Entrepreneurism just got more expensive

This article from The Economist talks about the perils of mandatory licensing in classically mom-and-pop industries, for example second hand bookselling and haircutting. They are right to point out the social divisions created by these regulations:

The burden of regulations falls most heavily on ethnic minorities (who
are less likely to have educational qualifications) and on women (who
might want to return to work after raising their children). States that
demand that funeral directors must also qualify as embalmers, for
example, have 24% fewer female funeral directors than those that don’t.

These laws benefit primarily those who can afford to put down the large upfront costs for these licenses. The same people who have enough (resources to obtain) political influence to successfully lobby for the establishment of such regulations. It’s probably unlikely that international training would be recognized, another hurdle for immigrants trying to enter the the service industry. Administrative costs, supervisory costs, inspections and legal fees for this thing are unnecessarily high without any kind of benefit to society at large. Another great example of the small print under the American Dream.


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