Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Michelle Obama Calls On States to Reduce Regulatory Burdens for Occupational Licensing

Well, that headline is actually a little bit exaggerated, the First Lady is really only asking states to selectively educe the regulatory burden of occupational licensing for military spouses in this Baltimore Sun editorial.  Mrs. Obama raises some excellent points about how the process of transferring or renewing professional licenses in many states is burdensome and time-consuming. Because millions of Americans, not just military spouses, face those government-imposed occupational barriers to earning an honest living, I've done some editing below to expand Mrs. Obama's initiative to cover all Americans:

"For so many military spouses and other Americans, each move to a new state also means a return to a familiar government-induced headache: renewing a professional license.  More than 100,000 military spouses and millions of others throughout America serve in a profession that requires a government license or certification to work; that's more than one-third of military spouses in the labor force, about the same share of the general population that need a license from the government to earn a living.  So for teachers, nurses, real estate agents, eyebrow threaders, hair braiders, makeup artists offering classes, limo drivers, teeth whitening services, animal masseuses, flower arrangers, horse dentists, home decorators, accountants, physical therapists and many, many dozens of other kinds of professionals, a move can mean gathering old transcripts, paying new fees, filling out a pile of government paperwork, and sometimes even taking entry-level classes — no matter how many years of experience they have (we all know how inflexible some government bureaucrats can be).

It's a burdensome regulatory process that can take months, and should be reformed. And during that time, these military spouses and other Americans who move frequently can't practice their profession without permission from the government, even though there are jobs open in their new communities and companies desperate to hire them. That means their skills go unused while their families try to get by without the income they need due to over-regulation of professions in America. It means they are unable to advance in the careers they trained for — often for years, thanks to government licensing.  And sometimes, the regulatory hassle is simply too much, and these spouses Americans choose to quit the careers they love and choose new ones that are more friendly to a military or civilian lifestyle that involves frequent  moves. So it's no wonder that military spouses bring this issue up to me more than any other, although millions of civilian Americans face the same unnecessary regulatory challenges.

Luckily, this is an eminently solvable problem. Each state has the power to act on behalf of our nation's military families and other Americans who need a government license to earn a living. We simply need the will to do it. That's why, in February, Jill Biden and I issued a nationwide call through our Joining Forces initiative, asking all 50 states to pass legislation by 2014 to help make it easier for all Americans, including military spouses to obtain new professional licenses when they move. Since then, the number of states that have enacted measures to solve this problem of oppressive, onerous regulation has grown from 11 to 23.

Governors and legislators in these states have worked together across the aisle, because supporting American who unfortunately need a government license to work, including our military families, is something we can all agree on. They're coming up with solutions that work for their states. They're helping military spouses and other Americans who move get to work while they complete any remaining state-specific requirements. And they're doing it all without lowering their professional standards one bit — they're simply finding ways to account for the realities of military life and the lives of Americans who frequently move and need a government license to work.

So we've come a long way towards reducing the time-consuming occupational licensing transfer process. But we're not finished yet streamlining the licensing transfer process nationwide. There are still 27 states that have not yet enacted measures to address this issue of the unnecessary time it takes local and state governments to process licensing paperwork.  So I want to ask for your help.  Talk to leaders in your community about the need to reform occupational licensing.  Make your voice heard.  Do your part to make this issue a priority to help the millions of Americans who need a government license to earn an honest living and support their families."

10 Comments:

At 7/03/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger Krishnan said...

She does not mean it. Someone should ask her as to why only military families - are the others not human also?

It is the silly (election) season - so we will see politicians of all stripes playing to the stupidity of voters.

It is indeed tragic that we have become accustomed to Government taking our liberties away - and we have to beg the Government to get it back.

The last, great, free nation on earth (US of A) - or I should say the almost free nation that used to know the meaning of liberty and personal responsibility - instead of becoming nation of dependents

 
At 7/03/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Scott Drum said...

Leave it to a politician to pander to military families while imposing government's restrictive trade practices on everyone else.

 
At 7/03/2012 4:00 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Leave it to a politician to pander to military families while imposing government's restrictive trade practices on everyone else"...

Well scott d the wookie's husband isn't exactly pandering to the military...

From the Washington Free Beacon dated June 29, 2012 10:22 am: he Obama administration on Friday threatened to veto a defense appropriations bill in part because it does not include higher health care fees for members of the military...

 
At 7/03/2012 8:14 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Trying to get the military vote. Yawn.

"The Wookie", Juandos? LOL. I have to admit her style team rehabilitated her very well, considering what they had to work with. But, she still looks like Shrek in drag. Albeit very well done drag.

 
At 7/03/2012 8:17 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Let's delicense lawyers, and move to simplify all law, contracts etc.

 
At 7/03/2012 9:45 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

So we've come a long way towards reducing the time-consuming occupational licensing transfer process.

There is no objective evidence to support this statement.

 
At 7/04/2012 8:58 AM, Blogger Ed R said...

And it is a senseless bureaucratic regulatory burden for commercial airline pilots to have to go to the trouble to be found qualified, certified and licensed by the FAA.

Everybody knows the good pilots will sort themselves out from the bad pilots by their own skills if only they were allowed to do so. We certainly do not need a government agency to make decisions like that that.

Because of this intrusive meddling by the U. S. Government airline passengers are being deprived of their rights exercise their own well-informed judgment about the flying skills of the pilots on the competing airlines.

The free market should determine which passengers will arrive at their destinations safely. Those passengers who make less than optimum choices of the flying qualifications of their pilots can then experience Schumpeter's 'creative destruction' for themselves. They will be that much better off for it.

No useless and burdensome education, training, certification and licensing should be required for brain surgeons either.

Go Miltie !!

 
At 7/04/2012 9:09 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

And it is a senseless bureaucratic regulatory burden for commercial airline pilots to have to go to the trouble to be found qualified, certified and licensed by the FAA.

It certainly is. I see no reason why pilots are unable to get their licenses from an independent standards body and why the industry has to be dominated by a government monopoly. The FAA is to flying what the Post Office is to mail delivery. And inefficient and ineffective dinosaur.

Everybody knows the good pilots will sort themselves out from the bad pilots by their own skills if only they were allowed to do so. We certainly do not need a government agency to make decisions like that that.

While I appreciate the sarcasm as much as many the poor logic that is its foundation reduces its effectiveness. You seem to be under the impression that without the FAA airlines will be willing to sacrifice their very expensive equipment and be willing to risk bankruptcy. Or that without the FAA the flying public would not be able to determine which airline would be most deserving of its purchasing decisions.

Because of this intrusive meddling by the U. S. Government airline passengers are being deprived of their rights exercise their own well-informed judgment about the flying skills of the pilots on the competing airlines.

Do not forget the right to board an aircraft without risking exposure to radiation from untested equipment or from having their children felt up by pedophiles.

The free market should determine which passengers will arrive at their destinations safely. Those passengers who make less than optimum choices of the flying qualifications of their pilots can then experience Schumpeter's 'creative destruction' for themselves. They will be that much better off for it.

No useless and burdensome education, training, certification and licensing should be required for brain surgeons either.


Absolutely right. Let surgeons sell their skills by showing that they are certified by an independent body and by showing patients how they are ranked by independent rating agencies.

 
At 7/04/2012 7:42 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Yeah, that'll happen. She doesn't give a rodent's patootie, the only reason for this is to try and score points with one of the more anti-Obama groups out there.

In actuality it won't happen since it could easily result in license-shopping -- get your license in the state with the least ridiculous hoops to jump through.

 
At 7/04/2012 8:30 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

In actuality it won't happen since it could easily result in license-shopping -- get your license in the state with the least ridiculous hoops to jump through.

What is wrong with that? Licensing of jobs is not the function of the government to begin with.

 

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