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longer-hair-and-shorter-lives

The market is, generally speaking, the best set of institutions we know of for producing and distributing things. The more important the good is, the stronger the argument for having it produced by the market. Both barbers and physicians are licensed; both professions have for decades used licensing to keep their numbers down and their salaries up. Government regulation of barbers makes haircuts more expensive; one result, presumably, is that we have fewer haircuts and longer hair. Government regulation of physicians makes medical care more expensive; one result, presumably, is that we have less medical care and shorter lives. Given the choice of deregulating one profession or the other, I would choose the physicians.

David Friedman, "Should Medicine be a Commodity?"