But Who Will Protect Us From Unlicensed Haircuts?


MINOT, N.D. — No sane person wants a crisis.

Certainly, nobody wanted a global pandemic which, by the time it’s done burning its way through humanity, will kill hundreds of thousands if not millions.

Still, something is clarifying about a crisis — something that can prompt us to dispense with the unnecessary.

That seems to be the case with America’s regulatory and occupational licensing regime. The federal government, and particularly our state governments, have been slashing the red tape that surrounds American businesses and workers.

“As the nation’s economy and health-care system struggle to adjust to the pandemic, more and more states are reexamining some of their oldest occupational and business regulations — rules that, although couched as protecting consumers, do far more to limit competition,” Paul Sherman, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, wrote recently in The Atlantic. “And for those of us who have long questioned the supposed benefits of these policies, their erosion is welcome, even if the pandemic that caused it is not.”

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