Today’s Wall Street Journal has this editorial on occupational licensure. It’s a growing phenomenon and more prevalent in “blue states” than “red states,” but politicians of nearly all persuasions are prone to support these special interest measures. Occupational licensing has nothing to do with consumer protection, although by repeating that phrase often enough, politicians may fool themselves into believing it. Rather, it is about the stifling of competition for the benefit of existing practitioners.

These days writers who proclaim themselves “liberal” are crowing about how 2008 and beyond will bring back what they call liberalism. I have yet to hear any of the people in that crowd say that their agenda includes the repeal of occupational licensure even though doing so would a) increase liberty, and b) reduce prices for services (something that would greatly benefit the poor).