Don't Thread on Me

License laws out


In June, the Texas Supreme Court issued a victory for economic liberty by striking down a state licensing law that required eyebrow threaders to complete 750 hours of costly and unnecessary cosmetology training before they could receive the government's permission to charge customers for the harmless act of removing unwanted eyebrow hairs with a loop of cotton thread.

"The requirement of 750 hours of training to become licensed is not just unreasonable or harsh," the court held in Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. It is "so burdensome as to be oppressive."

No kidding. As the Texas high court pointed out, "persons licensed to apply eyelash extensions—a specialty involving the use of chemicals and a high rate of adverse reactions—are required to undergo only 320 hours of training." Eyebrow threading, by contrast, is an entirely safe occupation that involves no chemicals and requires only that practitioners follow the most rudimentary of sanitary practices, such as the regular washing of hands. To force aspiring eyebrow threaders to spend as much as $9,000 on 750 hours of pointless training in order to obtain a pointless license is practically the definition of unnecessary government.