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How to Keep the Unemployed Out of Work

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Mark V. Holden, general counsel and senior vice president at Koch Industries, decries occupational licensing requirements as an impediment to opportunity that do little to improve quality or safety. Holden says that entrenched players in an industry often seek to impose licensing as a method to keep competitors out of a field. He notes, “The harm of licensing rules shouldn’t be underestimated: By one assessment, such regulation has prevented the creation of nearly three million jobs and lowered entrepreneurship rates. Instead of licenses, states could require certification, a lower qualification that doesn’t bar outsiders from offering a similar service.” Additionally, he expresses concern that some licensing precludes those with a criminal record, providing another impediment for those looking to become productive members of society. 

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