Loopy licensing: Why it can be quicker to become a lawyer than a cosmetologist

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  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:09 p.m.

    "The true purpose of occupational licensing — especially in lower-skilled trades that have always been avenues of opportunity for lower-income Americans — is to exclude as many newcomers as possible while keeping customer prices artificially high."

    For once Mike Lee is correct....or at least half correct. He neglected to explain that the other reason for all the licensing requirements is to collect fees on the licenses. Fees that help state coffers while providing little in return.

    It is a good thing we have Big Brother here to protect us.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    June 4, 2014 1:49 a.m.

    billmosby, of course licensing didn't spring into a bureaucrat's mind out of nowhere. It sprang into the minds of established businesspeople. And there are certainly good reasons for it- good reasons having to do with their profits.

    "How inconvenient to have competition! The upstarts, thinking they can compete with me! There oughta be a law."

    You get a few such folks together and it becomes really dangerous. Too many people who pride themselves on their capitalism have never considered what Adam Smith had to say on these subjects- e.g. "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

    People rail against bureaucrats regarding excessive regulation which threatens business. That picture is misleading; all too often, and especially in matters of licensure, businesses plead to be regulated.

    Sure, people will say many fine things about the importance of free enterprise at political meetings. But those same people will leap at the opportunity to have their own government-enforced monopoly. Affording others economic freedoms is awfully inconvenient.

  • billmosby Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    An almost information-free article. Please explain what all those hours cover, maybe we might be able to make an intelligent decision as to what parts of the training, if any, are required for good reasons. Licensing didn't just spring into some bureaucrat's mind out of nowhere, there are good reasons for it especially when your health or property is concerned.

  • Michael Roche Provo, UT
    June 3, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    I bet most licensing committees could be replaced by a website where customers can post reviews. Of course, there are plenty of sites that review professionals, but they aren't used very frequently and the sample of reviewers is low and skewed, so the information they provide is pretty worthless. Maybe the state could try consolidating all of those professional-review sites into one site and work on improving the information they provide. I trust online reviews more than a license; the government regularly allows companies to sell products that, according to online reviews, break or work poorly more than 50% of the time.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 3, 2014 5:31 p.m.

    Lawyers write the rules.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 3, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    There was an article on KSL about a midwife who is being charged with manslaughter of a newborn twin. She was unlicensed and wholly unqualified, but the anti regulation crowd is right.

    Why should a midwife need a license? It would just raise the cost of having a child.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    June 3, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    Morgan, did your ancestors assimilate to Native American culture and its requirements?

    If a German or Irish immigrant in the 1850s or 1880s could come to a land of opportunity and free enterprise, wait only a few hours at Ellis Island to become citizens, and get started with their entrepreneurial efforts as soon as they reach their destination, why should a Mexican or Indian immigrant today have to face a wait of over a dozen years, endure endless pointless hurdles, costs, and pains, and then when they finally arrive find out that this is no longer the land of opportunity but a land where heavy-handed regulation squelches innovators and inflates costs for consumers in order to give monopoly profits to established businesses?

    Is that really the America you want? Can you possibly call that the land of the free?

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    June 3, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    I have found that in today's world you can no longer trust people when you use their service without some balance that ensures you get the product you are purchasing with the quality you should be able to expect.

    State licensing at least gives you a place to lodge a complaint and the force of law behind you when you are ripped off. Why should a person from another country be able to emigrate to America and go into business without equal training, which a citizen in the US has worked hard to try and meet.

    When you emigrate to the US you should be expected to Assimilate to our culture and its requirements.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    I realize this is a story for the national edition, but we really need to see the Deseret News push for reforming the law here in Utah where we have similar absurdly excessive government mandates.

    In fact, we should ask the Legislature to appoint a task force, preferably including representatives of the public/business community as well as a few token legislators, to recommend repealing whole sections of Utah laws as obsolete, unnecessary, overly restrictive, a poor trade off of costs vs. benefits, or just overly meddlesome.

    Cosmetology overkill is just a symptom of a much bigger problem, but a good starting point.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 3, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    But this is something regulated by the states. Are we proposing a federal solution?

    Also, should there be no training or licensing for those who handle dozens of people's hair in a day? Sure, probably not thousands of hours, but none?

    Finally, food trucks are mentioned. Are we seriously complaining about the licensing of a preparer of food?