People in the early Middle Ages … inherited things like aqueducts from the Romans but lacked the social capital to keep them going. The ancient Greeks assumed the Mycenean ruins were built by a race of giants. They could look at the ruins and imagine what they were at their peak, but they had no idea how they were built or who had built them. It was beyond their knowledge.
America may be entering a similar period. One of the growing complaints in the dreaded private sector is the lack of talent. The mass media notices the labor shortage in things like retail and hospitality, but the real scarcity is upstream. Finding people with the cognitive ability and work ethic to fill important roles is not easy. Often the choice is one or the other. The person has the talent but is unreliable or they are reliable but maybe a click below what the position demands.
The main driver is demographics. The Baby Boomer swan song is upon us, and it is showing up in the payroll registers of American companies. The first wave Boomers are in the prime retirement range. Covid has led many to clock out early. The second wave is in their early sixties, so they are planning to wrap things up. Generation-X is a much smaller cohort, and the Millennials are not ready for prime time. The talent – work ethic dichotomy is very obvious with Millennials.
Of course, it is with Millennials where the glories of diversity appear. They are the second least white generation. The Zoomers are mostly nonwhite. That talent – work ethic dichotomy is exacerbated by “the tax”. The cost, in terms of human capital, in hiring the younger generation is much higher, which means the talent for other things is decreased even further. Basically the private sector is facing a smart fraction problem that promises to get much worse in the near future. …
The great reset:
Automation is the way to reduce the need for talent. Using robots is one way to do this in manufacturing. Another way is software systems to atomize and control the required tasks. In the office, software is doing more of the analysis and decision making. Dispatchers, for example, are being replaced by software that routes field personnel. Those people in the field have mobile devices that fill in the blanks of their knowledge.
Part of what is driving the ruling class is the belief that technology can replace those retiring white Baby Boomers. The dream of the multicultural paradise, free of white power structures, assumes the robots will take over from the white people. No one thinks much about who is going to code, operate and maintain the AI. That is the fatal flaw in the plan. There will never be a time when the machines become self-sufficient and anything but super-racist.
The fact is, there is no escaping the ramifications of the cognitive decline. We have created a society that requires an average IQ of about 97. The distribution of smarts provided sufficient talent at each layer of society. The smart fraction was large enough to carry the rest. Now that IQ has dipped below that threshold, we are starting to see problems like the supply chain issues. This is just the beginning of a systemic collapse brought on by the lack of social capital.
Edward Dutton predicts that on current trends the western average IQ will drop to about 85 by the year 2100 (it peaked at 115 in 1870). If so, our democracy and levels of technical competence will be radically altered — think countries that currently have average IQs around that level, such as much of Africa.