Lion of the Blogosphere

Reminder about post-scarcity economics

The middle-class feels poorer because the rewards of the modern economy, based on automation and information technology, are winner-take-all. Lucky people who are the first to discover and exploit natural monopolies become billionaires. Low-paid Chinese “stealing” American jobs is only a temporary gap before robots are able to do those jobs for even less per hour.

The problem is that we are wedded to the notion that the only way someone can be allowed to partake of the abundance of cheap Chinese-manufactured stuff, or robot-manufactured stuff, is if they earn their money in a job in a laissez-faire economy.

While one “solution” is to destroy all of the robots and to close our borders to trade with China (thus creating an artificial labor shortage), a better solution to the problem is to move from laissez-faire capitalism to a better way of allocating resources.

As much as Donald Trump’s trade solutions sound good in the gut, they are based on zero-sum pre-post-scarcity caveman thinking.

* * *

paying someone $15/hour to do something a Chinese person or a robot can do for $1/hour is just as much make-work as having the government hire people to do pointless stuff and fund it by taxing businesses and the rich. And the government-created jobs could be more enriching and fulfilling. I sure wish the government would pay me to blog.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 9, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Posted in Economics

62 Responses

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  1. What are your thoughts on the state of population eugenics?

    Is there going to be enough of a smart fraction alive, enough to sustain this level of automation and civilization?

    I’m in favor of moving towards a post-scarcity cool stuff for everyone with lots of freedom and free time life-style, but we will need to be much stricter on population growth, who gets to work in the few jobs there are, and how we determine “rewards” if any.


    March 9, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    • Its already happening, the more science and math advance the less people are able to and understand it

      Estimated iq thresholds for mastery or discovery

      Calculus = 120
      Differential equations, undergrad level math classes taken by stem = 130
      Masters level math courses taken by stem = 135
      PhD level maths = 145
      Fermat’s last theorem = 160
      Poincare conjecture = 170
      Inter universal teichmuller theory = 180

      What is most likely to happen if we don’t do anything eugenic is that we stay at this level of tech forever. We might be able to colonize Mars by building underground cities but that would be the extent of our limits.

      Already we are seeing signs of this in academia, most of the average stem professors with probably 150 iq don’t really understand the things that the leading researchers are working on or don’t have mastery so they can’t contribute anything new


      March 10, 2016 at 11:01 am

  2. No one is arguing for a Butlerian Jihad, Lion, and Trump’s instincts on trade are correct, as these economists point out:

    BTW, I did get the $25 promo from PredictIt, so thanks for that. Are you going to buy Trump for the general election yet? He’s at 30 cents now; I’d wait if I thought he’d get cheaper, but can’t think of what would knock him down now.

    Dave Pinsen

    March 9, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    • “can’t think of what would knock him down now”

      I guess you haven’t been reading the contested convention posts.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 9, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    • If Trump loses Ohio (and Florida obviously, if somehow Zombie Rubio packs a punch) his odds of victory will go down.


      March 10, 2016 at 10:06 am

  3. But what is the better way and who will be in charge of it?


    March 9, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    • I’d favor a job guarantee program. Cut almost all other welfare programs but create a federal program where anyone in any part of the country can sign up and be given some job by the federal government paying, say, 12/hr for up to 40 hours per week.


      March 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      • And what are they gonna do with lazy and stupid workers that don’t produce? I think they shouldn’t pay them anything, just make them work, flog them and feed them minimum ratios until they start producing. When they produce for $1, they get paid that $1. What do you think?


        March 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      • Sounds like it might work. When I was a teen, the federal government ran a summer job program for teens called something like CITA. There were family income restrictions and I didn’t qualify.

        E. Rekshun

        March 10, 2016 at 4:59 am

      • what are they gonna do with lazy and stupid workers that don’t produce?

        You’re missing the point. In the post-scarcity economy, it doesn’t matter if “workers” in government-invented pretend jobs don’t produce. The robots are doing all the production. Even the “best” (most smart and capable) workers are not producing anything that matters, and their “output” has exactly the same (zero) significance as the “output” of the lazy and stupid workers.

        The real challenge for the government in a post-scarcity economy will be to invent jobs that provide personal meaning (as opposed to economic meaning, which will of necessity be zero) for both sides of the bell curve. Both types of people will need challenge and stimulation. The track record of governments creating “enriching and fulfilling” jobs is not all that great — think East Germany or North Korea, where everyone’s main job is spying on everyone else.


        March 10, 2016 at 9:35 am

      • Just set up fake jobs in fake companies. They do it in France.

        Mike Street Station

        March 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    • Venture capitalist Albert Wenger offers two ideas:

      Dave Pinsen

      March 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

  4. “As much as Donald Trump’s trade solutions sound good in the gut, they are based on zero-sum pre-post-scarcity caveman thinking.”

    I wouldn’t call his trade solutions as really…solutions. They are simply a response to the damage being done by the current trade policies. It’s a “if you are in a hole stop digging” scenario, not a path to a better economy by itself.

    Mike Street Station

    March 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

  5. The middle class feels poorer in part because:
    Education has gotten expensive as a way to try and move up to upper middle class and value transference professions
    Housing has gotten expensive to move away from inner cities and prole areas
    Stuff has gotten expensive due to better stuff being available, and the need for status signaling

    Basic income will only encourage more bad behavior. We already have a shadow system for those who can not, could not, or will not work – via various disability and worker’s compensation schemes. Or, did Lion have a different “better way” in mind?

    I agree that we are in a post-agricultural and post-manufacturing economy. Even after the robots, we will still need service personnel, academics, and bobo professionals.


    March 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    • “I agree that we are in a post-agricultural and post-manufacturing economy. Even after the robots, we will still need service personnel, academics, and bobo professionals.”

      We won’t need nearly as many as there are and will be unemployed people.


      March 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    • Even after the robots, we will still need service personnel, academics, and bobo professionals.

      In line with jakov’s recommendation for the trades, robot-repairman will be a great career.

      E. Rekshun

      March 10, 2016 at 5:03 am

      • “Even after the robots, we will still need … academics”

        Yes, would would we do without all those far-leftist college professors?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 10, 2016 at 10:17 am

    • We will need service personnel and bobo professionals… until those services are automated.

      We won’t need academics at all in a post-scarcity economy. Most of academia today exists to provide vocational training — and yes, lots of deluded people sign up for stupid, useless degrees not because they “value knowledge” but because they have convinced themselves that the “credential” will have future value in the job market. If nobody needs a job because the robots do all the work, the bottom will drop out of the academic market. Moreover, academia can be automated, too. Your lectures will come to you directly to your home at a very reasonable price. This capability should be more than enough to satisfy everyone who has a genuine “thirst for knowledge” and who doesn’t need to pay for a credential in a post-scarcity economy.


      March 10, 2016 at 9:42 am

  6. “paying someone $15/hour to do something a Chinese person or a robot can do for $1/hour is just as much make-work as having the government hire people to do pointless stuff and fund it by taxing businesses and the rich. And the government-created jobs could be more enriching and fulfilling. I sure wish the government would pay me to blog.”

    It doesn’t even have to be “funded” by taxing the rich or corporations. The only constraint to government spending is inflation. It’s not at all clear what level of un-“funded” deficit spending could cause high inflation in the US right now.


    March 9, 2016 at 7:09 pm

  7. I’ve thought a lot about post scarcity societies when I used to blog. Basically it would an ironic mix of libertarianism (we wouldn’t need to many regulations, bureacrats, wars etc) and communism.

    But lately its dawned on me that people will always be unequal economically because humans derive value from their relative consumption to others beyond a necessary sustenance consumption rate. Its not enough everyone has a Bugatti: pretty soon some people would demand better looking maids, better teachers for their kids….relative demand would shift to something “naturally” scarce like physically delivered services, illicit goods, collectibles, or ephemeral experiences which are all by definition defined by their relative paucity in supply.

    Human beings are in a way defined economically by their desire to find value in scarcity.

    The Philosopher

    March 9, 2016 at 7:11 pm

  8. I can’t believe post-scarcity economics will take off until enough wealth is being produced to make everyone have an upper-middle class lifestyle. (I mean the wealth of the upper-middle class, not their actual lifestyle.)


    March 9, 2016 at 7:12 pm

  9. “As much as Donald Trump’s trade solutions sound good in the gut, they are based on zero-sum pre-post-scarcity caveman thinking.”

    You still need trade balance, or else all the wealth will flow to China.

    He is right about wanting trade balance.


    March 9, 2016 at 7:17 pm

  10. The ideal would be transition to an abundance economy with guaranteed minimum income but I think it’s also wise to acknowledge the threat of far darker outcomes.

    In this world, we get food and shelter when we can provide things other people want. If enough people are no longer needed, perhaps they just starve or when they start having mass bread riots are simply wiped out.
    I worry about this because there have been plenty of historical times when people were wiped out or left to die when they ceased to benefit their masters. A favorite example of mine is the highland clearances in 18th century Scotland. Sheep became more profitable than peasant tenants, so the peasants had their houses burned down and were driven out. No one especially cared if they ended up starving afterward.
    Irish food exports during the Irish potato famine or during Indian famines are also examples just looking at the British Empire alone. A saturated human market sometimes means human life is cheaper than even the most basic goods.
    The lower skilled classes of the labor force might simply end up like horses after the automobile became commonplace.

    I also am not so sure abundance can be assumed as a constant. We may see certain scarcities re-emerge and a new spate of zero sum games. North America and Europe despite their steady declines are facing renewed migrant pressures as the lower decks of a sinking world ship begin to flood.

    Giovanni Dannato

    March 9, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    • Basic income should only cover rent and housing costs. Most people who work today, are paying a large chunk of their salary on housing, and not food, and most certainly, not a $20 French baguette sandwich.


      March 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

  11. You need to create the illusion that the job is necessary. People doing make-work job will only be satisfied if they don’t realize their jobs are make-work. The Gulf states have created make-work jobs for their youth and the youth are still dissatisfied.


    March 9, 2016 at 7:23 pm

  12. Any thoughts on AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol?


    March 9, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    • Those kinds of algorithms are the kind of things that computers are good at – a bounded system with a limited amount of outcomes and a limited amount of variables to process that are essentially mathematical in nature. Computers are much, much worse at processing messy organic data like human speech and biology.

      A lot of this talk about automation is just taking a present trend and extrapolating it into infinity. That isn’t how the real world works – otherwise the future would be easy to predict. The more stuff gets automated, the harder it is to automate the rest of the messy stuff. And that’s what humans are good at. A lot of work for 100+ IQ people is and will be assisting automation for the cases that aren’t easily handled by computers.


      March 9, 2016 at 10:48 pm

  13. But Donald Trump’s solutions are the only long term solutions.

    More mouths to feed means less of everything else for the underemployed. And the problems of Diversity aren’t going away either.


    March 9, 2016 at 7:54 pm

  14. What in the world will people do once they don’t have to work? High IQ human beings can derive satisfaction out of unstructured self actualization, but this is a very small segment of the population. The majority of regular people, the proles, require productive labor for satisfaction and fulfillment. With guaranteed basic income i envision a future citizenry awash in virtual porn and state issued marijuana.


    March 9, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    • They would engage in hobbies like hunting, fishing, and sports, which is why they will need lots more wealth than required for the basics of food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare.


      March 9, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      • They’d do what they do now, play video games, masturbate and get fat. The strenuous life appeals only to a small minority.


        March 10, 2016 at 10:13 am

    • Think Matrix pods full of proles playing Grand Theft Auto. Challenge and fulfillment!


      March 10, 2016 at 9:44 am

    • For the proles, the same they do now when not able/willing to work: garbage TV, Walmart shopping, getting tattoos, drinking cheap beer, and easily available legal and illegal marijuana and opiates


      March 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    • Again, basic income should only cover basic living expenses. Throwing a few hundred dollars at a prole or a NAM, means more wasteful consumation.

      Basic income should only cover housing costs. No more and no less!


      March 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

  15. Is there really going to be a robot economy? Moore’s law is done by 2020 so computing power isn’t going to be getting any better. Meanwhile either the economy stays shitty, and nobody can afford robots or the economy booms and energy prices go back up making robots impractical.

    p.s.: The economy is going to stay shitty. Recession next year.

    Otis the Sweaty

    March 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    • No, that’s a globaloney lie. Economics isn’t Lion’s strong point. There will always be a need for skilled labor. A healthy economy needs lots of it.


      March 9, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    • I’m with you. I don’t understand why people are suddenly talking so much more about A.I. advances just as computing technology is hitting a plateau.

      Also, if post-scarcity were possible, it wouldn’t be sustainable. Between the human need to seek status and the human need to breed, the resources will always find a way to be consumed. We have to assume that the people who keep the system running will be even softer than the West is today. They will not be willing to use the violence necessary to limit the fast-breeding low IQ types.

      So, maybe in a century or three, we’ll have the A.I. technology to implement the post-scarcity economy, and it will last for maybe a few generations until the system collapses.

      Humans are always approaching their Malthusian limit. Even when it looks like they’re not, processes are always moving into position to return us to that limit. Humans are designed to multiply, not to live a post-scarcity existence.


      March 10, 2016 at 2:23 am

      • White Europeans never bred to their Malthusian limits. The need to earn enough status to be able to support a wife and family produced caps on population growth.


        March 10, 2016 at 10:48 am

      • That’s still a Malthusian limit.

        The idea comes from Farewell to Alms. A Malthusian limit doesn’t necessarily mean that the maximum possible population exists at a point in time. There is no place on Earth where that state exists, outside of maybe the bacteria in a petri dish.

        A Malthusian limit means that the population grown has sufficiently dense that it has caused the death rate to meet or exceed the birth rate, by way of malnutrition and disease. You can be at a Malthusian limit even if the TFR is 2.1, if the population has reached the maximum density that that birth rate will allow, given agricultural productivity, sanitation, and medical capabilities. Of course, in practice, populations with such a low birth rate tend to be replaced by populations with higher birth rates.

        And Europe or parts of Europe reached such a state several times. Such societies tend to eventually either experience catastrophic Plague or famine (e.g. the Black Death) or migrate outward (e.g. the eastward migration of Germans during the Middle Ages, or the Viking migrations and conquests).


        March 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      • High-investment parenting, and not availability of food, is what caused the plummet in the birthrate. It’s just too burdensome to have more than one or two kids.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 10, 2016 at 2:33 pm

  16. I sure wish the government would pay me to blog.

    I wouldn’t mind, but then other people would take advantage of the government’s generosity by saying they want to blog. A robot-future will either ensure a universal basic income, or the elimination of most of humanity by our Aristocrat overlords.


    March 9, 2016 at 8:37 pm

  17. If Trump’s nationalism catches on after a few years then there is the possibility that consumer tastes and demands will shift in aggregate to local/US products. With the right kind of trade/tax/regulatory reform (the kind Trump has been talking about), monopolies will fall away and countless cottage industries will spring up across the country like mushrooms to meet the new demand for handmade goods/US manufactured products/locally grown food.

    There will be plenty of jobs for people.

    Andrew E.

    March 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm

  18. Lion, I think you’ve conflated a few different issues in this post. Balanced trade makes economic sense whether you have a minimum wage or not, and whether or not you give people a basic income or not.

    Anyhow, onto PredictIt, I just bought Bernie Sanders @ 13 cents in the NC primary. The gap between him and Hillary seems too high, considering there’s only a 20 point gap in RCP.

    Dave Pinsen

    March 10, 2016 at 12:20 am

    • Dave, there is a large group of very respectable economists who question the simplistic notion of “free trade.” Google Ralph Gomory, William Baumol, and the late John Culbertson.

      Lion, I strongly suggest you acquaint yourself with these economists. It might open your eyes. Our society has a hollowed out manufacturing base because American political economy is set up on behalf of big business, corporations and not the American people. I’ve already ranted about this ad nauseum, so I’ll cut it short, but sometimes in my bleaker moments I wonder whether or not the elites are quite happy to see the white working class exterminated.


      March 10, 2016 at 7:53 am

      • Yes.

        They want the white working class exterminated.


        March 10, 2016 at 10:52 am

  19. ” better solution to the problem is to move from laissez-faire capitalism to a better way of allocating resources.”

    Is this what they used to call “communism” ?


    March 10, 2016 at 12:53 am

    • You mean that all of the nation’s resources should benefit the community instead of just a few billionaire oligarchs? I’m not sure.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 10, 2016 at 10:15 am

      • I just think that these are the exactly the same questions that were behind the rise of the marxism in 19th century. Maybe you should start to study Marx? Surely communism was a huge failure, but probably there’s interesting questions and ideas in his works.


        March 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

      • Communism never worked that way. It was – always and everywhere – a way of transferring wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected. The resources of the USSR and PRC did not “benefit the community”, they benefited the Communist Party elite and primarily the Politburo.

        Stalin, Mao, Khrushchev, etc., were all “billionaire oligarchs”.


        March 10, 2016 at 11:16 am

      • Then we need a new economic system which we can call Lionism, free from the baggage of other isms like socialism and communism.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 10, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      • “Communism never worked that way. It was – always and everywhere – a way of transferring wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected. ”

        Communism never worked that way, but I mean the reason why the communism was born in the first place. Even the communism was failure, Marx’s analysis of capitalism is pretty interesting.

        And then how about “the third way” ala Mussolini and Franco? Is there some similarities in Lionism with them?

        And maybe the Lionism will work same way as communism. So better to be good friends with Lion so you can be politically connected and get some wealth transfers to yourself also.


        March 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

  20. The government already hires hundreds of thousands of people to do pointless stuff. A few of those jobs are fun, but most of them are deadening.


    March 10, 2016 at 2:22 am

  21. It is financially better for the country to make the American work $1 an hour and pay him $14 in welfare

    Than to pay the American $15 in welfare and Then pay the Chinese $1.

    If you want your universal income check you need to work.

    And there is plenty of work that needs to be done, just look at NYC. Streets are dirty and filthy, subways are dirty and filthy. Subway system barely maintained, subway overcrowded, a lot of fire hydrants are broken.

    Instead of paying workers to do nothing why not pay them to clean or to do something useful like mining.

    Even if it is not profitable it is still more profitable than paying people to do nothing.


    March 10, 2016 at 10:43 am

    • Maybe, maybe not. Running an organisation where a bunch of people who couldn’t get a regular job and can’t be fired have to do mining or menial work is an administrative challenge. It costs money to run. Just sending the dolees checks is a lot more efficient, which may or may not outweight the benefits of getting some mining and cleaning done.

      Plus, some people will take advantage of the free time they have to work on community-positive stuff like community gardens, or just doing a better job of taking care of their kids, or going back to school, maybe even doing something creative or starting a business. Some of which could prove economically productive eventually down the line. On the other hand, other people will take advantage of the free time to get into trouble and break stuff, so maybe it’s a wash on net. Maybe require work for men under 30 to keep them busy/tired and everybody else just gets a basic income?

      Greg Pandatshang

      March 10, 2016 at 11:28 am

      • “Running an organisation where a bunch of people who couldn’t get a regular job and can’t be fired have to do mining or menial work is an administrative challenge. It costs money to run. Just sending the dolees checks is a lot more efficient, which may or may not outweight the benefits of getting some mining and cleaning done.

        This is true.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 10, 2016 at 12:23 pm

  22. Even if you assume post-scarcity economics, getting rid of offshore outsourcing and mass immigration still works. Opening up your guaranteed minimum income spigots to the rest of the world is a losing proposition.

    Additionally, post-scarcity needs to be put into context. What we are either observing or expecting is a drop in the marginal cost of producing certain items, probably a cost below what people can be employed for. This is not going to work generally across the board. Water, arable land, food, etc., are never going to drop to zero, so it is necessary to control how many people have access to a post-scarcity economy anyway.


    March 10, 2016 at 10:56 am

  23. @benshapiro How to completely obliterate the free trade w/Asia argument in three words: “Chinese Aircraft Carrier” or “Who funds madrassas?”

    ((( The Rebbe )))

    March 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm

  24. Elite diploma will always guarantee people a privileged access to “transfer” money to reward their given “status”. That trend shoud accentuate with capital accumulation but concentrate only on a very few bunch of “diploma” like Harvard Yale Princeton undegraduates (4 000 per year for 1 670 000 american passing the SAT).

    What’s interesting is that contrary to what everybody say, a super high intelligence, is still a big asset to integrate HYP :

    See the stat : HYP top 75 SAT scores, that is to say 1 000 students among 4 000 , have scores more that 2360. Only 2340 students (in 2014) scored that high (cf

    That means that when you score in the 1 out of 700 students, you’ve got 42% chances of being admitted to HYP. The data is coherent with no other school having such a high score for the top quartile. Only Caltech is proximate with 2350, but it takes only 240 students, that means it only need to select 60 students in those 2340 top scorers. The 4 highest is 2320 with Harvey Mudd and Darmouth ex aequo and the 6th is MIT ex aequo with Stanford at 2310

    For the top 1% score, so 16 000 people, they represent the average top quartile of best research and liberal arts universities, so 1/4 of 30 000 people, 10 000 . So it means that 50% of those scorer will enter those universities.

    —> My conclusion is that top american universities are still interested in recruiting a good part (50%) of the most intelligent people as measured by SAT. Havard Yale Princeton concentrate on the higly gifted (top 1 in 700, with an average of 1 in 100) , and top 30 other institutions in the gifted ( 1 in 100, with an average of 1 in 25).

    So that means that if you are a more-than-mensa material (intertel or ISPE society), you’re chances of getting a magic university diploma are still quite good. You only need to have ether good grades, or interesting extra curricular activities , or a moving application or difficult personal circunstances, and all should be OK. If you’re super smart, HYP is really doable. That also means that HYP is the best environment to socialize with ultra-bright kids, and there is no other place like that in graduate studies (except Yale and Harvard Law School)

    Research Universities 25-75 scores :

    Harvard University – SAT Scores (2100-2380)
    Princeton University – SAT Scores (2080-2360)
    Yale University – SAT Scores (2080-2370)
    California Institute of Technology – SAT Scores (2150-2350)
    Dartmouth College – SAT Scores (2020-2320)
    University of Chicago – SAT Scores (1980-2295)
    Brown University – SAT Scores (1990-2290)
    Columbia University – SAT Scores (1990-2290)
    Duke University – SAT Scores (1990-2290)
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology – SAT Scores (2040-2310)
    Stanford University – SAT Scores (2000-2310)
    Georgetown University – SAT Scores (1950-2235)
    Tufts University – SAT Scores (2010-2230)
    University of Notre Dame – SAT Scores (1930-2230)
    University of Pennsylvania – SAT Scores (1990-2270)
    Washington University in St Louis – SAT Scores (2055-2295)
    College of William and Mary – SAT Scores (1870-2160)
    Northwestern University – SAT Scores (1980-2250)
    Vanderbilt University – SAT Scores (1940-2210)
    Brandeis University – SAT Scores (1890-2190)
    Liberal Arts Colleges

    Swarthmore College – SAT Scores (2040-2300)
    Amherst College – SAT Scores (2000-2290)
    Pomona College – SAT Scores (2060-2280)
    Harvey Mudd College – SAT Scores (2110-2320)
    Reed College – SAT Scores (1960-2200)
    Williams College – SAT Scores (1980-2280)
    Carleton College – SAT Scores (1960-2220)
    Haverford College – SAT Scores (1940-2240)
    Oberlin College – SAT Scores (1880-2190)
    Wellesley College – SAT Scores (1960-2210)
    Wesleyan University – SAT Scores (1930-2210)
    Bowdoin College – SAT Scores (1950-2200)
    Grinnell College – SAT Scores (1875-2190)
    Middlebury College – SAT Scores (1900-2220)
    Vassar College – SAT Scores (1950-2190)
    Washington and Lee University – SAT Scores (1960-2190)

    Bruno from Paris

    March 10, 2016 at 5:18 pm

  25. And Harvard alone recruit 450 of the 1100 top SAT scorers, 1 in 1500. So the most elitist undergraduate school in the USA, take 45% of a given population, only based on scholastic results, this time at the 99.93% level, following the trend i’ve explained. Best schools recruit half of the top scorers at the highest level they can : top 1% for the best 30, top 1 in 700 for HYP, top 1 in 1500 for Harvard.

    50% means selecting as much as they can, that it is obvious that there is at least a good percentage of them that are unable to become a leader however large an acception you give to this term as for example unmotivated people (you can be bright and perform well in a 3.5 hour test without wanting to work really hard in a day to day base) .

    So top 1700 students of Harvard (1 in 1000) have an average level above 1 in 100 in SAT, that means that other criteria count on average only for 1 in 10. And for the first quartile , the proportion become 1 in 1500 in test and 1 in 2 for the rest.

    So if i were american, i wouldn’t desperate on the future of intelligence as many readers of this blog do 🙂

    Bruno from Paris

    March 10, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    • Of course not, not every Ivy League grad is a genius. Intellect has no place in American society, only if it generates more money.


      March 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

  26. For the last criteria , i must correct a small detail :

    Harvard select 1700 among 1700 000 potential candidates, so on average is 1 in 2000 (not 1 in 1000).
    That means that the selection is 1 in 100 on test and 1 in 20 for the rest.

    For Harvard top quartile, my previous data are correct, because one in 1500 (2380) is not the average, but the bottom level of the selection process. So it’s really a selection of 45% among people at the 1 in 1500 level.

    Bruno from Paris

    March 10, 2016 at 6:47 pm

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