(Occupational) Licensing directly affects more workers today than union membership and the minimum wage combined, but it wasn’t always this way. Some government restrictions on who can perform what job have been around for decades. In the 1950s, 1 in 20 workers needed government permission in the form of a license to work. Today licensing has ballooned to ensnare 1 in 4 workers. Most of that expansion is new license regulations for previously unlicensed occupations and the broadening scope of existing licenses.
But a tiny ray of hope:
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT Gueye did not seek out a cosmetology license. She did not find a different job. She refused to stay underground. Instead, Gueye fought the government’s stifling regulations. She fought alongside other braiders in Kentucky to defend their right to earn an honest living performing their cultural trade. In a win for Kentucky’s hair braiders, Governor Matt Bevin signed a bill in 2016 exempting them from the state’s cosmetology regulations.
Way to much government involvement for things that are none of their business. License to install home entertainment centers? Fucking nuts.