Showing posts with label entrepreneurship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entrepreneurship. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Trump Signs Feminist Foreign Aid Policy Into Law

Sources: White House, Congress, Center for Family and Human Rights, USAID

Trump signed the little noticed Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act January 9th, likely at the behest of his daughter, who lobbied for it in congress where it was put on hold in the senate. While the new law seems well meaning and does contain some good provisions, it also gives professional feminists or 'gender advisers' power to dictate foreign aid policy mired in inter-sectional feminist restrictions on the design and implementation of all USAID policies, grants and programs.

As the Center for Family and Human Rights noted, it is very ironic that Trump would enact Obama's gender policies, especially ones informed by a radical left-wing cultural perspective that includes the whole spectrum of LGBTQ (and whatever other letters they'll add in the future). It is very likely that he didn't even read the bill and just signed it to make his princess happy. Whether he agrees with the law or not is irrelevant at this point. He approved it; he put his name to it; he owns it now, especially the parts that seem to run counter to his domestic policies. The Obama era gender policies in question are outlined in ADS chapter 205. The document details steps for implementing 'gender integration' through all USAID programs, making gender equality the main focus of all USAID projects, and by equality they don't mean legal equality or equality of opportunity. Apparently, the goal is to close gender gaps in status, access to resources, participation in the labor force, and leadership positions, presumably until they are about the same. The Bureau for Policy Planing and Learning, which shapes development policy, is mandated to have a full time gender adviser for this purpose.

Section 3 of the law subjects all USAID strategies, projects, and activities to 'gender analysis' and 'gender integration'. Gender analysis is defined as:

a socioeconomic analysis of available or gathered quantitative and qualitative information to identify, understand,
and explain gaps between men and women which typically
involves examining differences in the status of women and men and their differential access to and control over assets, resources, education, opportunities, and services

This could be interpreted in several different ways, but it seems to imply that the goal is equal outcomes between genders, rather than equal opportunities or more practically equal liberty. If they meant to imply equal opportunities or equal liberty they could have made this clearer by wording it different by, for instance, stating their goal was to remove legal and cultural market barriers for women in developing nations; however, this is not the case. It becomes clear that the goal is equal outcomes in section 4 (b), which introduces a gender quota for financial assistance.

50 percent of all small and medium-sized enterprise resources shall be targeted to activities that reach enterprises owned, managed, and controlled by women.

However well meaning this may be for women's' empowerment abroad, it will also have the unintended consequence of hurting entrepreneurs in developing countries where women are nowhere near 50% of total small and medium-sized enterprise owners or managers. Hypothetically, lets say a certain developing country x has 20 small and medium-sized businesses in need of financing; 15 of them are owned by men and 5 are owned by women. Under the provision in section 4 (b), we would only be able to provide financial resources to 5 businesses owned by men and 5 owned by women, leaving 10 small and medium sized businesses without assistance. This is especially damaging given the fact that the authors' of this bill own findings that '50% of small and medium-sized businesses, in emerging markets, lack access to formal credit'. Imposing a gender quota on these businesses isn't going to make it any easier for them to get credit through any USAID development program.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Occupational Licensing Hurts Minorities and the Poor

Sources: Tennessee Has Fined Residents Nearly $100,000, Just For Braiding Hair
Occupational Licensing and the Poor and Disadvantaged

Something as innocuous as hair braiding, an art that has been practiced for thousands of years and is deeply rooted in many African cultures, is illegal in twenty-five state’s if it’s done for pay without the government’s permission. Fatou Diouf, an immigrant from Senegal who braids hair for a living, a skill she learned as a child, found out the hard way when the state of Tennessee imposed $16,000 in fines against her for hiring employees who did not have the government’s permission to braid hair. And she’s not alone. The Tennessee board of cosmetology and barber examiners has levied $100,000 in fines against braiders in more than 30 different salons simply for practicing their art without paying the board for a license to do so.

After examining meeting minutes and disciplinary actions for the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, the Institute for Justice has identified nearly $100,000 in fines levied against dozens of braiders and more than 30 different natural hair shops and salons since 2009. All of those violations were for unlicensed braiding; none were triggered by any health or sanitation violation.

Obtaining a license to braid hair in Tennessee is no easy feat. In fact, it’s unaffordable to some. To become a licensed “natural hair stylist” in Tennessee, braiders have to complete 300 hours of coursework in one of three Cosmetology schools within the state, which costs them $1,500 to $5,000 in tuition, just to learn a skill they already know and several other skills that aren’t relevant to their jobs.

Occupational licensing does not make hair braiding safer or improve the quality of the service. All it does is kill employment opportunities for black women and force some to work in the grey market. To demonstrate what’s possible without these needless market barriers, Mississippi was pressured to abandon a license requirement for hair braiding in 2016 after the Institute for Justice filed suit against the state. As of February, Tennessee only has 156 licensed braiders and natural hair stylists, though many more probably work without a license at home or in an established salon. In comparison, Mississippi has 2,600 legal braiders and only requires them to register with the department of health and pay a $25 administrative fee. The sheer absurdity of licensing hair braiders and the spotlight that has been shined on it has embarrassed state legislatures across the country into liberalizing the trade, but occupational licensing as a whole still maintains a firm stranglehold on economic growth in local economies, affecting one in three professions and more often than not keeping poor people and minorities out of decent paying jobs. The disparate effects of these market barriers can be seen in entry level occupations that provide some upward mobility. For instance, black or Hispanic non-white interior designers are 30% less likely to earn a college degree compared to white interior designers. Thus, states that require interior designers to have a college degree disproportionately exclude black and Hispanic designers. Similarly, licensing laws that require English proficiency and a minimum number of years of residency disproportionately exclude immigrants from legally working in their chosen career.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 36)

Lafourche Parish Rips Off Dirt Farmer In Eminent Domain Taking

Source: Institute for Justice

This one hits close to home. It is no secret that Louisiana is the most corrupt state in the union run by criminals like William 'freezer money' Jefferson, Ray 'chocolate city' Nagin, and former Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard. This story came as no surprise to me. Chad Jarreau is a dirt farmer in Cutoff, just south of New Orleans. He uses his land to mix fine grain soils for construction projects. Six years ago, the South Lafourche Levee District took a large chunk of Jarreau's land through eminent domain. Now I have no problem with governments taking undeveloped land to build infrastructure as long as the oringinal owner is justly compensated. In practice, the owner should be compensated for not only the market value of his property, but also for any lost future profits if he used it to run his business. The state only compensated him for the former. The South Lafourche Levee District had originally compensated Jarreau $11,869 for the land they took and $165,000 for lost future profits, after a trial court ruled in Jarreau's favor, but the Louisana Supreme court overturned their decision and left Jarreau with only the market value of his land. Not ony did the South Lafourche Levee District not fully compensate Jarreau, they also didn't take his land to build a levee or any other infrastructure. Rather, they took his land to mix the soil themselves so they wouldn't have to pay him. Socializing dirt farming is not essentially different than socializing any other private industry. By the Levee Board's logic, the State might as well go full Chavez and take over the oil rigs and grocery stores too. Of course, I doubt they are Bolvarian socialists, but like most public officials they are guided by expediency, greed and a lust for power. This is how you end up with socialist policies even in a conservative state.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 16)

Restrictions on Home Businesses Make Operating One Practically Illegal 

The city of Portland requires home based start-ups to jump through a myriad of hoops to operate. For instance, home based businesses can only receive 8 clients per day, can only have one company vehicle, and can only have one employee who is not a resident and only if they do not accept on site customers. Furthermore, they are prohibited from operating a dispatch service or selling retail goods and proprietors who accept customers have to submit to a city building inspection. While many of these regulations may have been well intended to reduce nuisances in residential areas, most of them are unenforceable (whose counting the clients) and these one size fits all rules rarely account for variations in circumstances. Larger lots may be able to accommodate more cars than others without spilling out into the street and impeding traffic. Some home businesses may not be able to stay solvent with only 8 clients a day, while others may be profitable receiving only 7 clients a day. The rest of the restrictions on home businesses fall within the same general category of assuming one set of rules is adequate for all possible home businesses. 

In regard to moral law, consenting parties should be free to transact unless part of the cost is imposed on a non-consenting third party (e.g. pollution). When negative externalities are probable the principle of subsidiarity should be applied and the issue of preventing nuisances should be left up to the judgement of HOAs and NAs. In this way, unique solutions can be reached that would otherwise be left to the purview of government violence.