Occupational licensing makes life difficult for millions of would be entrepreneurs across this country.
In most cases such licensing is merely a way to restrict competition. Want to braid hair? Go get a license. Can’t afford the license and the ridiculous time requirements for a license? Well, too bad. Guess you don’t have what it takes to braid hair.
And the same goes for all sorts of occupations, even lemonade stands in many places.
This red tape contributes to poverty. It restricts many people from bootstrapping their way into the economy. The bureaucrats layer the regs, usually at the request of vested interests, and many people find themselves on the outside looking in. Which is exactly what such licensing is designed to do.
(From The Acton Institute)
There are numerous forms of crony capitalism, but one of the most subtle and damaging to the economically vulnerable are occupational licensing laws. For millions of Americans, occupational licensing continues to serve as a barrier to work and self-sufficiency. Take, for example, Melony Armstrong.
When Armstrong began her hair braiding business, she was required to have a cosmetology license, which required 1,500 hours of training and $10,000 in tuition. What makes this state occupational licensing requirement so unreasonable? None of the training had anything to do with braiding hair.
In this AEI Vision Talk, Armstrong shares her story and tells how she filed a lawsuit in Mississippi to change the law and create more opportunity for herself and others.