Where Oklahoma’s Cronyism Meets Overcriminalization

Thanks to an archaic statute, an Oklahoma City bar manager was arrested in April for selling bacon-infused vodka. The editorial board of The Oklahoman uses this bizarre example to illustrate how many needless laws and regulations exist in Oklahoma: “At least the vodka controversy seems to have originated with a law that had a valid purpose at one time,” the board wrote. “Many other regulations exist mostly to stifle competition in the marketplace, not to protect consumers.”

Citing federal data, the board reports that 25 percent of Oklahoma’s workforce requires a state license and that the average time it takes to obtain a license in the state is well over a year.

As the board writes, “To cite one glaring example, Oklahoma is one of only 15 states requiring hair braiders to obtain a specialty ‘technician’ license” requiring “600 hours of coursework and pass[ing] a practical and written exam.”

The Oklahoman’s opposition to excessive regulation reflects a common sense push against policies rife with cronyism that is popping up in opinion and editorial pages across the country.

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