Intelligence and Health Studies Mislead America

Recently there have been two studies, one that evaluates America’s intelligence, and another that evaluates health to determine the smartest and healthiest states. These studies are done by United Health Foundation, which is funded by insurer United Health Group, and Morgan Quinto’s fifth annual Smartest State Award. In both cases Vermont was rated number one. I can see all those liberal progressives running to their computer right now to gloat that a state considered liberal and progressive is tops in the country. I would congratulate Vermont only I think the criteria used is misleading and to my opinion “fixed” to favor small population states of wealthy citizens.

First lets look at the smartest state outcome. Lets do some math. If I have a very small state of 4 people and 3 graduated college then I have a 75% college degree rate. If I have a big state of 500,000 people and 250,000 have graduated college then I have a 50% college degree rate. By simple statistical math the small state wins, except that the large state has 249,996 more college graduates than the small state. Yet the small state is considered smarter. Does that make any sense? The study claims to use 21 different categories for placing states. They include high school dropout rate, those with 4 year college degrees, those with 6 years masters degrees, and 8 year Phd degrees, number of college dropouts, how many are employed, how many are unemployed, the type of skilled workers, the type of unskilled workers, crime rate, etc. etc. etc.

First problem is that a college degree does not determine intelligence. A college degree usually identifies children of people with money, or children driven by their love of a certain subject. That has nothing to do with intelligence, instead it indicates wealth or desire. About the only thing a college degree says about a person  is that they can be trained. So a business can hire them because they are trainable.  If I graduate from college with a degree in Physical Therapy is that the same as if I graduated with a degree in Nuclear Engineering? If I graduated college and am now working as a retail cashier because there is no work, and my friend never went to college, started a business in the four years the I was in college, and it is very successful. Who is smarter? The one who spent $30,000.00 dollars to be a cashier, or the one who spent $5,000.00 dollars starting his own successful business. The business owner can support a wife and kids, while the college graduate cashier cannot support a wife and kids. Who is using more intelligence daily on the job? One who is punching numbers on a machine over and over again, or one that needs lots of various skills such as supervisor, hiring, firing, tax laws, account balancing, business insurance, make sure you make a profit, etc.etc.etc. Which one of these two is providing more benefit for their community? The one who only employs themselves, or the one who employs others that can also support a wife and kids. Which of these two individuals feels the most stupid? The cashier, they are working along side of others, who have never been to college, and they are doing the same job, making the same money. I don’t know about you, but I would feel pretty stupid.

A college degree does not determine how far you can go in America. It can help open some doors, but does not demonstrate intelligence. Let’s look at the largest and most successful technology companies in America. When Bill Gates started Microsoft he had not attended college. He still does not have a college degree, except Harvard will be giving him an honorary degree soon. No college attendance, work, or effort goes into an honorary degree. The next successful company is Apple. Steve Jobs had dropped out of college after one semester, and Steve Wozniak also started Apple without any college, he did not gain his degrees until years later when he was already no longer working at Apple. Can anyone estimate how many jobs Microsoft and Apple have created? Can anyone estimate the impact of those two companies on our economy and on our culture.?

Intelligence is a complicated entity that includes memory, induction, deduction, evaluating, analysis, and judgment. Can college help improve my abilities through repetition, sure. But in the final analysis it is based on the inherited genes I am born with, and the behaviors I learn growing up.

Now lets look at the healthiest state outcome. The criteria for the healthiest state is somewhat confusing. All it seems to track is the percentage of inhabitants that have affordable health insurance. Wow, a study performed by an insurance company that says to be healthy, you need to buy health insurance. Who would have thunk it?

Their logic goes like this: if there is low cost insurance, then more people will have insurance, then more people will see doctors, and then more people will become involved in preventive medicine with their doctors, and therefore they are healthier.

I had a grandmother who died a few years back. She was 93 and came from tough German stock. She lived to 93 without ever seeing a doctor in her whole life. Never saw a doctor and was healthy up until the end when her heart just gave out.

I shouldn’t do this but I will use my own health as an example. I have hepititus C, late stage 3 liver disease, and to top it off after I was on Interferon chemotherapy for 48 weeks, which fried my mind, body, and spirit, during which they concluded I was also Bipolar. I was so messed up on Interferon I don’t know how they were able to do a psychiatric evaluation, but they did. For the first 40 years of my life I had insurance I never used, didn’t need it, I was healthy. Now I am using my health insurance and am taking numerous prescriptions for all the health issues.

Some of the drugs gave me lots of problems. Hallucinations (both visual and audio), agitation, anger, exhaustion, depressed, anxious, lack of sleep, paranoia, and difficulty eating due to constant nausea. I’m OK now, I made adjustments to my daily routines and I am functional, but it takes lots of effort.

Have you ever watched one of those drug commercials on TV that name the drug and then name 50 serious side effects including suicide. Well I was using one of those drugs, and I went into such a depressive state that I attempted suicide. I did not even realize I was doing it. Thanks to my wife, whose great in a crisis, she got the ambulance for me quickly. It took over a year to get all the interferon out of system and start becoming the person I used to be before it all happened. Today I am pretty happy and healthy except for all the permanent medications I am on.

So my grandmother, who had no insurance, and this study would classify her as unhealthy. I am a mess of prescribe drugs that control my personality, and the study would consider me healthy because I have insurance.

So don’t believe any of these studies because they always have an agenda and their goal is to “prove” that agenda.

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Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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