Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Era of Big Government is Over

Jonathan H. Adler, noted something or another, argues that
The government licensing and regulation of barbers, like other hair stylists, is driven by the self-interest of the profession.  Licenses restrict entry and reduce  competition, enabling  those with licenses to capture more rents.  This is actually the case with most licensing regimes, even those that appear to serve a greater public interest than barber licenses.  . . . I would argue that it’s rare that a licensing regime of this sort is put in place without the support of those who stand to benefit economically, and that many public spirited rationales, including health and safety, are a smokescreen.
I leave out the links to Matt Yglesias, because he is nearly as dumb as Douthat and is supposed to be a stalwart of the left's Netroots despite arguing for the invasion of Irag and his current deregulation riffs.  I'll spare everyone the longer history of Barber regulations as they pertained to Barber surgeons and simply note that  first barbering law in America was implemented in Minnesota in 1897 and set educational and sanitary standards. And, as the Encyclopedia of Hair also points out, as the regulation regime continued it increased patrons health and safety and created a better educated and more professional class of barbers. Or as our libertarian would be overlords would put it: Rent seeking bastards force people to disinfect their razors and learn a little something do so to limit competition in manner both unfair and immoral.

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