providers. Supply of a given service isntherefore also limited. If demand remainsnconstant, the price of the servicenwill tend to rise. Monopoly rents, as theneconomist calls them, are captured as anresult.nThis means that regulation’s beneficiariesnreceive higher-than-marketnincome thanks to government intervention,nenriching themselves at the expensenof consumers. The situation isncomplicated by “escalator” effects innlicensing, which intensify regulationnand expand it. “Escalator effects refer tonthe tendency common among all professionsnof increasing constraints onnentry—for example, education, experience,nand training requirements—afternlicensing laws have been introduced.”nLicensing also hinders innovation,nbecause established members of a professionnhave a vested interest in theirnexisting skills and prior training. Changesnhave been fought, at least for a time,nby most professions through their controlnof the licensing process.nThe history of occupational regulationnprovides ample evidence for thenanticonsumer and anti-enterprise naturenof licensing. After the AmericannRevolution, the medieval and mercantilistnregulations carried over from Englandnfell into disuse. This threatenednpractitioner income. The medical profession,nin the 19th century, was especiallyndetermined to eliminate competitionnand limit numbers. Theirnprofessional groups, the state medicalnsocieties, sought licensing and wished tondominate it themselves:nThe early licensing movementnmet with considerable resistance,nhowever. In the 1830’s andn1840’s, when thenJeffersonian/Jacksoniannphilosophy of laissez-faire was atnits zenith, many consumersnreacted negatively to statenregulation of the medicalnprofession. Their principalntargets were state laws curtailingnthe operation of proprietarynmedical schools. Based on anfirm belief in the doctrine ofncaveat emptor, reformersnsucceeded in preventingnpassage of licensing laws innseveral states and managed tonhave laws repealed in others.nConsequently, by thenmid-1800’s the medicalnprofession was open to almostnanyone who chose to hang outna shingle.nIn response, the American MedicalnAssociation was founded in 1847. Itsnpurpose then and now has been to raisenpractitioner income by limiting numbersnand fending off alternatives. Theynhave been highly successful. Licensingnwas sought in other professions andntrades as well. “In the blue-collar trades,nwhite-controlled labor unions werenamong the most vociferous and avidnsupporters of licensure. Plumbers, electricians,nand railroad firemen all lobbiednfor licensing laws with the express purposenof excluding blacks.”nThe surge in regulation from 1890nto 1920, including occupations, camenabout as part of a shift in academicnthinking and consequently, public opinionnfrom individualism to statism. Thisn”ideological” explanation does notnmean that political pressure or corruptionnwere not at work as well.nThe study of the economics of regulationnhas broadened from an analysis ofnits effects to the analysis of how we getnregulation. We do not get regulationnbecause it would serve the “public” butnbecause the beneficiaries are concentratednand able to organize. The interestngroups lobby and offer other benefitsn(legal and illegal) to politicians andnbureaucrats. The benefits of deregula­ntion, on the other hand, are diffused,nmaking it hard to rally consumers.nYoung finds the results of reform effortsnup to date to be unimpressive.n”Individual liberty,” contends Young,n”may be a longstanding American traditionnbut it has done little to stem thentide of professional regulation or itsncontrol by the professions. True reformncan come only from the willingness ofnlicensing opponents to meet the challengesnposed by licensing advocates innthe political, legal, and intellectual arenas.”nRichard A. Cooper is an import/nexport manager.nRevisionistnEconomicsnby Tommy W. RogersnEntrepreneurs vs. the State: AnNew Look at the Rise of BignBusiness in America 1840-1920 bynBurton W. Folsom Jr., Reston, VA:nYoung America’s Foundation;n$16.95.nJames J. Hill and the transcontinentalnrailroads. Commodore Vanderbilt andnthe steamship industry, the Scrantonsnand the development of the iron-railnindustry, Chades Schwab and the steeln”Wc Love ^Ihe great “Dead “Poetsn—we just don’t publish them. America teems with live poetsnwho inject venerable poetic conventions with singularlynAmerican vitality. The dead poets, many of whom arenstill on their feet, deserve a rest. Try us.nPLAINS POETRY JOURNALnP.O. Box 2337, Bismarck, ND 58502nedited by JANE GREERnQuarterly. $14/year, $24/2 years. Send SASE for hearteningneditorial manifesto. Order with this ad or facsimile andnGET 5 ISSUES FOR THE PRICE OF 4.nNamenAddressn(Please enclose payment with order)nnnAUGUST 1988 / 37n