Occupational Licensing and the three states of the U.S.
There are three kinds of "state" in the United States.
The first is elected. It is preeminently visible. That's what it's there for – to be visible. To appear. To wear suits and get perfect haircuts and manicures. To produce sound bites and to consume them. Call it the TV State. It's what people usually talk about when the conversation turns to politics.
The second is the Deep State. It's more or less as Bill Moyers described. I wouldn't say he got everything right. But more or less he did. (The Deep State 2.0)
The Third State is not actually invisible. It's just dead boring. In teaching and learning about the Third State, the key problems are rather with legibility and comprehension. And in figuring out why you or anyone else should give a damn. Typically it isn't obvious.
Point to an example of the Third State, and people will look at you funny. They'll wonder why you're not talking about the TV State or, at best, the Deep State. Yet the Third State is where so much actually gets done. The Third State probably governs us more than either of the other two.
And I have a theory. Call it a conspiracy theory if you like: The Third State never actually changes. At all. Occupational licensing is a perfect example of the Third State. It never does go away - they had it in the Old Regime, even. And it expands whenever it can.