- Adam Smith’s famous line about members of the same trade meeting together was a reference to occupational licensure — and Colorado’s unique delicensing of funeral directors in 1983 allows a natural experiment [Brandon Pizzola and Alexander Tabarrok, Cato Research Brief]
- “The Most Bizarre Licenses in Michigan: Potato dealers, foresters, butter graders and more” [Jarrett Skorup, Michigan Capitol Confidential]
- “In Hawaii, it takes an average of 988 days and $438 in fees to become licensed to perform one of many occupations under the thumbs of state regulators.” [J.D. Tuccille, Reason] More: Eric Boehm (“The Five Most Outrageous Licensing Stories of 2017”);
- A licensure infographic [Eric Boehm, Reason, using data from Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty]
- Maryland General Assembly piles absurd new continuing education mandates on licensed cosmetologists [Anastasia Boden, PLF]
- “Bottleneckers: The Origins of Occupational Licensing and What Can Be Done About Its Excesses” [Dick M. Carpenter, Federalist Society]
Even in a nation overwhelmed by well-intentioned but misguided occupational licensing laws, the District of Columbia’s childcare degree requirement has achieved particular notoriety. …
Specifically, the requirement that childcare workers obtain an associate degree in early childhood education or childhood studies (or at least an associate degree that includes 24 semester credit hours in these subjects) is problematic for three main reasons:
1. The requirement disproportionately hurts low-income childcare workers and individuals seeking to become childcare providers….
2. The requirement reduces the ability of out-of-state childcare workers to move to the District of Columbia….
3. The requirement will raise the cost of daycare in the District.
A yet more basic problem is that there are large numbers of persons who would make or are making excellent caregivers, some of whom are experienced parents themselves, whose liberty the D.C. law abridges. In addition to abridging their liberty to offer their services, the law also abridges the liberty of families who would like to engage those services.
Note that in order to engage in paid child care in the District, it wouldn’t do to have a bachelor’s degree or for that matter any number of impressive advanced degrees. There would have to be that concentration of specific coursework. The continued survival of the human race is evidence that children can be raised successfully without credentials of that sort being expected of caregivers.
- Spotted in Senate tax bill: what sounds like an excellent proposal to cut off worker-classification lawsuits [Shu-Yi Oei and Diane M. Ring (who take a very different view of the provision) via Caron/TaxProf]
- Federalist Society convention video on future of federal workplace agencies with Alex Acosta and Nicholas Geale of DoL, Victoria Lipnic of EEOC, Philip Miscimarra of NLRB;
- “‘Mistake’ in Pennsylvania homecare contract would have helped unions in fight over healthcare workers” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner; Cato podcast with David Osborne and Caleb O. Brown]
- Automatically worth reading, Claudia Goldin on gender pay gap [New York Times]
- Public sector unions rule in California politics, and pension-spiking is just one of the results [Steven Greenhut] “California Union Bill Looks to Ban Outsourcing Public Services” [same]
- New report from Dana Berliner, Clark Neily al., “Occupational Licensing Run Wild” [Federalist Society Regulatory Transparency Project]
Potentially an important observation [Janna E. Johnson and Morris M. Kleiner, NBER]:
Occupational licensure, one of the most significant labor market regulations in the United States, may restrict the interstate movement of workers. We analyze the interstate migration of 22 licensed occupations. Using an empirical strategy that controls for unobservable characteristics that drive long-distance moves, we find that the between-state migration rate for individuals in occupations with state-specific licensing exam requirements is 36 percent lower relative to members of other occupations. Members of licensed occupations with national licensing exams show no evidence of limited interstate migration. The size of this effect varies across occupations and appears to be tied to the state specificity of licensing requirements. We also provide evidence that the adoption of reciprocity agreements, which lower re-licensure costs, increases the interstate migration rate of lawyers. Based on our results, we estimate that the rise in occupational licensing can explain part of the documented decline in interstate migration and job transitions in the United States.
As reported in April, the state of Oregon fined Mats Järlström of Beaverton $500 for supposedly practicing engineering without a license after he sent a letter to state officials challenging traffic camera practices, including various calculations, and mentioning his background as an electrical engineer. Now the state has admitted that it erred and violated his constitutional rights, and refunded his fine. [Reese Counts, AutoBlog]
- Sending a letter to your employees informing them of a pending EEOC investigation might itself violate discrimination laws [Jon Hyman] More: Jerome Woehrle;
- As its fiscal year 2017 closes, a “return to frantic filing” at the EEOC [Matthew J. Gagnon, Christopher J. DeGroff, and Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Seyfarth Shaw]
- Once occupational licensure is in place, it’s hard to pry off established interests that grow up around it [Steve Bates, Society for Human Resource Management, and thanks for quotes]
- Nassau’s labor unions say it’s “impossible” to summarize their contracts with county, as financial control board would like [Robert Brodsky, Newsday]
- “Michigan’s pension reforms are kind of a big deal” [Eric Boehm, Reason] “State Police Pay 43 Officers Over $300k Each To Not Retire” [Evan Carter, Michigan Capitol Confidential]
- “Organized Labor Wants to Push Out Local Restaurants and Raise Prices at Portland International Airport” [Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week]
- Florida “health coach” charges for nutrition advice, isn’t a licensed dietitian. Does she have a First Amendment defense? [Scott Shackford]
- Results of Russian social-media manipulation episode could include foot in door for regulation of Internet speech [John Samples, Cato]
- Some in Australia having trouble distinguishing “impersonation” of government from anti-government satire [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
- Before deep-pocket publications can report on sexual misconduct by persons in high places, gauntlet of legal review needs to be run with special attention to on-the-record sources [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
- Ohio lawmaker introduces anti-SLAPP bill that pioneers novel protections for anonymous speakers [John Samples, Cato]
- “Nadine Strossen’s Next Book — ‘Hate: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship'” [Ronald K.L. Collins] “Sanford Ungar Heads New Free Speech Project at Georgetown University” [same]
In many states, a criminal record acts as bar to obtaining a license even for occupations unrelated to the offense, a problem that has tended to grow as more and more positions in the economy are subject to licensure [Eric Boehm, Reason]
- Welcome news: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta urges states to fix occupational licensing [Eric Boehm, Reason] Fresh thinking on the antitrust angle in a bill from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) [Ilya Shapiro, Cato] “Occupational licensing should not be used to keep honest Americans out of work” [Clark Neily, The Hill] Video of Heritage panel on the subject with Maureen Ohlhausen of the FTC, Alex Tabarrok, Paul Larkin, and Dexter Price [Marginal Revolution]
- “The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has allowed an employee to pursue a disability discrimination claim based on the use of medical marijuana.” [Jon Hyman]
- That’s how we’ll solve difficult issues of statutory interpretation. We’ll call names [Richard Thompson Ford, Take Care, on expansion of Title VII interpretation to sexual orientation, earlier here, here, etc.] More: Scott Greenfield;
- If not for wise lawmakers like those in California, who would look out for our privacy? [Steven Greenhut on proposal to give unions private workers’ phone numbers and addresses]
- D.C. politicians are one big reason residents east of Anacostia River have poor grocery options [Diana Furchtgott-Roth; minimum wage]
- Uniform, predictable test needed for who is an “employee” and “employer” [Glenn Lammi, WLF, first and second posts]
- “Biometric Privacy Laws: How a Little-Known Illinois Law Made Facebook Illegal” [Jane Bambauer]
- Organized dentists work to block legal recognition of independent dental therapist practices [Mary Jordan, Washington Post]
- Some yearn to bring back Warren Court (or even more interventionist) antitrust doctrine. Just don’t [John McGinnis]
- “O’Neil is the Wang of Ireland” says apparel trademark disputant [Timothy Geigner, Techdirt]
- “Religious people should live under the same laws as everyone else” was a nice slogan while it lasted [Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post on nuns’ construction of chapel in field so as to block pipeline, plus resulting Twitter thread]
- “Therapy animals are everywhere, but proof that they help is not” [Karin Brulliard, Chicago Tribune]