Daily FB Comment Thread

Participation in numbers dropped off yesterday, but the quality of the posts was outstanding. This is the kind of thing I love to see. I’m hoping we’ll get more of the same today, rather than the simple-minded FB and Wick bashing we saw on Day One. (I tolerate the latter, but I don’t endorse or enjoy it.)

Format suggestion — post the headline and/or link to the FB thread you want to discuss, and then throw in your two cents. As a pro-comment guy, I think the quality we saw yesterday puts to question Gordon’s assertion that comments denigrate rather than advance the conversation.

Final note: FB (Stephen Edmondson) is working hard on a modified comment system, so this feature is temporary. Your quality comments here will go a long way to convincing the Powers That Be that FB benefits from reader participation. So show me what you got.

Personal Note: I may start randomly deleting RayRay’s comments. Not because I disagree; I just like seeing him go all Yosemite Sam. Or maybe not. There’s a bastard that lives inside me that loves messing with people.

As for comments, I’ll start: Interior Designers

Wick is spot on with his characterization of licensing for interior decorators, hairdressers and other professions as “protectionist, anti-competition statutes” because the whole point is to limit competition. It most hurts the smaller operators with limited start-up capital, and it doesn’t protect anyone except those already in practice. Licensing makes some sense for some professions — lawyers, doctors, construction companies — but it doesn’t for pillow-tossers and hair stylists. The worst case I saw was the black lady who did weaves and braiding for mostly black clients out of her home who was told to cease and desist because she didn’t have a license. Getting a license was costly and required joining an expensive association, and the training was for a whole bunch of stuff she didn’t do. It’s ridiculous. The training they required didn’t even touch on the unique needs of braiding black women’s hair or doing weaves, and who exactly was at risk from this lady not having a license?

And on interior decorators — come on. What risk is there to clients over the placement of throw pillows or choosing the wrong color wall paint?

UPDATE: Regarding interior designers, my friend Radley Balko had this a while back.


  1. Blake says:

    Re: Final Note – Now that’s the Trey I adore – manly street Libertarian on the surface, who still prefers something a little more dominating and controlling underneath. You go, Person! *Wink*

  2. Dude, you know it was a joke, right?

  3. Matt says:

    Re Interior Designers:

    I think what the state is trying to regulate is not the pillow-throwers (who the state says should call themselves “interior decorators”), but the ones that play more of a structural/architectural role. The state wants to ensure that if you’re going to design the floor plan of a home or commercial building, that you’re actually versed in the various safety, plumbing, and electrical codes that govern the design.

    Don’t be surprised if the state decides to make a new title for people licensed to do this, and then forbids anyone unlicensed from doing so. That is, it will be a similar code to what they have, but they’ll call it a different name and indicate that those functions aren’t “interior design”.

  4. Bethany says:

    Interior decorators – pick out paint for the walls
    Interior designers – move the wall out of the way if they want to.

    So yeah, designers should get the proper licensing. They create blueprints, help device electric schematics, etc.

    Decorators? Meh.

  5. It’s my understanding that interior designers and interior decorators can’t make architectural changes like moving load-bearing walls.

    That’s something only interior architects can do.

  6. Matt says:

    Yeah, but interior designers may move other non-load bearing walls, and placement of plumbing and electric, and doorways, etc., all of which have applicable codes to control them. The state has tried to draw a line between the paint-choosers and wall-movers, and I think that’s reasonable. The paint-choosers would rather call themselves “interior designers” because it sounds fancier and helps their marketing, without having to

  7. Matt says:

    (whoops) … learn all that pesky technical stuff.

  8. amanda says:

    Re: Interior Designers

    They are welcome to market their degrees, licenses, associations, etc. as much as they want to, but the don’t NEED a license. Clients make a decision based on the portfolio of past projects. Can I be the one that says it…decorators, designers, pillow throwers…are snotty.

    The thing about the beauty license…I’ve long thought the state needed to have different classes of licenses (like for driving). If you braids, it’s an A. If you do cuts, it’s a B, and you get a safety certificate that shows you won’t bathe whilst drying a client’s hair. If you do perms and/or color, it’s a C, and you have to take chemistry and a safety course for chemical burns. Nails are a D…you get the picture.

  9. Rachel Dillard says:

    Amanda pretty much said it for me on the cosmetologists. If I’m getting a color job, I want to know that whoever I’m paying to do it knows enough to make sure I don’t get green if I pay for blonde and that my hair doesn’t burn up and fall out. I want to know that whoever puts comb, scissors, and dryer to it understands that my curly hair is different from somebody else’s straight and that one can get cooties from improperly or uncleaned brushes, etc.

    Yeah, I learned in economics 101 that licensure is barrier to entry in a profession and that those who set the standards are those who are trying to limit competition. However, in cases like those Trey cited, I think public good is a reason to allow it to continue.

  10. Daniel says:

    I think interior designers should just have to literally jump through hoops. Face it — it would be humiliating, and as Amanda points out, they’re snotty, so it would be funny. Also they would have to do a potato-sack race/or and a three-legged race, footage of which would be available to all prospective clients. Winners of said races would get a license for ten years, losers for 18 months — so they’d be guaranteed not to take it lightly, thus humiliating themselves all the more with their ardor.

    That’d take the snot out of’em.

  11. Dallasite says:

    The downside on all of this is that the different licensing entities for the state are for the most part self supported via licensing fees. Since the commissions don’t cost the general tax fund any money, the Legislature has never seen a reason remove these unneeded regulatory organizations. The result is that hair salons and tanning beds have to pay in order to have the privilege of earning a living.

    Meanwhile, the profession that seems to have the greatest ability to do harm, the legal profession, is completely self regulated via the Bar Associations.

    Unfortunately, in the current political environment, the likelihood that the state will decrease regulation on business in somewhere between zero and nothing.

  12. Bethany says:

    But decorators and designers are not the same thing. I’ve known one of each, watched them work, and know that the designer was up late worrying about sound transference, static blah blah blah and code.

    Decorator? Not so much.

  13. Dallasite says:

    “Decorator? Not so much.”

    Up late worrying about whether the curtains matched the drapes?

  14. S.E. says:

    There is still a health issue with hairstylists, regardless of the level of expertise. If I go to one, I want to make sure the brushes are clean, and that I’m not walking out with an additional gift of lice or a scalp disease that’s going to make my hair fall out. Sure, the license is a barrier to entry, but if that is what you want to do with your life, you make the investment and recoup it from customers who trust you and your work.

  15. Bethany says:

    Dallasite, that worry could be affixed to the cosmetologist, too. LOL

  16. These concerns are why you do your own due diligence when selecting a barber, hairstylist or other service provider rather than requiring the state to do your homework.

  17. amanda says:

    Re: Decorators

    Daniel’s got the right idea.

    Bethany, this is a semantics thang. I sat through a depo which got very nit-pickey on what was “remodeling” vs. renovations vs. repair vs. design. I think they can all call themselves designers and are free to market their special skills in a portfolio.

  18. Bethany says:

    They may be able to – but actual interior designers get really, really pissed when you call them decorators.

  19. amanda says:

    RE: Madonna

    We don’t need her, we’ve got George Michael. I bet he knows the difference between a decorator and designer. Swoon

    Re: The Bone 93.3

    I realize others may disagree, but Tim is funny. It’s an acquired taste, perhaps, but he’s funny. What if we had a Trey/Bethany morning show? I’d listen. But, it might interfere with my Gordon Keith.

  20. It is a tax

  21. El Rey says:

    Dissent Of The Day: Licensing
    I’m with Bethany on the Designer versus Decorator thing. I worked through college doing interior remodeling (the moving walls kind), and I knew if a decorator was in charge vs. a skilled and educated designer.

    @ Dallasite: Lawyers pay a license fee/tax with the state every year, I know because La Reyna pays it. [Annual Dues to the State Bar $235 Attorney Occupation Tax $200 Legal Services Fee $65] Not to mention CLE (Contiuing Legal Education) classes.

    Anyone who can be sued for violaing the standards of conduct for their profession should be required by some controlling body to have some sort of license. I don’t think it should be the state, but the public needs a one-stop resource to determine if who they hire/trust is legit.

  22. Dallasite says:

    @El Rey:

    Their licensing is with the Bar Association, not with the State of Texas. They may pay an additional tax to the state, but it isn’t for regulation.

  23. Rachel Dillard says:

    Trey: “These concerns are why you do your own due diligence when selecting a barber, hairstylist or other service provider rather than requiring the state to do your homework.”

    I’ll admit that I don’t know enough about a lot of these regulatory agencies, but in the case of the one which regulates me (Texas State Board of Public Accountancy), they don’t do homework for consumers but instead set educational and testing standards and licensure requirements in addition to handling compliants against those who violate the standards or in other ways harm the public.

    I’d suspect the state bar association and the cosmetology board do the same.

    Ask any woman trying to track down through the cosmetology board the whereabouts of a favorite hairstylist, whose former salon won’t tell, how much homework the cosmetology board is willing to do for her.

  24. Daniel says:

    I agree that Tim can be very funny — hell, I’ve been reading him since he was Mr. Funny Guy. He can come off as arrogant, which rubs some folks wrong, but a) it doesn’t rub me wrong necessarily, and b) who the hell am I to talk.

    That said, he can very occasionally piss me off, as he did by posting Little Muffy Buttflicker’s name. That’s a violation of another person’s privacy, and unethical, in my view. Also, he can be so dismissive of his colleagues at the DMN that I can’t help but think he’s burning professional bridges.

    As for Bethany having a morning show — I’ve never heard the lady’s speaking voice, but it’s pretty clear she’d be a natural. Not so sure about Trey — he’d make a better Special Commentator Guy. Actually, you might not be so bad at it yourself, Amanda.

    Afternoon drive-time would be the sweet gig. Otherwise, you’d have to wake up so damned early that it’s not really early, it’s late.

  25. towski says:

    Trey – would it change your mind at all to know that many schools are changing the titling of their interior design degrees to interior architecture? Does that make it okay? Or is it just that any profession dominated by women and gay men clearly can’t be taken seriously?

    My fiance is the senior designer on a 20 person team doing the interior “design” on a 53 story oil HQ in Oklahoma City. She has to be up to spec on code, LEED certification, OSHA, ADA compliance, sound bufferance, etc.

    Your attitude with terms like pillow tosser smacks of the old boys “secretarial pool” attitude. Grow up.

  26. “Or is it just that any profession dominated by women and gay men clearly can’t be taken seriously?”


    You think that’s my problem with anti-competitive licensing that erects barriers to entry?


    I think it’s great what your fiance is learning and doing. I don’t see why we need Big Brother to put his stamp of approval on it. Either it’s a valuable service or it’s not, and either they do it right or they end up a) being sued for breech of contract, b) losing their insurance and bond and c) going out of business. This is one of those many things the free market sorts out quite efficiently.

  27. towski says:

    If you don’t want people to have this perception of you, Trey, do a better job of conveying your message. Your entire argument regarding Interior Designers is quite obviously made from a position of ignorance and bias, so why blame me for assuming that you are, well, ignorant and biased?

  28. towski says:

    Nice edit.

    Why bother arguing with a libertarian, so shame on me. There is no reasonable argument that can be made to which you won’t reply “Goverment’s bad, okay?”

  29. towski, you should lighten up. If the job doesn’t involve structural changes to a building, electrics or safety, then they are decorators aka pillow tossers.

    When did you get so sensitive?

  30. towski says:

    Dear Trey,

    In order to protect my sanity and professional reputation, I’ll be responding via email, rather than following you down into the gutter after your last post. I had to post this reply, however, because my ego and sensitivity demand it.

    All the best,


  31. Regarding interior designers, my friend Radley Balko had this a while back.

  32. amanda says:

    @ Daniel…I’m changing my last name to “Buttflicker.” LMAO.

  33. towski says:


    Go spend a day with a commercial interior designer. Then you can stop arguing from a position of ignorance. Until then, the insistance on pejoratives makes you just look petty and small.

    Thanks for the email discussion. I wish you’d been more willing to have an actual conversation about it, but thanks none the less.

    Good luck,