– It appears that federal employees like Ron Paul. I’m not really surprised.

Day 4: Moldbug

– Aretae has a very good response to my quip yesterday about the college education bubble. His argument boils down to: get government out of higher education and the bubble will pop. This is absolutely true. However, government and higher education are essentially one entity at this point. Their separation is unimaginable and has no chance of happening.

This made me laugh out loud


19 Responses to Randoms

  1. aretae says:

    Just like the housing market and the federal government were one entity 5 years back?

    • Foseti says:

      But more so, much much more so

    • Handle says:

      Not only that, but it’s become increasingly hard to calculate what the market would look like without the artificial government distortions and naked-put shadow-reinsurance (bailout) tendencies – both fiscal and monetary – so embedded have they become in everyone’s expectations.

      We know the current structure collapses (albeit to a state of greater health and sustainability) without government-subsidized student and home loans – but it is so hard to estimate that new equilibrium that our fear of the excruciating transition will ensure we’ll never do it, even to save ourselves.

      • Foseti says:

        It’s also important to remember that much of the subsidy is not in the form of money.

        Aretae correctly points out that you’d much prefer to higher someone with an IQ of 125 and no degree than someone with an IQ of 105 and a degree. Unfortunately, you’d get sued if you did that and you’d lose. This is perhaps the biggest subsidy of all and it’s not going to change at all.

      • Handle says:

        The thing about the Griggs v. Duke Power (1971) case is that the enforcement is very, shall we say, selective – and that clever companies have already found ways around the rule/”subsidy”. See, e.g., Google, which has been doing intensive pre-employment testing for years.

        This kind of thing has become amazingly common at many high talent organizations (and, of course, no one bats a single eyelash when we test for talents which are physical (athleticism, beauty, etc.), rather than cognitive).

        The proper analogy is to Affirmative Action – where it neither matters what you do nor what effect it has, but rather what you name it. If it’s a quota, that’s bad. If you pretend it’s a “holistic” system with results identical to quotas but race as merely a “plus factor”, then you’re fine.

        Both Justices Rehnquist and Souter, while disagreeing with each other, were appalled at the built-in incentive to lying the court had just created: Here’s Souter:

        “It is the disadvantage of deliberate obfuscation. The “percentage plans” are just as race conscious as the point scheme (and fairly so), but they get their racially diverse results without saying directly what they are doing or why they are doing it. In contrast, Michigan states its purpose directly and, if this were a doubtful case for me, I would be tempted to give Michigan an extra point of its own for its frankness. Equal protection cannot become an exercise in which the winners are the ones who hide the ball.”

        You could reword that with “tolerated pre-employment tests” and “impermissible IQ tests” and it would still be precisely correct. Same intent, same process, same effect, but different terminology

        What was that Confucius said 2,500 years ago? “What is necessary and the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names”. Something like that. Oh well.

      • Foseti says:

        I’ve always wondered why google doesn’t get busted for blatant IQ tests in their hiring process. As best I can tell, nobody has sued them – if someone did Google would lose. Maybe no black people have tried to get jobs there and so none have been discriminated against.

      • Alrenous says:

        Google gives lots of money to democrats…therefore it doesn’t occur to anyone to tell the failed hires that Google might have been unjust to them.

      • spandrell says:

        Being jewish owned and promoting all the lefts pet causes daily in all their services surely must win Google some favors.

      • Steve Johnson says:


        The answer to your question is the same as the answer to the question as to why Microsoft didn’t get sued for anti-trust.

        No one has gotten around to it yet.

        In Microsoft’s case once they were big and established to a point where a suit wouldn’t destroy them they got sued. Now they’re a nice little patronage machine.

        Uncertain enforcement is a feature of our decentralized legal system. Eventually someone might get around to suing Google but first the signal will have to be sent out that Google is an appropriate target. As of now, Google has bought time by preemptively becoming a lefty patronage machine. In the future Google will be established enough (if they’re not already there) that they won’t need to hire intelligent people – just connected ones. Then this whole danger will pass.

  2. aretae says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that it was awful clear that you were allowed to do testing IF the testing was clearly relevant to the job.

    Part of why the Wunderlich is good is that it’s basically an IQ test (12 min, timed), but it’s been tested in court.

    Also…roughly all pure tech companies basically run an IQ test. HP has been doing it since (at least) the mid 90s.

  3. Jehu says:

    IQ tests have relevance–if you consider statistical evidence and correlations—to almost any job. It’s just in some jobs you’re allowed to appeal to that correlation in court and in others you face a hostile reception. Most tech companies do basically a folk IQ test, not a real one—essentially they take a pooled estimate by a bunch of interviewers on how smart they think the applicant is. They also do a tremendous amount of their hiring by referral and ‘old geek network’.

  4. Shawn says:


    Great blog. I have been following it for some time.

    I have been thinking of moving to the beltway assuming I get a Fed job. I am wondering what the racial breakdown of your colleagues is? I am not really a fan of diversity. Also what is the female to male ratio and average ages at your workplace (I am a single dude)? I am also wondering, are there affordable neighborhoods their that lack diversity (i.e. White)? Thanks

    • Foseti says:

      The support staff at my agency is virtually 100% black women (with a smattering of gay black dudes). Basically everyone else is white outside of certain areas that are largely black (think enforcing diversity standards, and the like). Most of the more “skilled” jobs are white guys (maybe 30-40% women). My immediate group is all white guys besides our (black female) secretary.

      You’ll probably want to live in Virginia if you’re looking to insulate yourself from diversity. The whole immediate area is pretty expensive, but there are decent rental options in Virginia that are relatively affordable.

  5. Shawn says:

    “I’ve always wondered why google doesn’t get busted for blatant IQ tests in their hiring process. As best I can tell, nobody has sued them”

    I’ve actually taken IQ-type tests for a couple of jobs. One was for a sales job for a copier sales job & the other (from back when I was in college) was for a position in which I were to supervise mentally disabled people at a group home. I have also seen some job listings for hedge funds in which they ask for a minimum SAT/ACT score, which is highly correlated with IQ.

  6. Shawn says:

    All NFL players get their IQ measured via the Wonderlic.

    • Handle says:

      And of course the military uses the ASVAB and AFQT. All these people must be irrational, crazy racists – there’s just no other explanation.

  7. news says:

    Many of the comments on this blog dont make sense.

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