Several years ago, I reported on the State of Louisiana's assault on the monks of St. Joseph Abbey. The monks made a little money building and selling caskets. The State said that it was a crime to do that without a Louisiana funeral director's license. Basically, you need a license to sell empty wooden boxes.
Yesterday, a court finally struck down this absurd regulation.
As a lawyer from the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, puts it:
"This is a win-win situation for the monks and a lose-lose for the state board... Either the state (funeral) board was behaving unconstitutionally, or they never had the power to do what they were doing (these) past ... years."
Every day, governments stifle small businesses. The licensing rules are usually pushed by established businesses who want "standards" that keep profits high by keeping cheaper competition out.
The director of the abbey woodshop said this:
"America is as much a land of economic liberty as it is a land of religious liberty. The Court recognized that the U.S. Constitution doesn't let the government prevent monks or anyone else from earning an honest living unless there is a really good reason."
Licensing laws kill opportunity.