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case 4 licensing and laissez faire
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| Words: 327 | Submitted: 12-Dec-2011
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Descriptionethics case study, university science malaysia
Occupational licensure is inconsistent with the basic principles and values of capitalism. The major principle of capitalism is that capitalism promotes free market system in which one’s “freedom of opportunity” is unrestrained. Capitalism requires unrestricted access to or private ownership of the major means of production and distribution, which include the economic assets and productive resources. Besides, Adam Smith’s argument defends capitalisms that people will produce the greatest good for all if they are to pursue their own interests guided by an invisible hand.
However, occupational licensure violates the ideal of the free-market. It restricts the entry into the particular field and permits the professional to enjoy monopoly in the provision of services and keep the price high. Therefore, licensure illegitimately restricts individual freedom to pursue their desired career. In doing so, passionate individuals have their freedom taken away by such quotas. Second, it reduces the alternatives available to the public, thus, it reduces the average productivity and quality of services too.
The idea about which doctors’ high incomes are due more to artificial restrictions on the free market than to the inherent value of their services is not a fair picture of the medical profession. Indeed, the purpose of licensure that contravenes the principles of laissez-faire is to raise the standard of competence and the quality of care. Moreover, the higher salary of some professionals is fairly justified based on their qualification and high professional skills as well as their high costs such as the education fees and the effort they put in. However, the high salary is not really justified as American doctors earn far more than their foreign counterparts do. Medical licensure here has been manipulated by the AMA to control the number of doctor in the country so as to keep the wages high. As supply of doctors is restricted, the high demand will shift the equilibrium wages higher, causes a monopoly in the medical field of United State.
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