But the college degree — especially a degree from an elite school — has become an entry-level ticket into the educated mandarinate. In his important book, The New Class Conflict, Joel Kotkin calls it the “clerisy” — that now dominates government, journalism and academia. And as a result, an America that once prided itself on real-world achievement and practical good sense now runs largely on credentials…

Likewise, you have to go back to 1988 to find a U.S. president who wasn’t a graduate of an Ivy League school — George W. Bush and Barack Obama upped the ante by having attended two each, Yale and Harvard for Bush, Columbia and Harvard for Obama. In Congress,94% of the House, and 100% of the Senate, have college degrees of some sort. President Obama’s Cabinet is all college-educated, with just under half having an Ivy League undergraduate degree; almost 35% have an Ivy League graduate degree.

All this credentialism means that we should have the best, most efficiently and intelligently run government ever, right? Well, just look around. Anyone who has ever attended a faculty meeting should recognize that more education doesn’t produce better decision makers, and our educated mandarinate doesn’t seem to have done much for the country.