Tagged: occupational licensing

Louisiana Means Licensing

Received this email from the Institute for Justice yesterday. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular readers.

Louisiana Means Licensing

Friends,

Louisiana is ground zero for one of the greatest threats to economic liberty in America: occupational licensing. An occupational license is just what it sounds like—a government permission slip to work in a particular field.

Licensing Fail: Map of states which license florists
In our groundbreaking study of the nationwide licensing of 102 low-to-moderate income jobs, License to Work, we found that Louisiana licenses more occupations than any other state in the country: 71! For example, Louisiana is the only state in the country to license florists. Many of these laws have nothing to do with protecting the public’s health and safety, and instead provide protection to industry insiders.

We’re looking for entrepreneurs struggling to escape unconstitutional licensure. If you or a loved one are fighting for your right to earn an honest living, let us know today by visiting ij.org/action/report. 

Airbnb or Not2b?

Renting out space in your home to travelers provides an easy means to make ends meet, and offers greater options to visitors to your city. But the Big Easy does not want to make this easy. The New Orleans City Council has voted to outlaw residential rentals for periods of less than 30 days. This effectively bans the use of popular websites like Airbnb. Show your support for property rights, economic liberty and southern hospitality by visiting this petition to legalize short-term rentals in New Orleans. Read more…

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Hey Louisiana State Legislators, I Found Some New Jobs

Before we get to these new jobs I found for our state, I have a question. What profession has 10x the education/training requirements of an Emergency Medical Technician? If you guessed Cosmetologist, you are correct! I’ve written about the grossly inequitable occupational licensing schemes in Louisiana before, but the Institute for Justice has a new report out that shows us just how bad it is.

Some highlights from the results of the study in Louisiana include our state ranking 43rd in most burdensome licensing laws, and the 8th most extensively and onerously licensed state. Out of 102 occupations in the nationwide study, Louisiana licenses 71. That’s more than any other state and 28 more than the national average.

If our state legislators want to get serious about improving entrepreneurship and income inequality in Louisiana, they should start by taking a hard look at eliminating a large number of these arbitrary impediments.

Cartels Gone Wild – State Government Edition

Cutting hair. Selling tulips. Designing that living room makeover. These all seem to be pretty straightforward, above the cuff professions right? Most people would assume that if they saw an opportunity to make some money in the above fields then they should be able to simply acquire the necessary expertise, supplies, space and customers and open up shop. They would be wrong. In Louisiana and many other states, there exists a nasty little thing called “occupational licensing.” At least 69 professions in Louisiana alone require you to get a permission slip from the state before you can start working. Other professions also require federal licenses or some combination of federal + state. In an environment of high unemployment with people clamoring to “get back to work” you’d think that governments would be looking to scale back some of the barriers to entry in even the most basic of industries. Again, you would be wrong.

The stated reasoning behind occupational licenses is always presented as a method of protecting the public. Because clearly, a licensed barber will never give you a bad haircut, a licensed florist will always sell you beautifully long lasting flowers, and without your interior designer being licensed you can’t possibly find someone to design your home in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The reality is at best these are revenue generating annoyances and at worst they are anti-competitive measures backed by the industries themselves to limit new competition (essentially cartel behavior).

Aren’t tried and true methods like referrals, portfolios and testimonials enough to help find reputable people to do these jobs? Modernize the situation and you have Yelp!, Angie’s List, and Consumer Reports to not only find good people but make sure other people know about them if they’re bad. What happened to the state government expecting the consumer to take a little responsibility in doing their homework about a company or proprietor instead of telling us who’s approved? Also, just because you’ve hired someone who’s licensed is still no guarantee they’re any good at what they do. There’s a reason people pay extra to not go to Super Cuts. I am certainly not the first person to bring up these unnecessary government intrusions into working people and entrepreneurs lives. However, I intend to do something about it. I will keep you informed as to my research and efforts to scale back these impediments to the citizens of Louisiana who simply want to support themselves.

*Disclosure. I am FINRA Series 7 and 66 licensed as well as hold Louisiana Life, Health, and Variable Annuity insurance licenses.