Too often occupational licensing laws protect industries from healthy competition rather than protect the public from valid health or safety risks. A recent front page story in the Arizona Republic exposed a classic example of an industry seeking to use government to prevent competition from entering the market.
The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), a trade group that offers private certification for document shredding companies, is making a national push for state laws to regulate the shredding industry. The Republic article honed in on the fear that rogue document shredding companies may allow personal information on documents to slip into the hands of criminals. Not a single such incident has been reported in Arizona. Moreover, such concerns do not motivate NAID. Its efforts are all about keeping the “new guys” out of a field with growing demand.
Thus far, NAID’s legislative proposals have been virtually ignored. That’s good. But considering the breadth of absurd occupational licensing laws, including interior designers and even florists, we must remain vigilant against unnecessary regulation.
Government exists to preserve our liberties, including the right to pursue the profession of our choice, not to shred the constitutional rights of honest, hard-working entrepreneurs.
Tim Keller is the executive director of the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter and author of the Goldwater Institute report "Burdensome Barriers: How Excessive Regulations Impedes Entrepreneurship in Arizona."
-Goldwater Institute: “Burdensome Barriers: How Excessive Regulations Impedes Entrepreneurship in Arizona”
- Arizona Republic: “Unregulated shredding industry raises ID-theft fears”
-National Association for Information Destruction