Our America Initiative

Sign to End Licensing Cronyism

Ending Licensing Cronyism

We’ve all heard the stories: Cosmetologists getting their state licensing boards to close competing, unlicensed hair-braiders. Hotels blocking AirBnB rentals unless they get a hotel license.  All in the name of protecting us from...something, whether we want or need to be protected or not.

Certainly, state or local licensing is justified for a small number of critical professions. But, in many, many other instances, the marketplace or non-governmental certifications provide all the protection consumers and the public need.

Licensing requirements not only smother competition, but they also increase costs -- for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and yes, consumers.  Studies are showing by repealing licenses for just 10 professions - such as cosmetologists, massage therapists, and a few other trades - states could boost employment by more than 4 percent.  Another study promises a reduction in cost of living by just shrinking the number of licensed occupations to the national average (22% of occupations).

Too often, whether an occupation requires a license is determined not by need, but rather by the political clout of the profession and those who can afford the time and money required to meet sometimes absurd requirements. In other words, it’s cronyism.

Our America Initiative is working toward the introduction and passage of model legislation end unnecessary government licensing, or where appropriate, give consumers and businesses a better alternative in the form of certification.

Specifically, Our America will: 

1.) Encourage OAI supporters to email their state legislators to introduce or support model legislation, such as the  “21st Century Consumer Protection and Private Certification Act”, to “exempt certified trades from licensing, and grant certified occupations the protection of fraud laws to avoid costly litigation.”

2.) Deploy social media to raise awareness about unnecessary licensing and the obstacles it creates to new business ventures and jobs and greater consumer choices.