How free are you to engage in the occupation of your choice? In Oregon the answer appears to be—not so much. No one is quite sure how many occupations actually require a license, but The Oregon License Directory currently contains 1,190 entries by 113 agencies. While items like drivers’ licenses and concealed carry handgun permits are included, many are occupational licenses, and those often take significant time and money to obtain. Also, the site warns that not all jurisdictions are even in the directory yet, so “adding these additional licenses may take years.”

Recently, one lobbyist told a legislative committee why he thought the state requires such licensing. He said:

“The only reason that the state of Oregon through the Oregon legislature licenses any individual profession or industry is to
protect the public health, safety and welfare. That’s it.”
*

But that’s not the only reason. All too often, existing practitioners ask government to impose requirements that keep competitors and newcomers out of their markets, effectively denying them the right to earn an honest living. As one academic notes, “Occupational regulation has served to limit consumer choice, raise consumer costs…deprive the poor of adequate services, and restrict job opportunities for minorities—all without demonstrated improvement in quality or safety of the licensed activities.”

Cascade has been instrumental in reducing license requirements in the home moving and natural hair braiding fields.

It’s time to greatly expand the right to earn an honest living in Oregon.

* Jim Markee, lobbyist for the Oregon Association of Cosmetology Colleges, testifying on HB 3409 (which reduced licensing requirements on natural hair braiders) before the Senate General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee, May 17, 2013. The quote starts at the 37:18 mark in the hearing audio archive.

Oregon Licensed Occupations 2006

Steve Buckstein is founder and Senior Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

 

2 Responses to “Expanding the Chance to Earn an Honest Living in Oregon”

  1. Donna Bleiler June 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Every license fee and restricting regulation is an added tax to do business and it rolls down to consumers. If all the fees collected were added to the state budget for operation of that agency, we would be more than shocked.

  2. Rob June 26, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Glad to see you are taking up the important cause of changing licensing requirements for natural hair braiders and home movers.

Leave a Reply

 

Other Publications by Steve

Oregon Seniors Deserve Truth in Medicare Reform

Steve Buckstein | March 26, 2015
By Steve Buckstein and Patrick M. Gleason If Congress doesn’t act by the end of this month, when payment cuts to Medicare providers are scheduled ...  read more

Human Achievement Hour 2015

Steve Buckstein | March 25, 2015
This Saturday you’ll have the opportunity to vote with your light switches. Either turn your lights off from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time ...  read more

Mandating Common Core, High-Stakes Testing Drives Oregon Further into the “Bureaucratic Trap of Good Intentions”

Steve Buckstein | March 19, 2015
The Oregon Department of Education currently requires Oregon school districts to align instruction and assessments with the Common Core State Standards. A bill now before ...  read more

More On These Topics

Human Achievement Hour 2015

Steve Buckstein | March 25, 2015
This Saturday you’ll have the opportunity to vote with your light switches. Either turn your lights off from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time ...  read more

TriMet’s Great Disappearing Act

John Charles | March 18, 2015
During the 2003 session of the Oregon State Legislature, TriMet sought an increase in the regional payroll tax rate. In public testimony, TriMet General Manager ...  read more

Is Your Five-Year-Old Ready for Full-Day Kindergarten?

Kathryn Hickok | March 11, 2015
The Oregon State Senate is considering a bill that would lower Oregon’s compulsory, full-time school age from seven to five. Senate Bill 321 was heard ...  read more