Most occupational licensing, done ostensibly to protect the public, does nothing more than legally sanction occupational cartels. From Robert Patrick Shanahan at investmentwatchblog.com:
The United States is far from the land of the free these days. The governments in state capitols and Washington DC have confiscated our rights and are selling them back to us. American culture has shifted in a frightening way that has expanded the number of professions and industries that now require an occupational license to legally provide a service or start a business. This stifles business creation in many states and disproportionally affects low and middle income individuals the most.
Governments have overreached yet again in requiring a license to perform work that is not in the realm of public safety for consumers. Sandefur stated how it started and what it has become today, “Okay, yeah you gotta get licensing to do something that might be really risky to public health and safety and we accept little by little and eventually we have this growing trend where people are not allowed to work or start a business at all without first getting government permission.” Our insistence on government telling us what to do has hopefully peaked, but recent examples around the country might suggest otherwise.
Over the last 50 years, Sandefur pointed out, 1 in 20 Americans were required to get permission from the government to work by obtaining a license. This included obvious professions in the medical or educational fields. However, today, this number has exploded to 1 in 5 Americans being required to obtain an occupational license, essentially a permission slip from the government, to do their job. Other figures peg the number at closer to 1 in 4.
Is there any reason to believe this grotesque trajectory won’t continue?
To continue reading: The Regulated States of America: Occupational Licensing Gone Wild