Suppliers who face less competition often say that they can provide more quality. A certified engineer will be paid more but she will have more resources to build safer bridges. A lack of competition in beer retailing -- or higher prices via tax -- saves lives (I'll stop bitching about alcohol taxes; I don't mind paying more if fewer people die).
I was lucky to be exempted from most of these rules when it came to my visa (PhD with US passport and offer letter can get a NAFTA professional visa on the border), but others are not so lucky. They cannot work; they cannot deliver value at a bargain to customers.
My point here is not to blast prudence in the name of competition. It's to call attention to the benefits and costs of a "guilded marketplace." Let's look at them from a "negative" perspective.
Less competition means...
- Higher prices for consumers (but more profits -- "monopoly rents" -- to suppliers)
- Less innovation and more "convention"
- Less opportunity for the restless and more power to the establishment
- Less consistency on methods, outcomes and safety
- Greater search costs to find a supplier
- Harder regulation and oversight
Bottom Line: Costs and benefits depend on where you stand.