When you are offered help, usually a competent adult has a choice - to accept or decline help.
And, if somebody is offering you help for any reason, including the situations where the helper is the State (while you are the sovereign [as in "We the People" and the State is YOUR servant), your rights should not be DIMINISHED by this OFFER OF HELP, right?
It's logical, isn't it?
Now, let's see what happens with occupational licensing.
You have a right to choose a provider of services in a certain field.
The right of competent adults to enter freely into contracts is also constitutional right, U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 10, Clause 1.
Now, in the field of occupational regulation, the state offers you HELP in choosing a provider, and at the same time, makes acceptance of that help mandatory for you.
Once a certain profession becomes "regulated" by the state - and usually that happens through requests of industry insiders wanting to protect high prices and fight competition in their field, thus HURTING you as a consumer - the state hypocritically offers you "help" in choosing from a list of "state-approved" providers, while at the same time takes away your right to decline that help, say "no, thank you" and go on your merry way choosing whoever you want to choose to provide a service you want, the way you want it, for your money.
So - if anybody else offers you help, you can say "no, thank you" and do what you want, within the boundaries of the law.
If the state wants to offer you "protection" as a consumer, wants to help you choose a provider of services for you better, the state, by virtue of such an offer of help, feels entitled to cut off your choice to say "no".
I do not believe the state has such a right, and I do not believe, for that reason, the general scheme of occupational regulation in this country is legitimate.
The legal doctrine that the government uses to jam its help in choosing providers of services down your throat, without a right to say "no, thank you, I will choose myself" is called "parens partriae".
"Conceptually, the doctrine is derived from the king’s royal prerogative as “the general guardian of all infants, idiots and lunatics", Hawaii v. Standard Oil Co, 405 U.S. 251, 257 (1972)
Ok. So, the "parens partiae" doctrine was applicable only to cases where the state had to protect interests of people with dimished capacity.
Which brings me to the question of legitimacy of occupational regulation.
WHY would the state have to protect the interests of COMPETENT ADULT CONSUMERS?
Of course, there will be claims that governmental approval of educational and "character" level of providers makes it easier for consumers to choose an appropriate professional and amens it easier for the consumer to avoid charlatans.
Unfortunately, real life shows that it is not so.
Government approval does not guarantee quality, and there are a lot of good professionals blocked by the lack of government approval, or rather, approval by the private interest groups, industry insiders, who run licensing and disciplinary boards without any regard to or even participation from the consumers.
Since licensing of most licensed occupations is handled by anticompetitive cartels, supermajorities of private insiders of the regulated industry without meaningful - or any - participation by consumers, such private antitrust cartel activities may not by any stretch of imagination be called taking care of consumers.
Moreover, it should be offensive to the consumers who are competent adults, to be treated by the state as people of diminished capacity unable to choose for themselves providers of important services.
Consumers should have a right to choose provider of any service, as well as be the judge of that provider's qualification and training.
If it suits the consumer, who is a competent adult, the inquiry must stop there.
Protectionist policies (or, rather alleged protectionist policies for consumers - because in reality they protect only powerful industry insiders) should be applicable only to persons of diminished capacity, who has no guardian who can make a choice of provider of important services.
The State should stop pretending that it treats all adult citizens, voters and taxpayers, as incompetents, for purposes of restriction of THEIR choice of providers of various services, under the guise of help.
Occupational regulation as it exists today, hurts the economy and restricts consumer choices.
As with any other offers of help, when help in choosing a provider of services is offered by the government (public servant), the consumer should be able to have a right to say : "no, thank you, I will choose on my own, whoever I want".
And such an option must be worked into the occupational regulation schemes, otherwise such "help" is nothing more than blatant market protection for powerful industry insiders, in violation of federal antitrust laws.
Post a Comment