Carl Icahn: Morons Will Rule

Discussion in 'Economics' started by dalengo, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. dalengo


    Carl Icahn Agrees With Mike Judge: Morons Will Rule

    Posted by Percy Walker at Tuesday, January 16. 2007 and is filed under Billionaires,Carl Icahn,Percy on Pop Culture

    Last week saw the DVD release of Idiocracy, the unpromoted studio release written, directed and produced by Mike Judge. The movie imagines a grim future where, because of the overbreeding of morons, humanity has devolved to the point where it can't take care of itself.

    Last week also saw the publication of an interview of my friend, fellow Princeton grad and billionaire financier Carl Icahn. Mr. Icahn expressed his own view of a future where morons run everything. Here's a direct quote:

    The C.E.O. is the fraternity brother type who is great to have a drink with. He's a survivor and maybe not all that smart, but he works his way up the ladder in the corporation. And if you're a survivor, you never have someone beneath you who's smarter than you. So you eventually work your way to C.E.O. You have someone a little dumber than you underneath, and eventually we'll have morons running everything . . . which we're getting closer to.

    Here at we tie together the worlds of high finance and pop culture so you don't have to.

    I invite fellow ETers to nominate the most outstanding corporate morons. I'll start the list:

    Carly Fiorina, CEO, Hewlett-Packard Corp. (fired w/$21M severance)

    By Charles Murray
    Posted: Saturday, January 1, 2000
    AEI Bradley Lecture Series (Washington)
    Publication Date: April 11, 1994


    Let us begin with the top, a group that Dick and I have dubbed the Cognitive Elite.

    The cognitive elite refers to people in the top percentiles of cognitive ability who, over the course of the American twentieth century, have been part of a vast but nearly invisible migration.

    At the beginning of the century, the great majority of people in the top 5 or 10 percent of the intelligence distribution were not college educated, often not even high-school educated, and they lived their lives scattered almost indistinguishably among the rest of the population. Their interests were just as variegated. Many were small businessmen or farmers, sharing the political outlook of those groups. Many worked in factories or as skilled craftsmen. The top of the cognitive ability distribution probably included leaders of the labor movement and of community organizations. Among the smart women, only a handful had professional careers of their own. Most of them kept house, reared children, and were often the organizing forces of their religious and social communities.

    People from the top of the cognitive ability distribution lived next door to people who were not so smart, with whose children their own children went to school. They socialized with, went to church with, and married people less bright than themselves as a matter of course. This was not an egalitarian utopia . On the contrary, communities were stratified by wealth, religion, class, ethnic background, and race. The stratifications may have been stark, even bitter, but people were not stratified by cognitive ability.

    As the century progressed, the historical mix of intellectual abilities at all levels of American society thinned as intelligence rose to the top. The upper end of the cognitive ability distribution has been increasingly channeled into higher education, especially the top colleges and professional schools, thence into high-IQ occupations and senior managerial positions. The upshot is that the scattered brightest of the early twentieth century have congregated, forming a new class.

    Membership in this new class, the cognitive elite, is gained by high IQ--neither social background, nor ethnicity, nor lack of money will bar your way. The recruitment process is extraordinarily efficient. Harvard is the classic example. In 1952, Harvard was not really so hard to get into. Your chances of being admitted were about two out of three. The mean SAT-Verbal score of the incoming freshmen class was only 583--above the national mean, but nothing to brag about.The national SAT-V in 1952 was 476, a little more than a standard deviation lower than the Harvard mean. Perhaps the average Harvard student was much farther ahead of the national average than the text suggests, because the national SAT-taking population in 1952 was so selective, representing only 6.8 percent of high school graduates. But one of the oddities of the 1950s, discussed in more detail in chapter tk, is that the SAT means remained constant through the decade and into 1963, even as the size of the test-taking population mushroomed. By 1963, when SAT scores hit their all-time high in the post-1952 period, the test-taking population had grown to 47.9 percent of all high school graduates. Thus there is reason to think that the comparison is about the same as the one that would have been produced by a much larger number of test-takers in 1952. ¯ Harvard men came from a range of ability that could be duplicated in the top half of many state universities. By 1960, the average verbal score was 678--an increase of almost a hundred points. The average Harvard freshman in 1952 would have placed in the bottom 10 percent of the incoming class by 1960. In eight years, Harvard had been transformed from a school primarily for the Northeastern socioeconomic elite into a school populated by the brightest of the bright, drawn from all over the country.

    The same thing happened at all the elite schools. The very brightest students from little towns in Iowa --or from Hope Arkansas--no longer went to State U, but were sucked into an extremely efficient recruitment system for the Cognitive Elite.

    Once in the club, usually by the time you are eighteen, you begin to share much else as well. Among other things, you and others like you run much of the country's business. In the private sector, the cognitive elite dominates the ranks of CEOs and the top echelon of corporate executives. The advantages that smart people have no doubt always had has grown as the barriers against the "wrong" nationalities, ethnicities, religions, or socioeconomic origins have come down. Meanwhile, the leaders in medicine, law, science, print journalism, television, the film and publishing industries, and the foundation world come largely from the cognitive elite. Almost all of the leading figures in academia are part of it. In Washington, the top echelons of federal officialdom, special interest groups, think tanks, and the rest of Washington's satellite institutions draw heavily from the cognitive elite. At the municipal level, the local business and political leaders who can make things happen in their cities are often members of the cognitive elite.


    These are the "smart people" who are "in the loop" - and who will be endorsed by the rest of their ideological elite network.

    Charles Murray camouflages himself as a libertarian - but his peers recognize him for violating the Non-aggression principle and see him for what he is --- a NEOCONSERVATIVE.

    Also, the Neoconservatives absolutely HATES counter-cultures, multilateral international organizations etc. And Murray calls welfare systems or social initiatives not worth the paper to wipe his ass even ...

    Think Tank Transcripts:A Conversation With Charles Murray
    MR. MURRAY: We have the thing we call the under class right now,and we have worries about crime and worries about budget problems with welfare that are still at this point on the level of political discourse that we've always had. And what I'm saying is that as the under class continues to become more firmly mired in the bottom with fewer and fewer jobs that they can hold, with more and more family disorganization, we are going to have an eruption in the upper class,if you want to think of it that way, or what we call the cognitive elite in the book, which says, let's just get these people out of our hair; we'll take care of them, we aren't going to ignore them --

    MR. WATTENBERG: That's the Indian reservation --

    MR. MURRAY: That's the Indian -- it's sort of, keep them out of sight, out of mind, spend as much money as we need to do that, while we try to go about our business.

    MR. WATTENBERG: And you say that the root of this is because there is a similar stratification in intelligence amongst human beings?

    MR. MURRAY: It's -- intelligence is part of the story --

    MR. WATTENBERG: A big part, according to you.

    MR. MURRAY: A big part of the story, whereby, over the last century, what used to be social and economic divisions have turned into a screening structure whereby, if you're real smart in the United States today, you'll probably end up going to a real good school, you'll probably end up in a profession that pays good money,and your salary's going to continue to go up while other people's salaries are stagnating; and at the other extreme of society, you'vegot people who have fewer and fewer jobs they can do that repay the cost of paying for them.

    Think Tank Transcripts: Race, I.Q., American Society, Success and Charles Murray
    MR. WATTENBERG: Murray says further that as we enter the age of the information economy, society will place a higher premium on intelligence. The result: smart people will do better than ever before and people with low IQs will do worse.

    MR. MURRAY: (From videotape.) If you're real smart in the United States today, you'll probably end up going to a real good school,you'll probably end up in a profession that pays good money and your salary is going to continue to go up while other people's salaries are stagnating. And at the other extreme of society, you've got people who have fewer and fewer jobs they can do that repay the cost of paying for them.

    MR. WATTENBERG: Murray says people with low IQs will find themselves in a growing underclass that is a great deal more likely to remain poor, commit crimes, have more babies out of wedlock, and end up on welfare.

    Moreover, Murray argues that about 60 percent of intelligence is genetic, and his most provocative assertion is that on average, blacks in America have a lower IQ than whites, about 15 points lower.

    Many critics are in stark disagreement with Murray. They argue that differences in IQ are mainly the result of environmental influences, such as growing up in impoverished neighborhoods, attending bad schools and living with pervasive racism. Some say that by even bringing up the question of race and IQ, Murray and Herrnstein are heating up racial tensions.

    Nice elite-thinkers, those Neoconservatives...
    The fucker probably never understood that there is something called fluid and crystallized intelligence making up the IQ ... and the fluid part is trainable.

    This was even scientifically proven earlier this year.