Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Please Mrs. Governor can I have a license to live?

So I’m doing a little research into some of the laws and policy’s that impact the way a social service agency runs (school assignment). I’ve learned a few things. I used to think it was strange that states require plumbers to be licensed oh how I miss the bliss my ignorance granted me. But first things first my school project was to look into the laws and regulations that impact the delivery of social services to people. I found that the most common requirement after being baby set by a more experienced person for 2-3 years was continuing education. I can not find 1 peace of research that demonstrates that a social worker (or anyone else) does a better job as a result of continuing education requirements. I did several searches with Google Pro quest and Ebscohost. I could not find anything that even approached the issue thought one article was attacking athletic trainers for paying for the conference and than spending the entire time on the golf course. Most states require continuing education for professionals in medical related jobs. But I can’t find any research to back up the assumption that it has any benefits. You do however have to jump through the hoops the state has created in order to do your job. In fact I’ve yet to run into a good argument for the licensing of most professional activities. I understand that people who provide services that save lives or could endanger them need to be carful and while I’m not sold on the idea that a license makes a difference I can understand why people would want someone doing those sorts of jobs to have some evidence that they are not hopelessly incompetent. Now none of this means I object to the State requiring a person to declare what they do so they can be tracked down in the case that a civil suit is filed. I’m Bob the plumber and contact info being kept on file can be almost no cost and not get in the way of someone doing whatever they do. However in looking into WA states policies I was surprised.
Again I understand having the guy cleaning up toxic waste being licensed .What I have a hard time with though are things like Time keepers for boxing, egg handling, animal message, Hulk hullers (those who transport wrecked vehicles), Nail salons, homeless shelters and hotels etc. I was going to include the entire list, but who wants to read a 17 page long list?
Not only do you need a license to operate a boat but you need one to sell one this appears to be separate from the basic license just to have a business in the first place. This is no doubt a great funding stream for the state. If you can require everyone to need half a dozen licenses the ones I looked at ran $20-150 each that must be renewed every year or two that’s a lot of money. Sure it makes the cost of everything go up buts that’s okay the state taxes the sale of things so higher prices mean more money.
I wonder how many lives have been lost as a result of low quality nail painting? Would an unlicensed homeless shelter somehow be worse than living on the streets? Is moving a peace of scrape metal from one place to another so hard and so dangerous that the state has to make rules for who can do that? Does anyone think that a little peace of paper makes someone a better time keeper or wrestler? Yet the great state of Washington uses their power to deny freedom and property to require them. Please someone tell me how is the public being served.

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