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Impulse Control, Generational Wealth And Poverty

Until fairly recently it was still true that you could make something of yourself in America if you kept your nose clean and worked hard. Maybe not Carnegie or J.P. Morgan rich, but successful. That has become problematic in recent years with exploding inflation, especially in housing, but it can still be done. America as “The Land Of Opportunity” wasn’t just an empty slogan. Many descendants of European immigrants like me are only a couple generations separated from being poor lower working class (See: Repost: What My White Privilege Looked Like).

While you can certainly come from nothing to make something of yourself, it is absolutely true that it is a lot easier if you have a base to build on. I’ve mentioned repeatedly that I know lots of very wealthy Amish folks including more than a couple of millionaires and one guy that might be the wealthiest person I have met with assets in the eight figure range. All of them worked their asses off to get where they are. It is common for an Amish guy to get up before dawn, feed a couple hundred head of baby calves, then go to work for ten hours roofing or framing, before coming back home and feeding those calves again with occasional nights of 4-5 hours of baling hay to break thing up a bit.

They also generally had parents that might not have been outwardly wealthy but who worked just as hard and were in a position to help finance their son’s business ventures. Most young Amish men get their paychecks, starting to work full time at 16 or younger, and hand them right over to their parents. In turn their parents can write a check for them to start a business, buy a work trailer and tools or invest in a herd of cattle.

The point being that it is a lot easier to get wealthy if you have a solid base to start from. In order to get that foundation, someone at some point in the past needed to make a conscious decision to set aside their immediate desires in order to plan for the future of their posterity. Maybe living in a smaller house or driving an older car than you could afford, so your disposable income ended up in a savings account or CD or property rather than in the newest iteration of an iPhone or a high interest rate loan for a Dodge Charger.

Americans used to be savers, saving up for vacations, saving up for a down-payment on a house, saving up for purchases and paying cash. In my younger days it was fairly uncommon for people to have credit cards but that started to change as I entered adulthood. The most distinct sign of this for me was my first year of college at THE Ohio State University. Early in my first semester I remember walking through campus and all of the tables set up where banks and credit card companies were offering credit cards to 18 year old kids with no credit history and no income. I think I ended up signing up for a card, an American Express no less, because they were giving away free two liters of pop.

Two things have happened to transform America away from a nation of savers that made stuff and into a nation of spenders who consume products and get excited for next product, all made in China.

One is something I have written about before and referenced above: the era of easy credit. Instead of saving to buy a new appliance, people just put the appliance on their credit card along with clothing, fast food and streaming service subscription fees. Rather than making small payments to themselves via savings accounts, they make minimum payments to the credit cards. Believe me, after a number of years managing banks, it is shocking how many people’s paychecks are entirely devoured by servicing their debt payments.

The other thing that changed is the nature of the American people.

People from northern climates always had their eye on the coming winter. Even in our climate controlled world today, something in the DNA of Europeans is always whispering to us: Winter is coming.

That meant chopping and stacking wood in May to burn for heat and cooking the following February. It meant putting up bales of hay in August to feed your livestock when the pastures are dormant and covered in snow. Or canning food in summer instead of devouring it all. It especially meant that when the harvest came in, you set aside seeds from this year’s crop in order to plant next year. Those that failed to prepare for winter? They just died and the people that did prepare thrived or at least survived. In this way the people of Europe weeded out those who were predisposed to eating their seed corn. The harsh climate also made it more difficult to raise children to adulthood so children were fewer but carefully protected and raised to help ensure their survival.

That genetic attitude has carried forward for people of European descent and made us incredibly successful, at least until the last 40-50 years.

People in more tropical climates? They tend to not be very concerned with storing food because everything is always in season. No winter means no worrying about forage for your livestock. As a result, there was not the same evolutionary pressure to stamp out those that didn’t plan ahead for the future. At the same time rampant fecundity replaced careful child-rearing, resulting in an evolutionary strategy of having lots and lots of children.

So what does that have to do with generational wealth?

There are a couple of genetic factors that largely determine whether a people group/nation are “wealthy” or not. The first is of course IQ, John Wilder had a good post about this (IQ, Lies, and National Wealth). The other is related and it has to do with time preference and impulse control.

What do I mean by impulse control? Here are a couple of examples:

On Sunday, according to relatives of both women, they argued about one of Williams’ sons who was also at the baby shower.

Williams’ longtime friend, a 46-year-old Ypsilanti woman, had accused Williams’ son of a crime, and even reportedly went to Detroit Police about it Friday.

During the argument, Phebe Williams reportedly hit her friend and someone else may have spit on her. The woman then produced a gun and fired a fatal shot, killing Williams.

“Y’all could have just fought. You didn’t have to pull a gun,” Carter said. “There’s kids in the house. It’s a lot of people in the house so why would you pull out a gun?”

The woman left the location and called Detroit Police to say what she had done as she headed to DPD’s 9th precinct on Gratiot Avenue, just a few miles away from the house where the baby shower and shooting took place.

What the woman may not have been aware of is that Phebe Williams’ son apparently followed her because he was also there in the parking lot of the police station and when the woman exited her vehicle, he struck her with his car.

Williams’ son was taken into custody and the 46-year-old woman was also taken into custody and hospitalized for her injuries.

That is a top 100 blackest stories I have ever read. What would possess the woman to go to a baby shower, armed and looking for trouble? Then the son of the “victim” chases her down and then rams her with his car, in the parking lot of a police station! Or this one….

Middle school kids can be sassy and a pain in the ass but this guy had to know that every kid on that bus had a smartphone and were recording him, and yet he still shoves the kid around and then chokes him? The kid appears to be White or mestizo and the bus driver, while older, is clearly much larger. Jefferson Parish looks like a lovely school district, when I searched for news about it the stories after this one were:

A different kid at the same middle school, also being strangled but this time by a teacher, and then last month a massive brawl at John Ehret school (52% black, 15% mestizo, just 20% White) that resulted in 14 arrests. How charming!

Anyway, the point being that a lack of impulse control often leads to violent and criminal behavior. Rather than just gritting your teeth, getting the kid to school and then going to whoever is in charge of transportation and either getting the kid disciplined or just quitting, the bus driver attacks a 11 or 12 year old.

When we look past criminal behavior to more mundane lifestyle choices, we see a lingering “wealth gap” between racial groups.


The standard response is that this is the result of “racism” and “systemic inequality” and “White supremacy”, all baked into the very fabric of America. That doesn’t explain why immigrants from places like India have such high average incomes. South and East Asian immigrants tend to be entreprenuerial and hard working, and consequently they do very well here despite being new to the country. Meanwhile, blacks have perpetually not done well in America despite having all the same opportunities as Asians and in many cases receiving preferential treatment from the government and lending institutions. So what gives?

I suggest that along with group IQ differences, we see that impulse control, based in biology, evolution and natural selection, is the real cause for Whites and Asians to flourish and create generational wealth while blacks and mestizos struggle to move past living hand to mouth.

It has long been a stereotype that blacks love gaudy and ostentatious displays of what they consider “wealth”, from gold chains and ridiculously expensive Air Jordans to luxury name cars and gold teeth. As with most stereotypes, this one is firmly rooted in reality and experience. It was somewhat common for blacks to rob or even kill people in order to steal their Air Jordans or North Face jackets.

Here is the issue. If your disposible income goes to overpriced consumer status symbols that immediately lose what value they had, then you don’t have money to save for something that will lead to future generations being better off. What is worse, each generation that you do this means you get further behind.

Every dollar that comes into your wallet or bank account represents the value of your labor and it also represents a choice. What will you do with that money? Will you put it into a savings account or a CD, or perhaps as cash into your safe? Will you convert it to precious metals or some real property that will appreciate it value or will you go the other direction and make a quick purchase that gives you a dopamine hit now?

Impulse spending is something we all do. I prefer to go grocery shopping alone and even better I love to order what I want and pick it up at Meijer or Sam’s outside, never going into the store. My wife would be the first to admit that once in a store she tends to buy stuff we might not need.

Online shopping has obviously made this worse. It isn’t uncommon for me to order something on my phone while I am driving (while stopped of course). If you are a gun guy like me plus a dealer so I get wholesale pricing and that means I try to not browse my dealer websites because too often browsing becomes buying.

Some impulse spending is fine but when it becomes your habit, as it has for a majority of Americans, it cripples you financially. For blacks and mestizos it becomes a double whammy. They already are making less money as a group as their average IQ ranges relegate most to the lower wage careers. Then their smaller pool of disposible incomes tends to be spent on gratification consumer goods now rather than saved for wealth creation later. As I have asserted I believe this to be a evolutionary difference that hinders blacks and to a lesser extent mestizos from thriving in racial competition with people that have evolved with stronger impulse control and a genetic disposition toward delayed gratification.

I know plenty of White people that are not especially smart, some that are either not very intelligent or are merely benevolently ignorant by circumstance or choice. They still know to save money. Ideas like saving for retirement, which for many people can be 30-40 years in the future, or for your child’s education or to put down on a house are ideas that are rooted in “Western tradition”, a euphamism for the traditions of White people. Of course there are also black investors and successful business people who bucked the evolutionary procilvity and adopted White attitudes toward saving and investing with an eye on the future but they are rare compared to other racial groups.

This has disturbing implications for the future of Amerca and Europe. America has gone from a nation that was over 80% White, people who have evolved to think of the future, to a nation that is about to flip to majority-minority with most of those minorities being blacks and mestizos that are more interested in instant gratification, even at the expense of the future, something many don’t seem to think about at all. At the same time and in parallel our national average IQ is dropping like a stone. Combined this means that there isn’t a plausible path forward that doesn’t find America and Western Europe becoming poorer, dumber and incapable of functioning at the basic standards we used to assume. What is worse is that nothing you can do will stop this at the macro level but that doesn’t mean you can’t do what you can to insulate yourself and your family from the impact.

The glorious space age future we were promised is never going to happen, and instead our future looks a lot like South Africa, Haiti and Mexico with the added flavor of raging ethnic resentment and half a billion firearms. Good times are coming.


  1. Bean Dip Tray

    Now that the Fundamental Transformation of the Long March is complete, prepare for the Marxist WAR of all against all.
    Be of good cheer, you aren’t a head in the sand drooling mongo with delusions of some hippy dippy John Lennon Imagine horseshit.
    You have chosen wisely.

  2. Xzebek

    I agree with all the points you make in your post, but I would pose a question.
    You make the legitimate observation that blacks tend to make decisions on the immediate (micro) level and Whites will make decisions looking to the future and posterity (macro). At the end of the post you state that we Whites cannot do anything on the macro level to effect the changes in our country and the only choice is to work on the micro level. Is this not betraying our heritage relegating ourselves to the immediate? Do we not owe our posterity the necessary efforts to change this? We may not succeed but that remains to be seen, I think.

    • Anon

      “Is this not betraying our heritage relegating ourselves to the immediate? Do we not owe our posterity the necessary efforts to change this?”
      There are plenty of old boomers who have been saying shit like “I’ll be dead by the time it goes to hell!”
      The sentiment still exists even as we’re in the beginning of WW3 and the West is drowning in nonWhites. There are also those who think they will be raptured so they not only skip living through the shit they created but skip even the pain of dying and just disappear into the clouds.

      Fuck them. I have no hopes the older Whites will do anything positive before they die.

      • anonymous

        To a large extent, the complaint about boomers is that they live for the present, rather than the future, so they are emblematic of this problem. The sexual revolution, the “greed is good” thinking, the anti-draft protests, the drug craze, the latch-key children, the two-income families, the “spending my kids inheritance,” cruises, motor homes, vacation homes, conspicuous consumption, etc., all indicate a lack of discipline and future thinking. And all have their selfish beginnings in the Boomer generation.

        On the other subject, there are many 11 and 12 year olds who are car-jacking people at the point of a gun. And many more who need to have the shit choked out of them due to their disrespect. These kids will not even have any respect for anyone in authority…not even their parents. And they’ll never learn respect until someone goes upside their heads. In less than a decade they will be running down old people on bikes with their stolen cars or shooting random people, if they are not already in jail.

        I’ll bet anyone on this blog would at least have like to choke that little shit, if he was doing to them what he did to the old man. (No, I don’t know what he did, but I know that things like that do not happen in a vacuum.)

    • Arthur Sido

      I am open to suggestion but I don’t see where we have sufficient numbers to effect any changes. Look at 2016, even when Trump took office he got nothing done because the rest of the GOP was in cahoots with the Dems to derail his agenda. That was 7 years ago, how does anything happen now?

      • Differ

        Whites cannot do anything on the macro level to effect the changes in our country and the only choice is to work on the micro level. Is this not betraying our heritage
        Conflating two different issues low impulse control driving decisions based on immediate gratification vs prioritizing tasks so you van get to the long term solution.
        If the swamp is full of gators AND your boat has a hole in it, you need to solve the immediate problem and plug the hole before you bail the boat before you deal with the gators….
        Not saying we can even deal with the immediate problems, but order of operations matters.

  3. Anonymous

    it is shocking how many people’s paychecks are entirely devoured by servicing their debt payments

    Now where on earth would American subjects learn such a bad habit as spending more than they have to spend?

  4. Moe Gibbs

    Every dollar that comes into your wallet or bank account represents the value of your labor

    That right there is a major source of the problem. Something on the order of 40% of adult Americans receive some form of entitlement as a substantial portion (or all) of their income. When it comes for free and never stops, the less prudent spend it as fast as they get it.

    Blacks are notorious for their r/k selection bias leaning strongly toward ‘r’ and typically they invest as little in their progeny as they do for some distant reward, such as retirement. If you’ve spent your entire life on public assistance, the notion of “retirement” is such an abstraction as to be totally meaningless.

    I read somewhere recently that the average net worth of a black woman in this country is 5 dollars. That’s no misprint. Five bucks. When I reposted that stat on a conservative blog some wag chimed in with, “That can’t be right. Who’s lending them a fiver?”

  5. Hiding Out

    “What would possess the woman to go to a baby shower, armed …”

    Well, to be fair, remember who was at this baby shower. She shot first, but it could have played out differently!

  6. Catfishbrody

    Winter is coming. Lol. Having recently moved from WI to southern MO to be closer to the kids and grandkids, I still get smirked at for my winter larder down here.
    The kids have forgotten the canning we used to do when their mother and I were married. Or the root cellar we filled. But I’m bringing those memories back.
    Good article.

  7. Jay L

    “That genetic attitude has carried forward for people of European descent and made us incredibly successful, at least until the last 40-50 years.”

    As someone that turned 55 this year, I’d say you’re spot on. My entire adult working life has been a series of layoffs, “outsourcing”, and doing more for less, while getting taken to the cleaners by taxation to “help the less fortunate”… The very idea of success and comfortable living has been nothing more than carrot dangling off a stick my entire life. Sure, there are exceptions but most of my cohorts, the guys I grew up with, have been in the same boat. The couple folks I know my age that were truly successful had MASSIVE help from family to get there. The rest of us just do the best we can with what we’ve got to work with, but it doesn’t lead to a successful future, just keeps us from living under a bridge in a cardboard box when/if we get to “retirement” age.
    Of course, if I could go back in time 40 years I would do things much differently which would put me personally in a better place, but then I’d just have more to lose as the whole thing crumbles around our heads….

    • Don W Curton

      I hear you! I’m 58 and spent most of my life trying to do the right thing. Work hard, invest in retirement accounts, drive older vehicles to save money, take vacations on the cheap (state parks and a canvas tent), etc. A few years ago it looked like I could retire early with a decent middle class lifestyle. Now with 3 years of Bidenomics all that’s been flushed down the shitter. They’ve made every dollar I’ve saved less valuable such that I may have to work another 10 years. Hell, had I saved more when I was younger I would have just lost more, not be a better place now.

      The European roots of saving for the future is what created the middle class. Now all of the govt is trying to destroy the middle class. They hate us and they want us dead.

      • SIze 23 Clown Shoes

        “Now all of the govt is trying to destroy the middle class. They hate us and they want us dead.”

        Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

    • Db

      As a newly minted 56-year-old I hear you Loud and clear. It seems that my whole life has been trying to play the game by my parents rules only to find out that their peer group, the boomers, decided to change the rules without telling gen x.

  8. Scot Irish

    Disturbing implications for the future of America and Europe. Almost as if it was planned.

    They aren’t finished. There’s more to hollow out. There’s more to destroy.

    A long march through the institutions turned into a gay parade down mainstreet.

    I wonder if there’s ever been a similar time period in history? Just kidding.

    • Anon

      There was some era, maybe, but they weren’t flooded with nonWhites to the point they were a minority in their homeland. We’re in far more difficult times since so little people even see that there is a problem. It’s still worth doing something, but it’s a shitshow whatever happens.

  9. Zorost

    Great points. Another major factor in societal success is trust level.* Which is yet another thing that Whites have in spades while, ironically, the spades do not. I remember reading some of the accounts of early White exploration of Africa, and one of the things they noticed was the almost complete lack of trust. As in, you couldn’t make commercial deals except as a wary hand-off. “Government” was basically the guy everyone was scared of because he and his men would randomly just kill people, which is why most African “capitals” were nick-named something like “the killing place” or “the place of death.” Apparently that was the only way to keep the idea that you were the bossman in everyone’s head.


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