Subject: Re: Returns to service professionals
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 18:25:49 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Kragen" == Kragen Sitaker <kragen@pobox.com> writes:

    Kragen> Frank Hecker writes:
    >> A major reason doctors and lawyers make those higher returns is
    >> because those professions have artificially high barriers to
    >> entry, including state-mandated licensing.

    Kragen> I suspect this is true, but I know that doctors and
    Kragen> lawyers both made quite a bit of money before any
    Kragen> state-mandated licensing, simply because the barriers to
    Kragen> entry in both professions are naturally rather high.

AFAIK lawyers have always had to be admitted to the bar.  A lawyer who
isn't allowed to speak in court is worth far less than one who is.
Ain't no before there.

And doctors have always operated on referrals, which both helps to
generate business and to enforce the cartel.  People are generally
willing to pay for both first and second opinions, as long as they
come from different doctors.

    Kragen> I suspect the same is true of writing software.  While
    Kragen> anyone can create a Visual Basic form, writing a working
    Kragen> OS or word processor or antilock braking system is very
    Kragen> difficult, as is supporting customers using any of these
    Kragen> things.

Yes, but will a good word processor get shut out of the market because
members of the programmers' association refuses to refer their
customers to it?  Advertising automatically relegates a professional
to the "ambulance-chaser" segment; there are not such connotations of
quantity reduces quality for mass-produced goods, by definition.

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