Re: draft abstract Sex, Drugs and Cults

Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 05:18:10 GMT

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    Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 00:18:10 EST
    Subject: Re: draft abstract Sex, Drugs and Cults
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    In a message dated 2/17/2002 8:01:38 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

    > > In a message dated 2/15/2002 7:19:03 PM Central Standard Time, Keith
    > > Henson
    > > <> writes:
    > >
    > > > That's true, and the correlation may be causal, but it could also be
    > > > that education is causally linked to wealth. Of course, the really
    > > > interesting thing is why people of high wealth don't spend it all on
    having a
    > > > dozen children. At one time they did, and in some cultures,
    > > > Islamic they still do.
    > > >
    > > > Keith
    > >
    > > Hi Keith.
    > >
    > > There is some novel analysis of why the rich do not have large
    > > families in my chapter "Evolutionary Contagion in Mental Software,"
    > > [in The Evolution of Intelligence, edited by Robert J. Sternberg and
    > > James C. Kaufman, 2001 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, and
    > > online as]
    > >
    > > Here is an excerpt:
    > >
    > > "... In a mixture of socioeconomic and ideological evolution,
    > > those whose beliefs lead to small family sizes tend to subdivide
    > > their wealth less often over the generations. This allows their
    > > small-family mores to disproportionately accumulate at higher
    > > socioeconomic strata. In other words, parentally transmitted
    > > mores that cause large family size may thereby also reduce
    > > the average host wealth by subdivision, leading to a negative
    > > wealth to family size correlation. (Remember the adage that
    > > correlation does not imply causation.) Additionally, strong
    > > beliefs in college education can reduce family sizes by delaying
    > > parenthood, while simultaneously causing higher per capita
    > > income for those who hold strong procollege ideas. Overall,
    > > multiple ideas leading to small families can cause wealth
    > > concentration, rather than wealth concentration directly causing
    > > smaller family size. Hence, there is no inherent inconsistency
    > > between a negative wealth to family size correlation and the
    > > hypothesis that increasing the earning power of a randomly
    > > (or nonrandomly) chosen subpopulation can lead to more
    > > children for that subpopulation. ..." [p. 312]
    > To the online version of the chapter, I have added the following
    > post-publication footnote that clarifies the section quoted above:
    > "11 POST-PUBLICATION NOTE: In other words, it may be true that
    > A: Increasing the wealth of an average individual increases
    > their average reproduction,
    > B: Controlling reproduction by an average individual increases
    > their average wealth concentration,
    > But that factor B is stronger than factor A, so that controlling
    > reproduction concentrates wealth more effectively or intensely
    > than acquiring wealth causes reproduction. This allows for
    > increasing the wealth of an average individual to increase their
    > average reproduction even in a society where there is a
    > negative correlation between wealth and fertility. "
    > --Aaron Lynch

    I've expanded the footnote in the online version of this paper with
    the passages quoted below. I suppose I could work up a whole
    research project on the subject of negative wealth to fertility
    correlations, especially given the social and scientific implications
    that have been attached to the subject. The most recently added
    text is as follows:

    "... In such a society, most of the negative wealth to reproduction
    correlation would be attributable to the multi-generation wealth
    concentrating effects of people limiting reproduction. In any one
    generation, limiting reproduction saves the large sums of extra
    money it takes to raise large families. It also limits the ability of
    couples to have two breadwinners working outside the home,
    especially in demanding but lucrative careers. Women who do
    not intentionally keep their families small often become
    stay-at-home mothers. Men who do not intentionally keep their
    families small may come to feel more constrained from pursuing
    risky careers that have higher average expected earnings but
    also higher variance in earnings, in which the high variance in
    earnings poses an unacceptable risk to the other family members.
    Such men might then forego lucrative but risky entrepreneurial
    ventures in favor of stable careers with less growth potential.

        Between generations, those who limit their reproduction can
    spend more money on their children's educations and careers,
    thereby allowing the children to not only inherit more money, but
    also to earn higher annual incomes. The wealth concentrating
    effects both within and between generations for limiting of
    reproduction may exceed the reproduction-promoting effects of
    money going to an average individual.

        One way to study the causal effect of wealth on reproduction
    (even in societies where the two are negatively correlated) is to
    compare the post-winning reproductive careers of lottery winners
    versus non-winners who bought the same numbers of tickets at
    the same locations. If the winners exhibit higher reproduction rates
    after winning, it would suggest that wealth does have at least some
    fertility-promoting effect. ..."

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