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America: 18th and Falling Fast
By Michael McGrath
According to IQ research taken from a book by professors Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen entitled IQ And The Wealth of Nations, there is a clear indication that the average IQ in the United States is 98. This puts the U.S. 18th in the list behind other nations in average intellectual levels.
I was watching Bill Maher’s show the other day. It provided me with an excellent example of what American politicians do with each other that results in the populace being screwed by the collective ignorance of both sides of the political machine.
Two combatants were Ed Schultz, a very loud and outspoken liberal philistine and part-time MSNBC “broadcast journalist” and Michael Steel, a very loud and outspoken conservative philistine and former head of the Republican National Committee. The subject of debate was the proposal made by Republican congressperson, Paul Ryan, that healthcare spending be reduced by eliminating the Medicare and Medicaid programs and replacing them with a $15,000 dollar voucher given to Medicare / Medicaid users.
Bill Maher kicked off the debate by saying that fifteen thousand dollars would pay for about two months worth of nursing home care for an ailing senior. He followed with the question, “What becomes of the ailing senior when their fifteen thousand dollars runs out?”
Michael Steele was stumbling around trying not to say that he didn’t know when Ed Schultz interrupted loudly saying that Ryan’s plan was a voucher system and voucher systems don’t work. Michael Steele rebutted Schultz’s assertion by saying, “How do you know they don’t work?” Both Maher and Schultz took the bait and began pointing to various times and circumstances when voucher systems were tried and failed. Of course Michael Steele countered with times and circumstances when voucher systems were tried and succeeded. Each of the examples given by both sides of the argument was presented until someone out-shouted the other with another example of a voucher program that did or did not work. The argument continued until the show ran out of time.
And that is how it goes in our political system. Very few, if any, have the understanding, the awareness, the savvy, or the knowledge required to recognize and handle a logical fallacy. In this case the logical fallacy was a Red Herring, a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is introduced in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic.
The original issue was Bill Maher’s question as to what happens when the $15,000 runs out. Ed Schultz introduced the Red Herring by saying that voucher programs do not work. Michael Steele took full advantage of the situation by challenging Schultz and Maher to prove that voucher progams do not work. Steele’s tactic was the employment of yet another logical fallacy, argument from ignorance, which asserts that a proposition is true because it has not been proven false (or vice versa).
Far too often, this is what passes for political debate not only in our media, but also in our government. Anyone can prove this for themselves by simply watching and listening, provided they are familiar with logic and logical fallacy.
But the problem is that with an average IQ of 98, the vast majority of Americans are simply not smart enough to know when they are being handed a load of illogical crap. For example, according to a recent poll done by Kos/Research2000, 58 percent of Republicans currently think Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. Is it any wonder that Donald Trump jumped on the “Birther” bandwagon? Whatever else you may think of The Donald, most probably would agree that he knows a good bet when he sees one. Trump Casino in Atlantic City is no accident.
The bottom line to all of this is that Americans are falling behind. Something has gone terribly wrong with our education system; we seem to be producing dumber, not smarter people. The masses are turning out to be bungling idiots, content with their menial job, their nightly ration of beer and Saturday afternoon football. They will raise the flag and go to war when the leaders tell them to, and they won’t question the order.
And when someone “in authority” tells them that Obama doesn’t have an American birth certificate, or that America is running out of money to pay Medicare and Social Security, or that we have to lower taxes for the rich in order to stimulate job growth, they believe it. Because they don’t have the basic intellectual ability they need to find out the facts.
It is not simply a crisis in American education; it is a crisis in American intellect. The big business interests have people right where they want them. By systematically helping to undermin the American education system (while claiming to support it), they have turned vast numbers of Americans into mental incompetents, content to work for minimum wages with no benefits so that the rich can get richer.
The only tool we have to combat America’s falling IQ, and consequent gullibility, is education. And you will notice that education is what is being attacked - in Wisconsin, in Iowa, in Michigan, in Minnesota, in Ohio and in other states to come. If they can neutralize the ability of teachers to teach, they can neutralize the ability of people to think. It’s working.
Who says there is no Big Brother?