The Administrative State vs. the People

The Administrative State vs. the People March 9, 2016

Two links. First, “Four ways occupational licensing damages social mobility.” I know it’s easy to caricature licensing requirements without knowing much about what’s actually being regulated–hairdressers often work with chemicals that can harm people, they can spread lice, etc etc, you’re not just “teaching” somebody how to braid hair like their momma did. But the huge gaps in cost and length of training across states should suggest that lots of people are spending time and money for what’s really a license to compete. Also I apologize for a listicle within a listiclette but this is a short basic intro.

…2. In many cases, people who’ve been imprisoned face a lifetime ban on obtaining an occupational license. This adds to the employment barriers faced by those leaving prison.

3. Licensing requirements impose up-front costs. The actual licensing fees are often just the tip of the iceberg; many aspiring professionals must spend time and money attending the required trade school courses. These burdens fall disproportionately on people from lower-income backgrounds.


And “The regulatory state and the importance of a non-vindictive president“:

I hope we always will have non-vindictive Presidents in this country.  One reason is because the regulatory branch reports to the Executive.  And if you own a large company, it is virtually impossible to be in accordance with all of the regulations all of the time.  If there were a President who wished to pursue vendettas, the regulatory state would be the most direct and simplest way for him or her to do so.  The usual presumption of “innocent until proven guilty” does not hold in many regulatory matters, nor are there always the usual protections of due process.

I do know that Philip Hamburger’s book Is Administrative Law Unlawful? occasioned some critical reviews.  I certainly don’t think the title frames the argument properly and by no means do I agree with everything he said.  But these days, the notion that the regulatory state could prove dangerous to individual liberties, and not just to economic growth, needs to be taken more seriously, and he has written the “go to” book on that topic.

more (this link via Walter Olson I think)

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