This is one in an occasional series about how government agents cause or heighten animosity among people in society. See the previous parts.
The politicians who legislate for the municipal government of San Francisco, Calif., that will—all things being equal—cause fewer people to adopt or purchase dogs as pets into safe, loving homes. At the same time, many organizations around the USA are trying to promote pet adoption as a solution to overcrowded animal shelters and a great number of strays.
First, this law will make some number of people, who were already on the fence about adopting or buying a dog, to decide not to do so; worse yet, some who already own dogs will get rid of them. I predict this because there will be (again, all things being equal) fewer dog walkers because not all of the current and aspiring dog walkers will make the licensure cutoff. With the numbers thus restricted, two things will happen: First, the remaining dog walkers can charge higher rates because, as we all learned in Economics 101, all things being equal, less supply creates greater demand. Second, there will be areas underserved by dog walkers, perhaps a complete absence in some neighborhoods.
Second, by requiring the licensing of dog walkers, the politicians have infringed on the rights of the residents of that city to contract for labor under mutually agreeable terms. By setting a limit under which it is illegal (insurance, number of dogs)
How to solve this: Two ways.
The first way to solve the coming problem is the government way: Encourage people to walk dogs. Perhaps there could be advertising campaigns about the benefits of walking dogs: being outside, getting exercise, playing with puppies, &c. Perhaps there could even be financial incentives to help aspiring dog walkers to meet licensure requirements, say, in tax breaks for people who insure their vehicles at a certain level. Of course, all such advertising, incentives, and other programs will be paid for by taxing everybody in the city—all just to solve the problem the politicians created in the first place! It also creates animosity on the part of non-dog owners towards dog owners: “Why should my tax dollars go to fund the careers of those who choose to work with pets?”
The second way to solve the coming problem is the humane way: Eliminate infringements on people’s rights—in this case, dog-walking licensure—and allow people to contract with whomever they desire for such services. The price of walking a dog will drop, all things being equal, in the absence of legislation that props it up artificially.
This blog calls for the humane solution to dog walking services and every problem. Let us reclaim our natural rights from those who act to take them from us. Ecrasez l’etat!