The Credentialed Class
The Credentialed Class

Some good points about the new elite that also applies to Australia:

WHAT’S WRONG WITH “THE NEW ELITE?” Forget cultural insularity or smugness. The main problem with the “new elite” is that they’re not an elite at all. That is, they aren’t particularly smart, or competent. They are credentialed, but those credentials aren’t so much markers for smartness or competence, or even basic education, as they are admission tickets to the Gentry Class, based on good standardized test scores. That’s fine — ETS was berry, berry good to me — but it doesn’t have much to do with ability to succeed, or lead, in the real world. Worse yet, it seems to have fostered a sense of entitlement.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Very long-time reader and first time emailer. Just my two cents on the elitists.

I am an elite anti-elitist Tea Partier and I made my first protest signs way back in March 2009. I’m a Yale [BA, Philosophy], Columbia [MA, International Affairs] former Wall Street trader and risk manager who is just about done getting another masters [in Library and Information Science] during a two-year “John Galt” sabbatical from work. I’ve met many, many Tea Partiers at this point and they are not anti-elitist in a general, superficial sense. Indeed, they most often admire those who have succeeded by dint of a good education or hard work or taking advantage of a bit of good luck. The subset of elitists that we are fed up with are the ones in the government, the media, and academia who think (erroneously) that they know better what we should be doing with our time every day and have the right to pick our pockets to fund it. Not only are we tired of being condescended to (and take my word for it, I could wipe the floor with most of them intellectually) but they’re obviously screwing everything up. So, to borrow Lee Harris’ word from his new book, we’re the “ornery” bastards who, from time to time, rise up to put the elite (and effete) corps of impudent snobs back in their place.

Please leave my name off this if you excerpt any of it. Living in the bluest of blue, I really don’t want a busload of SEIU protesters on my front lawn.

Meh. Last time they tried that, they couldn’t even fill the bus. But okay.

And reader Carl Stritter writes: “Our betters; Bitterly clinging to their sheepskins and NPR tote bags and waiting for that Government job so that they don’t have to, you know, perform.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Jim Bennett emails:

I’ve been thinking about this, and I am starting to think that the problems with a meritocratic elite are essentially the same as those of a centrally planned economy. Every meritocratic system is ultimately dependent upon some set of metrics to judge merit. But just as no centrally planned economy can create metrics that adequately describe the needed outputs of industry, no one meritocratic system can create metrics that adequately describe all of the characteristics needed to be, collectively, the decsion-makers of a society. Inevitably, the young people start performing to the metrics rather than the desired characteristics themselves. The university system has now created a truly bizarre set of success metrics (e.g., pleasing a professor of critical theory) and it is little wonder that many kids graduate after an expensive education and have almost no capabilities that fit them for work in the real world. To the extent that we make a graduate degree a necessary qualification for any real work we are getting the intellectual equivalent of the slop that Soviet factories churned out toward the end.

Any single meritocratic system that uses a single set of metrics will suffer from this version of the fatal conceit. America has historically been run not by any sort of meritocratic system but rather by a reasonably open system with multiple paths to the top, with many competing sets of metrics along the various paths. Making a lot of money has always been one of those metrics, and frankly, it’s not such a bad one. I’d hate to be in a society in which is was the only one. Still, even that is better than the current system, of which the ultimate product is Barack Obama.

The old American system wasn’t perfect. There were categories of people who had no good path to the top, or even the upper strata, and that was a waste of good talent. But we would be much better off if we could go back to something like an improved version of the old system before the current system becomes entirely entrenched.

A subject worthy of further study.

MORE: Dodd Harris references this Robert Heinlein quote:

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.


via Instapundit.

  1. 292435 608377This internet site is genuinely a walk-through for all with the data you wanted about it and didnt know who to question. Glimpse here, and you will surely discover it. 785694

  2. 349404 844303I recognize there is a superb deal of spam on this internet site. Do you need to have aid cleaning them up? I could support in between courses! 281319

  3. 92810 207236Normally I dont learn post on blogs, even so I wish to say that this write-up quite pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite wonderful post. 960227

  4. 132798 145192Appreciate it for helping out, superb data. 834056

  5. 503245 554461I like the valuable details you supply inside your articles. Ill bookmark your weblog and check once more here often. Im quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff proper here! Excellent luck for the next! 60720

  6. 760820 221331Naturally I like your web-site, however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very silly to inform you. On the other hand I will certainly come again again! 872605

  7. 246438 372771Could it be okay to write several of this on my small internet web site only incorporate a 1 way link towards the web site? 704095

  8. 266383 974345I discovered your weblog internet site on google and appearance some of your early posts. Maintain up the exceptional operate. I basically extra the RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking for forward to reading far more on your part later on! 227005

  9. 727071 853439Most appropriate the human race messages function to show your and present exclusive chance with unique couple. Beginer appear system in advance of raucous folks will most likely always be aware most with the golden value off presentation, which can be a persons truck. finest man jokes 327740

  10. 380632 145037Nice website. On your blogs extremely interest and i will tell a buddies. 422364

  11. 118450 917159I admire your piece of function, regards for all of the intriguing posts . 559260

  12. 559052 409873This sort of considering develop change in an individuals llife, building our Chicago Pounds reduction going on a diet model are a wide actions toward producing the fact goal in mind. shed weight 326137

  13. 557348 976070Hi there, i just thought i would publish and now let you know your internet sites style is genuinely smudged within the K-Melon browser. Anyhow sustain inside the quite very good function. 733392

  14. 763453 2994Right after study several with the content material inside your web site now, we genuinely such as your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet web site list and will also be checking back soon. Pls have a look at my web-site likewise and make me aware what you believe. 392413

  15. 144919 551522Quite good post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that Ive truly enjoyed surfing about your weblog posts. Soon after all I is going to be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write once again quite soon! 339661

  16. 875085 142942I see something genuinely particular in this site . 988158

  17. 30354 112404Up to now, you call for to term of hire an absolute truck or van and will also be removal equipments to valuable items plus have a look at the new destination. From the long run, which finish up with are couple of points except anxiety moreover stress and anxiety. removals stockport 310437

  18. 901252 849633Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it continues to be months for me. Nicely this post that ive been waited for so lengthy. I want this article to total my assignment in the university, and it has same topic together with your post. Thanks, terrific share. 353281

  19. 5320 820480I discovered your internet site internet site online and check a lot of of your early posts. Maintain on the top notch operate. I just now additional your Feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking for forward to reading considerably far more from you obtaining out later on! 411061

  20. 819819 562661I believe this website contains some very wonderful information for everyone : D. 797555