Want a measure of the regulatory state run amok?
Recently in the Washington Post, Robert McNamara of the Institute for Justice informed us that “In the 1950s, only about one out of every 20 Americans needed a license to pursue the occupation of their choice. Today, that number is one out of every three.”
Wow. A lot more hoops to jump through to get a job or start a business.
Want to add insult to injury? The actual regulation McNamara was writing about makes it illegal — punishable by three months in the local jail in our nation’s capital — to “describe . . . any place or point of interest in the District to any person” as part of a tour without first getting a license.
And the license process is no picnic, either. Sure, this past summer the city did repeal the rule requiring a doctor’s certification that the aspiring guide is not a drunkard. But there remain plenty of stupid regulations, including new ones that require guides to be proficient in English. And yes, that applies even to guides who talk to those benighted folk who speak foreign languages.
Applicants must also pass a test on their knowledge of “various facets of Washington life, including architecture, history and regulations.”
Tour guides must be expert in “regulations.”
Even the Washington Post headlined its editorial, “Tour de farce,” suggesting that a system of “voluntary certification” would work better than big government rules.
Yes. That’s right.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.