More on the Interior Design Cartel

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Last week, IJ’s Clark Neily had a piece in the Wall Street Journal on the American Society of Interior Designers, the cartel pushing licensing registration for people who want to move furniture around for a living.

That inspired a torrent of letters to the WSJ from both sides, a few of which they’ve printed today.

My piece on ASID and interior design here. Subsequent fallout discussion here.

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4 Responses to “More on the Interior Design Cartel”

  1. #1 |  Frank N Stein | 

    I find cases like this to be wonderful, in that they allow most people to see the nature of forced credentialism. It is like how science-fiction can feature a story involving green and yellow creatures, abstracting the essence of race conflict (for instance) without the emotional and irrational baggage that comes with trying to discuss it in the real world. So here we have a profession about as far removed from public safety concerns as imaginable (second only to hairdressers), and a self-appointed bureaucratic minority, looking to use government force reduce competition, artificially inflate wages, and ensure their special interests take precedence over market forces. Most people should hopefully consider this to be ridiculous, and one can only hope some of them process this data and get some idea of the principles involved.
    Although in this day and age it’s more likely someone will get drunk, trip over an ottoman put in place by an unlicensed interior designer, and demand government do something. Rent-seeking is the new American pastime.

  2. #2 |  Salvo | 

    I especially enjoyed the letter that stated that the Design Exam was only 720 dollars, not 1000 as reported, as if that somehow made it okay.

    Dude….the Bar Exam in Michigan(my home state) only cost me about 400(not including prep courses).

  3. #3 |  Chuchundra | 

    Some years ago the NYC police ran a sting operation, nabbing women who were braiding hair without a hairdressers license.

  4. #4 | | 

    Agree with you