Many people seem to believe that the infamous “one percent” exploits everyone else for their own benefit. I suppose this might be true in some cases, especially with the Wall Street Bankers who used sub-prime mortgages to enrich themselves by converting what they knew were “unsafe” financial instruments into investments that they peddled to everyone looking for what was believed to be a “safe investment” (the rating agencies also aided in the fraud). It is unfortunate that so many people who were supposedly trustworthy turned out not to be. Proof that criminals can be found at any income level.
However, what these people did was a “one time event”. Not so with those who use the power of government to exploit the rest of us for their own gain. I am referring here to the professions, who over a period of time have increasingly used the power of the State to gain for themselves a position of power over everyone else through exclusionary legislation that granted them legal monopoly powers over the rest of us enforced by the government.
The medical profession enjoys a legal government enforced monopoly over access to medical drugs. This gives them considerable power over their patients. The very term “patient” implies someone who has little say over what is done. A person who is done to. The person who waits for the doctor to “see” him or her. At least with lawyers you are the “client” which means you are more in control of things. With the educational profession you are the “student”, that is, the person who is “taught”. The one to whom “knowledge” is transferred. The terminology is quite interesting in what it appears to imply here. The status of the individual who is the object of the service provided by the member of the professions appears to be lower with the doctor/patient than it is with the other professions. The number of years of required education (including internship and residency) is longer with the medical doctor than it is with the other professions.*
*Today’s medical education. In earlier times the training was mostly in the form of an apprenticeship along with study carried out under instruction of a practicing medical doctor. Formal education of the sort we now use came in later during the 19th Century.
It should be noted here that more years of study does not always result in greater knowledge. We tend to eventually forget those parts of our education that we don’t use. This means that additional years of education are not as “effective” as might be thought. Most likely everyone reading this has had at least 12 years of education. How much of those 12 years of education do you now retain? Going by my own personal experience, far less than what you were taught. It seems that you will only retain what you actually use. Virtually everyone retains their grade school math because we use that level of math far more than anything higher. Algebra for example is mostly a procedure that is used to allow a series of math operations to find an answer. Geometry has to do with shapes such as triangles and other forms. There are different operations carried out in math, as changing your Windows calculator (Windows 7 and 8) from a basic calculator to a scientific calculator which allows you to more complex calculations. There are also books that show you how to do even more complex calculations for those curious. However the average person likely to be reading this probably doesn’t use anything more complex than grade school level math, which generally meets most people’s needs for things such as finding out if the big can of food is a better buy than a couple of smaller cans. Or figuring discounts, interest on a loan, income tax and so forth. In any case, you have probably forgotten more than what you learned in 12 years of schooling. The same would apply to more years of education too.
The professions will claim that the laws and regulations that they “encouraged” government to pass are for the benefit of the “people”. If you believe that, I have a “bridge” I’d like to unload… The truth is that all that these laws “do” is to create a regulatory restriction that forces the general public to now pay out more money to a professional for services than what the said professional could earn without these laws and regulations. There is a legal term for this: It is called “extortion” and is usually considered to be a criminal act. It doesn’t “protect” people, it only “protects” the high incomes of a privileged group to extort more money from everyone else who is not a member of the profession. For example, the legal profession maintains a monopoly over a number of things that could be done just as well by lesser trained people. Again, a case of extortion. Forcing people to pay higher prices because they are prohibited by law from seeking out lower cost providers. Before the legalization of home schooling, the educational professions had their own “lock” on educating children, and they still fight to keep their own status any way that they now can. It is also obvious in the case of the educational professionals that additional education is mainly useful to “justify” higher wages, as there is little if any indication that such additional education is actually more effective in teaching children. Since the home schoolers often get as good if not better results, we can safely say that there is virtually no evidence that additional educational education of teachers does any actual good so far as the children being taught actually now learning anything “useful”.
Nor do the professions appear to be paragons of virtue. Medical fraud has been estimated (John C. Goodman’s book “Priceless”) to amount to as much as $250 billion dollars a year. If we were to add in unnecessary lab tests, office visits (aided and abetted by the private health insurance industry), no doubt the figure would be far larger yet. Then there is the medical drug industry, which spends more money on marketing their now often defective products than they did in creating them. Along with threatening other countries that if they sell their “price negotiated” drugs back to Americans, that the drug companies will place an embargo upon exports of medical drugs to any country who dares do this! This of course is out and out “extortion”, of a source that no doubt also violates international law! Of course since the USA is becoming the world’s “bully”, I suppose nothing will be done…