Who Is Being Hit The Hardest?, Ctd.

After looking at the correlation between education and unemployment in the current recession, I remarked yesterday: "Charles Murray was onto something, wasn't he?" Doug at Balloon Juice asks:

...do people like Sully and Murray actually believe that they and their friends are members of a genetic “cognitive elite” and that some portion of the rest of the population belongs in a “more lavish version of the Indian reservation”? Or am I simplifying things[?]

In a related noted, Nick Kristof has a good piece on ways to increase educational/intellectual attainment among Americans living in poverty. Which brings me to my last question: is the Sully/Murray stuff at some level an argument against taking government action towards rectifying the country’s educational inequality problem?

After going through the new research on genetics and intelligence Kristof concludes:

The implication of this new research on intelligence is that the economic-stimulus package should also be an intellectual-stimulus program. By my calculation, if we were to push early childhood education and bolster schools in poor neighborhoods, we just might be able to raise the United States collective I.Q. by as much as one billion points.

That should be a no-brainer.

If anything, the evidence that cognitive skills have much more influence on income and success in this advanced global economy than in previous times when other skills were more valuable suggests that we need to focus on education more, not less. But intelligence is not infinitely alterable. My point was that growing inequality will be very, very hard to prevent or restrain in the face of these factors.