Of all the arguments against over-regulation…

January 19, 2017

Inside Insight

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
BY ROBERT MEYEROWITZ

eyebrow tweezers

We’ll need to see that hair removal

You’ll sometimes hear us griping about excessive regulation. It’s a real thing. Take, for example, a state Senate bill pre-filed for the current session, S.182, which has now been introduced in  the Committee on Medical Affairs. Senator Greg Hembree, its sponsor, wants to license electrologists and electrology instructors in South Carolina — the people who zap body hair and those who teach them to do it.

In order to protect the public from bad hair-zappers, supposedly.

To that end, according to an analysis by the South Carolina Policy Council, the bill will create a new five-member state committee whose members will receive per diem, mileage, and subsistence reimbursements when they gather to discuss who’s best qualified to clean up that unsightly hair. But that’s perhaps the least of it.

The bill, SCPC found, also “imposes numerous onerous requirements, regulations, fees, etc. with broad powers being given to the Committee and Board. Aside from the bureaucratic bloat and potential for abuse inherent in the structure of this bill, licensing laws do not ensure quality of service. However, they are very effective at driving up prices and keeping lower-income entrepreneurs from entering the industry.”

If some unlicensed electrologists are doing shoddy work, you’d think consumers could protect themselves by not patronizing them, rather than having government create more bureaucracy. That should be common sense.

One of the great, because entertaining, arguments against excessive regulation was made back in January of 2012, when Shane Massey, who is still serving in the Senate, was hearing testimony before the Labor, Commerce and Industry Senate subcommittee about the dangerous things that unlicensed cosmetologists could get up to, including performing “butt injections using tire fix-it and rubber cement.”

We’d forgive you if at this point you were hearing Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” in the back of your mind.

Or perhaps you’re thinking, “That sounds dangerous! Maybe someone needs to put a stop to that….”

Maybe, as Massey points out, that someone is common sense: “You can’t let somebody stick fix-a-flat on your rear end.”

  • Bill

    Sure, why require testing and licensure for folks that engage in activities that can result in electric shock and burning, infection, scarring and pigment alteration.

    • Kathryn Braun Fenner

      Thanks! I was just going to say that!

  • Lyn Anderson

    Licenses are lobbied for by businesses seeking to limit competition. Safety? Thank goodness we are protected from unlicensed people braiding hair! http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/Barber/index.asp?file=Files/hairbraidinfo.htm