Libertarian policies will get the government out of the way and lead to a better job market in Texas.
People can apply for whatever jobs they want and can quit whatever jobs they don’t like. By the same token, employers should be able to hire whichever applicants they want, and to fire whoever they want. If an employer and employee want to strike a deal, the state should not interfere with rules like minimum wages.
People also should be able to offer whatever services they want. Unfortunately, the state currently imposes a variety of mandates, regulations, and prohibitions. We want to get rid of many government-required occupational licenses.
The state also interferes with the job market by giving special subsidies to well-connected businesses. This is sometimes called “corporate welfare.” We want to get rid of it.
People should be able to purchase services from anyone they want to. Currently, the government prohibits people in many professions from offering services unless they have a government-issued license. In some cases, it’s helpful to know that your service provider has been properly trained. However, it’s your choice how much to worry about it, and a government license cannot guarantee quality. If you’re getting a haircut, maybe you’re more worried about a barber’s reputation than whether the barber has a government-issued license.
Texas requires state licenses for all kinds of workers, including barbers, cosmetologists, and massage therapists. The claim is that the licenses are important for public health and safety, but that’s not always true. Often, these licenses are just a trick to keep entrenched service providers from facing more competition, and to provide training schools with a guaranteed flow of money. Mandatory licenses make work much harder for people who are poor and busy. If you have a big family and not much income, it’s very hard to spare the time and expense to jump through the hoops to get a government license.
We should replace mandatory government licensing with optional private certifications. Private certifications are already used in a number of industries, and they give customers information about a service provider’s training. If you only want your hair cut by someone who is certified with 1,500 hours of training, you can make that choice.
In 2018, the only Libertarian State Senator in Nebraska, Laura Ebke, sponsored a bill to reduce the state’s burdensome occupational licensing mandates. That bill was signed into law. Texas legislators should pass something similar.
You can probably get any company to move to Texas if you pay enough. But it’s unfair to the competitors in the state, and by pushing up the tax burden on everyone, it suppresses the job market for everyone else. Corporate welfare does not create a net increase in jobs. Government should not distort the markets like this. We should end these subsidies.
Governments often use the excuse, “Other states are doing it, so we have to do it too.” That’s a fallacy. Every time one of these subsidies passes, it drives up the tax burden and makes the state more hostile to business generally.
Subsidies often take the form of tax abatements, where privileged businesses get their taxes reduced, while other businesses pay the standard rates. We oppose this favoritism.
In 2019, the House voted in support of HB 2129 Reauthorizing Ch. 313 tax abatements with a vote of 113 for versus 27 against.
Texans For Fiscal Responsibility: HB 2129 by Murphy: Reauthorizing Ch. 313 tax abatements.
Austin American Statesman: House votes to extend tax relief for new industry
• Reduce occupational licensing.
• End corporate welfare.