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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

I don't need no stinkin' license

Outstanding news, if they can actually get something done:

Indiana lawmakers are considering deregulating a number of professions, including real estate brokers, home inspectors and several others.

Nail salons and dozens of others lumped under the “beauty culture” umbrella are also under review.

Professionals in the beauty industry say doing away with licensing would be disastrous.

Stylist Tracy Brown owns Moxie on Mass Avenue, and she says from color, bleach to cut,  it takes skill to produce beauty.

“Sure you can pick up a pair of scissors, but I have about 25 pair of different scissors and they all do different things," said Brown.

Heavens, the horror! Imagine letting some unlicensed wacko into the ranks of cosmetology without having learned what to do with 25 kinds of scissors.

The publisher of the newspaper I worked for in Michigan City was such a libertarian purist that he advocated doing away with all licensing, including that of physicians. The free market, he believed, would sort out the good doctors from the quacks, and "let the buyer beware" is always a good polocy. (See discussion of medical licensing here.) I don't know that I'd go that far -- I think government's imprimatur is important in some cases -- but we could certainly benefit from taking a hard look at overcredentialization.