Trust, and the wealth of nations...
But on to my point, here's a vivid illustration. While I was in
Baghdad, we had limited options on where we could take exams to
certifiy our geek-fu. There was one test center in the IZ, which was
admininstered by one of the technical contractor companies, mainly so
their own people could keep up to date. When Prometric lost the Cisco
exam contract, we had nowhere to take these exams.
Sure, there was a test center in downton Baghdad, but who wants to
take their infidel ass downtown and sit in one spot for 2 hours?
Funny thing though, the Iraqis wouldn't use that test center either.
It seems they were cynical enough about Iraqi corruption, to believe
that eventually the test center was bound, inveitably, to be
de-certified and then everyone who had tested via that place would
also lose their certification and thus the money they would have to
pay (not an inconsiderable amount, by Iraqi income standards, but
nothing to sneeze at for Americans either. Who wants to through away a
couple hundred bucks?)
So without these certifications, they had a harder time getting jobs,
and less incentive to study to the level needed for the certification
(which however cynical one may be about the certification process,
does at least provide a minimum standard.)
Trust really is a wealth builder. I hope, but have little confidence,
that we won't lose that much trust in our own society in the next few