Lion of the Blogosphere

Value transference: things vs. people

A re-post from the archives.

* * *

Thorstein Veblen explained that the more prestigious classes manipulate people while the less prestigious classes manipulate things. Thorstein Veblen called the prestigious class the “leisure class” because they didn’t have to do any unprestigious work. They are very similar to what I would call the value transference class, as the leisure class let other people do the boring value creation work, and transferred the wealth created to themselves so they could do more prestigious stuff with their lives.

In modern society, there are now three levels of prestige:

The least prestigious jobs manipulate physical objects. For example, the factory worker or the guy who works in the back of the restaurant cooking food.

More prestigious jobs manipulate non-verbal information, such as computer programmers, accountants, etc. (Maybe the accountant has more prestige than the computer programmer because financial stuff is considered more prestigious than techie stuff.)

The most prestigious jobs manipulate other people, and these are the jobs to which the SWPL class aspires. CEOs, actors and actresses, journalists, college professors, and investment bankers (who are salesmen who can crunch numbers) are examples.

Of course there are several factors involved in a job’s prestige. An engineer has more prestige than a car salesman, even though the former job manipulates non-verbal information and the latter job manipulates people. The fact that the engineer earns more and has a higher IQ both mean something when gauging relative prestige. But if you can hold the two other factors constant, and compare jobs which require equal IQs and earn equal money, the more people-oriented of the two jobs will usually be the more prestigious. If you compare the lawyer and the engineer, the two jobs may pay the same and require the same IQ, but the laywer will be perceived as more prestigious because his job is verbal rather than mathematical, and because he wears suits to work while the engineer wears jeans to work. (The suit is a way of manipulating people into thinking you are important.)

While it would be wrong to say that manipulating people never creates any value (the boss who makes sure his workers are contributing rather than goofing off is certainly creating value by doing that), it is usually the case that value transference requires the manipulation of people rather than the manipulation of physical objects or the nonverbal manipulation of data.

No matter what his company does, the CEO does not personally create value through the manipulation of physical objects or non-verbal information; you won’t see Bill Gates writing any code.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 5, 2016 at 10:22 am

Posted in Economics

98 Responses

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  1. Summer reruns: The Best of the Lion


    August 5, 2016 at 10:32 am

    • An important thing to remember for those freaking out about Trump dropping a bit in the polls. Nobody pays attention to anything in August. Worst month for sales, web hits, and tv ratings. Howard Stern (who Trump is a genuine life long listener of) made a point of not endorsing Pataki in his first run for Governor until the very end because he felt normal people didn’t pay attention to politics until two weeks before the election.

      BTW- here is a Stern “ad” for that year before he dropped out because of New York’s financial disclosure law. Like Trump, Stern understood criticism could be turned to his advantage:


      August 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm

  2. The most prestigious parasitic work, manipulate verbal information, hence manipulating people.

    The ultimate value transference job is of course what, Lion? Your blog is so much about politics, and yet it doesn’t get mention here.


    August 5, 2016 at 10:32 am

    • Politics are middle-class, the TOOS don’t get involved.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

      • Trump is not middle class.


        August 5, 2016 at 11:03 am

      • I used to work at a firm that dealt with people in this class- tech, hedge fund, and private equity people with net worths in the hundreds of millions to billions. (btw, “top out of sight” is a very accurate description. Most are very concerned with privacy and flying below the radar.) They tend not to get involved in politics in a public way, but some of them donate a lot of money. One of our clients held a fundraiser at his private home that Obama attended. There are a lot of those things, and they typically don’t get much publicity.


        August 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      • That is true of elected officials but not necessarily high level bureaucrats. TOOS loves pseudo governmental work that is under the radar such as the state department or dept. of environmental protection. Even at the state level you will see children of the upper class as the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of this or that. In fact I think that government work in many ways has become the pinnacle of value transference. The perks, cushy pension and job security is very rare in the private sector nowadays. It used to be that government work in America was looked down upon, but that has slowly changed as SWPLs are now in charge.


        August 6, 2016 at 10:45 am

  3. Can you deconstruct where medicine and surgery lie when it comes to prestige?


    August 5, 2016 at 10:38 am

    • Surgery is the most prestigious job that involves physical manipulation, and the middle-class and below view it as the most prestigious job, period. But rarely do children of billionaires become medical doctors.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 5, 2016 at 11:04 am

      • Romneys are biggest exception I can think of.

        Jokah Macpherson

        August 5, 2016 at 11:06 am

      • I had to Google that. Yes, one of his sons is an MD. Very odd. I wonder what motivated him to work so hard at medicine to make a salary that’s so small compared to the wealth of his father. When his father had the connections to get him a higher paying job in consulting or finance. Or he could have just worked in philanthropy.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

      • Interesting post.

        Maybe the accountant has more prestige than the computer programmer because financial stuff is considered more prestigious than techie stuff.

        Yes. My position in the finance department is seen as much more prestigious than similarly-paid techies in the IT department, and I receive much more respect from underlings and sr. management than do the techies. In fact, I get a premier office w/ a window on the top floor, three doors down from the CEO, and I work with little to no oversight or direction by management. The programmers and systems analysts work in windowless, cramped cubicles on the ground floor, with old and newly-delivered tech equipment strewn about. I get invited to VIP meetings and retirement parties and luncheons; the IT workers brown-bag it.

        On the other hand, when I did work as a software engineer in the ’80s at a tech company, the software developers, programmers, and engineers got a lot of respect; all the senior leaders worked their way up from engineering.

        rarely do children of billionaires become medical doctors.

        Yes, good observation. I can’t think of any other than William Kennedy Smith – nephew to JFK. Kennedy Smith was acquitted of rape in 1991.

        E. Rekshun

        August 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      • Romney is worth only 250 million according to reports. That’s still a lot though.

        The other sons are in real estate or other investment companies. I wonder how they got started in that.

        Maybe the doctor son wanted to “give back” to society so he became a Dr.. He was probably very interested in it and he didn’t have to worry about paying for medical school so he became a doctor. I assume Mitt paid for it.

        I think you have to really be interested in becoming a doctor to go through process. It’s not enough to want money. Most doctors aren’t making a ton of money any way.. They make a good living but are hardly super rich unless they have a big cosmetic surgery practice or something..


        August 5, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      • Doctors are not super rich, but for a kid from a middle-class family with no connections, they can probably make more money being a doctor than anything else, plus enjoy the prestige of being a doctor. I sure wish I had gone to medical school.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      • Doctors are not super rich, but for a kid from a middle-class family with no connections, they can probably make more money being a doctor than anything else, plus enjoy the prestige of being a doctor.

        Exactly! medical school has worked out exactly like this for a few family members, friends, and acquaintances.

        I sure wish I had gone to medical school. A couple of coworkers and I repeat this line to each other at least once per week.

        E. Rekshun

        August 6, 2016 at 12:04 am

      • Doctors don’t just have high salaries, they have job security, which is the more rare and more important commodity these days. This makes their salaries actually higher than it is nominally, since it’s guaranteed, unlike comparable or higher salaries in corporate management or law, where you can get fired at any time or pushed aside through office politics, etc.


        August 6, 2016 at 1:35 am

      • There is no profession so prestigious that you can’t screw it up.

        Sara Bubenik, M.D., went into the restroom of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center a few weeks ago and cried.

        She was due back at her $11-per-hour job as a medical scribe — a note-taking shadow of the doctor that she could have been. But Bubenik needed a few minutes to compose herself after an outright rejection from the director of internal medicine for a chance to apply to his residency program.

        At least he was honest, she says. It was for the same reasons Bubenik had heard hundreds of times — the program was “highly competitive” and she “wasn’t the right fit.”

        Bubenik graduated from Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine in 2013, but despite years of desperate searches and all-or-nothing gambles, she has not been able to land a residency, making her degree worthless.

        Well, actually, less than worthless. It’s put her about $350,000 in the hole and shattered her already-bad credit scores. The 40-year-old mother of two recently moved her family in with her adult daughter in Happy Valley — homeless and out of options.


        August 6, 2016 at 3:44 am

      • A real eye-opener. Seems like she was discriminated against because she was an introverted non-traditional student.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 6, 2016 at 9:35 am

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if my dermatologist clears 500,000 a year. The average is 300,000.


      August 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    • “Bubenik does look terrible on paper. A diagnosis of a learning disability came after she had taken two extra years in medical school and failed the first step of the United States Medical Licensing Exam.

      She has since passed all three steps of the exam — including the one designed for post-residency students — and graduated from Kansas State University’s Master of Public Health program, a two-year degree she added to try to make herself more competitive.”

      Failing the USMLE exams are huge red flags and explains why she couldn’t match anywhere. It’s like failing to pass the driver’s license exam at the DMV, a relatively easy exam that no one halfway competent should ever fail if they studied even a little bit for it.


      August 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm

  4. However, Ivanka Trump as a high end fashion designer and his brother Eric, as a high end wine maker, trump the other SWPL professions, because manipulating objects for an exclusive clientele, is seen as the most prestigious.

    I would include Steve Jobs joining the ranks of Trump’s 2 children, because his products geared towards SWPLs, where as Bill Gates’ MS is prole.

    A SWPL manipulating other SWPLs – is what your status inclined readers should aspire to.


    August 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

  5. Ability at manipulating ideas is less common than ability at manipulating physical objects. Presumably there has been strong evolutionary selection for manipulating physical objects throughout the evolutionary past of humans and their biological ancestors while the ability to manipulate abstractions has only become valuable in the recent past so there has been less time for selection to create a high average ability.

    So in the modern world there is a shortage of people who are good at manipulating abstractions. As a result those who have this ability can obtain high wages. It is the relatively high wages of professions like engineering that account for the higher status of engineers. Prestige is mostly determined by income or wealth although ability to manipulate people also contributes.


    August 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

    • Income is a factor in prestige, though the cause and effect doesn’t necessarily run in the direction you think it does. Higher paying jobs are scarce because people want to make money, so those who win the competition to get into those jobs have higher IQs, and it’s the higher average IQ of the profession that causes the prestige rather than the money.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 5, 2016 at 11:14 am

      • Am not sure
        I agree with you. I am on the Board of Directors of a number of
        Publicly Traded companies, small ones. It is very very hard to successfully serve as CEO of my portfolio companies. I have to struggle to find Great CEOs, and then struggle to hold on to them.

        CEOs are really key to whether or not my companies turn around or not. Wish I didn’t have to pay up to get good ones.


        August 5, 2016 at 11:32 am

      • @Wesley
        Meh. You could pluck most any high-IQ programmer off the street and he would be more diligent than those “CEOs.” It just seems like there are few CEOs available because the clique of men that sees itself as such is small.

        It’s like the executive I heard a year or so ago expressing dismayed surprise that a SWPL product that his company sold was tanking in prole neighborhoods. Somebody threw big bucks at this guy for his smarts? Not likely.


        August 5, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      • Being in charge brings prestige, just like in much of the animal kingdom.

        All of our organizations are based on a dominance hierarchy, because that matches our evolved instincts. And those who are further up get more of the share regardless of market supply and demand for the skills required at each level.

        If we could clone Steve Jobs a million times, then the clone who gets to run Apple would earn exactly the same amount as the original and most of the others would be underemployed hipsters.

        Random google find:


        August 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    • No, average salary for a tenured professor is less than 6 numbers, vs a police lieutenant, who makes twice as much with overtime.


      August 5, 2016 at 11:29 am

      • I’m a tenured professor. My 9 month academic salary is well over 100K. Then I pay myself another 2.5 months salary out of grants. And I do consulting work, which pays 2-3 times what I get from my day job. I’ve never written an undergraduate textbook, but I have colleagues who have and that can be a cash cow (or it used to be … now I think all of the students pirate textbooks instead of buying them). I’m relatively young and in a relatively poorly paid STEM field and I live OK.

        Professors can also delay retirement almost indefinitely. Once you’re over 65 or so, nobody expects you to publish. You go to a few conferences, teach your classes and collect your check.


        August 5, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      • “now I think all of the students pirate textbooks instead of buying them”

        That’s smart of them.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      • I love the full time characters out of academia. They make hipsters look like posers with their bohemianism, and upper middle class strivers, fools slaving away for an upper middle class salary. Tenured professors rule!


        August 5, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      • my cousin is in who’s who for fluid dynamics.

        stanford rejected his daughter.

        stanford wanted to hire him.

        he told them to f— off.

        he makes 160k per year at u wash.

        formal education is an enormous SCAM!

        why would JS want to “profess” when he could make bank by grifting in so many other ways?

        as far as i’m concerned the whole professoriate should be given the blokhin treatment.

        and i mean that babe…

        billy crystal imitating sammy davis jr.

        jorge videla

        August 5, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      • Because working in academia is very enjoyable and self actualizing for a tenured professor, despite its parasitic and grifting nature, common to all value transference tasks.

        An asset manager for a billion dollar hedge fund might have prestige, but he experiences a lot more stress, because other people’s money are at stake.

        And the odds of becoming very successful on Wall St is much slimmer and less attainable, with a lot of stress along the way.


        August 5, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      • yes JS…

        whenever a job is enjoyable and low stress…one must always ask…

        who’s getting f—ed?

        but even the f—ers are miserable…

        the last TWO ceos of zurich have topped themselves. the last TWO!

        actuary is my former profession and it always appears at the top of the list for “best careers”.

        so yesterday i called up the SoA’s “executive director” and left a message referring to him as “reinhard”…

        look it up.

        jorge videla

        August 6, 2016 at 1:25 am

    • Manipulating objects is the most prestigious, if your clientele is exclusively that of prestige. People who produce high end products do so in smaller quantities, catering to a small niche demographic.


      August 5, 2016 at 11:34 am

  6. Generally I agree, but there are some niche industries where things are backwards. Hedge funds for example. A star trader is worth a lot more than a people’s manager. He usually gets his own team too, but he comes more of a hands on techlead than a people’s manager. In the systematic space is even more extreme. Take RenTec for example. The researchers are on top and they manipulate machines. Jim Simons was first a mathematician before he became super rich (over 10 bil). Same with Peter Brown and Bob Mercer. (btw, Simons is the top donor to Clinton and Mercer is the top donor to Trump, LOL) Overall, these are niche industries: systematic probably has around 500 researchers world-wide, and hedgefunds maybe 20k front desk people.


    August 5, 2016 at 11:24 am

  7. Lion, now that you don’t have a job, perhaps self actualization is better put to use with Ivanka Trump than this blog:

    She’s hiring:

    Perhaps you can generate a blog for her. Working for women is beta, but for her, sigma!


    August 5, 2016 at 11:40 am

  8. “First of all: what is work? Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. The second kind is capable of indefinite extension: there are not only those who give orders, but those who give advice as to what orders should be given. Usually two opposite kinds of advice are given simultaneously by two organized bodies of men; this is called politics. The skill required for this kind of work is not knowledge of the subjects as to which advice is given, but knowledge of the art of persuasive speaking and writing, i.e. of advertising.” -Bertrand Russell


    August 5, 2016 at 11:55 am

  9. Here’s a good question for you:

    Would you rather be an engineer or a guido lawyer? Ha, Lion needs to think deep with this one!


    August 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm

  10. Agree. Income and prestige do not always correlate, though. For example, journalism may seem like a high-prestige profession, and this may be true if you are in the small minority of prominent, nationally syndicated writers. However, the field is vastly oversubscribed, entry is unrestricted, and most of the journalists I have encountered have been poorly paid and relatively unknown. Also, restricting entry to the occupation is very helpful to boost income if not prestige. For example, in areas where entry to certain trades is severely restricted by licensing and union apprenticeships, these rather prole occupations can generate pretty good amounts of cash. Doctors and lawyers are licensed, of course, which is necessary, since there already enough shysters and quacks in both professions. Plus, gaining admission to medical school is very competitive, and the training period is about 7-10 years, with a huge debt load. An interesting example of the power of restricting acess is in the case of the Great Lakes pilots, who make up to $400,000 per year. Now, nobody wants to allow a 60,000 ore carrrier to go crashing into downtown Cleveland or Duluth at full speed, but even so, that seems like a lot of money to me, especially since their role is to advise the captain and not actually steer the ship. However, entry is heavily restricted by the pilots’ union, and wages are set artificially high by the Coast Guard, in which many of the pilots previously served.

    Black Death

    August 5, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    • I was going to mention port pilots as I have a cousin who is one and makes more than that. But pilots are former captains. (My cousin was an oil tanker captain before he became a pilot.) I consider both jobs, captain and pilot, high-status among proles but not among value creators.


      August 5, 2016 at 4:36 pm

  11. I think there are 2 factors that determine occupational prestigue:

    1) whether you are a winner or a loser. Most consider you a winner if you make a lot of money doing very little unpleasant work. A loser is seen as one who works hard for little money & sadly people look down on that. Thus the dentist is more prestigious than the dental hygienist who does all the work for much less money

    2) Does the work you do help society? A cancer researcher might be considered more prestigious than a top mobster even though he works harder for less money, because the work he does is so useful while the mobster is harmful

    So i think it’s the combination of success (winning) and usefulness that determines a job’s status but since these are hard to measure, an excellent proxy is a combination of income & education. If you’re a harvard educated billionaire, odds are your job is both successful & useful & thus incredibly prestigious.


    August 5, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    • Or at least perceived as incredibly useful


      August 5, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      • “Or at least perceived as incredibly useful”

        Ooops, you beat me to it.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      • Jobs that are clearly exceptionally useful are prestigious but past those small number of exceptions I don’t think there’s much of a correlation between usefulness and prestige. I don’t think anyone really fools themselves anymore into believing that investment bankers are useful, but it is a very prestigious job.


        August 5, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      • Libertarian types still fool themselves.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      • Investment banking is prestigious because they’re seen as such winners. They get to keep their privacy, do very little hard work, make gazillions of dollars & are practically above the law.

        But they’re not that prestigious. They’re considered pariahs by most of my fellow Bernie Sanders supporters. So their lack of usefulness does keep them from being the most prestigious occupation, but what they lack in usefulness, they more than makeup for by being winners.

        Both winning & usefulness together determine a job’s status i think & both are independently related to IQ, which might be why occupational status is the single best predictor of IQ correlating an incredible 0.7 according to Jensen, even when folks are tested in childhood at occupational status measured at 40

        This high correlation is probably the single best evidence of the predictive power of IQ and implies that IQ is largely destiny, although I’m sure Lion would dispute the causation


        August 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      • “occupational status is the single best predictor of IQ correlating an incredible 0.7 according to Jensen”

        Cause and effect runs in both directions here. IQ correlates with occupational STATUS rather than income. Fields with high IQ people like journalism have higher status than working as a plumber even though the plumber makes more money.

        And just because your career has high status doesn’t mean you’re successful in your career at all. The journalist making $10/hour freelance, only able to bill 20 hours a week, enjoys the full status of his profession for the purpose of correlations for occupational status and IQ.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      • Ibanking sucks, and so do most “jobs”.

        Prestige is about the nature of the work in terms of stress, control and its intended consequences (for what demographic is the work performed).

        Wall St is stressful, so is BIGLAW, and so are the trades (and dangerous) that Yakov enjoys talking about.

        A tenured professor enjoys his job and life more than others, due to lower stress levels, higher autonomy, and the higher IQ demographics, who enjoy the fruits of his labor, where they also share a similar cognitive profile and interests. Therefore, an occupation of this sort is very prestigious.


        August 5, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      • and as with clarke, jensen chose his measure of “status” in order to maximize the correlation.

        both of these guys were totally dishonest and not very bright.

        jorge videla

        August 5, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      • and it’s not as if value were subjective.

        it is NOT.

        the only thing which really matters is life expectancy.

        this is the only justification for civilization…

        and until no more than 200 years ago it wasn’t!

        in 1850 life expectancy at birth in the US and london was ca 35 years…

        this was NOT due to infant mortality entirely…

        mortality was much greater at all ages.

        compared to henry ford (our ford), john davison rockefeller, marshall field (an in-law), and bill gates…

        those responsible for antibiotics and vaccines have accomplished INFINITELY MORE.

        but are their heirs still worth a billion or more?

        are they even worth millions?

        jorge videla

        August 5, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      • Cause and effect runs in both directions here. IQ correlates with occupational STATUS rather than income. Fields with high IQ people like journalism have higher status than working as a plumber even though the plumber makes more money.

        I know, but generally speaking higher status occupations make more money & when they don’t, there’s usually other benefits that makeup for it (i.e. journalism is much more enjoyable, interesting, self-actualizing, leisurely, influential & respected than plumbing)

        So it might speak to the utility of IQ that it predicts such a global measure of success so strongly (supposedly).

        On the other hand, depending on how broadly occupations are defined, this might only prove your career track theory, & high status occupations just being another term for high status career track


        August 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      • and as with clarke, jensen chose his measure of “status” in order to maximize the correlation.

        You can accuse Clarke of that but not Jensen.

        Clarke’s measure of status was sometimes vague & seemingly aggregated everything from income & wealth to occupation, education & even life span. No wonder he found a genetic basis when he lumped together so many variables

        But Jensen’s research was elegant. Occupational status can be clearly & scientigicay defined because when people of different ages, races & social classes are asked to rank hundreds of jobs by prestige & the desirability, there’s very high correlations in these rankings.


        August 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    • You mean perception of usefulness.

      Libertarians, of course, believe one’s usefulness is exactly equal to one’s income, because the “free market” is so friggin awesome.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 5, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      • Stop repeating that straw man. Most libertarians don’t think that. Most libertarians think free markets are the most efficient not that one’s usefulness is exactly equal to one’s income. Regardless, “usefulness” (aka “value”) is subjective. Things are worth what people are willing to pay. They may not be worth it you or me. But they’re worth it to the person spending the money. The alternative would be price controls, subsidies, etc. which distort the markets. I’m willing to compromise in extreme cases. I certainly wouldn’t allow orphans and elderly widows to starve. But it should be kept to a minimum. Otherwise, you risk doing more harm than good.

        I didn’t enjoy making this defense of libertarians right now. I’m highly pissed at them for opposing Trump and putting free markets ahead of our nation’s economy and security. Which I consider a valid reason to override the market.


        August 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      • Not a strawman, they really believe that (it’s what Ayn Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged), except when you accuse them of believing that.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 5, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      • I didn’t say Ayn Rad didn’t believe it. I said most libertarians don’t. You all but admit it when you say libertarians deny it.


        August 5, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      • “libertarian” is like “christian” it doesn’t mean anything anymore.

        the word itself has become an idol or an “identity”.

        even friedman admitted that if men were angels the free market would NOT be the most efficient organization.


        1. as ha-joon chang has pointed out…there is no free market. there is no “state of nature” for developed economies…”free market” really just means all against all, screw all y’all.

        2. the best “system” may vary over time. the reason why the gubment is so much larger than it was 100 years ago has more to do with technical/technological changes than it has to do with politics.

        3. as soros and popper have said…the best form of government or economic organization is not fixed for all time and eternity…the best form of government is that which can change and evolve to meet the needs of the governed.

        jorge videla

        August 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      • 1. lion has already pointed out that he is a bit of an elitist in the sense that he believes there is a large group of people who must be protected or they’ll be ripped off habitually…

        the free market simply doesn’t work when information is asymmetric.

        caveat emptor is NOT a moral standard.

        2. so destructure’s ideal polity is an ethno-state wherein only widows and orphans are provided unemployment insurance or welfare…perhaps he would include the physically disabled too. the problem with this “able bodied” standard lion has already addressed and dismissed as an anachronism.

        jorge videla

        August 5, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      • the more sophisticated position of libertarians is that..

        1. all regulations should come with a cost-benefit analysis.

        2. as peter thiel has said, “i’m suspicious of the ability of government to improve things.”

        but this doesn’t add up to much really.

        everyone should agree with this libertarian-ism.

        jorge videla

        August 5, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      • even friedman admitted that if men were angels the free market would NOT be the most efficient organization.

        No. Friedman said the opposite. Here’s the interview you’re referring to.

        the free market simply doesn’t work when information is asymmetric.

        It works fine for me.

        caveat emptor is NOT a moral standard.

        Perhaps not. But it’s good advice.


        August 5, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      • Ayn Rand was never a libertarian. She and her followers always outright rejected the label and called themselves “objectvists” and made a stink about being called libertarian. Objectivism never seriously progressed beyond her odd-ball coterie of NYC status neurotic jews so only now is it associated with libertarianism, because it’s vaguely closer to that than anything else.

        Mises/Rothbardian jewish libertarianism, on the other hand, always made a point of explaining itself as value free. “Hey, we can only tell you from history and sound reasoning what is probably going to happen if you pursue these policies. Whether that’s good or not is up to you.” Rothbard would often explain policies in an
        “economically” negative light and then jump over to discussing the real social ramifications.


        August 6, 2016 at 12:15 am

      • you are correct destructure…to an extent…but a very temporal extent…

        that is…

        utopias are…οὐ-topias…

        they don’t exist in the real world…they can’t.

        but between…

        what libertarians imagine is a “state of nature” and perfection (which is un-real-iz-able obviously)…there is…

        the state…

        which can respond to the sansculottes.

        can respond to the poor.

        libertarians are just Cynics manque.

        Diogenes of Sinope…he is their hero…

        though none of them know it.

        jorge videla

        August 6, 2016 at 12:46 am

      • Diogenes of Sinope…he is their hero…

        though none of them know it.

        The majority of our philosophes, the American Prole variety, enthusiasts, hobbyists, or whatever hack definition you want to given them, have not a read work in Ancient Philosophy outside of Plato. They would be fortunate to read a work by his great student, the founder of Peripatetics.


        August 6, 2016 at 10:26 am

      • This goes to show you how American Academia is for the most part founded on ignorance:

        The much lauded Loeb Classical Library publish by Harvard University, with their Greek/Latin texts, does not include any works from the founders of Stoicism or those of the Neoplationists. Just the usual suspects, run in the mill of antique writers.

        Now compare them to Les Belles Lettres, publish in Paris, which offers the same Greek/Latin with a French translation, except it has works by Chrysippus, John Philoponus, Iamblichus and Proclus..etc.

        I see a book by Isidore of Seville, the Archbishop of Visigothic Spain, who wrote in Latin.

        Shame on the idiots at Harvard!


        August 6, 2016 at 10:40 am

      • what libertarians imagine is a “state of nature” and perfection (which is un-real-iz-able obviously)…there is…the state…which can respond to the sansculottes. can respond to the poor.

        The state can’t fix poverty through either micromanagement or wealth redistribution. People who think otherwise are so upset by wealth inequality that they want to use government like a hammer to fix it. Libertarians, on the other hand, are so upset by any infringement on freedom that they won’t tolerate government doing anything.


        August 6, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      • I don’t usually like debating libertarians on any topics, because it disdains empiricism as an epistemological precept. Would you argue with a Hindu or Catholic about what constitutes a “good person”.

        Why would you argue with a libertarian or communist about what constitutes a “just income”.

        The lack of social unawareness of the ideological marks them out for their own predation. Why bother them in their efforts to subconsciously stop their predation with illogical dogmas? If they wanted to stop their bullying they would hit the gym and learn to fight. But they won’t. I think crosswords are more interesting word games.

        The Philosopher

        August 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      • i’m only a “marxist” to the extent that marx pointed out two things…

        1. the history of the world is really just the history of technology.

        this insight is what makes marx one of the greatest thinkers…up there with plato and aristotle.

        2. employers do very often exploit their employees…the employee/employer relationship is mostly just a gentler form of the slave/slave master relationship…the “velvet glove”.

        as chomsky has commented….in mid 19th c america the proletariat still regarded itself…and was regarded as…

        “wage slaves”.

        Trumpocalypse Now

        August 6, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      • at the same time…perhaps needless to say…the entrepreneur does NOT see it this way…

        the problem is NOT the owners.

        is not the workers.

        the problem is the system.

        but the MBA, technically inept, executive should see it this way.

        like rate of incarceration, the US leads the world in CEO pay to worker pay ratio…

        at least 2x the next worst.

        Trumpocalypse Now

        August 6, 2016 at 10:13 pm

  12. OT: But Lion this is some hilarious lawyer stuff.


    August 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    • It was obvious from the dialogue that the defendant was black, but they portrayed him as a white guy.


      August 6, 2016 at 12:02 pm

  13. I think verbal skills might be more highly valued so the East Coast, but I think that quantitative skills are more prized on the West Coast.


    August 5, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    • In terms of true status signaling, there isn’t anything prestigious about the West Coast, or America for that matter, and this coming from a former hardcore Manhattanite, who believes residing in a multi million dollar apartment on the island, signifies the ultimate status marker, despite offering a lower quality of life. No one really cares, if you live in a McMansion, whether it’s in Silicon Valley, Beverley Hills, Santa Fe, Orlando, Prolierville or just dodoland. It’s all the same cookie cutter homes lying on a vast wasteland.


      August 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm

  14. @Jorge

    “Lion has already pointed out that he is a bit of an elitist in the sense that he believes there is a large group of people who must be protected or they’ll be ripped off habitually.”

    That’s not elitist, that’s paternalist. And I agree with the notion as clearly huge swaths of the population are easily duped (by no fault or very little fault of their own due to genetics).


    August 5, 2016 at 11:00 pm

  15. “A tenured professor enjoys his job and life more than others”

    How many professors actually become tenured though?

    It’s a good job if you can get it.


    August 6, 2016 at 1:01 am

    • Especially if the college is in a quaint pretty college town like Ithaca NY.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 6, 2016 at 9:30 am

    • It’s estimated that about 50% of the Ivory Tower types are full time academics, who get a decent wage.

      The rest are part time, grad students, adjuncts…this site explains it well:

      $50K/year for lecturers, basically, anyone who is not affiliated with any institution, and travels from one school to another sporadically, spouting BS about a topic of no relevance to the prole world, seems to do well for this sort of work.

      As you can see, the professorial occupation is a very SWPL in nature, and perhaps one of the few that are, along with self-employed business owners, who are in the artisanal niche of products and services that cater exclusively to other SWPLs, which I think is more prestigious, because it creates real value.


      August 6, 2016 at 10:11 am

  16. Warfare is how status has always been achieved. It’s all war. The Japs even have an expression for it: business is war.

    The point always and everywhere over thousands of years is to figure out how to milk your lessors to maximum advantage.

    The attempt to coin a term like “value transference” is just laughable. It’s always about taxes and the political structure. As Bismark explained, politics is always just a form of warfare.


    August 6, 2016 at 1:50 am

  17. not true. someone who manage a call center with 1 000 operators , wich is extremely people oriented, is far down the general counsel of the firm who may manage two people and have more technical job.

    a friend of mine who is trader structurer for a german bank (first in NY And Now in London) has no people contact And earns more thant 3M a year since 1997 …. And office Hours .

    the Key is to have a Key role where the money And power is : in the past, it may have been cleaning a King ass every morning. the activity is purely conventional : for exemple some traffic air controller made 1 million euros à year in Spain with an average of 360 000 before à réform of 2012 where they have lost 30% .
    The difficulty is to be recruited : it is a set of pedigree, aptitudes, grades , népotism and chance .

    Bruno from paris

    August 6, 2016 at 4:56 am

    • IT work is Spain is considered prestigious, the same with air traffic controller. Because of their well compensated salaries and the less strenuous hours that one never finds in the states. But the irony is that no one cares about prestige in that part of the world in regards to profession. That’s because the social dynamics in the Old World is quite different. There is more of an equalizer. Continental Europe throughout the centuries has cleansed of its less desirable.


      August 6, 2016 at 4:31 pm

  18. OT: “I hope you will compare what I’m proposing to what my husb— . . . my opponent is talking about,” Clinton said, urging the reporters to scrutinize Trump more closely.


    August 6, 2016 at 5:04 am

  19. All of you miss that prestige is a function of socio-sexual-political rank and not “usefulness” (morality doesn’t exist), labour time expended (labour theory of value), or even nature of task.

    The lawyer beats the engineer because he gets laid more (or gets more power through a quasi or full on political career- call out to mah main man Abe Lincoln), because he has a verbal mind – because that brain chemistry is more important in a lawless world – because civilisation is a pok-mark on human history and indeed doesn’t really exist in Strong Form in large swathes of the world today (even with modern technology).The algorithm sorts for survival, not Windows 7 OS.

    The civil servant mandarin on the other hand manipulates verbal information for a salary well in excess of the average person for equivalent labour, but he is not considered prestigious today. Many mandarins do very socially important work (depending on their mood) too, not just in the public sector. In previous periods of history, the mandarins were indeed a highly prestigious caste under a hierarchy. The prestige was linked to K value provision for female mates. And some elements of political power over others….

    K value is being eliminated in a deregulated sexual market. And the state (at least visible to our eyes) is now supplanted by private sector bureaucracies (whose mandarins do not have the same prestige as their ancestors of old).

    And so the most prestigious ‘professions’ I believe going forward will be R selected in many ways:

    Actors, Musicians, Soldiers (particularly of high rank), Athletes, Career Criminals.

    Much like the ancient world in fact.

    Should a large long conflict ensue, you can be sure military officers or leaders would strongly ‘out prestige’ bankers, as they did in many nations during WW2. And in peacetime conditions, even then we must ask ‘who is the most viable survival proposition to transfer genes’, to determine prestige. at its core.

    R selection seems to be a function of whether a job displays: Physical risk taking, Gets female attention, social skills, charisma, masculinity, Involves dominating others, Testosterone level and so on. If you disagree you must consider whether in the room, they come and go, speaking of Michelangelo…or Ameet the Chief Information Officer for Oracle (Nobody will write poetry about him! – he will be lost to history!) or even Charles Tidbury II, barrister-at-law for the respected (and most revered), Kirkland and Ellis (and forced to pay for sex with a revolving oeuvre of fine lady-women of the Laneway Escort Company).

    We have known all of this since we were 13 years old in the playground. These relationships in the human hirearchy become obscured with rationalisation, denial, and ideology. The fascinating irony of our time is that classical liberalism deregulated not the financial markets, but the sexual one. It is truly a pitiful sight to behold a banker grovelling for a girl who willingly pulled down her pants in a toilet for Markus, the drug dealer, just this time last Wednesday in fact.

    The Philosopher

    August 6, 2016 at 8:31 am

    • What you describe in the western world is only an American phenomenon.

      Most Americans are wasted.

      And yes, there is no self actualization in America, just work, money and lapses of leisure in between.


      August 6, 2016 at 10:48 am

  20. I like and respect the Lion. That being said, I think his worldview is shaped by living in Manhattan. He has this skewed view that simply by “getting in with the right crowd” or “getting on the right career track” you are given money and prestige and status.

    If Lion lived in Palo Alto he would have a more accurate view of the economy and society. Tremendous social mobility, tremendous economic mobility. Look at the guys who founded Uber, or Air BNB. or Yelp, or Amazon. Just guys with no special connections or social skils. Just an incredible ability to perform. They had massive competition, and just out thought their competitor, out executed.

    I work with CEOs all the time and it is a brutally competitive field. There are always incredible smart motivated competitors. The best CEOs know how to hire and promote the best people and fire the rest.

    If you think CEOs just hire and promote their buddies from the golf club even if the buddies are stupid and lazy, you are living in the world portrayed in the Dilbert comic strip.

    The success of the new economy companies is evidence of the unbelievable upward mobility and opportunity available to those that perform really well.


    August 6, 2016 at 10:34 am

    • “If you think CEOs just hire and promote their buddies from the golf club even if the buddies are stupid and lazy, you are living in the world portrayed in the Dilbert comic strip.”

      No, that describes the company I worked for.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 6, 2016 at 10:38 am

      • Lion, It sounds like the company you worked for was in some kind of a niche without much hard core competition. I work with companies in brutally competitive industry segments. These companies have to cut the dead wood or the companies themselves die.

        Perhaps more competition in the economy is the cure for what you complain about, which is stupid lazy people getting to keep secure jobs!

        Do you think stupid lazy people get to keep jobs at Amazon ? No way. Brutal competition


        August 6, 2016 at 10:47 am

      • I can believe that there are a handful of companies where the smart hardworking people are in charge, but that’s NOT the case at the VAST majority of top 1000 publicly traded companies.

        Yahoo was probably managed like a typical top 1000 company. Microsoft used to hire and promote the best but now is just like other top 1000 companies.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 6, 2016 at 11:10 am

      • Google is not one of those 1000 companies. The same goes for Amazon.

        Here’s the perverted HBD rub:

        Both companies are based out on the West Coast. The best corporate companies are found in California, and just the entire West Coast in general.

        Corporate Companies based out on the West Coast perform better, because they are laden with mid level high IQ East Asian grinds-bureaucratic types, who keep their high IQ White co-workers on their toes. Now compare them to the public companies based out in the Midwest/South with a prole majority, and those of the Northeast, which are mostly of the value transference types, with their legions of black tokens.


        August 6, 2016 at 11:56 am

    • The West Coast is not prestigious. It’s abound with natural beauty, but the people suck everywhere you go, as with most of America.

      However, the West Coast has shown a key point in HBD denialism. HBD does really exist, if you look at the large contingent of East Asians who live in the Golden State, especially in the Bay Area, when you look at the paucity of achievements in civicism and entrenprenuership, coming from this specific demographic, in one of the most creative regions of the country.


      August 6, 2016 at 11:15 am

      • You forget that many even higher IQ jews, like our good friend Lion abide on the East Coast. While the robber barons of technology now look to have eclipsed the old order of lawyers and bankers in the East, from a pure HBD perspective, both coasts are relatively equally endowed with ‘IQ’.

        I have agreed with you on other forums that Die-versity is a bane to surplus production…but not to surplus extraction, as it is a key strategy of our rulers to frack the white middle class (the only humans in the world with the balanced endowment of testosterone and IQ capable of wringing redistribution from their ruler’s icy claws) into powerless low wage feminised serfs (like Asia) by slamming identity politics into all the crevices of civic and social life. Much like the old British imperial divide and conquer strategy in alien lands.

        Our rulers are very intelligent people. They have been building a giant supercomputer in the desert to analyse, target, blackmail and eventually predict threats from other budding and competing surplus extractor factions. As Steve Sailer is fond of saying, its abundantly obvious now they would prefer a Latin American style banana republic wealth distribution to the golden age America of relative prosperity for all.

        The Philosopher

        August 6, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      • Yes, I’ve been saying this:

        Whole Food’s executive elite would rather hire a large contingent of surly and rude NAMs to staff their organic markets than White people. NAMs are less intelligent, with lower standards of living, and it’s another avenue for our crony capitalists to cut costs and extract more for themselves.

        I’m sure many Silicon Valley elites love their Asian employees too, who create wealth for them more efficiently than other groups. As sick as this sounds, they understand HBD-racial differences very well and use it to their advantage.


        August 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      • Thats an interesting assertion JS. I’ve talked with far too many tech workers in my time and my personal anecdotal observation is that they don’t get HBD – at all – and are actually very concerned as to why they get such negative publicity for a lack of blacks/women in their ranks, which they are non-plussed about.

        That is not to say they are SJWs and aggressively pursue the matter, but the thoughtcrime that Asians, Jews and whites do most of the heavy technical lifting due to genetics will ironically not cross their mind when watching the black 100m sprint in a fortnight.

        In fact, the likes of Meg Whitman, the Xerox CEO, Marissa Mayer, Carly Fiorina, Sandberg etc are almost comical AA manifestations to accommodate. And not the sly way they do in finance, where we put them in Operations, Compliance, HR and other ancillary roles.

        A larger question may be as to why Athletics, Music and so forth do not on the other hand merit quotas for Hispanics, Jews, Arabs, or Asians and yet IQ laden activity merits quotas for blacks. (Please note I’ve left out whites completely here). You may charge that those are ‘talent derived’, but blacks agitate for quotas in acting for instance (which they get), even though there are more hispanics in the country.

        Why should coders, lawyers and consultants pick up genetic slackage, but not athletes or musicians? There may be justifiable reasons perhaps.

        I further note a novel by a black writer about being black will be certain to win fawning admiration too. But a never a novel about an Hispanic about being Hispanic. Quite odd. Wouldn’t know how to explain it……

        ….I have just committed a thoughtcrime. In this instance: Wayccism, 2nd degree. I can only plead that the jury accept Poverty caused my thoughcrime. I have also committed the lesser intellectual crime of symmetry and thinking everything should be in symmetrical proportions, like a woman would.

        The Philosopher

        August 7, 2016 at 11:27 am

      • I’m reading up on a Yelp Review on one of the Whole Foods in Manhattan. This entire store is staffed by a 90% black demographic. Many are rude and surly. Notice this reviewer making the same comments.
        I assuming he’s from Houston, who’s making a complaint about the rudeness of its employees. I assume the Whole Foods in Houston, Texas, where he’s from, is mostly staffed by Whites. It takes a White guy from a Red State to make such a comment. Most Blue State White youths, are dilettantes, when it comes to black on White racism.


        August 7, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    • Just guys with no special connections or social skils. Just an incredible ability to perform. They had massive competition, and just out thought their competitor, out executed.

      They certainly did have social skills. That’s kind of the point. Being the best programmer or the best engineer or whatever doesn’t get rewarded.* Just having a great idea for a product or service, and even the ability to design or build it, gets you nowhere; you have to have the soft skills, what Lion is calling the “people manipulation” skills, to build a successful, real-world, practical business around it. For each of those successful guys you can name, there were probably 25 others who had the same idea, but didn’t have that intuitive knack for management.\

      (*I graduated from college around the time of the dotcom boom and went into IT because of the supposed desperate shortage of programmers, and I knew I was good at writing code. I naively thought I’d get a job on the basis of my coding skills, and be left alone in my cube to code to my heart’s content, paid well, appreciated, and commended for my elegant code. Instead, when I finally got a job, it was all Dilbert all the way. Creating Microsoft Project plans and giving PowerPoint presentations filled with corporate buzzwords to senior management were the name of the game, and coding was seen as a waste of time and something that should be outsourced as much as possible.)


      August 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      • Again, public companies on the West Coast (which are mostly technology based) perform well, because of this perverted arrangement of a high IQ East Asian bureaucratic workforce, and high IQ Whites, who are their leaders and supervisors.

        Microsoft has tanked significantly as a company, because of its outsourcing and their large influx of H1Bs from India. South Asians of this type, tend to be less intelligent.


        August 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      • JS,

        They perform well because they are monopolies. Network effects and quirks in property rights are what keep these firms afloat.

        Want to see what happens to Facebook and Google if the law ruled that the users own the data and that G and F need to get explicit written permission to use their personal data?


        August 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      • Apparently, stock prices are indicative of how well a company is performing. Facebook, Google, Apple, Intuit are all doing very well, more so than corporations in other regions. These companies are based out in California, with a large high IQ workforce consisting of Whites and East Asians. Not many blacks & Latinos are found, which have been a recent concern to the diversity justice department.

        Whites who reside in the coastal areas of the West and the Northeast, are generally more intelligent than those who live in the Midwest and the South.

        Intuit which makes TurboTax, is competing with H&R Block, a tax preparation company based out in Missouri. One can make an assumption that the staff at H&R Block are generally less intelligent, due to its regional demographics of a prole majority and that of NAMs.

        Intuit Stock is above $100 and H&R Block’s is about $30.


        August 6, 2016 at 4:13 pm

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