The Oregonian has published my op-ed on PLF client David Hansen, who was fined $30,000 for making marketing drawings without an architect’s license. As I write in the op-ed:
David’s story is just one example in a trend of licensing bodies interpreting their authority broadly to prevent people from competing with licensees. Both ends of the political spectrum are increasingly recognizing that occupational licensing has simply run amok. Advocates justify licensing laws in terms of public health and safety. But time and time again, studies have shown that in reality, these laws are often nothing more than entrenched business interests erecting barriers to competition. The result is to burden people who need economic opportunity, stifle innovation, and drive up prices for consumers. Worse, occupational licensing laws have a disproportionate effect on minorities and politically powerless groups, who do not have the clout to protect themselves from abusive legislation.
In some cases, licensing has become outright absurd. In California, for example, more training hours are required to become a cosmetologist (1,600 hours) than to become an EMT (160 hours).
In Louisiana, you need to sit for an exam to get a license to be a florist. Of course, licensing boards have broad authority to impose requirements related to protecting public health or safety. But regulatory bodies often overreach their statutory authority for anti-competitive reasons that have no relationship to public welfare
Hop on over to the Oregonian here to read the rest of the story.