PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has highlighted the efforts of the Institute for Justice, The Reason Institute and the CATO Institute to use Interior Design regulation as the prime example why government regulation is bad for the economy. Now the Goldwater Institute has issued this “Policy Report” in which the regulation of interior design is cited as one of the prime examples of why the government needs to reduce, or reform, “occupational licensing laws to increase jobs and lower costs”

Since you probably have better things to do with your time than read this claptrap I will pull out a few of Dr. Schlomach’s more pertinent assertions;

Do you have a love of fabric, furniture, and a talent for decorating? In a few states, unless you have a license, it’s tough luck if you want to start a decorating business. Most states actually have laws that limit the use of the title “interior designer.”

That is patently untrue…but damn it sure helps make a point.

“Scary stories, what-ifs, mights, and maybes hardly constitute a basis for sound public policy. Nevertheless, they are the foundation on which most licensing laws rest.

The International Interior Design Association’s advocacy webpage begins, “Interior Design laws help establish and maintain professional standards that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.”

No explanation or examples, other than the assertion noted that links interior design to public health and safety, can be found on the website. The Reason Foundation, which is opposed to licensing, produced a video specifically about interior designers’ efforts to get licensed. The best a licensing advocate from Texas could muster was a general statement about the danger of people slipping on a floor, with no specific examples.

Economists are generally skeptical of arguments defending occupational licensing. Such defenses are typically advocated by members of the profession and not by the general public.”

Again there is proof that interior design does play a large role in the safety of occupants of interior spaces (how can it NOT?) but it is usually muddied by the confluence of building codes, life safety codes and guess what -occupational licensing. What about that entire chapter in the International Building Code pertaining to interior finishes….? Rhetorical question I digress.

Let me reiterate we are the whipping post of many, if not all, influential legal and political think tanks and unfortunately many policymakers are easily influenced by high fallutin’ think tank types.

If I did not know better I would just shrug this misinformed neocon poli-babble as just that. But I can’t and neither should you- why you ask? Well Okay I asked but go with me here…… Should the political winds in November blow to the right these policy reports, position papers and opinions cloaked as research in which regulation is seen as strangling the economy could* become the evidence for widespread deregulation within the Fed and the states. And guess what interior design regulation, both current and proposed, will be the one that many reformers will target. Why? Please don’t make me answer that.

*Think what you will of all of this anti-regulation rhetoric posing as research. I can assure you that many policy makers are also thinking “what they will” of these diatribes and unfortunately this is the only side of the story they are hearing.

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