This is the third post in a series on occupational and business licensing.
When a group of monks in Louisiana tried to sell their own, finely-crafted pine caskets, they were met with an unexpected message. No, not from God, but from the state of Louisiana telling them to cease-and-desist all casket selling or face “thousands of dollars in fines and possible criminal prosecution.”
Why? Because the monks failed to adhere to Louisiana’s licensing requirements passed in the name of quality control.
As we discussed last week, some licensing laws have been imposed in order to uphold certain public morals — such as protecting consumers from the hazards of drinking, for example. But licenses have also been established in an attempt to ensure the quality of a product so as not to bring harm to consumers. This justification not only underlies the casket market, but also the automobile industry as well as a current dispute over a new orthodontic innovation.