Right to Earn a Living Act

Of all the rights that Americans cherish, freedom of enterprise receives the least protection under our law. Indeed, it’s far easier for the government to take away the opportunity to open a business or pursue a livelihood than it is to take away an entitlement to a welfare check. Local, state, and federal governments use licensing laws, government-conferred monopolies, certificate of need requirements, and other regulations to make it difficult for entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Such restrictions often inflict their greatest burdens on people with little wealth or political clout, thereby cutting off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

The burden of proving that such restrictions are excessive should not be placed on those who want to earn an honest living; instead, governments should bear the burden of justifying the restrictions. States should enact a Right to Earn a Living Act to protect freedom of enterprise. By doing so they will ensure that economic opportunity is not merely a promise but a reality.

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