The New York Times Sunday Magazine has a timely article about the over-regulation of professions in the US and how it creates unnecessary barriers to entering these professions. This problem of over-regulation is especially important with nearly 13 million Americans unemployed. Many of these workers lost jobs in fields such as manufacturing and construction that are either dying or won’t rebound for decades–requiring workers to find new professions.
Yet the incumbents of many professions have purposely thrown up barriers to entry to avoid competition. The Institute for Justice, a Libertarian law firm, ranked over 100 low and moderate income professions based on five criteria (including number of years of education needed and licensing fees). For those who have read Insourced, there should be no surprise that four of the top ten over-regulated professions were in healthcare. These included athletic trainer, optician, midwife, and dietetic technician.