That was actually part of the background in the movie, "An Officer and a Gentleman". Richard Gere was going to OCS to become an Ensign, while his dad, Robert Loggia, was a Chief Petty Officer who hated officers.
Although in reality that "officer hate" is more act than reality, but it continues because the JO's pretty much NEED to be "smacked around" once they get into the normal military.
The respect their rank commands is earned, not freely given. Yes, those gold bars mean enlisted have to follow their orders, but that doesn't make them gods. That piece of paper doesn't mean shit compared to the practical experience of the senior NCO's who get to walk the tight-rope of being both a mentor, and a subordinate at the same time.
In the "modern military" that piece of paper(College Degree) means even less because having a 4 year degree is practically required in order to advance to E7 or beyond anymore.
Any more, the difference between Senior Enlisted and Junior Officers is about 10 years of military experience(and the degree the NCO holds is very likely to be work related, while the Officer's degree could be in literally anything), and one holds a Commission while the other doesn't. But that's a very "recent"(Bush(43) Administration) development, so the longer-term consequences of that have yet to truly play out.