Jan. 28, 2015
The Obama administration’s plan for the federal budget will contain a new line-item that is numerically trivial but philosophically important: $15 million for states to analyze the costs and benefits of their job-licensing requirements. . . State governments, with little public attention or debate, have spun a vast web of red tape that bars entry into working-class professions. Jobs like florists, manicurists, barbers, and on and on, impose unnecessarily burdensome restrictions on those who can practice the trade, closing off potential avenues for upward mobility. These restrictions have no policy rationale; they exist because incumbents in those fields have an interest in keeping out competition.