February 29, 2016

AND IT’S (MOSTLY) A DEMOCRATIC VICE: Occupational Licensing As Opportunity Hoarding:

One defining characteristic of decaying blue model institutions is that they serve insiders well, while making it harder for striving outsiders trying to climb the ladder. Think of our heavily regulated and subsidized higher education system, which delivers fantastic rewards to top administrators, while creating an exploding class of low-paid, disposable adjuncts. Another example, as Richard Reeves and Edward Rodriguez point out in a Brookings Institution post, is overly restrictive occupational licensing, which can favor skilled professionals at the expense of less-credentialed workers with the same skills. . . .

Middle and working class Americans in 2016 are expressing unambiguously that they feel that America’s current political and economic system is rigged in favor of elites, and that they aren’t going to take it much longer. Though Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders are answering this sentiment with their own varieties of statism, it is actually the decrepitude of the blue model—the expansion of government power at the behest and to the benefit of various interest groups—that is to blame for much unfairness. Occupational licensing might not get voters as impassioned as invectives against illegal immigration do, but it really does represent a way that elites have used their political connections to stick it to the less-connected, and reasonable reforms increase opportunities for those seeking upward mobility.

It won’t be easy to reform licensing. Just as traditional universities will resist any challenges to their dominant market position, and just as teachers’ unions will resist reforms that would hold them accountable to student performance, professional guilds will fight to keep their racket in place.

And “racket” is exactly what it is.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.