It would be nice if the federal government used its often-abused authority over state and local governments to outlaw various forms of state and local oppression.
In his book Leviathan: The Growth of Local Government and the Erosion of Liberty, Clint Bolick argues that the federal government is not alone in hugely violating individual rights. Eminent domain, asset forfeiture, zoning, and occupational licensing are among the modes of sub-federal assault on the innocent. Even as policymakers in various regions of the land act to stop the worst of these abuses, they proceed unchecked elsewhere.
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Democrat Elizabeth Warren are the unlikely duo who may interrupt the now-common practice of depriving delinquent borrowers of student loans of their right to earn a living from certain trades. Rubio recently admitted on Twitter that as a Florida lawmaker, he once voted to allow the state “to suspend professional licenses of those who defaulted on student loans. I WAS WRONG. . . . How can they pay back if they can’t work?”
Yes, Rubio was wrong.
Senator Warren, for her part, agrees that the practice is “wrong and counterproductive.”
The bi-partisan duo’s bill would prohibit states from denying driver’s licenses and occupational licenses to borrowers who default on student loans.
I don’t think the legislation goes as far as it should, even in the delimited area of occupational licensing. The absurdities of occupational licensing go way beyond the scope of the proposed remedy.
But it’s a start.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.