Idiotic licensing requirement #4,312: New Orleans tour guides
Who can talk to people? If you said anyone, you’re right. Now, who can get paid to talk to people? Well, that is apparently a bit trickier. You see, the city of New Orleans thinks that folks who want to serve as a tour guide in the Big Easy should be licensed. Yeah, that makes sense.
Luckily, a group of these tour guides are taking issue with these regulations and fighting it out in court with the help of the Institute for Justice:
In New Orleans, it is a crime to charge people for a talking tour without first getting permission from the government.
City officials require every tour guide to pass a history exam, undergo a drug test and an FBI criminal background check every two years merely for speaking. People who give tours without a license face fines up to $300 per occurrence and five months in jail.
A $300 fine and five months in jail? Really? What’s the worst that bad tour guide can do? Tell someone that Bourbon Street is actually four blocks the wrong direction? Honestly?
Yes, I know that a tour guide can ruin someone’s experience in a community if they don’t know what they’re talking about. However, why is the city government even involved? An independent tourism commission could do the exact same thing, and then advise hotels that it’s in their best interests to guide tourists to use certified tour guides for the optimal experience of New Orleans. Then it’s buyer beware.
Of course, this is just one of many idiotic licensing requirements throughout the nation. For example, many states require interior decorators to be licensed. Really? Because the government has to protect me from someone who might mix plaids and stripes on my couch? Barbers as well, because no one should suffer from a bad haircut. (Just a note, all the horrible haircuts I’ve had in my life came from licensed individuals, but the independents who just hooked me up did a great job…go figure).
I thought I had heard all of it, but tour guides though? Seriously? It’s enough to make me at least consider rooting for the next hurricane.