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There is a matter of degree to these things. Sure, we want our doctors and dentists to have the proper licenses. And display them on the wall, please. And if you're watching our kids in day-care, have a license. Or serving us food. Or installing wiring.

But does everything require a license these days?

You wouldn't believe what Arkansas requires. For a red state with Republican leadership, Arkansas ranks among the most restrictive of states when it comes to licenses. Somebody explain why the state requires--requires!--a manicurist to have 140 days of training, two exams and a license to do your nails. You'd think the market would weed out those who do a bad job.

According to researchers who wrote the report "License to Work," Arkansas is the third most restrictive state when it comes to jobs and licenses. You have to have a license to repair a door, or sand a floor, or install insulation, or to be a head coach for a school's baseball team.

You can't operate as an athletic trainer without a license. You can't cut hair. You can't apply makeup professionally.

You can't shampoo hair at a salon. You can't auction equipment at a farm.

For cryin' out loud, Arkansas requires a license to be a milk sampler.

And those are just for job requirements. The state requires a license to fish on a private lake. And to apply certain chemicals to keep the poke salad down on the farm.

Maybe the Pulaski County quorum court is paying for the sins of others. But sometimes We the People get overwhelmed with the license requirements in this state.

A committee for the county voted the other day (9 to 4) to require licenses for pets in the unincorporated areas of the county. The full body of justices of the peace is scheduled to vote on the measure later this month. The new rule would mandate folks register their pets with the county government. Sterilized animals would cost $10 at most. Pets that haven't been spayed or neutered would cost $35. For lifetime registration, a sterilized animal, and only a sterilized animal, would have to have a microchip installed somewhere in its innards. This is suppose to encourage folks to spay and neuter.

Aw, it's hard to criticize the people behind the proposal. We see strays running around the county. But the same folks who'd go out of their way to get a license for their cats are also the same folks who've already taken responsible steps to spay them. The very people this rule targets are those people who'd ignore it entirely. As far as a $500 fine is concerned, what cat? I've never seen that cat before in my life.

One could be forgiven in wondering if this new proposal would have any affect in the rural parts of the county. Or if it'd just be one more license--one more hassle--for the people around Wrightsville, Gravel Ridge, Roland and Pinnacle Mountain. Not to mention another tax--er, fee--that many folks will have to make good on.

Editorial on 01/12/2019

Print Headline: License for life

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