What have dumb people done to me?

Bryan Caplan asks: “What did stupid people ever do to you?”

Steve Sailer points out that Professor Caplan is the one who wrote a book about how our political system doesn’t work if voters are stupid . . .

But leaving aside that obvious, humorous, and devastating re-tort, I think there are some additional answers to the question.

For example, unlike Professor Caplan the government entity that employs me is not located in Northern Virginia. Therefore, I am not allowed the opportunity of staying entirely outside DC on a daily basis (DC is filled with more people of a low IQ than Northern Virginia). So, stupid people force me to make a choice: 1) get a different job; 2) commute long distances in a car; or 3) live near stupid people. Most people that defend stupid people, like Professor Caplan, don’t live near them. I chose option 3), so I do.

My house is worth about $800,000. It would easily be worth over a million if it weren’t for stupid people who commit crime in the immediate areas around my house and who send their stupid children to the local schools thereby making them useless to non-stupid kids. I have additional costs associated with living around stupid people, which include payments on a security system, having to drive a crappy car, higher taxes for terrible services, etc.

Rarely does a day go by in which I don’t waste a significant amount of time waiting for a stupid person to do their (incredibly simple) job. Service in DC is run by stupid and they’re not very good at it.

At work, my office has a secretarial staff that is completely useless. It’s gotten to the point than I never ask them to do anything for me.

I long for the distant days in which my job would be relocated to a location in which the stupid people all lived far away and customer service was run by college students . . . unfortunately, those days have not arrived yet. At least for me.

15 Responses to What have dumb people done to me?

  1. james wilson says:

    My father, who retired as Assistant Postmaster General, let me know in 1970 that he had not discovered how to put his affirmative action secretary to much use.

    I have no doubt you have seen everything very precisely, except perhaps your role near the top of it. Even the mail doesn’t need to be delivered anymore. But they will always find reasons we cannot do without them, and the only thing that will evolve is the price of the stamp and the $800,000 house.

    • Foseti says:

      I should have mentioned the mail. A funny discussion about the mail broke out on my neighborhood’s listserv a few months back. Some people were upset that the mail routinely comes very late (after 8:00pm) or not at all. Another cost of stupidity!

      • Handle says:

        Well, another cost of awful government in a city where it is especially awful. Here in the deep interior, however, my mail service is simply outstanding; friendly and efficient. Then again, my community is relatively homogenous. Maybe my postal workers aren’t “stupid”, but I think the cost comes from an altogether different place besides mere cognitive capacity.

      • josh says:

        Our mailman doesn’t pick up our outgoing mail.

  2. I’d argue you that none of these problems are the fault of stupid people. The problem with your secretary is not that’s she stupid. Stupid people can be perfectly productive and useful if they are hired and assigned to jobs suited to them (the same with smart people – a smart person will be unproductive if assigned to the wrong job). The problem is a personnel policy that doesn’t allow proper job assignment. Who’s fault is this? Smart progressives.

    The same goes for crime. Smart people can and will commit crime if allowed to. In feudal Japan for instance, crime was something rich youths did because there was no police to punish the kids of high ranking people. The real problem is lack of law enforcement against ethnic groups allied with the left, which is really the fault of smart, leftwing leadership.

    • Foseti says:

      Interesting argument.

      Under this theory, everything is the fault of smart progressives. But where would smart progressives be without stupid people?

      • Alrenous says:

        Did you just blame stupid people for being used by progressives?

        I bet I can be more un-PC.

        Stupid people are really stupid. They’re basically children in the face of a smart, unscrupulous person. At least, when I tested it, I was able to place a couple stupid people almost entirely within my power.

        Conflicts with stupid people are in fact conflicts over which smart person gets to manipulate them.

        Come to think…this may be a root of egalitarianism. (The other being about stealing money.) Feminism convinces women they’re ‘independent’ and so makes them very, very easy prey to certain men, because it doesn’t even occur to them to defend themselves – and hence feminism wins male support.

        By analogy…
        Egalitarianism makes it taboo to notice how very stupid the stupid people are, and thus camouflages how easily manipulated they are in multiple ways. First, the stupid people get all proud, so most will abandon the only effective defence: “You’re just trying to manipulate me, I’m not listening.” Second, it makes competitors forget to try to manipulate them. Third, it conceals how many decisions by stupid people are not their own.

        Hence egalitarianism wins support among elite intellects – those who you’d think would have the most to lose from conceding their superiority.

        (Heck, even IQ 100 is, in absolute terms, pretty dumb.)

      • Foseti says:

        “Did you just blame stupid people for being used by progressives?”


        I guess I did. Although I think you said better what I was trying to say when you said: “Conflicts with stupid people are in fact conflicts over which smart person gets to manipulate them.”

  3. Tschafer says:

    This argument is proceeding down a blind alley, because you folks made the mistake of taking Bryan Caplan seriously, and no good can ever come of that! I’ve warned you guys about this before…

  4. Steve Sailer says:

    “Rarely does a day go by in which I don’t waste a significant amount of time waiting for a stupid person to do their (incredibly simple) job. Service in DC is run by stupid and they’re not very good at it.”

    The employees in the drugstores in Washington D.C. always remind me of JFK’s wisecrack that Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.

  5. Handle says:

    By the way, this reminds me of what happened to the EPA Region-7 (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri), HQ. It used to be based in run-down ghetto-izing downtown Kansas City, Kansas (not to be confused with the much larger downtown Kansas City, Missouri).

    When it came time to either reconstruct their building or relocate, there were certain quid-pro-quo political-machine expectations that they would remain in KCK.

    Well, the bureacrats that actually worked there had different ideas, and had enough pull in the decision-making process to actually thwart the political corruption and in their own interest moved it to the most SWPL-friendly part of the metro in the Southwest. Almost all White-and-Asian, upscale suburban shopping, affordable McMansions in perfectly safe neighborhoods, easy fast driving, and excellent public schools.

    Steve Sailor’s “AFF” American Dreamland. People that know the Kansas City area will know exactly what I’m talking about – the difference is just night and day.

    Here’s some enviro-obsessed crybaby whining hysterically about it because it defies some sacred environmental principles or something. Ha! Tell that to the civil servants! They know what the real priority is.

    The Army also moved a huge amount of it’s personnel and financial management DC-area workers to the Fort Knox, Kentucky area to “save money” – which, putting aside the huge moving costs, of course it did, but the workers themselves weren’t altogether unhappy with their new-found boost in purchasing power and general quality of life.

    Maybe the folks who run your agency will get smart this way one day as well. If any story demonstrates The Moldbug’s contention that in a modern administrative state the bureaucrats not only are the ones that really run the system, but end up doing so mostly for their own benefit to the exclusion of all other objectives, this one does.

  6. Mike Anderson says:

    “I long for the distant days in which my job would be relocated to a location in which the stupid people all lived far away and customer service was run by college students…”

    You write this as though the two groups shared no members. It ain’t so, Joe!

  7. Brett_McS says:

    Here was my comment on the Caplan post:

    Paraphrasing some of the comments: “Low IQ people vote for bad governments”, which is true. However, I’d say the jury is still out on whether even governments elected by moderate-to-high IQ people are a viable, long term proposition. The problem may be more intrinsic to government/politics itself than with people’s IQ.

    On the other hand, market systems operating in areas of very low IQ (parts of Africa) have been shown to operate quite successfully (see Lord Peter Bauer).

    Conclusion? Obvious!

  8. […] – “What Have Dumb People Done to Me?“, “More on Stupid People“, “Left Libertarianism“, “What Have […]

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