Politicians talk about incentives to increase employment all the time – often at the expense of taxpayers. But there’s one thing they could do right now to make it easier for Michigan workers to find good jobs and it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime:
 
Lansing should eliminate arbitrary and expensive occupational licensing requirements.


This column originally appeared in the Detroit News.

Earlier this month, lawmakers in Connecticut took to social media to congratulate themselves on passage of a bill setting up a new licensure requirement for men and women who apply eyelash extensions at beauty salons. Those kooky East Coast liberals. 

It was a comical example of big government run wild, but the reality is, in Michigan, onerous, arbitrary and costly licensure requirements are no laughing matter. 

We’re the state where a license to work as an auto mechanic costs $6 for a standard test, but a makeup artist is forced to graduate from a 400-hour course, pass practical and written exams, and pay the state $200. 


Happy First Anniversary to Michigan taxpayers and skilled tradespeople!
 
A little more than one year ago, state lawmakers repealed Michigan’s prevailing wage mandate, setting the table to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year, on school and other construction projects.
 
And what a year it’s been. A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Michigan added 7,000 construction jobs since the law was repealed.


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