An article published by Reason Magazine today points out the insidious nature of many states’ occupational licensing frameworks.
The Hillsbourough County Sheriff’s office conducted a 9-month “sting” operation, which resulted in the arrest of 118 men and women.
The sting, according to Patch, saw sheriff’s deputies pose as homeowners seeking handymen on social media to do jobs that required licensure. These unsuspecting handymen would be lured to one of five homes, where undercover deputies filmed them performing or agreeing to perform prohibited tasks like painting or installing recess lighting.
Painting? Does anyone question the wisdom of a licensing scheme that doesn’t let people hire someone to help with painting their walls unless they’re a licensed painter?
Personally, I’d think that law enforcement would have better things to do than to entrap people who are trying to earn a living by providing a service that someone is seeking. The best way to stop this silliness, though, is to significantly reduce the scope and power of occupational licenses–getting rid of those that don’t make sense, and letting the free market work!