On my show last week, I pointed out that Obama’s Labor department has taken a stand against unpaid internships (video below.) I argued that eliminating unpaid internships would quash opportunity.
A journalist I had on to debate, Village Voice writer Anya Kaminetz, evidently was not too happy afterward. She posted on her Twitter feed: “Well, it happened. I taped a TV show today that I wd NOT go on again.”
Others liked the show. Robin D. Richards, the CEO of internships.com, which matches prospective interns with over 17,000 internship positions, released this open letter:
This issue of paid vs. unpaid is not an issue of fairness as some want you to believe, it is an issue of choice and free will. Statistics from 2007/2008 show that two out of three students who secure internships are offered full-time employment from the very company that gave them the internship…
He points out that banning unpaid internships would hurt those that the law intends to help.
The marketplace has always been the great equalizer…The way many of the students from the 3,900+ colleges and universities not considered elite compete with students from the elite institutions is not on paper but in the actual working environment. They show their value live. We as a country do not need to constrain ingenuity and hard work and free choice with legal roadblocks. The approach of reducing options and choice will hurt the very group this well intended position is trying to protect.
At the end of the day, choice is the foundation to both our economy and our great democracy. Students today are well equipped to make this choice.
College students – adults – can make their own decisions? Who would have thought?