NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

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Its on Seabass
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Its on Seabass » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:11 pm

erniesto wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
tycho_brahe wrote:This is incredibly common in the creative industries, and it's a big barrier to entering those industries to those without the financial support of their parents. Since most of these industries are centered in New York, getting a job on the side, as a previous poster suggested, isn't going to cover your cost of living.


Then dont get it on the side, work full-time at night and do the internship during the day. Get roommates. Fucking buck up. Again, enforcement here isn't going to make the creative industries suddenly pay their interns-- i.

Defeatist mentality anyone? Out of curiousity, do freshly minted grads in places such as England, France or Sweeden have to work two jobs, one unpaid, to get anywhere in their careers?

Unemplyement in France for those between the ages of 20 and 27 is over 25 percent. I'm not sure the US should try and be like France.

toaster2
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Postby toaster2 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:23 pm

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Last edited by toaster2 on Tue May 25, 2010 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aeroplane
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Aeroplane » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:26 pm

toaster2 wrote:with the exception of a few particular programs (e.g. paid banking or unpaid nonprofits) i am not a supporter of summer internships for college-age kids. you are better off developing some character and humility working a menial position.

Huh? It's not like the two are mutually exclusive. Also, most people I know got plenty of "menial" experience in high school.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:39 am

tycho_brahe wrote:This is incredibly common in the creative industries, and it's a big barrier to entering those industries to those without the financial support of their parents. Since most of these industries are centered in New York, getting a job on the side, as a previous poster suggested, isn't going to cover your cost of living.


Wage & hour abuse in the creative industries is hardly limited to internships. You'll gross about as much as fresh meat at the big Hollywood agencies as you would bagging groceries and that's with the degree & connections to get the job in the first place. Oh, and the (considerable) overtime is usually unpaid.

At least in New York you don't need a car and neighborhood personal safety isn't such a big deal. L.A. is famously light on the police headcount & heavy on the ethnic enclave & gang composition. And that car - with the $4 gas & out-of-sight insurance - is mandatory.

These positions would not exist if people wouldn't throw absolutely all other concerns aside for the (fictitious) chance at making a mark in Hollywood, or, alternatively, be supported by rich parents.

blsingindisguise
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:01 am

I guess there's no right to work in the creative industries.

But the reality is that it's a pretty rare person who can "work full time at night" and then do demanding journalism internships during the day. Otherwise the creative industries are in fact dominated by rich kids from private liberal arts colleges for the above-mentioned reasons.

Danteshek
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Danteshek » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:39 am

A car is no more necessary in Los Angeles than it is in New York. People in LA are just irrationally afraid of using public transportation.

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YCrevolution
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby YCrevolution » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:45 am

..

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vanwinkle
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:40 pm

My thoughts on this are kind of conflicted. I disapprove of unpaid internships for law firms and private companies; if they need work done, they should have the money to pay to get it done. The whole point of private companies is that they exist as part of an economic need, and that need should pay for the workers they use. If they can't economically justify their existence, they just shouldn't exist.

However, PI organizations often couldn't afford to pay the people that intern with them, and I know I wouldn't have been offered the internship I have lined up this summer if they had to pay me. I'm still glad to do it because it's valuable experience and a way in on the PI side.

r973
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby r973 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:53 pm

The future of the unemployed law gradutes.... See link

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 30,00.html

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:07 pm

Danteshek wrote:A car is no more necessary in Los Angeles than it is in New York. People in LA are just irrationally afraid of using public transportation.


Riiiiight, because less than half the busses and somewhere like 1/20th of the rail capacity for a much more sprawling geographic area isn't an issue at all.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Posner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:51 pm

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vanwinkle
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:54 pm

Posner wrote:This discussion is absurd. Restricting a company's hiring in a down economy? Awesome idea. As if 1L's don't have a hard enough time finding jobs already.

How can this even be considered "hiring" though? Unpaid internships are a way for companies to avoid hiring paid workers. This is arguably a restriction designed to promote hiring. Companies will replace many unpaid interns with fewer paid workers to do the same work, but that still results in a net increase in paid workers and therefore an overall economic benefit.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Posner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:20 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:30 pm

Posner wrote:This is completely unrealistic. These unpaid jobs will just drop and will be replaced by nothing. Other employees will pick up the slack (eventually) or the work will remain undone. For most internships, the work that is distributed to interns is not important enough to justify expanding the workforce and further straining the company's budget. You cannot squeeze blood from a stone.

Under the most basic understanding of economics, it's clear that if the work actually needs to get done, the market will provide for it. As in, the companies will financially benefit from the work enough to actually hire people. If they don't benefit from the work enough to hire people to do it, then they shouldn't be having people do it for free.

Posner wrote:It's just expanding the population of the "lost generation" (graduates who are unprepared to practice, can't get jobs, and will eventually drop out of the profession because they are not on par with their competitors). The meaning behind the enforcement is good, but the unintended consequences are potentially dire.

I agree that there's problems with enforcement and with what to do with people who are unemployed. However, I draw a distinction between people working for free for non-profit organizations (where the benefit is given to society) and people working for free for corporations (where the benefit is economic gain to a corporate entity and its owners, who if their business model is sound should have the funds to pay the people who create economic gain for them). I believe you can bar the latter and still allow people to do the former, and still let these people gain valuable work experience until the economy sufficiently improves.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Posner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:08 pm

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vanwinkle
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:14 pm

Posner wrote:If I am a skilled carpenter and I only gain $5/hr off of my intern (I charge $25/hr and he works at 1/5 my speed). I will not pay him because under minimum wage laws, I would be required to overpay for the intern's worth (for simplicity, I leave out incidental costs of employment). By working for free, the intern benefits by learning carpentry and eventually will provide enough worth where he can gain paid employment. I benefit by profiting off of his labor, in return for allowing him to learn the trade.

Under this regime, if you only gain $5/hr off his work, you'll never pay him more than $5/hr anyway, so it's not like he'll be able to take this skill and translate it into a profitable trade. Construction work is not a trade that requires that much knowledge to actually be efficient at, either; someone who works at 1/5 your speed will likely always work at 1/5 your speed, or at least, a lot slower than you. How can he "provide enough worth to gain paid employment" if he's that slow at cutting wood?

Posner wrote:Under the new enforcement, I will not have an intern. I will move more slowly through jobs because I no longer have my helper. I will not hire a paid intern or employee because the cost of employment exceeds the worth of the labor.

If all of this is true, then it's true because the market doesn't need you to work faster than you are. If it is that important for you to work quickly through jobs, you will get paid more for it, and thus be able to pay for paid laborers to do it.

Posner wrote:This does not mean there is no benefit. It means the labor is worth less than minimum wage requirements. Everyone loses under this scenario. I make less money, my intern is unemployed and the customer is charged more for the job (and the job is completed more slowly).

This scenario is only true if the use of unpaid interns does not end up replacing paid work, which is what we're seeing here. The intern is still unemployed in terms of pay, even though they're working, and many of them will never have an opportunity to "move up" because corporations are able to profit more from using unpaid work than paid work, and while unpaid work is available, will choose to do so. As long as there are enough people out there willing to do the work unpaid in the time alloted, the corporations can and will keep hiring the unpaid workers, despite the fact that paid workers could do it more efficiently. This depresses the job market, especially during a recession when a glut of volunteers are available.

Posner wrote:Again, your analysis is too conclusory. Non-profit work does not equate to a societal benefit. If you disagree with the ideology, you will certainly disagree that it benefits society.

For example: if you are pro-choice, you probably do not believe that pro-life non-profits are providing a benefit to society.

No, but that's not my argument to make, and the importance of the distinction is between those services which can be funded by the market and those which can't. Those which can be should be, for the free market and fair hiring patterns to keep functioning properly.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:26 pm

Posner wrote:the intern benefits by learning


I realize the real world doesn't work like this, but at least on principle I think schools (trade, law, or whatever) should bear more responsibility for churning out unprepared graduates. What did you pay for if you can't do the task you've ostensibly been getting ready for over the last ## of years?

Posner wrote:Under the new enforcement...my intern is unemployed


However, even admitting that in the real world, on-the-job training is often a pre-requisite ... In your example, if the supply of on-the-job trained carpenters actually falls below market demand because there are no interns, won't larger carpentry conglomerates that can afford short-term losses eventually conclude that there is long-term benefit to providing paid training? Thus, some unskilled aspiring carpenters will find work -- it just won't be an artificially high amount subsidized by the legalization of below-market (read: free) carpentry apprenticeship. Meanwhile, those who remain unemployed are arguably better off being pushed toward a field that can sustain them.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Posner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:40 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Posner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:52 pm

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vanwinkle
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:53 pm

Posner wrote:Putting that aside, are you honestly arguing these types of jobs do not exist (a job where one can learn but the worth of the labor is less than minimum wage)?

In all fields I'm sure there are jobs where one can learn but the worth of the labor is less than minimum wage. In those settings, the solution is simple: Don't hire anybody. If the labor isn't even worth minimum wage, then it's not that important to you economically.

Posner wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:If all of this is true, then it's true because the market doesn't need you to work faster than you are. If it is that important for you to work quickly through jobs, you will get paid more for it, and thus be able to pay for paid laborers to do it.

Again, false. Why does the market not need me to work faster? I am not working faster because I cannot afford to.

You fail to understand. If the market needed you to work faster, it would pay you enough to hire more people so that you could. If you're what's available and they're not paying you more, then that means they accept you going slower. If someone else can do it faster than you, then they're economically more efficient and should get the job instead of you. That's called competition, it's a fairly basic economic concept. Unpaid labor should not be used to short-circuit this.


Posner wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:This scenario is only true if the use of unpaid interns does not end up replacing paid work, which is what we're seeing here. The intern is still unemployed in terms of pay, even though they're working, and many of them will never have an opportunity to "move up" because corporations are able to profit more from using unpaid work than paid work, and while unpaid work is available, will choose to do so.

This statement is false. I've worked unpaid internships that contributed to my learning. Anyone with much business experience will agree with me that these positions DO exist. This is just a stepping stone. In my example the intern would eventually learn enough about carpentry to be "promoted" to a carpenter's assistant, and while I may not be able to employ him in this capacity, another carpenter could. Or, after observing my business, the intern could break off on his own.

I'm not saying you didn't learn anything, I'm saying that knowledge is worthless if unpaid work can do the same job as you, even if they can do it less efficiently. Companies would rather use the less efficient unpaid work than the more efficient paid work, if there are enough unpaid laborers to compensate for the lack of efficiency of each individual.


Posner wrote:This argument holds no weight given what I've said above. The market cannot fund the work of the intern carpenter because, at this point in his career, his worth is less than minimum wage.

Then he shouldn't be working, at least not in that field. That's what the law says.

Posner wrote:I appreciate the back and forth, but your lack of real world business experience severely limits your analysis.

I love how you assume I have no real world experience. I've seen lots of people displaced by unpaid internships. It doesn't matter what experience you gain from them if they won't hire you because they can get unpaid labor to do it instead. Your experience means nothing when you're competing against unpaid labor that's competent enough to do the same jobs, and free enough to make up for their lack of efficiency compared to you. This is the reality of the job market right now.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Posner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:13 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rundoxierun
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby rundoxierun » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:49 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I'm not saying you didn't learn anything, I'm saying that knowledge is worthless if unpaid work can do the same job as you, even if they can do it less efficiently. Companies would rather use the less efficient unpaid work than the more efficient paid work, if there are enough unpaid laborers to compensate for the lack of efficiency of each individual.


ehh havent really analyzed the entire argument here but this quote troubles me. Yes a company would rather have unpaid laborers but under this situation there would be no reason for the unpaid laborers to work for the company. The compelling reason for unpaid laborers is the learning from the more efficient paid laborer. The whole system breaks down without the paid worker. The unpaid laborer wants to learn from the paid laborer to become more productive. Plus, hiring a group of 5 workers who do something at 1/5th efficiency does not always equal one laborer who does it at the normal efficiency level. You may have to hire another person to coordinate the actions of the other 5 to make a finished product rather than having one person do it.

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vanwinkle
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:33 pm

tkgrrett wrote:The whole system breaks down without the paid worker.

This is my point, but going the other direction. If you allow unpaid work to be used so broadly, it undermines the ability of people to find paid work, and the whole system breaks down.

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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:25 pm

So pumped i finally created a worthwhile thread!!

flcath
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Re: NYT Illegal Un-Paid Internships Article

Postby flcath » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:44 pm

taw856 wrote:For any [strike]journalism[/strike] media outlet to raise an alarm about unpaid work is for the pot to call the kettle black.

This line is so true it's past the level of being funny. There's a sector that thinks far too highly of the value its experience confers.

I wonder if the irony ever dawned on the author as s/he was typing this...




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