Occupational licensing in most cases is simply a crony ploy. It’s not about public safety. It’s about creating barriers to entry for people seeking to business in the marketplace. On net such licensing hurts society and particularly the young and the relatively less well off.
At the Suffolk Beauty Academy in the suburbs of central Virginia, Jasmine Cumbo was schooled on the ins and outs of hair styling. Basic course work included shampooing and conditioning; intermediate classes focused on subjects like braiding and braid extension. Ten months after enrolling in 2013, she walked out with a diploma in cosmetology. Ready to start cutting hair for a living? Not even close.
Cumbo still needed a state license. And that, it turned out, would take her another two years to earn. “I feel like I lost out on a lot of things,” the 22-year-old says — time, and money, and clients. The license needs to be renewed every two years and only allows her to cut hair within the confines of Virginia. Neighboring Maryland and Washington D.C., for instance, need separate permits.