Second Class Professional Organizations [12/11/10]
National professional organizations are many times monopolistic unions which stifle the progress of their industries by eliminating competition. They lobby the government to make sure they are the only accreditation organization and no other organization can accredit competing professionals. Then, they routinely raise the accreditation standards to reduce competition even further.
If we had second class professional organizations (SCPOs), they could more effectively serve the people at a lower cost but with a lower quality. They would also provide competition to the first class organizations and improve the industry as a whole.
The AMA, for example, is the only accreditation for professionals who perform the services of doctors. If too many people are entering medical school, the AMA reduces the number allowed to enter so that doctors can charge more money because they are more in-demand. It is interested in maximizing profits rather than servicing the largest amount of people.
If there was a SCPO that could perform the same tasks as doctors, they would provide competition to the AMA doctors that could have many benefits. It would lower the prices for the services of the members of both organizations. It would decrease the waiting time for the AMA doctors because they would be concerned about customers going to second class professionals (SCPs). This real-world competition would also provide a second opinion as to whether AMA doctors are doing things correctly. Currently, if doctors have an ineffective procedure, they will simply continue to use that procedure because there is no group to question them.
The Bar is another industry which could benefit from a SCPO. Each state has its own Bar, but there is no competition within each state. If a lawyer makes a mistake, there is no competitive organization to point out that mistake.
SCPOs would be for industries where the accreditation process takes more than two years because there is a clear need for cheaper, more accessible service. SCPs would be trained and certified by the SCPO and the government to do many of the same tasks as first class professionals. For instance, a dental hygienist could clean teeth without the supervision of a dentist. Certain nurses or second class doctors could peform many different kinds of surgeries. Second class lawyers could represent lower-income people.
As it stands, many people simply cannot afford the exorbitant fees of lawyers, doctors, dentists, and other monopolistic professionals. With second class professional organizations, people will have much more access to essential services of society without the need for charity or government help. Also, the competition they will have with first class professional organizations will raise the quality and cost-effectiveness of professional services as a whole.