Licenses and Permits / by kevin murray

America is full of regulations and petty laws that seem in most cases not to be of any benefit or of a good purpose for the population at large, but simply another form of taxation and/or regulation of the citizen.  While you can make a strong argument that all people who drive automobiles should be mandated to demonstrate their competency in their understanding of traffic laws as well as in their ability to drive, mainly because vehicular accidents can involve bodily harm and even death, there are on the other hand plenty of other licenses and permits that just don't really make any good sense, and certainly aren't necessary for the population as a whole.  For instance, there isn't any good reason why you should need a tennis permit to play tennis on a public court in New York City, to which the seasonal permit costs $200 for adults age 18-61.  Additionally, there are some States that require a cosmetology license or similar to shampoo hair, or to braid hair, or to apply makeup, or to thread eyebrows, to which all this essentially accomplishes nothing more than raising the cost of entry for budding entrepreneurs.


Licenses and permits in America aren't necessary at the levels that we currently have them at and fining or punishing citizens for their lack of knowing that some obscure law applies to them isn't right.  Government bureaucrats, busy-bodies, and businesses game the system by creating barriers of entry which leads inevitably to a witch's brew of unnecessary licenses, to which it is the citizen that comes out invariably the loser.  The proponents of more licenses and permits are all too eager to point out how these laws will protect you, or are fair to the public as a whole, or necessary, but it really translates down to that they want to micro-manage you and the population as a whole.


After all, the more barriers that you put in place, the more roadblocks and signage that you insist upon, and the more "learning" that you mandate for items to which common sense and the sovereignty of the individual could decide just as well as to what is right for him, and further where and how he wants to spend his money and his time, the more you have infringed upon a man's right for his own pursuit of happiness.   In a free country, mandatory licenses and permits would be few and far between, to which if a business or individual found that it was conductive for his credibility to prove his worth in a certain area of expertise, a pathway for a certificate or similar could or would be created, of certain standards, which would be voluntary of behalf of that individual or company.


The main issue with licenses and permits is that it never seems to end, that is to say, once the process is started, it just keeps on going and growing, to which it could be argued that just about everything and everyone could be setup for a license or a permit.  For instance, why allow just anyone to be a doorman in NYC, shouldn’t he have taken training in civility and courtesy?  Perhaps also all cashiers and bank tellers should be required to have a permit that allows them to handle US currency and so on. 


In reality, licenses and permits are for the most part really just another way to monitor and to control the population, to make this a country not of innovators and free thinkers, but a country of sheep, and meek permission seekers from a godless and misguided bureaucracy.