Sunday, October 02, 2011

A "parable" of Kansas cosmetology workers (from the 60s, no less)

Today, Sunday, October 2, a Sunday School class at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC illustrated the ironies of today’s debates on “political morality.”

Dr. Wayne Angell, teaching the class, recounted his days as a representative in the Kansas legislature in the 1960s. A particular bill had been introduced to require cosmetologists and barbers to have nine months of school instead of six for a state license. Being a free marketer advocate (even then), Angell tried to introduce a modification to get the bill killed.  He proposed that the three extra months of cosmetology training be appropriated entirely to learning differing African-American hairstyles. But instead of causing the bill to be defeated, it got endorsed by pressure groups like the League of Women Voters and passed.

John Stossel, as we know, has offered reports on ABC opposing the regulating of cottage industries, and has criticized the still state requirements for cosmetology in Kansas, as well as a requirement in North Carolina that people who sell cookies have “commercial kitchens”.

Somehow, I'm reminded (particularly by Stossel's past reporting) of potential libertarian interpretations of the Parable of the Vineyard Workers (Matthew 20:1-16). 

The lesson was also interesting to me because I attended the University of Kansas and earned an MA in Math in 1968 there.  Lawrence, remember, has a lot of history. Angell talked a little about the Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska Act (American history teachers will ask about these on tests!), and told of a time in the early 60s when soldiers from Fort Riley ate in a cafe in Junction City and an African American soldier was not seated. 

The other news item that comes to mind quickly is the Occupy Wall Street protest on the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday in New York (near BargeMusic) with numerous arrests. Teachers were reportedly grading student classwork while protesting.

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