The article titled “Job Licenses in Spotlight as Uber Rises” was found on the New York Times news portal in the Economy section. The author of the article Eduardo Porter raises an important question about the demand for license in some professional fields. Porter notes that getting a license certainly has a purpose, yet this purpose is rather different from what it is believed to be.
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The author starts with the exploration of the outcomes that occurred since Uber gained popularity in New York. The appearance of this service quickly revealed that the population appreciates the ability to find a driver online and have a cheaper ride with an Uber driver-partner instead of calling a much more expensive cab with a licensed cab driver. As a result, cab companies are gradually put out of business.
After discussing Uber and its impact on cab drivers the author moves on to discussing other professions that require licenses among which there are dental assistant, cosmetologist, locksmith, athletic trainer, and emergency medical technician. The author admits that demanding a license makes a lot of sense in cases where a certain specialist in responsible for their clients’ health and welfare, for example, a surgeon is to be appropriately qualified and licensed to be allowed to practice medicine (Porter par. 5).
At the same time, in a business such as cab transportations licensing serves mainly to raise the prices and create boarders around the profession. In the article it is pointed out that the difference between the cost of the services performed by licensed professionals and the same services provided by their unlicensed peers often reaches fifty per cent or even more.
The author uses the dentist professionals as an example and notes that licensed dentists perform teeth whitening procedures for 350 dollars while their unlicensed competitors provide the same services for only 150 dollars (Porter par. 28).
In the article it is noted that licensing is believed to be the practice directed at the protection of the safety of customers and the preservation of quality of the services. Yet, in reality, when licensing is implemented the rates of malpractice and errors do not become lower, the quality of services also remains the same. The major aspect that is affected by licensing is price.
This way, licensing harms the customers instead of protecting them. Low income individuals suffer the most because as prices rise they become unable to afford certain services (Porter par. 7). Moreover, the unreasonable demand of licenses that has grown significantly over the last several decades is one of the sources of unemployment for the unlicensed specialists.
Millions of job opportunities could have been created if only licensing policies were milder. The administration of the President is worried by this tendency, this is why the costs and benefits of licensing in various fields should be studied and properly evaluated. In the article it is emphasized that that “the workers that can do the job should be able to get the job” (Porter par. 11).
In conclusion, licensing is a necessary practice for a number of professions such as doctor, cook, teacher, or personal trainer. At the same time, when licensing is applied unreasonably it starts to harm both the workers and the customers since the former start having issues with getting employment and the latter stop being able to afford the services. Both of these tendencies can be inverted once the policy makers start paying more attention to the costs and benefits of licensing.
Porter, Eduardo. Job Licenses in Spotlight as Uber Rises. 2015. Web.