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Perhaps because of how we are taught math, we tend to see thinks as trends. But in reality, there is no exponential growth, there is only an s-curve of varying steepness. Every growth has to plateau, neither populations nor microprocessor speeds can grow exponentially forever. Not even space itself seems to be endless, if I understand astronomy right.

Yet most of the times, we only see a trend, and tend to think it goes on into the sunset. I sometimes wonder if we would act differently if we were more trained to see processes as having their inevitable end already expected. The people who will lose their jobs to new immigrants are old immigrants. But the people who complain most about immigrants taking their jobs are the blue collar workers who are actually losing their jobs to workers in other countries due to free trade deals. For example, consider an influx of Mexican construction workers. Retail clerks will be mostly unaffected.

The idea that importing people from another country, legally or illegally, is the most economically-efficient solution absent government interventions strikes me as implausible. I seem to be questioning each piece of data here! Where has Turchin got a continuous series of life expectancies from. I cant access the most recent Historical Statistics of the United States oddly not in my university library but the previous edition is handily online. The compilers only have a continuous series of life expectancy from this goes steadily upwards, as with the graph.

Now I also read some reviews of the edition of Historical Statistics, and the authors are commended for including statistics from the colonial and early US periods. My favourite comment being that these would be useful to people conversant with the appropriate period of US history, which is a clear way of saying these are historically-specific figures that need to be contextualised. I now have a horrible feeling that I know what Turchin has done though.

He has taken the datasets for earlier periods and combined them with the onwards data set. If so, this is not just a failure to understand his data, but rather the classical bad science trick of silently graphing multiple data sets together. Note though that the continuous rise in life expectancy from reflects the extent in dataset, and the variability before that seems to reflect possibly disparate datasets which are independent of each other and the post dataset. It appears that if you buy access you can merge separate databases.

I think I might have an idea of someone who did this…. Yeah, was gonna say that migration is a human right and that nobody should be tied to a piece of land. You might as well say that tariffs are like charging a man to bring groceries through his own front door. I disagree. A human right is a human right. I have the human right to migrate to your living room or China or Saudi Arabia or Nigeria and fully participate in the governance of those living there and anyone who tries to stop me is evil.

Out of context, it isnt a very strong argument. When some people believe free speech is not a human right but a M2F having his genitals waxed by a woman is a human right, it becomes clear that we cant have nice things. Well that sounds cool. Migration is about moving yourself to property whose owner has granted you access. If someone is willing to rent a house to you, the government should have no say in whether or not you can move into that house. If someone is willing to sell a house to you, the government should have no say in whether or not you can move into that house.

This is exactly what everybody says with the exception of open border advocates. Citizens of a country may decide who enters the country through their representative government. We could do it your way, but it would look an awful lot like H-1B plus some family reunification visas, and not so much like open borders. This is the kind of sentiment that chills me to the bone. Fathers care about their daughters because of biology: evolution has shaped us to care about people who share our genes.

This makes sense and is as it should be. My question is: why should I care about some random bloke in the US more than some random bloke in Turkey? What difference does that make? Because you share a polity with the American. The nation is the people. So goes the nation, so goes you.

So goes the random American bloke, so goes you. The American might. Actually he probably does because zero loyalty people like yourself I only ever encounter on SSC. So is this your lived experience, that Americans treat you like a foreigner? Is that how you would prefer they act? Because an American is either more closely related to your ancestors, or to your possible descendants. Even if you are part of the globalist elite, the odds are still pretty good. Because you are bound by U. The only way to eliminate borders is to eliminate nations.

And yet cities, counties, and states seem to exist perfectly well as legal entities with the right to set laws and regulations within their jurisdiction. I advocate open borders for nations that work exactly like the open borders we have between cities. Allowing them to vote risks ruining the cultural and political environment which drew them there in the first place. It is the job of your government to care more about your interests than the interests of foreigners. This is how every other nation works. The Mexican government nor the Saudi Arabia government nor the Russian government nor any other government is near so magnanimous as you.

Under slightly different circumstances we celebrate that kind of sentiment. You seem to think that the only way to put foreigners on the same moral level as fellow countrymen is to be equally cold and uncaring to both. I personally find it chilling when people insist that, in addition to my various legal, enumerated duties to my fellow countrymen, I have a whole bunch of nebulous, unstated obligations to them that they have a right to call in at arbitrary times. I think that there are good rule-utilitarian reasons to have countries and governments, and to have some limited obligations as a member of a country.

I do not think that we owe our fellow countrymen an infinite debt that they can call in whenever they want to guilt-trip us into treating foreigners unfairly on their behalf.

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Particular notable in , when the election was practically a referendum on immigration. Possible explanation? The top and bottom rungs of society are allied against the interest of the middle. If the elites didnt want immigration, we wouldnt have it. And you can use that to pose as a defender of the oppressed. Your explanation seems to predict that we should see some significant differences in electoral support for Clinton and Trump based on income.

Perhaps low income and high income people should have supported Clinton and middle income people should have supported Trump. But it looks like both middle and high income people were within the margin of error, while low income people had slight support for Clinton — definitely a real difference in support, but nothing that would make sense on the story you mention, where we would have expected more like Presumably election results can go either way.

And in the most recent case, the person who won the presidency used that power to decrease various forms of immigration. So you are left with two possibilities of what happened: 1. In this case, the elites actually supported a decrease in immigration since the elites always get what they want, after all. The elites do not actually always get what they want. This runs contrary to your thesis. Are you saying the elites are not in favor of immigration? This sort of rhetorical two-step normally works, but in this case Turchin implicitly defines non-elites as those who receive their income through wages.

Or we can go with what your suggestion that Harvard profs and CNN anchors are your typical average joes. One thing I enjoy about this comment section is how you never know what in a comment will cause disagreement. When I said the elites support increased immigration, I thought this was completely obvious and wouldnt need any defending. My general contention is that by and large, the consensus amongst the most powerful people in the country, as measured by influence on the national agenda and conversation, is that immigration is only beneficial and criticizing it makes you a dangerous extremist.

But those that are anti-immigration tend to shut up about it because of the fear of being called racist. Just look at how Trump was treated for attempting to address illegal immigration. This is only about illegal immigration. I could go on but this feels unbelievably silly. Maybe you are surprised to see your views line up with the elites, I dont know, let me know if you need more convincing. My general contention is that by and large, the consensus amongst the most powerful people in the country, as measured by influence on the national agenda and conversation , is that immigration is only beneficial and criticizing it makes you a dangerous extremist.

Out of the 50 wealthiest US families in , 28 donated to Republican candidates only, 15 to both parties, and 7 to Democrats only. If focusing on the top fifty families is too narrow for you, we can drop it down to looking at income percentiles to include more of the general population. What are anti-immigration parties called?

Before Trump, which party could I vote for that pushed for reduced immigration? Certainly not the Republicans. Now that Trump is president, why is he unable to implement his agenda of reducing even illegal immigration? Is it all the ordinary people funding court challenges and populist judges? The US has had large scale immigration since , large scale illegal immigration, many ordinary Americans are opposed enough that they voted for Trump to stop it, yet still nothing is being done about it.

That is because some very powerful people are in favor of immigration, and whatever else is involved these people are more successful than any wealthy people opposed to immigration. Do you think opinion column writers are selected to represent the opinions of the elite or ordinary people?

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Birth control allowed women to delay pregnancy and marriage to pursue higher status, both for themselves and for their eventual marriage, and women who drop out of the competition earlier by marrying or having children early are presumptively low status. This seems to create an intensifying cycle, where women invest longer and harder in various kinds of independent social status, and men either try to keep up and surpass the women in their environment or drop out altogether. The need to grab onto signals of social status- whether living in Brooklyn or Berkeley or having the right degrees and the right job- intensifies, even as those signals require the sacrifice of more of the ordinary accompaniments of adult life- marriage, reproduction, material accumulation and transfer to the next generation.

This seems like it can go multiple ways- it could result in intensifying conflict between the two camps, the new civic religion could defeat the old one totally rather than only partially, or perhaps old-fashioned reproductive and material accumulation and electoral power could win over people who made the mistake of not making more of themselves. And so you get the strange result of many of the most conventional and conformist people, born into the upper middle class and raised like hothouse flowers to rejoin it, adopting the most radical attitudes towards received sexual and reproductive roles and material accumulation.

How does the status chasing by the men cause the women to chase it harder? As for your claim, is the media propaganda getting more effective quickly enough to account for women getting married later and later? So what do they do instead? This in turn means that the value that men bring to their life as a provider is lessened. After school, they would then often work some years as a maid, until they found a husband.

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The husband would typically have studied for a job that earned more than a maid. Nowadays, women invest in an education that allows them to get well-paying jobs that are more fun than being a maid. She gets to experience the relatively pleasurable early career period before work becomes drudgery.

Income goes down and costs go up. So men look worse to her than men looked to women in the past, even though modern men are actually better providers. Could you explain [the most conventional and conformist people adopting the most radical attitudes towards received sexual and reproductive roles and material accumulation] more thoroughly?

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I think that the claim is that they try to create subcultural niches, where competition is greatly reduced by creating radical norms. You meshed two seperate changes: finding a husband, and becoming a mother. This would explain later childbearing pretty well, but needs a little more to explain why marriage is so much later. But Turchin would say human nature does not change, and what you are pointing to is just another result of or manifestation of vastly increased inequality the relative status differentiation of men differing dramatically relative to historical norms.

But it seems distinctly different from most of these earlier modes of Turchinian civil conflict, partly because it occurs in a time of genuine material plenty. Young people awash in student debt, much lower amounts of savings or ability to buy a home or afford a family? Anyone with greater expertise is free to correct me. Thus, it might be sensible for me to keep selling widgets even if I am losing money on my company overall, because my marginal costs are still lower than my marginal profits. So what does this have to do with immigration and jobs? If there were already more job openings than people to fill them, that is great!

It means that the economy can continue to grow productively and more value can be created. But in this case, the new jobs are still going to be lower-income than the old ones because they have lower marginal value to the company , so immigrants will at least be depressing wages. All of that is in the short run, though. In the long run, new businesses open, current businesses restructure, and the presence of new labor and new demand in the markets equalizes probably?

Nobody likes to point out that immigration actually makes things worse for low wage workers. Economists are the LAST people who want to point this out, since as some wise people pointed out upthread their salaries generally depend on NOT pointing out this blindingly obvious fact. When labor is abundant, it has low value, because there is always somebody willing to work a shit job for less pay. When labor is scarce, it has high value, and can negotiate better working conditions.

In almost every country in the world, you can see a correlation where higher rates of population growth directly map to lower standards of living. With fewer people to work their fields, medieval lords suddenly had to be much nicer to commoners and give them lower taxes and more rights, or they would exercise their Right of Departure and go work for a lord who would treat them better.

This relationship between capital and labor has existed since the dawn of time, even if the names of the groups has changed. If socialists were GENUINELY trying to help the working class, they would try to limit immigration as much as possible, so that labor scarcity would give our lower classes more bargaining power. Instead left-wing people like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren are taking advice from economists, a field which is largely dominated by the plutocrat class. Apart from that major error, I think that this review has a very good analysis of the problem.

We can see elite overproduction reflected in many areas — the recent college bribery scandal was one example. The way identity politics is frequently leveraged to bring down successful celebrities is another example of elites turning on each other because there are more elites in the system than there are elite job openings.

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People lower down on the totem pole know that there is only a limited amount of room at the top, so they use whatever tools are available to take out whomever has the top spot so that they can claim it. If you know ahead of time that a certain tactic will be deployed against you, it makes sense to prepare for it before it happens. But I suppose that nobody ever claimed that the leaders and cultural influencers of our society were blessed with an overabundance of brains. Creating an outrage mob to take out the people who are doing better than them with claims of privilege or unsubstantiated MeToo claims.

Did no one read that part of the post? Since you are completely wrong about this, despite seeming so very confident, you should probably reconsider all your other beliefs too. Every point you make is strongly dependent on your own subjective impressions of things with no attempt to back them up with evidence. Depends on your interpretation of various polls. Not just in right-wing media though that is big and does count but mainstream publications print anti-immigration pieces all the time.

This is not, incidentally, because an increase in the labor supply has no adverse effects for anyone. They do so as a dismissal of the whole question, as if it completely demolishes the objection from depressing native wages, rather than requiring a lot of further investigation. Abetted by a whole lot of political operatives who are a lot less scrupulous than Vox is. What Ruckus says. They can tell the difference between piss and rain no matter what you call the smelly yellow liquid trickling down upon them.

Nor are you referring to how economists express their views to the public when asked; e. This seems to me a pretty weak defense of the original claim. But fair enough. My apologies to OP if he objects to this characterization. This seems to me something people do all the time with no negative consequences. Do you have some sort of evidence of this? I think simply clearly stating a mainstream economist view on immigration, with no particular emphasis on either upside or downside, would generate essentially no backlash at all.

The media and therefore public has the view literally the opposite of the truth on this issue. Like why we care about what they say at all. Sure do trust those those doctors, eh? Well, no. The estimated effects are small, and the media often exaggerates them, as you can see in the Atlantic article I linked in my last post. I had a gripe with the previous Secular Cycles post that I never got around to posting before the thread died.

Finally, in , Emperor Diocletian ended the civil wars, re-established centralized authority, and essentially refounded the Roman Empire — a nice round years after Augustus did the same. This seems completely wrong to me. By my reading of history, Diocletion was an island of stability in the long decline of Rome. He forms the Tetrarchy, and then manages to hold it together through sheer force of will during his reign. But once he abdicates it falls apart quickly, and Rome is back to civil wars within 10 years.

Constantine eventually establishes a dynasty, but it only lasted 40 years, and had plenty of civil war even within that timeframe. The decline continues to the point that barbarians are even able to sack Rome. What am I missing? A spectacular and impressively slow decline, but still a decline. I think as you point out it mostly has to do with the length of time being considered. The Empire post-Augustus thrived for hundreds of years under the institutions Augustus put in place. Rome in some ways continued to decline in the Fourth Century, and it never again had anything like the orderly succession of the Good Emperors, but you had a lot more reigns measurable in years, some even in decades, fewer measurable in months or days.

You still had a century before Rome was sacked.

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Together, those reigns were as long as the Crisis itself. They were surely remarkable men, but I suppose the Turchin argument would be that they also benefited from cultural and social changes that had taken place — they could have been assassinated or otherwise faced more widespread disaffection and less support from elites than they actually did. I take the Turchin argument to just be that elites collectively decided anarchy was not in their best interest, not that elites agreed to or knew how to reconstruct the Roman culture and economy in such a way as to recover the vitality of centuries earlier.

I see a decline, with increasing crises and instability, and then Diocletian is able to stabilize the situation but not fix the underlying problem, so the decline continues afterwards. Why not whoever picked up the pieces after the sack of Rome ? Relevant dates include CE, when the Empire was at its greatest territorial extent, and the accession of Diocletian in Irreversible major territorial loss, however, began in with a large-scale irruption of Goths and others.

In , after winning two destructive civil wars, Theodosius I died, leaving a collapsing field army and the Empire, still plagued by Goths, divided between the warring ministers of his two incapable sons. Further barbarian groups crossed the Rhine and other frontiers and, like the Goths, were not exterminated, expelled or subjugated. The armed forces of the Western Empire became few and ineffective, and despite brief recoveries under able leaders, central rule was never effectively consolidated.

By when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the Western Roman Emperor wielded negligible military, political, or financial power and had no effective control over the scattered Western domains that could still be described as Roman. Barbarian kingdoms had established their own power in much of the area of the Western Empire. While its legitimacy lasted for centuries longer and its cultural influence remains today, the Western Empire never had the strength to rise again.

The Eastern Empire survived, and though lessened in strength remained for centuries an effective power of the Eastern Mediterranean. Valid point. Another way to frame it though evidently not how Turchin does : after the Crisis, the West was basically rendered a backwater and should no longer be the focus of analysis. Failing to explain Rome is a big deal! What was cherry-picked out of those histories? Scott—when you say you want someone to look at the models and data that Turchin provides, what are you looking for, exactly?

Are you curious about how robust his model is under small changes in conditions and simplifying assumptions? I am willing to help if it is clear to me that I have something useful to contribute to the question you are asking. My priors are the same as yours, but I would like to have them confirmed by someone who can work off more than just priors. Well I might as well take a shot at working out what I can right now without having to break out pencil and paper. The three groups of people are like three chemical species in some kind of clock reaction.

Assume the source is constant and equal to the sum of the sinks. Thr rate of each sink is directly proportional to the concentration of each species. This is more or less the limit of what I can work out and present inside a comment box. He says that a society can have high levels of popular immiseration and can also be relatively stable with low levels of political violence due to massive top down oppression, IF the elites are united. His theory is trying to predict large scale violence and societal collapse including civil war, not inequality or popular immiseration on their own.

The key factor is that elite overproduction relative to seats at the table leads to increased intra-elite fighting, and elites can channel popular immiseration into increased political violence and instability. As far as what has driven this elite overproduction, look to the super-elites. They have gobbled up the biggest chunk of the pie by far, leaving a much smaller slice for regular elites and elite aspirants. Turchin has some great data on the ever growing share of wealth which has passed to the tiniest number of super and super-super-elites.

Think of the college admissions scandal and subsequent arrests with celebrity Laurie Loughlin and others. They were clearly low level elites caught in an arms race with other low level elites. The super-elites legally bribe the Universities with huge checks, directly. Next in my series of criticisms of the data presented here. Median wage dividend by GDP. Ignore the smoothing here and look at the data. First problem is that no-one recorded the median wage or GDP in the nineteenth-century so what we have there are estimates. Probably based on something, but not the same as the post-War II data which was empirically recorded at the time.

Bad practice again: silently combining reconstructed and real data. If we allow the reconstructed data has some degree of accuracy what we have is a situation where there is huge variability in the early period and a minimal variation in the recent past. This seems reasonable but suggests attempts to use this data are ignoring huge structural changes which need commenting upon. In treating these figures as representative of a closed system Turchin seems to be failing to realise that GDP is not entirely about one country.

So once more lack of context and poor scientific practice combine to produce a graph which can be fitted to a predetermined model. Turchin includes a few other inequality graphs including Piketty and they all show the same thing. I assumed that the lack of high-status positions for all elites, in , would refer to the number of people graduating college and discovering how little their degree is worth compared to its cost. Journalism is an excellent example, but you can see it pretty clearly in any liberal arts undergraduate degree, in JDs, in any number maybe all!

People were promised and yes, they were promised that getting these credentials would lead to, at the very least, a comfortable and secure life. The bigger piece is that people who obtain these degrees AND have family wealth to back them up end up mostly uniformly successful, the people who get these degrees without that security find themselves in much more permanently unstable positions, and they know it.

This was pretty dramatically illustrated to me in law school. I had a tight group of 15 or so friends at school. It turned out that only five or six of my friends had loans along with me — I had no idea. But it explained why the rest were so laid back after graduation, while I was terrified about meeting my first loan payment. All right, this was way too long. Is height here skeletal height or average adult height or average height at a specific age or what?

It also has rising life expectancy and height through the revolutionary war, which I know is a much milder war than the Civil war, but still a significant negative event which was accompanied by outbreaks of disease. Born then? Because there would be lags. The Civil War would have had quite striking impacts in terms of taking out the healthiest and probably tallest men at young ages. But it would also have meant a lot more recording of such statistics than in other eras, making it hard to compare.

Conditions during the Revolutionary War probably improved so much as to outweigh the effects of the war. Much greater social stability and opportunity, and nutrition. Vaccination started to become a thing, but people relied almost solely on their own immune systems—people who settled the west and survived generally were going to need more strength and health than we do today. Reading about the suffering and endurance of people in that time is crazy.

The guys running the show have malaria several weeks of every year, with different levels of immunity—they just did everything with a high fever. Female age at first marriage. Interesting graph: women are clearly getting older when they first marry. It could represent growing social instability. But only if the instability was the growing equality and independence of women, which might signal a crisis if you are a reactionary or a Hollywood producer perhaps?

Frankly the way Turchin has used these figures is insulting to readers. So although Turchin seems to only have used one dataset here, he somehow ignored the easy historical explanations for the two key changes, which would count against his cyclical model, in favour of an interpretation of the data that is unusual to say the least. Not just that but age of first marraige drops through the first world war as well though perhaps missing data points and bad curve drawing?

He discusses an attempt by one the early emperors — Claudius, maybe? During the census, this emperor discovered that 1 women were marrying later, or not at all, and 2 that birth rates had plummeted. He passed pretty severe laws trying to reverse these trends they failed. Romans were marrying later and having less children because they were getting wealthier, not because there was a crisis. This lines up pretty well with my own understanding of the time, which was that it was considered necessary to limit the number of children as much as possible as the steps necessary to hold on to their social status required huge sums of money.

Also present is the fear that the mother will be unable to compete with her peers in her field, and be relegated to a lower level in her career. Could be downstream of the pill? A combination of fewer shotgun marriages and extramarital sex carrying less of a risk of single motherhood. I believe the advent of the pill is normally regarded as a factor In female liberation and therefore late marriage. Makes it hard to tease out the causality. I would think that age at first marriage is affected more by economic concerns than social instability.

Where is this evidence? I know it is a fact that ages at first marriage in colonial America, which was much richer than Europe, were significantly lower. Historically people wanted to get married and form families, not being able to do so was a sign of poverty. The obvious evidence here is the differing age of first marriage globally , where poorer and less stable countries generally have lower first age of marriage. This repeats an observed historical pattern, and is a better starting point because the data is more reliable than historical periods.

The direction is clear, the exact mechanism less so. Regarding your immigration question, the general economic consensus seems to be that a large increase in immigration would help everyone except low-skilled American workers. For low-skilled American workers, the effects are close to neutral might be slightly negative of positive. So many unskilled workers would very likely be worse off. But when only one major group of workers has a significant percentage who will be worse off, and even for them the chances of being worse off are no greater than being better off, should a typical American worry?

I think probably not. The Yale tuition point needs a historian of Yale to explain, but there is a useful rule of thumb in the UK higher education sector about anything around US university fees, which is that your analysis is incomplete without scholarship information.

I think this applies here: high Yale fees are only an indicator of the difficulty of breaking into the elite if there is no substantial scholarship provision.

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Anyone able to say anything about the history of Yale scholarships. Also why just Yale? Why not Harvard? Why not the whole Ivy League? I have a suspicion here that Yale was the data that best fitted his model. Maybe Yale graduates are guaranteed membership of the elite, but if the elite are actually financially determined then that seems unlikely. Another charge of cherry picking data. Instead of making baseless accusations, how about we simply look to the actual book being reviewed? We can answer this question because at least one of these universities made data on long-term dynamics of its tuition available Pierson , Waters Maybe you are right, and this data is also publicly available from Harvard and Princeton.

But instead of making accusations, how about actually showing us that indeed, there is other relevant data out there that directly contradicts the Yale data? Because according to my common sense heuristic, tuition among the big three Ivy Leagues likely tracks fairly closely.


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These were my thoughts on analysing the data. The prestige factor is crucial here. Each university nudges you into a network of future regional leaders.