Bogus Beef

Congressmen don’t pay their interns.  Who knew?

At least 174 of the 184 lawmakers who support legislation raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour do not pay their interns, according to a recent Employment Policies Institute analysis.

It’s a bogus beef, though.  Folks employed in minimum wage jobs are low-skill workers doing low-value work, and they’re doing it to build general work experience and ethic, to earn summer spending money, to earn money for college, to build a resume, to supplement an existing family income.

Interns do very little of that.  They’re in the position in order to gain specific experience in the particular job, to build a resume, for college/graduate school course credit, and in many cases with an expectation of being hired by the company for which they interned after graduation.  The “compensation” of expectation for an intern isn’t a dollar income; it’s that particularized experience.

Stuart Varney, a Fox News contributor and host of Fox Business NewsVarney & Co, added this:

If you don’t pay them anything, then you’re simply giving jobs to the sons and daughters of the rich.  You’re giving opportunity to the rich so that they can get in on the ground floor.

That may be true, but it’s not inherent to the concept of internships; it’s specific to the employers—in this case, the politicians.

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