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Let Us Now Praise Hollow-Credentialed Buffoons and Kleptocrats Alike
(I was going to subtitle this piece “Worst. Ruling. Class. Ever.” But the truth is that the hollow vessels that now occupy the titled and newsworthy positions are little more than imposters and puppets for the real hidden rulers. So, that label gives too much credit and just doesn’t quite fit. Anyway, on with the show…)
No, as easy as it would be to write that post, my title above is not (directly) in reference to the top two slots of our current Executive Branch. It is not even in reference to two figures that stole many of the headlines late this week…the first being one Nina Jackowicz, a (seemingly) know-nothing poser who apparently does not suffer from one ounce of humble introspection, and Alejandro Mayorkas, a potted plant currently imitating a cabinet secretary.
Also, before I dive into the main topic for today, I will remind everyone just how aware I am about our historically incurious nature as a people about even the most ridiculous and incredible (i.e., not technically plausible and/or not remotely believable) stuff going on right under our noses. And, of course, we really aren’t all that curious about the resumes and backgrounds of those we elect or allow to be placed in important positions of governmental power. I really need to go no further than he-of-the-paper-thin-resume-and-history-of-light-working (not to mention overtly anti-American) President Obama. But I could also point to one Chao Hsiao-Ian – who, in 2000 and prior to two cushy cabinet positions under Republican presidents (voice vote in 2001 and 93-6 in 2017 under what I presume was laughably light and shallow questioning) – gave a “curious interview to a Chinese-language newspaper” where she was “critical of [the Cox Report] and concerns about Chinese meddling in American politics.” [For the record, that report was a bi-partisan work product of a House Select Committee…ordered by the people’s Representatives by a vote of 409-10 and, presumably, irrelevant discussion material to those Senate snobs during confirmation questioning. But I digress.] In that interview:
…she went on to dismiss the idea that China could pose any threat to the United States. “The U.S. is always happy to see an enemy, possibly because it serves a domestic policy purpose. And now that the Soviet Union doesn’t exist and Russia is no longer the evil empire, some people without any reason make China the United States’ enemy.” – Page 83
Well, she clearly knew who she was working for. And from there, this unquestionably qualified and deeply connected Chao Hsiao-Ian Elaine Chao and her husband, Senator Mitch McConnell, spent the next two-plus decades accumulating quite a massive nest egg from family and government connections to the Chinese government. [“In 2004, they had an average net worth of $3.1 million according to public disclosures. … Ten years later, they had a net worth of between $9.2 million and $36 million.” – Page 75. Given the acceleration of the beltway corruption racket over that period and since – see Reid, Pelosi, Kerry, etc. – assuming another order of magnitude in growth on that by now is still surely a bit conservative.] But, clearly, nothing to see here. Let’s keep moving along…
Moving back from the merely corrupt, my rant today was really intended to be geared more toward the hollow-credentialed buffoons. Playing that part in this week’s headlines is none other than Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury who previously managed to check off a lot of boxes on a climb to the top of the Federal Reserve. I suspect that as we progress quickly into the worst economy in 80 years, it will be hard for history not to write a big part for her as one of the – to borrow a phrase – “architects of ruin.” From Instapundit last Wednesday:
IF YELLEN IS THIS CLUELESS NOW: About inflation, that is, what about during her tenure as head of the Federal Reserve Board?
Seems to be a relevant and important question. Diving deeper, that pointed us to this:
See If You Can Follow Yellen’s Bouncing Inflation Ball
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said over the weekend that we’re going to have to “put up with inflation for a while longer,” which means that she has now held just about every possible — and almost always wrong — position on an issue about which she is supposedly an expert. Is it any wonder nobody trusts elites anymore? …
But she is no run-of-the-mill “elite”…she is “credentialed.” Behold:
Keep in mind who we are talking about here. Yellen has a sterling resume. A doctorate in economics from Yale. Professorships at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. On the faculty of the London School of Economics. President of the Western Economic Association and vice president of the American Economic Association. Head of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Bill Clinton. President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.
After gaining unanimous support from the Finance Committee, she was confirmed to her current position by an 85-15 vote among the best and the brightest this country has to offer…the U.S. Senate. Impressive…I hardly ever notice that many “yeas” for anyone who doesn’t hold the self-evident meta-credential that ensures confirmation for a cabinet-level nominee: being a current or former U.S. Senator.
Anyway, I admit that I have never heard this lady speak. I have never knowingly read anything she has written on policy or political matters. However, I do know that my view of so much that she has been a primary decision-maker in the last decade and a half has been done poorly and with more of a political angle to it than just doing the right and/or technically correct thing. That is the kind of stuff that flushes sterling resumes down the toilet…or maybe just exposes the hollow credentials for what they are. I, for one, am not really impressed with any of it. You shouldn’t be either:
Is her understanding of economics tainted by liberal ideology? Is she just doing the bidding of an incompetent and desperate Biden administration? … Does it matter? Yellen is a shining example of why so many in this country feel betrayed by the people who claim lordship over them.
Well, at least the first two questions seem to answer themselves.
Regardless, as We the People weather the coming economic challenges and all the pain to be associated with them, remember the face that deserves a prominent place on the cover of a future volume 2 of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World:
Only 996 looonnnnggg days left in the constitutionally mandated Biden-Harris administration. May America get every one of those to the fullest…and emerge on the other side certainly bruised and battered but also wiser.
Into the abyss…
___ ___ ___
EXTENDED SIDE NOTE
I suspect some of you already get this but that paragraph above detailing Yellen’s “sterling resume” is the epitome – or, to be more precise, the “gold standard” – of the heavily credentialed yet still worthless (HCYSW) phenomenon that now permeates American business and industry alike. (My apologies for the blatant mimicking of Mr. Taleb’s Intellectual Yet Idiot construct.)
Over more than 30 years in the cubicle farm environment, I have observed “credential collecting” from an interesting perspective. It started with the tidal wave of night school MBAs in the 1990s. (Actually, that is being generous. I watched more than one get those MBAs while sitting at their desk at work while the non-MBA employees worked legitimate 40 (or 50 or 60) hour work weeks. But I digress.] But that quickly evolved into any number of special certificates…black-belt this, leadership development that, and on and on and on. All valuable stuff for the elite of the elite to be sure, but the training is never stopped at just the 1%. It is the other 99% that pad their resumes with these hollow credentials that use their pseudo-sterling resumes to attain positions beyond their true abilities and ahead of those who gained more (but less marketable) experience by doing more of the assigned job. Unfortunately, the various dynamics associated with this have created catastrophically weak organizational structures that will have negative impacts on various industries for decades to come.
Anyway, that’s how I see it…your mileage may vary.Published in General
I’m thinking “Nina Jackwad” may be appropriate.
If these puppets last that long there will only be two solutions:
a) enough Citizens will vote for more government tyranny
b) another rigged election to give Us more government tyranny.
As Homer Simpson would say, “Worst ruling class so far.”
The wife says you are being rude to potted plants.
Voters in a republic need to know how well their elective government job applicants will do in order to vote well enough for the republic to survive.
Credentials give us that kind of facts.
But it’s only best-can-do facts.
If we have more direct knowledge, then credentials are either superfluous or misleading.
Such as, Biden’s 40+ years of being WRONG about EVERYTHING, means he never should have been even fraudulently elected President.
More that 50 years ago, the writer and pioneering management consultant Peter Drucker said:
One thing it (modern society) cannot afford in education is the “elite institution” which has a monopoly on social standing, on prestige, and on the command positions in society and economy. Oxford and Cambridge are important reasons for the English brain drain. A main reason for the technology gap is the Grande Ecole such as the Ecole Polytechnique or the Ecole Normale. These elite institutions may do a magnificent job of education, but only their graduates normally get into the command positions. Only their faculties “matter.” This restricts and impoverishes the whole society…The Harvard Law School might like to be a Grande Ecole and to claim for its graduates a preferential position. But American society has never been willing to accept this claim…
American society has today become a lot closer to accepting the idea of a Grande Ecole than it had when Drucker wrote the above.
More from Drucker on this subject:
It is almost impossible to explain to a European that the strength of American higher education lies in this absence of schools for leaders and schools for followers. It is almost impossible to explain to a European that the engineer with a degree from North Idaho A. and M. is an engineer and not a draftsman. Yet this is the flexibility Europe needs in order to overcome the brain drain and to close the technology gap.
Well, yes. That would be a case of the second one: misleading credentials.
My credentials as a policy consultant on the other hand are not misleading (they’d have to exist to be misleading) but rather are superfluous, or would be if I applied for the job.
And then came the worship of, and over reliance on, Harvard Business School and the Goldman Sachs boardroom to the great detriment of the country.
Great comment. Thank you.
Well done on #8.
DELETE–A duplicate post
Anyone willing help me pay for the tuition at North Idaho A&M? Sounds like the place for me.
Perhaps a little off-topic, but here’s something else Drucker wrote, this passage about Knowledge Workers:
Individually he (the knowledge worker) is an “employee”…but the knowledge worker sees himself as just another “professional,” no different from the lawyer, the teacher, the preacher, the doctor, the government servant of yesterday. He has the same education. He has more income. He has probably greater opportunities as well…This hidden conflict between the knowledge worker’s view of himself as a “professional” and the social reality in which he is the upgraded and well-paid successor to the skilled worker of yesterday underlies the disenchantment of so many highly educated young people with the jobs available to them.
But no matter how good a job we do in the management of the knowledge worker–and so far, we have barely begun to work in this area–his status, function, and position in modern society are certain to be a central problem, politically as well as socially. It is likely to be the social question of the developed countries for the twentieth and probably the twenty-first century.
Druckers points here are very relevant to the frustrations (often expressed politically) of so many college graduates in our present era.
Passages excerpted from my 2016 post TechnoProletarians?
Philo: Great Post. I particularly like the Cocaine Mitch/Elaine Chao bit. Those two have perhaps done more damage to this country than traitors like Billy Jeff, Hillary, Buraq and Senile Joe combined and that is really saying something,( not to diminish the horrific destruction those clowns have done to this country).
David Foster, Great Drucker quotes. We need them every now and them to keep our wits about us.
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Really excellent post and I’m really enjoying the Peter Drucker quotes. That guy was really smart.
I think this is the most brutal example of what I’ve been saying about higher education for a long time. The whole thing needs to be atomized. 80% of people developing their human capital after high school need to be doing it ale carte.
I’ve said this before. When I was in college I was absolutely blown away by the number of people way smarter than me that were really angry about having to take liberal arts classes and they thought you were really stupid if you didn’t agree with them. These people were getting technical degrees of course and they were going to make big bucks if they just took those classes and didn’t get a degree.
Ever since college costs went to the moon the ruling class (redacted) that set up this scam accreditation system cannot explain how liberal education develops your human capital. But they keep jacking up the price anyway. And the whole thing continues to get worse with the goofy curriculums.
I always cringe when they say some people shouldn’t go to college and they should go to trade school because what was the point of all of the liberal arts classes? When you don’t ask hard questions about this you are just destroying and retarding human and financial capital.
How bad off would you be if you just read a bunch of books picked out by reason magazine, the Mises Institute, Dennis Prager, Mark Levin and then just took whatever technical training you wanted? It would cost way less, and you would be way better off. So would society.
How much of higher education is about the inbred ruling class and the loser apparatchiks with idiotic degrees that suck up to them because that’s the way for them to make it because they aren’t knowledge workers or tradesmen. I’ve heard Victor Davis Hanson talk about this.
Keynesian-inflationist loop for ripping off society. No net output.
The Purpose Of Education Is Indoctrination, And To Steal From The Parents, Students, And Taxpayers™
It’s the nature of the top of anything and I suppose specialization. The risk is that folks come to believe they know more about everything and that their specialization gives them insights into everything and gradually we come to believe them because they hold power and act with authority. That’s one of the reason bottom up worked in the US and why we’re going to die and take the world with us if we don’t fix it. When the top was political we sorted it out. We had a President and a bunch of self interested Senators and Congressmen tied to voters who stumbled along and occasionally had to do something important but fortunately that wasn’t often and folks just ran their own lives, invented stuff, failed and succeeded and created a modern economy . But they were obviously inexpert so we had to have expert bureaucrats, free from political interference, independent, autonomous and that has destroyed bottom up and empowered folks who don’t know how little they can know. Actually they know, they just adjust to what they do know, which like all of us is their self interest.
Thank the GI Bill, Sputnik, and the NDSL for the avalanche of kids going to college and the ever-esculating cost structure.
About 2% would be better off.
I think this version works better:
Fine. What was / is the point of higher education anyway? Your comment makes it sound like the whole thing was a scam the whole time.
My estimate is about 1 in 50 young people would achieve an education via the route you suggest. Of course they would be quite impressive.
In my circle of influence I frequently pass on a bit of wisdom I picked up along the way: there is often a difference between going to school and getting an education.
OK I realize I wrote that where it makes it sound it’s all up to their own initiative. That’s not my intent. You would have instructors and a classroom. I don’t even think you have to make it that hard, but it would be really good. Most people don’t know this but Nick Gillespie, who I think is the head of reason Magazine, has a PhD in literature.
You’re damn right. Most people that go just think it’s a game / racket and they are trying to just do the least to get some level they need to get out and do what they need to do.
Honestly, I would have let myself have a much lower grade point knowing what I know now. Way more “Ds”.
If you want to be smart, just go to the easiest cheapest school and get the lowest grade point you can and then read whatever Mark Levin etc. recommends. That is going to work for the vast majority of people. There are some exceptions to that, but not many.