Jobs "Under Government Attack"


The Street's Joe Mont highlights a variety of jobs "under government attack" via pointless regulations and unnecessary occupational licensing requirements. Among the offenders:

Texas requires computer repair technicians to get a private investigator's license, which could require a degree in criminal justice or three-year apprenticeship. Uncredentialed IT guys could face a $4,000 fine, one year in jail or a $10,000 civil penalty. Consumers who knowingly take their computers to unlicensed companies are subject to the same punishment. Since 2007, anyone in Texas who accesses nonpublic computer files to gather information is deemed by the state to have conducted an "investigation"—thus the requirement….

[Louisiana] requires florists to pass a written exam to ply their trade. Until recently, earning the right to work as a florist in that state also required passing a four-hour, hands-on review in which four arrangements had to be created and judged competent by a panel of state-licensed florists.

A statement by the Institute for Justice described a partial victory against the practice in July as: "licensing scheme pruned back after florists file civil rights lawsuit." The group praised a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, saying, "Louisiana florists will no longer find themselves fenced out of the industry by an arbitrary, subjective and antiquated licensing exam in which their own future competitors decide whether they are 'good enough' to sell floral arrangements."

Read the whole story here. For more on occupational licensing abuse, check out's "Throw-Pillow Fight: Is your interior designer really putting your life at risk?"

NEXT: Reason in the Ether: Tim Cavanaugh Talks with the Libertarian Dime

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  1. Contrary to what some libertarians seem to believe, quite a few regulations are necessary.

    However, that much said, the amount of general red tape and totally absurd regulations in the US is staggering.
    The US, the country of red tape.

    1. quite a few regulations are necessary

      Citation needed.

      1. As a basic example, the regulation that you are not allowed to drive on at full speed on a red traffic light.

        Of course that does not imply that any particular individual traffic light should exist. Traffic lights should be put in place only where necessary, and do not have to be enabled all day long. I have seen traffic lights at a roundabout. How dump is that?

        1. Which is just a short step away from requiring the guy who de-viruses your computer every year to obtain a private investigators license. Now I get it!

          1. Yes, the vast bulk of those license requirements and zoning laws are absurd.
            I know no country other than US which has those.

    2. I believe it was PJ O’Rourke who said that “everyone needs a little government and a little luck, but only a fool trusts in either.”

  2. O/T: Just how “valuble” is a public education?…..050234.jpg

  3. I think the computer technician one is a re-hash of a press release from 2008. My co-blogger and I questioned the legal analysis behind it here.

    1. “”The bill is being interpreted as requiring computer repair people to have a P.I. license. However, that was not the intent. The intent was to have people who hire out or contract to do personal investigations of people and/or their backgrounds using the computer to be licensed. I expect it to be fixed in the next session. The sponsor was Rep. Joe Driver and I’m sure I did vote for it based on the explanation given for it’s purpose?To better protect our private information and regulate those who professionally search for it.”


      I don’t know if the bill was fixed.

  4. Feng shui: The Silent Killer.

  5. “Until recently, earning the right to work as a florist in that state also required passing a four-hour, hands-on review in which four arrangements had to be created and judged competent by a panel of state-licensed florists.”

    One of the jobs I worked to put myself through college was as a florist. It takes no education at all — even someone who did not make it through high school is perfectly qualified to arrange flowers.

  6. Of course, the great part about all of this from a legislators perspective is that this racket pays them twice. The racket is intended to both a) restrict supply of available workers within any field thereby increasing the wages/rates/salaries for the entrenched workers within that field and b) force people to take useless and expensive coursework in order to qualify for a degree in that field. The legislators get the money from both the professional schools and the lobbies for the profession for requiring this.

  7. The Texas computer tech thing is beyond absurd. Fuck you, Texas, you corrupt scum (the politicians, of course).

    1. And for the record, I live in Texas, and I don’t know of a single computer tech who has this license. It’s just gonna be one of those laws they use against you when you piss off your betters.

      1. Bingo. Just like the 80,000 federal regulations on the book. Wasn’t it Stalin who said “show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime”?

  8. Where are our resident liberals telling us how stupid we are for being against absurd, pointless licensing requirements?

    1. Busy taking bong hits from un-tax stamped Kush.

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