UPDATE: Here is what someone only slightly less influential than Cranky has to say on the subject:
Here is a quick look at the proposed 2009 California budget and some highlights designed to induce vomiting in libertarians.
Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau $1,041,000 (appx. 12 firemen)
What they do:
The Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau licenses and regulates hearing aid dispensers. The Bureau also protects hearing-impaired consumers by informing them of their legal rights and obligations when purchasing or returning hearing aids and protects consumers by maintaining advertising standards.
Just dispensers? I’m guessing there is another bureau to handle hearing aid wires. So what do they do? Do they repair or distribute hearing aid dispensers? Naw, they inform consumers of their rights
Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology Estimated 2009 budget $9,297,000 (45 elementary school teachers)
What they do:
The Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology licenses barbers, cosmetologists, electrologists, estheticians, and manicurists after determining, through an examination, that applicants possess the minimum skills and qualifications necessary to provide safe and effective services to the public. The Bureau conducts both routine and directed health and safety inspections of licensed establishments operating in the state. The Bureau also investigates allegations of unprofessional conduct, gross negligence, incompetence, fraud, or unlicensed activity. When warranted, the Bureau takes disciplinary action. The Bureau’s mission is to protect consumers from harm by licensees through its licensing and enforcement programs.
Although it became a bureau directly under the Department of Consumer Affairs, effective July 1, 2008, pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 101.1(b), its sunset date was extended pursuant to AB 1545 (Chapter 35, Statutes of 2008); therefore it will become a board again, effective January 1, 2009.
OK, so we have a bureau whose main reasons for existence are to restrict the number of people who can enter these (semi-skilled) professions. Consider it a favor to the beauticians who didn’t want competition and scraped up $327.58 to lobby their congressperson.
Perhaps the best course of action in tight times is to let the sunset provision kick in. Send these fifteen-hours-of-actual-work folks back home to catch Maury episodes. However, the state found it in its heart to keep this one alive.
Next up, one for you kids in Marin County!
Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine A bargain at $133,000!
What they do:
The Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine implements and enforces the Naturopathic Doctors Act by licensing and regulating naturopathic doctors in California. The Bureau ensures that naturopathic doctors meet required educational and practice standards before licensure and investigates complaints against its licensees, disciplining those individuals found guilty of violations of law or regulation.
Naturopathic? Geez, do I really need to add anything?