Moving Companies, Start Your Engines!
Missouri gets a high five from me today. (Or maybe a pound. That seems to be the cool thing these days.) Over the weekend, I read in Reason magazine about the repeal of an oppressive licensing law for home moving companies in Missouri.
Before the law was repealed, any potential new moving company had to submit an application to the state government to start the company. Existing moving companies then had the opportunity to say, “No thanks, we don’t want any more competition. You can’t start your business here. Sorry I am not sorry!”
Essentially, existing home moving companies were protected against fair competition from outsiders. By restricting competition, companies had more control to set prices for their services. They unfairly cast off competition that would allow Missourians to have more choices. And, entrepreneurs were excluded from making a living in their preferred occupation.
Unfortunately, this piece of legislation did not pass the first time around. Show-Me Institute Policy Analyst David Stokes wrote in 2011 about Missouri reducing home mover licensing requirements. However, the governor vetoed that particular bill in 2011.
This time around, it looks like there is real change for the home mover business. Markets and customers can now make the decision of who will provide services. The government may think it is doing a good service by imposing certain restrictions, but occupational licensing often results in harmful effects to citizens and the economy.