Wednesday, May 17, 2006

85 Credentialism

85 Credentialism

A recent survey says drivers are rude. Wow. Who would have believed that?

Miami led, followed (without displaying turn signals) New York, Boston and Los Angeles in no particular order.

Incompetent drivers come from the same poisoned well as incompetent everything else.

Anyone can get a license.

Jersey City Jack has one. Says he doesn’t use it because he can’t see out of one eye and he’d be a danger. A rare burst of sense. Sunset Village Schmule has one. Can barely see over the steering wheel. He’s 104 years old but he still drives. Three miles an hour in a 65 zone. He should get in touch with Jersey City Jack for some sense lessons. But he can’t hear well enough to use the phone.

Bad drivers can kill. But so can bad anything with the appropriate credential.

We revere degrees and licenses as the Europeans of the last century did. “Herr Doktor. Herr Doctor.”

But many have become so shallow or meaningless by definition that we revere emptiness.

Bad drivers kill. So do bad MBAs (though this may be a redundant phrase.) Here’s a degree with no meaning at all. Here’s a degree with no standards, no legitimate object. But when Billionaire Bob tells us he has a Harvard MBA (which is something like the Yen or the Lira,) all of a sudden he’s not only rich, but he’s SMART.

Then there’s the JD, which is what lawyers have. Legal education in this country is the equivalent to a second bachelor’s degree. But The “D” in JD stands for Doctor and the lawyers all will tell you it’s a “terminal” degree (highest issued in the field.) It ain’t.

And the PhD. There’s a slippery bunch. Make sure you address them as “Doctor” rather than Mister or Ms. or Ms. The worked hard for that piece of paper. Well, they THINK they did because the definition of hard work has been diluted even more than the value of the degree.

Some of them really DO work hard. And some of them work both hard and smart. But many of them work in bogus disciplines. Economics and Sociology, to name two.

An economist is an arithmetician who once took a political science course.

A sociologist is an arithmetician who once took a history course.

Neither of these arithmeticians has the oomph to get a job as a bookkeeper, let alone a staff position at H&R Block. So they do the next best thing: make pronouncements of the obvious. Or they invent obscure theories that we lived perfectly well without and sometimes win Nobel Prizes for their trouble.

Some of these guys go on to teach. That’s where the killing part comes in.

When a bad driver (or, for that matter,) even a GOOD driver knocks you off your feet, sends you hurtling skyward, then earthward you know you’ve been hurt – if you live through it.

When the JDs, MBAs, PhDs kill you, it’s a much slower process.

Slower, but no less painful and no less effective.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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