The Attack of the Rent-Seeking HVAC Contractors Has Begun!
Here is St. Louis Board of Aldermen Bill No. 337, which would apply current licensing requirements for commercial HVAC work to residential work, as well. Look for almost the exact same thing to be introduced in St. Louis County shortly, too. I understand that these proposed licensing rules and regulations will be introduced in Jefferson County, as well.
Should we expect another fight over this unnecessary, anti-competitive, and simply appalling use of government to restrict competition? Well, given that one of the people who led the fight against this same effort in 2000 — and who was partly successful in that effort — is now a cosigner on the letter requesting the expansion of licensing authority in the county, I don’t have much hope.
My initial post on this HVAC licensing issue last month has all the links you need to find media stories on this subject. I once again recommend the Riverfront Times story from 2000. I basically feel like a boxer who is still standing, but has been hit so many times that he can’t respond. (And, yes, I have boxed and know what it’s like to be hit really hard in the face.) These proposals are coming, they are a perversion of capitalism, and they will raise costs for St. Louis consumers, yet there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to stop it from happening. The capacity to fight back that existed in 2000 just does not appear to be extant right now (as I am sure the licensing proponents are well aware).