Anti-competitive licensing requirements, unfortunately, are not unique to the street vending business. More than 500 occupations—approximately 10 percent of all jobs in the United States—require that individuals have permission from the state, in the form of a license, before they can pursue their chosen occupation. It’s hard to imagine the justification for licensing most of these occupations; in jobs ranging from shorthand court reporter to fence installer, the rationale for licensing is non-existent. But for bureaucrats, barriers to entrepreneurship and protection of existing businesses from competition are a way of life.
For more about barriers to entrepreneurship please see the seven city studies on barriers to entrepreneurship written by the Institute for Justice and available at www.ij.org/publications/city_study.