Re: [TCP] certification (was: ranting STC)

Subject: Re: [TCP] certification (was: ranting STC)
From: "Susan Hogarth" <hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 09:28:06 -0500

On 3/2/07, Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com> wrote:
> Susan Hogarth wrote:
> > On 2/28/07, Donald H. White <dwhite -at- jrtcllc -dot- com> wrote:
> >> I still have no idea why the concept of a professionalization program
> >> causes
> >> so much ire. ...
> > From a libertarian perspective, I think some people might see such a
> > program as a first step toward mandatory licensing. It's unfortunate,
> > but in so many cases private certifications have supported
> > cartelization in this fashion.
> A tech writing cartel? Wow. Cartels are monopolies formed to control
> the supply and price of a commodity.

Yes, and fortunately they do not work very well unless they are backed
up by the power of government requirements for the product
(certification) they offer.

> So now that you mention it, I
> think I do see, that if TW certification was tied to an organization
> that could effectively (through certification) control/limit the number
> of TWs in the field, it would indeed suggest a cartel. This has happened
> in other fields? I guess I had best google for more.

Doctors? (AMA) Lawyers? (ABA) Either of those ring a bell? I would
describe them as cartelizing organizations backed by the government.

> While I'm confident that certification alone could never result in TWs
> having cartel powers (cool if it could),

I agree. It takes government backing to get anywhere close to a real
monopoly. I for one do not find cartels 'cool', but that's just me. I
guess I'm too consumer-oriented.

> still, as I think you say,
> certification could be awarded by a TW organization that somehow comes
> to represent tech writers in the marketplace. That's a more potent (and
> dangerous) situation, with the potential to control the supply of TW
> (the commodity). I think I prefer to be an unherded libertine cat, and
> keep my mits on the cream that such an organization would otherwise skim. ...

As long as there are no legal constraints on hiring, businesses will
have incentives to keep hiring 'uncertified' writers - they're less
expensive, for one! But some may prefer certification; again - nothing
the market can't handle unelss government steps in and makes
certifications mandatory.

Susan Hogarth

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Re: [TCP] certification (was: ranting STC): From: Susan Hogarth
Re: [TCP] certification (was: ranting STC): From: Ned Bedinger

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