Abolish Mandatory License for Shampooing Hair? California Lawmakers Will Consider It.

One of my favorite Ronald Reagan quotations illustrates the problem of an ever-growing government: “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this Earth!” In my decades covering public agencies, I can think of only a handful of rollbacks—and they usually ended up perversely expanding government power.
In one recent case, the Legislature gutted a state tax board, known as the Board of Equalization. But its powers merely were shifted from elected officials to bureaucrats in different agencies—and now California taxpayers are more frequently getting the shaft. That’s how government works.
Last week, a simple bill (sponsored by my employer, the R Street Institute) would have rolled back licensing requirements for only one of the hundreds of trades and professions that require a state license to work. Burdensome education requirements, fees and testing become obstacles for lower-income people to

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