Another day, another spurious occupational licensing effort:
State Sen. Martin Golden and a handful of other lawmakers got what looked suspiciously like foot massages in the cavernous lobby of the Legislative Office Building. “They are looking for some of our brains,” Golden (R-Brooklyn) quipped as a member of the New York State Reflexology Association rubbed down his bare feet. [...] The group was in Albany pushing for passage of an Assembly bill that would require licensing of reflexologists and set competence standards.
As ever, the question here is what’s the market failure? The NYSRA can start a NYSRA Certified Reflexologist program if it wants, and then we’ll see if the competence standards required to get certified meet the market test. The difference between these kind of licenses and regulation we need is that it really doesn’t make sense to worry about a plague of bad foot massages being unleashed on the country. You can get rich polluting the air, so absent adequate regulation we’ll have too much air pollution. But it’s really hard to earn a living giving foot massages unless you have satisfied customers.