The war on barbershops

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

8 Responses

  1. Trumwill says:

    My grandfather was a barber, so these sorts of things perk my ears. I understand the arguments as to why haircare professionals need to be regulated, but the nature in which they go about it often leaves much to be desired and seems based in large part simply to provide barriers to entry. In some states, my grandfather wouldn’t be able to cut hair unless he took a whole bunch of classes/certifications on hair-coloring and bleaching. The notion ostensibly being that people that people that put chemicals in others hair need to be regulated. Which makes sense… but what about those who simply want to cut hair? There’s a sort of all-in mentality where haircare is A Profession and something that ordinary people shouldn’t be allowed to do. For some things, this makes sense I suppose, but some flexibility here would be good.Report

  2. Robert Cheeks says:

    My wife cuts my hair like the guy in basic training did.

    This sounds like the honkey bastards are getting even for affirmative action and bad housing loans that tanked the economy…sounds like vigilanteism to me.Report

  3. Jonathan Dursi says:

    One of the most useful functions of licensure requirements is for people to have something to lose if various standards aren’t upheld. When you go into a shop where combs, brushes, and razors are used dozens of times a day over years, I think it’s reasonable for people to not want to leave with lice, and history has shown the threat of license revocation to be a useful motivation to make sure the appropriate santiation standards are met. Too, when I go into a shop to pay someone to put a straight-edge razor to my throat, it pleases me to know that some basic checks have been made. So I’m 100% fine with barber licenses — whether they are too onerous or too broad in any particular juristiction is something for those voters to sort out. Where I live it appears the licensing requirements are unusually strict for barbers, but given the number of licensed shops, it clearly is not an insurmountable barrier, and it’s not something I’ve ever heard people complain about.

    But 14 armed deputies? In two `sweeps’? Arresting people, putting them in handcuffs, and dragging them away? Has Orange County ever done that for, say, health code violations in restaurants, where people could really get sick and die? If not, then WTF is going on here?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jonathan Dursi says:

      “Too, when I go into a shop to pay someone to put a straight-edge razor to my throat, it pleases me to know that some basic checks have been made.”

      I smile to myself whenever I see the “employees must wash hands” sign in a restroom.

      It makes me feel good to know that the government is looking out for me.Report

      • Jonathan Dursi in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yes, yes, washing-hands signs are all symptomatic of the nanny state that we `sheeple’ love so much, and a proper free market would take care of food-handling guidelines much more efficiently if only we would let go of our overweening attachment to our orwellian desire for big brother.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Jonathan Dursi says:

          You’re lucky to live in the part of town that doesn’t have cops kick down the door to make sure that the sign isn’t crooked.

          Ah, well. I’m sure that it’s good to have doors kicked down from time to time… “pour encourager les autres.”Report

    • Armando Doreste in reply to Jonathan Dursi says:

      Would you do business with a barber shop if there is word out about lax hygienic standards and other undesirable characteristics? Seems to me like the problem takes care of itself.

      Licensure only serves to hamper business, foster complacency, and facilitate oppression.Report

  4. Robert Cheeks says:

    They’re everywhere…everywhere!Report