Armed Government Agents Raiding Barber Shops

Posted: November 9, 2010 in agents, barber shops, barbers, economic liberty, florida, government, institute for justice, o..., occupational licensing, raid, raiding, right to earn a living

Police in Orange County, Florida, have been conducting warrantless raids of barbershops, and arresting barbers for cutting hair without a license. As a result, barbers with years of experience and lots of satisfied customers are subject to hundreds of dollars in fines, simply because they cut hair without having gotten permission from the government.Institute for Justice economic liberty expert Paul Sherman explains that under Florida law, before you’re allowed to cut hair, you must first take 1,200 hours of instruction that can cost thousands of dollars and pass a written exam.The economic effects of laws like this are well documented—by restricting entry into the market consumers are forced to pay more for fewer options.When we lose the right to work in common occupations without first asking government permission, the loss of other civil liberties soon follows. In the 1950s only one in twenty Americans needed a government license to work in their chosen occupation. Today, that number is almost one in three. Those who want to prevent a repeat of these raids should take a hard look at deregulating safe, common occupations like barbering and cosmetology.

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