Via an email forwarded by a reader from Texans for Texas, I see the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Marc Levin, a past Grits guest blogger, has a new policy brief examining the "Preoccupation with Occupational Licensing." He analyzes pending legislation that criminalizes various conduct that in the past was considered at most tortuous. Levin writes:
Regulating new occupations effectively means creating more crimes because the default general criminal penalty of a Class A misdemeanor under Occupations Code, §165.151 for violating any rule under the Occupations Code is applicable.Good stuff - see the rest, and for legislators and those of you around the capitol, Marc's right: It's high time to rethink new criminal penalties as the "default" solution to every social problem, and it has to start with you guys.
In addition to expanding the scope of criminal penalties, subjecting an occupation to government regulation reduces competition among providers, often causing higher prices and lower productivity. Consumer choice can also be compromised because of standardization, as demonstrated by the cases of African hairbraiders denied cosmetology licenses.