• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Out of the maze

If the right-to-work law can be called the "right to work for less" law, I think it's fair to call the practice of licensing the "right to work for more" mechanism:

A bill making its way before leaders in Indiana would eliminate the need for some professions, like hairdressers and barbers, to be licensed and it's causing outrage in the cosmetology industry.

"I was devastated," said cosmetology student Tara Lacy when she learned about Indiana house bill 1006.

It eliminated license requirements for cosmetologists.

Head for the hills, men, there's outrage in the cosmetology industry, go God knows what's going to happen! As is usually the case, note that the strongest support for licensing is not from the members of the public who are supposedly being protected but from members of the regulated profession. The whole test-fee-licensing process keeps the riff-raff out and the competition down and provides an excuse to charge more for a service.

All but the most stalwart libertarians recognize the need to provide a licensing process for some professionals such as doctors and lawyers. But beauticians? And heaven forbid you should get your hair cut by somebody who just wandered in off the street! Why, you wouldn't look normal again for weeks and weeks.

We all pay for this regulatory bloat in in two ways -- the cost of the bureacracy needed to maintain the maze and the extra money we pay at the point of retail.