Teeth whiteners case underscores cartel arrangement of licensing

George Will discusses the issue at stake in the Connecticut teeth whiteners’ dispute:

The case concerns a minor economic activity, teeth whitening, but a major principle: Can a state limit Americans’ opportunities by restricting access to particular professions for no reason other than the enrichment of people entrenched in those professions?

Readers will recall that last year the Supreme Court has that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners violated federal antitrust laws by ordering teeth whiteners without dental licenses to cease and desist.

The ruling alerted policymakers in North Carolina to the inherent anticompetitive nature of licensing boards. This is a state whose Constitution, in its very first article, recognizes as self-evident the right of all people to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor.”

For that reason, I have promoted voluntary certification over state licensure. Here is a chart comparing the two:

Click the image for the full size.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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