Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Robots Win

Add another thing to the list of things robots are better than people at. Rock Paper Scissors. Our robot overlords will now look down at us while we sit in the middle seat.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Licensed to work

One of the issues I have decided is most important to address in America is licensing for professions running amok. Right now you need state permission to start down any one of hundreds of different professions. This might have a place with doctors, but moving it all the way down to hairdressers is absurd.

What seems to happen is that people who are part of a profession have figured out that if they block the competition from getting started they can make more money. These laws get passed because few people know enough about the profession to fight them. Then after some time, young people find themselves blocked from most career paths by absurd obstacles.

It would not be so bad if these were typically mid career stepping stones, but instead they often happen at the very start of careers. This creates a horrible problem for anyone looking for a job. In order to even get a foot in the door to see if you would like that profession you often must spend tens of thousands of dollars and several years in school. What if you go through all that education to find out that you hate the job? There is little you can do to avoid that fate since you will not be likely to get any similar job without surpassing those barriers.

Also education trumps knowledge in most fields. If you happen to know everything about a particular profession (say you did it in another country without these licensing requirements) than you typically cannot demonstrate your knowledge of the field in a simple test than get a job. Instead schools and people who are currently licensed lobby for higher and higher educational hurdles that they can make money off of.

Anyways, this is starting to get some attention, as in this New York Times article, but I doubt it will be solved until unemployment gets bad enough that politicians have incentive to finally fight the government waste. Then they can produce jobs which they can then boast about.