Ronald Bailey on Race, IQ, Wealth, and Liberty


Does more money make you smarter?

At the national level, do higher IQs produce wealth, or does wealth produce higher IQs? This is the question that Ron Unz grapples with over at The American Conservative in his fascinating article, "Race, IQ, and Wealth: How Political Bias Distorts the Facts." Unz analyzes the IQ data collected by scholars Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen which purports to show that countries populated with smarter people are the ones that become wealthier. And countries inhabited by stupid people remain mired in poverty. Unz argues that the data show the opposite—wealth precedes and enhances intelligence. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey weighs in on the argument and suggests that a third factor is likely responsible for improvements in both.