The Protection Racket of Occupational Licensing

The following article was published on Capitalism

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Across the nation, millions of entrepreneurial Americans seek to create jobs, pursue their passion, or simply make a few extra dollars by starting their own business. But often, they are forced to abandon their dreams, not because they lack talent or capital, but because they do not have the government’s permission.

New Jersey resident Ernie Arias is one example. His business installs home entertainment equipment and he decided to add security systems to his list of services. However, the state of New Jersey requires more than three years of classes and experience before it will grant an occupational license to locksmiths and security installers. Arias abandoned the idea, saying, “There’s no way I could put in all that time and spend probably $2,000 on classes. You can build a house in New Jersey quicker and easier than it takes to get the license you need to put locks on the house.” Read more

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