“IGNORANT” Bumper Sticker!

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“If you think education’s


expensive, try ignorance!”


     Besides that this bumper sticker passed me today in the rain going at least 60 in a 40, I found it hard to stop laughing at the stupidity of the message from the standpoint of business. Education (at least as we know it in the U.S.) is hardly the opposite of ignorance. In fact, education (as we know it in the U.S.) is often the CAUSE of ignorance in business!

     Okay, let’s first take a look at whether education is expensive. Yes indeed, it is. Is it worth the expense? No indeed, it’s not. And why is that the case? Because — except for rocket scientists, neuro and cardiovascular surgeons, astronauts, statistical analysts, and tax attorneys (none of whom have the slightest clue about business), it doesn’t much matter.

     Formal education in America is a complete failure. Primary and secondary education systems fail to prepare students for the real world and college prep programs fail to prepare students for college.

     Advanced education systems fail to prepare students for the real world and career prep programs fail to prepare students for careers. Those who would own and run businesses are better off getting real first-hand experience than suffering through meaningless formal education coursework that’s out of touch with reality!

     Having had over 20,000 students (in business, career psychology, human development, and elementary education) I can attest that maybe (maybe!) one in 100 students actually gets the point of it all, and recognizes that formal education coursework is all about learning the PROCESS.

     You would be surprised (or perhaps not) to find out how few students recognize that what they need to be learning is HOW TO THINK, not what idiotic events took place that led to market segmentation media planning or what magic formulas exist for setting retail mark-ups or what impact socio-economic factors have on target market strategy development.

     We are all businesspeople reading this, right? So perhaps it’s preaching to the choir, but when we look carefully at the business people and business success stories that have made a difference on earth — from Henry Ford to Bill Gates — what’s seems striking is that formal education never played an important role.

     Our neurotic societal values dictate that MBAs and PhDs are such enviable and important degrees for business success, that they must be encouraged at all costs. Baloney! They are meaningless tools for entrepreneurs. They cost huge amounts of time, money, and energy, and get in the way of the real learning that takes place on the job.

     A more realistic bumper sticker might read:  


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