Saturday, February 6, 2016

Do You Have a License To Do That?

For John, BLUFFuneral Homes?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Clean from Arkansas, and contrary to the problems discussed in my previous post, here is a piece in praise of Senator Al Franken (D / Minn).  Blog Poster is Mr Caleb Taylor and the blog is ATP, The Arkansas Project.  Liberal Senator Al Franken is Questioning Occupational Licensing: Why Aren’t More Arkansas Legislators?

It’s not everyday that I catch myself agreeing with liberal U.S. Senator Al Franken, but I must confess that I caught myself agreeing with him today during his subcommittee questioning of Robert Johnson of the Institute for Justice (IJ).
This is about the use of licenses to keep people out of occupations.  Just as, in the Middle Ages, guilds restricted who could enter a trade, so today groups of people appeal to their State legislature or City Council to restrict who may and may not enter an occupation.

This process of licensure is good to a point.  For instance, one would like to know that one's physician or lawyer had passed some minimal level of vetting before being allowed to practice.  However, it is, in some locations, running rampant.  And the Uber vs traditional taxi cabs has been an example of that.  An individual taxi medallion is worth a lot of money.  Uber came along and took value away from taxi medallions and work away from taxi drivers.

Here in Lowell we use licenses, as sanctioned by the Commonwealth, to control the number of establishments selling alcohol, engaging in trading precious metals and also scrap metal, and operating pawn shops and used car lots.

Enter the Institute for Justice, a non-profit libertarian public interest law firm that thinks there are too many licenses required in too many places.  So, they wrote a report on it.

And Senator Franken sees the point.  Licenses are ways to keep the poor and minorities out of small businesses.  Good on Senator Franken.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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