NPR producers get it: Occupational licensing is thinly veiled protectionism and out of control

I have to admit most NPR shows are, to put it gently, not to my liking. However, they are now exposing the lunacy of occupational licensing, and I commend them for this audio segment and article.

Click here or below to listen (4 minutes):

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They rightly note that members of many professional organizations are simply using occupational licensing to fight off honest competition—even to the point of banning hair braiding without a license. The gall of these people is astounding.

Why It’s Illegal To Braid Hair Without A License

Jestina Clayton learned how to braid hair as a girl growing up in Sierra Leone. When she was 18, she moved to America. Got married, had a couple kids, went to college.

When she graduated from college, she found that the pay from an entry-level office job would barely cover the cost of child care. So she decided to work from her home in Utah and start a hair-braiding business.

She found a little niche, braiding the hair of adopted African children. To find new business, she posted an ad on a local Web site.

Then, one day, she got an email from a stranger. “It is illegal in the state of Utah to do any form of extensions without a valid cosmetology license,” the e-mail read. “Please delete your ad, or you will be reported.”

Read the entire article here.

Written by

Fergus Hodgson

Director of fiscal policy studies at the John Locke Foundation, policy advisor with The Future of Freedom Foundation, and host of The Stateless Man radio show on the Overseas Radio Network. Although born in New Zealand, he now bases himself in the United States. You can follow him on twitter @FergHodgson (en español @Fergusito).

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