Bureaucratic Barbed Wire
Texas has historically celebrated economic liberty—the right to pursue your chosen occupation free from unreasonable government interference. But the state is increasingly restricting the economic liberty long enjoyed by its citizens.
The trouble is occupational licensing—when entrepreneurs must secure the government’s permission before practicing a trade. This means Texans must often jump through a series of irrational, arbitrary and costly hoops merely to practice an innocuous trade, such as braiding hair or repairing a computer. The state now requires many entrepreneurs to obtain unnecessary and expensive education, wade through confusing and often conflicting administrative rules and pay harsh fees (and even face jail time) for the privilege of going into business. Occupational licensing is making it harder—much harder than it needs to be—for Texans to open a business, create well-paying jobs or switch careers.
The number of occupations licensed by the state of Texas has multiplied twelvefold in less than 65 years. There were only 43 non-alcohol-related trades that required licensure in 1945; today there are 514. These newly regulated industries include such diverse pursuits as athletic trainer, geoscientist, air conditioner technician, funeral director and mold assessor, among many others…
Economic Liberty | First Amendment | Private Property | Vending
Small business owners sue to strike down Jacksonville regulations effectively banning food trucks from city
Jacksonville, North Carolina effectively bans food trucks from operating in 96 percent of the city. That's why a group of small business owners has teamed up with the Institute for Justice to file a lawsuit…
Woman challenges Arizona city's ban on feeding people for "charitable purposes"
Norma Thornton was arrested for feeding the hungry in Bullhead City Community Park. Now, Norma has teamed up with IJ to fight back against Bullhead's law criminalizing charitable sharing in federal court.
Economic Liberty | First Amendment | Occupational Licensing | Occupational Speech
Entrepreneur Fined $1,000 for Using Public Information to Draw Lines on Maps Files Federal Lawsuit Against California
Do you need a government license to trace a map from publicly available data? It might sound ridiculous, but in California the answer is “yes.” An entrepreneur joined with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to…
In The News
Liberty & Law Article