Obama’s Economic Advisers Agree with Milton Friedman on government licensing

Today would have been Milton Friedman’s 103rd birthday. The Rio Grande Foundation celebrated this morning (look for details on that shortly), but I thought this story from earlier in the week was interesting as it shows that the issues Friedman discussed — in this case professional licensing — remain important today.

As the article notes, Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers has published a new report critiquing professional licensing:

Burdensome occupational licensing requirements can create barriers for workers and add costs to consumers, a White House report released Tuesday found.

The state-issued licenses required to carry out certain jobs should be used only to address legitimate public health and safety concerns, the report recommended.

Friedman was a strong opponent of government licensing including of medical professionals. Needless to say, he would have opposed the myriad regulations imposed by governments like New Mexico which places the 9th most onerous professional licensing regulations among the 50 states according to the Institute for Justice.