Occupational licensing laws prevent individuals from working. This has had a particularly harsh effect on entrepreneurs looking to go into business for themselves. Not only must they pay for all the typical costs associated with starting a business, they must also ask the government for the permission. And this permission comes with a price tag.
Not only do these licenses come with strict requirements and fees, they do nothing to prepare workers for their careers. In fact, occupational licensing does nothing aside from benefitting established industries and adding to government coffers. But unfortunately, these permits regulate much of the workforce.
And while much has been written on this topic, here is a list of five ridiculous occupational licensing laws.
License to Massage a Horse
This may sound almost too ridiculous to be true, but in some states conducting a horse massage, also known as equine myofascial release, requires certification. But since there exists no certification specific to this trade, some states mandate veterinary school completion before one can become a practitioner.
There is just one problem with this, veterinary colleges do not teach equine myofascial release, so these licensing requirements are completely arbitrary. More on this silly licensing law here.
Can you imagine mandating that all painters must obtain a license before they are able to sell their art? This is exactly how ridiculous it sounds when governments require makeup artists to obtain cosmetology licenses. And yet, this field is heavily protected in all 51 states across the country.
But these types of laws place unnecessary hurdles in front of ambitious entrepreneurs who just want to make money from their artistic skills. Read more about the individuals being harmed by these types of laws here.
License to YouTube
In case you needed any proof that the government will go to any lengths to incorporate more regulatory policies, look no further than YouTube. Last year, Cobb County Georgia shut down a video gamer who had found a way to monetize his YouTube views. While most would applaud the way this young man had utilized YouTube to fund his life, the county did not see it that way. Claiming that he lacked the license necessary to run this operation out of his home, he was stripped of his ability to earn a living.
The worst part of this whole ordeal: no such license even exists. Read more here.
The government has been a horrible bearer of nutritional information. The food pyramid has proven itself to be riddled with misinformation that has only furthered our country’s obesity and health issues. And yet, the state would still like to be in charge of who is allowed to give nutritional advice to consumers.
Even though the topic of nutrition is broad, with different diets better suited for some people over others, the government likes its one-size-fits-all approach. The license required to be a dietician is incredibly burdensome and prevents many from getting ahead in their careers. Read about how this law prevented one entrepreneur from getting ahead here.
Just like cosmetology is heavily regulated, so is the rest of the beauty industry. Everything from shampooing hair commercially to applying makeup is so heavily regulated, that it makes it hard for those with natural talent to get ahead. The nail technician industry is another example of this.
If someone has a talent for applying nail polish or doing manicures, they should be allowed to do so as long as the consumer is willing to exchange money for this service. But even though this is not a dangerous task, the state has placed heavy restrictions on this industry, restrictions that have hurt many individuals. To read how this particular licensing law is impacting those from high-risk areas, click here.