We all love to make fun of New York from time to time and that includes their regulatory state. After all, one of my favorite commercials growing up was the Pace Picante “New York City!” ad campaign.
This from the New York Post:
A new bill moving through the State Assembly and Senate will require “shampoo assistants” working in hair salons to complete a minimum of 500 hours of a 1,000-hour course in cosmetology. The completion of 500 hours will entitle applicants to a newly established “Shampoo Assistant Certificate.”
No offense to shampoo assistants, but the best line comes from NYC hair salon owner John Vezza who employs a few of these type of workers at his own company:
“Nobody is going to hire a shampoo assistant. You will eliminate the job immediately,” he told The Post. “A 10-year-old kid would be qualified enough to wash someone’s hair.”
The Post describes the entry-level job this way: “The job primarily involves draping the client, lathering the head and rinsing, and odd jobs like sweeping hair off the floor.”
Does that require 500 hours of cosmetology school?
It’s a reminder that our government often creates ways to regulate entry into the marketplace for the purpose of creating more revenue through fees. Not to mention the potential kickback to lawmakers from the lobbyists representing cosmetology schools.
We laugh at New York with their excessive sin taxes and their regulatory maze, but when it comes to occupational licensure laws North Carolina is not any better. In fact, the Institute for Justice ranks North Carolina below New York in several categories when it comes to burdensome occupational licensing laws that have a detrimental impact on the poor.
North Carolina licenses nearly 200 occupations, including hair braiders, locksmiths, and egg dealers.
It’s long past time to reform the type of unnecessary and burdensome licenses that prevent access to work and human flourishing through vocation. Reform should particularly be prioritized during a time of state-mandated lockdowns that have put so many people out of work.