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The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

Consumer, protect thyself

Scrap costly, inefficient government regulations — the Web does a better job

AVAST ARRAY of consumer protection requirements mandate licenses, certifications, inspections, and the like for the businesses that sell us goods and services. Those regulations may once have made sense but — thanks to the Internet — increasingly they do not. It’s time for them to go.

Barbers, manicurists, and cosmetologists have to be licensed. So do plumbers and roofers. Restaurants are inspected. Lawyers have to pass a bar exam. Real estate appraisers must be registered. Taxicabs have medallions. The list goes on and on, touching on almost every facet of our daily economic lives. And, for the most part, all these requirements are an enormous waste.

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