Remove Government Barriers to Equal Opportunity

35396fbec83bfb1ac5568eef2e4a8dbd62d5 Remove Government Barriers to Equal Opportunity

Earlier this afternoon I participated in a Google Hangout to

discuss the Heritage Foundation’s new report “America’s
Opportunity for All.” On the panel I was joined by
Ben Howe of
Mister Smith Media and Contributing writer for RedState.com,
Rich Tucker, Senior
Writer for The Heritage Foundation; Emily Zanotti, Principal at
Iconoclast Media & Message; Ben Domenech, Fellow at The
Heartland Institute and Editor of The Transom (as well as
co-founder of RedState).  The current political climate requires a rigorous explanation
for why expanding government power, jurisdiction, and regulatory
authority hampers rather than promotes Americans’ opportunity to
succeed. Concrete examples are key; the Institute for Justice
offers a number of them:Street Vendors:
Increasing numbers of Atlanta Street
Vendors vending on public property (i.e. sports fields and
arenas) have had their permits revoked and asked to leave as
Atlanta handed over all public property vending to one company,
General Growth Properties. As the government-sanctioned monopolist
expanded in the city, Atlanta officials have revoked permits of
existing private vendors and forced them to leave.Hair Braiding Businesses: It wasn’t until
August 2012 that the federal court struck down a Utah law requiring
hairbraiders to obtain cosmetology training and licensing, in
Clayton v.
Steinagel brought by the Institute for Justice. The law
required thousands of dollars and 2000 hours—one full year—of
government mandated cosmetology school. It’s worth pointing out
that hairbraiders do not use chemicals, shampoo, cut or color hair,
or do facials, shaves, esthetics or nails.Florists: Before Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
signed the law removing the “demonstration
exam” for florists, Louisiana was the only state in the nation
to require aspiring florists to pass both a written test and a
demonstration exam. As you might expect, the demonstration exam was
highly subjective but then judged by existing
state-licensed florists, so their future competitors.Food Trucks:
Chicago food trucks must stay 200 feet away from restaurants or
else pay a $2,000 fine. Small business owner Greg Burke explains
“It’s hindering us from making a profit. We can’t go where people
want us to go.”Sen. Rand Paul
(R-KY) has also taken up the cause of
Americans seeking to earn a living. These cases include property
owners who later learned the EPA deemed their property a wetland
and thereby under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act halting
the development of their property. Or a family farm operating in
the Chesapeake area of Virginia for more than two decades who
recently were told their land is also considered “wetlands” despite
no hydrological connection to navigable water.

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Remove Government Barriers to Equal Opportunity

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