| A favorite of state and local governments is the practice of requiring everyone who wants to provide certain products or services to be “licensed.” These licenses involve paying government to take some sort of test and/or provide documentation of state-approved training, and then paying government every year—at steadily increasing rates—until you quit, retire or die.

The notion of being licensed may sound nice to people looking for a service, and the basic idea of demonstrating knowledge about a trade is good. But mandatory government licensing can be described simply as extortion rackets with no real purpose in making things safer or better.

Take landscaping, for instance. In most places, when someone wants to install ornamental plantings at a person’s private home, he or she must be “licensed” by government. Being licensed is not really a way to demonstrate knowledge of how to successfully landscape a home. It is a test and a lifetime of government fees. Read Entire Article

By Justin Gardner