Freeman

ARTICLE

Book Review: The Rule of Experts: Occupational Licensing in America by S. David Young

NOVEMBER 01, 1987 by TOMMY W. ROGERS

Cato Institute, 224 Second Street, S.E_, Washington, D,C, 20003 1987 • 99 pages $7.95 paperback

Occupational licensure is a political process whereby various trades and professions are enabled to erect barriers against competition through the enforcement power of the state. Some 640 occupations in the United States require registration, and some 490 are currently licensed. This procedure limits consumer choice, raises consumer costs, increases practitioner income, and restricts entry opportunity without a demonstrated improvement in quality or safety beyond that provided by private certification.

Licensing confers monopoly advantages which enable practitioners of hundreds of services to charge above-market prices. The wealthy can afford to pay but the poor are often forced to do without. It’s as if those who cannot afford a Cadillac are forbidden to buy a Honda.

But do we not need licensing to insure quality service and weed out quacks? No, says the author. Private certification which limits the use of certain titles—Realtor, for example,and other nonintrusive mechanisms would afford substantially the same protection, without violating any basic freedoms.

(Tommy W. Rogers is an attorney in Jackson, Mississippi.)

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

November 1987

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required
Sign me up for...

CURRENT ISSUE

July/August 2014

The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION