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Forum - BBC Analysis: The deserving and the undeserving poor

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Agent MattPosted: Nov 16, 2010 - 08:56

Genuine American Monster

Level: 70
CS Original

Chris Bowlby asks whether a state welfare system can ever distinguish between those who deserve help and those who do not.

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advancedatheistPosted: Nov 16, 2010 - 09:36

Level: 3
CS Original

As long as both kinds of poor people can vote for politicians who promise more benefits, then probably not.

Nobody seems to want to talk about the problem that about a third of the adult population, if not more, needs some level of zoo-keeping to stay out of trouble, due to low IQ's, subtle brain damage which causes impulse control problems, chemical mood imbalances and so forth. I heard a talk awhile back from a philosopher who argued that raising everyone's IQ by ten points would revolutionize our society, not by making the smartest people a little bit smarter, but by making the dumb-asses substantially smarter. That IQ boost could lift a substantial fraction of the people on the low end of the IQ curve above a critical threshold so that they start to make some better decisions in life, resulting in less crime, fewer bastard children, higher rates of saving, better job performance and even better health, all of which tend to correlate with higher IQ.

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Jimmy BiscuitPosted: Nov 16, 2010 - 15:56

Level: 0
CS Original

I work with many socially / economically disadvataged teenagers. Not all, but many have the kinds of difficulties you describe advancesatheist. If there is a way to raise IQ in those groups, its about getting in there early, when they are babies, to support their parents to provide stimulating, nurturing and safe environments. It is only when an baby/infant feels safe can they maximise the parts of their brain associated with learning. Feeling safe also fosters the capacity to explore, which is central to learning in all of us but especially little ones.

Im still amazed in my work by what terrible circumstances these kids have had to endure, and of course it is depressing to think that is these same kids that repeat this very cycle!

By the time these children are teenagers, it is hard (but not impossible) to make therapeutic progress, and much much slower. Improving IQ at this stage is highly unlikely, though improving emotional intelligence is possible and would probably have a restorative impact in the areas you outlined. Infact, emotional intelligence is probably more influential on these behaviours that IQ is anyway!

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