Mr Potarto – “No, they are sick because they are poor. Poor countries aren’t poor because of all their interesting diseases, rich countries had malaria too, but they could afford to eradicate it.”

    They are sick because they are incompetent. Poverty has little to do with it. Italy had malaria and it was finally eliminated under Mussolini when Italy was fairly poor. China had a lot of malaria, and it was eliminated under Mao when China was poorer than any part of Africa.

    What these countries lack is basic competence and organisation. Poverty is likely to be a result of this rather than a cause.

    Indeed you can see this in Papua New Guinea. Malaria was endemic to the Lowlands. The Australian colonial administration imposed an internal quarantine on people travelling to the Highlands. Thus no malaria in the Highlands. At independence the PNG government stopped bothering. Malaria is now endemic to the Highlands as well.

  8. That outlier at average IQ of 60 and a disease burden of “only” 3 is fascinating. I couldn’t ID the country from the original pdf. Can anyone?

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    blokeinfrance – “That outlier at average IQ of 60 and a disease burden of “only” 3 is fascinating. I couldn’t ID the country from the original pdf. Can anyone?”

    Well whichever country it is I would guess they have a pathetic health reporting system.

    But perhaps it is Equatorial Guinea.

    10 Martin – “Mid 19th Century nonsense. How historically, and depressingly, American.”

    Please do tell.

  10. I remember something similar in The Economist about how malnutrition inhibits brain development, learning etc.

    some people can’t seem to separate out the idea that saying “the poor are dim” ain’t the same thing as saying “the poor deserve their plight” but can rather be “we need to erase poverty toot sweet, look at the damage it does”

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