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Clipped for operating without a license

One basic belief of the Libertarians is "that governs best which governs least." As an example, they often cite the numerous boards, commissions, panels, and agencies whose sole purpose seems to be to license and permit people to conduct business. While I can certainly see the necessity of certain levels of state scrutiny (doctors, lawyers, and perhaps a few other notable professions and trades such as electricians and plumbers), in most states it is carried to ludicrous examples. Massachusetts, for example, requires psychics and fortune tellers to obtain a license.

New Hampshire has strong Libertarian leanings, and that's one of the reasons the Free State Project chose us for their grand experiment -- get 20,000 like-minded people to move in and attempt to create their idea of a Libertarian utopia.

Recently, they staged a public event to demonstrate their cause. One of their members -- a refugee from Vermont -- taught himself the basics of hygiene and technique of giving a manicure online, then proceeded to give a manicure to another Free Stater -- this one from Texas -- on the lawn in front of the offices of the state Board of Barbering, Cosmetology and Esthetics..

Naturally, he didn't bother to get a license from the aforementioned state Board of Barbering, Cosmetology and Esthetics before he committed his flagrantly illegal and dangerous act. And naturally, Concord police moved in and arrested this menace to society. He refused to meet with a bail commissioner, so he was held over for arraignment.

Personally, I'd like to see a happy medium (no pun intended) struck. Keep the state licensing and mandated standards, but make them optional. Require the practitioners to prominently display their credentials, or lack thereof, and then let the people decide if they want to go to someone who the state says knows their business, or if they want to trust their instincts and word of mouth and patronize someone who hasn't bothered jumping through the state hoops.

I don't have the greatest track record on predictions, but I feel safe in saying that I doubt there will be a huge surge in deaths and injuries from bad haircuts and manicures if that happens.

Comments (9)

The best reason to license ... (Below threshold)

The best reason to license barbers and manicurists is to insure proper hygiene. They need to minimally know about how to sterilize their instruments and recognize customers that have health problems that could effect others. It's not clear why private certification isn't good enough though.

Certification & Licensing i... (Below threshold)

Certification & Licensing is useless. If you don't believe me, then answer this question:

When does your doctor's current medical license expire?

I bet you don't know. I would hedge a bet that most people have never even thought about checking to ensure their doctor's license is even valid. I would even say it's safe to assume that 99.8% of the population doesn't even know how to validate a license.

So how does this make you safer? How many news stories do you hear about where people get busted for operating without a license? Usually, these people are caught after years of doing so.

Licensing is a scam and gives people a false sense of security. Instead, private certification should be encouraged and then required that any career that the state thinks should be 'licensed' display their credentials in plain view upon entering said business. Transparency over regulation is a better system if you ask me.

Which you didn't so...... ;)

Licensing = taxation.... (Below threshold)

Licensing = taxation.

It's State revenue and won't ever go away as long as there are liberals in power to spend your money.

Hell, Bill, the Republicans... (Below threshold)

Hell, Bill, the Republicans are no better. Both parties want your money, it's just who they want to give it to that's different.

Also, licensing serves as a barrier to entry. Most licensing boards are made up of people already in the business so it's easy for them to make it hard for anyone to challenge them business wise.

Sharpie has it right: licen... (Below threshold)

Sharpie has it right: licensing = protectionism.

And, as with every protectionist scheme ever invented, it is the consumer who pays the inflated price.

There are two sides to every economic transaction. If you artificially inflate the price to one party's benefit, you necessarily impose an equal detriment on the other.

Artificial manipulation of prices, supply, production, demand, etc. always hurts someone. Always. And it always leads to gluts or shortages. It is inevitable. If a politician (or industry insider) says otherwise, he's lying.

Minneapolis just passed a l... (Below threshold)
JK King:

Minneapolis just passed a law requiring panhandlers to be licensed. Maybe these licenses will ensure the panhandlers have proper hygiene too.

I think some of the licensi... (Below threshold)

I think some of the licensing standards need to be a lot higher, and some of them are wasteful. For instance, medical boards need to self-police far more stringently; since the states with the highest malpractice insurance rates (and most lawsuits) are the ones that do the least policing. Similar re: lawyers; too many states make it super easy to get admitted to the bar, where you are then literally playing with people's lives and fortunes. I'd like to see stricter standards, more people turned away from law schools and not allowed to graduate -- but the schools won't do it because they won't turn away their own cash supply. The only solution is make the Bar exam really hard and up the standards for Bar admission.

Re: manicurists, the state could just require that someone _either_ graduate from an accredited school (that teaches sanitation) OR gets a license -- either one should be acceptable.

Poor hygiene related to man... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Poor hygiene related to manicures can majorly introduce infection-especially when you get into the application of acrylics etc. I can see requiring knowledge regarding safety and hygiene as important.

But I don't think a liscense is the be all and end all to safety.

Also, I am not sure that medical oriented liscenses actually come with expiration dates, although they are required to take and compete a specific number of continueing education classes within a specific period of time, and if they aren't completed their liscenses are revoked.

Don't confuse certification... (Below threshold)

Don't confuse certification (receipt for demonstrated ability) with license (receipt for fee paid).

Certification can ensure the standards demanded by customers. Since government does nothing well, private certification remains the best option.






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