Occupational Licensing In Louisiana: Anti-Job, Anti-Growth
Onerous Licensing Laws in Louisiana
Licensing laws in Louisiana have always been onerous. We are, after all, the only state in the union that licenses florists. That bears repeating: we are the only state in the U.S. that has the dubious distinction of demanding that florists be a licensed profession. Why is this? Well, often big companies create licensing as a way to crowd out small businesses. In many cases, established companies use government to create a hurdle through which smaller companies will fail to jump, while they clear it easily. At the end of the day, licensing laws kill jobs and squash opportunities for people looking for work.
The IJ Report: Where Does Louisiana Rank?
The Institute for Justice’s report on occupational licensing in 2017 came out recently and, as usual, Louisiana stands near the bottom. Unlike some other issues, like health, this one is relatively easy to repair. But first, a word on the report: it grades the states on licensing and how difficult those licenses make it for people, especially low income people, to get and hold a job. How did Louisiana place? Well, we were the 6th most broadly and onerously licensed state. This prevents people, especially the poorest Louisiana workers, from being able to start their own businesses. It prevents small business growth, tax growth, and job growth.
We’ve highlighted Louisiana’s problems with occupational licensing in the past. It is not a new problem, but it is one that is not going away until we find a solution to the regulations put in place by special interests. These laws should work for Louisiana workers.
What Can We Do Different With Occupational Licensing?
How can we make occupational licensing more simple and friendly? Something like the Right to Earn A Living Act that has been proposed by the Goldwater Institute would be a good place to start. Another good step would be to stop licensing occupations that virtually no one else licenses. Florists, Interior Designers, and Tree Trimmer are a few of the key examples of this.