Friday, December 30, 2016

From music therapists to funeral directors, licensing schemes keep out competition

See Breaking Down ‘Bottleneckers’ by Dick Carpenter and Chip Mellor. Excerpts:
"Most states require that much of the alcohol produced for consumers pass through a distributor before being made available for retail purchase. There is little evidence that such a middleman scheme reduces overconsumption—the original purported benefit. Yet there is confirmation that consumers pay as much as 30% more for their hooch, all of it going into the pockets of distributors. It’s no wonder that efforts to break open the market are fiercely opposed by distributor bottleneckers.

Representatives of other industries...coordinate letter-writing campaigns, crowd legislative-hearing rooms, lobby legislators, hold industry days at capitols, and deliver frightening testimony to legislative committees.

These strategies aren’t new. In 2000 an Oklahoma legislator proposed a bill to allow casket sales without a funeral director’s license. Funeral-home executives warned legislators that the bill would mean that grandma’s dead body would be propped in a corner while awaiting a casket purchased online. (Never mind that such caskets can be delivered within 24 hours.) Oklahoma still requires a funeral-director license to sell a casket"

"The American Music Therapy Association has been canvassing state legislatures since at least 2011, begging to be licensed."

"In 2014, Georgia began requiring aspiring music therapists to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher in music therapy from an association-approved program, complete 1,200 hours of clinical training, and pass the examination for board certification, which costs $325 to take. They also have to pay $100 in fees to the state."

"Also consider aspiring cosmetologists, who spend between 1,000 and 2,300 hours in training, depending on the state. But even leaders in the cosmetology industry admit the requirements can’t be justified for hair and makeup experts."

"“there do not appear to be documented explanations for how each state determines the required curriculum hours,” even though there is not much evidence to show more hours “lead to more positive industry outcomes.”"

"In a 2014 letter, the executive director of the Professional Beauty Association warned that “the vast disparity among state licensing requirements will leave [the beauty] industry vulnerable to legislative attacks and the risk of deregulation.”"

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