I wrote here on 9/27/16 about the genetic basis for why certain humans are wealthy:
…wealth and poverty have become structural. The children of the poor stay poor and the children of the rich stay rich. Socioeconomic class is entrenched over many generations. ….The birth lottery is not random for mass affluent parents. Their children have already won.
Chapters 10-13 of Human Diversity – The Biology of Gender, Race and Class (2020) presents what we know about the heritability of socio-economic class. We indeed know these things – the only controversy (level of uncomfortableness) is how one reacts. Bad, negative over reactions abound, which is why Charles Murray is seen as a provocative figure. Read this review:
That reviewer takes a dismal, pessimistic view of the book calling Murray positively dishonest. He alleges that the book is posing as brave resistance to tyrannical orthodoxy and will be used by right wingers to strengthen the most entrenched and damaging hierarchies in our society. He’s not happy with Murray pointing out that people have fundamentally different brains, capabilities and inclinations – the poor will always be poor because their genes make them less able to achieve jobs that bring wealth. Public policy interventions do not work. You cannot escape your genetic destiny. Sorry if you drew the short straw in the DNA casino. There’s nothing you can do about it.
I don’t see it that way, not just because my clients are winners in the birth lottery, but also because scientific reality need not be depicted in such a dark, dreary, hopeless light. Murray anticipates harsh reactions to his highlighting a truth that “raises hackles for so many people because it smacks of self-satisfaction with the way things are and indifference toward those who were unlucky in the genetic lottery”.
Ultimately, we’ll see that it’s about the ongoing Nature vs. Nurture argument. Clearly both matter; but how much of what a human is comes from nature/genes and how much comes from the environment/nurture? Progressives think human minds are 100% nurture and 0% nature – tabula rasa, social construction of identity and all that nonsense. But that’s just a wrong exaggeration made for ideological reasons. Genetic differences obviously have more than a 0% impact on us and Murray establishes scientifically that genetic differences are substantially material to human success.
That need not be so upsetting – especially to those who can directly address the fundamental questions of human existence – head on, without embarrassment or fear. Let’s get to the truth, even if it hurts. Murray’s propositions (particularly on wealth) are demonstrably true despite the furor surrounding his work. We will be zeroing in on the wealth gene here in the coming weeks.