mises.org / Robert Fellner / March 13, 2017
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic bullet that would simultaneously raise wages and employment while also lowering prices for consumers?
In fact, those are just some of the benefits that reforming overly burdensome occupational licensing laws would provide, according to a report published by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Labor.
In Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers, the authors observe that “the current systems of licensure … prevent workers from succeeding in the best job for them,” leading to an inefficient labor market and reduced economic growth.
This is especially true in Nevada, where excessive fees and extended mandatory training periods make the Silver State one of the most “onerously licensed” states in the nation, according to a 2012 study by the Institute for Justice.
Licensing laws are appropriate for professions that carry a substantial risk of physical harm. But Nevada’s go far beyond that narrow scope. In fact, nearly 31 percent of the Silver State’s workforce must first obtain government approval in order to work — the second highest rate nationwide. By comparison, the national rate back in the 1950s was only 4 percent.
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