Let Them Work: Solutions for Michigan’s Overbearing Occupational Licensing Laws

Issues and Ideas Forum

Occupational licensing is now one of the largest issues in labor economics, perhaps even surpassing unionization and the minimum wage. On a national basis, 25 percent of all Americans need the government’s permission and specific credentials before they can work. That is more than twice as many people who are members of unions — 11 percent and declining — and 25 times the number who earn the minimum wage.

The problem of licensing is becoming increasingly apparent and it is being addressed in a bipartisan fashion. The U.S. Supreme Court and President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers issued a landmark opinion in February 2015 and a 77-page study in July 2015, respectively. Both questioned the legality and wisdom of occupational licensure laws.

Lee McGrath is an expert in this field, having litigated and advocated for licensing reform across the nation. His firm, the Institute for Justice, has been a national leader in pushing to reduce barriers to earning an honest living since its founding in 1991. He will discuss the problems with current licensing laws, explain recent court cases on the issue and show how Michigan can lead the way in reforming these harmful regulations.

Lee McGrath is the Managing Attorney of the Institute for Justice Minnesota office and serves as IJ's Legislative Counsel. He joined the Institute in December 2004 and litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting economic liberty, school choice, private property, freedom of speech and other individual liberties in both federal and state courts in Minnesota and nationally. 

Lee received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul. In addition to his law degree, Lee holds an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University. Lee was also a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota.

Lunch is free and is included with reservations.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 17, 2016
11:30 a.m. - Check-in and lunch available
Noon to 1:00 p.m. - Program with Q&A
WHERE: Anderson House Office Building
Mackinac Room
124 North Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933

Register for this event.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Event Manager Kimberley Fischer-Kinne at 989-698-1905 or events@mackinac.org.

Registration deadline is Fri., February 12 at 5 PM.

Please note: We are unable to guarantee lunch for any guest if the registration is received after the deadline.


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