Rocky Balboa and the trouble with occupational licensing

The Moving Pictures Institute has put together the clip from Rocky Balboa in which Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) fights the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission for his right to box.

“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!” says Rocky Balboa, whom I have referenced previously in discussions of Occupational Licensing.

A couple of other links from the blogosphere on this topic:

As numerous economic studies have shown, government licensing standards do not improve consumer health and safety. In fact, oftentimes, licensing causes product or service quality and consumer safety to decrease. This is because licensing requirements are often arbitrary and not necessarily related to practical job skills or knowledge, and the false sense of security that a license provides causes people to be less discriminating about who they do business with. In addition, licensing raises the costs of doing business, thereby reducing competition and allowing the licensees to charge more than they could in a free market. These artificially high prices have consequences, causing people to do more dangerous do-it-yourself work, reduce their medical visits, or resort to black markets. Studies have shown, for example, that electrocution rates are higher in places where there are stricter electrician licensing laws and states with stricter dental licensing laws had the highest incidence of poor dental hygiene.

  • The SPN Blog notes that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is actually fighting back against occupational licensing, particularly in the cases of shampooers and fortune tellers.  That’s right, in SC you have to get approval from the government to put shampoo in someone else’s hair or predict the future.