John Stossel – Entrepreneurs Under Attack

John Stossel has four examples of the work done by the Institute for Justice. IJ is a libertarian law firm that fights for the rights of Americans with initiative and an idea, who are the victims of OTHER Americans – you know, the ones who tend to yell “There ought to be a law!” and then make sure there becomes a law. A law which favors the one who wants the law and often completely destroys the business opportunity for the one who came up with a way to do a service or build an item that others would pay for.

The example Stossel gives about the casket-maker just blows my mind.

Case No. 1. The monks at St. Joseph Abbey had to take the state of Louisiana to federal court to defend their right to make money selling handmade caskets. That’s right: empty wooden boxes. But as soon as the monks started selling them, they were shocked to receive a cease-and-desist order from something called the Louisiana State Board of Funeral Directors. The funeral directors had managed to get their state to pass a law decreeing that only “licensed funeral directors” may sell “funeral merchandise” like caskets. To sell caskets legally, the monks would have to obtain a funeral director’s license. That required a year-long apprenticeship, passing a funeral industry test and converting their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by installing embalming equipment, among other things.

Hair-braiding ‘regulation’ – Example 3 – as been a local topic fairly recently, too, if I remember correctly. What blather. No…what protectionism. First, some industry is protected from competition, and second, the coffers of government are filled with the fees and fines paid by those who aren’t protected. This is NOT how the free market works, and that’s why these people have no intention of ever moving to a free market society.

Big Government at the state and local level. It ain’t just the Feds who want to run your life, y’know. We have a problem at all levels of government, and it’s aided and abetted by those who use that government for their own means.

Remember, November.

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