Friday, August 22, 2008

The Flower Cartel in Louisiana, Vet Cartel in MD

1. In Louisiana it is illegal to sell and arrange flowers without permission from the government. Aspiring florists must pass a subjective licensing exam that is graded by existing florists, who have a direct incentive to keep new competitors from entering the market. Thus the failure rate is higher than that of the Louisiana bar, which results in hundreds of well-qualified would-be entrepreneurs being denied the ability to work in their chosen profession.

No one can honestly believe that Louisiana’s flower cartel is necessary to protect consumers from renegade flower sellers. Rather, it is a classic case of protecting favored groups at the expense of consumers and entry-level entrepreneurs.

2. Mercedes Clemens was threatened with thousands of dollars in fines and criminal prosecution unless she stopped . . . massaging horses. In Maryland two powerful groups decided to monopolize the growing field of animal massage by requiring all practitioners to spend four years in veterinary school -- where massage is not even taught.

Suggesting that only people with veterinary degrees are capable of massaging animals is like suggesting that only people with medical degrees are capable of massaging humans. Preventing Clemens -- who is a licensed human-massage therapist and certified in equine massage -- from working in her chosen trade has absolutely nothing to do with consumer or animal safety and everything to do with the financial interests of the veterinary cartel.

Read more here.

Milton Friedman, in his book Capitalism and Freedom (Occupational Licensure chapter), wrote "Licensure therefore frequently establishes essentially the medieval guild kind of regulation in which the state assigns power to the members of the profession. In practice, the considerations taken into account in determining who shall get a license often involve matters that, so far as a layman can see, have no relation whatsoever to professional competence."


At 8/22/2008 6:36 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Another thing used to justify licensure is often the "get rid of the crooks" hook.

In reality, the effect is almost always the opposite. By requiring lots of expensive courses, and lots of excess time taking them, the net effect is that only the crooked remain.

In Florida, when they applied licensure to auctioneering, the effect was to drive the honest auctioneers out of the business.

Now, except for a few doddering grandfathers (grandfathered in, of course - LOL) there's nothing left but crooks, shysters, and charlatans.


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