Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two Peas In A Pod

Once again the Koch-fed veal "journalist" is supporting the Koch candidate. No doubt there will be many more posts of this ilk. Scott Walker's lack of university degree is under discussion and Megan McArdle rushes to bolster his authority.

To do this, McArdle compares Walker to herself. She was a lazy student and now just look at how hard she works, and how successful and skilled she has become! No doubt Walker has improved every bit as much as Megan McArdle over the past decade or so!

However, Walker wants to be president, not Megan McArdle's coworker. We compare him to Obama  (Columbia, Harvard Law), Bush (Yale, Harvard),  Clinton (Georgetown, Oxford, Yale). even Jimmy Carter (US Naval Academy).

Like Ross Douthat, McArdle sees the purpose of an education as a stepping-stone to bigger things. If you are already moving up, who needs an education?

There's a lot of debate among economists over what education really does for us. I mean, we know what it does for us -- helps us get better jobs -- but economists are split over why this is the case. Some think it is mostly a signal that you're conformist, intelligent and responsible enough to sit through four years of classes without flunking. Others think it mostly functions by imparting valuable skills that make people better workers.
But in either case, that's irrelevant to Walker's candidacy. College genuinely may give you important skills -- but that doesn't mean it's the only way to acquire those skills. I mean, Abraham Lincoln did manage to struggle along somehow. 
Or college completion may be a signal of your character. But we have other, better signals about Scott Walker's abilities -- namely, his time as governor. 
The fact that we seem so fixated on events decades past is its own dire signal -- of the way that America's Mandarin class is starting to think about college education not merely as the basic credential required for many of the best-paying jobs, but also the basic credential required for being a worthy, capable person. This is not merely untrue, but also a giant middle finger raised to the majority of upstanding American citizens who also didn't graduate from college. 
Of course, if Scott Walker does become president, it would be nice if he spoke better French. But on the scale of things that will matter for his presidency, that probably ranks only slightly above his bowling score.
Yes, discussing Walker's decision to not finish college is like discussing Obama's bowling score-- utterly trivial and meaningless. It's insulting to every good red-blooded American who was never able to finish college to even bring it up. Look at Abraham Lincoln--Walker is just like him!

Like Megan McArdle, the proof of his excellence is in the quality of his work, and Walker's work in Wisconsin is every bit as good as Megan McArdle's.


mccamj said...

It would be great if there were a Dmocratic candidate w/o a degree so we could watch Megan attack that person.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Here's Jenocide!

"Nonsense questions politicians shouldn’t answer"

Needless to say, there are about 1,830 comments pointing out Rant's hypocrisy.

jp said...

Least surprising sentence of the day: "To do this, McArdle compares Walker to herself."

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Also, look at how crappy she re-did her kitchen? That still cracks me right the hell up. Especially when she used a non-food grade finish on her countertops....

Also, comparing herself to Turdwaffle is perfectly appropriate.

fish said...

There's a lot of debate among economists over what education really does for us.

I hate this attitude more than anything. The boiling down of education so that it's only purpose and value is getting you a better job or to perform better in your cubicle farm.

Screw that. Pretty sure Aristotle wasn't thinking that learning could land him floor manager at Best Buy.

Susan of Texas said...

And you know that they don't feel that way, they just want to monetize education further and take control of sources of authority. Their own educations were paramount in their lives.

Plus some scientists at some universities are getting very rich off of patents. You go where the money is.

Unknown said...

As I wrote the other day, I am not bothered by the fact that Scott Walker didn't finish University. Many people don't, for various reasons. I'm still surprised a great University like Marquette allowed him to matriculate in the first place.

cynic said...

I suppose that 'events decades past' do not matter for a Koch fed candidate.

Of course they matter for Hillary Clinton (or Bill Clinton: see Whitewater).

And I suppose they all believe in Milton Friedman and his economic theories totally because they don't think his PhD has any value. And Ayn Rand totally did not care about college which is why Hugh Akston was such a low level character.

How do these people live with themselves?

Roger said...

McArdle was a lazy student because her degrees were pre-purchased by her parents.

She's a lazy employee because Bloomberg doesn't give a shit about accuracy.

Susan of Texas said...

She sees college as a "class signifier," not as a source of education. Her degrees proved she belongs with the elite, not that she actually knows anything. And since she is elite, anything she says is knowledgeable and smart because our elite are part of a meritocracy, which is another of her theories.

I guess self-contradiction is a class thing too.