You’ve seen the “UL” symbol on electronic equipment around your house. It stands for Underwriters Laboratories, the world’s leading producer of safety standards and testing for tens of thousands of products each year.
Underwriters Laboratories isn’t an agent of any government, but a business started in 1894 by insurance companies that wanted independent scientific evidence of which products were less likely to spark fires and more likely to limit damage from them.
Underwriters Laboratories has rigorously protected that independence while working directly with manufacturers, and in the process has become the only recognized authority on safety for many of the items we use every day.
With that in mind, we are completely dumbfounded that four Mesa council members believe there’s any reason for the city to license the world of psychic readings and astrology, as the Tribune’s Sonu Munshi reported Wednesday.
There’s no way for the city to honestly regulate this industry. There’s no generally recognized criteria to determine if someone is a psychic. There’s no written test, no formal education or apprenticeship, no truly objective way to check someone’s credentials.
The only thing that Mesa can do is take your $300 each year and deny you a license if you have a criminal history. We don’t even know why people should be forbidden from hiring a convicted felon if they can agree such a person actually communes with spirits or interprets the movement of the stars.
Several people licensed as a psychic practically begged the City Council this week to protect what they consider to be a legitimate occupation.
Their argument is difficult to grasp when just about anyone can hang out a sign and claim to predict their future.
Psychics would be far more effective at promoting their image if they privately developed standards of practice that demonstrate their skills are real, instead of propping up a rather useless government license.