by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
This week is National Employee Freedom Week, although happily for North Carolinians, we are a Right-to-Work state, so we’re already ahead of many other states concerning one of the biggest issues for labor freedom.
But in another big issue for labor freedom, North Carolina is trailing. That would be in occupational licensing — i.e., having to get official state permission at great personal cost in money and time to work in one’s chosen field.
North Carolina is one of the more restrictive states in terms of occupational licensing.
Part of the problem — outside of mere cronyism — is that policymakers haven’t fully considered their options in addressing legitimate public concerns in an industry. It’s not the case they must choose the policy extreme of licensure or nothing.
They tradeoff isn’t protecting citizens or keeping employment opportunities open. Most available policy tools, in fact, respect labor freedom.