Extra Privileges for Sale: $10

When I was first licensed way back when in the "good old days", I didn't know many Hams that held the Amateur Extra ticket.

In the 1960s, and through the 1980s, to have an Amateur Extra Class license really was something special. I can recall holding in genuine awe those with the top ticket.

To become an Amateur Extra was an honor, and it required at least a small degree of desire, self education, and dedication

Now, in a misguided spirit of political correctness, anyone with half a brain, and $10 can have an Amateur Extra ticket issued to them.

In my humble opinion, it is a terrible shame to have eliminated the incentive licensing program.

The incentive for self improvement and education was additional spectrum in most of the Amateur bands.

Now, the extra spectrum once reserved for those that worked hard and achieved a higher level of knowledge and skill is being handed out to anyone capable of coughing up 10 bucks to sit for a "test". A "test" for which every question and answer is freely available. The result is that the Extra portions of the HF bands are populated with many licensees that have no knowledge, skill, courtesy, experience or a real love for the hobby.

About the only value I associate with my Amateur Extra ticket is the knowledge that I qualified back in the good old days when the privileges could only be earned and not bought.

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