MFA anyone

I’m an avid reader of online fiction, poetry, etc. and I’ve noticed the bios of zillions of writers contain references to MFA In Creative Writing. It seems like every Tom Dick and Harry college has one. Any thoughts on this? Last I checked being a writer was not exactly a career choice that promises financial well-being (kinda like a few years ago trying to become a web coder by taking community college classes could really pay off.) Thoughts?
I’ll expand a bit: Could it be just lots of people have free time and money on their hands (assuming these things aren’t cheap), and just want to write and feel the need to take classes? OR is there some kind of movement in play that’s trying to sell MFAs as some kind of path towards…what? contracts?
I’m skeptical because a) everybody and their brother seems to be getting them, b) I personally can’t detect a difference in quality between authors who have an MFA and authors who don’t, and c) writing is one of those things that you truly don’t need a big degree to do well…of course you have to practice, hard, learn about the craft from reading a lot, from forums, etc. but a degree in writing doesn’t seem to be needed (Dickens, Twain, Pearl Buck, etc. didn’t to my knowledge have degrees in writing).

I dont think its correct to say that all anyone needs to do is study other authors and go to internet forums in order to become a good writer. While there are certainly some who have a natural gift and others who can gain the necessary skills through informal training a lot depends on the writers innate ability and skills and on the type of writing they want to do. There is a lot to be said for learning under the direct tutelage of a skilled writer and getting constructive feedback as you improve and acquire the skills that make one a good writer.
Your comparison of writers who have training vs those who don’t is not very scientific obviously as its not blinded and is highly subjective and you don;t know where each person started from. If the writer with training started off as very poor writers and those without training started off with greater abilities then the fact that they are equal ( and this is only your opinion) would be evidence that training does indeed help.