Wait! Do You Have a License to Sell That Casket? [Video]

Craig HueyCulture Wars, Government, Congress, and Politics 1 Comment

In the 1950s, one in 20 people needed a license to get their job done.

Now it’s one out of 3.

Talk about government over-regulation.

Did you know that you need a license in some parts of the country to:

  • Sell caskets (proponents site consumer safety)
  • Fortune Telling
  • Interior Design
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Shampooer
  • Florist
  • Auctioneer
  • Packager
  • Locksmith

Licenses don’t protect people:

  • Bernie Madoff was licensed.
  • Teachers who have sex with students are licensed.
  • A funeral home director who buried bodies out in the woods was licensed.

What licensing does do:

It crushes new entrepreneurs. The need for licensing often comes about by established members of a profession lobbying government to make others qualify with a license, thus making it tough on new competition.

For example, a woman who wanted to braid hair was told she couldn’t do it unless she spent thousands of hours to get a cosmetology license.

She wants to braid hair. She went to the board of cosmetology. No, not without our license she was told by the cosmetology board.

In this case, cosmetologists had gone to the state legislature and lobbied for the creation of a license.

She would be competing with cosmetologists, who now conspire to keep her out.


  • Limits choices
  • Raises prices
  • Enriches older businesses at the sacrifice of new start-ups and innovators
  • Squashes competition
  • Makes consumers worse off

There’s nothing like a free marketplace to regulate business, allow everyone to compete, and bring down prices.

Watch this powerful 4-minute video by John Stossel on licensing.

What do you think? Write me at craig@craighuey.com

Comments 1

  1. That’s a pretty broad list. It sounds like you favor a “wild west” view of licensing. Some examples do make one wonder why anyone would need to be licensed.

    But what businesses and professions would you say SHOULD be licensed? What workers in the health field don’t need to be licensed? I have two family members in the health field (dietitian and dental hygienist) and another in the other in the final year of nursing school. If you or your loved ones need the services of the above professions, to which one(s) would you say “Nah, you’re ok without an expensive education, testing for competency, etc.”? Or, “I don’t care if they don’t know anything about diseases which they might pass on when they care for me”.

    All three have had, or will have a bachelor-of-science degree. The nursing student will have to pass a test AFTER graduation before she can be an RN. The hygenist had to take a test AFTER graduation before she could be a professional hygenist.

    Likewise, the dietitian had a rigorous four year education, but because of pressure from “nutritionists” a law to require licenses for dietitians in California was defeated. So you say “what’s wrong with that?”. For starters, no one can legally call themselves a dietition without the education, but “nutritionists” can call themselves “nutritionists” without any education (look up the differences on line).

    And there is ample room for quackery in the “nutritionist” field. They call themselves “nutritionists” and voila expect to be competent and worthy of out trust.

    There ARE abuses, but that is the fault of (1) the abusers, (2) the governmental watchdogs and (3) the politicians who take the lobbyists money.

    And some of the categories you named do not need licensing in many states. Auctioneers? Being bonded should be more important than licensing. Packagers? What are they packing? Widgets or lead canisters containing “hot” radioactive material? Need to be more specific. Locksmiths? Anyone can call himself/herself a locksmith but do you want an unlicensed one who has a criminal record, or is just plain incompetent, working on your office or home locks?

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