Relaxing state-issued occupational licensing regulations should be included in the economic recovery policy linked to the coronavirus outbreak, said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), offering his remarks on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.
Johnson highlighted state-issued occupational licensing for hairstylists and florists as examples of “ridiculous” economic restrictions.
“Look at my home state of Louisiana,” Johnson said. “We’re one of the worst. You have to get a license to braid hair in Louisiana. You have to get a license to arrange flowers in a vase to be a florist. It’s ridiculous.”
“Onerous” government regulations obstruct economic mobility, noted Johnson. He said, “So many states have [governments that are] so onerous. The burdens are so great [that] the people don’t have any mobility. The whole goal of our tax policy and economic policy should be more economic mobility for more people because that’s how you climb up to the next rung on the proverbial ladder, and that’s how you achieve the American Dream.”
Johnson continued, “But increasingly, over the decades, the American Dream has been pulled further beyond the grasp of more people. Our goal — what we should be doing right now in earnest — is bringing that back within everyone’s grasp, and something as simple as these occupational licensing [regulations], it sounds like a minor point, but it’s a big deal.”
Johnson went on, “Some of these occupational licensing [regulations prevent] healthcare workers, for example, [from working] across state lines. We ought to eliminate some of that, particularly in the time of a pandemic when everything’s brought into focus. If some of these very qualified persons who are licensed in one state were allowed to operate in a neighboring state — at least at certain times and under certain conditions — we would be a lot better suited to address all these problems were facing.”
Americans would broadly support the elimination of occupational licensing regulations of the aforementioned variety. “There are a lot of ideas like that, that if you presented it to the average American, they would nod their heads in agreement and say, ‘Of course, we should do that. Why don’t we well?’
Relaxing occupational licensing mandates are a part of the Republican Study Committee’s — a caucus of congressional conservatives — 37-point economic recovery proposal, noted Johnson.
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