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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 14, 2013/ 3 Nissan, 5773

A license to kill --- competition

By Glenn Garvin



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) It's soooooo tempting to start this column with a joke about the first class-action lawsuit on behalf of zombies. But there's nothing really very funny about the fact that a Minnesota funeral home owner is having to sue his own state government for the right to keep prices low.

Verlin Stoll operates a — OK, I surrender — bare-bones funeral parlor in St. Paul where the basic charge is just $250, about one-tenth the city's going rate. No hearse, no chapel, just simple service for working-class folks who can't afford to spend a lot of money to die. His no-frills business has been so successful that he wants to expand, opening a second parlor.

But Minnesota law says that every individual funeral parlor has to have an embalming room on the premises — even if it isn't used. Which most of them aren't. For one thing, more than half of Minnesota's dead are cremated. The reduced demand has led most funeral-parlor chains to do all their embalming at a single site or even outsource it.

No matter. They've all got to have that embalming room. When Stoll complained that the $30,000 cost of the useless room would have to be passed along to his customers, needlessly jacking up their expenses, state officials sensitively replied: Tough luck for them. And the rest of the industry, already incensed at Stoll's price-cutting, cheered.

The other funeral homes didn't offer even a pretense that the embalming-room controversy is anything but an attempt to squash a renegade challenger. The executive director of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association labeled Stoll — contemptuously — as an "entrepreneurial dynamo." In an industry that thrives on government protection from competition, those are much dirtier words than the kind with four letters.

Stoll, recognizing that common sense and consumer interest were no match for corporate political clout, has gone to court to get the embalming-room requirement overturned. He's getting help from the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm that defends not just free speech but free markets as well.

Sadly, it has no shortage of cases. "Using business and professional licenses as a barrier to competition is definitely on the increase, and has been for a long time," says Dick Carpenter, the institute's director of strategic research. In the 1950s, only about one of every 20 American workers needed a government permit to do his job; now, the number is nearly one in three, and growing all the time.

And we're not talking about rocket scientists and brain surgeons. Hair-braiders, upholsterers, home-entertainment-installers — you name it, there are states that require a license for it. Stuff you've been doing literally all your life, probably after about 15 minutes of instruction from your mom, turns out to be so technical and potentially dangerous that it requires a government permit. You think that's hyperbole? Five states require licenses to give shampoos.

These licenses are not just a matter of filling out your name and address on a government form and handing over $50, either. Extensive — and expensive — training is inevitably required. Yelling out, "I have $200, do I hear $250," in the opinion of 10 state governments, is so dangerous and complex that it requires an auctioneer's license. Average training requirement: 100 hours. Louisiana, until recently, forced florists to pass two different exams before they could sell flowers, though in a burst of ruthlessly Reaganesque deregulation, the state now just requires one.

Louisiana's concern that peonies and daffodils might fall into the wrong hands without strict government oversight caused Carpenter to laugh out loud last year when he encountered it while co-authoring an Institute for Justice study of licensing. Other stuff caused him to scratch his head.

"The disparity in requirements from one profession to another was just amazing," he recalls. For instance, licenses for emergency medical technicians, who literally hold life and death in their hands, require an average training of just over a month. Cosmetologists, who in a worst-case theory might really botch your bangs, must train for more than a year. And let's not get started on interior decorators, who in four states (including Florida — our politicians may be half-wits, but our foyers are exquisite) must have licenses that require six years of training.

The contrast in the training and testing expected of EMTs compared to that of beauticians and interior designers makes it clear that licensing has nothing to do with health or safety and everything to do with restricting competition. And, as all those people who can't afford to die up in Minnesota are discovering, the barriers are quite effective.

A 2004 state government report calculated that the Minnesota consumers were paying between $3 billion and $3.6 billion a year more for services because of diminished marketplace competition brought on by occupational licensing. "Licensing is one of those rare public policies that actually does what it's intended to," observes Carpenter. "It keeps people out of the profession."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Glenn Garvin is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Previously:



02/28/13: The left's science deniers
01/17/13: Myths about assault weapons
12/20/12: Right to work? Workers vote with their feet
12/11/12: Obama's pipe dreams and fairy tales
11/11/12: The truth about the movie 'Won't Back Down'
11/01/12: In this clash of civilizations, the West seems to have a lot of fifth columnists
9/25/12: Obama's jobs math doesn't add up
6/22/12: Bath salts controversy --- when politicians become pushers
4/26/12: When R2D2 and C3P0 go to war
2/16/12: The profound lies of Deep Throat
12/22/11: Great moments in history? Not so much
11/30/11: Giving bullies a veto on the First Amendment
09/15/11: ‘Bloodsucking Progressives Must Die’ video game is acceptable?
06/28/11: Send this one back where it came from
06/23/11: Doesn't this president remind you of someone?
05/26/11: A new standard of racial correctness
05/12/11: ‘Vast wasteland’ speech 50 years later
04/13/11: Bay of Pigs fiasco offers lessons for Obama's Libya adventure
03/03/11: Inconvenient truth for teachers' unions
07/10/10: Still looking to score
06/22/10: Ripe for fraud and abuse
05/25/10: Big Brother picks your pocket
11/04/09: Have conservatives scored a stealth prime time drama?
08/27/09: Left's been out for blood, too
08/13/09: What's not being celebrated
07/31/09: Pay-or-play means more lost jobs
07/16/09: OAS turns a blind eye to violations by left
07/02/09: Nothing so shocking about this coup
06/22/09: Libs' darling strikes out
06/03/09: Yes, America should read Sotomayor's speech in context
05/20/09: ‘Bloody’ mission goes awry
05/07/09: The problem is they aren't just goofin'
04/30/09: Why can't students say ‘guns’ in school?
04/08/09: When non-U.S. citizens vote
03/2e/09: Of course the AIG bonus boys — the ‘best and the brightest‘ — deserve their loot
03/12/09: No choice in Free Choice Act

© 2009, The Miami Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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