Wednesday, April 28, 2010

America's Mistake: Letting A Students Run Things

"America has made the mistake of letting the A student run things. It was A students who briefly took over the business world during the period of derivatives, credit swaps, and collateralized debt obligations. We’re still reeling from the effects. This is why good businessmen have always adhered to the maxim: “A students work for B students.” Or, as a businessman friend of mine put it, “B students work for C students-A students teach.”

It was a bunch of A students at the Defense Department who planned the syllabus for the Iraq war, and to hell with what happened to the Iraqi Class of ’03 after they’d graduated from Shock and Awe. The U.S. tax code was written by A students. Every April 15 we have to pay somebody who got an A in accounting to keep ourselves from being sent to jail.

Smart people have their uses, but our country doesn’t belong to them. As the not-too-smart Woody Guthrie said, “This land was made for you and me.” The smart set stayed in fashionable Europe, where everything was nice and neat and people were clever about looking after their own interests and didn’t need to come to America. The Mayflower was full of C students. Their idea was that, given freedom, responsibility, rule of law and some elbow room, the average, the middling, and the mediocre could create the richest, most powerful country ever."

~P.J. O'Rourke

12 Comments:

At 4/28/2010 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good comedy.

 
At 4/28/2010 8:26 AM, Blogger Eric said...

twisted logic

 
At 4/28/2010 9:39 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Is dementia setting in for P.J. O'Rourke?

 
At 4/28/2010 9:41 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Couldn't agree more with the post.

 
At 4/28/2010 11:04 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

That's intellectual class war. and horse poop.

America's mistake is letting ANYBODY run things. Especially somebody who calls himself an expert. Most things don't need to be "run." The USA is such a dynamic & complicated system that nobody could possibly hope to "run" it.

Some order is required, what's laid out in our constitution for example, but the top-down system just doesn't work.

By the way, Woodie Guthrie was a confiscatory socialist.

"As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me."

 
At 4/28/2010 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. It's odd that most of the As I interact with keep complaining about how utterly stupid the C's in charge of the B's who came up with things like the US tax code (instead of the smart, low overhead cost solutions A's advocate), the various political strategies current in the US etc.

The author apparently never encountered true A's.

 
At 4/28/2010 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one believe there is a whole lot of truth to his statements. I understand the sense of comedy, but also understand the regidity of the intellectual mind set.

 
At 4/28/2010 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twisted logic always makes good comedy.

That's why politicians are a staple on the night shows.

Anyway, its an exercise in stereotyping. Where does it leave the student who gets four A's and an F every semester?

 
At 4/28/2010 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

regidity of the intellectual mind set.

You mean like Archie Bunker?

 
At 4/28/2010 11:16 PM, Blogger Tom McMahon said...

"And worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. This is especially true if we're careful to pick the biggest possible problems to worry about. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes" -P.J. O'Rourke

 
At 4/29/2010 10:21 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

if you are so smart
then why aren't you happy?

 
At 4/30/2010 11:48 AM, Blogger Daniel D. said...

Who said it was the A students who planned the Iraq war?

The Constitutional fathers were clearly A students, well-versed in law, morals, and practicality.

More dangerous than A students are B students who think they're as smart as the A students.

 

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