Keeping up with the FITs, 12/1
Glenn Loury on the racial wealth gap; Secular religious mysticism; Emily Oster on paid parental leave; Noah Smith on patriotism; Razib Khan's book recommendations
Glenn Loury hosts two comments on the racial wealth gap. One comment comes from Clifton Roscoe.
The bottom line is that Black America accounts for 12-13% of the population but only controls 4.3% of America's wealth as of Q2 of this year according to the Federal Reserve. . .
Roger Ferguson of TIAA nailed it when he pointed to three things to change about Black America that would close the racial wealth gap
1. Higher incomes through education
2. More exposure to equities
3. Enhanced financial literacy
On Yascha Mounk’s Persuasion, Mark Alan Smith writes,
To put it simply, DIY religion has meant for young people a substantial retreat from religious participation in an organized community but no major withdrawal from religious and mystical belief.
What difference does this distinction make for the lives of Generation Z? Many research studies have found that active participation in a religious community improves a person’s health, happiness, and social stability. A community of like-minded others can take care of a person when they’re sick, provide leads on job opportunities, and give them social support that contributes to mental health. Once statistical models account for a person’s religious participation, however, religious belief per se does not systematically bring additional benefits. In other words, Generation Z has lost the best part of religion: its ability to connect a person with a community that will provide friendships, structure, mentors, and meaning.
Pair this with my essay on Enchanted Beliefs. There I suggest that we are losing the best part of secularism—the use of reason to understand the world.
The broad conclusion from this literature is that early maternity leave is beneficial. Most of the studies focus on outcomes in infancy, but at least one study using Norwegian data showed that introducing a four-month paid maternity leave for moms led to higher education and even higher wages for their children when they grew up. These long-term effects were largest for the children of moms who were less well-off financially.
Her post essentially says that if maternity leave has benefits, then there should be paid parental leave. I believe that is a slip. Paid parental leave also has costs, and the the benefits should be compared with costs, not with zero.
we have a situation where most Americans love their country and have no one to represent that love in the political arena. They’re forced to choose between one movement that vilifies the idea of America, and another that vilifies the America that actually exists. The patriotic silent majority is politically and ideologically homeless right now.
I would say that there is a majority that is worn out by political anger. A lot of people wanted upbeat leadership. Unfortunately, Joe Biden turns out to be a naturally angry individual, and he is somewhat captive of the angry wing in his party. The disappointment that people feel is shown in the polls.
Razib Khan gives us his book recommendations. We should all aspire to his level of erudition, even though we will never make it.
“Once statistical models account for a person’s religious participation, however, religious belief per se does not systematically bring additional benefits.”
I don’t buy that religious belief doesn’t bring systematic benefits. Consider research on the AA program, which has helped as many as 10 million achieve sobriety:
“ A pattern emerged. Alcoholics who practiced the techniques of habit replacement, the data indicated, could often stay sober until there was a stressful event in their lives—at which point, a certain number started drinking again, no matter how many new routines they had embraced. However, those alcoholics who believed, like John in Brooklyn, that some higher power had entered their lives were more likely to make it through the stressful periods with their sobriety intact.” (The Power of Habit)
You say "Unfortunately, Joe Biden ..." You should have expected him to be the senile and reprehensible liar he has ever been. He was chosen by those who have been financing the destruction of your country for a long time. You remained silent when they were hiding him in a basement. You got what you deserved and much more.