Something exciting is happening in the nation’s Capitol. Lawmakers on both sides of the political divide are joining forces in a deregulatory push against burdensome occupational licensing requirements.
As the Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday:
Rep. Dave Brat (R., Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Pa.), a community activist from Philadelphia, came to rare agreement Tuesday on a licensing issue impacting the American workforce.
The lawmakers, who are often diametrically opposed on policy, expressed agreement during a House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access hearing titled, “Occupational Hazards: How Excessive Licensing Hurts Small Business.”
Listening to advocates, small business owners, trade association members, and economic experts, Evans and Brat expressed common sentiments that the current occupational licensing structure has created barriers to employment, hindered economic opportunity, and limited geographic mobility.
Here’s the full hearing:
This is great news considering the damage occupational licensing scams do to the U.S. economy every day.
Among small business owners, licensing boards have been cited as one of the biggest entrepreneurial headaches in recent years.
In fact, 2014 Kauffman Foundation/Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey found that a majority of the American small business owners polled for the survey cited professional licensing requirements as the most important regulatory issue in determining a region’s friendliness toward entrepreneurs.
“Licensing regulations were overwhelmingly the biggest headache for the small service businesses that we surveyed,” Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack.com, told Personal Liberty® at the time. “The time-cost and complexity involved with complying with multiple licenses in multiple jurisdictions were the single largest regulatory factor that affected perceptions of overall friendliness of a city or State.”
This is unsurprising, considering the 2012 report from the Institute for Justice which made this shocking observation about the arbitrary nature of some license regulations: “States consider an average of 33 days of training and two exams enough preparation for EMTs, but demand 10 times the training–372 days, on average–for cosmetologists.”