Down in Florida, the State ordered a Diet Coach to cease and desist from giving – and charging for – advice to clients on how to lose weight.
On the one hand, the idea that people can’t talk to each other and provide a service for which they are in return paid for that service – in this case, advice about what to eat so as to lose weight – should be a basic cornerstone of libertarian idealism.
On the other hand, the State of Florida disagrees and claims it has a compelling interest in making sure that people who dispense such advice – for money – are up to its standards because 36% of the people who live there are classified as obese. That puts Florida in the middle percentile of the national obesity rankings. So they passed a law to make it a requirement for anybody who gets paid for nutritional advise must have a degree (which you can get from their State-run Universities for the price of a Masters Program! Get a Student loan to cover it!), nine-hundred hours of supervised training and fork over some money for a license.
All of this is to, as they put it, make sure that the people of the State of Florida, who are not capable of making informed choices about nutritional advise on their own, don’t get taken to the cleaners by paying people who have not earned their Masters Degree, taken the training and paid the fee, for their nutritional advice.
Now, the argument being made by the diet coach told to cease and desist is simply that everything she is telling her clients is freely available on the interwebs. Which… is true.
But is that really the argument she should have made?