Intern Nation

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As Ross Perlin writes in this sharp new study, today’s teens and twenty-somethings have been taught that they must first work for free if they ever hope to get paid—and they are getting a raw deal. In what he bills as "the first book-length analysis of internships," Perlin puts the annual value of intern labor at a conservative estimate of almost $2 billion, performed free of charge, often for companies that could probably afford a minimum-wage employee or two.

The economic and legal problems with this arrangement are glaring. Internships exclude those whose families cannot afford to support them; they displace paid workers; they allow companies to dodge liability and colleges to cash in on "internship for credit" tuition dollars. Perlin is at his best delineating the systemic flaws of an "intern nation." It is satisfying—I say this without rage or resentment, I think—to see obvious truths forcefully articulated and persistent myths dispelled.>


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Posted: May 17th, 2011
at 9:20am by mnp

Categories: development,education

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