“The Federalist” Cites Cardinal Institute Research re: Occupational Licensing
Many of us have known for quite some time that state occupational licensing agencies yield absurd regulatory authority and put illogical hurdles in the place of of striving workers/entrepreneurs. This sad reality recently came to a head in West Virginia. Jayme Metzgar, senior contributor for the popular conservative outlet, The Federalist, detailed the recent arrest of a 72-yr-old barber who had some questions as to the legitimacy of the The West Virginia Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists’ order to close his shop during the Covid crisis. Cardinal’s snippet can be found below:
The WVBBC—which did not respond to multiple requests for comment—is just one of an entrenched network of state occupational licensing boards in West Virginia. Last year, the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy released a study comparing the state to two of its wealthier neighbors, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Not only does West Virginia have the most licensing boards of the three, but it also has generally higher fees and more onerous licensing requirements.
Garrett Ballengee, executive director of the Cardinal Institute, doesn’t believe an entity like the WVBBC even needs to exist. He notes that while approximately 5 percent of occupations required licenses in the 1950s, today that number stands at higher than 25 percent. “It’s a protectionist racket,” he says. “If we’re going to have an entity like this for barbers and hairdressers, it should provide voluntary certification or consultative services. It certainly shouldn’t be an extension of the legal system, which it clearly is.”