Becoming a Healer and the Entrance Barrier

In theories of competition in economics, barriers to entry are obstacles that make it difficult to enter a given market. The term can refer to hindrances a firm faces in trying to enter a market or industry or those an individual faces in trying to gain entrance to a profession - such as education or licensing requirements. Examples of barriers restricting individuals from entering a job market include educational, licensing, and quota limits on the number of people who can enter a certain profession.

People achieving the job they want are quite uncommon in the modern society. Jobs that are aspired by the general population somehow managed to set an entrance barrier to the certain job. People choose job based on many criteria such as monetary compensation, social status, stability and so forth. In the capitalism-ruled society, we can say that one of the most important criteria is money, not to say that it can dominate all the other factors. According to the <2012 Women's Life by Statistics>, published by Bureau of Statistics in South Korea, the most important criteria in choosing job was money: 45.4% and 39.7% for businesswomen and full-time housewives. The second factor was stability, 27.4% and 27% each.

In most countries, the most popular jobs are similar: lawyer, doctor, professor, judge, physician… you name it. These jobs are protected by various defense methods that can control the present and future population. Becoming a physician (equivalent to the Ju/’hoansi healers) requires a long period of higher education and a fortune that can support the expensive education. Actually, the admission itself is extremely competitive in almost every country in the world. After that, in the United States, for example, before entering medical school, students must complete a four year undergraduate degree and take the admission test. Before graduating from a medical school, students are required to take various licensing examinations and complete internship period. The existence of formal certificates and licenses make it also hard for ordinary people to enter the job market.

The book says that every young Ju/'hoansi man aspires to become a healer, and a surprisingly large proportion of men achieve this status. How would healers change after they go through the ‘new professionalism’ of the healers? These newly succeed ‘paid’ healers put new strains on the healers in their relationship to the community. The Ju society is rapidly entering the cash economy and putting a price tag on a healing process, would that put up the entrance barrier to become healers in the near future? The entrance barrier is inevitable in the market economy in that increasing supply will only devalue its worth. After these Ju healers acknowledge the enchanting monetary compensation, they would not end at complaining at ‘free’ customers. The existing healers will make various entrance barriers that can protect their competitiveness. Another possibility would be that popularity of healers will decline constantly because it will not receive the monetary compensation high enough to sustain the existing population. People will no longer aspire to become healers because being a healer would mean nothing in the cash economy. Ju'/hoansi young men will find another job that can bring them money and possibly, other things too.

Sullivan, Arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Pearson Prentice Hall.

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