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Working for (basically) free to get your foot in the door is certainly not unique to baseball.
I have had unpaid interns that I did not have the money to pay. New CA law has made it basically illegal, so now I don't have interns. Everyone loses.
Try the music business. Try acting. All these lines of work have minimal return for people starting out. At least with baseball, and pro sports in general, if you perform much better than your peers you will get noticed. There is no such guarantee in music, as one can become great at a certain music style only to see it go out of fashion as you're beginning to get noticed.
The kids I've turned away seem to think that they've lost.
In isolated theory the concept of "work for no money but for exposure" seems sound, but in practice it amounts to institutionalized slavery
An interesting study would be one looking at unpaid internships and what happens long-term to those that take them. I wouldn't be surprised if a frequent result is a lot of debt and no high-paying job despite the "foot in the door".
I'm a chef. I probably wouldn't have my career if I didn't take in an unpaid internship. In my industry, a young kid can get a decent job at a hotel or chain restaurant, or, if he is culinarily ambitious, he can take an unpaid internship at an excellent restaurant. So the unpaid job itself is not a necessary step in the career path, it's voluntary. Working (unpaid) at a place like the French Laundry or Daniel is the modern equivalent of working in Rembrandt's workshop. It is real exposure of immense value to your development as a chef and to the strength of your resume. So I object to #14.
Working for (basically) free to get your foot in the door is certainly not unique to baseball. It's pretty much the norm for any highly competitive industry. If you are good enough, you make it, if not you have indeed wasted years of you life. That is the path you have chosen, don't ask someone else to subsidize it.
Working for (basically) free to get your foot in the door is certainly not unique to baseball. It's pretty much the norm for any highly competitive industry.
I think "people should be paid for their labor" is pretty much a good principle.
Try the music business. Try acting. All these lines of work have minimal return for people starting out.
Unpaid internships amount to one of two things. Either "institutionalized slavery" as you mention above, or a means for the upper class to maintain privilege and pseudo-aristocracy by giving "the right people" a means of getting their legacy kids into the doors at monied institutions.
Try the music business. Try acting. All these lines of work have minimal return for people starting out
But these are the equivalent of being self-employed. It's not the same as being underpaid by an employer.
I don't see the way around it.
The thing is, if these fancy restaurants suddenly had to pay interns, they would probably just eliminate interns.
I agree that it's a shame that the unpaid kitchen job is more easily available to the affluent. I don't see the way around it.
I did a few weeks as an unpaid intern at the Michigan Department of Education when I was in my last year of college. In fact paid tuition to do so, though I did earn credit.
Experience and contacts are much more important than minimum wage early in your career.
Experience and contacts are much more important than minimum wage early in your career.
You made them paid kitchen jobs, rather than just a mechanism to enforce social class.
If indeed it is a career you are looking for and not just a job. I'll second the idea that if interns cost, interns get cut. They are squarely in the 'nice to have, not need to have' bucket. Everyone loses.
Yes, but eating and having a roof to sleep under are more important that experience and contacts. Amongst fresh grads, only those who have parents or benefactors willing to pay their living expenses can survive an unpaid internship. How this is difficult to understand is beyond me, but I guess a lot of things are beyond me these days.
Shouldn't a big league club WANT its prospects to live a life at or above the poverty line?
If I own a team, I want my minor leaguers to able to afford a decent meal and sleep on a decent mattress and buy some decent clothes. The players are potentially very valuable assets, I'd make sure they were maintained as such, wage laws or not.
They took three sets of students 1) those who had paid internships during college 2) those with unpaid internships and 3) those with no internships. they then tracked them after graduation to determine if there were significant differences in job prospects among the groups. Those who had paid internships had the highest employment rate, which was 30-40% higher than the other two groups which had about the same employment rate.
That won't solve that particular problem. The paid jobs will still tend to go to well-connected (usually meaning wealthier) people, as paid jobs worth having always do.
This isn't true to nearly the extent you purport. Companies bring on slavesinterns because there's grunt work that needs done, and they prefer to get it done for free. Force them to pay and the grunt work will still need done. The jobs will be there--though I'd expect companies to try to get top value out of their eight bucks an hour by hiring fewer of these entry-level workers and working them half to death, just as the retail world does. So there will be a small loss of positions, but not a major one. Any negative effect is well outpaced by the positive effect of not enslaving people.
Some of the work interns do is "nice to have", it simply won't be done without them
Isn't at least possible that PreservedFish is making a valid point? Not at BTF. Thinking fan my arse.
This is hardly a surprising result, since in a world where both paid and unpaid internships exist, the paid ones will go to the people with the best connections. Similarly, where some jobs pay better than others, the better paying ones tend to go to the people with the best connections.
I also assume that the paid intern had to demonstrate basic skills like showing up on time and actually working in order to keep their job. I'm not so sure of those attributes if the person had an unpaid position.
If the work the unpaid interns are doing is not worth paying them for, then they are not getting real experience anyway.
So not only do you have slaves, you're making them do useless work. It may surprise you to know this doesn't reinforce your argument for unpaid interns.
If your business model requires slave labor, maybe you should change businesses.
Well I think some of us articulated the first principle that people should be paid for their labor. Unpaid interns violate that principle
Unless they are getting "paid" something- like in knowledge- someone who interns for a chef likely is learning something useful about how to work in and run a restaurant kitchen- but that's anomalous, what most unpaid interns "learn" is how to make copies and act like a gopher.
Bitter Mouse, that is exactly what I'm talking about. You articulated a principle and then that's it, no other thought that doesn't conform to your principle can be valid. There are no exceptions, no situations where this principle may not yield the best result? PreservedFish has seeen it work differently, with good results for all involved. Why does your theoretical principle blithely take precedence over PF's experience and view?
Well I think some of us articulated the first principle that people should be paid for their labor. Unpaid interns violate that principle. You can argue it is an unwieldy principle or a bad one, but if that is the principle then there it is.
1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
Its analogous to me giving an applicant a programming test. It would be immoral and illegal to give them a task of writing code that I then actually USED.
I have read DoL attorneys' statements that almost all unpaid internships in for-profit companies are in violation of the law.
You act like the kids of richer people are equally talented as poor kids. Usually they are as talented, or more talented, and most want to work, not just coast.
So the only chance to create opportunities for others is to siphon some of that high-end disposable income into programs that build access for other people's kids.
And the more disposable income people have, the more of it they will spend (often with very, very, very marginal effects or even counter-productively).
I think this is a fool's errand.
The focus should not be on the 10% of the poor and working class kids who are smart enough to join the professional classes. Most of them will do fine in life regardless, even if they don't match the achievements of the kids of the professional class.
The focus should be on making decent paying jobs available to the vast majority of poor and working class kids who will never excel in education.
If a hard working person with a high school education, who didn't make any catastrophic life choices, was basically assured of a lower middle class lifestyle, we'd all be able to care a lot less about equality of opportunity.
Although the liberal in me now has to say that if you're getting an intern to do a bunch of prep tasks in a kitchen, and thereby not hiring somebody to do that work, then yeah, that's uncool for everybody, especially the displaced wage worker. If the intern is just shadowing the chef and mopping his brow while they imbibe wisdom about beurre manié or something, maybe that's different.
They're religious thinkers. They have their creed ("Minimum wage good, unpaid labor bad!") and anything that deviates from it needs to be attacked or ignored.
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