IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – The idea of a capitalist society is for companies to compete for customers, with successful enterprises offering high-value services at the lowest possible cost.
It’s a totally functional plan, except when government interferes to protect already-established businesses.
Earlier today, Reason.com picked up Watchdog.org’s own Eric Boehm’s piece on state licensing laws that harm entrepreneurs. Boehm shares the tale of a Nevada man who started a moving business, but was hampered in the effort.
Here’s a quick snippet from Boehm’s story:
He soon learned that the only way to get a license in Nevada was to comply with a law requiring proof that his business would not “unreasonably and adversely” affect other companies by creating additional competition.
Another part of the same law indicates the “legislative intent” of the licensing rule ― to discourage competition that may be detrimental to the existing carriers in the state.
Sound familiar? It’s reminiscent of the “anti-dog-eat-dog rule” in Ayn Rand’s iconic “Atlas Shrugged.” It’s nothing short of crony capitalism, with policies designed by the state protecting companies.
The Pacific Legal Foundation, a guardian against government abuse of civil liberties and property rights, is challenging these laws as anti-competitive. The group won a key decision against the state of Kentucky, which sought to dismiss Pacific’s challenge to its moving company licensing law. Read up on Pacific’s efforts to fight back against protectionist laws here.
Contact: Dustin@Watchdog.org or @DustinHurst via Twitter.