February 13, 2019

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Money in Politics, Occupation Licensing in Iowa, and the Future of Socialism

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring the work of the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. For more information on how the program can help launch your career in writing, see here.

Your Tax Dollars for Their Elections? No Thanks by Eric Peterson (Fall 2014) in NY Daily News
Democracy is broken! The American people have lost their voice! The system is rigged! At least, that’s the case according to the 40 new Democrats in the House of Representatives. (Then how did they get elected?) So what is the new House’s first order of business? Voting themselves money from the taxpayers to fund their reelection campaigns…

Onerous Iowa Occupational Licensing Laws Limit Opportunity and Cost Millions by Josh Smith (Summer 2015) and Rebekah Yeagley (Spring 2019) in The Des Moines Register
A recent editorial in the Des Moines Register pointed out the stringent licensing laws that pervade the cosmetology industry in Iowa. As the article discusses, current occupational licensing rules require beauticians in training to undergo more than a year of full-time training. Schools providing that training charge around $20,000 for their services despite wage prospects after graduation being barely more than minimum wage, in many cases. One cosmetologist still owes more than $8,000 despite working as a hairdresser and part-time at Pizza Hut for the past 13 years.

These unnecessarily high costs stem from the heavy state regulation of those who want to make a living in the beauty industry. Unfortunately, Iowa’s issues with licensing laws go far beyond the cosmetology industry…

By Supporting Socialism, Young People Are Signing the Death Warrant for Our Own Financial Future by Brad Polumbo (Summer 2018) in The Washington Examiner
Capitalism isn’t cool anymore. I was sitting in my senior political science class last week when the topic came up, and it quickly fell into a familiar critical refrain. One woman in my class shot her hand in the air to shout that “systemic oppression” would never end until we got rid of capitalism altogether. The professor nodded along approvingly while three others chimed in to agree. When one lone student suggested it might be better to find ways to work within the capitalist system, the room fell silent; her suggestion was met with a predictably collective dirty look…