Like the closely related case of zoning restrictions on housing construction, licensing laws are a form of government intervention that harms the general public and the poor, while benefiting politically connected insiders. Both also greatly inhibit mobility and make it very difficult for people in economically depressed regions to move to areas with greater opportunity. Yet another similarity between zoning and licensing is that both have been severely criticized by policy experts across the political spectrum.
Sadly, thanks in part to widespread political ignorance, voters and politicians have largely turned a blind eye to both issues. Hopefully, that will begin to change.