In what is perhaps one of the most inane social media hashtags of the last several years, government-loving do-gooders proclaim #WarOnWomen anytime they see evidence of private sector oppression of we helpless females.
Sure, some old-school private businesses still do discriminate, though social pressure is making them more rare. It is extraordinarily easier to point out areas where government at all levels is the one actually perpetuating the war on prosperity for women, particularly women who would benefit from alternative opportunities.
Organizations like the Institute for Justice have done an amazing job of uncovering the places where government regulations are barring women, minorities, and other historically oppressed groups from turning their entrepreneurial spirit into economic and social success. Bakers working from home in California, African hair braiders in Ohio, eyebrow threaders in Arizona, and limo drivers in Las Vegas have all benefited from IJ coming in and illuminating the damaging hypocrisy perpetuated by enforcers of needless government regulation.
Those of us don’t look to the state to provide opportunity rarely get to relax our vigilance, and it looks like there is yet another case that deserves scrutiny from those of us who believe less government=more opportunity.
The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), an agency within the California state government, recently sent cease and desist letters to at least four so-called “Coding Bootcamps” because the organizations hosting the 10-15 week academies hadn’t yet jumped through all their bureaucratic hoops in order to be officially sanctioned by the state.
The BPPE is charged with ensuring the quality of for-profit education institutions in the state, but has as of yet failed to give their blessing to the bootcamps.
Here’s the fun part, these bootcamps are openly working to create more diversity in the Silicon Valley, and one of the organizations, Hackbright Academy, specifically caters to women. While both intensive and expensive, the groups offer many full scholarships, and one Hack Reactor, boasts a 99% placement rate in companies like Google and Adobe.
We know that for many, the first step to economic success is education, and these for-profit companies are doing far more good for those who didn’t find success through more traditional (read: state-sanctioned) pathways than any opportunity-blocking occupational licensing scheme or bureaucratic rule.
But the government wants to shut these obviously successful and valuable programs down in the name of adhering to arbitrary regulations.
So, we must ask, who is waging the war against whom? Instead on strengthening the government to combat a #WarOnWomen, perhaps we should focus our resources toward vanquishing the state-led #WarOnOpportunity.