INDEPENDENT, PRINCIPLED STATE POLICY

Occupational Licensing

Occupational Licensing is a throwback to medieval guilds whose demise has been called an “indispensable early step in the rise of freedom in the Western world” By Milton Friedman. It is also growing in the U.S. In 1950, only 5 percent of the workforce was subject to licensing laws. Today, it is over 29 percent. Yet there is little evidence that public health and service quality are enhanced by licensing. Instead, occupational licensing limits work opportunity, redistributes income from lower to higher income individuals, increases the cost of living, limits innovation, and leads to more licensing. Even the Obama White House explored ways to turn back licensing's tide.  Scroll down for 1889's Oklahoma Licensing Directory.

1889's Papers on Occupational Licensing

Breaking the ABA’s Law School Cartel: A Proposal to Make Oklahoma Top-Ten in Innovative Lawyer Education by Ben Lepak argues that Oklahoma should drop the requirement that one must have attended an ABA-accredited law school in order to sit for the bar exam and that they exam should be reformed to make it more relevant to the actual practice of law. It also discusses the excessive influence of the ABA on all three branches of government. Summary


Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in the Case of Fleck v. Wetch by Ben Lepak, is an amicus (or friend of the court) brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case of a North Dakota attorney who has been forced to  fund political causes he opposes through mandatory membership in the state bar association. This also occurs in Oklahoma, where attorneys are forced, by law, to join the Oklahoma Bar Association if they wish to practice in the state, violating first amendment principles.


Fully Loaded: Oklahoma’s Car Dealer Licensing Cartel by Mike Davis describes why "(t)here may not be a clearer example of naked protectionism in the laws of Oklahoma than the protection afforded to car dealers." The law puts car manufacturers and Oklahomans at the mercy of car dealers. Summary


Abstracting: Licensure and Regulatory Impacts in Oklahoma by Mike Davis shows how the licensing of abstracting (title searches made to facilitate real estate transactions) increases costs to home buyers, limits competition and opportunity, and creates unnecessary burdens for home buyers. Summary 


The Oklahoma Supreme Court’s Unchecked Abuse of Power in Attorney Regulation by Benjamin Lepak indicts all three branches of government in Oklahoma, but especially the state’s Supreme Court, for violating basic principles of American liberty and governance. This is due to the Oklahoma Supreme Court commandeering legislative and executive powers when, in 1939, it unilaterally declared for itself the sole power to authorize and administer the regulation of attorneys in the state.  In addition to this usurpation of power, the Oklahoma Supreme Court delegated its self-declared authority to license attorneys to a private organization, the Oklahoma Bar Association, creating a cloistered, autocratic attorney licensing system answerable only to itself. Summary


A Win-Win for Consumers and Professionals Alike: An Alternative to Occupational Licensing by Byron Schlomach (1889 Institute), Christina Sandefur (Goldwater Institute) and Murray Feldstein (Goldwater Institute) is published jointly with the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, AZ. It provides model bill language for states to create a more competitive and open system of professional credentialing. Private certification, as outlined and described, would provide for competitive credentialing that would lower prices of services for consumers and provide them better information, as well as create more opportunity for potential service providers, as compared to licensing. Summary


Annotated Summary of the Occupational Licensing Task Force Report by Byron Schlomach summarizes the official report of the Oklahoma Occupational Licensing Task Force, created by executive order from Governor Mary Fallin. Comments or annotations are included in an effort to contribute positively to what will likely be a follow-up task force or commission.


Policy Maker's Guide to Evaluating Proposed and Existing Occupational Licensing Laws by Byron Schlomach and Vance H. Fried describes the two conditions under which occupational licensing would be proper - real, high risk of physical harm and some type of civil-law or market failure. It describes an alternative to licensing in the form of private certification and recommends that when licensing does exist, education requirements be eliminated (relying on exams and experience only) and licensing boards be reformed.


The Need to Review and Reform Occupational Licensing in Oklahoma by Byron Schlomach broadly reviews occupational licensing and makes recommendations on how to review Oklahoma's current licensing laws suggesting regulatory alternatives. Oklahoma is ranked as having the 11th most burdensome licensing laws in the U.S. If Oklahoma reduced its licensed population by 3.3 percentage points through licensing repeals, Oklahomans’ purchasing power would rise by approximately $780 per capita due to a reduction in the cost of living. Click here for a Summary.

Oklahoma Licensing Directory

Used Car Dealer Licensing in Oklahoma by Spencer Cadavero describes used car dealer regulation in Oklahoma and judges licensing the occupation to be unnecessary and burdensome, not just for potential dealers, but also for consumers.


Private Investigator Licensing in Oklahoma by Spencer Cadavero describes the private investigator profession and current licensing regulation in Oklahoma. As with other licensing laws reviewed, it is concluded that there is no justification for requiring government permission to be a private investigator.


New Car Dealer Licensing in Oklahoma by Mike Davis briefly describes Oklahoma's new car dealer licensing law and concludes that it affords no protections to Oklahoma's new car consuming public. In fact, the law disfavors Oklahomans in general.


Perfusionist Licensing in Oklahoma by Luke Tucker is the first in 1889's Licensing Directory series to answer "yes" to one of the two critical questions regarding whether an occupation should be licensed. However, as evidenced by a majority of states not licensing perfusionists, there are plenty of civil law and protections for heart surgery patients and perfusionist licensing in Oklahoma should be repealed.


Massage Therapy Licensure in Oklahoma by Luke Tucker describes Oklahoma's 3-year-old massage therapist licensing requirements and concludes, once again, that Oklahoma needlessly requires the state's permission before someone can practice a profession. Massage therapy poses no health risk that licensing can ameliorate. The Oklahoma law, passed in 2016, should be repealed.


Abstracting: Licensure and Regulatory Impacts in Oklahoma by Mike Davis shows how the licensing of abstracting (title searches made to facilitate real estate transactions) increases costs to home buyers, limits competition and opportunity, and creates unnecessary burdens for home buyers. Summary 


Polygraph Examiner Licensure in Oklahoma by Luke Tucker summarizes Oklahoma polygraph examiner licensing requirements, describes the profession, and concludes that there is no public interest justification for such licensing. Polygraph examining is unreliable, regardless of licensing and legal institutions and market forces can adequately protect the public. It is recommended that polygraph examiner licensing be allowed to sunset in 2020.


Athletic Trainer Licensure in Oklahoma by Benjamin M. Lepak summarizes Oklahoma athletic trainer licensing law and concludes that there is no public interest justification for it. What's more, it creates a perverse incentive for unlicensed individuals acting as trainers to avoid obtaining the advice of physicians. It is recommended that athletic trainer licensure be immediately repealed.


Music Therapist Licensure in Oklahoma by Benjamin M. Lepak summarizes Oklahoma music therapist licensing law and concludes that there is no public interest justification for such onerous regulation. Oklahoma is one of only 8 states that regulate music therapy at all; 2 of these only require registration. It is recommended that music therapy licensure be immediately repealed.


Locksmith Licensure in Oklahoma by Michael R. Davis summarizes Oklahoma's locksmith licensing law and evaluates whether there is any public interest justification for it. None is found. In fact, of the 10 states that license locksmith's, Oklahoma is the only one that requires a licensee to be at least 21. It is recommended that locksmith licensing be immediately repealed.


Social Worker Licensure in Oklahoma by Jessica Wiewel and Byron Schlomach summarizes Oklahoma social worker licensing law and evaluates whether there is any pubic interest justification for licensing the occupation. None is found other than for clinical social workers whose scope of practice overlaps that of psychologists'. Otherwise, it is recommended that social worker licensing be immediately repealed.


Pedorthist (Custom Orthotics, etc.) Licensure in Oklahoma by Byron Schlomach summarizes Oklahoma's pedorthist licensing law and evaluates whether there is any public interest justification for licensing the occupation. None is found and the law's immediate repeal is recommended.


Electrologist (Hair Removal) Licensure in Oklahoma by Byron Schlomach summarizes Oklahoma's electrology licensing law, pointing out how it is the most onerous in the nation. No public interest justification is found for licensing electrology. Thus, the law's immediate repeal is recommended.


Funeral Director and Embalmer Licensure in Oklahoma by Byron Schlomach and Baylee Butler briefly describes licensing of the funeral and embalming industry in Oklahoma. It finds no public interest justification for such licensing and recommends that the licensing statute be allowed to expire on its sunset date in 2020, if not repealed sooner.


Barbering and Cosmetology Licensure in Oklahoma by Byron Schlomach briefly describes the state of cosmetology and barbering licensing in the state. It recommends that the licensing statute in this area be allowed to expire July 1,2017 according to its sunset date.