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Want To Work? You’ll Need Our Training For That.

Merry Christmas! Hand me your money.

The old saying, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” should be “I’m from the government, hand me money so that I can license your ability to work in Georgia.”bored in class

We already know that the oldest profession has neither a license or taxes applied to it. Since the government can’t figure out how to control that profession, they made it illegal. Except Nevada, they somehow figured out how to get government crack out of it.

In Georgia, there are, as best as I can tell, 221 occupations that require a government license in order to earn a living. Seriously, 221. I’m not making that up. The old time traditional ones, like lawyers, doctors and CPAs are controlled by the State or, in the case of the bar, by the State Bar.

But did you know that hair stylists and barbers are licensed? Sure they are. Gotta pay the government a licensing fee to cut hair. And nail technicians have to pay the requisite fees to do business. I can’t stand the smell in those places, so I just clip my own nails, but now that the secret is out, I’ll probably get a bill from Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Secretary of State, for the nail technician fee.

Did you know that bakers are licensed? Yep, there’s a governing body for bakers. And watch repairers. Seriously. Add to that auto glass installers, elevator installers, glaziers, amusement ride inspectors and boiler inspectors are all licensed as well. Farming supervisors and farming nursery workers are licensed. Auctioneers, insurance agents, travel agents and used motor vehicle parts dealers all have to pay fees to the government to ply their trades.

We also require housekeeping and janitorial supervisors, landscapers and pest control workers to pay homage to the Great State of Georgia in order to purvey their trades. Want to do interior design? Gotta see Brian and bring your money. Want to be an interpreter or translator? We’ve got a fee just for you.

Want to provide counseling, in school, homes or churches? Gotta get your license. Want to be an engineer? Gotta get a degree and then, after spending $150,000 on that, you gotta pay Brian his fees. Every year.

Appraisers pay the fees to Brian. As do athletic agents and business managers, auditors, job benefits and analysis specialists, meeting convention planners and mortgage brokers.

I won’t list all 221 such “professions” that need to pay homage to the Great State of Georgia, because by now you’re asking, Kelly, what’s the point?

The point is that we have become conditioned to think that government is out to help us. Why do we license hair stylists? The State does nothing to guarantee that Stylist Stella does a good job, but they do make her pay for a license that she hangs on her stall. Does that make you feel better, knowing she’s paid her fees? It doesn’t help me one bit. Either she can cut hair or she can’t.

And it’s not just fees that the State wants. It wants control. Every occupation gets a government appointed board to govern it. They decide whether you get to ply your trade. You pay application fees, fill out forms and get interviewed, just to verify that you are “eligible” for that special privilege of being a animal control worker, or fire inspector or chef. Good news, the boards are populated by your peers. Bad news, the boards are populated by your peers. Your competition gets to decide whether you get or keep your license.

I mentioned “crack” earlier. What is government crack? Stupid laws like all of this licensing garbage is government crack. First, they get your money. Plus they get to control you. And the supreme leader, the Governor, gets to appoint folks to the boards that control you. That appointment is good for yet more cash and support, in the way of contributions to the political war chest of the appointing officials.

I wish Republicans were better about ferreting out these stupid laws, but alas, they aren’t. Political corruption is illegal, unless you codify it into a statute, then it’s just how things are done.

Kelly Burke, master attorney, former district attorney and magistrate judge, is engaged in private practice. He writes about the law, rock’n’roll and politics. These articles are not designed to give legal advice, but are designed to inform the public about how the law affects their daily lives. Contact Kelly to comment on this article or suggest articles that you’d like to see.

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