Is Wharton Ruining American Business?

In the wake of Enron and ­other corporate ­scandals, America’s best-known business school, the place that produced Michael Milken and Frank Quattrone, is under siege. Our writer spent a year there figuring out what’s going on

Not that knowing better always helps, as Wharton MBA blogger explained in a recent post about a flight he’d just taken:

Everyone’s baggage [emerges] soaked with fuel … Being a former Navy pilot, this is a smell with which I am quite familiar. I told them they needed to call someone in charge of maintenance because there may be an internal fuel leak. They basically replied, ‘Whatever dude. Get out of here.’

Later the blogger talks to an airline pilot friend, who confirms that nothing short of a leak could have doused luggage.

All it would have taken is one static electricity spark and that plane would have gone down in a fiery blaze.

On a good note, he continues, I have been doing some trading in [the airline’s] volatile stock. I was able to buy at about 3.70 and flip it at 7 in less than a month. So I can’t get too mad at them right?

At least one reader, posting anonymously, found this a bit callous. I don’t mean to judge, but you’ve got your priorities upside down — don’cha think? someone wrote the blogger.

I couldn’t get too mad at the MBAs, though. They didn’t create the system. Had the blogger been back in the Navy, where putting out fires is serious business, he’d surely have pressed some more. But he was at Wharton now, where perception is reality, return on investment is all that counts, and the only fires worth putting out are the sparks inside ourselves.