Thank God for the government’s approval for my hairstylist when I go to the barbershop. Can you imagine the chaos and anarchy which would come from a world with no government requirements and fees before a stylist can begin work? Hair intended to be shoulder-length cut INCHES too short, mohawks cut too low, uneven layering!
Thank God, in Arizona, when I needed my garage-door fixed, the repairman had to go through 1.460 days of training, two exams, and pay $756 in fees to get the proper government permission to fix it. Have you seen the havoc in the 16 states that have ZERO requirements to become a garage door-repairman? Considering I grew up in two of these states when I was a child, Missouri and Illinois, I don’t know how I escaped alive without a rogue, improperly repaired garage door decapitating me the instant I walked out on the driveway.
When the government requires approval to work in a certain field, it is usually referred to as “occupational licensing.” In 1950 an average of 1 out of 20 workers needed a government license to work, but by 2012 this number skyrocketed to 1 in 3.
The common argument in favor of licensing is for the general health and safety of the public. This makes sense for jobs like an “emergency medical technician.” (Even though, I would still argue that the free-market does a better job that ensuring public safety than government.) However, according to a report on occupational licensing done by the Institute for Justice, there are 66 other common occupations throughout America that are more highly regulated than EMT’s. This includes interior designers, preschool teachers, barbers, door-repairmen, make-up artists, auctioneers, manicurists, along with a list of contractors.
Not only do these licensing procedures place an unnecessary burden on these industries they also act as a huge “barrier to entry” into these professions.
Believe it or not, typically the largest supporters of these licensing laws are those who are already in the industry. What a better way to eliminate competition than raising the financial, time, and education requirements to enter into the marketplace?
The truth is that deregulation for these industries would increase competition and quality for products and services, as well as decrease prices for consumers. If there is no direct health or safety risk for someone trying to earn a living, why should the government be involved? Only to cater to special interest.
That is why states should begin deregulating their industries and eliminating licensing laws. Even better would be if states began implementing “Right to Earn a Living” Acts that would place the burden on the government to prove that an occupational license is necessary for public health and safety.
As millennial’s who believe in liberty, it is up to us to understand the damage that is being done with these laws. We all care about people, and want them to have the right to earn a wage wherever they choose. It’s not about politics, it’s about creating a more prosperous environment for our fellow Americans and for the next generation.