Micronutrient Supplementation And IQ
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September 06, 2012, 10:47 PM
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I`ve been writing since 2004 about how the most cost-effective way to help poor countries is through micronutrient supplementation: the U.S. used to have, for example, problems with cretinism in inland states caused by a lack of iodine in the diet. (Saltwater fish tend to be a good source of iodine, but not freshwater fish). So, back before WWII, manufacturers started to add iodine to salt, and this IQ-sapping problem went away. Adding iron to flour also helped raise IQs. This is one of the (many) reasons that the military found the mental sharpness of draftees in WWII much more satisfactory than in WWI.

The NYT has an article about an alternative approach to supplementation: instead of trying to get local manufacturers to add micronutrients to staples, have parents sprinkle the nutrients on their kids` food. 

Whatever the delivery method, this appears to be the most cost effective way to raise national average IQ, and higher national average IQs correlate closely with a host of good things such as higher school test scores and higher per capita GDP. Unfortunately, the entire concept of "national average IQ" has been more or less verboten outside a small corner of social sciences, so the best argument for micronutrient supplementation almost never gets aired. So, this extremely promising method remains stuck in the unfashionable corner of global philanthropy, with Kiwanis International being the prime donor.

The good news is that in the last few years the Gates Foundation has begun to get involved in this field. But, after getting in late, a decade after their splashy debuts in other fields, they`ve kept if pretty quiet. My guess is that Gates` personal worldview is roughly the same as Mike Judge`s Idiocracy and Monty Python`s The Protestant View. We know he`s obsessed with IQ and that his father was big on population control. (As I pointed out in Taki`s Magazine, eugenics was the ideology of Silicon Valley`s founders, William Shockley and Fred Terman.) How long do you think it would take you to explain the logic of micronutrient supplementation to raise national average IQ to Gates before he interrupted you and said, "Okay, yeah, I get it." 90 seconds?

But because it`s pretty obvious that Gates comes out of the old WASP ideology of quality over quantity in reproduction, if anybody stopped and thought about it, he has to operate through these complicated double bankshot projects to burnish his reputation for being a true believer in political correctness, such as wasting (in his own admission) $2 billion on the lefty "small schools" fad of the last decade.