The Chamber Says: No Unauthorized Progress!

Auburn, Alabama, experienced some tornado damage the other day, and the place was just a mess. Trees were down. Houses had collapse. Fences were in tatters. Yards were trash heaps. The damage was not major by any standard but there was plenty to do in the wake of this one.

As happens, enterprise was there to make a buck fixing things up. Contractors came from all states in all directions. The unemployed suddenly had work. Skills that had been dormant were suddenly needed. This isn’t the Broken Window fallacy; it is just a reality that new kinds of work needs to be done and enterprise jumps at the chance. Good for enterprise and good for those who need help repairing the damage.

So get this. The following note appeared in my inbox this morning, from the Chamber of Commerce:

The chamber would also like to remind those of you who have damage to your personal property to ask for proof of a license to do business in Auburn as you are negotiating with contractors and other businesses for cleanup, roof repair and other services. Additionally, we as a chamber encourage you to use your local chamber members first. For your convenience we have provided you with a list of chamber members who could offer their service to you.

What’s the priority? Getting the job done or preserving the cartel of favored businesses? We know where the Chamber stands.

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  • Licensing… one of the most often over-looked pieces of protectionist cronyism. “If you’re not licensed you can’t compete with us…haha!”