January 7, 2014

Oh, no, we have to talk about "Tiger Mom" again.

I should be immune to the efforts of law professors to get us all talking about themselves, and Amy Chua has already done it once, with her "Tiger Mom" book in 2011, so I should be able to resist as she reappears, 3 years later, with another book, this time co-authored with her husband (who's also a law professor). But this one is cleverly packaged to make us say: Hey! Isn't that racist?! How can they say something so racist?!! Do they think because they are Yale law professors that they won't be accused of racism?!!!

As UPI puts it:
According to a scathing New York Post preview, The Triple Package: Why Groups Rise and Fall in America argues that some cultural and ethnic groups -- primarily Jews, Indians, Chinese, Iranians, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons -- have innate qualities that make them more likely to succeed in life.
Innate? Really? I bet they don't say it's innate. It sounds a lot more like a discussion of culture, notably the immigrant spirit that has been observed and praised throughout American history. Hooray for the hardworking immigrants. That's an old and easily defensible position, but it's not going to be a bestseller unless you package it to stir people up. 
“That certain groups do much better in America than others -- as measured by income, occupational status, test scores and so on -- is difficult to talk about,” write Chua and [Jed] Rubenfeld. “In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged.”
So they are charging up their book with the racial controversy. Hey, this might be racist! 
Though it doesn't hit shelves until February 4, the book has already generated the inevitable media discussion.
So I'm not able to buy it and check my theory. The trumped-up racial controversy will stew for weeks before anyone can produce the actual text, and Chua and Rubenfeld will appear everywhere, because they must respond to all the terrible things people are saying about them and because they are a glamorous, gorgeous couple. And it's exactly what mainstream media will appreciate right now: a diversion from the Obama-hurting subject of the health-care debacle. And this book helps the Obama forces in 2 major ways: 1. It amps up our endless, ongoing Conversation About Race In America, and 2. It bolsters the cause for liberalizing immigration.

Extra points to Chua and Rubenfeld for throwing in the Mormons. When they were writing the book, they didn't know Mitt Romney wasn't going to win the presidency. If he had, how fabulously prescient this book would have been. In any case, Mormons will want to buy this book, and so will those who have an aversion to Mormons. And the presence of a religious group in Chua and Rubenfeld set of groups that succeed will serve as a major weapon as they fight against the accusations — the accusations they invited (invented!) — that they're a couple of racists.

Enjoy the flummery!

78 comments:

Henry said...

What about Canadians? I give you William Shatner! What kind of anti-Canuck bias do we have here?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Some of it may be innate, if only from a self-selection point of view.

We are primarily a nation of immigrants, so we start out with an over-representation of those members of all races (except Blacks, who were forced-immigrated) who have the genetic predisposition to risk, industriousness, etc - whatever qualities they have that their stay-at-home countrymen lack (granted, some lack the 'need' to immigrate - already doing fine).

And this skews the sample and makes generalizations about race, based only on the American experiment, tainted.

Roger Sweeny said...

This sounds like stuff that Thomas Sowell has been saying for years. For a while, it felt like he was writing a book a year on it.

rehajm said...

Not smarter. Work harder.

MayBee said...

Most of those groups have cultural antipathy to accepting handouts, even though they (especially Jewish and Mormon) also do a lot of charitable work. They all believe in hard work. They all have expectations that they and their children will be successful.

Immigrants from China, India, and Nigeria know the value of competing to be the best because there are so many people competing with them, and poverty is the price of failure.

John Lynch said...

Charles Murray has been writing about this for 20 years.

Bob Ellison said...

Sample bias. Immigrants are always more motivated than non-immigrants. That's why America is great.

Spiros Pappas said...

It's clearly racist and has absolutely nothing to do with "hard-working immigrants." The individuals Mrs. Chua praises are elites who fled their countries for an easier life in the U.S. It's brain drain. It's praising these very poor countries' top one per cent as superior to the rabble all around them. It altogether dismisses, for example, the complicated moral questions of Nigerian and Indian doctors fleeing their impoverished communities. It's BS...

MayBee said...

But the Jewish and Mormon groups aren't "hard working immigrants". They are hard working, period.

surfed said...

Why would I ever buy this book? What reason on earth would there ever be to even peruse it? To read a review? To do more than shift my eyes away from it on the shelf at Barnes and Noble or as a suggestion to buy from Amazon.

Aside - The best student ever? African born female from Kenya who attended and was educated under the last vestiges of the British colonial school system.

lemondog said...

Racist?

Is Tiger Mom white?

Henry said...

The more fundamental question might be that given the emigration is a high-risk-high-reward behavior, why do people emigrate? Especially, why do poor people emigrate? What kind of people emigrate?

If the question is to be discussed intelligently at all, it needs to be examined in multi-generational terms.

Who is to say that the hardworking and impoverished immigrants of the moment might be lumped into one of Ms. Chua's ethnic categories of success in a few generations.

CStanley said...

@Maybee- I think the idea is that there is a subculture that supports those values,

All of this has to create a crisis of cognitive dissonance for liberals though. Either there are innate differences (my opinion- of course there are! Biologically and genetically, how is race different from breed of canine, and is anyone going to argue that certain dog breeds don't have innate advantages for certain tasks?)

Or, there is an importance of cultural mores and community value system, including shaming, that illuminates the defects of the all- consuming liberal value system based on acceptance and tolerance.

Or, more accurately IMO, both of those things are true, which collectively refutes the entire liberal argument against social conservatism.

Fen said...

Who cares? I am so tired of talking about Tiger Mom.


:P

Fen said...

But that doesn't mean the rest of you can't discuss it.

Gee, I hope I didn't just spike the entire blog post....

betamax3000 said...

Tiger Mom Vs. Pajama Boy. This is What America is Left With.

Marshal said...

"Oh, no, we have to talk about "Tiger Mom" again."

This brings to mind something soemone once wrote:

Why drag down the thread by announcing that you aren't interested in it? Why do you think that's interesting?

Bob Ellison said...

MayBee, you're correct.

I agree with the Tiger Mom's basic premise: that some cultures tend to inculcate better work ethics than others. How can anyone plausibly argue otherwise?

Jews in America are immigrants, though often from long back, and it's the culture that sustains their ethics. Mormons were pushed to the west (mostly Utah) violently, and there's an interesting sample bias there...as there is for Jews, after WW2...but it's the Mormon culture that sustains them.

Similarly, looking at the other side, the inner-city culture sustains lassitude. That's part of what Tiger Mom is talking about, but it's difficult to say in polite, elite company.

pst314 said...

"So I'm not able to buy it and check my theory."

Write more reviews and mentions of new books, like Instapundit, and publishers might start sending you pre-publication review copies.

SJ said...

@Roger Sweeney,

I remember reading about things like this in Sowell's book Economics and Politics of Race: an International Perspective.

He noticed things like (a) Italian immigrants doing very well in the wine business in many parts of North and South America, (b) German immigrants doing better at farming in regions of North America that they moved into...despite taking lower-quality farmland, because earlier waves immigrants had typically grabbed better farmland. Or (c) Chinese immigrants being successful businessmen in North America, Malaysia, the Philippines, and any other region they immigrated to.

He also noticed things like Irish immigrants getting into local politics in the first generation, while almost all other immigrant groups had no success in local politics in the first generation.

And he noticed that of the two distinct branches of Jews (Sephardic and Ashkenazi) who have lived in Europe during the last millennium, one group has an incredibly-high number of noteworthy intellectuals. And the other group does not.

Each of these patterns is mostly-culture. But some of these racial groups also have elevated numbers of distinct, likely-genetic health problems. (I think the Sephardic Jews have the most notable example of that...but I can't chase down the details in the back of my mind right now.)

It is one thing to argue that all people should be treated equally by law and culture. (Because we don't know the ways in which the individual we meet is not like the median of the group he/she is a member of.)

It is another thing to insist that all groups of people should have the same level of success at all things that they can try.

Peter said...

Whenever one hears that some group or ethnicity is "underrepresented," the implicit argument is that all should be proportionally represented in anything that is valued.

This argument deserves a quick, hard dump in the trash can, as the only way it could possibly happen would be with the imposition of rigid quotas.

Nonetheless, just because arguments that all would be proportionately successful in anything that's worth anything deserve a quick trip to the outhouse does not mean that all arguments against proportionality are worthy.

Is this one? Surely it is premature to judge it on the basis of this one review?

In any case, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Perhaps it's becoming more acceptable to publicly disagree with the Commissars of Proportionality than it once was; nonetheless, bad arguments in support of a good cause can be far worse than no arguments at all.

So, why don't we just wait to see the book?

betamax3000 said...

Tiger Mom Day Care: Doing the Job Americans Will Not Do, For at Least Part of the Day.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder if this couple's attention seeking is compartmentalized to marketing their work. I'm going to guess that it is.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Chua and Rubenfeld seem pretty good at generating a vortex.

Perhaps we could take up a collection to get them to eat an egg salad sandwich.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Spiros Pappas,

It's clearly racist and has absolutely nothing to do with "hard-working immigrants." The individuals Mrs. Chua praises are elites who fled their countries for an easier life in the U.S. It's brain drain. It's praising these very poor countries' top one per cent as superior to the rabble all around them. It altogether dismisses, for example, the complicated moral questions of Nigerian and Indian doctors fleeing their impoverished communities. It's BS...

I see. It's "clearly racist," because it singles out a small number of individuals who have left home countries where they were surrounded by people of exactly the same race and come to the US. So praising Chinese and Persian and Nigerian and Indian and Cuban immigrants is ... what? Touting them as racially superior? Denigrating the people who didn't emigrate as racially inferior? I do not see how race comes into this at all.

You can get away with this line of argument only by citing the "brain drain." The idea is that people have an ethical responsibility to live and produce for whatever shit-hole they were born in, especially if they are good at what they do. Anyone who leaves is a deserter who thinks s/he's better than everyone else. An "elite." A "one-percenter."

Leave aside that the immigrants in question are very often not well-off even by their natal countries' standards. Think, rather, of what it would mean to try to stop the "brain drain." It's been attempted, as you know. There was the Berlin Wall, for example. There is Cuba's still-standing (AFAIK) order to shoot on sight anyone who attempts to leave the country w/o authorization. There is North Korea's charmingly similar policy.

The path your mind is taking leads straight to slave labor, and to the turning of states into vast open-air prisons. Because your mind is effectively the property of the country you were born in, and the government of that country has a claim on it and all its works. How dare you leave, you traitor?

Not to go all Atlas Shrugged here, but what you are saying and what Ayn Rand was talking about differ only in degree. She had a few (well, a lot -- way, way too many) words to say about the "brain drain."

Ann Althouse said...

"Write more reviews and mentions of new books, like Instapundit, and publishers might start sending you pre-publication review copies."

I do get lots of books sent to me, and if I went down to my office in this -15 cold, it's possible that I'd find this book has been sent. There's a good chance that it has, even though Rubenfeld may remember my criticizing his novel when it was sent to me years ago.

Unlike Instapundit, I'm not going to give a plug to a book simply because it was sent -- see all this "IN THE MAIL" posts. I'd have to read the book and have something to say that I thought would be valuable to me and to my readers before I would post about it. That's the way I blog.

The idea that a free book is adequate payment for the trouble of reading it and writing about it does not align with my way of thinking. Book reviewers get paid for writing reviews, and that's not even enough to justify the effort. I've done book reviews for the NYT and gotten paid maybe $600 and of course the book was free, but it was only worth the trouble because getting my writing out there on this subject was worth it to me.

In short, there's far more value in choosing your own writing topics and buying the materials you want to read (if they aren't free), than in writing on what PR agents would like to see you write and are willing to send you a free book to make you feel like you should.

I often get email from authors and agents asking if they can send me books and though I occasionally say yes, I usually don't even answer the email. My time isn't easily bought! To make me read something I don't particularly want me to read and to write about it on this blog, I think you'd have to pay me several thousand dollars, depending on the subject, and that would not guarantee that I'd say something nice. To buy a positive mention in the text of a blog post here? I won't say there is no amount of money that would make me do that, because there's always some amount of money, like a million dollars. It's not like solicitation of murder. It's just a positive book review.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Bob Ellison,

Jews in America are immigrants, though often from long back, and it's the culture that sustains their ethics.

Jews in America are not mostly immigrants, except in the sense that all Americans (yes, Amerindians too) are immigrants: There was a time when no ancestor of any human being lived on the North American continent, and our families arrived later. But Jews, as a small, distinct minority, lived the position of immigrants for decades. And got a lot of grief for the crimes of being ambitious and smart and hard-working and waaaaay too good at getting into top schools whenever the tests weren't rigged.

lgv said...

Sorry Spiros, the idea that the immigrants are predominately from the elite class is not correct across all the groups.

It's a cultural thing, which is why you see differences within races.

There is also a generational difference, which makes the Jewish and Mormon inclusion interesting. Children of the overachieving immigrants generally don't have the same drive unless it remains part of the culture versus the assimilation of typical American culture.

Pogo is Dead said...

Future orientation and delayed gratification determine the successful peoples.

Show me the evidence this can be learned.

Planned Parenthood was started in order to cull the herd for this very reason.

Ann Althouse said...

"Chua and Rubenfeld seem pretty good at generating a vortex. Perhaps we could take up a collection to get them to eat an egg salad sandwich."

I wouldn't take $200 to race bait to sell a book, and frankly it would take more like $2,000 to get me to eat another egg salad sandwich.

What is wrong with people? That they would eat egg salad sandwiches, I mean. That stuff is disgusting.

Race baiting, however, is more disgusting than an egg salad sandwich.

traditionalguy said...

Ask Camille Paglia. It's not the Tiger Moms. It's the Tiger Patriarchy in the families of these cultures.

Father to son discipline and a supportive set of parents in the traditions of those groups is the key to success for their children.

The Tiger Moms use the delegated authority of dad. The kids are surrounded by similar families at worship/community's activities that we call "cultures."

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

The idea that a free book is adequate payment for the trouble of reading it and writing about it does not align with my way of thinking. Book reviewers get paid for writing reviews, and that's not even enough to justify the effort. I've done book reviews for the NYT and gotten paid maybe $600 and of course the book was free, but it was only worth the trouble because getting my writing out there on this subject was worth it to me.

Heh, as Glenn would say. The NYT is worth it; it was a buck a word the last time I wrote for them. Let's just say that the going rate at my primary publishing outlet is an order of magnitude lower than that.

I think you said elsewhere that you don't review anything w/o the expectation of liking it. Me too, mostly. I get sent the occasional CD that I don't anticipate liking, but by and large I do get to pick what I cover, and I never review anything with a pre-conception that someone really needs to trash this.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


This struck me as funny after the stuff about not shutting up in a prior post.

OK, prolly it's just me.

Terry said...

Michelle Dulak Thompson wrote:
"You can get away with this line of argument only by citing the "brain drain." The idea is that people have an ethical responsibility to live and produce for whatever shit-hole they were born in, especially if they are good at what they do."

I think that the issue is more complicated than this. If the state subsidizes higher education, they may not have a right to keep the best-educated from emigrating, but the more emigration that occurs, the less incentive they have for subsidizing higher education.
I've read about this in the context of poor Caribbean island-nations. The government wants a supply of local doctors, they spend considerable money trainin them, and then they leave.

Tank said...

And I was also laughing at the egg salad stuff.

Tank loves egg salad. Nothing like taking that first bite and all sorts of yellow, mayonnaisy, mustardy, eggy goo comes gushing out on your face and your shirt and the table. That's the only way to eat egg salad. A gusher of egg salad. Yum.

Tank said...

And I was also laughing at the egg salad stuff.

Tank loves egg salad. Nothing like taking that first bite and all sorts of yellow, mayonnaisy, mustardy, eggy goo comes gushing out on your face and your shirt and the table. That's the only way to eat egg salad. A gusher of egg salad. Yum.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

Race baiting, however, is more disgusting than an egg salad sandwich.

You see, I do not see this as "race baiting." To the contrary, Chua and Rubenfeld seem to have put together the ultimate Rainbow Coalition. Chinese, Indians, Cubans, Jews, Persians, Nigerians, Mormons. Honestly, how much more diverse (in the academic/SCOTUS sense of "diversity") could that list be? We're up in James "a Black, a woman, two Jews, and a cripple" Watt territory here.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think you said elsewhere that you don't review anything w/o the expectation of liking it."

Not sure what statement you're referring to there. I think I've said I don't go to movies unless I think I'll enjoy the experience so that is why I sometimes write about movies that I'm not going to see and say negative things.

Most of what I read I spend time on because I think it could be bloggable, and much of my blogging expresses negative opinions about the reading.

As for agreeing to read something to write a review... I do have some standards there because it is hard to incur the author's wrath and sometimes the publication is attempting to procure an "outside" review that's positive and they just pay but don't publish if you don't give them what they want. I do not ever again want to waste my time doing that, so I've learned from experience.

EDH said...

"That's what makes America great, buddy!"

Ya don't know nuthin' about Lady Liberty standin' dere in da harbor, wit' her torch on high, callin' out to alla nations of da woild: 'Send me ya poor, ya deadbeats, ya filthy' An' dey all come over hear, dey come swarmin' in like ants...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Terry,

I think that the issue is more complicated than this. If the state subsidizes higher education, they may not have a right to keep the best-educated from emigrating, but the more emigration that occurs, the less incentive they have for subsidizing higher education.

I've read about this in the context of poor Caribbean island-nations. The government wants a supply of local doctors, they spend considerable money trainin them, and then they leave.


There are easy fixes for that, like making the financing of the education contingent on practicing in the country for a certain number of years.

SGT Ted said...

The idea is that people have an ethical responsibility to live and produce for whatever shit-hole they were born in, especially if they are good at what they do. Anyone who leaves is a deserter who thinks s/he's better than everyone else. An "elite." A "one-percenter."

This argument is a collectivist argument at heart that disregards individual liberty and agency. Which is why it is specious.

It is also the same template argument that you see when permanent ghetto dwellers complain about the successful ones "leaving them behind", as if the successful ones are the property of the Ghetto, or owe the lazy ones a living.

One of the main messages that is so attractive to immigrants is that you CAN leave the misery of poverty behind you, if you apply yourself.

Our own ghetto dwellers aren't taught that much anymore. Rather, they are taught that unseen people, such as "whitey", are keeping them there and those others owe them in perpetuity for their lack.

Because it is NEVER their own fault.


Phaedrus said...

I'm not sure how the authors prove that their alleged statements are true. But it shouldn't be too hard actually for someone (even law professors) to look at Census data and compare median and mean incomes by ethnicity or other factors. Isn't that what grad students are for?

As to Ms Althouse and book reviews. Why not donate the books you get unsolicited to an upper level charter school, public high school or to your students that exhibit an interest in the book topic?

Titus said...

I work a block from Harvard and by far the largest group of tourists are asians and their kids.

My favorite tiger mom is Chris Lilley's Jan Okazaki

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef0PqGfp_XQ

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

As for agreeing to read something to write a review... I do have some standards there because it is hard to incur the author's wrath and sometimes the publication is attempting to procure an "outside" review that's positive and they just pay but don't publish if you don't give them what they want.

Wow. I've never had that happen to me -- no one's ever bought a review from me and refused to run it, but paid me anyway. But, then (as I said), I've managed for the most part to review things that I'm reasonably sure I will like.

And I am not as likely as you to "incur the [performers'] wrath," because mostly the performers don't know I exist.

Though I did get denounced by Emanuel Ax in the NYT letters page once for dissing Yo-Yo Ma. "It is the height of arrogance," said he, to describe Ma's foray into Baroque cello-playing as "slumming."

Ever since, my husband has been telling people that the "height of arrogance" is officially 5'6".

David said...

If we were really having a national conversation on race, this would be the perfect vehicle to get serious about the cultural problems in parts of America's black community that make personal achievement difficult. Everyone knows this is that case. Certainly black people who are trying to get their kids properly educated do. But it's nearly impossible to talk about constructively.

Partly that's because of the endless suspicion that focus on cultural problems are code for a belief in an innate racial deficiency. But it's also tied up in party politics. The policies of the past 50 plus years have been a failure.Yet by and large we keep trying variants of those policies, with predictably bad results.

The real question is whether government can do anything to fix this. I believe it can, but there must be a proper set of conditions before any program, liberal or conservative, can work. That will come only if the black leadership and the communities align in a powerful focus on fundamentals that are now rejected as bourgeois or white values. Most likely this could come through a religious revival in urban areas, where church is becoming and old person's place. There are other ways to do it, but the unions, politicians and cultural sharpies will stand in the way. As will despair and inertia.

It's a tall order, but in the long run it's the only way.

Smilin' Jack said...

Oh, no, we have to talk about "Tiger Mom" again.

At least it's more interesting than gay marriage.

And egg salad is yummy.

David said...

Spiros Pappas said...
It's clearly racist and has absolutely nothing to do with "hard-working immigrants." The individuals Mrs. Chua praises are elites who fled their countries for an easier life in the U.S. It's brain drain. It's praising these very poor countries' top one per cent as superior to the rabble all around them. It altogether dismisses, for example, the complicated moral questions of Nigerian and Indian doctors fleeing their impoverished communities. It's BS...


In 1960 there were about 9.7 million foreign born persons in the United States. 491,000 of those were Asian.

As of 2009, there were 38,517,000 foreign born in the United States. 10,652,000 were Asian. Asians are now the largest group of foreign born in the United States,

The vast percentage of these 10.6 million people were not part of the elite in their countries of origin.

pst314 said...

"I do get lots of books sent to me..."

I can almost see the accumulated piles, threatening to grow to the point where a forklift is needed.

"...and if I went down to my office in this -15 cold...."

Heh. Not for anything less than a fire would I go outside today. Not if all that was left in the pantry was cereal and noodles.

Levi Starks said...

Ann,
Have you read Malcom Gladwell's book "Outliers" ?
While I find much of his arguments to be extended anecdotal evidence, He spins an interesting story explaining exceptionalism. To sum it up he takes the side that success is largely dependent not on inherit personal traits, but on advantages we were given that were beyond our control.

madAsHell said...

The vast percentage of these 10.6 million people were not part of the elite in their countries of origin.

Hasn't that always been the case??

Look at the elite in this country. Obama, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid.

Now tell me what their accomplishments were outside of politics?

Crickets.

pst314 said...

David "If we were really having a national conversation on race, this would be the perfect vehicle to get serious about the cultural problems in parts of America's black community that make personal achievement difficult. Everyone knows this is that case. Certainly black people who are trying to get their kids properly educated do. But it's nearly impossible to talk about constructively. Partly that's because of the endless suspicion that focus on cultural problems are code for a belief in an innate racial deficiency."

And partly because there is a large political class for which honesty is not in their interests: far better to continue to foment anger and resentment at fake exploiters and oppressors.

An essayist recently pointed out something I have noticed: Lefties refute Herrnstein and Murray's the Bell Curve by pointing out that cultural factors must have been the cause of IQ deficits in immigrant populations that went on to later success as they assimilated and educated themselves, and that it makes the most sense to ascibe black IQ differences to culture. But when somebody points out particular cultural problems that impeded black success, those same leftists do an about-face and (1) deny that this could be true, (2) assert that the only cultural changes that are needed are in the paler-skinned populations, and (3) scream 'racist!'.

Big Mike said...

"Oh, no, we have to talk about "Tiger Mom" again."

Not really. Not if you don't want to.

Henry said...

Here's something I didn't expect. Sabermetrician Tom Tango picks up the Amy Chua story:

My first response? If you looked at all the Black ballplayers in say, 1954, what will you find? You will likely find disproportionately really good to great ballplayers. And you likely won’t find any replacement-level Black players. Why? Because at that time, they only selected the best-of-the-best. Do we have an equivalent today? Yes, probably Japanese players. In that case, it’s the barrier to entry. You’ll find the same scenario in NHL: if you need a 4th line player, you get him from Canada, and not bother going to Europe to find someone a tiny bit better, but who would cost alot more.

You can see where he's going with this.

David wrote: The vast percentage of these 10.6 million people were not part of the elite in their countries of origin.

Earlier, I wrote: The more fundamental question might be that given the emigration is a high-risk-high-reward behavior...[w]hat kind of people emigrate?

The first two comments at Tango's post are very worth reading.

Marshal said...

David said...
The vast percentage of these 10.6 million [foreign born asians in the US] were not part of the elite in their countries of origin.


I suspect these people are disproportionately amongst the elite in their country of origin.

Henry said...

Off-topic, Tango links to this story that I think Althouse would like:

Spokane Indians Take Historic Step With Logo in Salish Language

The picture is worth the 10 words.

William said...

If you're a writer,you can't go wrong writing a book that details the unique travails and talents of the Irish and Jews. These are the people who buy books. I don't know about the Mormons. If they were big book buyers, I think we'd see more Mormon books. The ones we do see are more in the nature of tell alls than tell abouts. .......I think religious people are more likely to keep their marriages intact. I think the children of intact marriages are more likely to grow up sane and healthy. I think sane and healthy kids are more likely to take advantage of the opportunities in America.

Freeman Hunt said...

I got an email yesterday asking me to blog positively about a company in exchange for $130 per post. This was funny for two reasons:

1) Of course my answer would be "no," or, as it was delivered, no answer at all.

2) Why on earth would someone pay me to do that? I post maybe once every five months. There is, therefore, no regular readership. I conclude that this must have been part of a search engine optimization effort.

Freeman Hunt said...

Of course, if one were hurting for cash, $130 per post would be very attractive.

Alex said...

Can't she just go away? She was annoying enough the first time.

Ann Althouse said...

@freeman There's some catch. It can't pay like that, but you aren't investing any time finding out what it is.

Ann Althouse said...

I wrote over 5,000 posts in 2013. If I could make $100 a post, that would be half a million. Even $10 a post would be nice.

Patrick said...

Freeman, I'm sure that if you just supply them with your bank account number and routing info, they'd be happy to make the first payment up front!

Michael K said...

"The individuals Mrs. Chua praises are elites who fled their countries for an easier life in the U.S. It's brain drain."

Some of those elites were driven out. The Cubans and the South Vietnamese, for example. In both cases, as many died trying as got out. That's not exactly going for "an easier life."

American born blacks are failing because of cultural issues. I see a small sample of black medical students and most are foreign born. Most of those are very poor and struggle but hey are motivated unlike almost any American blacks I met. There are a couple of exceptions in my own experience; one was a kid who played water polo in college. How any black water polo players do you see ?

Obama had a great opportunity to help but he has the wrong ideology. That uproar in the Chicago meeting a week ago might be a sign of change.

It's hard to tell because it has been ignored in the legacy media.

Freeman Hunt said...

Patrick, ha ha! Could be.

I used to do search engine optimization for the company I worked for. Getting some links from certain sites, whether they were popular or not, could give you a huge boost in Google rankings. At the time, for example, getting a listing in the Open Directory, was very helpful, and who used the Open Directory? It would have been well worth $130 per link to get links from well-linked blogs because it would have improved one's Google ranking. (Mine is one because I used to blog a lot in the past, though I would think the value of that in-linking would have gone down since the links are old.)

That's why I guessed SEO.

Birches said...

To borrow a phrase, "It's the culture, stupid."

I have an interesting anecdote to compliment the idea of Mormon achievers.

Mexican grandfather's first wife died during second childbirth. He was left with his first daughter. Remarried a younger woman who insisted they move to the US because she wanted her girls to go to school. Immigrated (illegally I might add) to Texas. Worked fields, lived in huts with dirt fields, had three more kids. No upward mobility.

Work started drying up in Texas, heard it was better in AZ, decided to move. Oldest daughter was old enough to stay behind in TX. She got married, had a family, etc. Within a few years in AZ after living in abject poverty, family converted to Mormonism. Suddenly, there was upward mobility. Kids all graduated from HS (oldest daughter didn't), some attended college though never finished. They entered the working class. The second generation is solidly middle class, lots of college grads, some not.

Among the grandchildren there is a CFO, a lawyer, 2 small business owners, a district manager for a large company, and various other white collar jobs. The family in Texas? Not as successful. Second generation all graduated from HS (I think), but none received college degrees. They are very working class.

What was the difference? The move to AZ? The grandmother's determination in her own children's success? The conversion to Mormonism?

I think its a little bit of a mix. But being Mormon exposes you to a lot of successful people that you can interact with on a regular basis. That family was able to achieve by modeling other successful people around them. They entered a culture that enabled them to succeed.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I wrote over 5,000 posts in 2013. If I could make $100 a post, that would be half a million. Even $10 a post would be nice."

But then every post would have to be singing the praises of and linking back to some payer.

There are blogs just like that. No one reads them but the intended audience, the search engine crawlers.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

How dare Althouse attempt to silence Tiger mom.

Don't you know she is a female minority? You bigot.

Michael K said...

"What was the difference? The move to AZ? The grandmother's determination in her own children's success? The conversion to Mormonism? "

My best friend in medical school was one of 12 kids whose mother did not speak English and who made her own tortillas. His father had a wrought iron business in east LA. Of his siblings, all but one had college degrees, several graduate degrees. Only the oldest son did not go to college and had been killed in an industrial accident.

He had gone to Stanford on a scholarship funded by a Mexican American surgeon in east LA, Francisco Bravo. The scholarship did not need to be repaid if he practiced in a region with a percentage of Spanish surnames.

His daughter has taken over his surgery practice in San Diego.

I think it was the entrepreneurial culture but it was also in the 40s and 50s when the Mexican immigrants were a different group.

David said...

There is a kid who went to my alma mater, Wesleyan. Wrote an op ed for the school paper. He's a senior, about to graduate. Majored in history. Said he was the child of a single mom central american immigrant, who could not afford to pay anything towards his college. He did well enough in high school to be admitted to Wesleyan. He was angry because (1) he was going to have $12,000 in debt upon graduation and (2) he could not get a good enough paying job with his history major to service the debt. And I mean seriously outraged at the injustice of it all.

The overall cost of the education was probably about $225,000.

I wrote a comment to his article pointing out that he had actually gotten a very good deal.

No response. Unsurprisingly. I'm sure he does not care what I think.

Birches said...

@ Michael K

But the upward mobility in this family is only present for the ones who moved to AZ and converted to Mormonism. The oldest daughter's family that stayed behind in TX improved a little, but has not succeeded the way the others did. So it's the same time period, same family, but very different results. I find it fascinating.

Another difference between the two groups: all the family in Texas are hard core Democrats. The Arizona people are Red Staters, except for one; he is a truck driver.

Birches said...

@ David

You're right. $12K in debt is really not bad at all. It's about a $120/month payment. Surely even a bank teller or secretary could service that amount.

On the other hand, I feel for him, because as someone who has a history degree (no debt) and came from working class parents who thought that all college degrees were equal, it sucks to realize that no one told you you should have been studying something else.

jr565 said...

Its not racial it's cultural. And that's absolutely true. What does a a culture value and what work ethic does it impart to its kids? Does it even value a family structure at all?

Lydia said...

From the promotional copy for the book:

Americans are taught that self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups, people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves.

Wonder if Oprah will interview the authors?

ironrailsironweights said...

Chua's list includes one group that the blogosphere loves (Mormons), two groups that the blogosphere pokes fun at but secretly admires (Chinese and Indians), one group toward which the blogosphere's largely neutral (Cubans), two groups which the blogosphere hates (Iranians and Nigerians), and one group with which the blogosphere has a weird, impossible-to-describe relationship (Jews). The blogosphere's attitude toward Lebanese is neutral in the case of Christian Lebanese, hatred in the case of Muslim Lebanese.

Peter

john marzan said...

"It amps up our endless, ongoing Conversation About Race In America, and 2. It bolsters the cause for liberalizing immigration."

why would it bolster immigration? unless it is the kind of immigration canada or australia is getting -- best and the brightest-- and not the reconquista kind (illegal, no education, no money, no english) in the southwest that amnesty will exacerbate

john marzan said...

"I wouldn't take $200 to race bait to sell a book"

you accusing amy chua of this?

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john marzan said...

"the accusations they invited (invented!) — that they're a couple of racists."

how can it be racist when they have blacks, latinos, indians, muslims, etc.