Power and the Credentialed Class

Originally posted by me elsewhere on 02/02/2011

The very triteness of the phrase tends to obscure its truth:

It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.

This is the only reason people aspire to attend those universities that are charmingly referred to as “elite”. You occasionally hear of some middle class kid who racks up huge debt while preparing for a career as a primary school teacher at Yale. What can I say? A person who would seek out an elite university to pursue such a profession is either rolling in dough or a rube, possibly one who has been badly advised by secondary school counselors who are also rubes. If you intend on pursuing a career where your advancement does not depend on mingling with the wealthy and powerful, there’s no point in sinking to your eyeballs in debt. The elite universities will serve you best if your professional success is strongly dependent on how well-connected you are, as it often is for individuals who go into law, politics, investment banking, and business consulting.
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