19 August 2010

Things which confuse me

Why do we license barbers?

Or for that matter... why does Massachusetts fine unlicensed fortune tellers? Wouldn't that imply that somehow or another one obtains a license to do so? How would one go about doing so?

The broader and more important subject is more the manner which we deal with convicted, but released, criminals. Ex-cons should be something we would want to re-integrate into society. Instead, every obstacle is placed up to prevent it. I realize many employers would not want someone working for them with a criminal record. But there are at least two obvious problems here.

1) Youth/minor criminal records are often left sealed. This means that younger people who might pose problems cannot be background checked as easily and employers are thus assuming some considerable risks at times.
2) Their youthful indiscretions aside, it should not generally be a penalty for the rest of one's life what one did at 17 or 19 or 22 or even 32 (if a criminal makes it that far in that lifestyle). Since most criminal actors are younger people, it would stand to reason that making all of this information available, but also having a society which generally insures people "pay their debts" through prison or other criminal penalties would make some effort to assess people based on more than their prison records.

And in any case, I still don't see why we need to license people to cut hair. I have trouble enough licensing teachers, and some qualms about state medical licensing. But hair? When did we get that insane? How is cosmetology that powerful a lobby? I mean really, HAIR is a life and death matter requiring state supervision?
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