A recent comprehensive survey of state licensing practices by the Institute for Justice reveals little consistency or coherent purpose behind most licensing. Nevada, Louisiana, Florida, and the District of Columbia, for example, all require aspiring interior designers to undergo 2,190 hours of training and apprenticeship and pass an exam before practicing. In the other 47 states, meanwhile, there’s no legal training requirement. My friends and co-workers living in D.C.’s Virginia and Maryland suburbs appear to get on fine with unlicensed interior decorators, and all across America, amateurs have decorated their own homes without imperiling public safety.
This is part of the reason why I feel government intrusion can be detrimental to our interests. There’s such a fine balance to be struck here, because it seems much of this licensing is set up to either protect entrenched interests at the expense of entrepreneurs, and simultaneously protect practitioners from frivolous lawsuits, while giving the impression to consumers that it’s about their protection. In some cases yes, but in most cases–as shown above–perhaps not.