Occupational Licensing

Bloomberg has an editorial op-ed out about a problem that too few acknowledge: the vast expansion of occupational licensing. These licenses impose costs on customers, they reduce business formation and economic growth, and they represent one of the most regressive taxes and burdens on the poor. They should be opposed by everyone who isn’t in one of the licensed industries (and them too, if they can see beyond their own immediate interest.) Bloomberg concludes:

A dynamic economy requires regulations to keep commerce flowing smoothly. It also requires sufficient leeway to encourage small-business formation and entrepreneurship. That balance between regulation and free enterprise must be recalibrated from time to time. If it takes two years to get a barber’s license in your state, it’s time.

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