In most situations occupational licensing is just a scam. If you want to be a brain surgeon, or even a pilot, then OK I am not going to get bent out of shape over you having to get a license. But a hair dresser? That’s very different.
Most would visualize doctors and lawyers when they think of professionals forced by law to be licensed. But many other jobs, some more trades than professions, require licensing from the state.
A partial list, according to Doug Bandow at the Cato Institute, includes: interior decorators, funeral attendants, librarians, hair stylists, food caterers, florists, barbers and music therapists.
“In 1950 just 5% of Americans needed official permission to work,” writes Bandow. “Today nearly a quarter require some form of government approval.”