This summer, millions of students -- some graduating, some between school years -- will spend the summer working. Some will work at restaurants and on retail floors, where working is called "working." Some will work at think tanks and non-profit organizations, where working is called "interning." Estimates put the number of unpaid interns every year between 500,000 and one million. So, in a country where working for free is mostly illegal, a student population somewhere between the size of Tucson and Dallas will be working for free, in plain view.I lean towards one of the arguments that he dismisses, that internships are used by students merely to gain education and a "leg up" on others when they apply for paid jobs. That poorer students, who must support themselves with paid jobs, are at a disadvantage in this situation isn't enough (for me) to call the system immoral, as poorer students are at a disadvantage in almost every situation! That's reality, not morality.
A few years ago, I was a proud part of unpaid intern nation. I took unpaid internships at two think tanks, a campaign and a magazine. Were they useful? Definitely. Were they moral? Harder question.
But I find his arguments interesting. Not necessarily strong, but interesting.