Twinkie Diplomas

I have been thinking about relevance some this week out. It started with ‘The Twinkie is Dead. Long Live the Twinkie.”, the collapse of end of a corporation just because they had ceased to be viable in the marketplace. The tenor is that the profit taking was inadequate in today’s pseudo-Victorian era and out of spite the cow was slaughtered for Big Macs. There are mutterings that the obesity epidemic diminished demand for junk foodstuffs below the survival level but these claims ring as false as a washer. More substantial are other mutterings that the corporate masters were unable to reduce the workerate to peonage and they lopped off their noses as infantile reaction.

Added to this was an article [Link] from the PEW folk about how record numbers of college students are receiving degrees.

This is less than news but it is confirming and bounding, and as such has some value. It also points up what I have commented on previously that as more people obtain college degrees, having a college degree becomes less relevant. Already, only certain major disciplines: STEM; business; medical; legal; have any sustaining value. But what is telling is that none of these are Capellan subjects brought forward into modern disciplines.

The picture is a bit chilling. Admittedly these are not, classically at least, education. Indeed, education has been subsumed in modern synonymy for degree. Certification is relevant; perhaps; but learning may not be. Nor, it seems may be tradition nor public desire.

It is not that there was not demand for Twinkies. There still is, and part of this economic mimery will be the auction of the Twinkie content and intellectual property, revalidating that it does indeed have worth in terms of trading fat for fat. But it will be with a different corporation. The only hope is that its common sense nature will result in too many imitators to eradicate litigiously, rather like the appropriation of Xerox by society. That seems a dim hope.

What is indicated however, is that the desires of the so-called marketplace have become irrelevant, validating our pseudo-Victorian analog. It is no longer what the customer wants and will pay for and hence the manufacturer/retailer can make profit on, but how much profit the manufacturer/retailer demands and failing to obtain that level, collapses the product.

History tells us that this works, but all too briefly. Someone else, leaner and hungrier and more adaptable, will arise and seize the marketplace and eradicate the coupon clippers who thought their were Haven’s aristocracy.

One more step on Amerika’s path to third world statehood.

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