Licensed To Decorate

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
May 21 2012 12:39 PM

Licensed To Decorate

In 47 of America's fine states, if you want to accept people's money in order to give them advice on decorating and other people want to pay you to give advice on decorating, then congratulations—you're an interior decorator. In the other three states, and the District of Columbia, you need undergo 2,190 hours of training and apprenticeship and pass an exam before practicing.

This, of course, is why homes in DC are wildly better-decorated than the homes in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs or in other large American cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, and Philadelphia. Except of course that's not true. The licensing rules don't do anything useful, they just erect a small barrier to people earning money or launching a business. In fact, as I write in my latest column, these licensing rules are—statistically speaking—the number one driver of how friendly a state is to small businesses formation and operation and most of them have no real public safety purpose.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Dec. 17 2014 12:27 PM Listen to Our Ultimate Holiday Playlist Holiday tracks for the season, exclusively for Slate Plus members.