Professional licensing and the Italian Stallion

In light of recent news about state licensing boards going after eBay sellers and our discussion of professional licensing boards in Government on a Diet, here are some thoughts on occupational freedom by the eminent economic philosopher … Rocky Balboa.

While Rocky is not as articulate as Milton Friedman on this issue (and the “Boxing Commissioner”/Stallone confuse the Bill of Rights with the Declaration of Independence), the naive dialog between Rocky and the fictionalized version of the State Athletic Commission gets the point across:

Rocky Balboa: Yo, don’t I got some rights?

Boxing Commissioner: What rights do you think you’re referring to?

Rocky Balboa: Rights, like in that official piece of paper they wrote down the street there?

Boxing Commissioner: That’s the Bill of Rights.

Rocky Balboa: Yeah, yeah. Bill of Rights. Don’t it say something about going after what makes you happy?

Boxing Commissioner: No, that’s the pursuit of happiness. But what’s your point

Rocky Balboa: My point is I’m pursuing something and nobody looks too happy about it.

Boxing Commissioner: But… we’re just looking out for your interests.

Rocky Balboa: I appreciate that, but maybe you’re looking out for your interests just a little bit more. I mean you shouldn’t be asking people to come down here and pay the freight on something they paid, it still ain’t good enough, I mean you think that’s right? I mean maybe you’re doing your job but why you gotta stop me from doing mine? Cause if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you? I mean maybe some of you guys got something you never finished, something you really want to do, something you never said to someone, something… and you’re told no, even after you paid your dues? Who’s got the right to tell you that, who? Nobody! It’s your right to listen to your gut, it ain’t nobody’s right to say no after you earned the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do!… You know, the older I get the more things I gotta leave behind, that’s life. The only thing I’m asking you guys to leave on the table… is what’s right.