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End Licensing to Revive the Freedom to Work

I'm a lawyer, and I think legal licensing is an extraordinary scam. Let people choose an attorney, paralegal, legal secretary, or self-educated legal savant to help with their legal problem. Legal licensure is designed to protect lawyers more than consumers.

Attorneys aren’t the only professionals who rig regulation to their benefit. More than 1,100 professions are licensed by at least one state. In addition to lawyers and doctors are locksmiths, interior decorators, funeral attendants, librarians, hair stylists, food caterers, florists, barbers, music therapists, glass installers, massage therapists, conveyor belt operators, and frozen dessert sellers.

Licensing has been expanding. In 1950, just 5 percent of Americans needed government permission to work. Today nearly a quarter require some form of government approval.

Some of the increase is due to a changing workforce as more people move into professions that have long required licensing. However, roughly two-thirds of the increa…

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