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Milton Friedman’s Freedom of Occupation Law

Comment 10th July 2010

I have been listing the constitutional amendments Milton Freedman advocated. This is his one on Occupational Licensure

No state shall make or impose any law which shall abridge the right of any citizen of the United Kingdom to follow any occupation or profession of his choice


I must admit the idea of just anybody being able to set up as a doctor is disconcerting. On the other hand he does use them as an example. The AMA (& BMA here) certainly severely restrict the number of people who can train as doctor setting the numbers trained on criteria other than need for doctors or even the educational ability of this year's intake. This is clear method of pushing up their earnings. It does have the result of increasing the number of chiropractors & other unofficial doctors.

He assumes & I generally do to, that existing or new professional bodies would still be able to licence & that the public would pay great attention to such licencing, at least until such a body screwed up. I have previously written about how childcare costs are grossly inflated by government regulation & Labour say it intends to fight child poverty by ensuring everybody licenced to look after kids has an A level on the subject. That will clearly not reduce costs.

 

Why does this matter?

Another limitation on the ability of government to increase the costs of any job & tell us what to do.

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