Re: Re[2]: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Fri Apr 14 2000 - 09:37:17 MDT

On Wednesday, April 12, 2000 10:02 PM Zero Powers
> >The ABA is a government supported monopoly. Without the government to
> >its power, it would face serious competition from law clinics (which it
> >already does in some states of the US*), unlicensed lawyers, etc. See,
> >e.g., _The Rule of Experts: Occupational Licensing in America_ by S.
> >Young for other examples of businesses that use the government to avoid
> >market.
> >
> >* Recently, the law clinic at some Louisiana law school was banned from
> >helping people unless the people being helped could prove they made less
> >than some minimum income standard. The reason? People were using the
> >clinic to sue one of the governor's supporters over, I believe, some
> >pollution issue. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that this was
> >practicing
> >law without a license -- except in the case of the indigent. In other
> >words, the court protected the monopoly privilige of lawyers from an
> >competitor. (I believe this was on either "60 Minutes" a few months
> It's not really a "monopoly." The ABA does not have the exclusive right
> practice law. The ABA in fact does not practice law. It is merely a
> professional association of unrelated individuals who are licensed to
> practice law. It just so happens that the practice of law requires a
> license in every state in the union. But that does not mean that lawyers
> are exercising a monopoly any more than contractors, engineers, architects
> or physicians or any other profession which you need a license in order to
> legally practice.
> Saying that lawyers have a "monopoly" on the practice of law is like
> that licensed drivers have a monopoly on driving.

Licensing drivers is similar, but not the same.

Howso? The ABA, like the AMA controls the number of seats in accredited law
schools and also has input into the licensing process in each state as well
as into the disbarring of members. This gives it far more power than a mere
professional organization like, say, the American Philosophical Association.

Licensing drivers is not the same in that one can learn to drive anywhere
and the various driving schools do not control what's in the tests. Nor do
they have power of revoking licenses.

This is not to say I agree with licensing drivers. I do not. Under a full
privatization of roads ("a" and not "the" because there are many ways to do
this), I'm sure, some critieria would arise for allowing people to drive on
roads, though I doubt it would be close to current driver licensing
practises. Nor do I think people would lose their driving priviliges on a
given road or association of roads for the same reasons as they lose them


Daniel Ust
"... a deeper understanding of evolution lies in understanding the nature of
entropy production, or entropy increases, in nonequilibrium systems." --
Brooks and Wiley, _Evolution as Entropy_, 2/e, p xiii

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