There is no free in liberty.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yet Another Example of America's New Enclosure Movement, but This Time Across the Fruited Plain of Individuals Wishing to Provide a Service....


This sort of thing, this unnecessary "enclosure movement" against the free flow providing services amid a depression is no more than legislated cartel formation which helps no one. But, as always, it is done for your protection.

Doing your taxes sucks. Paying someone else to do your taxes sucks, too. But you know what sucks most of all? Having the person who does your taxes go out of business (or dramatically raise prices) thanks to an IRS power grab.

Last year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) got into the business of licensing tax preparers. The IRS wasn't granted the authority to do this by Congress, they just decided to go for it. At a time when unemployment is still awfully high, 350,000 people--many of whom are self-employed or own small businesses--will be hit by rules that axe their jobs or make it more difficult and expensive to keep their calculators clacking.

Lucky, the be-suited superlawyers* at the Institute for Justice (IJ) are on the case. Today, the economic litigation outfit filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia along with three independent tax preparers. (Watch a video about the case with rushing clouds and ominous music here.)
IJ's formula is simple for these kinds of cases: Put a human face on a wonky, abstract problem. They've done the same thing to fight occupational licensing requirements in all kinds of professions, from florists to hair dressers to interior designers. In fact, they do it so well and so often, journalists who cover this stuff get jaded on their perfect poster boys. But that's wrong. The whole point is that actual humans are getting totally screwed by regulation every day.



  1. John Stossel speaks about this.