Long ago in the Land of the Free, if you wanted to start a saloon, you rented a space and started serving booze.
You didn’t have to go through years of petitioning a bunch of bureaucrats for permits and licenses.
If you weren’t qualified or good enough at your job, your reputation would suffer and you’d go out of business.
This is the way it used to be for just about every industry and profession.
It wasn’t until 1889 that the US Supreme Court ruled in Dent v. West Virginia that states had the right to impose “reasonable” certifications or licenses for various professions.
At first, most states only licensed physicians, dentists, and lawyers.
In fact, by 1920, only about 30 occupations in the US required any sort of licensing.
By the 1950s, about 5% of US workers required a license to perform his/her job.
Today that number has risen to 30%, and climbing.
Some of our modern examples are completely insane.
According to the Brookings Institute, the state of Nevada requires 733 days of training and a $1,500 fee for a license… just to become a tour guide.
Over in Michigan, it takes 1,460 days of education to become an athletic trainer.
45 other states have license or certification requirements for athletic trainers. All fifty states have licenses for barbers and cosmetologists.
36 states require licenses for make-up artists. 34 states license milk samplers. And a mere 33 states license auctioneers.
These license requirements continue to grow, along with the overall level of rules and regulations in the Land of the Free.