When Governments License Businesses, They Control Their Existence

Licenses are one of those areas where libertarians have a good point.

The proliferation of licenses for seemingly any profession, no matter how little actual training or skill it requires, is essentially a dog collar around small business. And with the withdrawal of licenses of businesses that choose to reopen, we're seeing that at work.

Governor Whitmer's suspension of the license of an elderly barber who chose to reopen his shop has nothing to do with his competence or professionalism, and everything to do with a brute force approach to imposing discipline while abusing the law.

Yanking licenses are not a substitute for winning legal court battles. They're mafia-style intimidation and protection rackets. And that's all Whitmer seems to be capable of. If the lockdowns are lawful, then there's a legal process for both challenging the definition of some businesses as essential or non-essential, and for penalizing violators. Yanking a license is an example of the government using a power it shouldn't have to punish small businesses that challenge its lawless abuses of power.

We need fewer licenses. Just as we need fewer government regulations. A powerful government is a bigger threat to our freedoms and our country. Some occasionally forget that. The pandemic is an important reminder.


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