Work card reform

One bright spot arising from the dismal economic climate: Clark County officials are rethinking their constitutionally dubious “work card” requirements.

The county requires workers in a number of areas — from locksmiths to strippers, from martial arts instructors to theater managers — to obtain a “work card” from the government as a condition of employment.

Bureaucrats and politicians justify the program as a means of protecting the public from grifters or criminals who might prey on the unfortunate. Getting a work card — the police issue about 10,000 a year — can cost more than $125.

But now, as a cost-cutting measure and in recognition of the contracting local job market, Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid has called for a review of the mandate.

A pending proposal would drop the requirement for all but child care workers and security personnel.

By all means, the county should move forward with this long-overdue reform. The work card system is a blatant affront to personal freedom. Individuals shouldn’t have to receive government permission to secure a private-sector job.

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