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So what is my point in sharing this? A few days ago, I found out that the Spotsylvania County health inspector has recently put a stop to the shop's practice of providing the neck-and-upper-back massage. Apparently, such a service requires a license or certification, which the barbershop did not have.
Why should any license or certification be required? Some would say "safety." Ludicrous. Nobody who gets a haircut there fears they will somehow be harmed (if they did, they would stop going). Others would say "liability protection." Again, ridiculous. The barbershop, given the option, would clearly choose to offer the service on the extreme off-chance it might get sued one day for accidentally causing damage.
The fact is, this kind of licensing regulation is nothing more than government-enforced monopoly protection for politically connected cronies. Such restrictions are typically lobbied for by the very beneficiaries of such regulations: existing businesses. Why? To restrict would-be competitors.
Similar regulations prevent many African-American women from being able to run braiding businesses without a cosmetology license or even a monastery in Louisiana from selling caskets to raise money. The same goes for this barbershop, where they were simply making the haircut experience more enjoyable and relaxing to customers willing to pay for it.
Overreaching regulation has now robbed Fredericksburg residents of this luxury. This decision should be over-turned.