Phi Beta Cons

Peter Drucker on the Dangers of College-for-All

Credential inflation is apparently not a new phenomenon:

The popular substitute for advancement from the ranks – a college education for all able young people – is not really acceptable. The abilities which make for scholastic success are not the abilities the enterprise needs. By asking the schoolmaster to pick management, the enterprise will deny itself the very men it needs most: the entrepreneur, the innovator, the risk-taker. The process is also self-defeating. All but the very poorest will go to college and will then expect a managerial position as of right, being too proud for subordinate jobs but unable to find any other. To make the degree the passport to promotion is certain to debauch education; it will become “quickie” training in the latest fad and in readily salable skills. But a free society requires an educational system dedicated to training of character and to the education of leaders.

– The New Society (1950)

Most Popular


Holy Week with Saint Paul

Just the other day, I ordered a replacement copy of The Passion of the Christ -- it can be so impactful for Holy Week meditation. In the years since its release, it’s become something of required Lenten viewing for me. But this year, there is a new movie to help with prayer, Paul, Apostle of Christ, released ... Read More
White House

Bill Clinton Redux

Stormy Daniels could have stepped right out of the 1990s. She would have been a natural in a Bill Clinton scandal, and, in fact, all the same means would have been used against her. Donald Trump’s tactics in these cases are almost indistinguishable from the Clintons’. The effort to shut down the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

California’s Pro-Nuclear Renegade

If California’s upcoming gubernatorial race gets decided solely by money, Michael Shellenberger doesn’t have a chance. The latest campaign filings show that Shellenberger, an environmentalist from Berkeley, has about $37,000 in cash on hand. The frontrunner in the June 5 California primary, Lieutenant ... Read More

Encouraging Signs in Iraq

Last year, relations between the Iraqi central government and the Kurds reached what was possibly an all-time low when the Kurds held an independence referendum in which 93 percent of voters opted to secede. The timing was no coincidence: Iraqi forces had retreated from Kurdish territory in 2014 as the Islamic ... Read More
Film & TV

Superannuated ‘Idol’

In the pilot episode of Fox’s American Idol, Simon Cowell defined the show’s thesis: “We are going to tell people who cannot sing and have no talent that they have no talent. And that never makes you popular.” The show’s producers and its three judges -- Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson -- kept ... Read More