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It's Official: America Is Now As Dumb As A Bag Of Hammers

Tyler Durden's picture


Ever wonder why America will elect precisely the president it deserves in just over a year? Here's why.

2011 SAT Reading Scores hit all-time low

h/t John Lohman


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Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:31 | 1670399 caerus
caerus's picture

can someone explain this chart to me...i'm bad at math

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:32 | 1670404 runlevel
runlevel's picture

its got eletrolytes bro...

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:33 | 1670409 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

that chart looks bullish for stocks.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:42 | 1670461 Rainman
Rainman's picture

...bullish for the penal system too

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:48 | 1670485 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This just demonstrates what I've been saying for ages. Namely that the general population is simply not educated enough to be setting prices. For goodness' sake this country has some of the most renouned economic titans in the world - Dr Paul Krugman, Alan Blinder, Alan Krueger and Joseph Stigletz. Our economy could be engineered to absolute perfection if people would just give them more control over setting prices. No wonder equity prices are falling when they are being set by people sampled from the above chart.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:48 | 1670497 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

The educated morons.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:51 | 1670525 malikai
malikai's picture

SAT is bullshit. While I agree with the topic at hand, the SAT is a worthless indicator of national intelligence.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:53 | 1670542 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea especially since the SAT has been dumbed down so much. Give the 1950's SAT's today and see what you get, probably 150 average.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:18 | 1670668 Haywood Jablowme
Haywood Jablowme's picture


AMERIKkaA, AMIERIKkaA, gAwd shed his GraYce on theee!!


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:33 | 1670738 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

Dumbas.  Yoo miss speled Amerikkaa.  There's only won K not too.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:45 | 1670793 rocker
rocker's picture

Fact:  About 50% of elgible Americans Do Not Vote.   

Fact:  The half that don't vote are either Poor or too Dumb to Vote.

    Fact:  That's why so many call them sheeple.  They follow.  They never lead at anything.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:50 | 1670809 malikai
malikai's picture

I thought it was the half that was too dumb that did the voting.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:02 | 1670849 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Me too.

What's the definition of insanity again?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:59 | 1671111 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Agreed. I vowed never to vote again after TARP was passed. What's the fucking point. Worse or worser are your only choices, both of whom are owned by the banksters.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:37 | 1671244 sasebo
sasebo's picture

Dr. Ron Paul.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:58 | 1671324 Religion Explained
Religion Explained's picture

Yeah, let's elect the idiot that says it's none of our business if "twelvers" get a nuke, right ...

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:01 | 1671694 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

who gives the United States permission to hold nuclear warheads?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:51 | 1671841 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Youze thinks we iz dumb? Them foreign peoples in the Dominican Republk 'n Hawaeee and even more exoticer lands are way dumberer than us.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 05:28 | 1672315 Borrowed Merkin
Borrowed Merkin's picture

Wow, how to counter such an erudite argument....? After all, they put medical degrees in with Lucky Charms, so probability is high that this "idiot" is drooling in a cup. Howard Dean may be a sickening facsimile of a pile of goat feces shaped to look human, but he's not an idiot. Anyway, exactly what did GWB do to prevent this douche from getting nukes? In fact, what EXACTLY is your favorite neocon candidate going to do to take this prick's radioactive candy away from him? Sorry, can't hear you...crickets must be too loud. Try this out in your head: maybe, if we follow G.Washington's farewell advice on avoiding foreign entanglements, we'd have the extra $ to develop a DEFENSE against an EMP which is really all this apocalyptic little troll could possibly deliver to the US. Do you think he's going to be turning the wrench on an ICBM anytime soon? Just b/c the enemy is a scary loon, doesn't mean he is potent and talking tough as a presidential candidate doesn't mean it either.

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 17:53 | 1775474 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

Vote for a fellow that is right about one thing only (granted an important thing but...) not a chance in hell which is by the way his odds of getting elected.  He might be right about the Fed but he is one of the worst in the pack on what constitutes freedom and liberty and equality.  I am not worried that we must have reform on budgets and taxes and the fed and fiat, because with or without him at this point it is all tottering on the verge of collapse, and before elections come to my state he will be out of the race and the collapse will have already happened. 

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:12 | 1670906 11b40
11b40's picture

Interesting little test.  Overall results are in line w/above chart.

We should start requiring voter I.Q. tests.  Forget voter I.D., we need voter I.Q.

Test your news IQ - Pew Research Center

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:53 | 1671299 Doña K
Doña K's picture

It's so bad that some high school kids can move to another town and lower the IQ in both places. Is that possible? 

Also bear in mind that the collective IQ number of all people is constant. But.. The population is growing. that explains the graph perfectly.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:32 | 1671780 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

"that explains the graph perfectly"

Eh?  It does?  Not to me, I have no idea what you mean.  Maybe I can't read.

I never went throuh the SAT system, so I have no idea what the f it means but.... I see a drop of about 5% over about 35 years.  That doesn't seem particulary devastating to me.  Particularly in a time in history when reading/writing literacy became less important than computer literacy.

Collective IQ of people is manipulated to be constant, as I understand it (average IQ is always 100).  That's not the same as being constant.


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 00:00 | 1671858 DivisionBell
DivisionBell's picture

Computer literacy requires a ton of reading.  And once you're computer literate, what are you going to do with that computer?  Probably read some more!



Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:51 | 1671303 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

I got 11 of 11.  Then again, I got 1350 on the SAT's (in the late 90's).  Then again, I have a week's worth of food and water stored at the house.  So I'm used to being smarter than the average bag of hammers.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:20 | 1671408 Absinthe Minded
Absinthe Minded's picture

I'm guessing your handle isn't Boo Mushroom, but Boom Mushroom as in cloud. Hope we don't see one of those for a long time.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:54 | 1671669 captain_menace
captain_menace's picture

Great, now could you hurry up and get my order of fries?

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 13:09 | 1673856 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

I got 9 out of 10, why did your test have 11 questions?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:04 | 1671342 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

We already have a Voter IQ test ...those that vote are dumber than mud (and insane)... those that don't vote, "because it doesn't change anything" are realists, sane and obviously have a working brain and some semblance of IQ.

So about 53% of the US population vote, much like the European figures.. and they're clearly nutters ...that sounds about right

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 01:37 | 1672071 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Nothing scares the establishment more - nothing even comes close - than truly educated voters.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 06:42 | 1672380 Danielius
Danielius's picture

Why not just institute the death penalty for elected officials who break their oath to protect the constitution?


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 13:08 | 1673851 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

I take umbrage with a few of their questions, like the reported unemployment rate, vague, I answered the question correctly because 9% was the only one that matched a government number, but the government reports a lot of unemployment rates including the U-6 which is much higher.

The only one I missed was the one about Medicare or interest on the debt being more expensive, I think they are using the gross number put out by HHS that includes the Medicare and Medicaid budget as you can look up at Wikipedia and that is well over $700 billion, but the number put out by the government for Medicare alone are $446 billion for 2010, the total interest on the debt outstanding is now projected to be $434 but that has only in the last few weeks been lowered due to lower interest rates.  When this test was made up the interest was actually higher than Medicare.  In fact the two numbers are so close by percent of federal outlay that it is almost a statistical tie, removing that question I got them all right.

But I still do not plan to vote because voting is a scam to make people think they have any control when they do not.  Unless they have wealth in the top 1% of households.


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:44 | 1671463 macholatte
macholatte's picture

population = 300M

50% = adults eligible to vote = 150M

50% actually do vote = 75M

50% decides who wins = 37.5M = 12.5% of population

and 50% of them are below average intelligence

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:13 | 1671558 msamour
msamour's picture

That's why I call them butterballs. Eventually they will become someone's freezer meat.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:01 | 1671116 donethat
donethat's picture

Don't you mean Greece (not grace).

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:58 | 1671315 Doña K
Doña K's picture

Those Greek gods are turning to god-damn Greeks. But again Greek people are rich. It's the goverment that is broke. They did not tell the government to EF-OFF, they showed them by not paying taxes. That's what you need to do in the US.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 05:52 | 1672338 the tower
the tower's picture

Greek people are rich? You mean the 10% that are insanely rich versus the rest that have nothing?


You obviously have never been to Greece, and don't know anyone living there.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:13 | 1671154 clymer
clymer's picture

looks like that coot Charlotte Iserbyt was on the money

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:20 | 1671576 OrestesPenthilu...
OrestesPenthilusQuintard's picture

Iserbyte and John Taylor Gatto...

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:46 | 1670798 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

150.  Harsh considering you start with 400 just by putting your name at the top.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:20 | 1670946 chunga
chunga's picture

And statistics show that if you have to guess...number D is most likely to be correct.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:31 | 1671004 Argonaught
Argonaught's picture

D is my favorite number, too.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:01 | 1671117 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Too. Much. Time. Reading. Hex. Dumps.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:47 | 1671280 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Your comment kicks ASCII.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:44 | 1671270 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

What if you get that answer wrong too?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:56 | 1671098 A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000
A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

Gotta joke for you. A paralegal graduated from NYU with a 3.7 and another one graduated from Yale with a 3.2. Which one do you hire?


The one with the bigger tits!

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:55 | 1671313 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Bonus question, given the above is absolutely true, is it better(in NPV terms) to pay for a boob job and an associate's degree then start receiving income in two years, or rather to not get a boob job AND get a student loan for four to five years at NYU or Yale prior to receiving a bit more income(remember, you'll have sorry tits, so pay will not be great).

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:02 | 1671340 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

Very true; I took the SAT in 1959 and got 800 out of 800. this was very very unusual. Now they have an 800 club. Can't have people feeling dumb, now, can we. Also; since 40% of Americans believe in Jesus, doesn't that mean everything will be alright.?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:22 | 1671410 Solid
Solid's picture

If you are so smart, then why did you use a period and a question mark?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:08 | 1671535 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

hahaha! I was thinking the same thing! My man can't even write! Ironically, My dad scored 200 points above me yet had he listened to a little bit of my advice, he would be a millionaire! The real atrocity is measuring intelligence by this exam. I scored a 500 (below avg by that chart) on the writing, yet I was able to see a problem with the real estate bubble in 2004! Called the coming of a collaspe in 2006, and can see our next collaspe will be even worse than the previous two! Guess I'm an American Idiot!

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:52 | 1671663 captain_menace
captain_menace's picture

That's just how they rolled in 1959.  Things were different back then.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:58 | 1671690 bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Score that as a solid laugh

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:26 | 1671585 SteveOoooo
SteveOoooo's picture


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:14 | 1671725 AmCockerSpaniel
AmCockerSpaniel's picture

Ask not how many believe in Jesus, but how many don't believe in God, or are there own God/ me people.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:32 | 1671779 Dirt Rat
Dirt Rat's picture

I took the SAT in 1982 and got a 730 Verbal. I went back to college in the mid-90s and they said it had been recentered to a perfect 800. Talk about the dumbing down of America.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:55 | 1670551 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

A measure is better than no measure.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:58 | 1670570 malikai
malikai's picture

Agree, but as SheepDog says above.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:02 | 1670593 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

good post, dog...

'I dont want a nation of critical thinkers, i want a nation of workers'


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:08 | 1670626 Whalley World
Whalley World's picture

Bill Bonner wrote of the old 1850's school house (think Little House on the Prairie) where 12 year olds were taught advanced math, Shakespear, Philosphy and more.  The wheels seem to have fallen off the wagon for the US education system.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:14 | 1670650 john39
john39's picture

all by design, as pointed out in the Rockerfeller quote above.  Instead, our kids study various cultural history... which in reality is little more than propaganda to prop up our pathetic banker/corporate system.  don't need to be too smart to go out and dodge IED's while colonizing third world countries.... and to our handlers, that is our highest and best use.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:41 | 1670780 ImnotPOTUS
ImnotPOTUS's picture

We are not in the business of colonizing third world countries. That sordid business was left to the Vatican, in the past, and now to the up and coming Mormons.

We are in the business of securing natural resources, bankers just happen to make more money if the land the natural resources sit under is operated by third world kleptocratic institutions and puppet landlords.

Colonization implies some tacit relevance for the indigenous residence. I can assure you that is not the case with the US.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:38 | 1670983 Justaman
Justaman's picture

John39, by cultural history do you mean, Gaga and Bieber?  If so, I agree. 

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:30 | 1671764 sethco
sethco's picture

shut up and support our WAR- er, TROOPS! Support our TROOPS!

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:22 | 1670692 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

{Whalley, just u'n'me bro, no one else is looking, OK?

"The wheels seem to have fallen off the wagon for the US education system."

the shakespear is a top secret Zulu weapon that we don't really talk about here in <where we really don't talk about where we are> and Philosphy is that stuff on Sunday afternoon television)

But, well, I'ma thinkin' that u b product of the US Education System?  Under the current regime's union and cabinet level arrangements?


{{nobody will see a thing ;-) }}



Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:28 | 1670719 Whalley World
Whalley World's picture

I grew up in the Canadian schooling system, not much different.  After getting nuked in the tech crash, I said to the wife "if we are going to make the money back, best we find out what it is" 

Think about it, primary and high school as well as university and not one class on what is money.  Me thinks they don't want us to know!

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:46 | 1671468 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

ya, and here in US, we have nuked any "practical" course in "Home Economics" because it is too "ancient" and "not relevant".

University? meh. But, well, I'm thinking that a) they don't know, so b) how could they think?

I'm going back to mid-'60s when I was a skosi' piglet and, even then, there were teachers saying "Living Document" wrt/ the US Constitution.

- Ned

{Oh, and the obligatory: "How 'bout them Bruins?" n'est ce pas?}

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:40 | 1670773 Milestones
Milestones's picture

New meat.      Thanks for the great pimp--saved me a lot of typing. Ya did a great job. Loved it!!     Milestones

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:47 | 1671473 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

one tries ;-)

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:29 | 1670721 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

The wheels seem to have fallen off the wagon for the US education system.

The lugnuts have been loosened, bit by bit.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:37 | 1670760 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

by the wingnuts

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:55 | 1671097 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Those darn wingnut teachers unions and department of education

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:00 | 1671336 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Yeah, those right wing faculty lounge fascists with their Bush Cheney stickers, and those K-12 time serving Ayn Rand nut jobs! They screwed up mericaz yoots so's they'z voted stoopid all this time.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:36 | 1670757 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I believe much of this is from cowtowing to children, giving into every whim, and feeding them endless entertainment as mental input and high-fructose corn syrup and processed "almost food" as diet.

Back in the 1850s kids had a freakin stick and a wheel (exaggerating for effect)...that was fun...other than fighting...but then they got their asses whooped by mom or dad so that can't happen now as one must punish their children with cold stares so as not have the CPS banging on the door.  No handheld portable entertainment unit that distracts you 24/7 and no other morons being able to contact you and share their endless bonehead ideas and wake you from sleep.  No movies, no Hollywood, little celebrity, fewer publications, less access to information (good or bad), no television, little electricity, etc.

People had to use their minds to imagine things and understand concepts now they are overstimulated and don't need to care because someone has already done the dreaming and creating for them.


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:40 | 1670776 trav7777
trav7777's picture

nevermind that average IQ scores have never been idiots please carry on about how smart everyone was in fkin 1850 LOL

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:45 | 1670790 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

IQ is a scaled score, Trav.  Median is set to 100, thus the metric tells us nothing about relative intelligence across time.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:09 | 1670880 jdelano
jdelano's picture

And given the spelling error count in this thread...might be some validity to the Tylers' post.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:26 | 1670982 Variance Doc
Variance Doc's picture

It's the mean, not median.  Your point is correct, though.  Comparison over time is really meaningless for many reasons, e.g. different questions, different procedures, etc.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:18 | 1670934 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I forgot to mention medication too...

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 01:08 | 1672019 falun bong
falun bong's picture

try the Harvard entrance exam from 1899 if you're so smart

if you can answer *1* question correctly I'll give you 100 bucks

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:06 | 1670871 Bring the Gold
Bring the Gold's picture

Sounds like more divisive talk, and possibly blaming the victims. The problem is social engineering which might include things that are detrimental to education and surely lowered standards. Really though it's a long well thought out process to dumb down the populace from the once mighty heights of the 1950's and 1960's when our education system peaked out.

I guess the elites didn't take too kindly to all those anti-war demonstrations in the 1960's and 1970's. Civics and critical thinking in public education were destroyed shortly thereafter. I'm pretty sure they still teach the classics, philosophy and above all critical thinking.

If you look into the Prussian school system you will learn alot about the intent behind the creation of the American public school system. The latter was modeled on the former.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:22 | 1670949 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Who is blaming the victims?  I am blaming the parents and adults directly for turning their children into sugar and videogame zombies.  Some choose not to but most don't.  And that also means not being awake to the system and participating in the fraud in the first place.  Adults are responsible for the system, creating it and nurturing it.

That also doesn't mean there may be some motive to it as well but I'm just leaving it at the problem...I was just comparing time periods and external influences.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:10 | 1671143 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Two people working their asses off to provide for their kids, not around much of the time... so the kids are left to watch TV and play video games... when Mom & Dad (if there is a Dad) get home, they are too tired to deal with things like play with their kids and researching the monetary system. You can blame the parents, I blame the system - in truth there is plenty of blame to go around.  People do need responsible leadership, and there hasn't been much of that around lately.

I wonder how many people who post here even have kids?  I get the impression it's a bunch of 27 year old male geek traders.  

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:26 | 1671591 plane jain
plane jain's picture

Not that it matters but 40 something mom here.  Don't post much and I agree there is a definite whiff of locker room about ZH.  Luckily most aren't total misogynists and I've seen plenty of tits.  The one bouncy pair was pretty distracting...

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 12:24 | 1677415 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Having children is a choice and nobody should be effected by your personal decisions.  Nobody told you to have children just because people think it's a right doesn't truly make it so.  Monkeys and rats and slugs reproduce it's not really that complicated to have's what comes after that is the complication and to put that on someone else's shoulders as if it's "society's burden" is a bunch of garbage.

I personally know several couples in their 40s or higher (since you think one must be under 30 apparently to make decisions about childbearing) that have chosen not to have children and they are all extremely happy and well off and don't need to tell people how hard they work and how successful and smart their kids are and show photos.

I am not blaming parents I blame the system but acting as if people should just have kids and not have to work at it is part of the societal sandbagging.  I guess since you can't stop people from copulating everyone has to pay for overpopulation?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:58 | 1671107 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

At least we are teaching them how to put condoms on cucumbers. They can get jobs as condom testers.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:04 | 1671348 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Whatev. They learn plenty young it feels better without, and then that's that.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:01 | 1671695 captain_menace
captain_menace's picture

The porn industry needs qualified workers too!!!

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:39 | 1671032 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Back in the 1850's Mom and dad probably worked on a farm and everyone pitched in or they all perished. Food had to be grown, harvested and preserved. Livestock needed feeding and breeding. Money had to be borrowed and repaid with income from the farm. Children, when not in school, were taking an active, life-sustaining part in the family's and the nation's economy, so by the time they were adults they functioned as such.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:05 | 1671133 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

so by the time they were adults they functioned as such


Which, if I recall, was not in their late 20's or early 30's.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:02 | 1671343 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Hey lookin' for a fight? I'll tell your ex.


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:06 | 1671135 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Back in the 1850s children worked 10-hour factory shifts.  No thanks.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:09 | 1671364 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

NO. In any and every part of the 1850's, in every now-industrialised country, something north of 90% of ALL people worked on farms, often on their own farms, as did their children.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:22 | 1671747 Don Keot
Don Keot's picture

My dad was born in 1910, worked in a steelmill at age 11, became a self employed businessman, built 3 houses from scratch, paid for as he went, never had a checking account or borrowed any money from a bank, got his college degree at age 55 and was forced to stop working at 85 and died at 92 from boredom.  He literally went from horse and buggy to seeing space travel.  The last house he built was at age 75.  There were and there are people that are not owned by the systrm, they generally sleep well at night. 

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:38 | 1671252 iNull
Thu, 09/15/2011 - 17:14 | 1674795 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture


"People had to use their minds to imagine things and understand concepts now they are overstimulated and don't need to care because someone has already done the dreaming and creating for them."

Thanks for your post. IMO, this is one of the few serious comments on the board and you are exactly right. Necessities of life had to be generated locally and by the individual to a much greater extent.  Otherwise you would be hungry or sometimes cold or wet.  Mother Nature was an unforgiving mistress.  Dwellings were smaller but required fewer resources to build and support. Of course, in parts of the country there were large pools of labor that were very poor.  Many immigrants from Europe were indentured and were slaves until they had “bought” their freedom.   And then there were the blacks, taken by an enemy tribe and sold to white slave traders.  Large landholders in the South, where the white man could not function as well as blacks in the hot weather, could utilize human chattel.  In many cases life was not too bad, in  many cases it was not good.  Many, many lives were short and brutish. 

Medical care? What we have available to all citizens was beyond imagination for people who waged First World War, let alone the American Civil War.  And the medical “miracles” that are going coming are going to extend life andheal things that cannot now be healed. 

The “Good Old Days” were a place that people, given a choice, would not want to be.  This is the best of times, not the worst of times.  Our elected members of Congress can afford to act like children without getting into a fistfight or getting shot.

On the issue of attention span, it is easy for all of us to evaluate where we are..  Below are Inaugural addresses for George Washington and Abe Lincoln.  Try comparing them with G. W. Bush’s Address. The issue is sentence length and hence attention span.


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:14 | 1670912 11b40
11b40's picture

Yes, but how did they "feel" about themselves?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:46 | 1671064 chunga
chunga's picture

Self-esteem right down the tubes...

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:01 | 1671338 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Ben Franklin- No formal education beyond the age of 10

Thomas Edison - Home Schooled.

Wright Brothers - Never formally educated beyond high school

We spend billions teaching kids to be functionally iliterate, and sliding the bar code across the scanner. They cannot even count back change.


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:09 | 1671361 monoloco
monoloco's picture

Plus they eliminated all the industrial arts classes so they can go through 12 years of education and graduate whith absolutely no useable skills, then take out government guaranteed loans for college and graduate 100k in debt and still no usable skills. 

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:27 | 1670714 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Is there now a "reading SAT"? I was unaware of this. It used to be called the "verbal SAT".

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:39 | 1670768 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

A 5% decline in 40 years is nothing, especially considering how much entertainment and advertisement has been thrust upon us.. As a matter of fact, I'd go as far as saying TPTB may be disappointed in such a marginal decline per decade..

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:42 | 1671045 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Da words we use ain't on no damn SAT, dog. Yo - maybe the test is lame 'cause the man ain't hip to the lingo?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:06 | 1671136 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:13 | 1671378 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Hate to be pedantic, but, well OK I love to be pedantic, in the vernacular "Word" used in this sense wouldn't be followed by punctuation. Anyway the period is implied.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:34 | 1671010 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

They split verbal into "Critical Reading" and "Writing."

Overall, the SAT isn't (and never has been) a very good measure of INTELLIGENCE, but it does do a reasonable job of measuring how well kids have adapted to the educational system.

I've met plenty of dumb people who did well on the SATs.

On the other hand, I've never met someone who'd qualify as "well educated" who couldn't string coherent sentences together.  Being able to communicate is a pretty important skill no matter what you end up doing with your life, and sadly, many people seem to lack basic communication skills these days.

I get calls every day from people who literally have not mastered SPEECH. 

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:01 | 1671120 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

When students do poorly on the tests, then blame the tests.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:42 | 1671260 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Blame 'em for what?

Shit, I had fun in my youth.  730/730 in '89, National Merit Scholarship winner, and the fuckin' Ivy League 'cause that's how I used to roll.  (I got smarter after I escaped the educational system.)

How big's your pecker, junior?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:21 | 1671577 bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Don't you mean "How big's your hammer?" It is the theme of this thread.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:45 | 1671056 A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000
A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

Hells bells, I ain't can't even spell SAT!

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:18 | 1671169 torabora
torabora's picture

That was the Rethuglikkkan Rockefeller...the new improved DemonRATick one would say " I don't want a nation of workers, I want a nation of welfare consumers spending money borrowed from the Chicoms."

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:03 | 1671344 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

You're in grave danger of being a realist. I think you're supposed to just believe whatever is a politically correct at the moment.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:07 | 1670619 dearth vader
dearth vader's picture

It explains why sheeple still prefer Krugman's Rants over Krugerrands.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:12 | 1670832 malikai
malikai's picture

I don't think that question can be answered simply. People are dumb for millions of reasons. Scholastic aptitude is but one of them. Why people still listen to Krugman is a question I'm still trying to figure out. I've got to know how to do that. He may be a complete moron in his profession, but his wizardlike skill for sucking in the gullible is nothing short of amazing.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:11 | 1671146 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Krug's getting a new show - "Tool Time"

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:14 | 1671155 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Sad to say, Facebook and "Idol" are better measures. That these wastes of time exist just goes to show.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:57 | 1671321 Syrin
Syrin's picture

In isolation, yes.   However, the trend is definitely pertinent.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:27 | 1671594 eureka
eureka's picture

Hm - if falling SATs don't indicate declining IQ, what do they indicate?  Rising laziness?

Are falling moral values, like a solid work ethic,  discipline,  fiscal restraint and saving for future events and generations - indications of laziness or stupidity?  Or both, because they are entwined?

Granted, there are many forms and expressions of intelligence - and outsourcing most manufacturing makes idle hands and scattered minds out of non-academic, tactile intelligence - but should not the common citizen of common sense intelligence easily spot this development and counter it, speaking out and boycotting cheap chunk from China and favor US made goods - thereby bringing back a balanced domestic economy?

Surely, if the US population at large is intelligent, it understands the necessity of social cohesion and acts accordingly - i.e. intelligently to bring it about... - or what?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:48 | 1671649 plane jain
plane jain's picture


Are falling moral values, like a solid work ethic,  discipline,  fiscal restraint and saving for future events and generations - indications of laziness or stupidity?  Or both, because they are entwined?

Entwined, but not necessarily as indications of laziness or stupidity.  It is adaptation.  Most of what you have listed doesn't pay like it used to.  

In example let's take moral values.  Formerly individuals profited from sticking to the moral values of the tribe/community.  Failing to keep to the group 'code' would have negative consequences, such as shunning.  Now most of us don't live as part of a cohesive social group.  In times of trouble we look to the state instead of to our neighbors.


A solid work ethic is great in a system where hard work is rewarded.  In my experience salary is a function of how little the company can get away with +/- how well you play the political game.  I started out with that old "work hard, get ahead" meme so I worked hard.  At least I got a lesson for my effort.

Fiscal restraint and saving are very sound in principle.  In practice for most in the U.S. wage stagnation has made this very difficult.


Granted, there are many forms and expressions of intelligence - and outsourcing most manufacturing makes idle hands and scattered minds out of non-academic, tactile intelligence - but should not the common citizen of common sense intelligence easily spot this development and counter it, speaking out and boycotting cheap chunk from China and favor US made goods - thereby bringing back a balanced domestic economy?

A boycott is good in theory.  In practice cheap is all that most can afford and/or cheap Chinese junk is all that is available. 

Surely, if the US population at large is intelligent, it understands the necessity of social cohesion and acts accordingly - i.e. intelligently to bring it about... - or what?

Wouldn't bother to speculate as to wether the US population realizes anything, but it seems pretty clear that TPTB actively work against social cohesion along lines of race, religion, and class.


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:51 | 1670516 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Hijacking the troll's thread.  Did anyone see this;


Apparently the treasury auction shceduled for thursday already happened.  WTF?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:05 | 1670568 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

LOL, Priced in?

They're going to have to do a better job of holding the scripts until game time if they don't want another Truther movement.

edit: It seems the auction date is prior to the announcement date.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:51 | 1670520 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Much better.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:59 | 1670580 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I don't know. The "absolute perfection" comment is a bit over the top, and will reduce his catch.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:54 | 1670535 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Hah, somehow I can't think of anything more frightening than a centrally planned economy, by those incompetent megalomanical morons.

Keynesians seem to think that rational actors in an efficient market are in fact irrational, however seem certain that politicians don't suffer from this issue.

"Counter-cyclical public sector spending" - uhuh. Yeah, politicians will definitely increase taxes when required, ESPECIALLY when it coincides with an election.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:07 | 1670617 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Well of course. Politicians need to raise taxes on order to allocate capital according to their economic advisors' mathematical models. Just as immature children need to be disciplined by their parents, the the child-like public needs to be kept in line by its government. If children are left to their own devices they will eat nothing but sweets. If the public are set free, they will unleash an apocalyptic mayem and they will self-destruct. Wise economists like Professor Bernanke are holding this country together by a thread.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:17 | 1670664 fishface
fishface's picture


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:25 | 1670702 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

this milliondollarbonus guy posts straight up LOL material.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:37 | 1670761 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

He's obviously a paid plant.  Stylistically, a dead-ringer for RoboTrader.  Wouldn't be surprised if it's the same incognito, I mean troll.  :D

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:10 | 1670888 jdelano
jdelano's picture

He's zh's Colbert dood. It's a pose...

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:39 | 1671035 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Set voice inside head to Ward Cleaver for milliondollarbonus posts...Fred McMurray voice works too...

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:24 | 1670699 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture

The government just needs to start printing lots and lots of better grades.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:15 | 1671386 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

They been doin it for years. That's how you get high school graduates that can't spell, don't know what a sentence is, can't do simple arithmetic, and have no idea what "the Civil War" was, or when.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:35 | 1670750 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Hah, what is the "optimal" amount of money set aside for internet trolling?

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 20:27 | 1670779 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

hey, million...

you ever thought of doing stand up comedy..

youre pretty funny

p.s. nice posts, key

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:30 | 1670720 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

RE: EscapeKey

I am in agerement with you, but the controlling elite do not agree with us. After all, perpetual connections OR a superior intelect have always been the price of admision to the guilded cage of the administator class. Who but they, are more capable to administer the efforts of  the great unwashed.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:38 | 1671031 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The biggest flaw in any economic theory is that "rational actor" assumption.

Human beings are only *moderately* rational at best.

There's nothing specifically Keynesian about starting from false assumptions.  They ALL do that.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:18 | 1671396 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

Agree; trying to read economics is just head-ache producing.  They kind of self-select; anybody who stand four years of that shit is nuts.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:55 | 1670552 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture



BTW it is "renowned", and "Stiglitz", or as they say in New York, "Stugatz".

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 17:56 | 1670557 zero_cool
zero_cool's picture

"Our economy could be engineered to absolute perfection if people would just give them more control" - Quote of the day.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:02 | 1670592 wombats
wombats's picture

Educational focus is on teaching kids correct condom usage, politically correct history and various self-esteem building exercises.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:19 | 1670673 Bolweevil
Bolweevil's picture

Stoopid, but confident!

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:20 | 1671407 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

Onward to Oblivion !

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:35 | 1670749 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

It's the three Rs -- racism, recycling and reproduction. 

And yes, self esteem is very important -- so I am going to give you a green up arrow for your good comment....and a sticker -- you should feel good about your post and yourself. 

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:38 | 1670635 cdude
cdude's picture

"....engineered to absolute perfection"    I certainly hope you are being sarcastic. If so, it's too subtle. If you are serious then you're a moron. Wouldn't want Krugman to be the Treasurer of my condo board.

UPDATE: Re: "Wise economists like Professor Bernanke are holding this country together by a thread."    That's more like it MDB. No mistaking that for anything but sarcasm. Subtle sarcasm is lost on us ZH'ers- we're a loutish bunch.

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:16 | 1670643 mfoste1
mfoste1's picture

1. drive to local gunshop

2. purchase .45mm handgun and rounds with fiat

3. load gun, insert into mouth

4. pull trigger


no, but seriously million dollar bonus, go off yourself

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:40 | 1671041 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture


Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:14 | 1670656 Fiat2Zero
Fiat2Zero's picture

Clever troll

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 18:35 | 1670742 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

For goodness' sake this country has some of the most renouned economic titans in the world

How many times did you take the test to pull the average down? 

What is a "renoun" anyway - a recycled person place or thing?

BTW, in case you're lost, the correct word is "renowned."  It's a commonly-used adjective in circles where the average IQ is north of 40.

SD-1 got it right...the test has been watered down.  All part of the indoctrination and dumming down of Amerika.  Real, inflation-adjusted scores are probably hovering in the three hunnids...

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 21:25 | 1671416 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

I don't understand why someone blipped you down so I blipped you up again; I'm sure you care deeply about this. Maybe your target poster was feeling re-owned. (Engineers aren't good at jokes).

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 23:39 | 1671803 Don Keot
Don Keot's picture

Renouned is when you change a person, place or thing. 

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!