The Mark of the Beast
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark…And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” – Revelation 13: 16-17.
Just how, exactly, does the mark of the beast relate to anything we do today in everyday living? Most people need some help comprehending it. But the answer is simple. It’s a nasty little government practice called licensure.
Are you self-employed? Do you own or operate a business? If so, the odds are better than average that you are carrying what is technically the mark of the beast—i.e. a business license—often called a business “privilege” license.
When did this wicked practice get its beginning? Believe it or not, it goes all the way back to four centuries before Christ, when doctors in Greece began to cartelize health care and limit its practice solely to those “duly apprenticed and sworn, and to none others.”
In modern times, England’s Royal College of Physicians has exercised “iron control” over its members for the past several centuries.
From its very beginning, America adhered to laissez faire principles and rejected official intrusions in all economic endeavors. Anybody who wanted to practice any profession or trade was free to do so without any infringement from outsiders—up until the mid-19th century.
At that point medical lobbyists claimed new regulations would protect the public from “quackery,” but state medical society journals have revealed that the real motive was to protect doctors’ salaries from competition. In 1847, the American Medical Association was founded to establish state licensing boards to limit the number of “successful candidates” for “pecuniary gain” and to limit competition. By 1900, every state had adopted strict medical licensure laws. Medical school numbers dropped from 163 in 1906 to 69 in 1944.
Then, beginning in the mid-1960’s government-run health care programs emerged and rapidly exploded into a morass of convoluted money pits while more and more abusive restrictions shackled the private sector and forced health care costs to skyrocket. Finally, Obamacare became the crowning capstone on the grave of free market, affordable health care.
Of course, the idea of occupational licensure didn’t stop with the medical profession. Lawyers were quick to establish similar protection rackets for themselves. Engineers soon chimed in. And then numerous others followed suit, eventually down to the smallest, mundane enterprises. Today, very few can be practiced without “The Mark of the Beast.” In extreme cases like Washington, D. C., almost nothing is safe from requiring a license or permit, even flea market vendors and children’s lemonade stands.
Many people believe that a licensed professional assures the customer that he is honest and competent. He may be; he may not. But the same holds true in a free market. The tried and true method is to talk to other people who have been clients. Be wary of those who tout being “licensed and insured” as their top qualifications. Being licensed means that he has paid a fee to the state and/or local governments for pieces of paper that permit him to exercise his natural, God-given right (not a privilege granted by government) to practice his trade—in other words, his right to “buy or sell.”
America was founded on the principle of individual liberty and free markets. There is no ethical reason anyone’s profession, trade or business should be subjugated by mandates and restrictions such as licensure. The free market will do a far better job of sorting out who is honest and competent. Our sacred individual rights must be protected. All licensure laws belong in the trash. The revenue they generate is small, if any, when one considers the personnel, office space, utilities, and other administration costs. And don’t forget the compliance costs suffered from “swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”
How about you?
Have you accepted “The Mark of the Beast?”