Idiotic Occupational Licensing Stories

Occupational licensing – that is, requiring people to be approved by the government to practice their occupation – is one of the more destructive activities of Leviathan.  Often, the practice exists to inhibit competition, either to protect the interests of those already practicing the occupation, or those who are competing against them.  In Montgomery County, it also suffers from Montgomery disease; that is, the belief that (a) government knows best and (b) must control everything.

Sometimes, it produces results which are both laughable and tragic.  Here are a couple of examples:

Fortune Tellers: What in the world does it mean to be a licensed fortune teller? That you meet professional standards? That you know how to properly read a crystal ball or a palm?  That you are sufficiently expert with tarot cards?  What the hell is the county doing licensing fortune tellers??!!   Although several counties have eliminated the requirement for licensing for fortune tellers, Montgomery hasn’t.  One man was denied a license by the county, and is suing for the right to practice his trade.  For God’s sake, what is the problem here?  I assume this is just Montgomery disease (is there some competing occupation that is threatened here?)

Horse massagers: Mercedes Clemens has had a practice in Damascus where she practices “equine massage”.  She has about 30 horse clients, helping to work out muscle aches and soothe the horses.  State regulators shut down her practice, because by state law, only a veterinarian is allowed to massage horses.

This isn’t just Montgomery disease; it’s the veterinarians seeking protection against competition.  Now she is suing the two entities which have shut her down, the Maryland Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.   The Institute for Justice is fighting for her.

Explore posts in the same categories: County government, Maryland, Regulation

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