Thursday, June 21, 2012

License to Work

The New York Times has a good article on over-regulation and excessive licensing.
“It is illegal in the state of Utah to do any form of extensions without a valid cosmetology license,” the e-mail read. “Please delete your ad, or you will be reported.”
At a time when so many of us are out of work and looking for productive ways to occupy our time and earn a living, excessive licensing requirements are shutting people out of a job that may not need to be regulated at all.  Delaware has a number of bills like this under the 146th General Assembly.  HB180 put electricians out of work.  HB361 seeks to extend the same fate to auctioneers. Title 24 of the Delaware Code is full of professional regulations for everything from landscape architects to adult entertainment establishments.  Some of these things may warrant regulation, some even very strict regulation, but all too often regulations are only created to protect the established interests of the bill's sponsors or a legislator's constituency of volunteers and campaign contributions.  Lost in the conversation are the regular people, often young and otherwise unemployed, looking to find work in these professions.

If a young person is looking to help out an electrician to see if it's something worth exploring as a career, enroll in a 4 year electrician training program and get an apprentice electrician's license from the Board of Electrical Examiners.  See if its appointees have any interest in making it EASY to start out and actually basing their decisions on merit rather than ability to manipulate the regulations or be grandfathered through them.  See if limiting the competition in this way drives prices for average consumers up or down, unemployment up or down, development of valuable skill sets in the local economy up or down.  These are not abstract concepts.  These are real people who are unable to earn a living.

With any luck, SB179 or HB301 will pass and will at least give young electricians a stay of termination.  The Board of Electrical Examiners hasn't even approved regulations for these new licenses yet.  Both are being held up in committee and both would give us more time to ensure electricians are properly credentialed and do not put us at risk with shoddy work, without putting good electricians out of work and making it impossible for new electricians to start out.

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