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Why You Can't Braid Someone's Hair In Utah For Money Without First Paying $16k

from the regulatory-control dept

The common wisdom that you'll often hear is that industries hate regulations, and would prefer deregulation. And, in certain areas that's definitely true. But, in others, industries want regulation -- but not for a good reason. It's because legacy players realize two things: (1) they can often "control" the regulatory process (hello regulatory capture) to twist it to their own advantage and (2) it's a really handy way to limit competition. We just recently wrote about some of the more ridiculous factors concerning teaching certifications. Lots of people pushed back in the comments arguing -- correctly -- that just because someone knows something, it doesn't mean they're a good teacher. But... there's another point that we made in the post that many of those people ignored: just because you "certify" teachers, it doesn't mean they're any better at teaching. In fact, as our post noted, the research has shown no noticeable difference between certified and uncertified teachers. So you can make the argument all you want that certification is somehow "needed," but if that certification doesn't seem to help at all, it's wise to at least question the certification process.

The same Planet Money folks who brought us that story recently did a podcast and a NY Times article on another example of regulatory ridiculousness. This one involved a woman who had built a small business braiding the hair of African children in Utah. The woman, Jestina Clayton, grew up in Sierra Leone, where she learned to braid hair, and when she ended up in Centerville, Utah, she discovered there was demand there, due to a large number of adopted African children, whose parents had no idea what to do with their hair. Then, someone threatened to "report" her for practicing "cosmetology" without a license. She checked it out and discovered that bizarre (but all too common) regulation made that true -- but to get her license she'd have to go to school for two years at a cost of $16,000. All to braid hair. And, even more ridiculous, none of the schools taught anything having to do with braiding hair like Clayton did. It would be a pure waste.

If you can, you should listen to the Planet Money podcast on this, because they actually get a spokesperson from the "Professional Beauty Association" try to explain why the government must regulate "professional beauty" practitioners before they kill again (well, only slight exaggeration). She does go on and on about the "consumer safety issues" of the people she's supposedly representing. My favorite risk? "Open wounds." From hair braiding?

Either way, Clayton went before the (I'm not joking) Barber, Cosmetology/Barber, Esthetics, Electrology and Nail Technology Licensing Board of Utah, to try to convince them to let her braid without a license. Apparently this became a big issue and "licensed cosmetologists" came out of the woodwork to argue against her -- and her request was denied.

As the report notes: none of this is to necessarily say that all regulation is bad and that industries don't need some sort of regulation. But, at the very least, if there is going to be regulation, shouldn't there be some evidence that it's (a) needed and (b) effective? Because, somehow, I don't think that there's a big risk from a woman braiding some kids' hair in Utah.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    While some of the reasoning maybe over-exaggerated, and I do believe the circumstances here are extreme, the alleged/official reasoning behind requiring barber licenses is disease prevention. Those who cut hair need to ensure that they properly sterilize their scissors and other utilities before reusing them. and while this makes sense to some extent, I do agree that the law often goes way overboard.

     

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    Jim O (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    While we're playing this game.....

    As long as we're pointing out fields where artificial scarcity protects the veterans... how bout taking a swipe at medicine? Because of the way doctors are trained in the USA, it literally takes an act of congress to be able to increase the size of training programs (to be able to graduate more doctors in a year).

    So everyone knows there is a doctor shortage, but we wouldn't want to go too crazy in correcting that problem because then there'd actually be competition for the people who've already fought their way though the gate.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    _le sigh_

    Monkeys, water, ladder, banana

    Here's a little copy-pasta which is very relevant:
    The Monkey Banana and Water Spray Experiment
    The experiment is real (scientific study cited below). This experiment involved 5 monkeys (10 altogether, including replacements), a cage, a banana, a ladder and, an ice cold water hose.

    The Experiment- Part 1
    5 monkeys are locked in a cage, a banana was hung from the ceiling and a ladder was placed right underneath it.
    As predicted, immediately, one of the monkeys would race towards the ladder, to grab the banana. However, as soon as he would start to climb, the researcher would spray the monkey with ice-cold water.
    but here's the kicker- In addition, he would also spray the other four monkeys…

    When a second monkey tried to climb the ladder, the researcher would, again, spray the monkey with ice-cold water, As well as the other four watching monkeys;
    This was repeated again and again until they learned their lesson
    Climbing equals scary cold water for EVERYONE so No One Climbs the ladder.

    The Experiment- Part 2
    Once the 5 monkeys knew the drill, the researcher replaced one of the monkeys with a new inexperienced one. As predicted, the new monkey spots the banana, and goes for the ladder. BUT, the other four monkeys, knowing the drill, jumped on the new monkey and beat him up. The beat up new guy thus Learns- NO going for the ladder and No Banana Period- without even knowing why! and also without ever being sprayed with water!

    These actions get repeated with 3 more times, with a new monkey each time and ASTONISHINGLY each new monkey- who had never received the cold-water Spray himself (and didn't even know anything about it), would Join the beating up of the New guy.

    This is a classic example of Mob Mentality- bystanders and outsiders uninvolved with the fight- join in 'just because'.

    When the researcher replaced a third monkey, the same thing happened; likewise for the fourth until, eventually, all the monkeys had been replaced and none of the original ones are left in the cage (that had been sprayed by water).

    The Experiment- Part 3
    Again, a new monkey was introduced into the cage. It ran toward the ladder only to get beaten up by the others. The monkey turns with a curious face asking "why do you beat me up when I try to get the banana?"
    The other four monkeys stopped and looked at each other puzzled (None of them had been sprayed and so they really had no clue why the new guy can't get the banana) but it didn't matter, it was too late, the rules had been set. And So, although they didn't know WHY, they beat up the monkey just because " that's the way we do things around here"…

    Well, it seems to be true; not in the exact shape that it took here, but close enough,

    Below is a quotation from the experiment, in scientific Jargon: (sources cited below)

    "Stephenson (1967) trained adult male and female rhesus monkeys to avoid manipulating an object and then placed individual naïve animals in a cage with a trained individual of the same age and sex and the object in question. In one case, a trained male actually pulled his naïve partner away from the previously punished manipulandum during their period of interaction, whereas the other two trained males exhibited what were described as "threat facial expressions while in a fear posture" when a naïve animal approached the manipulandum. When placed alone in the cage with the novel object, naïve males that had been paired with trained males showed greatly reduced manipulation of the training object in comparison with controls. Unfortunately, training and testing were not carried out using a discrimination procedure so the nature of the transmitted information cannot be determined, but the data are of considerable interest."

    Sources:
    Stephenson, G. R. (1967). Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys. In: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288.

    Mentioned in: Galef, B. G., Jr. (1976). Social Transmission of Acquired Behavior: A Discussion of Tradition and Social Learning in Vertebrates. In: Rosenblatt, J.S., Hinde, R.A., Shaw, E. and Beer, C. (eds.), Advances in the study of behavior, Vol. 6, New York: Academic Press, pp. 87-88:


    That's pretty much why all the "licensed" professionals come out against it--that's right, ice cold water. They need to ask themselves if they'd still be against such deregulation if they were standing on the other side of the ladder.

     

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    athe, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Heh

    Charge people for a "girly-chat", in which you happen to get your hair braided... Sure it happens all the time in the girls dorms.

    /fantasy

    ;-)

     

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    Donnicton, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

    Re:

    To further use the comparison to teachers' certifications as was pointed out in the article, just because you "certify" someone for cosmetology, doesn't mean they're any better at it.

    Indeed, the onus should still be on the customer to pay attention to who they go to, and make sure that the person they go to is following proper (sterilization) procedures(i.e. most barbers will keep the jar of disinfectant within immediate line of sight of the customer in the chair), because there's no other way to guarantee that the person is actually following them, in the same way that a Bar License is no sure guarantee against the Steven Gibsons or John Steeles of the industry.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    It's Called Political Entrerpreneurship

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy_AV5xlt8k

    If you want some analysis of this type of rent-seeking.

     

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  7.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Re:

    Does someone really need to go to school for 2-4 years and end up paying $16000 for skills they will probably never use to accomplish that objective? No. Absolutely not. If disease prevention is the goal of the licenses, why not just put the shops under the authority of the health department and forgo the license?

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    The Institute for Justice is thankfully helping Jestina fight this insane requirement.

    http://www.ij.org/utah-hairbraiding-2

    They fight a lot of these types of license schemes and have been successful in a number of cases.

     

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    gab4moi (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    Utah Hair....

    The biggest threat to hair safety in Utah would be letting Mittus the Barber Beefcake anywhere near a young fellow of indeterminate sexuality... with a pair of clippers and a few buddies...

     

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    AC Cobra, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    There could be a sensible solution

    While there are bonafide public health issues (hygiene mainly) around this woman's business, it is clearly crazy to make her jump over that impossibly high bar just to do what she does.

    Setup a 1 day class that costs like $100.00 to get certified. Kind of like a food handlers permit. The same sort of concept could be applied to lots of situations. Our country needs to helping small entrepreneurs like her, not deterring them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:48pm

    Give the content for free, sell the container.

    Perhaps she could sell paper hats and happen to volunteer to braid their hair during the sale. That way she's just happening to friendily braid their hair, and she's really selling hat's for a living.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:00pm

    Another one of those "Techdirt doesn't get it" stories.

    Taking an extreme case, and trying to damn a system because of it is painful to read. It's easy picking to try to take up the case of the "poor girl" just trying to making things better. But really, she isn't just trying to make it better, she's also trying to run a business. In the state of Utah (and many others) that business is regulated for reasons of public safety and disease control.

    The $16,000 figure isn't for a license (it's dangled out there like it is) but rather the cost of going to school and getting the required education. It's not unusual for people to have to pay for school, and honestly, $16k is a low price all considered.

    You also haven't considered the liability issues, the responsibility that would exist if this person hurt someone while braiding their hair (say poking them with the sharp end of the metal comb, example), or by using illegal or home brew products that may damage or hurt the client. There is a reason why things are done under regulation.

    I think more than anything, this story sums up why the Techdirt position on so many issues is hard to take: There is no solid grasp of reality in play, just righteous indignation without common sense.

     

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  13.  
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    Mason Wheeler, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re:

    And how exactly is John Q. Customer supposed to know that the disinfectant is being properly used, or that it even truly is disinfectant and not, say, colored water?

    The problem with caveat emptor as a social principle is that for it to actually work, it requires the emptor to become an expert in the field of every single thing he tries to empt. In other words, tossing specialization (one of the cornerstones of civilization) out the window. Which means that the principle is literally barbaric.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

    They could of charged her a hundred or so bucks for a license.
    They could of just done Health Inspections.
    But no, They did what they do best..........kill off someone's business and that person now has no legal income and jobs as we all know are very scarce.
    File this story under:
    Ways to kill Employment and/or Businesses

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Re: "Techdirt doesn't get it"

    From the link above in the Institute for Justice story:
    "But the state of Utah says she may not be paid to braid unless she first spends thousands of dollars on 2,000 hours of government-mandated cosmetology training—not one hour of which actually teaches her how to braid hair. In the same number of class hours, a person also could qualify to be an armed security guard, mortgage loan originator, real estate sales agent, EMT and lawyer—combined."

    Wow...So tell us again why that much schooling is needed for a narrow focus business as this woman wants to run? Any one of those professions can conceivable cause more harm that she can braiding hair (in only 2 years I can be a gun toting lawyer who can also sell you a house and originate the mortgage on it and also save your life after I shoot you). The licensing demand are clearly unreasonable, even for a full fledged cosmotologist. Or the people in those other professions are clearly skating by with a poor education.

     

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  16.  
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    I'll do it, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    But think of the nappy headed children!

     

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  17.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

    Re:

    I love the lengths people stretch their arguments to in order to support such insane regulations. For example from your post a person braiding hair is liable to hurt people by:

    poking them with the sharp end of the metal comb - Oh wow. How threatening. Help I was poked in the head by a sharp object and had to hold a tissue in plaec for 2 minutes. I am going to sue you for pain and suffering to the tune of $250k.

    illegal or home brew products that may damage or hurt the client - Like what? What dangerous homebrew product would a hair braider use? Is it more dangerous than peroxide that thousands use to home bleach their hair? What about hair gel and hair spray? Are those so dangerous that they need to be regulated? For that matter, what are some life threatening dangers from any cosmetologist? All I have heard so far is poking and lice. Maybe some cuts and scrapes.

    There is a reason why things are done under regulation - Yes. We have discussed them at length here and before. They are 1) Limit competition. 2) Control the flow of new workers. 3) Provide kickbacks to buddies. Did I miss anything?

    Frankly, cosmetology is one of those areas where the free market would actually work. Someone does a poor job consistently? They go out of business as people do go there any more. Someone runs a filthy business? They go out of business as people don't go there any more. Did I miss anything?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re:

    "Does someone really need to go to school for 2-4 years and end up paying $16000 for skills they will probably never use to accomplish that objective?"

    Of course now, and I think this is absolutely ridiculous.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    of course not *

     

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  20.  
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    abc gum, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "And how exactly is John Q. Customer supposed to know that the disinfectant is being properly used, or that it even truly is disinfectant and not, say, colored water?"

    Well ... obviously, prior to being serviced Mr. John Q. Customer needs to present his cosmetology graduation certificate for which he paid 16 grand.

    Or, he could just cut his own hair and save a lot of money.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:07pm

    What's sad is that the govt. established broadcasting and cableco cartels have kept us ignorant about these things long enough to allow them to be thinkable by politicians. To the extent that the MSM reports on them today it's only because of the Internets influence on the media. An honest media would have built a strong awareness and resistance against anti-competitive and other retarded laws like this a very long time ago. We are only now becoming more aware of these atrocious abominations and the social and economic damage they cause thanks to the Internet and so we are not (yet) well positioned to resist these bad laws.

     

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  22.  
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    DCX2, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Heh

    Reminds me of a novel way to "legalize" prostitution. Have the prostitutes sell condoms for $100 a pop, and a free sex act to go with every condom sale.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    because they get inspected and oh my, regulated

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:26pm

    again, your ignorance is amazing, you have no clue how tight some people get the hair braided, and yes it can cause scalp damage, intense pain, swelling, open wounds etc...

    you can be a graduate of an electrical/engineering school, but they never taught you how to "splice" a wire, should we dump the engineering school because of that???

     

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  25.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

    Re:

    In the state of Utah (and many others) that business is regulated for reasons of public safety and disease control.

    And, as the report makes clear, if that is the reason, IT FAILS.

    That's the concern. You can say it's for whatever reason you want, but if the reality doesn't match up to what you say, then there's a problem. Since the reality doesn't match up, then there's a problem.

    There is no solid grasp of reality in play,

    Wait... you're the one claiming that there are significant safety issues with a woman braiding hair, and she should be forced to spend $16k for 2,000 hours of classes, not a single one of which will have to do with her braiding hair... and I'm the one without a solid grasp on reality?

    Yah, okay, skippy...

    Also, I love that you claim it's "Techdirt" blowing this out of proportion. The story has been covered by NPR and the NY Times, and involves a number of well respected economists and journalists. But it's all Techdirt making a big deal? Yeesh.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re:

    you only missed common sense, there are barbers and cosmetologist on every corner, they are not limited, no one controls the flow of them

     

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  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Re:

    you really hate everything you don't agree with, no matter how ignorant you come off, no matter how far off base you are

    you don't care that it is regulated for safety and disease control?, you really don't have a grasp on reality

    You really should disconnect from the grid, you would be a much happier person, since no matter what goes on in cyberspace you can't stand it, you are losing your basic grasp of reality

    I home brew, why can't I sell the beer to anyone who wants one?? why do I need a license?? why do I need insurance?? why do I have to be inspected?? why can I be held legally responsible if they get busted for dui leaving my home?? they choose to drink

    You mean people who run a business, which is legally regulated, have to be trained and licensed???

    I can crack my friends back, and he feels better, why can't I be a chiropractor???

    damn those "failed legacy models" trying to keep everyone out......

    on this one mike, you fail

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Someone unskilled in the use of a straight razor and holding it close to someone else's neck may be considered by some to be dangerous.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:49pm

    of course if the girl did go to school and get her license not only would she be able to braid hair but she could cut it,bleach it,color it, etc...she would make a lot more money and still be catering to that particular group. She would have her money back in no time.
    as to the time required, it may take her longer to go around it that to go thru it.

     

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  30.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Because I, as a savvy consumer, might tend to prefer those who got certified from some third party as opposed to someone who didn't get certified. Knowing this, some hairdressers will choose to get certified by a third party to cater to this segment of the market, and some will decide it's not worth the time and money. But then it's the choice of (a) the hairdresser, to properly assess the market and (b) me, to decide how much risk I'm willing to take.

    Notice how bureaucrats and their armed thugs are conspicuously absent from this equation.

     

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  31.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:51pm

    Re:

    0/10

     

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  32.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:53pm

    Re:

    "Or she could just plop down $200k for a law degree and do even better than a hairdresser would, so what's she complaining about? Let her eat cake!"

    *boggle*

     

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  33.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ah what the heck, I'll take a shot at playing with the troll...

    'you don't care that it is regulated for safety and disease control?, you really don't have a grasp on reality'

    From the summery/article:
    'And, even more ridiculous, none of the schools taught anything having to do with braiding hair like Clayton did. It would be a pure waste.'

    So given that none of the 16K education she'd be receiving would have anything to do with what she was doing, how exactly is that going to help increase safety or disease control?

    Still, I should thank you, I needed a laugh, and seeing someone trying desperately to defend the ridiculous is always worth a chuckle.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you need to pay $16 K to learn to apply pressure safely to your friends back?

    Do you need to pay $16 K to learn how to disinfect razors?

    http://www.abc.virginia.gov/licensing/liccost.htm

    I don't see nobody having to pay $16K in Virginia to produce beer to sell do you?

     

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  35.  
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    Mega1987 (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:05pm

    i think all of our industries were all thinking about their pockets... not the services rendered...

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The cost of tuition for licenses in Oregon is an absurd $58 dollars.

    "It will cost you:
    Tuition ($35) + Application Fee ($23) = $58 Total"

    http://www.actionservereducation.com/ServicePermit.html

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Did your mother took classes for safety to braid her hair?
    Are we going to jail anybody who braid hairs without a license?

    Are you stupid?(Rhetorical)

     

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  38.  
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    Prashanth (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:16pm

    Health regulations

    Health and other regulations can be beneficial, if done properly and with care. Furthermore, a known side effect of health regulation (or any regulation) is that costs increase for all businesses, so supply decreases because some firms must go out of business to avoid huge costs. That is the price that society currently chooses to pay to have a better guarantee on the safety (or whatever else) of goods produced and services rendered.

    The question is though whether all such regulations are necessary, and that is why such regulations must be implemented properly and with care. In this case, it's obvious that the regulation was abused much more for the purpose of stifling upcoming competition rather than actually caring for the safety of consumers. It's pretty clear too that removing the regulation on hair-braiding activities won't significantly harm anyone, so do away with it already!

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

    Re:

    Peeing without a valid license and lessons on what to drink so not to contaminate the water and put others in danger should be a felony too LoL

    Cooking without a valid license inside your own home should be against the law too. Do you know how many people die every year because of food poisoning?

    OMG.

     

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  40.  
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    Killercool (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Specialization is for insects.

     

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  41.  
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    Ldne, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    Re:

    "hat business is regulated for reasons of public safety and disease control."
    Nope, cutting hair and dying hair poses hazards to public safety and disease control. Braiding hair does not and never has. The "required education" to safely use and sterilize scissors and such, and safely use hair colorizing and bleaching products takes about 3 hours. The rest is nothing but guaranteeing an income for cosmetology schools and has never been actually been necessary for anything. Sure, if you want to do a good job it would help, but on the job training would work just as well since that's essentially what most of it is anyway. Used to go for haircuts in their class when I was in vocational school.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re:

    >Cooking without a valid license inside your own home should be against the law too. Do you know how many people die every year because of food poisoning?

    Even worse - did you know that home cooking is killing the restaurant industry? And it's delicious!

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 8:19pm

    Re:

    Yes, this person is trying to make it better. Most people consider it is better for a person to be gainfully employed and financially able to support themselves, and that it's better if customers have more options when choosing services to buy.

    What do you have against people trying to make some money so they are financially self supporting? Do you think everyone should be on food stamps or something?

    The $16,000 is the cost of the license if you cannot get the license without the training costs and apparently, it seems this is the case. If individual states wish to license people in this way, then it should be the state's responsibility to provide testing examination opportunities, at cost, that people can take without having to go through a training course first. If the examination is robust it will detect anyone who lacks the requisite knowledge to work safely, distinguishing those people from appropriate licensees as an ordinary task the examination exists to accomplish. If the examination cannot determine this then it's worthless for achieving its stated purpose.

    There is no reason why the self taught or family taught should be prevented from being licensed without having to pay ticket clipping "educators", provided their skills and knowledge meet a fair and reasonable standard as reflected by the license examination.

    Braiding hair does not require any chemicals whatsoever and having a license will not prevent someone from concocting their own brew and putting it on peoples' heads. It's a piece of paper not a mind control unit.

    Having a license also does not magicify the tools one uses so that comb points physically cannot enter into eyes. Liability insurance would be more useful.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 8:32pm

    Re:

    She is catering predominately to adopted children.

    I personally would refuse to provide services to children that entail applying bleach to them. Good luck colouring the hair of African American children without first stripping the pigment out using bleach. I also would not chemically straighten or perm-curl the hair of a child.

    It's unsafe to bleach a child's hair and it's not a decision someone ought to be making for them. Having your hair bleached is something best left to people old enough to make their own decisions, and not something we should do to children, because it is a risky vainity activity that could have long term consequences, particularly when applied to children.

    So in essence your argument is we should require this person to get a license for safety purposes and we can justify this by pointing out that she'd then be allowed to do really unsafe things to children if she got such a license?

    Absurd.

     

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  45.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ah. That means that the ability for supply to meet demand has been able to succeed despite the presence of such horrendous regulation. However, can you imagine how many more and how much cheaper they might be if they did not have to go through such a licensing process?

     

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  46.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If that is a concern for you, shave yourself. However, I know many a barber that is more than willing to prove his skill with a straight edge using nothing but a balloon and the blade. If he can shave soap off a balloon clean using the blade, then he is good enough to shave my neck. If the balloon pops, sorry, no shave for me.

     

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  47.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 9:10pm

    Re:

    Wow. You just can't give it a rest can you. Once again with feeling:

    None of the 2000 hours of schooling that costs $16000 has anything to do with braiding hair.

    Can you get that through your thick skull?

     

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  48.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 9:14pm

    Re:

    I once read a story. In this story, a man walked through a vast wilderness. Every time he cam across a chasm or ravine, he would build a bridge before crossing. One day an passerby saw him building a bridge. He stopped and asked the man why he was taking the time to build a bridge if he was only going to cross the ravine once. The man then replied that somewhere far behind is another man, much younger than him who will use those bridges and have a much easier travel because of it.

    That is why she is taking the time to fight this. She is building a bridge for hair braiders and others who will follow in her footsteps.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 9:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I should also add this. Exactly who benefits from this license system the most? The customer for getting a licensed nail technician? The nail technician who has a license? Or the cosmetology schools which have a government guarantee of students and income? If all those cosmetologists weren't forced through the schools, it would not be such a big industry.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 10:20pm

    Re:

    Abolish govt. established broadcasting and cableco monopolies. Governments use violence to enforce laws and the use of violence to maintain one's market position should not be tolerated.

     

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  51.  
    icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Screw that. Did the man have a license? If not, he better stop because safety and disease control.

     

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  52.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "you really hate everything you don't agree with, no matter how ignorant you come off, no matter how far off base you are"

    And you really hate everything on Techhdirt, no matter how ignorant you come off, no matter how far off base you are.

    Your entire rant is just a weak attack on Techdirt, without addressing single element of the actual story. Or are you actually defending the position that this woman should spend $16k to not be taught anything about the potentially lethal act of braiding a kid's hair? Do you really think this is a safety and disease control issue? Be honest now.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    anonymous (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 11:16pm

    Not just happening in the USA

    I have experienced something similiar in BC. There you have to have a low voltage certificate to install Cat 5/6 wiring and such. Now I went to BCIT ( and local colleges and universities ) and was told they do not offer a course for a low voltage certificate and have never heard of one. They do teach a low voltage course that is part of the electricians course but it does not give a certificate for that part. Now the great thing is if you pay one of the cities down there $5K you can buy the certificate for your company and it covers anyone that works for you, and the kicker is you don't have to take a course to get it. Does that sound fair? I feel for this woman as she is being made to pay for something that is not needed and does not have any real effect on health and wellness. Just the government being stupid.

     

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  54.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 11:41pm

    Re: Re:

    Do you know how many people die every year because of food poisoning?

    Ye, and I get all of it from eating out. Homecooking is safer.

     

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  55.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "And how exactly is John Q. Customer supposed to know that the disinfectant is being properly used, or that it even truly is disinfectant and not, say, colored water?"

    How would a certification tell you that?

    It would tell you that the person has been told the rules and has been tested to make sure they know them. It wouldn't tell you that they were following the rules. An unscrupulous certified person might decide to cheap out and use fake chemicals, while an honest uncertified person might diligently follow the correct rules.

    The way to tell would be inspection, which would presumably come along with the business licence they would have to operate - certified or non-certified.

    "The problem with caveat emptor as a social principle is that for it to actually work, it requires the emptor to become an expert in the field of every single thing he tries to empt"

    No it doesn't. It tells people to be aware of the risks, which might include getting someone else's opinion if they don't feel they're an expert themselves. Licencing may help with this, but there's still enough of a difference between licensed individuals for caveat emptor to still apply without, say, trustworthy personal recommendations.

     

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  56.  
    icon
    DataShade (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 2:17am

    Re:

    Should I be voting you up for funny for your masterful use of sarcasm?

    Why is the education "required" if the person is using an heritage art form that they already know? It'd be like requiring a 5-star chef to re-attend culinary school because the meals he cooks aren't on your regulation menu.

    What *about* the liability issues? Those don't go away with a license.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 2:30am

    Re: Heh

    the national asociation of psychologists would like to have a word with you about providing counsel without a license

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    This is why America despite increasing its population still have the same industrial output of 50 years ago.

    Nobody can afford to do anything.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 6:52am

    If the course she would have to do in order to become certified does not cover the braiding she wants to do, then surely the logical conclusion is that the certification does not cover that style of braiding, and is therefore not required?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    You can get a food handlers permit that will allow you to be a restaurant shift manager in 8 hours on a Saturday for $25. I think the importance of disease prevention in food service is FAR higher than with hair care, and there's no reason that a similar annual permit could not cover the proper safety procedures for cosmetology.

     

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  61.  
    icon
    You're a Gazelle! (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Re:

    I agree! They should arrest all those moms, dads, brothers, daughters and friends out there braiding each other's hair without a license! How shameful!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:51am

    Re: While we're playing this game.....

    Wat? Are you saying there is a fixed number of doctors that are allowed to graduate in a given year? How can that possibly be controlled among all the different medical schools?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He's incapable of honesty. If you back him into a corner with enough facts, he just decides he didn't say what you thought (and read) but in fact said something else, although it is usually equally absurd.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Ran into something similar when I scratched my glasses and tried to order a replacement pair online through warbyparker.com Turns out my state won't allow them to ship glasses without a current prescription. Even though my last prescription is on file they couldn't ship me a replacement pair unless I went and paid for a new eye exam first.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Correct, constant vigilance is the best tool for preventing unscrupulous businesses from failing to abide by standards, not licenses. A registry of the salon/barber where customers can provide positive or negative testimony, paired with unannounced inspections should be more than adequate to compel businesses to abide by regulation. A license can't do that.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    This sort of thing happened in South Carolina a few years ago and the SC General Assembly wisely (strange for SC) chose to not require braiders to have a cosmetology license.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I say we extend this and force other professions to take classes in things that have nothing to do with what they are going to do in real life... as a way of limiting competition.

    Here are some suggestions:

    To be come a Lawyer, you must
    1. Take classes on high pressure deep sea diving and survive a rapid uncontrolled ascent from extreme depths (without dying of the bends).
    2. Take a two week High altitude extreme temprature survival class, by spending a week at least 25K feet above sea level in temperatures not exceeding -20 (take your pick on measurement system...)

    To become a Judge, you must have completed all lawyer training, in addition you must
    1. Swim with the sharks (real ones, not lawyers) while holding raw meat
    2. Learn Lion taming with wild lions, class is only completed after placing your head (with a steak on it) in the lions mouth for 5 minutes...

    These type of classes would do soo much to weed out those who are incompetent and would not make acceptable lawyers and judges.... I'm just saying, if it works in one industry, why not others?

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jackass, I addressed the story just fine.

    The costs of training (mandated) in different states is different for each job category out there. Some states charge a lot of money for the license, others have mandatory classes and proof of knowledge before you can be licensed to work.

    What Techdirt writer did here was draw your attention to a case that seems stupid, because the circumstances are on the very edge of the law. That is to say the woman wants to braid hair for money, which is a very narrow edge part of the whole hair care industry, which is licensed in that state. It sucks for her, but that is reality. It's absurd only when you take the regulatory framework and educational requirements and stretch them to the Nth degree.

    My point is only that this is an extreme case (1%? Less?) which Mike is trying to use to damn and an entire regulatory framework - and the concept of such frameworks.

    I am sure he gets his car fixed by unlicensed mechanics too! he doesn't mind the risk. His doctor? Makes Nick Riviera look like a pro!

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: _le sigh_

    Well now I just want to go give bananas and towels to monkeys.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: _le sigh_

    i don't buy the mob mentality issue raised in this experiment. This assumes that monkeys have no way to communicate with each other. I would think that those who were sprayed with water informed (using monkey speak) the new monkey of what would happen regarding the cold water.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    Rick Smith (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    you can be a graduate of an electrical/engineering school, but they never taught you how to "splice" a wire, should we dump the engineering school because of that???


    No, but being an engineer doesn't mean you are necessarily going to be splicing wires (in fact I would be concerned if that is the majority of your job).

    If on the other hand you went to electricians school (or apprenticed as one) and they taught you nothing about splicing, then your certification should revoked and you should sue them since they did not teach you what you went to school for.

    If you’re going to make analogies at least make is sensible. This is about someone having to spend a lot of money and 2 years and learn nothing about what she will be doing. If its just a safety and health concerns, then make her take a class on the safety and health hazards specific to braiding hair. Once she passes she gets a license that says she can braid hair and charge for it.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    you missed the boat too, there are people who have electrical/engineering degrees, but were never taught to splice a wire, dump the degree, since it didn't "teach" them to splice two wires together???


    schools don't teach a lot of things, dump all education and just go back the stone age???

    you are defending the ridiculous, not me, pick and choose your battles, this isn't the one though

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Re:

    wasn't built to code, and will be dismantled

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    darin, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Fair's fair

    No one should be allowed to record or perform rock music of any style, until they have spent $16,000 on 2,000 hours of coursework to complete a Certification of Musical Mastery. Topics of study to include:

    • Transcription of Medieval and Renaissance mensural notation (graduates will be expected to navigate with ease the rhythmic and harmonic ambiguities of the Ars Subtilior)

    • The Hexachordal modal system of harmony (as popularized by the Netherland composers), and Counterpoint after the manner of Ockeghem and Josquin

    • Analysis of the Isorhythmic Motet

    • Extensive study of performance practices in the Baroque era including the keyboard techniques of Francois Couperin and the vocal embellishments popularized in 17th-Century Italian opera and cantata

    • Realization of a basso continuo from a figured bass

    • Formal analysis of the common-practice Symphony, Concerto and Sonata literature

    • Exhaustive examination of the various tuning schemes proposed in the mid-17th-Century and the mathematical difficulties of achieving equal temperament (all students will be required pass an examination in which they must tune a harpsichord, clavichord or cembalo according to the temperaments proposed by Vincenzo Galilei, Simon Stevin and Huygens/Fokker)

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > schools don't teach a lot of things, dump all education and just go back the stone age???

    So instead of insulting everyone else because of your irrelevance, make the syllabus relevant. If many people are realising that schools don't teach a lot of things, including things that might be considered vital, it's time for a shuffle or renewal.

    By the way, darryl, you've been usurped as lead troll by someone with worse grammar skills. Don't worry, we didn't miss you.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What the above anonymous coward did here was draw your attention to a post he feels is stupid, because it's the best he can manage against all the other posts that make more sense. That is to say that he thinks stupid, unreasonable things makes sense. It sucks for him, but that's not reality.

    My point is that he mostly stretches the alleged nonsense to 1%? Less? of whatever is posted on Techdirt to damn the whole site.

    I am sure that by posting, he has demonstrated that he possesses licensed linguistic and debating skills from whatever relevant board of education is relevant to him. His arguments make Charles Carreon look like a pro!

     

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  77.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Re: _le sigh_

    Eek eek ook eek.

    Translation: My good chap, any attempt to procure the yellow fleshy specimen of the banana tree will result in a high pressure stream of oxygen di-hydroxide, stored at considerably below room temperature, in an attempt to discourage such action. Said knowledge was passed to me by other fellow primates, who experimented said thing themselves, in order to prevent us from suffering the same fate. And so, I pass the knowledge on to you, so that future generations of our kin will learn the horrors of the ice water hose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:10am

    Re:

    How does issuing a piece of paper prevent disease or ensure that scissors are properly sterilized?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    W Klink (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 10:26am

    The Theory of Economic Regulation

    In 1971, long before Freakonomics, George Stigler published "The Theory of Economic Regulation" (http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/3003160). In the paper, he measures the level of regulation of competing industries: Rail roads (the large incumbent industry with huge barriers to entry) vs Trucking (an upstart industry in the 1930s with much lower start up costs and no significant barriers to entry). Trucking is mostly regulated by state, so he compares the level of regulation by state and considers other factors.

    Would it surprise you to know that weight limits on trucks were correlated with how much rail was already in the state? States with a lot of rail had tighter regulations on trucks. In two states, the weight limit on trucks between two rail stations was more strict than on routes that were not served by rail.

    There was also a statistically significant correlation between the level of trucking regulation and the size of the agricultural workforce. The larger the ag industry (which depend on cheap transportation) was, the less onerous the regulations on trucking were.

    It's undeniable that trucking must be regulated. Trucks can tear up roads and can be a danger to everyone else on the road. But should the level of regulation really be a function of how strong their competitors are?

    To all industries, regulation is an economic service. You may have to pay to avoid or, or you can pay to have it thrust upon your competitors. It's something that you "buy" from the government, and you "buy" it with votes, organization, and campaign contributions. And you can only buy it from a government (the only real natural monopoly).

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2012 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    +1 for the Heinlein reference

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Digger, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 6:55am

    Re:

    She wasn't cutting, washing or anything else the hair - she was braiding it. Something that every teen-aged girl (and some boys) have done for as long as braiding has been around.

    It's not cosmetology, it's braiding for fuck's sake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Digger, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: While we're playing this game.....

    Easily - number of colleges * number of classes * number of chairs in each classroom = limit to number of potential graduates.

    Subtract the number of people who fail, quit or die while going to college/university, and you get an even lower number of graduates.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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