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Utah is an extreme right wing theocracy. Whatever happens in Utah is most certainly _not_ the work of unions.

You should note I never mentioned "unions" once in my posts. I wrote about professional associations and licensure.

But licensure is licensure. The effects are not any less harmful because the people pushing for it are good unionists and not evil right-wingers.


This isn’t just a random Utah law. There are more than 1,000 licensed professions in the United States, partly a result of more than a century of legal work. As the country industrialized, state governments wanted to protect their citizens and create standards not just for lawyers and doctors but also for basic services. It didn’t take long for professional groups to find that they also stood to benefit from the regulations. Over the years, more and more started to lobby for licensing rules, often grand­fathering in existing professionals while putting up high barriers to new competitors.


Your link is based on the "findings" of a libertarian law-firm and lists the 10 most inappropriate licensees. These include: Preschool teacher, Optician, Midwife, Veterinarian Technologist. Even these "worst" cases have miniscule license fees and minimal competence requirement. So small they in no way keep out competent people however poor: if you can afford a cheap TV then you can afford to be a Midwife.

And the idea that a Midwife should have absolutely no experience or that the preschool Teacher have zero background or your Optician have no education what so ever is pretty nearly crazy.

The only reason to get rid of it is so large companies could emerge to replace your midwife with a minimum wage incompetent.

True, maybe there should not any be requirements for hair braiding. This hardly means all licensing is a bad idea. To stretch one wild story about Utah hair braiding into "all professional associations are bad" takes more imagination than I have.

Eliminating all licensing across the board is shear libertarian crackpot-ism.

I'm extremely confused by 'midwife' being on the list. In British Columbia, midwives are medical professionals with a significant amount of training, and are able to provide medical advice and even write prescriptions for pregnancy-related drugs.

The idea that one of the people helping my wife give birth could have no training, or that people are being 'kept out' of the role because they don't have training or experience, seems idiotic to me.

This isn't the 1800's, where your midwife was 'the woman in town who knows the most about delivering babies', and we shouldn't act as though it is.

Using a midwife in the US is considered extreme or weird. Really only used by people classified as hippies. (Not how I feel, but that is the general vibe I get. Even poor people use hospitals - the people you think midwife's might be useful for. Not many home births going on here...)

That explains a lot. In the UK the term midwife is more or less synonymous with obstetric-specialist nurse. The term for a tie-dyed woman who comes into your home and burns incense to help you through delivery in a birthing pool is a 'doula'.

actual doulas may not wear tye dye or burn incense and I'm sure many provide an excellent service to facilitate some mothers through the childbirth process. Every labor is different. They may also be qualified midwives. And many midwives will also facilitate home births where appropriate for the mother and child. Basically, the US hospital and OB doctor-centric system is ... weird.

Eliminating all licensing across the board is shear libertarian crackpot-ism.

Thank $deity that strawman was burned to the ground.

In what conceivable way is any Licensure compatible with any libertarian principle?

Any government issued license is completely incompatible with libertarian values by definition. So no, not straw-man: crackpot.

I'm not saying licensure is compatible with libertarianism. I'm saying I never advocated for the elimination of all licensing, so you were attacking a some imaginary libertarian strawman, not replying to me.

The article is making the following argument:

- Some professional association call for licensure.

- There is a case of bad licensure in Utah.

- Therefore all licensure is bad.

- Therefore all professional associations are bad.

I would cite that reasoning as an exemplar definition of crackpot.

Or more likely since it lists a $30 license as one of the 10 most burdensome "licenses to kill for", it is just plain dishonest.

I assumed that you shared the article's reasoning since you linked it.

- Therefore all licensure is bad.

Uh, care to share where you read that? What I read was:

"Almost nobody is calling for wholesale abolition of professional licensing. I sleep better at night knowing that the commercial pilots flying over my apartment are trained and licensed."

"A bolder idea, of course, would be for states to get rid of the licensing rules that are doing more harm than good." (emphasis mine)

I love my dog, and I want my vet techs to be licensed.

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