Counterpoint: Why bother with occupational licenses? There's a better way

  • Article by: Lee McGrath
  • Updated: January 7, 2014 - 5:58 PM

To protect consumers, the state should seek alternatives to professional boards.

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jjsbrwJan. 7, 14 7:23 PM

"Thanks to social media, advice blogs and websites such as Angie’s List and Yelp, consumers easily can find recommendations as well as tips on whom to avoid." ------------------------------------------ Angie's List and Yelp are shakedown rackets. I don't trust any reviews on either of them. Do they use actual reviews? Yes. but business can "upgrade" their membership that plants the best reviews on screen 1, and buries negative reviews buried several clicks deep. Their field reps might very well be attractive 24 year olds driving Priuses and Civics, but they are shaking down business all the time, offering just another form of "protection" to businesses that cooperate.

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imkirokJan. 8, 14 9:25 AM

Certification is the answer? Come on. How many consumers have the time to research the technicalities of "certified" vs. some vendor who says he/she is qualified. If someone is going to install a furnace or new wiring in my house, I want to know that they know what they are doing. If I go to a clinic, I want to make sure the people working their are actually up to the task. According to the author, I should just take my chances and find out the hard way if someone was "certified" or not.

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SlickrocksJan. 8, 1411:26 AM

Suspend their licenses, don't revoke them. That avoids the complex process cited. We do it all the time with driver's licenses.

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rlwr51Jan. 8, 1412:20 PM

I wonder if Mr. McGrath says the same thing about lawyers.

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lmcgrathJan. 8, 14 4:33 PM

Yes, I do. I have twice been involved in petitions to the Minnesota Supreme Court to change the licensing of lawyers.

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fentanylJan. 8, 14 6:27 PM

This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. Clearly, McGrath does not understand the difference between licensure and certification. When employers start to notify the Minnesota Board of Nursing of drug thefts and employment termination the board will be able to take immediate action.

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lmcgrathJan. 9, 14 6:01 PM

Mr. Fentanyl: Licensing is a practice act and certification is a titling act. I am happy to discuss with you why certification is a superior type of occupational regulation. I sincerely invite you and others to call me at the Institute for Justice. (612) 435-3451. Thank you. Lee McGrath

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crystalbayJan. 14, 14 2:42 PM

For obvious reasons, I won't name the licensing board of my profession (it's not nursing), but what I've observed and had confirmed for at least three decades is that these boards become corrupted by the power they wield. Countless other colleagues of mine have attested to this, even when the board turnovers occur. There seems to be something about having the power to revoke or suspend the licenses of professionals in the field which goes to their heads. At times, the board intensely pursues clearly frivolous complaints, especially from third parties. I certainly do not view such harassment as "protecting the public" as much I see it as disrupting practitioners lives, rarely for good enough reasons.

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