Policy

Protecting America from the Dire Threat of Unlicensed Fabric Selection

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Writing in Forbes, Institute for Justice President Chip Mellor highlights a very important effort by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to eliminate costly and unnecessary licensing requirements that currently infringe on the right to earn a living in 20 different occupations, including hair braiding and ballroom dance instruction. As Mellor notes, the special interests are pulling out all the stops to protect their lucrative licensing racket:

The most vocal of those seeking to maintain their protected status are interior designers. Florida is one of only three states that regulates the practice of interior design; the other two are Louisiana and Nevada. Even though no less than the Florida Attorney General's office has admitted there is no evidence that interior design licensing has benefited the public in any way, the designers' cartel has hired a high-powered lobbyist to wage an aggressive PR campaign to remove interior design from the should-be deregulated industries.

Among other efforts, the cartel bused in interior design students to Tallahassee from across the state to tell legislators that their degrees would become "worthless" if other people could freely practice interior design in Florida the way they can in 47 other states. One designer claimed that allowing just anyone to practice interior design would contribute to 88,000 deaths annually because of poor fabric selection. Another offered bizarre assertions about how color schemes affect salivation and autonomic nervous systems. Of course, no evidence was offered to support any of those assertions, which is hardly surprising since there isn't any.

Yes, you read that last paragraph correctly. For more on occupational licensing run amok, check out Reason.tv's "Throw-Pillow Fight: Is your interior designer really putting your life at risk?"

NEXT: Reason.tv: Bernie Sanders' War on Chinese Bobbleheads!

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  1. 88,000 deaths annually because of poor fabric selection

    So these must be the "fashion victims" I keep hearing about on the Style Network?

    1. Another offered bizarre assertions about how color schemes affect salivation and autonomic nervous systems.

      Without licensed interior designers, everyone will become drooling epileptic piles of quivering flesh! And the living will envy the dead!

      1. How can we even be sure that they know what they are doing? No, the profession needs to be nationalized and conducted by state employees. There is no other way to assure professionalism in a world of greed.

    2. Poor fabric selection contributed to my grandfather's death.

      Polyester underwear and fire do not mix well. He survived the fire, but it caused health problems that led to an early death 6 years later.

      I wear only cotton, silk, or merino wool underwear.

      Admittedly, I'm not sure how this applies to interior design. No synthetic curtains or upholstery?

  2. I knew it! I just fucking knew it!

    I'm not sure what it is precisely, but I did know it.

  3. Why is Reason against fabric safety? I know, it's because they want children and old people to die.

      1. I'd like to donate to your cause, but could I see you run around the block first?

  4. Does nobody remember Miami in the early 80s?! 88,000 people probably died from color poisoning just in Miami. Do you monsters really want to go back to garish South Beach chic? I'm pretty tolerant of a lot of your perversions, but this! THIS is where I draw a line in the carpet.

    1. Not Berber carpet, I hope. You'd better be drawing that line in a $2 M handwoven silk rug that deftly sets off the lampshade placed just so on that antique reproduction side table.

      1. I hope you have a license permitting you to dispense that advice, missy....

        1. *primly pulls hair into a perfectly tousled updo*

          I got my decorator's degree in a box of cereal, thank you very much. I'm perfectly qualified!

          1. *primly pulls hair into a perfectly tousled updo*

            Go on....

            1. FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP

          2. I hope your do was done by a licensed hairdo specialist.

          3. I hope your do was done by a licensed hairdo specialist.

            1. It will be this afternoon, when I see my stylist 🙂

      2. Shag. But hipster-retro-cool shag. Not the old fire accelerant stuff from the 70s. Maybe I should pay a licensed interior decorator....

        1. OHHHHHHH! I am disappoint 🙁

          Was hoping you'd say Fucking Blaze Orange 70's Shag! When we bought our first house, I remember one they showed us that had orange kitchen countertops and orange shag in the living room. With the avacado green appliances.

          FUCK YEAH! It was like I was 13 again...orange shag carpet for the fucking 70's WIN!

          1. I totally should have bought that house and set it up as The 70's Museum.

            OK, no...

          2. I think I lived in that house in the mid-80s, but ours was a split-level.

          3. The only orange shag I saw was my cousin's roommate Janice who walked around bottomless when she was getting ready for a date on Saturday nights, and my cousin was stuck home babysitting me. THAT will be burned in my memory for all time.

            1. "The only orange shag I saw was my cousin's roommate Janice who walked around bottomless when she was getting ready for a date on Saturday nights"

              You have a problem with that?

          4. Orange shag carpet - a visual. You must be over 21 and blind to view this:
            http://uglyhousephotos.com/wordpress/?p=13147

            I note that during the Vietnam conflict photos of such were used in the carpet bombing of North Vietnam, but Geneva war crime concerns ended the practice. Kissinger noted that only one more month of orange shag carpet bombing, and the NV would have capitulated.

            1. THAT'S THE PLACE!! The dark-stained bad paneling for the perfect, awful complement.

              Oh, that's fucking horrid. Well done, Fresno Dan, well done!

              1. Not bad but perfect 70s would have been an artificial rock fireplace.

  5. Do you know how much cheaper monocles would be if we deregulated optometry?

  6. Among other efforts, the cartel bused in interior design students to Tallahassee from across the state to tell legislators that their degrees would become "worthless" if other people could freely practice interior design in Florida the way they can in 47 other states.

    A net positive. The interior design "degree" strangled in the crib.

    1. Seriously, if California doesn't regulate it, how dangerous can it be?

      1. True story of how f'ed up that place is.

        My wife and I were test-driving cars last year. The salesman at one of the dealerships asked us if we minded if he dipped while we drove the car.

        We said sure, knock yourself out. I mean, we think it's gross, but you're not impacting us, and we're out in public, so do whatever you want.

        He tells us he recently came from Cali, and they actually have laws against spitting dip. He couldn't believe that he was allowed to dip in public here, even at work if the customers didn't mind. He was really and truly amazed. I, alas, was not, because it's California.

        1. You decided to dip, now you gonna trip cuz anotha brotha noticed me..

        2. To be honest, to the extent that dip creates ample opportunities for a person to bring another person involuntarily in contact with their filthy, disease-ridden bodily fluids (as I know from horrifying personal experience), I'm fine with considering it a form of minor assault, to be punished with a small fine, or torture followed by beheading.

          1. I could potentially see it being some minor crime if they do get bodily fluids on you, but not just the act itself. Like throwing a rock is ok, but hitting someone with a rock isn't.

    2. It is a worthless degree. Getting rid of the licensing will just make the market reflect that fact.

      1. Next stop area studies degrees (just learn a language already), transgender studies degrees (yes, you are screwed up already), and just about anything with the word "studies" in its title.

      2. but they also forced all those people to get a degree to take the chosen career. Somehow, I think the government needs to give them back their money.

    3. Also their degrees are worthless because they didn't learn shit.

    4. Er, how many interior design jobs are there in Florida anyway? If you can fill multiple buses with students, it would seem there's already a glut even with licensing.

      1. Not that many apparently. My friend's wife is one, and she's currently working a temporary job in Virginia.

  7. STOP! Those drapes don't go with that carpet!

    1. "That's what she said"

      1. That's not what your mother said last night, Trebek

        1. LOL. I watched the same retrospective the other night.

    2. The're not "drapes" they are "window treatments." Phillistine!

      1. Do the window treatments match the floor coverings? Just not the same ring to it.

        1. Damn airplane blondes.

  8. I decorated my own home and to the best of my knowledge nobody died. Although my mother did say the color I painted the sunroom made her sick. In any case, as a Floridian did I break the law by decorating while unlicensed? I just found out last week that I was supposed to get a permit from the county to swap out my front door.

    1. Not that I swapped out my front door. That would be wrong.

      1. A license to change your door? Fer reelz playa?

        That's more fucked up than usual.

        1. Most of those permitting things are on the books in small towns/suburbs to hassle the unconnected contractors. You can pretty much do anything you want (within fire safety reasons) if you do it yourself but if you hire someone to do it then all the obscure code violations get enforced. Little Hitlers, all.

      2. I've seen your front door, and it matches you back door very nicely.

  9. 88,000 deaths annually because of poor fabric selection

    I didn't know you could still select asbestos fabric?

    1. I think this might be regarding the Newcular Titties Fabric? from Japan:

      "Light Up Your Nights with Newcular Titties Fabric? - The Fabric That Glows?!"

    2. No, no - it's that high-capacity, high-powered, telescoping, automatic, pistol-gripped fabric that you can spray from the hip. That shit is stone cold lethal.

  10. "One designer claimed that allowing just anyone to practice interior design would contribute to 88,000 deaths annually because of poor fabric selection. Another offered bizarre assertions about how color schemes affect salivation and autonomic nervous systems."

    This is why we can't have nice things.

  11. Hey, don't laugh - this is serious. I mean, I've been in some cheap hotels where the room decor made me physically ill.

    1. That was the mold and bedbugs, BSR. That and whatever's been left on that unwashed duvet.

    2. Dude, its not the cheap hotels, its the whores, like we've been telling you.

    3. But the hourly rate was within your budget.

  12. For more fun you might enjoy some more details:
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/b.....or/1160945

    From the story:
    "I came to this country for two reasons. I came for freedom, and I also came for a dream, a dream which you want to take away from me,"

    1. "I came here for two reasons. To kick ass and chew bubblegum... and I'm all out of bubblegum."

      Also, tampabay.com has the slowest loading site on the entire interwebz. Gods, I detest their site.

    2. Most depressing part of the story-

      "The House panel spent more time Wednesday on this issue than on the $66 billion budget proposal."

      Nicely done.

    3. Wow. "Freedom" really is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?

    4. From the story:
      "I came to this country for two reasons. I came for freedom, and I also came for a dream, a dream which you want to take away from me,"

      Must be one of those heroic entrepreneur-immigrants that liberaltarians rave about.

    5. In reply to "I came for freedom. . . a dream which you want to take away from me....
      Well I was born here and you are taking away my dream of being an interior designer in Florida. . .
      The drama works both ways, but I didn't get a free ride on the bus. . . .
      I do feel sorry for these poor little puppets, they think testifying will get them jobs. How humiliated they will become when they realize it didn't matter in the long run and that they were used by ASID.

  13. The interior design educators fucked up. They should have added the word science to their discipline. You know, just like social science did.

    1. Here ya go, Champ -- Bachelor of Science, lower right.

      1. At least they make them learn AutoCAD and drafting for that BS.

  14. Who does the interior designing for the Alabama prisons?

  15. I'm noticing the 22 states in the video which regulate interior design.

    When this is considered the cutting edge, there may be an argument about public safety that can be made.

  16. Does the licensing law cover interior decorators, as this post implies, or just interior designers, who do all of the interior work that architects do, without involving themselves in exteriors and structures?

    Because the first would be silly and worthy of ridicule, while the second a little less- interior designers lay out interior partitions, routes of egress, lighting, accessibility, etc. These are things that can affect the survivability of occupants in a fire or other disaster. Negligent design of interiors can lead to big liability.

    Even if the state were to wither away to nothing (G-d willing), if there was still tort liability and insurance covering that liability, interior designers and architects and engineers would still be licensed- not by the state, but by Underwriters Laboratories, or Factory Mutual, or some other insurance company or cartel.

    1. And there would be competing insurance companies that had rates commensurate on how much or how little they regulated.

      1. Yeah, just like there are fly-by-night insurance companies now that charge cheap rates for minimum required auto liability coverage. They're great for those who don't have any assets to protect, but if you own anything that you would prefer not to lose due to bad luck, they're not so attractive.

    2. I was actually talking about this last night with my gf, who is an interior designer (works for a regional furniture chain as a bay designer and as an assistant to the interior design department's professors at a local college), and she considers the idea that interior design certification is necessary for safety reasons to be laughable. Some familiarity with code compliance is involved, but nothing that is beyond what someone doing DIY home improvements needs - the more complicated code compliance issues are handled by the architects, engineers, and contractors. Reason's analysis is enough on the mark that one of the professors she works with uses the reason.tv piece while discussing licensing in the classroom.

      My understanding of the designer vs decorator distinction is that designers do have specialized knowledge beyond what decorators need - they learn stuff like basic drafting techniques, the accoustic, soiling, and wear properties of materials, and how to make sure the design for a space meets functional criteria (adequate light, materials with suitable wear resistance and maintenance requirements, suitable accoustic properties). Decorators are more narrowly focused on aesthetics and don't deal with the structure itself on any level but finishes, so they mainly just need a good eye. And while interior designers have more technical knowledge, the overwhelming majority of interior design is still making decision about the aesthetics of a space that don't have any broader implications.

  17. I totally oppose that maniac Rick Scott. If this legislation goes through, my hard-earned degree from the Ft. Lauderdale School of Design won't be worth the watered silk it's printed on.

  18. Since unlicensed interior design is so dangerous, we must demand new entitlements for those of us who can not afford interior designers. Or do they do pro bono work for the less fortunate.

    I also wonder if Florida hired licensed interior designers for halfway houses, etc.

  19. The only way an interior designer could threaten one's health is if he had unprotected gay buttsex with the house's owner.

    1. Hey!

      1. not fooling anyone, you know

  20. What's so friggin hard to understand? It's right there in the Bible: "Thou shalt not horn in on thy neighbor's racket."

  21. What @Scooby said above in 1st 2 para. only . . . I'm an unlicensed architect / writer in FL, & though I disagree with this here article (note the southern dialect), thought I would risk inevitable bashing because you guys are really funny.

    Summary of the way it is right now. Anyone can design residential interiors, you just can't call yourself one unless you actually got a degree and did the internship (same as architects btw). Only architects or interior designers can design commercial interiors. If real humans are involved, engineers can't. 27 states regulate interior design, not 3.

    Only things HB 5005 does is limit consumers to 1 choice: architects (Thanks Gov. Scott!), lose the state about 500k revenue biennially, and royally piss off gaggles of unlicensed designers who think Florida is ever going to allow them to design commercial spaces. Thank NKBA (kitchen bath trade association) for that piece of disinformation.

    Gotta consider FL is the land of shysters, con men and foolish consumers, which is why they regulated these businesses in the first place. Okay bash away, but before you do . .

    Did I say you guys are really funny?

    1. Mother, tell your children not to walk my way.

    2. Your state requirements do not apply across the board. In my state, I can, as a licensed engineer, design commercial interiors up to 20K square feet for commercial structures or $100K worth in new public (gov't) buildings.

      Although I can do that, legally, I would be stupid to use that authority in any but the most limited of circumstances. I don't have the training or experience, so I wouldn't want to take on the liability for doing something wrong.

  22. Only architects or interior designers can design commercial interiors. If real humans are involved, engineers can't

    We can design the interiors of spacecraft, but heaven forbid we decide what tile to put in the office lobby.

    1. "I take the plans from my secretary's fax machine to the engineers. I have people skills!"

    2. You want a serious answer to a snarky question?

      With the interiors of spacecraft, only those whom have been rigorously trained in response to just about every conceivable situation will be exposed to the interiors. These people (astro/cosmonauts) are also most likely to be classed licensees or agents with respect to tort law, with a very narrow duty of care owed by the owner.

      In a commercial building, the people exposed to the interiors will probably include the general public- most of which lack any sort of training in dealing with dangerous situations, and many of which also lack sufficient common sense to avoid being an active danger to themselves and others. These members of the general public are also likely to be classed as invitees w.r.t. tort law and therefore the beneficiary of a very broad duty of care owed by the owner.

      Of course, that's only my understanding of tort law that I have gathered in the interest of covering my own ass in the course of my profession as a consulting engineer. A lawyer would probably explain it better.

  23. One designer claimed that allowing just anyone to practice interior design would contribute to 88,000 deaths annually because of poor fabric selection. Another offered bizarre assertions about how color schemes affect salivation and autonomic nervous systems.

    Committee Chair sotto voce to aide: "What institute did you say these people were bused in from?"

  24. Among other efforts, the cartel bused in interior design students to Tallahassee from across the state to tell legislators that their degrees would become "worthless" if other people could freely practice interior design in Florida the way they can in 47 other states.

    It serves you fuckers right for going after such a useless goddamn degree.

      1. Are you a *licensed* HTML user?

  25. I promise to give $100 to everybody who can give a logical justification for licensing interior decorators in a free society.

  26. I promise to give $100 to everybody who can give a logical justification for licensing interior decorators in a free society.

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