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Who should license professionals?

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dpfonten1976 Posted: Mon, Jul 20 2009 10:59 AM

The government limits the number of people who can be doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc. by requiring licensure (college, testing, fees due, etc.).  This creates an artificial scarcity (i.e., not market determined) and higher wages for those professionals.  Let anyone be a doctor and I'm afraid many people would lose their lives before we figure out who is a good doctor and who isn't.  Of course, the government bases their licensure requirements upon professional organizations' recommendations.  Why couldn't these organizations issue licenses?  Have multiple organizations competing free market-style?  That organization's lawyers give better legal advice than the others, so use them.  That organization's lawyers have too many clients who end up on death-row, avoid them.  Too bad those first-death row clients did not have that insight since the organization was not in existence long enough to make an educated choice from among the many different organizations.

Or is it better to continue letting the government (Board of Law Examiners, Board of Nursing, etc.) determine the standards to be met in order to issue a license to practice legally.

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Natalie replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 11:07 AM

dpfonten1976:
Of course, the government bases their licensure requirements upon professional organizations' recommendations.  Why couldn't these organizations issue licenses? 

Professionals use government to restrict competition, nothing new here. I think even medieval guilds did something like this, and doctors used witch hunts to get rid of the competition in the form of the wise women.

Of course certification should be private and voluntary (see the IT industry as an example).

If I hear not allowed much oftener; said Sam, I'm going to get angry.

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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Why the immediate notion that we would lose many lives before we find out who's a good doctor or not? People aren't stupid, they'll know for themselves if a doctor has a good reputation or he doesn't. Any mandatory gov't licensing doesn't make sure that he's a good doctor- it creates a problem where now consumers already expect all doctors they find to be good since the gov't said they are ok- and they don't do their own research.

 

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Esuric replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 11:12 AM

You go to the doctor who has the best reputation/education, what's the problem?

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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DD5 replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 11:56 AM

You've already answered your question implied in your initial assertion.  So what is the problem?

The free market would respond to demand for regulations for quality and safety, as it does for every other aspect of the product.  The extent of regulations would tend to be efficient since it would satisfy consumer demand.  There is no objective standard of safety/quality for anything!  It's all trade-offs.  So who is to make such trade-offs?  You the consumer? or some government bureaucrats?  This is no different then asking who should spend your money for you:  You or the government?

There is today a better safety and quality rating/regulatory system for the "girl escort" business provided by the market (online 3rd party services), then what we have for certainly doctors, lawyers, and air traffic!

 

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Rooster replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 12:00 PM

DD5:

There is today a better safety and quality rating/regulatory system for the "girl escort" business provided by the market (online 3rd party services), then what we have for certainly doctors, lawyers, and air traffic!

Link?

 

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Natalie replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 12:04 PM

Rooster:

DD5:

There is today a better safety and quality rating/regulatory system for the "girl escort" business provided by the market (online 3rd party services), then what we have for certainly doctors, lawyers, and air traffic!

Link?

LOL

If I hear not allowed much oftener; said Sam, I'm going to get angry.

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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Nitroadict replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 12:15 PM

Communities would probably "train" & liscence professionals, with voluntary associations & institutions forming out communities partnering with other communities, which would eventually allow  for a network of people to arrive at what constitutes credentials, liscences, etc. 

We already do such a thing with networking, where even if you have credentials for a job, you may not actually get the job.  Knowing someone who knows someone (i.e. the social factor) can make all the difference.  A stateless society would allow for both far more meritocratic & far more socially motivated hiring processes, if the hyper-competitive nature of the free-markets (vs. restrained or state-society markets)  doesn't already change the hiring process & employment overall.

Free-market fills out the rest, etc.  A good indication of the way licensing would work is the Internet, where despite being de-centralized & having no overall  arching authority (i.e. a single state; the Internet is far more panarchial / anarchial), manages to allow trillions of e-commerce to flow through the internet tubes annually, & people get stuff done regardless.

Additionally, employers would also have another primary role in determining what is legitimate credentials and/or liscences as well.  If you are looking for a job, & the job requires knowledge and/or skillsets in certain things, and having that might require another one of from a variety of liscences (i.e. if I seek employment for a programming job, and I have some sort stateless society equivalent of bachelor's degree from one of my community colleges, this might be checked upon to see if I have equivalent experience, or if the degree checks out at the place I got it from, etc.). 

Employers that are more local or in the community I live at would also probably favor employees from the same community, or at least make them a priority if they are allowed the luxury (i.e. if a job doesn't need to be filled immediatly, otherwise the most qualified candidate from other communities or even other parts of the world could easily apply).

Though I am peering into the crystal ball a little, please note this merely a sample of what could occur regarding liscencing in a stateless society.  I'm sure there are other ways of addressing the issue at hand.

 

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

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Stranger replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 12:25 PM

The end of compulsory licensing doesn't mean that professional unions would cease to exist, it does mean that they couldn't stop anyone from competing with them, or stop their members from starting an alternative union.

All of this would mean that existing unions would have to become more competitive and much less restrictive.

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DD5 replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 12:56 PM

Rooster:

DD5:

There is today a better safety and quality rating/regulatory system for the "girl escort" business provided by the market (online 3rd party services), then what we have for certainly doctors, lawyers, and air traffic!

Link?

 

check out this speical report from CNBC

Go to about 21 minutes in, it talks about the erotic review.  A rating system, which more and more escort girls find that the market demends they be part off.

It just shows you how efficient the market can be.  Something that is taken away from us in so many other businesses.

 

 

 

 

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Spideynw replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 1:09 PM

dpfonten1976:
Let anyone be a doctor and I'm afraid many people would lose their lives before we figure out who is a good doctor and who isn't.

So, you think I am too stupid to pick a doctor, but you think a government monopoly does a better job.  And why is this?

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Wanderer replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 9:26 PM

Let licensing agencies develop.  They will only license qualified individuals/companies, for a fee, and people will learn to trust that licensing agency.  If the agency licenses bad individuals/companies, people will not trust the companies licensed by them.  Thus, nobody will want to be licensed by them. 

A good, real-world example of this is Underwriters Laboratories.

Periodically the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

Thomas Jefferson

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you, me, and everyone else.

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Zavoi replied on Mon, Jul 20 2009 10:22 PM

dpfonten1976:
Let anyone be a doctor and I'm afraid many people would lose their lives before we figure out who is a good doctor and who isn't.

It's possible to figure out that somebody is a bad doctor without them having to kill a patient first. If it weren't, then how would a government licensing agency do a better job than a private one?

dpfonten1976:
Too bad those first-death row clients did not have that insight since the organization was not in existence long enough to make an educated choice from among the many different organizations.

Again, what does this problem have to do with private versus government licensure? Under either system, someone's going to have to figure out who is qualified and who is not, and for this they will probably look at past performance. The government doesn't have some magical ability to predict the future of lawyers, doctors, etc.

If we suppose that the government regulators are doing a good job at identifying bad doctors and lawyers, what's to say that those same people can't just start a private licensing firm of their own?

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Can't believe there isn't a Hoppean answer posted yet.

Obviously, insurance firms could license or at the least, grade and approve doctors.  They don't want you to go to someone who could cause them to payout a claim or to stop their revenue stream of paid premiums.

I also agree with Nitro about reputation (somewhat related to insurance ratings), and Stranger on unions although we should probably call them guilds.

Right now, libertarians seem focused on figuring out how to establish PDAs, but I think libertarian and free market oriented guilds are something we can get into immediately (as a business model) without necessarily running afoul of the state, but still competing directly against the statist model.

 

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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For a description of the ill effects of medical licensure, an a possible free market alternative see M. Friedman Capitalism and Freedom, (Chapter 9).

Austrians do it a priori

Irish Liberty Forum 

 

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True, most people are smart and can make their own decisions about things.

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dpfonten1976:
True, most people are smart and can make their own decisions about things.

It doesn't take a lot of smarts to be smarter than politicians and bureaucrats.  Our so-called leaders aren't exactly geniuses.  Many of them couldn't hold down a real job.  I mean really, would you hire Obama to paint your house or George Bush to pump your gas?  Dick Cheney to do your taxes, or Hillary to babysit your children?

Would you trust Joe Biden to give you a shave with a straight razor?

They are parasites.  Completely useless human detritus.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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I genuinely agree with you about politicians intelligence and usefullness.  WHO in their right mind would hire these people to do anything?  Voters, and most people in the U.S. are potential voters. 

Historically, people have attained some true freedom here and there, only to let it slip away because of the fear caused by other people or nature and also because of the convenience(s) offered by other people.  Those people offering safety and convenience gain power and control, even if that "safety" and "convenience" just enslaves us to them.  As long as people/voters are "content", nothing will really change.  You force them into a free market...I mean freely allow them to participate in a free market, and they'll just get themselves a Big Brother to protect them from the "evil" winners of that free market, not realizing they could be winners too if they would work.  Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature and reality.  Hopefully I will be proved wrong by "modern" man...after all we have more knowledge available to us now than ever before.

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Am I right in suggesting that In a free-market, you would be able to purchase drugs with out prescription ? The same drugs that only a licensed medical practitioner can allow you now ! And if, in this free-market you are able to self-diagnose and treat yourself with these drugs, doesn't the doctor need to have a reason to exist ? Well he can exist to give operate, to treat, to give advice and recommend medical application. But if the customer can do some of these things themselves now because all the information is supplied to them by the pharma',  then the doctor will have to drop his/ her prices, right ?

 So you are restricted from ingesting certain chemicals because in our society you need a costly licensed doctor to be able to supply you with a presciption !

Am I right in thinking this way ?

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I concur.

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Ash Lawson replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 10:38 AM

The more you think about regulation the more it seems to confuse.

 

Thanks ViennaSausage

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bloomj31 replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 10:52 AM

I've always been on the fence about this one because on the one hand, I recognize the problem of having the government or professional groups certify professionals, on the other hand, it can be useful to get an expert opinion on another expert before choosing to trust said expert.  Especially in a field where I know very little going in.  I like consumer reviews.  I think that over time, these tend to weed out the good from the bad so the goal should probably be to make these kinds of tools more ubiquitous and transparent.  That way, government is not setting up the possibility for collusion.

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AJ replied on Fri, Nov 27 2009 6:19 PM

liberty student:
I think libertarian and free market oriented guilds are something we can get into immediately (as a business model) without necessarily running afoul of the state, but still competing directly against the statist model.

I'd love to hear more about this!

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DomV replied on Mon, Jun 13 2011 9:09 PM

Natalie:
Of course certification should be private and voluntary (see the IT industry as an example).

Help!!  There is a movement afoot to license software engineers!!!   I have written letters to my state legislators?    Anyone think this will help?

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DD5 replied on Mon, Jun 13 2011 10:29 PM

DomV:
Help!!  There is a movement afoot to license software engineers!!!   I have written letters to my state legislators?    Anyone think this will help?

You wonder how the entire software industry has managed quite well until now.   Not only software, but most engineering fields, such as Electrical Engineering and Computer engineering, have managed to completely evade any government oversight whatsoever.  There is complete anarchy in these fields, which is probably why it has been so impressively thriving over the past few decades.

 

 

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DomV replied on Tue, Jun 14 2011 6:11 PM

I agree, and I am totally against this.    For all the reasons that libertarians hate licensure, and because I have no degree, so I will probably not qualify :P

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Government involvement only creates a false sence of protection/security, making people gullible.

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John Stossel and Walter Williams on the licensing racket...

 

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professional licencers should license professionals of course

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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