Monday, August 18, 2008

Because government is obviously needed to protect us from bad interior decorators. . . .

. . . you should read this post from Coyote Blogregarding licensing.

Progressives and liberals (sorry, I am now required to distinguish between you) will probably tut-tut and chortle over stupid laws that are a fairly harmless by-product of the regulatory society they promote.

Conservatives aren't allowed by the GOP platform to consult with interior decorators, anyway.

Only Libertarians (and most people who actually have to purchase products and services at inflated prices because the providers have to pay protection money to the State), will read this and see no humor at all:

In Alabama it is illegal to recommend shades of paint without a license. In Nevada it is illegal to move any large piece of furniture for purposes of design without a license. In fact, hundreds of people have been prosecuted in Alabama and Nevada for practicing "interior design" without a license. Getting a license is no easy task, typically requiring at least 4 years of education and 2 years of apprenticeship. Why do we need licenses laws for interior designers? According to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) because,

Every decision an interior designer makes in one way or another affects the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

This hardly passes the laugh test. Moreover as Carpenter and Ross point out in an excellent article in Regulation from which I have drawn:

In more than 30 years of advocating for regulation, the ASID and its ilk have yet to identify a single documented incident resulting in harm to anyone from the unlicensed practice of interior design...These laws simply have nothing to do with protecting the public.

Read the entire post, and the comments, and get depressed. More of this kind of idiocy is what the next election will bring, no matter who becomes President.


Anonymous said...

I agree that forcing certification by law is a dumb idea, a really dumb idea. All it really is is a way for the state to raise money from license fees.

However, I see nothing wrong with Interior Designers setting up a certification process for themselves. It probably helps the profession.

Anyway, I know this wasn't the point of your post, but I don't know how far you libertarians take things. :-)

Steven H. Newton said...

I am beginning to think you are an unconscious libertarian.

That's exactly the libertarian solution: credentialling, not liscensing.

The point is to provide consumers with information and let them make their own choices.

Anonymous said...

And you can bet that the current interior designers support these efforts -- they just won't admit it's because this system reduces competition and keeps their prices high. Looters, the lot of them.