The case for certification instead of licensure
What if the government had told Henry Ford or Bill Gates they were prohibited from manufacturing or selling their products because cars and operating systems do not “serve a useful present or future purpose”, or are “inconsistent with the public convenience and necessity”?
In Missouri until 2012, that’s exactly what the state highways and transportation department told many applicants who wanted to start a moving business. No, their applications were not turned down because they represented a possible risk to life, limb, or furniture, or they might damage public highways. Applicants were denied the right to offer household moving services because a state agency fatuously found that their service did not serve a useful present or future purpose, or was inconsistent with the public convenience and necessity.
Most citizens of Missouri would be appalled to learn that a state agency had the legal authority, not to speak of the wisdom, to determine which household moving businesses were useful or necessary and which were not. Thankfully, the law regulating who may and who may not offer moving services was repealed on August 28, 2012 by amending legislation. Now a household mover must only be “fit, willing & able” to qualify for a certificate to move household goods.
Household movers now have a freer choice of occupations. But there are still thousands of Missourians, who are fit, willing, and able to pursue their occupations and want to risk their time and capital to pursue their dreams, but still must obtain state permission to work. Is there a way we could make it possible for these citizens to find productive work? I think so. Amend the law to allow occupational certification instead of occupational licensing. University of Minnesota Professor Morris Kleiner says that merely changing from occupational licensing to occupational certification would increase the number of jobs in Minnesota by 15,000. Continue reading