It’s far from easy to cut hair in Nevada.
Politico reports that the state requires a mind-blowing 890 days of education and training for barbers to get a license to work legally.
And it’s not just aspiring barbers who are required to get a costly, time-consuming certification. Hair braiders, tree-trimmers, auctioneers, teeth-bleachers, interior designers, upholsterers and packagers—these are just a few professions on a very long list.
In case you were wondering, America’s license mania has gotten worse:
Historically, licenses applied only to people in a limited number of professions, such as doctors, pilots and lawyers, yet the list of licensed industries has become more lengthy — and less defensible — in recent decades. Since the 1950s, the percentage of jobs licensed at the state level has quintupled, rising from 5 percent to at least 25 percent.
When you add in local licensing requirements, well over a thousand professions are now affected, including hundreds in low- and middle-income categories.
Such overregulation hinders upward mobility, making it tougher for hard-working people to get a middle-class job.
As the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce senior policy adviser Andy Koenig notes: “[Licensing] may be a serious barrier for a low-income job seeker who cannot afford to quit one job to train for another profession, often at his or her own expense and without a paycheck. … These burdens fall hardest on veterans, immigrants and people who run afoul of the criminal justice system.”
Fortunately, there’s some momentum to reduce these licensing requirements. A Senate subcommittee held a hearing last week, and the White House has also taken note. Even more promising, this idea is also getting buzz at a state and local level, where citizens can directly influence and change policy.