Collection: Charlie Munger - #238 | The Genetic Advantage Of Chinese



Part of the problem with the United States is that we are now competing with some people who have some considerable genetic advantages over us. They're called Chinese.

I don't know why the Chinese mired in a malthusian trap and under an idiotic system of government, got a genetic mix that was so good at capitalism when it was unleashed. That's a very interesting question but some kind of selective breeding happened over there.

I see my friends adopt these Chinese girls were utterly discarded from the remote hinterlands and –


One of my granddaughters.


Well, I am now seeing a sample, what's so great like I say – I'm not like this idiot professor at Stanford who, you know, six sigmas of luck – there's a reason why these girls are working out so well, in many cases, way better than the people had their own children.

And there is, we are starting to have a very major competition with a group of people who on average have some genetic advantage over us. I happen to like it. If the Chinese displaced the Mungers, some of them are here tonight, my attitude is bon voyage. (Laughter)


But it happens over and over in this country when my grandfather came at the end of the 19th century, 13 years old with a nine-year-old brother, by themselves illiterate impoverished.

I'm sure the people in the U.S. despaired that these Sicilians were coming into the country and it was going to be the downfall of the place. Of course, maybe it was. But they did survive and they did bring their parents and their younger siblings over.

And so each generation seems to have absolute despair at the people coming in, but they save us. I call this the vampire economy, that the U.S. lives on the fresh blood of immigrants, and each group gets replaced by another group.


But I think we could safely take in the whole lot of Sicilians and we get about the standard number of Tombrellos. But if we try that with a Chinese, we will get way above a standard course. (Laughter)


The Sicilians blood has run thin, we need to be replaced by something better. (Laughter)


No, I don't say it isn't a tough blood, I just say that I don't think we'd get more physicists out of Sicilians than we – (Laughter) – Which reminds me of one of my favourite true stories.

When Shockley was at his craziest way, he tried to a recruit all these Nobels' laureates to donate their sperms, so that the next generation could have the advantage of all this selective breeding.

And he came to, I think was Mueller, a famous Nobel laureate, and Mueller said to him, "Well," he says. He says, "You're barking up the wrong tree because what my sperm has given America is two guitar players." (Laughter) He says, "If you want to have Nobel laureates, you better look among the immigrant illiterate tailors." (Laughter)



[YAPSS Takeaway]

Nobel laureate + Nobel laureate ≠ Nobel laureate

That's not how it works.