Punishments in job licensing laws don’t fit the crime

Punishments in job licensing laws don’t fit the crime


We have a right to earn an honest living.  This right is protected by the U.S. Constitution. Entrepreneurship and good old-fashioned free market competition are playing a lot of defense nowadays. Protectionism has gone unchecked due to the significant increase in career paths subject to occupational licensing.

These occupational licenses are often barriers to earning an honest living. They are the result of bad laws and regulations designed by and for special interests composed of industry insiders who are trying to protect themselves from competition.

If you look at the make-up of licensing boards, you’ll notice they are controlled by “experts” already working in the industry as well as individuals affiliated with the educational institutions to whom would-be professionals must pay tuition in order to meet “educational requirements.”

When boards are comprised mostly of industry practitioners, it is in their financial best interests to block anything that might compete with them.

That’s the case here in Nebraska, and for reflexologists, if you don’t obtain a license to work as a massage therapist, you run the risk of being charged with a Class III felony. I’m not sure the punishment fits the crime.

About a month ago, I wrote how we need to be allowing consumers to be in the driver’s seat. Let consumers decide whether they want to find relief from an ailment through seeking the services of a massage therapist or through seeking the ancient art of reflexology through a privately certified reflexologist.

Senator Murman’s LB347 to exempt reflexology practice from massage therapist licensing is scheduled for General File debate on the floor of the Legislature this week.  I’ll be in the rotunda supporting Nebraska reflexologists wanting to enter the free market without fear of committing a crime.  I have a feeling I’ll be bumping into a few individuals from the massage therapy industry fighting to protect their turf.

Reflexologists in Nebraska just want to earn a living practicing an art they love. Do we need to charge them with a felony just because industry insiders want to monopolize the system? Time will tell if the Legislature decides to join the other 32 states across the country that don’t regulate reflexology and allow for some good old-fashioned free market competition.

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