Why Not License Journalists Like Everyone Else?

In a lecture I heard recently I was told there was an attempt to license Journalists in Israel. Drs, Lawyers and many other professionals need licenses to work. Why not Journalists?

The reason is that if the government had the power to license journalists, free speech would die. The government could always find a pretense to take away a license from someone they didn't like. Of if they didn't like what they wrote.

Thankfully this didn't succeed. But unfortunately this has succeeded in many areas where it hurts people trying to make a living and protects vested interests. Many times business licenses are used to prevent competition. Young people trying to make a living are stopped cold. Here are a few examples:

  • In Israel the services -- Uber and Lyft -- that let anyone be a taxi driver taxi services are illegal. They are also illegal in many cities in the USA--see map below

  • I know of a great coffee house in the Jerusalem suburbs that had to wait years to get a business license. The excuse was that the fire department said the restaurant was not up to code. When the government is pressured by other businesses not to let in competition they can always find a way to do this if they are the ones who give a license

  • In Israel you need to win a special lottery to open a cow shed. I know someone who won the lottery. Until he found out that he was not allowed to open a big enough cowshed to be profitable

In some USA states you can't even braid people's hair without a license that involves spending $22,000 in tuition fees for a cosmetic course. You can read about it here.

Social Justice demands that small business entrepreneurs have the same opportunity as the established businesses that have more political power and try to prevent them from working. Removing barriers such as business licenses and regulations should be prioritized. Watch videos about equal opportunity here

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