Is Licensing Compatible with our Right to Pursue Happiness?
Matthew Santonastaso – New Hampshire legislator
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Libertarian scholars have successfully repealed licensing for low-level occupations like hairdressers, but they hardly can convince anyone to privatize quality measures for doctors, lawyers, or other “high-risk” ventures. Why?
Licensing has certainly failed to protect the public from shyster lawyers or incompetent doctors. Conversely, patients have lost access to some of the best doctors whose maverick successes violate the narrow “standards of care” allowed by licensing boards. Just look at all the frontline doctors facing the loss of licensing for following the Hippocratic Oath with respect to Covid early treatment. Can there be a better method to protect the public without restricting innovative members of a trade?
One Oklahoma Senator, Nathan Dahm, has introduced a bill exempting from licensing any worker following the criteria of a duly registered certifying organization. The only job of the government under “Competitive Certification” would be the same activity Attorneys General operate for any venture: investigation of fraud. Entrepreneurs, then, could train customers to seek their certification “brand.” If their organization failed to properly represent the trade, a new, competing certifying organization could be started.
Instead of tolerating licensing’s lowest-common-denominator dynamic, Senator Dahm’s bill would create a never-ceasing race to the top. Representative Santanostaso shares Mr. Dahm’s commitment to licensing reform and has his own comprehensive goals for the Free State of New Hampshire. One of his bills would allow engagement in any licensed trade – without a license – as long as said entrepreneur discloses his lack of license (or certification).
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