Tour Guide Under Attack

Want to earn money showing someone around? It’s not as simple as it sounds — many cities require licenses in order to do that.

For Michelle Freenor, owner of “Savannah Belle Walking Tours” in Savannah, this meant months of studying for a college-level history exam, background check complete with blood and urine samples, taking a physical fitness test, and $100 every time the exam was taken. For her, it was just once, but apparently people usually failed the first time.

All of this, just to speak for a living.

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When Michelle became ill and was diagnosed with Lupus, she confronted the city, saying she might not be able to pass the physical. They told her that she’d have to find another occupation then, and that if she didn’t like it then she could sue them.

So that’s what she did.

With the help of the Institute for Justice, Michelle sued Savannah, and the city backed down.

Savannah isn’t the only city to create a bottleneck for those who want to give tours. Charleston (SC), New York (NY), Williamsburg (VA), St. Augustine (FL), and New Orleans (LA) all have tests.

And DC used to, until the Institute of Justice fought them too. Watch John Stossel give his own segway tour in DC, and learn about yet another way that the government makes it harder for people to find jobs.