Government Licensing Gone Wild

One way that President Obama, Congress, Susana Martinez, the Legislature, and even city governments could spur their respective economies is by abolishing most professional licensing or at least making such licensing optional. Thus, if you wish to go to a business that is licensed by the relevant government agency, you are free to do that (and pay whatever the additional price is for such services). If you wish to patronize an unlicensed establishment, be that a restaurant, barber shop, or even a doctor, you should be able to do that, but they must tell you that they are not government licensed.

This would create competition while spurring economic growth, and it would put busy-body regulators out of business and force them to find real jobs. One recent illustration of how crazy such regulations can get is from Los Angeles where police raided several African-American barber shops due to a lack of licenses.

Another example is of a hot dog vendor in North Carolina that would have had to obtain a license to operate from his competition. He is now in jail.

Government licensing may be well-intended, but it often leads to abuses. To enable competition while preserving it for those who want to keep it in place, I say make it optional.