Licensure - Restricting Entry

Restricting Entry

Licensure restricts entry into professional careers in medicine, nursing, law, business, pharmacy, psychology, social work, engineering, surveying, and architecture. Advocates claim that licensure protects the consumer through the application of professional, educational and/or ethical standards of practice. Milton Friedman opposed this practice, believing that licensure effectively raises professional salary by placing limits on the supply of specific occupations. "It is hard to regard altruistic concern for their customers as the primary motive behind their determined efforts to get legal power to decide who may be a plumber."

Restrictions to employment without licensure can also prevent people with criminal records or severe mental health issues from working in occupations that require public trust. Occupations of or affected by the gambling industry, may be restricted by licensure, such as a racing secretary in horseracing, or people in the boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, and Professional Wrestling industry. People whose occupations put them in physical contact with the public might also be restricted by licensure, including a barber, cosmetologist, or massage therapist. Occupations that bring a person into the home might also be screened through licensure, including a chauffeur, landscape architect, or arborist.

Restricting entry by licensing is arguably a convenient and effective method of maintaining the high standards, high status and elite privileges of a profession as well as acting to eliminate competition from unqualified amateurs who provide a cheaper but (allegedly) sub-standard service. It means that only the most highly qualified persons are allowed entry into the profession and to enjoy its privileges, high salary and high status in society. Organizations such as the American Medical Association were explicitly set up to restrict the number of practitioners. However, libertarians like Milton Friedman have argued that this process is counterproductive as it seriously restricts the number of active professionals working in society and thus unnecessarily inhibits the working of a free enterprise economy.

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Famous quotes containing the words restricting and/or entry:

    We enunciate a grand principle, then we are timid and begin restricting its application. We are a nation of infidels to principle.
    Mary F. Eastman, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 7, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)

    All mothers need instruction, nurturing, and an understanding mentor after the birth of a baby, but in this age of fast foods, fast tracks, and fast lanes, it doesn’t always happen. While we live in a society that provides recognition for just about every life event—from baptisms to bar mitzvahs, from wedding vows to funeral rites—the entry into parenting seems to be a solo flight, with nothing and no one to mark formally the new mom’s entry into motherhood.
    Sally Placksin (20th century)