|Guilds and Cartels in Switzerland|
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Switzerland is the land of oligopolies. Many professionals, including plumbers, electricians, and medical doctors are protected by a complex set of licenses, professional rules, compulsory apprenticeships, exams and a guild.
Take the driving instructor: in most countries, this is a occupation any reasonably able man or women can have. In Switzerland, driving instructors unite in “professional organizations” to “foster quality in their service and thus enhance road safety.” No matter how noble the formal purpose of such associations, the most visible result is financial: these organizations impose a fixed hourly price for lessons (the association’s recommended price). After a few months, the fee buys you only 50 minutes. Then, the guild tries to close the doors behind itself by raising the standards of driving instructor exams, imposing a minimum age and schooling level for applicants, and trying to exclude people who are not members from working.
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