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Week in Review: Untangling Big-government Regulations

March 23, 2019

March 23, 2019

Sixty years ago, only one in 20 American workers was required to get permission from the government to do their jobs. Today, that number is one in four.

There’s one profession that suffers under particularly ridiculous regulations: blow-dry stylists, who wash, condition, and style a customer’s hair using simple tools like blow-dryers and curling irons. They work in increasingly popular “blow-dry bars,” and they’re subject to some awfully stringent licensing requirements.

In every state except Virginia, blow-dry stylists are required to obtain cosmetology licenses in order to work—even though their jobs don’t even touch many of the things they learn in cosmetology training. Training costs regularly exceed $15,000 across the country, and the number of mandatory training hours ranges from 1,000 in Arizona to 2,300 in Oregon.

And if that sounds unfair, how about this? Blow-drying someone’s hair without a license in Arizona is a crime punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $2,000 fine. Read more about the problem—and a commonsense solution—in a new paper by the Goldwater Institute’s Jenna Bentley and Christina Sandefur.

VIDEO: Limited Government Isn’t Just for the Federal Level

“Who has more control over your day-to-day lives: your city council, or the president of the United States?,” Arizona Supreme Court Justice and former Goldwater Institute Vice President of Litigation Clint Bolick asked in a recent interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie.

Among the topics of conversation was federalism—and why government power should be constrained not just at the federal level, but also at the local level. In Bolick’s view, local bureaucrats frequently pose just as big a threat to individual rights as the national government.

Watch his interview and read more about it on the In Defense of Libertyblog.

It’s Up to the States to Protect Free Speech on Campus

Campus censorship has been widely documented around the country and changed many colleges from places of inquiry to institutions of limitation.

This week, President Trump announced a federal order to protect free speech on college campuses. And while it’s a welcome reminder of the need to restore First Amendment protections on campus, it trails the valuable activity in the states over the last two years.

Goldwater Institute senior fellow Jonathan Butcher explains how the Goldwater Institute’s free speech workhas set the standard for defending free speech on college campuses, and he writes about why it’s up to states to take the lead in defending academic freedom and the First Amendment. Read his article on the In Defense of Liberty blog.



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