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occupational, licensing, permission, unions, protectionism, regulation, license, law

The Winds of Regulation

Among the many goofy occupational licensing laws in these United States, Arizona’s licensing for professional blow-drying services is up there with the silliest.  “Under current law, using a blow-dryer on someone else’s hair, for money, requires more than 1,000 hours of training and an expensive state-issued license,” we learn at Reason. “Blow-drying hair

truck drivers, regulation, over regulation, rules, overreach, Matthew Garnett

Free the Truck Drivers

Should our government liberate truck drivers from the country-wide prison in which they’re incarcerated? You say I’m exaggerating. Being metaphorical. Yes. Maybe metaphors and hyperbole are not to your taste, but suggesting an analogy, at least, is more than justified. The government does treat truck drivers like inmates . .

vape, vaping, smoking, law, regulation, unintended consequence, illustration, photo

A Vapor’s Chance in Hell

There is a big difference between government designed to protect our rights and a government tasked with protecting us from ourselves. You couldn’t find a better example of this than the current Federal Drug Administration and its regulation of vaping. Vaping is the imbibing of water vapor laced with nicotine

potluck, food, inspection, safety, regulations, government, folly, Common Sense, illustration

Potluck Rites, and Rights

Progressives are becoming increasingly defensive about nearly all forms of Big Government, relentlessly telling us that we need government for everything from money and roads to food inspection and subsidies and . . . well, the list is endless. Food safety is one of their favorite subjects, but I’m increasingly

donkey, grinning, dentist, laws, Common Sense, illustration

Law in the Tooth

Why did Dr. Ben Burris give up his orthodontic license? Where did he go wrong? Dr. Burris broke the law. He flagrantly violated the hallowed precepts of the Arkansas Dental Practices Act. Let me rinse and spit out the truth: This dentist illegally cleaned people’s teeth. Not just once —

Uber, car, ride, London, taxi, regulation, waiting, Paul Jacob, Common Sense

The Uber-Huge Mistake

Uber’s challenge to old-fashioned ride service — to the taxi industry — is at least twofold. One, it shows government regulation to be counterproductive and kind of witless. Two, it shows that innovation — particularly by decreasing transaction costs — can rapidly transform a market for the good of consumers.

Little Free Library, illustration, Common Sense, Paul Jacob

Worth a Crackdown?

Charming. That is the best word to describe the “Little Free Library” movement. Haven’t heard of it? It is the practice by which just plain folks share their books by building these little birdhouse-sized free lending libraries that they place in their yards by the curb. Usually, the little “libraries”

Pain Medicine Police

Pain Economies

Looking for a new doctor, a colleague of mine called his friend’s primary care clinic, and was told, “We are taking all patients except pain management cases.” He was thankful his health issues were not pain-related. After reading Leslie Kendall Dye’s Salon piece, “But what if I actually need my

Townhall: The Cynics and the Minimum Wage

This weekend at Townhall, a recurring subject, but with a British twist: why support a minimum wage if it doesn’t do the good claimed for it? Maybe the backers don’t uniformly want the good. Could they want the bad? Which brings up the question of cynicism. We who aim to

Water Shortage

All Wet

Which is worse, paying for stuff you use . . . or being constantly harassed for using it? One consequence of widespread failure to charge market rates for water turns out to be hyper-regulation of hydro-usage, and the penalizing — even criminalizing — of using “too much” H2O. To deal

Government Fixes

The Latest Big Fix

Transformer-in-Chief Barack Obama is at it again. The president’s latest tune is a variation on a very old theme: whatever government breaks “requires” a new government program. See a problem; propose and enact a government solution; the problem gets worse, some new ones pop up; blame everything on the voluntary,

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