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March 17, 2003

French people make me smile

Seems like the Quebecky-Frenchies are going Protestant [1] and dabbling with eugenics:


Quebecers who have a child, within five years of finishing college or university, would be eligible for a 50-per-cent refund of their student loans if the Parti Québécois is re-elected April 14, Premier Bernard Landry announced yesterday.

The Parti Québécois, for those of you who don't care, is the nationalist party up there in Franco-America. It has a traditionally social democratic slant when you subtract the hard-core Anglophobia (just like the Scottish National Party in fact).

I found this via appalled Latinist Evan McElravy.

I want to cut to the chase-does anyone know of a study that has surveyed how much money we would have to push toward a smart woman to make her agree to get pregnant and pop out a kid with decent diction and a non-sexually predatory reproductive strategy?

For my fellow wack-jobs who have no sense of politically correct decency or ostrich-head-in-the-sand-syndrome, could you postulate an equation that would spit out appropriate remuneration for an individual having a child that is proportional to some measure of g?

How about this:
y = x/(IQ percentile) - x

This way people of average intelligence would get a minimum standard of living, while those at the right end of the bell curve would make bank. And let us not speak of those to the left....

{Please take this all with a grain of salt-I was putting on my social engineer's cap-when bareheaded I tend to frown upon government intervention with anything copulation-associated}

[1] The eugenics programs were resisted pretty well by Catholic nations-they went farthest in Protestant countries, or nations with dominant Protestant majorities.

Posted by razib at 04:29 AM




Well, your equation doles out arbitrarily large sums at the very top of the scale (if I read it right). This seems foolish, it ignores regression to the mean as a relevant issue; it gives a huge incentive to game the system (boost test scores or whatever) to people who will be well equipped to do so; and in any case at some point it overrates the likely contributions of the child.
Of course all this presupposes that I would approve of such social engineering, which I don't. If genetic engineering were not coming on the scene, maybe I could be convinced, but as it is this sort of incentive scheme is a can of worms that does not need to be opened.

Posted by: bbartlog at March 17, 2003 05:53 AM


yeah, it is way too simple. it needs some correction factors and limits.

Posted by: razib at March 17, 2003 11:58 AM


to those of you that didn't get it-my equation idea was a joke on all those who are into social engineering (ergo, seeking the prime social equation that can solve all problems that haunt the human condition).

Posted by: razib at March 17, 2003 02:32 PM


Do I have to raise the child or just bear it?

Posted by: Jacqueline at March 18, 2003 12:04 AM


Jackie O: Maybe if you promise to have it adopted by a Francophonic couple you'd get the money anyway.

Posted by: duende at March 18, 2003 11:14 AM


Actually, it's Jackie P.

I have an IQ of 145 and I would bear a child for $50,000 and raise it myself for $500,000, in addition to all pregnancy-related expenses.

Otherwise, I have no interest in bearing or raising children unless I can have my own clone.

Posted by: Jacqueline at March 18, 2003 07:17 PM


Well, you might get some takers on the child-bearing at that price, if you apply in the right place (I think $50K is in line with the market these days), but I doubt anyone would pay you to raise a child you really didn't want anyway. Your post does make me wonder, though, just how many children a determined billionaire could have if he actively recruited and paid women to bear and raise his children. Even at a half million bucks each (high first world prices, assume he's interested in quality too) he'd end up with 2000 offspring. The outcry would be enormous, of course. It won't be long before a woman could do the same thing, too - right now limited egg supply and flaky in vitro technology would constrain the numbers some, but once we have reliable cloning things are even again.

Posted by: bbartlog at March 19, 2003 09:18 AM