The Institute for Justice’s Director of Strategic Research, Dick Carpenter, poses a question of auctioneer Robert Burns as Americans for Prosperity activist Jeff Pollard listens intently to Carpenter’s question. The question was posed during a video production of IJ’s nationwide video tour touting alternatives to occupational licensing across the U. S.
Five months ago, the Institute for Justice (IJ), which is a nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Virginia which routinely sues governmental agencies on behalf of adversely-impacted individuals, asked Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns to serve as the auctioneer in the organization’s latest video entailing occupational licensing alternatives.
Burns works closely with IJ officials, together with the Louisiana Chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), also headquartered in Arlington, and the Louisiana-based Pelican Institute on a variety of issues, and Sound Off Louisiana subscribers, many of whom hold Louisiana occupational licenses themselves, know that the number one issue about which Burns is most passionate is occupational licensing reform in Louisiana.
The video produced by IJ is a stellar production which required an enormous amount of time and effort on the part of the six-person camera crew who made a recent national tour to film the video. They spent two days in the Baton Rouge area enjoying our fine seafood cuisine, and they spent nearly four hours shooting video scenes for a 1:10 segment of the final video, which was released yesterday (Saturday, August 17, 2019). The whole experience was very educational for Burns as IJ employs professional filmmaking experts for its video productions.
Before presenting the video, we’d like to express sincere appreciation to fellow AFP activist Jeff Pollard and also to the person most special to Burns in the entire world, his mom, Helen Yvonne Burns, who were also featured several times in the 70-second auction segment of the video as bidders at the auction!
So, without further ado, here is the Institute for Justice’s video production touting alternatives to repressive, job-killing, protectionist occupational licensing statutes across the U. S. (Louisiana auction portion is from the 3:50 – 5:03 mark).
IJ’s 8/17/19 release of video promoting alternatives to repressive, job-killing, protectionist occupational licensing across the US (3:50 – 5:03 mark features Sound Off Louisiana‘s founder, Robert Burns, conducting an auction).
Although the video was released only yesterday and has yet to even be promoted by the Institute for Justice, it already has over 3,100 views as of this publication.
As the video indicates, the specific occupations referenced include tour-guide licensing (Savannah, Georgia); auto mechanic (Phoenix, Arizona); auctioneer (Baton Rouge, Louisiana); roofing; and interior design.
As many Sound Off Louisiana subscribers are aware, the Pelican Institute’s Executive Officer, Daniel Erspamer, in a presentation before the Baton Rouge Press Club (BRPC) on Monday, March 4, 2019, was quick to identify interior design as among the lowest-hanging fruit of occupational licensing in Louisiana which should be eliminated. To that end, Sound Off Louisiana sponsors a full-blown website demonstrating exactly why Louisiana should join 47 other states which do NOT license interior designers.
In the approximate 35-year history of the Louisiana Interior Design Board (IDB), they have NEVER (emphasis on the word “NEVER”) adjudicated a SINGLE consumer complaint entailing alleged faulty interior design work. Not one!!!!!
One influential rising-star conservative legislator who has befriended Sound Off’s Burns and regularly speaks with him entailing occupational licensing, was literally stunned to find out the actual existence of an Interior Design Board (likely he’ll click on the preceding link to know it’s not a joke – well at least not literally – many folk have certainly characterized the board’s existence as a “total joke”)! Burns responded to him, “That’s exactly the way they want it (i.e. fly totally below radar). The board’s sole goal is to lock out competition and artificially inflate their own incomes through protectionist barriers to entry.”
Louisiana has BY FAR the highest barriers to entry in the entire nation regarding the interior design profession. Specifically, Louisiana requires a four-year college degree with an interior design major along with a two-year apprenticeship under a Louisiana-licensed interior designer (assuming the graduate is fortunate enough to find such a person to “sponsor” her).
As a result of the extensive efforts of one single legislator who is among Louisiana Republican lawmakers’ rising superstars, Julie Emerson of Carencro, significant legislative progress has been made to facilitate future laser surgery on certain occupations in Louisiana which have historically not only in no way whatsoever protected consumers but have, in reality, through licensure, served to block out competition (most especially the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry and the Cosmetology Board entailing cosmetology schools) by harassing competitors and quite literally driving them right out of business.
Past practices of Louisiana’s occupational licensing boards and commissions provide the basis for why we placed such heavy focus on Sen. John Milkovich’s SB-260 to provide such targeted occupational licensees the RIGHT to have any administrative hearing adjudicated by a disinterested party (the Division of Administrative Law). Those practices are also why we relied upon support of his measure so heavily as the secondary criterion (second only to consistent opposition to increased taxes) in making our strong endorsement of Rep. Raymond Garofalo, Jr. to be the next Louisiana Speaker of the House.
Radical changes are absolutely required to Louisiana’s regulation of low-wage occupations entailing licensing in order to make Louisiana far more competitive with other states and reverse the outmigration problem which is becoming an epidemic in Louisiana.
Other deficiencies also have to be addressed such as the state suing our biggest employers in the oil and gas industries and the out-of-control judicial hell hole existing in Louisiana as a result of an obscenely-high jury trial threshold that has caused many businesses to literally collapse as a result of the staggering insurance premiums which have arisen from that out-of-control judicial system.
The simple reality is that the trial lawyers have brought about their own impending business model’s demise because they have exploited it to the extent that it literally faces collapse from under its own weight from too many people now screaming in anger to their legislators regarding their sky-high insurance rates!
We are very pleased with the list of candidates who have submitted their names for service in both Chambers of Louisiana Legislature as being willing to bring about the badly-needed radical changes in the way occupational licensing is governed in Louisiana (together with other issues just referenced), and we look very forward to continuing to work with the folk at IJ, AFP, and PI to bring about those radical changes and reforms.
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