The fact is that I have NEVER seen a bowler that could NOT get better. That being said, those that want handicap to make them equal or better without the benefit of hard work, should not be in competition no matter how small that competition is.
Its all a matter of how bad you want it. Those that want to improve do. Those that do not, want handicap to pick up the slack. So the two factions are forever apart.
Bowling centers want to fill houses. So they have leagues that "welcome everyone" no matter the skill level. That's really the problem. Not enough bowlers at each level to support the center in their own leagues. If you made everything scratch and just had divisions then you'd have less populated leagues at the top level. And then you'd have higher skilled spouses that wanted to bowl with their lower skilled spouse but couldn't, due to the tier levels.
So that leaves bowlers to join whatever league they can fit into. Some 200+ bowlers cannot compete in the highest scratch leagues. Some 130 avearge bowlers feel intimidated whenever they have to compete against a team with no one under 170. So the handicap system tries to level the playing field. A good example is our Wed league. We were in roll off for 1st and 2nd for the 1/2. We gave over 300 pins handicap per game on the most notoriously bad pair in the house. We lost all 4. So we dropped from 2nd to 5th, but we have over 10,000 more total pins then 1st place. That's handicap.