If you are planning to send flowers for Mother's Day and you live in Louisiana, please be sure to avoid the "danger" of an unlicensed bouquet. Investors' Business Daily explains the peril:
Beautiful bouquets are available everywhere, but customers in Louisiana are unique in that their florists must obtain licenses to practice their profession. After a bill that would have repealed the licensing requirement was defeated in the State Senate Agriculture Committee by a 6 to 1 vote, licensing will remain the case for the immediate future.
In a study headlined "License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing," the Institute for Justice reports that Louisiana is tied with the state of Washington as being the two that have the most requirements for occupational licensing.
Another study found that from 1993 to 2012 Louisiana increased the licensing requirements for low-income occupations more than any other state.
The Baton Rouge Advocate points out that Louisiana is the only state that requires a license to arrange flowers.
However, despite support from the governor, the bill to end licensing got only one vote. It was defeated by what IBD calls pressure from "incumbent florists."
The Advocate reported:
"Having a license is not a barrier," said Annie Taylor, a licensed florist in Scott. "To say you are a licensed florist sets you apart in the industry."
She warned committee member that if the measure passed then it would denigrate the profession.
"You have let us down and you have demoted us," she said. "We are artists. It's not an occupation."
The licensing requirement doesn't set florists apart–it ensures that they will not face marketplace competition.
Arranging flowers is an art, but it is an art that can be practiced by people who don't have a license.
Established florists compete not by producing a great product, but by, in effect, getting legislaturers to forbid anyone to compete with them.
The buyer is perfectly capable of deciding whether she likes a particular bouquet. These licensing requirements most affect low-skilled (but often talented and hard working) people who want them to work.