I am calling credentialism the belief that the Government should be able to arbitrarily assign value.
The government does this for people through the licensing system. If you have a license to practice medicine, for example, then you can charge a lot for your work, but you also get the power to create your own credentials. These are called prescriptions. But as time goes on, there get to be fewer and fewer doctors who charge more and more for their services, and spend less and less time with each patient.
Government also assigns value to material objects. There are sporadic attempts at price controls. The flaws of the price control system are so obvious that these rules are usually soon abandoned. Exceptions are the 40 year old government program to support the price of marijuana, and Federal Reserve Bank price-fixing interest rates. These two programs are the current pillars of the eternal class war on the poor.
As time goes on, more and more energy is put into acquiring credentials, and the credentials themselves have less and less connection to real value. Schools and universities get larger and more expensive, but the degrees they grant are worth less and less in economic terms.
Credentialism is a Ponzi scheme or perhaps a bubble.
The most pernicious government credential is paper currency. It usually starts out being worth a fixed amount of gold or silver, but as time goes on it becomes worth less and less until its value finally goes to almost zero. Even totally inflated paper currency can be used for fuel, insulation, or toilet paper.
Don't be blinded by credentials. Look at the real value of the things you are trading. Be aware that government credentials can change value quite rapidly.
Invest in freedom. Freedom works. Coercion is counterproductive.