21 July 2012

The onward march of egalitarianism

Prior to the 1939-45 war, getting university fees paid if you, or your parents, could not afford them depended on showing remarkable academic achievement (correlated with very high IQ).

For a time, there were State Scholarships which were regarded as exceptional. They were dependent on getting several distinctions in the exam normally taken at age 18, now called A-levels (though of course quite different in intellectual difficulty from what was taken then).

I got a State Scholarship at 16, regarded as a young age. At the time there were third years of the Sixth Form, and some people stayed on at school until 19 in order to try to get State Scholarships, or at least to do well on the S-level papers. S-level (scholarship) papers were more demanding than A-level papers.

But although the State Scholarship gave me a notional cachet as compared with a County Scholarship, it did not give me (at the time I took it) any financial advantage. All those who had their university fees topped up by the state had them topped up to the same level and received the same amount to live on.

I also got the top scholarship to Somerville College, known as the Senior Open Scholarship, but this also was a cachet and no more. A fraction of my fees was paid by the college, the rest by the state.

From that time on, the number of people going to university each year increased continuously, all receiving a similar level of financial support, regardless of ability.

By now about 50% of the population attends university or similar institutions. The fees have about trebled, and those who get bursaries or subsidies are those from the poorest families, which is in fact most likely to favour the lowest IQs.

Those with the highest IQs are now at no advantage relative to any other university entrant from a middle-class family, and have to acquire enormous loans (likely to be over £50,000 for those starting in 2012) in order to complete their university courses.

Pre-Welfare State, the highest IQs were at an advantage in getting the few scholarships available; now they are bracketed with the middle class at large in being discouraged by the prospect of debt, quite apart from any discrimination practised against them during the admissions process. Debt, one may surmise, is likely to deter the higher IQs the most, as they are likely to be more forethoughtful and existentially aware.

Only those with the ‘poorest’ backgrounds will be actively encouraged by getting their fees paid, and by various ‘outreach’ strategies that are being pursued. Those with the highest IQs, who would formerly have had the best chances of State Scholarships, are unlikely to fall into this category. To have such an IQ implies at least a fairly high IQ on the part of both parents, and at least one of them is likely to have a reasonable income.

11 July 2012

Tax the pensioners till the pips squeak

Attention continues to be focused on the population of pensioners. This is a group with an average IQ above that for the population as a whole. One might have hoped (and did hope) that having run the gauntlet of the taxation system up to retirement age, one might be left alone with whatever resources one had managed to conserve. But no, it will not do. An additional direct tax on the working elderly is being proposed (misleadingly labelled ‘national insurance’).

At present, there is a reduced rate of tax on the earnings of those of pensionable age, which one might have considered reasonable as recognition of their having reached an age at which they are likely to be needing to pay more for age-related facilities, such as cleaners and takeaway meals, while the hours which they could work might be limited. Now it is argued they should be taxed more, ostensibly in order to finance a tax cut for younger workers.
Older workers who choose to stay in their jobs beyond 65 should pay national insurance to support young workers, a group of Tory MPs has said. Up to £2 billion a year could be raised by imposing National Insurance on the income of Babyboomers who are still in work. The money would be used to give young, low paid workers a National Insurance ‘holiday’ to allow them to get ahead.

The recommendation is on the back of studies showing that this generation of young workers is likely to end up worse off than their parents. At the moment, older workers are not required to pay National Insurance - although their bosses have to pay 13.8 per cent - because the money is perceived as being for pensions and benefits.

The money would also be used to scrap the National Insurance payments for those who employed young workers. This would be worth an extra £375 for an 18 year old working 40 hours a week on the minimum wage rate of £4.98 - and would save their boss £450 per year. For a 21 year old, it could be £675 a year, saving the employer £800. (Daily Mail, 9th July 2012)
Over-65s are a selected population, even if selected only by managing to survive to that age. The proposed tax involves resources being transferred to a younger population, selected only by being ‘low-paid’. This fulfils the familiar acceptability criterion applied to a potential tax used to finance benefits, that resources should be moved from a population with a higher average IQ to one with a lower average IQ.

There are other potential rationalisations waiting in the wings as reasons for taxing the working elderly. For example, it is being argued that all local councils should have the same criteria for assessing ‘need’ for the sorts of ‘help’ they provide. So overall, councils will no doubt have to pay out more than they do at present, and where will that come from? From taxpayers, which includes the population of those who do not seek, or do not qualify for, ‘help’ from councils. Thus, in effect, resources are to be transferred from the more independent pensioners to those who fall into the clutches of the Oppressive State, voluntarily or involuntarily.

It seems very likely that the population of pensioners who keep themselves independent, by working or otherwise, has a higher average IQ than the population which fails to do so. So transferring resources from the former population to the latter also fulfils the standard acceptability criterion (see above).

* For more on how pensioners are being increasingly regarded as milch cows, see here and here.

08 July 2012

A YouTube video about my ‘misogyny’

text of a letter to someone who posted a video about my ideas on YouTube

My colleague Dr Charles McCreery came across your video on YouTube. It is interesting that you find some of my ideas fairly palatable – that is, my ideas about the drawbacks of female psychology.

As you may have gathered, the main point of my writing books is to advertise my need for people to come and work with me. This applies to people of any age, sex, social status, and ethnicity. Also of any IQ, although in practice only people with a very high IQ consider coming here.

You mention in your video that you regard my writing to have deteriorated since I wrote The Human Evasion. While writing The Human Evasion I had a very small modicum of financial support, and while I was writing it I was still hoping that my other books (Lucid Dreams and Out-of-the-Body Experiences) would encourage people to give me financial support to carry out further research in the areas which I had opened up.

However, no such support was forthcoming. I was not in a position to carry out any viable research into lucid dreams or any other hallucinatory experiences, nor in anything else, such as theoretical physics. The books which you regard as showing a deterioration in the quality of my writing are simply what I have managed to squeeze out in a totally unsupported and constricted situation. If you have looked at my blog (which has been running since 2006), you will see that I am still attempting to enter on the 40-year professorial career which I should have started 50 years ago when I left college. I am also attempting to build up my current situation into at least one university department which will provide me with the hotel environment which I need to lead a liveable life of progressive intellectual activity.

As I said, I need people to come and work with me, to help me build up my situation. If people want to help me, they have to be unselective about what they do, and not insist on doing ‘creative’ work. If you are interested in this possibility, you are welcome to come. I do not know how difficult it is for Australians as regards visas, work permits, etc. You would have to sort this out yourself if you are interested enough. Even if you do not wish to come yourself, please let other people know about my existence and my need for people to work with me. I would be happy to send complimentary books to anyone who supplies a postal address, including yourself. If you send your postal address we would send you complimentary copies of books, which you could present to public or university libraries.

04 July 2012

To potential associates in Greece (and elsewhere)

An open letter

We welcome people from Greece who wish to visit us, because we want people to know about our situation and our need for people to work with us.

We are a developing and hopefully expanding organisation opposed by the bitterest social hostility, in spite of being extremely respectable. We say we are aiming at being an independent university with several research departments and a publishing company supported by a business empire, because people need to be aware of our long-term aims so as not to misinterpret our present embryonic state, which can still do little more than some book publishing and investment. Our relatively modest position, and apparent lack of progress, results from the apparently universal desire that we should be squeezed to death, and is not a reflection of our objectives.

Our expansion depends very much on getting to know more people who might come and work with us. We would like to have people coming as temporary or part-time workers to get to know the situation, and spread the word about it among their acquaintances. People who come need to be unselective about the work they do; it is no use to us if people insist only on doing ‘creative’ or ‘interesting’ things such as working with computers. We need people to be willing to do whatever happens to be useful at the time, especially when they are starting with no knowledge of our office systems.

It is best if people come as voluntary workers, supporting themselves in the first instance, so they can get to know the work. We realise this may be difficult for people from Greece, but it is only by coming on a short-term basis that people can get to know about our position realistically. Even if this does not lead to their ever wishing to come permanently, at least they would be in a position to tell others about us and about our need for additional manpower.

When we say that people should be prepared to support themselves in the first instance, this refers to their legal position. We would not want them to be uncomfortable before we could work out if a permanent arrangement was possible.

We are situated in Cuddesdon, a pleasant village outside Oxford. The village has good views and clean air, and is near to major roads to both Oxford and London. There is a Christian theological college (Ripon College) in the village.

There is a demand for workers of various sorts in Britain. If more people were to come than we could support in our organisation, we would attempt to set up ways in which they could supplement their income by doing freelance work.

David Cameron has threatened that, if Greece leaves the eurozone, he would set up border controls to prevent Greek citizens from flooding into the country. It might therefore be a good idea to act promptly if the prospect of coming here permanently interests you.

If you are interested in the possibilities discussed, please email us via the contact page on my website, putting the word ‘Greece’ in the subject header.