If Government is so Villainous, How come Government Officials don't seem like Villains?

Economics and Philosophy 10 (1):91-106 (1994)
  Copy   BIBTEX


At lunch one day a colleague and I had a friendly argument over occupational licensing. I attacked it for being anticompetitive, arguing that licensing boards raise occupational incomes by restricting entry, advertising, and commercialization. My colleague, while acknowledging anticompetitive aspects, affirmed the need for licensing on the grounds of protecting the consumer from frauds and quacks. In many areas of infrequent and specialized dealing, consumers are not able, ex ante or even ex post, to evaluate competence. I countered by suggesting voluntary means by which reputational problems might be handled and by returning to the offensive. I said that in fact the impetus for licensing usually comes from the practitioners, not their customers, and that licensing boards seldom devote their time to ferreting out incompetence but rather simply to prosecuting unlicensed practitioners. I mentioned cross-sectional findings, such as those on state licensure, prices, and occupational incomes. Overall, I characterized the professional establishment as a group of dastardly operators, who set the standards, write the codes, and enforce behavior to enhance their own material wellbeing - in brief, as venal rent-seekers.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,569

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Government Strategies on Firm's in Merging and Licensing.Chang-Ying Li & Juan Song - 2006 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 1:125-132.
Licensing Parents to Protect Our Children?Jurgen De Wispelaere & Daniel Weinstock - 2012 - Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (2):195-205.
Licensing Parents Revisited.Hugh Lafollette - 2010 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (4):327-343.
Toward Drug Control: Exclusion and Buyer Licensing. [REVIEW]Jim Leitzel - 2013 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 7 (1):99-119.
The Freedom of Information Act and the Press: Obstruction or Transparency?David Barstow - 2010 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 77 (2):805-810.
The Freedom of Information Act and the Press: Obstruction or Transparency?David T. Barstow - 2010 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 77 (3):805-810.
The Nature and Accessibility of E-Government in Sub-Saharan Africa.Patrick Ngulube - 2007 - International Review of Information Ethics 7 (9):1-13.
Licensing Parents.Hugh LaFollette - 1980 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 9 (2):182-197.
Can a Right to Reproduce Justify the Status Quo on Parental Licensing?Andrew Botterell & Carolyn McLeod - 2015 - In Richard Vernon, Sarah Hannan & Samantha Brennan (eds.), Permissible Progeny: The Morality of Procreation and Parenting. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 184-207.
Ethics in Government.Richard Baron - 2006 - Philosophy Now 54:34-37.
A Comparative Study On The Scope Of Chinese Government Officials.Tao Sun - 2008 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 1:66-76.


Added to PP

33 (#351,259)

6 months
1 (#418,511)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references