Sure. The article is on a subject that is continously debated.
A) Some find it a valid arguement that licensing is required to protect the
public from abuse and un-professional conduct and behaviour among other
issues related to the industry itself .
B) Others disagree and feel that the reason for licensing and certification
exists to "protect" those who work in the industry.
This article opines that the reason is much more B) than A)
That reasoning is a purely political point of view given that it is
published on a web site called relclearpolitics.com by a mostly political
commentator named George Will.
My opinion is that those more qualified to have the debate and dialogue
should be from the industry in question.
There... you happy?
Fair enough...but the reasoning comes from a philosophy that less
government is better...and by extension, less licensing, regulation,
etc. is better. So, yes, it's a political discussion.
And, in this case, I think he has a point. And he used an example
that's easy to see the potential absurdity of licensing law.
But before you have the debate and dialog about that particular
industry, you need to have the debate and dialog that the concept of
licensing/registration is required. This is the position he's
taking...that less is better. He was using the specific example to make
a general point.
That may be true for the particular example the Mr. Will cites.
Let me ask you this, "Do you want your multi-story regional trauma center
hospital designed by someone calling himself a structural engineer?"
It seems to me that where there is life-safety involved we want to make
darn sure that the people involved have a demonstrated ability to perform
Does that mean a licensed person cannot perform bad work? Of course not.
But, I think we cut down on the chances of shoddy (or life threatening)
work being performed if we have that person be able to pass a test showing
a minimum level of knowledge.
Would you want your appendix removed by an unlicensed surgeon?
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
I'm a licensed professional...I have licenses in several states and have
jumped through the hoops to get there. Having been through it, I have
often wondered what was the point...in other words, it wasn't that
difficult. The test was less challenging than I had expected (I did
spend time preparing). I've also met less competent members of the
profession. So, in the first place, licensing does not mean competency
in the profession.
I also compare it to other countries. Finland, for instance, has no
official architecture license. Your ability to call yourself an
architect means you've been to school and graduated. That's it (at
least it was the last time I looked, as I'd considered possibly taking
on a project or two there). And it's the same there, having been
through school doesn't grant competency.
What's different there? What's different here? It appears that they've
decided that education and experience are enough to use the term
"architect." In the US, we've added a licensing requirement. Having
been to Finland, I think that, in general, they have better
buildings/architecture. How can this be? They don't have a licensing
Finland is a good example to use, too... They're a western, first-world
country. They have a higher literacy rate than the US. More things are
similar than different between the countries.
Their buildings aren't death traps... so, what's the purpose of a license?
Maybe it can be looked up online ,or its licensing-body, itself, asked.
Maybe, it's like any other well-intentioned system that irresponsibility
then has a go at, or, contrarily, a system built with ill intent that
resposibility then has a stab at.
You make good points, and I'd say that licensing *can* be very beneficial
in many cases, but it also can be detrimental when it becomes, as you
expressed it, just another hoop to jump through. OTOH, it *can* be seen
as a mark of your dedication, that you were willing to do all that hoop-
jumping ;) !
IMO, what';s improtant to to just just do away with any and all
licensing, but rather, take a balanced look at specific cases and
determine which licenses are superfluous.
IMO, licenses might be more important in cases where experience and
talent can be substituted for formal education. If one has received
one's degree in architecture, or structural engineering, and similar,
then one oughtto be able to simply call oneself an architect, or a
structural engineer, or so on. Now, if you've then gone on and gotten
additional specialized training, for example, as one post mentioned,
designing health care facilities, then you can use your degree to prove
that you're a Health-Care Facilities Design Specialist. But if you have
not had that training, and have not apprenticed (or whatever) with
someone who specialized in htat,then you should not be ableot advertise
yourself as being a specialist.
That's what I think, anyway ;)
I know a hooker who works the old Navy yards that would make you
change your tune.
That's just because another door had been _slammed_ in your face!
I dreamed of moving furniture as a kid. That's all I wanted to do. I
wanted to move bureaus, and credenzas, secretaries, capstan tables,
Morris chairs, chaise lounges, loveseats - I wanted to move them
Now what's left? I have nothing to look forward to. I think I'm
going to go pull an overloaded bookcase over on top of me. Let's see
what those _unlicensed_ rescue people do without the ability to
legally move the bookcase! I'll teach those bastards...
Not particularly. I also don't like people expecting me to agree with
_any_ of their political, sexual or religious views. I'm funny that
way. I also have favorite foods, comic books, and pairs of shoes - I
don't expect them to be _your_ favorites.
Maybe I should have put a smiley face in there somewhere...
Anyone old enough to remember the Tulip Crash of 1637?
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania )
Humans do stupid things, individually and in groups.
We've currently got an "Interior Designer's Act" in committee, and the
original draft of it included such a broad definition of "interior design"
that no one could 'advise' anyone for a fee on the purchasing of furniture
or on the selection of paint color. Someone eventually shouted WTF, and they
pulled it back a bit.
I think that the *principle* is open to debate by anyone. The way your
worded A and B INMO expressed the general issue without being industry
specific, and as such, it's IMO completely valid for anyone to join the
To me, both A and B are valid, especially when it comes to areas which
involve health. The main isues would be: Who will establish and oversee
the requirements and process of licensing; and, How much power will the
licensing board have? The latter should not include the power to keep
someone from hiring an unlicensed person, but it should include the
authority to restrict people from advertising as being licensed when they
Licensing *should* be an indication of a certain level of expertise
and/or specialization, so that a consumer can hire someone with the sort
of expertise he or she needs. Licensing should *not* be used as a way of
forcing consumers to pay for a specialist when they don't need that level
Now, what Will calls a "censoring of truthful commercial speech" is not
always merely that - if I, as a consumer, *need* the expertise of a
Medical Specialist as opposed to a General Pratitioner, or a Master
Gardener as opposed to a kid to just mow the lawn, or and INterior
Deisgner as opposed to someone to help me pick out drapes, then I also
should be able to discern between those professionals who have a high
level of training and expertise, and those whose expertise/training might
not be up to the level I need or want. Similarly, if I *don't* need to
hire an (expensive) professional with a lot fo training and expertise, I
should be able to easily find the people whose skills (and fees) are more
in keeping with what I want to have done.
THe main thing is to have a way of being sure that the licensing does not
turn into a way of forcing people to be over-educated for the work they
want to do (or are capable of doing), and also, tht it doesn't turn into
a way of wasting the time of people who *are* specialists by forcing
consumers to *only* hire highly-trained specialists.
To use a medical analogy, if you need to have a couple stitches put in to
close a minor cut on your finger, an RN or a Nurse Practitioner is a
sensible choice. If you need your appendix out, a surgeon is a good
choice. If you have a brain anomoly or tumor, you go to a neurologist or
neurosurgeon. But you do NOT go to a neurosurgeon to have 2 stitches put
into that minor cut on the finger - it's a waste of the neurosurgeon's
time/training, and a waste of your money.
Licensing, in principle, is just a way to differentiate various levels of
knowledge, training, and expertise. Sort of like the difference between
architectual technicians, draftsmen, architectural designers who do
house-sized structures, and architects licensed (specialized/trained) to
build large skyscrapers. It doesn;t mean a person should not be proud of
being good at what he or she does - it's simply that there *are*
spcializations, and ther e*are* different levels of training and
expertise. So to claim that all licensing is nothing more than
"censoring of truthful commercial speech" is IMO irresponsible, and
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