Do you need government permission to work? That’s the question from the Institute for Justice in its new report, “License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing.” Kentucky ranks poorly in some areas and reasonably well in others. For example, Kentucky licenses relatively few jobs, but weirdly licenses such jobs as “Sign Language Interpreter” and “Mobile Home Installer.” Kentucky also has particularly burdensome regulations on the jobs it does license.
To be sure, when you someone to do work for you, it’s important to you that they do a good job. A primary problem with charging government with the task of separating the good from the bad is that licensing requirements tend to better serve the interests of incumbent workers, thus reducing important market competition and raising prices. The benefits to consumers are harder to demonstrate.
Here’s the introductory video presented by IJ’s Dick Carpenter: