by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The latest print edition of National Review features the following interesting blurb about occupational licensing:
Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Jacob Lew’s Treasury Department, and Thomas Perez’s labor Department have issued a report bemoaning that occupational licensing has grown out of control, that one in four Americans today needs a license to practice his occupation, that this pernicious regulation is a drag on growth and employment, and that it undercuts economic opportunity. Next they’ll be quoting Milton Friedman — no, goodness gracious, the report cites Friedman in its argument. It characterizes the licensing impulse as a competition-restricting mechanism organized by “concentrated benefits (for the licensed practitioners) and diffuse costs (for consumers and would-be practitioners),” It feels as if the White House is punking us, but conservatives should pounce on this report and get to work reforming occupational-licensing laws in every state, waving the presidential imprimatur in the faces of any holdouts in Sacramento or Albany.