Letter: Licensing matters

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

As a lifelong insurance agent, I was surprised to read a recent letter (Sunday Monitor letters, June 10) suggesting that occupational licensing is an obstacle to “poor people” starting businesses. Insurance companies will not insure any professional business that does not hold the proper licensing. Obtaining a professional license is a small part of their business expense and it implies proper training in hygiene, safety, etc.

Hair-dressing is much more than braiding hair. Eyelashes are dyed or tattooed, which could cause infection or blindness if not done properly. Improperly sterilizing equipment between clients can spread disease-carrying germs. When any business transaction goes bad, the insurance companies are the “deep pocket” target of lawsuits, tort reform or not.

In recent years, we have seen more than one case of a child’s death in an unlicensed child care facility.

If we end the licensing requirement, only the well off will get the required education to obtain insurance and only those insured businesses will survive and thrive, once again cutting out the poor. We do the “poor” no favor by expecting less. Perhaps the answer is for the state to work with our community colleges to be sure certificates are affordable and available to all our residents. There are better solutions than cutting corners on public safety.

Consumers believe the government has minimum standards that are imposed. It’s 2018, why would we want our government to look away while its citizens are maimed or cheated, just to cut regulations? Regulations came about out of necessity. How can we be looking backward rather than forward? Dismantling our government oversight is not the solution.