Friday, August 27, 2010

Why is the government erecting barriers to competition?

Because funeral directors have more political clout than monks:

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina gave the Benedictine monks at St. Joseph Abbey a new calling.

After the storm pummeled much of a pine forest they had long relied on for timber and income, the monks hatched a fresh plan: They would hand-craft and sell caskets.

But now, local funeral directors are trying to put a lid on the monks' activities. The state funeral regulatory board, dominated by industry members, is enforcing a Louisiana law that makes it a crime for anyone but a licensed parlor to sell "funeral merchandise." The morticians are serious. Violators such as the monks can land in jail for up to 180 days.

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