I don't know about you but I am feeling very insecure. The reason for my insecurity, besides the legion of voices in my head that keep telling me to do crazy things, is the fact that I live in a state in which I find myself dangerously under regulated. Things take place around me all the time that the government has not previously approved. Why just two days ago I learned from a local news broadcast that the things my wife carries around in her purse could kill her. Yesterday I learned that I could get killed by an avalanche in the mountains if I dared to venture up there during the winter. Every news program I watch informs me of at least two new things that can harm, maim or kill me. I need government protection. I need somebody to watch over me. I need more rules and regulations. Won't somebody please help me?
Occupational licensing is one way government can protect me from myself and others. By forcing people to pay a fee to the government for permission to operate a particular business the career politicians who rule over me can ensure nobody will ever take advantage of me. On average, each of the states in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika requires a government license for 92 separate occupations. Not surprisingly, California leads the list with 177 occupations needing government permission to perform. The most free state is Missouri, which only requires the practitioners of 41 different occupations to first obtain government permission to engage in those business activities. Go here for the complete list. Colorado is in the lower half of the states, with just 69 occupations requiring government permission and licensure. No wonder I feel so unsafe. Why just yesterday I saw a neighborhood child operating a lemonade stand without the requisite government license conspicuously posted on her table. I could not sleep last night as I thought about how many people must have contracted diseases when they purchased a cup of lemonade from her.
Every state in the union agrees that there are 33 occupations that are so potentially dangerous to the public welfare that licensing is required nationwide for anyone who wishes to practices these trades. These occupations include, in addition to the expected doctors, lawyers and dentists; accountants (they might miss a decimal point), architects (they might design a room addition to your home that would collapse), barbers (they might cut off your ear), chiropractors (they might strain your back), hair dressers (they might give a woman a bad haircut), funeral directors (they might do something harmful to a corpse that I can't think of at this point in time), the Orkin man (he might kill your pets), real estate agents (they might perform a "bait and switch" maneuver when you buy a home), truck drivers (they might run you over) and veterinarians (they might cause your dog to become a drug addict).
In addition to the 33 occupations each state has in common, some states do a better job protecting their citizens with licensure requirements than others. For example, most states require athletic trainers to be licensed since they might give you a muscle strain when they tell you to shake those gigantic ropes up and down. Maine requires both beekeepers and maple syrup dealers to be licensed. I can only begin to imagine what sticky situations might result when bees and syrup get together. Rhode Island licenses lightning rod installers, thankfully. Manure applicators must be licensed in Iowa, finally. Renegade turtle farmers have finally been reined in as Louisiana now requires them to have a license.
Since Colorado citizens are dangerously under regulated the Colorado legislature is considering a new law to protect us from ourselves and the depredations of profit seeking businessmen. In a bi-partisan proposal, the career politicians within the state of Colorado want to create a new bureau to oversee the operation of fantasy sports companies. Fantasy sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings would be required to obtain a government license and pay annual fees and taxes to the state prior to being permitted to operate in the state. Since these companies are internet based I am not sure how the new laws will be enforced but that does not keep the state from making them.
In a rare moment of political candor, Gov. John Hickenlooper stated that he wanted the new laws on the books because these freely operating, profit seeking businesses might be cutting into the state government's share of the gambling revenues. When he made that assertion he admitted two things that politicians are typically loath to admit. First, gambling is not a morally bad thing to do since the state is one of the biggest sponsors of organized gambling by means of the various state lotteries. The problem is not with gambling, it is with who is making the profits from gambling activities. The state will not tolerate the competition. Second, the good governor tacitly admitted that state licensing requirements restrict competition and grant monopoly power and profits to the government protected businesses. Both DraftKings and FanDuel are on board with the new proposals. They publicly announced that they are in favor of the new regulations, ostensibly so that the public can be protected from unscrupulous businessmen seeking to rip them off, but the bottom line for them is the fact that once they are licensed they can restrict entry to new and upstart competitors, thus increasing their profits by means of the government granted monopoly.
I have not polled them but I suspect most Evangelicals are in favor of the proposed regulations. Evangelicals generally oppose gambling in all of its forms and using government regulations to restrict what they consider to be sinful gambling activities would no doubt be something they would look on with favor. I find the entire situation quite ironic. Let me tell you why.
For the most part Evangelicals are also Dispensationalists. As Dispensationalists they believe the day is coming, during a future period of time they call the "Great Tribulation," when the personal anti-Christ embeds computer chips into the foreheads of all the citizens of the world in order to regulate all of their business activities. This prophecy is found in Revelation 13: 17 which says, "...and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name." I have news for the Evangelicals in this sad land. The Beast is already here. Government occupational licensing laws have already brought about the state of affairs described in Revelation 13. Too bad most biblical interpreters are too blinded by love for civil government to see it. As for me, I feel safer every day when I think of the tireless efforts my rulers are performing on my behalf as they create more and more rules restricting that horrific thing called personal and professional freedom.