Opinion

Letter: Licensing requirements

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  • The Educator South Jordan, UT
    April 21, 2017 5:25 p.m.

    You folks are hilarious! Don and Mike, first you whine about lost jobs and vote for Donald. Then you propose "free market" solutions? Which is it? You can't have both. You can't vote for someone who vowes to protect American workers then complain about policies which protect American workers and consumers.

    First, you need to decide what you want economically, a protected work force or a free market. Get educated first.

    Then come back and discuss.

    Get Educated

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 19, 2017 1:15 p.m.

    I agree with Don Bixby. Is the license to protect the public from imminent danger or is it to protect other license holders from competition? Buying a typewriter or a computer does not mean that anyone is qualified to write, but should we have to have a license before being allowed to sell what we write? Buying a camera does not make us a photographer, but should we have to have a license before we can take photos and then sell those photos if a buyer is available?

    What should be the licensing procedure to practice law, or medicine? Should anyone who can pass a test showing at least minimal knowledge be allowed to compete? How about a contractor? Does a license guarantee competency? How about allowing anyone to act as a contractor but requiring a bond/insurance that would pay for a "licensed" contractor in the event that the job was faulty?

    Not everything is life-threatening. Why not reserve licensing to activities where an unqualified supplier could cause permanent damage?

  • Don Bixby Centerville, UT
    April 19, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    The question to ask when it comes to licensing is whether the licensing process actually improves quality/safety or if it is pure protectionism. The fringe licensing requirement that was removed a couple years ago for hair braiders did nothing to improve quality/safety; it simply protected full service hair stylists by reducing competition for that particular service. Taxis are normally protected by a government-granted monopoly, but then Uber has challenged licensing requirements. Seeing the rating of your driver through the Uber app is more useful than a government-issued license might. Would-be lawyers used to be able to study and pass the bar to get a law license on their own but now are generally required to graduate from law school before being able to take the bar exam. Why? Are self-study lawyers worse than those who go to law school? Or is it a way for lawyers to increase barriers to entry of their profession? Follow the money. If the biggest lobbyist for licensing in a profession is people already in the profession, it's probably protectionism. If the biggest lobbyist for licensing in a profession is the customer, it's more likely a valid concern.