Friday 31 May 2002

From the West Wing of the Blog House

Writing about Scotland's enterprise deficit, Tom Sunter of the Institute of Directors says:
Directors of companies need to set the standards for others to follow by adopting a professional approach to obtaining recognised business qualifications.
This line of thought immediately rang a bell in the Blog House. Consulting the administration's copy of Human Action by Ludwig von Mises, I found this quote:
It is not generally realised that education can never be more than indoctrination with theories and ideas already developed. Education, whatever benefits it may confer, is transmission of traditional doctrines and valuations; it is by necessity conservative. It produces imitation and routine, not improvement and progress. Innovators and creative geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what the school has taught them.

In order to succeed in business a man does not need a degree from a school of business administration. These schools train the subalterns for routine jobs. They certainly do not train entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur cannot be trained. A man becomes an entrepreneur in seizing an opportunity and filling the gap. No special education is required for such a display of keen judgment, foresight, and energy. The most successful businessmen were often uneducated when measured by the scholastic standards of the teaching profession. But they were equal to their social function of adjusting production to the most urgent demand. Because of these merits the consumers chose them for business leadership.

But as Mr. Sunter says, it is Scotland's new business start-up rate which is the problem. That will not be solved by producing more MBAs. What is needed is a huge cultural change and a slashing of red tape. Let's start by abolishing that pointless waste of taxpayers' money, the so-called Scottish Enterprise..