Whaddaya mean certified? Danger of trusting experts

Confident of his assumptions, Irving Fisher predicted smooth sailing prior to the market meltdown. (Photo Wikipedia)

Confident of his assumptions, Irving Fisher in 1929 predicted smooth sailing and a “permanently high plateau” prior to the market meltdown. (Photo Wikipedia)

In the summer of 1968 and again in summer 1969 I worked as an inhalation therapist at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans.

What, you may ask, did I know about inhalation therapy? Precisely nothing when I started, but I learned on the job.

By Franklin Sanders / The Moneychanger

No license needed, on the job training sufficient. That was then, this is now, and today everybody and his dog has to be certified, verified, trained, educated, and licensed. But ponder this proposition: certification does not guarantee ability, skill, or even knowledge, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee outcome.


I’ll never forget giving a speech several years ago to a group in a nearby town. The talk was on clean/organic food, focusing on our need to know the person raising our food because labels like “organic” have been so watered down. When finished I asked for questions. An older gentleman stood up and said,

We need tighter control and better certification standards for organic. Last week I was driving down the highway and saw a fella on the side of the road selling ‘organic tomatoes’ so I stopped. His tomatoes were beautiful but I wanted to make sure they were what he claimed. So I asked him if they were organic. He said, “Yep.” “Do you spray anything on them?”

“Nope, they just get Sevin Dust to keep off the bugs.” I was shocked! Here he was claiming to be organic and he’s putting Sevin dust on his crop! We need people to keep this kind of thing from happening. I can tell you one thing, though. I didn’t buy any of those tomatoes!

Not always one to think quickly on my feet, I didn’t have a response for this fellow. But something about his statement stuck with me and came back over and over in my thoughts. Finally, months later it hit me. The tomato shopper had missed the whole point! He himself was the organic certification service in the flesh – when he spoke to the grower and rejected his product he had much more effect on the actual market than a certifier or government checker ever could. Wait — if individuals can “certify” a product much more effectively than a bureaucrat ever could, why do we hold government certification in such high regard?


Today hardly anybody in America receives anything as valid unless it comes from a certified, educated expert. In Alabama and Tennessee, the state is even running around setting up “certified farmers’ markets.” One wonders, what are they certifying? That the sellers are farmers? That it’s really a market? That some vegetables are green? In truth, they aren’t certifying anything, it’s just a bid for power and control. The goal of all licensing and certification is control, or smothering the competition.


Here’s the rub: certification is no better than what the bearer knows. In truth, it’s no guarantee he knows much at all, but it does create a gargantuan sense of false security in the public – and a deep well of gullibility.

More: even if the certified does know something, certification doesn’t equal skill in applying that knowledge. As a professional academic, Fed Charwoman – whoops, make that Chairwoman — Janet Yellen undoubtedly has collected a lot of knowledge, but she has zero skill in applying it. Truth is, all the propaganda aimed at convincing the public that the Federal Reserve really is “in charge” and really can “control” economic output is merely so much stinking hogwash. No single person or committee, however tightly their heads might be chocked with knowledge, has enough wisdom or skill to override the economic decisions of 325 million people.

No one could possibly determine what is the optimum interest rate for the economy. Yet because they are certified “experts,” the public believes the Fed can solve all its economic problems, perpetuating the problems.

Knowledge without skill to apply it is simply worthless, and no stack of diplomas, licenses, and certificates can change that. Even with education, nothing teaches skill like hands on experience. No certification recommends a person like an endorsement from someone who has watched him work and succeed.


Finally, another drawback of relying on certified “experts” is that they are herd animals, so they all go wrong at the same time. Think about the economic experts in 1929.

On 21 October 1929, nine days before the crash, economist Irving Fisher predicted that stocks price had “reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” In other words, “it’s different this time,” although anyone who has ever milked that cow knows it is never different. Few experts disagreed with Fisher at the time. For months he continued to insist that a recovery was just around the corner. Fisher and all the experts were all wrong.

The list of subjects where the experts were later proven wrong is very long indeed.

In 1938 doctors began administering electroshock therapy to mental patients. It became all the rage, until it finally became undeniable that it didn’t work as claimed.

From the 1930s till today, “experts” continue to recommend wholesale vaccination, ignoring the dangers and failures.

Experts continue to decry cholesterol and recommend statin drugs, even though the body naturally and needfully manufactures cholesterol and statin drugs have deadly side effects. All that is public knowledge, but experts still prescribe statins.

In the 1950s margarine and shortening manufacturers and their experts started the War on Fats against on natural, healthy fats like lard, butter, and beef fat. Whoops. Seems your brain needs those natural, healthy fats, and it’s the artificial fats that kill you.

Thousands of people undergo heart bypass surgery today, even though since at least 2003 a Mayo Clinic study showed that bypass surgery does not prevent heart attacks and patients with only mild symptoms do not live a day longer thanks to bypass surgery. (See http://heartattacknew.com/faq/ should-i-risk-having-bypass-surgery/)

Thousands of scientists today, not to mention silly Al Gore, are playing the Pied Piper’s bagpipes for global warming. No facts support their claims. But even when experts’ claims are exploded, that may not be enough to stop their practices.


In the early 1990s a famous theologian in England was interviewed not long before he passed away. His work had touched the lives of countless people and the interviewer wanted to get to the heart of this man’s work. He started with the question, “What are you most thankful for?”

Without hesitation the scholar replied, “That I was not born in America.”

Slightly stunned the interviewer queried, “Why?”

“I am a self-educated man,” he said, “I have no formal degrees, no certificates of study. If I had been born in America I would have never been taken seriously without a plethora of diplomas. But because I was born in England I have been able to teach myself, attain respect as a scholar, and produce meaningful work that has helped others.”


Right now, however, the herd instinct is again taking all the investment advisor lemmings and economists on a run for the cliffs by the sea. They are blind – have blinded themselves – to history’s most gigantic debt bubble hanging over America and the globe, and they believe once again that “stocks prices have “reached a permanently high plateau.”

Once again, they will all be proved wrong.

In all fairness, not all experts are idiots. Some really are experts, and we ought with all humility to seek them out and follow their advice, whether plumber, electrician, investment advisor, or physician. But its remains a good and sensible practice to set aside the certificates and education and licenses and ask, “Have they proven they know what they’re talking about in practice?” After all, in the end we only want results, not rumors & posturing.

Used by permission of The Moneychanger, a privately circulated newspaper published monthly. ISSN 0899-1391. Its goal is to help Christians prosper with their principles intact in an age of monetary and moral chaos. Common law copyright 2015. Price: 12 issues, 14 silver dollars (371.25 grains fine silver, Std. of 1792), or $22 in US 90% silver coin, or other gold or silver equivalent; F$149 if you have nothing but paper “money.” Single copies, $3 in silver, F$10 in paper. Franklin Sanders, P.O. Box 178, Westpoint, TN 38486, phone (931) 766-6066


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