by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
A new poll from Rasmussen shows that many Americans believe robotic technology is not only here to stay, the use of robots will expand and make a big impact on the job market.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 64% of American Adults think it’s at least Somewhat Likely that most jobs in America will be done by robots or computers 25 years from now, including 21% who believe it’s Very Likely. Thirty percent (30%) don’t think that scenario is likely, with five percent (5%) who feel it’s Not at all Likely.
Some may find that prospect alarming, but I find it exciting. With technological change comes opportunity. Opportunity leads to more choices, more dreams, more possibilities. That’s exciting. The key is to be prepared for whatever changes may come. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has produced a fascinating look at projected job growth by industry. It’s a great guide to what’s ahead and how to counsel younger people and mid-career professionals about ensuring marketability.
More broadly, here in North Carolina, legislators can play a key role in workforce readiness by making it easier for North Carolinians earn a living in the field that matches their skills and aptitudes. How? By reforming North Carolina’s occupational licensing regime.
Everyone in North Carolina has a self-evident, inalienable right to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor.” It’s in North Carolina’s Constitution, Article I, Section 1.
Occupational licensing threatens this fundamental right. It is an entry barrier against people enjoying the fruits of their own labor in many kinds of jobs. They have to satisfy the state’s requirements before even starting work.
North Carolina’s default approach to occupational regulation should, therefore, be to protect occupational freedom. Licensing is an extreme policy option, which should be used only in extreme cases.
States grow best under policies that increase economic opportunities for everyone, promoting and encouraging competition, innovation, job growth, investment, and wealth expansion.
Occupational licensing does none of those things. Just the opposite. Decades of academic research reiterate that occupational licensing’s many barriers to entry limit the supply of competitors and drive up the price of service in the licensed fields of labor.
It may sound wonky, but this type of reform can impact lives in a very positive way. When we make it easier for everyone to be self-reliant and productive, we all win. And no, we won’t sacrifice public safety or quality of service by lifting some licensing requirements. We have other options that make it possible to do both. The first step is to have a reasoned review and discussion of our options. The John Locke Foundation is proud to lead the way.
Ready to join us?