World Bank to be hit with a BRIC

There is now an agreement in principle by the BRICS Countries to form their own “Development Bank”.

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa. A pretty large chunk of the world population and a really big chunk of the land area. Most of Asia and the major piece of South America.

There are still details to work out. Who kicks in how much money (Russia being a bit lighter on cash this week than last…) and where to headquarters the Bank.

I think this is a ‘big deal’, both for them, and for “The Developed Countries” of the west.

In some ways, it is a statement of “We don’t need you any more”. A direct slap across the face of World Bank hegemony.

In a longer term, it can act as the seed of a break-away from the Europe-American axis of power and authority. Once you have a “BRICS Development Bank”, why not a “BRICS International Monetary Fund” and a “BRICS Trade Organization”. There is nothing what so ever to prevent these folks from essentially side stepping the present Western Dominated structures and control points.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/world/africa/brics-to-form-development-bank.html

Group of Emerging Nations Plans to Form Development Bank

By LYDIA POLGREEN
Published: March 26, 2013

JOHANNESBURG — A group of five emerging world economic powers met in Africa for the first time Tuesday, gathering in South Africa for a summit meeting at which they plan to announce the creation of a new development bank, a direct challenge to the dominance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, all members of the so-called BRICS Group of developing nations, have agreed to create the bank to focus on infrastructure and development in emerging markets. The countries are also planning to discuss pooling their foreign reserves as a bulwark against currency crises, part of a growing effort by emerging economic powers to build institutions and forums that are alternatives to Western-dominated ones.

Someone needs to tell the EU and DC that “Elvis has left the building”…

Pretty much all of Latin America will end up interested in a more “3rd World Friendly” approach. Africa will happily embrace Chinese money. Russia has tended to much closer ties into the Muslim World.

Sure looks to me like a ‘game changer’. If China can do direct investment into Africa and South America, why loan money to the USA for T-Bills and Treasuries? Russia is building a natural gas pipeline to China. So when it’s cold in Europe, Russia will be asking itself: “How long will the Euro exist? If paid in Euros, will they evaporate in a bank ‘restructuring’?” China and direct trade goods exchange or EU and pretty pieces of paper? Decisions decisions…

The folks trying to set up a “One World Government” have just been told there’s a new Trade Block on the block… Somehow I get this feeling that Putin and China are not very interested in being told what to do by the EU or Obama any more.

The article goes on to list all the strains between these folks and poo-poo what they are likely to do or agree upon.

Yet…

My sense of it is that these folks are tired of The West telling them what to do and while they may have their differences, will find more common ground together than with the EU and USA.

Putin is not one to like taking a second class role in a club that belongs to someone else, when he can be a first row seat in his own club. Brazil and other South American countries have a long standing resentment of the USA. China is looking to push to center stage on the global stage, and not interested in maintaining “western hegemony”. That just leaves India. Well, when we “told them” not to make a nuke, they looked at what was in their best interests and made a 1/2 dozen. All tested in one “go”, so as to have it ‘over and done’ before sanctions could even be talked up. India is a complex and variable place, but looks out for India.

I can see these folks doing “coopetition”. Cooperating against the west, competing for position inside that framework.

As the EU is busy shooting off toes and fingers, and the USA does endless navel gazing while charging dinner and a room on the Chinese Credit Card; these folks are thinking clearly and building new structures. They can see that we’ve gone off the rails.

One good hope. As Russia and China and India are clearly not on the AGW bandwagon (Russia just saying it will be colder for 40 years, while China and India are prepping to burn coal like crazy) it has the potential to derail 100% any “Global” action on carbon dioxide and to put a very nice economic wall between those who squander their economies on stupid uneconomic energy systems and those who follow good economic practice of lowest cost first. The resultant growth in the economies using coal and nuclear, and the collapse of those depending on wind and solar, will end the farce. The only bad thing is that most of us will be on the wrong side of the win / loss column when that happens. But at least it will be an ending of the dreams of Carbon Tax Empire.

They can get the tax, but only with the loss of the Empire and collapse into ruin. One hopes they see that prior to the event.

So while I dread the inevitable result, I find myself rooting for the BRICS and their Development Bank. There’s a nice coal fired light at the end of that tunnel.

One Small Loose End: So learn Russian, Chinese (which one? There’s about 9 main ones..), Portuguese? (India uses English to tie together their several hundred native language speakers, so no need to learn Hindi or Sanskrit or Dravidian or …) Somehow, I suspect a lot of their work will be conducted in English. Strange idea, that. I’m leaning toward Portuguese. I can “sort of read it” already as the printed form is close to Spanish, but they pronounce things oddly ;-) I hauled my Russian text (one class 40 years ago) out of the pile and can sort of puzzle out a few words; but it reminded me why I didn’t continue ;-) Besides, Brazil is much warmer than Russia and even China.

I think the next 10 years are going to be very interesting.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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36 Responses to World Bank to be hit with a BRIC

  1. Jason Calley says:

    Portuguese is not a bad idea, but even brushing up on the Spanish would be good. If Brazil does, in fact, enter the big time as a member of the new economic alliance, then the various other Spanish speaking South American countries can be expected to benefit from their dealings with their big brother Brazil. Expect also increased China/Brazil trade, so maybe Panama will get a boost as well.

    Of course, E.M., your various programming languages are “spoken” worldwide. Nice skill!

  2. John Robertson says:

    Surprised only that they did not do this sooner, we in North America owe more than we can pay.
    We have not even pretended we intend to try, instead we continue to spend well beyond our means and have made our intentions clear, our creditors are going to get dollars made worthless through inflation via printing press.
    The reserve currency card was played on all who questioned this wisdom.
    When Obama was reelected a clear message was sent abroad and the Cyprus deal has confirmed it.
    All contracts will be ignored by our kleptocratic overlords.
    Works for me my great great grandmother was Hindu,I guess I had better learn “oxford english”.
    When the call centres moved to India, the elocution of the speakers actually improved.

  3. DirkH says:

    The language problem is behind us as machine translators get better all the time.

  4. BobN says:

    I remember how we all laughed at the collapse of Russia. They went through the pain and now with be able to soon kick us in the teeth. When China tears up the credit card we fall apart over night.
    I don’t think there is enough pop corn for this long run movie.

  5. PhilJourdan says:

    You only have to root for sanity to side with BRIC. But that is based upon principle not facts. It goes back to the old adage of power corrupts, etc. The World Bank has become a corrupt organization with an agenda. and as such, is not serving the needs of anyone but their own special interests. If BRIC can avoid that, they will do a lot of good and succeed. If not, they will be no more than a watered down version of the that which already exists. And the small countries will desert in droves.

    We shall see. The status quo is not sustainable.

  6. Gail Combs says:

    Given the actual track record of the IMF and World Bank, expect ALL the third world countries to flock to a BRIC bank. If the Russians and Chinese have learned the lessons of history they will treat these countries honorably instead of screwing them. As a believer in capitalism and small government this really really bothers me. We, Americans had the chance to help the rest of the world be truly free and a better place to live but we threw it all away when we let the wolf take over our government in 1913.

    Iceland was able to see the international banker’s trap and dodge it.

    Iceland, the Country That Left Banks Go Bankrupt Has Economic Growth March 17, 2012

    …Iceland has treated the crisis in a different compared to other affected countries – it let the banks go bankrupt. Now Iceland has announced its ability to repay debt to the IMF in advance.

    “In March, Treasury and central bank will pay in advance 116 billion Icelandic crowns (approximately $909 million) to the IMF. That represents a fifth of the value of the loan contracted by Iceland from IMF and the Nordic countries”, authorities in Reykjavik have recently announced. Unlike other European countries facing big financial issued due to the economic crisis, Iceland has dared to allow banks to go bankrupt, and indicted bankers and heads of state whose actions have amplified the crisis and cut 13% country’s debt.
    …the state has not funded the banks of taxpayers taxes, but let them go bankrupt. State transferred, at the same time, loans and deposits of population to new banks, but did not transfer the foreign assets and liabilities.

    Meanwhile, after two referendums, the population banned the government to pay debts to foreign creditors that lost money in Icelandic banks collapse….

    Therefore, entering the country into bankruptcy was not catastrophic. Iceland’s economic indicators are far better than those of countries that have received rescue packages from the IMF and EU. Country’s GDP shrank in the last four years, an average of just 0.75% per year. Unemployment was also a problem that the authorities in Reykjavik have solved. In Iceland, the unemployment rate is 5.8%, while Ireland has 14%, Greece 15% and Portugal a 12% unemployment rate.

    Notice how that doesn’t make front page news.

    What is really thought of the IMF and World Bank:

    Mr. Budhoo’s Bombshell: A people’s alternative to Structural Adjustment
    “Today I resigned from the staff of the International Monetary Fund after over 12 years, and after 1000 days of official fund work in the field, hawking your medicine and your bag of tricks to governments and to peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. To me, resignation is a priceless liberation, for with it I have taken the first big step to that place where I may hope to wash my hands of what in my mind’s eye is the blood of millions of poor and starving peoples. Mr. Camdessus, the blood is so much, you know, it runs in rivers….

    Structural Adjustment Programs
    Structural Adjustment Policies are economic policies which countries must follow in order to qualify for new World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans…

    SAPs generally require countries to devalue their currencies against the dollar; lift import and export restrictions; balance their budgets and not overspend; and remove price controls and state subsidies….
    SAPs encourage countries to focus on the production and export of primary commodities such as cocoa and coffee to earn foreign exchange. But these commodities have notoriously erratic prices subject to the whims of global markets which can depress prices just when countries have invested in these so-called ‘cash crops’.

    By devaluing the currency and simultaneously removing price controls, the immediate effect of a SAP is generally to hike prices up three or four times, increasing poverty to such an extent that riots are a frequent result….

    interview with John Perkins author of ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man’
    …”Economic hit men,” Perkins writes, “are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder.” His explicit tasks as an EHM were to justify World Bank loans funneling money into the pockets of huge U.S. contractors (such as Bechtel and Halliburton) and to bankrupt those nations soon after the corporations were paid. Saddled with debt, these countries could easily be tapped for UN votes, military bases, or access to coveted natural resources by their creditors, namely the U.S. government.

    Perkins’s resume as an EHM included Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other strategically important countries. The ultimate goal for EHMs was simple: to expand U.S. corporate empire…..

    Now that IMF and the World Bank will no longer have a monopoly it is going to get REAL interesting. So much for Globalization.

    MORE POPCORN!

  7. Gail Combs says:

    Things are just getting interesting

    Bulgaria To Suspend Up To 40% Of Green Energy Projects

    Protests against high electricity bills and poverty toppled the government of Boyko Borissov on Feb. 20. Now Bulgaria may suspend as much as 40 percent of wind and solar power capacity as part of its effort to stem oversupply and stabilize electricity generation….

    Second link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-27/bulgaria-to-suspend-up-to-40-of-wind-solar-power-capacity.html

  8. Gail Combs says:

    Oh and it seems our old buddy the BBC is having problems BBC staff strike over workload, jobs and bullying 2:45PM GMT 28 Mar 2013

    So just when the Spinmeisters need their tame propaganda machine the most, it walks…. I nearly bust a gut laughing.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail Combs:

    “Bullying”? Wonder if someone didn’t want to do the AGW Propaganda du jour ;-)

    Per Bulgaria:

    I expect to see much more of that. Anywhere people who are not rich run into Green Red Ink.

    Heck, If I’m building a Patio Kitchen in California thanks to “Renewables Mandates”, you can imagine what will happen in places like Bulgaria and Cairo… oh, wait, they already had food and fuel riots and a revolution…

    NEVER jack up food and fuel costs on “The Average Joe and Jane”. It’s a very bad idea.

    Yes, it’s a strange world where I’m rooting for Russia and China as the saviour of real free market economics and liberty… Competition, it’s a beautiful thing… So in a few years the IMF can say “You need {list of destructive enslaving things}” a country like Bolivia can say “Hang one minute, I’ve got the Chinese on the other line. They say the BRICS Bank will fund the project. Shall I have my driver take you to the airport?”

    @PhilJourdan:

    Well, I think that having the two in competition will keep things better in line. Power, unopposed, corrupts. Competition cleans.

    But yes, we will see. It’s likely to take several years before anything formal comes together. Also yet to be seen is just how well Russians and Chinese can share power / control.

    @DirkH:

    Machines help, but need a human touch. I can usually improve a machine translation even for languages where I’m only marginal. Professional translators pick up nuances that are highly important culturally and completely missed in machines and many amateur translations. (French has a ‘form of politeness’ often lost in literal translation. German du / zie transition. Shifting to a “Texan Accent” for effect. Japanese with it’s dozen ways of saying negative things by implication and not directly, agreement not meaning agreement but “I have heard you”. And on and on…)

    So I like to take a crack at it. Then dump through the machine. Then clean it up. Then look again and polish. Usually about then my biases are removed by the machine and the machine stupids are removed by me. Seems to work best.

    In real time discussions, you need human translators or a common language.

    @BobN

    On CNBC Rick Santelli was calling the latest US 7 year bond auction horrible. Bid to cover was off and the interest rate was up.

    Somebody didn’t show up to buy…

    Even with The Fed in the market, it wasn’t enough to prevent a move up in interest rates and down in bid to cover.

    I suspect China is looking to direct investments in “places and things” these days…

    @Jason Calley

    Interesting idea. Communicate in programming languages. It certainly would be a precise and unambiguous communications… but a bit lacking in emotional tone -)

    I’m “OK in Spanish”, but find it hard to follow some of the Spanish language TV. Partly it’s a difference between the formal Spanish of 1/2 century ago that I learned and the common TV Spanish of today with Mexican influence. Partly just poor hearing and the TV doesn’t work well for lip reading (and I’m not practices at Spanish lip / sound correlations). Partly just I’m not all that frequently using it.

    On a flight from Florida I got on a plane that originated in Brazil. The inflight magazine was Portuguese / English. I could mostly read it ‘as is’ with about 20 minutes of ‘getting used to it’. Mostly just some regular phoneme shifts. It’s the spoken form that’s a bit strange.

    Dos is ‘two’ in Spanish. Dois is Portuguese. Pronouced more like “Doiesjhz”

    Probably just take a week of immersion to be a functional tourist level. Love the way it sounds, though. Has some palatalized sounds that remind me of Russian…

    @John Robertson:

    The elocution but not the pronunciation… There are also a fair number of “Indianisms” that get sucked into it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_English

    “Idiomatic forms derived from Indian literary and vernacular language have become assimilated into Indian English in differing ways according to the native language of speakers. Nevertheless, there remains general homogeneity in phonetics, vocabulary, and phraseology between variants of the Indian English dialect”

    Uh, yeah… “Will you be going the restaurant soon?” with that sing song lilt…

    Still they often use it better than folks in the USA…

    (Don’t get me started on “Gonna Wanna Have-a party”… )

    I get the feeling we are entering the end game. The EU is showing their hand, and financially imploding. Yes, Germany can sell a lot of BMWs and Mercedes; but the rest of the EU? Not competitive; and the strains are becoming dramatic. 50% youth unemployment? Not going to support all those government pensions…

    The USA? Trying to copy the Europeans at just the wrong time. Thinking that we are entitled to be “Leader of the free world” while killing freedom.

    I think it likely that AGW nonsense will do much to drive a frozen Russia and a cold dry China into getting past ancient issues and forming an alliance. If India and China can agree on carving up Cashmere (or heck, maybe China can just buy it ;-) they can ‘get along’ too.

    South America is already doing a big regional integration. Not a big leap from that to “Bugger off USA / EU. We don’t need you.” I can’t think of any country from Mexico south that just loves the USA and wants our “guidance”…

  10. Gail Combs says:

    E.M. ….Still they often use it better than folks in the USA…

    (Don’t get me started on “Gonna Wanna Have-a party”… )
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Try southern/mountain/black I know southerners born and raised who can’t understand a word they say.

  11. Gail Combs says:

    Well the cat is out of the bag on insider trading
    FORBES: Oh Dear: Was There Insider Trading In Cyprus Ahead Of The Bank Closures?

    The reporter tries to soft pedal it though.

  12. Gail Combs says:

    An interesting bit of skuttlebutt whether true or not it is of interest. (Rumors => run on banks)

    Here’s some intelligence off the streets….

    My other arf took a friend to buy a new car today from a young lad he was a London City banker (a 28 year old with a £50k car and huge house) he confirmed to him begrudgingly that the UK is facing a financial collapse in the next year, that is after the dollar, and that bankers are making personal provisions for themselves !

    Obviously, you can’t base economic predictions on what some geezer buying a car said, but we all know it’s true and many of us know the implosion is being engineered.
    Adrian @ Dellingpole blog

  13. R. de Haan says:

    If this is a real move without any UN, EU o rUS meddling whatsoever we’re screwed. All we can do is get rid of the establishment that baked us this cake, stick our arms in the air and hope the opposition comes to us with the spirit of Don Quixote fighting the wind mills on our shores. Really, if the cowards who think they rule us decide to throw a few nukes in despair we all loose. Interesting 10 years ahead indeed.

    On the other hand the only thing that unites the BRICS is their envy of the American Dream. The Russians remain the wild card in the new pact, any pact for that matter.

  14. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. ““Idiomatic forms derived from Indian literary and vernacular language have become assimilated into Indian English in differing ways according to the native language of speakers. ”

    One of the best “Indian-isms” I heard was on an Indian English language news broadcast. The speaker described how some Indian national citizens had “infiltrated into Pakistan”, and then later “‘exfiltrated’ back into India.”

    No doubt the ancient Romans laughed at how the Iberians mangled Latin. :)

  15. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    28 March 2013 at 6:30 pm
    “In real time discussions, you need human translators or a common language.”

    Of course current machine translators are crap. But they won’t get more crappy in the future but less crappy. Progressively so. That’s why I say the problem is behind us. It is not in front of us. It will become less of a problem as time goes by. And pretty quickly with some cellphone apps competing to grab a rather lucrative market.

    See the english teen who just sold his company and App “Sumly” to Yahoo for 17million GBP or so; it’s an automatic news aggregator that writes a summary of the news stream. It’s a problem related to translation as the prog needs to find its way through semantics.

    Or the gargantuan amount of HP money Apotheker spent on Autonomy, granted that was way too much but anyway, analyzing human language semantics is big business and developing fast.

  16. Power Grab says:

    Very interesting. Does anyone else see this as a competition between testosterone (BRICS) and estrogen (the West in the form of AGWers)?

    For a long time, I have been seeing the West placing women (or feminine men) into top positions of power, and that seems to end up being like putting things on auto-pilot.

    The West used to operate on lots more energy and courage, blazing trails and inventing great new things like crazy.

    Now the West operates like a keeper of the fire, not a hunter. The keeper of the fire wants to keep things as they are (or as they think they are), while the hunter craves hands-on adventure and conquest.

    The keeper of the fire has a mandate that is something other than the creation of wealth. On the other hand, the other half always wants to do things a bit differently and try to improve on what is already there, refusing to be forced into an arbitrary mold.

    There. I got it out. FWIW, mine is an estrogenic view of the world. But I’m also old! I guess that kind of muddies the waters. ;-)

  17. adolfogiurfa says:

    While Cyprus´ template to be generously applied to other EU countries:
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/uk-eurogroup-cyprus-dijsselbloem-idUKBRE92O0IL20130325

  18. adolfogiurfa says:

    PowerGrab: Then instead of powergrab…to be grabbed :-)

  19. DirkH says:

    @Power Grab
    The West has aged. With age comes a decline of testosterone (in men, that is), so the observation fits the demographic change.
    Quite an interesting observation.

  20. Power Grab says:

    @ DirkH: True. But even younger men appear less manly than when I was growing up. I wonder if all the soy they’re putting in our food could be part of the reason. I have a clipping from a magazine where a retired prison worker described how, if they fed the inmates beef, they had to cut it with at least 30% soy. It would make them less likely to revolt. They might talk and complain a lot, but they wouldn’t riot.

    And then there’s the low fat paradigm.

    Oh, funny story (to me). After I had learned that cholesterol is not an evil poison, but an essential part of every cell in our bodies, we started enjoying real whole milk, real eggs, real beef, etc. I was talking to a friend about my “discovery” and how it had made my kid resume growing at age 5-1/2 after seeming to hardly grow at all since we were told to start feeding 2% milk instead of whole milk at age 2. (Sorry that sentence was so long. It’s getting late.) My kid outgrew every other kid in the class and 2 pair of shoes the same semester we switched from 2% to whole milk, after having been able to wear a single pair of shoes for an entire school year while drinking 2% milk. Other good things also happened.

    Anyway, I was telling a couple of friends (the son and daughter-in-law of the college football coach) about how healthy real eggs and such are. They stood there nodding. it turned out that the coach’s son was working as a personal trainer. He said that the fellows he was helping train were eating the typical low-fat, high-carb diet (the officially-recommended diet, by the way) and were getting disappointed with how they were not bulking up like they wanted to. But the coach’s son did not have that problem. Their family enjoyed real eggs, real milk, real beef, etc. all the time. They knew the good of it.

    I saw where JC Penney is promoting their line of narrow-shoulder shirts for young men. They’re really narrow, too, let me tell you!

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, reluctantly, I’ll join the soy/beef/whatever discussion…

    Maybe that’s why my kids are big, bright, and healthy. Never bought into the “silly no fat no eggs” ideas. Always had real beef, real eggs, real milk, real butter, real cheese. None of the silly crap. Good Amish Style food ;-)

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and no soy stuff other than soy sauce and the (rare) occasional tofu in takeout…

    FWIW there is also a significant average reduction in sperm count in The West. Why is unclear. Some folks think it’s related to the pseudo-estrogens found in some plasticizers and other chemicals. (i.e. the endocrine disruptors).

    (Also, FWIW, my ‘count’ was quite high. It’s a long story… but I was tested for non-medical reasons. So it may confirm the more ‘traditional’ diet and avoiding ‘plastic foods’ matters…)

    One other sidebar: High risk behaviour raises testosterone levels. (Ask any skydiver about the night after… it is a surprisingly strong and noticeable effect). We’ve been busy taking all risk out of life and forcing boys to act like girls and not take any risks. (Even a push to go for flag football in high school… and you get expelled for anything remotely resembling fighting or even ‘playing cops and robbers’. Being a regular boy is becoming a criminal offense…) Take all that together, it isn’t surprising we have a generation of metrosexuals.

  23. DirkH says:

    @Power Grab, E.M.,
    same experience here.Healthy kid, healthy me, no low fat craze, eggs, full milk. Not buying the BS. The kid is a giant and most importantly as healthy as can be.
    “I saw where JC Penney is promoting their line of narrow-shoulder shirts for young men. They’re really narrow, too, let me tell you!”
    Hehe… one probably has to eat a lot of Tofu to fit in there…

  24. Gail Combs says:

    E.M.Smith says: …
    FWIW there is also a significant average reduction in sperm count in The West.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    What you eat DOES matter. Ask any farmer. If I want lots of lambs and kids I practice ‘Flushing’ That is I put my ram and ewes and does and buck on a high protein diet just before breeding season.

    There is also some science to back it up Google US babies mysteriously shrinking. Have to run…

  25. adolfogiurfa says:

    PowerGrab Et. Al: Curiously the WHO, which is a GLOBAL GOVERNANCE already, has forbidden the sale of testosterone in drugstores all over the world. “They” do not want people with “cohones”

  26. Gail Combs says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    … “They” do not want people with “cohones”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You have that right! make a good thread. there is a lot of info. out there about amino acids, meat and intelligence The prison guard story indicates they have are already done the testing on meat esp beef and spirit. Remember the Auschwitz human medical experiments. They were especially interested in identical twin studies. (Josef Mengele)

    According to one study (shot down for not being PC) The lowest average IQs are found for sub-Saharan Africans — from 70 to 75.

    Before hitting orbit and going into PC mode, there are a couple of things worth thinking about.
    1. The smart and aggressive are the most likely to pack-up and immigrate under population pressure. The timid are more likely to stay put. The USA became great because of this method of differentiation. Also those that did immigrate had to adjust to unfamiliar territory. The smart, the quick, the strong and the innovate survived. Cold without innovation kills off the weak quick.

    2. Hybrid vigor. Out crossing and a larger gene pool, do not forget those Neanderthal genes.

    3. The biggest factor possibly, Nutrition and disease.

  27. BobN says:

    There is something way more than diet going on with the younger generation. Yes, the boys are becoming passive and smaller in stature. Young boys are not going to college in the numbers they used to, in fact girls are now over 60% of college enrollment. Girls are landing many more of the jobs and are competing much better in the work world. There are all kind of studies that are underway as to why boys are failing to launch into the world. Boys are showing much reduced interest in sex and do not desire to marry as they once did. More is going on than just the food. The poor work environment contributes, but its more than that. Young men seem to want to just stay in their mom’s basement and play video games?
    Girls on the other hand seem to be getting physically much bigger, just compare the young girls and boys. Girls are succeeding in school and work much better than boys. Young girls are becoming very aggressive in life, much more than the boys. If you don’t believe me, just spend some time around them, you will be amazed.
    I think we are seeing a huge social upheaval in the making.

  28. DirkH says:

    @Gail : The site you linked to cites the late Rushton. Here is his university site with downloadable writings.
    http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushton_pubs.htm

  29. Power Grab says:

    Can’t help but get back up on the ol’ soapbox…

    Since our hormones are built on a substrate of cholesterol, and we have been fed such a huge lie about the necessity to avoid cholesterol, it’s no wonder testosterone levels have declined. OTOH, estrogens and phytoestrogens seem to more plentiful than ever.

    I’m glad to hear that many posters here did not fall for the low-cholesterol nonsense. :-)

    Oh, and no one has yet mentioned the tendency to put so-called ADHD kids (mostly boys, right?) on meds to keep them under control. I was reading a classic a few months ago. i think it was in “Little Women” or “Little Men” where there was a description of the typical misbehaviors of boys. The description took the attitude that they simply needed a firmer hand in controlling them and making grown-ups out of them. While I was reading the passage, though, it occurred to me that these days they would put the boys on meds.

    Good observation about the results of high-risk behavior. There seems to be a lot less productive high-risk behavior these days.

  30. P.G.Sharrow says:

    To build real men, boys must be challenged, physically as well as mentally. Modern western society discourages physical work and risk for children. Modern PC requires that boys be stifled to empower girls. If pressure does not work, chemistry is used. As most girls are not capable of being the physical equal of boys then boys must be forced to be girl like. All along the way girls are pushed forward and boys held back. Small wonder that girls become more successful and boys have reduced achievement. This reduced masculinity is a result, not a cause.
    I am old enough to remember when this was reverse, and it was deliberately changed to the modern way to empower women. Be careful for what you wish, you might not like what you get. The Ancient Celts challenged boys and girls to strive to their best together. The Southerners trained boys and girls separately to only male roles or female roles. Myself, I prefer women that are Different Equals. But then I learned to cook, clean and sew before I learned man stuff, hard labor and danger. pg

  31. DirkH says:

    Power Grab says:
    31 March 2013 at 4:58 am
    “Oh, and no one has yet mentioned the tendency to put so-called ADHD kids (mostly boys, right?) on meds to keep them under control.”

    My niece got Ritalin for a while. I never understood why; on the occasions when she had a fit of temper (before she got the drugs) and I was around I would simply make sure she was safe, fed and watered and ignore her til it was over. Which could take an hour. You know, you ignore them, they learn that it’s useless to stand in the corner and scream their lungs out for an hour and nothing happens.

    “” I was reading a classic a few months ago. i think it was in “Little Women” or “Little Men” where there was a description of the typical misbehaviors of boys. The description took the attitude that they simply needed a firmer hand in controlling them and making grown-ups out of them. ”

    Well, yes. People who put their kids on drugs instead simply do not show the necessary patience and willingness to do the obvious. Or they just believe the BS of the efficacy of brain drugs. Yeah, you can sedate people; we’ve been able to do that for millenia. They believe Ritalin will make it easier for the kid to cope in school. Well, teaching the kid yourself also helps. In the case of my niece, I drilled arithmetics and algebra into her head for months. I didn’t need any chemicals for that, just time and a pencil and paper. I think she learned to do maths better from me than from a chemical.

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    @DirkH:

    Why kids on drugs? Many reasons. (As the spouse does “Special Ed” much of her ‘population’ is on drugs and it is a common discussion topic…) Remember that the major purpose is not to educate the problem kid most effectively, but to keep order…the kid learning better is a secondary goal. They are only one, they disturb the many…

    First off, it really does help some kids. Some of them go from non-functional to functional. IMHO, that’s mostly the very worst off kids and a minority of them. (But that is speculation based on not much other than dinner table talk.)

    Second, if a little is good, more must be better, right? A common mode of human error. So you take an antihistamine and your allergies are better. A friend has sniffles, you say “Here, try this, it worked for me.” (Never mind that their sniffles are caused by a toxin exposure at work and they will die from it… or that it’s a virus and you are just masking the symptoms as they spread it around to more people.. or… ) Since the drugs helped some of the population, it gets spread to as many as available with unresolved issues.

    Third, even those it does not really help end up passivated. Teachers with “problem kids” now have “quit kids”. Stupefied, yes, but no long a “problem”…

    Fourth, the Parents often demand it. Some get more money from Gov’t Aid programs for a “special needs child”. Others are just unable to cope. Most have little parenting skill anyway (we are into the 2nd and 3rd generation of ‘welfare and drugged’ in some cases, where the parents were ‘special needs’ and on drugs in school…) Sometimes the parents are good and normal folks who just believe what they have seen on TV (or worse, what the “professionals” tell them. Many follow the ‘no discipline’ path, get the wild child, and never connect the two. )

    Legal Mandate. The law says the schools MUST provide services. It’s not allowed to say “not going to fix it”. If you fail to fix it, the system just keeps escalating mandates. So if you can “fix it” with a pill, you try that. Basically,. at some point in the process (not too far from the start of the Special Ed evaluation process) there is a ‘try drugs’ point. As near as I can tell, it isn’t a written requirement, it’s just a ‘usual and customary’ point. On one side of that point, you have “more attention and teachers doing more work”. On the other side you have “off to highly expensive S.E.D. classes with one teacher and two aids trained in ‘take downs and restraints’ per dozen kids” and with the kids mostly on drugs. In between is “just try drugs alone and not put them into the hard core nearly institutional level of class”. (Those are my interpretations of the actual levels that I only dimly understand via those dinner table talks…) You can NOT ignore the problem. You MUST “do something”. What’s between “pull out help specialist” and “Severe problems dedicated class”? Why, how about a little magic pill?… (There is some long legal process with interviews and paperwork and evaluations and all – it’s not just Mom & the Teacher slipping the kids some drugs; but it is the case that Mom & the Teacher choose to fill out the papers and send the kid off to the Good Doctor with the Pill Pad… )

    Now take your “Rowdy Kid”. The regular teacher doesn’t have time for them, they fall behind and end up in a ‘pull out class’. Stay rowdy? Don’t “get with the program” or worse, be “disruptive”? Meetings w / Mom & Dad. Evaluations. Papers. “Let’s try drugs, they worked for Jimmy and Suzy.”… Kid gets drugged up, no longer “rowdy”, problem “fixed”…

    As it is forbidden to discipline a child, the kid that would have gotten a smack on the rump for standing in the corner and shouting their head off, learned it was a bad idea, and learned to “behave”, instead gets to have the power rush of disrupting the whole class until someone with the appropriate “credentials” can come collect them. After a few times to the Principles Office, they go off to “Emotionally Disturbed” Special Ed, and down the drug-to-pacify path. Our society has decided it is better to drug to oblivion than smack a rump or two…

    The key point being that there is continuum from “a smack will do” on one end to “must be drugged as it is right for them” at the other end. We’ve tried a “one size fits all” solution at both ends. (1800’s paddling fixes it all on one hand, modern “No spanking, lots of drugs” on the other) What is really needed is a spectrum of responses, but discretion is not allowed and physical discipline is forbidden. (Hell, even grabbing a kids arm to prevent them from slugging another kid is forbidden… Don’t know at what level – school rule vs case law vs… – but only the Special Ed folks with Restraint Training are allowed to grab a kid. There are 2 at the school where the spouse works and they are in one S.E.D. classroom all day. Severely Emotionally Disabled. You might wonder why Severely Emotionally Disabled kids prone to violence and needing “takedowns and restraints” are in a regular school… well, it’s a social justice thing… ) The spouse has some extra things she is allowed to do (as she is multi-credentialed) and has stopped one kid from whacking another (then again, she taught S.E.D. for 2 years) but the regular teachers generally have a “no touch” rule. If the kid grabs your arm, that’s OK. If you grab their arm, mid swing, that’s not OK. It is sometimes not always followed, at personal risk to the teacher and their career… Then again, it’s hard to fire teachers, so maybe it’s not that much career risk. I think you are allowed to get between the attacker and the being attacked, but not sure if there is a union rule against that…

    Essentially, we’ve turned schools into Psych Wards (with some separation of populations, but not much) and with most of the staff forbidden to keep order with physical means, but drugs available with the right forms filled out and pills prescribed. No real surprise then you get more pills.

  33. Gail Combs says:

    EM, don’t forget the soda machines and candy machines, pasta for lunch and very little physical exercise. Add in no discipline, bored out of their skulls and a typical little boy (or girl) and you have the situation you are talking of.

    There is also the difference in cultural philosophy. I do entertainment for kids, a lot of birthdays, schools festivals, churches stuff. Give me a church or Latino party any day of the week. I know I won’t have the discipline problems I see elsewhere even if I have ‘special needs’ and autistic kids.

  34. DirkH says:

    @ChiefIO: “As it is forbidden to discipline a child, ”
    You have very precisely described the problem. Once I ran after my kid, he ran away from me and I tackled him (and that was that) – he had nearly broken my thumb with an unfortunate throw of a boomerang… You should have seen him when he realized I was going for him…

  35. philjourdan says:

    @DirkH says: 31 March 2013 at 3:46 pm Re: “you ignore them,”

    Exactly. I guess I have mellowed with old age, but my 3 year old granddaughter tried that (temper tantrum). So I ignored her. It would have worked fine except my wife started acting just like her! So I had to physically pick her up and put her in her bed. And told her when she could behave, she could rejoin us. She stopped within 5 minutes.

    My wife is too old to ignore however. ;-)

  36. philjourdan says:

    @DirkH says: 31 March 2013 at 11:10 pm Re: “@ChiefIO: “As it is forbidden to discipline a child, ”
    You have very precisely described the problem. ”

    I do not recall if I was ever struck by a teacher (I managed to avoid “Catholic School” only by the grace of God!), but I was a soap connoisseur! I guess that is abuse now (and I did miss out on the dreaded malady of Soap poisoning), but it made sure that my tongue was in check around adults.

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