Why there’s always way more lobbying FOR occupational licensing than AGAINST it

My newsletter explains that and a few other issues concerning licensing.

It’s the problem of public-choice economics. As I wrote here about a similar problem:

Do legislators serve the interests of citizens of North Carolina, or do they serve the interests of a powerful industry group?

In my phrasing, it’s not much of a choice. I see it as a moral imperative.

For those legislators with a different perspective, it can be a difficult choice. It is the dilemma described by public-choice economics.

What do policymakers choose when they can bestow concentrated big benefits on a single “winner” industry while dispersing the costs across the many? They tend to hear nearly exclusively from the winner industry; why?

  • How does the big-winner industry react? They pour money and effort into lobbying; the potential payoff is worth it.
  • What about private individuals facing real — but smaller, spread out among so many — costs?The time and effort to fight on their behalf is usually too expensive.

I discussed this imbalance on pages 6–7 of my report on Carolina Cronyism. It takes principled leaders to resist public-choice cronyism. …

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...

Reader Comments