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Should You Need the Government’s Permission to Work?

Updated: Apr 13

When he was in the state legislature, AAI President Dan Greenberg worked to limit the reach of the state’s bureaucracy.  Namely, he tried to rein in the state’s Interior Design Board, as detailed in this story from Reason; he ultimately succeeded in limiting its powers by combining it with two other agencies and depriving it of a majority on its governing board. Last November, David Kinkade wrote about the state’s contractor licensing racket that was ‘hammering’ builders in the state.  So you can see that state licensing requirements have long been a (deserving) object of The Arkansas Project’s scorn.

To give you an idea just how out-of-control things have gotten in Arkansas, you can read about Arkansas’s panoply of state licensing requirements here.  (WARNING: Do not click if you suffer from narcolepsy or high blood pressure–there are scores of these things in state law, and outrage or sleep-induced boredom is a significant possibility.)

Not only do these licensing requirements stifle economic growth, they raise serious questions about the role of government:  Should you need the government’s permission to work?  A new video released by the Institute for Justice asks this question & highlights the perils of frivolous, burdensome state-level bureaucracies.

According to their rankings, Arkansas makes the list as the 5th worst state for licensing & high hurdles for “would-be workers.”

Among the 8 worst states–Arizona, California, Oregon, Nevada, Arkansas, Hawaii, Florida, & Louisiana–it takes an average of one and a half years of training, an exam, and $300 in fees to get a license.

Unfortunately, as the video below explains, research provides little evidence that these hurdles make services any safer or better.  Rather, these hurdles raise costs on consumers (e.g., you) and stifle employment opportunities, job creation, and economic growth.

These licensing requirements are not only an affront to liberty–which is certainly enough to garner my disapproval–they are roadblocks to prosperity & a genuine threat to the pursuit of happiness.

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