What Is Wrong With Occupational Licensing?


D. Saul Weiner's picture

Not sure why the people protesting occupational licensing give a pass to the doctors, in the name of "health and safety".

Medical licensing has made the practice of medicine far more dangerous than it would otherwise have been. Not to mention, far more expensive.

Serenity's picture

That is absolutely true. Licensing is about restricting knowledge and information. Restricting the trade to a select few determined by the State and its Institutions. Elimination of liberty. not the enhancement. people die at a rate that should be alarming but for reason it is ignored. Thousands of people every year die at the hands of the medical establishment and the legal drug industry. This isn't about protection. it is about elimination of choice. Taking away people's ability to decide for themselves. Today, In fact , people are forced to use ''Licensed'' Doctors. The procedures those Licensed professionals decide upon are frequently forced on their willing victims at the point of a gun.  Rarely do these professionals cure a disease or illness. They don't make money with healthy people. They need a sick people to 'treat'. Licensing gives them the legal right to do this to people. Licensing has eliminated health by destroying choice and giving power to people who should never have it.

Jim Davies's picture

Might you agree, though, that licensure inhibits improvement in health, rather than absolutely decreasing it?
I looked at this article about life expectancy at birth, and saw that during the 20th Century it rose by 30 years. That's not trivial, and no doubt results from giant leaps in medical science.
It also says that recently, the statistic has fallen slightly. Perhaps that results from a mounting congestion of the health-care delivery system. However it notes that some other countries show a longer life expectancy, including France, Iceland, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland (at 83 each, vs. 79 for the US.) Most of those countries have a system even more tightly controlled by government than we do.
So, do these figures support your conclusion?  If not, there are still powerful arguments against licensure: that freedom of choice is even more important than health, and that price is a vital part of the choosing.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

"Might you agree, though, that licensure inhibits improvement in health, rather than absolutely decreasing it?"

I do not think that such a statement is true in all cases. There have been numerous instances of medical practice regressing and I think that a lot of them are due to the existence of a medical cartel which was promoting its own interests at the expense of patients' health.

It is difficult to draw conclusions about the relationship between life expectancies and the performance of the health care system, because there are many other factors which have a bearing, and frequently a decisive one.

The primary reason for the large increase in life expectancy during the 20th century for the U.S. was the decline in mortality from infectious disease. And that decline is largely attributable to improvements in sanitation. Life expectancy is also affected by levels of prosperity, which have generally increased since 1900.

I recently wrote this article which discusses life expectancy, among other things, and you may find it to be of interest.


Jim Davies's picture

In your article, Saul, you mention Mr Milham's finding that health has been significantly impacted by spikes in high-voltage electricity. Are such spikes unavoidable in electrical grids?
If so, it's curious that Sweden, a country in which electrification took place faster and several decades earlier than perhaps any other, has a life expectancy four years longer than the USA. It also has had socialized medicine since 1955. Correlation, of course, does not prove causation.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

My understanding is that these spikes can be mitigated. They already are, to some degree, so that the electricity does not damage the generating equipment. That said, I am far from an expert on electricity, so I can't offer more of a response here.

Milham mentions Sweden during one section of the book. I left it out of my article to keep things brief, but it is a really interesting and important discussion. There has been a paradox noted by economists for several decades: mortality has been increasing during recent recessions, whereas you would expect the opposite to be the case. There is data from Sweden showing that mortality went up during recessions prior to electrification and then the pattern changed after electrification. This strengthens the case that the data that Milham compiled represents causation, not simply correlation. This also resolves the paradox that has long puzzled economists: greater production corresponds to higher exposure to dirty electricity.

I would recommend reading Dr. Milham's book, which is short, accessible, and only costs a few dollars on Kindle.

He has also done some pretty interesting research subsequent to the publication of his book. For example, he published a really ingenious study which implicates dirty electricity in the obesity epidemic. When you read articles about addressing the obesity crisis, this issue simply is not on anybody's radar. There are links to his recent papers on his website.

D. Saul Weiner's picture

I should have also mentioned that the problem is not limited to dirty electricity generated at its source. It is also generated by many of the modern "devices" we use. It arises when the devices do things to interrupt the flow of electricity. So part of the solution to these problems is going to involve changes in how technology is designed or utilized. But this is unlikely to happen until there is a greater awareness of the significance of the problem.

Jim Davies's picture

Sorry - reposted as a reply.