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I used to believe that licensing doctors and lawyers protected consumers, but now I realize that licensing is always an expensive restraint of trade. It certainly hasn't barred quacks and shysters.
Licensing is unnecessary. It creates a false sense of security, raises costs, stifles innovation and takes away consumer choice.
I don't deny that there is fraud in business. I won Emmys for exposing it. Fraud is one of three crimes that must be policed and punished for the market to function (theft and physical assault are the others). Once that's done, however, as long as there is open competition, honesty pretty much takes care of itself.
Free competition—the striving for a good reputation—protects consumers better than government ever will.
John Stossel (read his Reason archive) is the host of Stossel, which airs Thursdays on the FOX Business Network at 9 pm ET and is rebroadcast on Saturdays and Sundays at 9pm & midnight ET. Go here for more info.