Down with Free Labor for Otherwise Wage-Paying Entities

All the catchy titles were taken.

Cord Jefferson of Gawker points out that free internships are virtually guaranteed to rigidify the class system because it is mostly people of comfort who can afford to work for free:

This is what props up the system of internships, low rates, and writing for “exposure”: the middle- to upper-middle-class parent who can drop $900 for rent money here, or $2,000 for a broker’s fee there, or who can simply co-sign a lease. Their budding writers get breathing room that millions of other mothers and fathers couldn’t imagine being able to provide.

And these children can compare themselves to the really rich kids in publishing, the ones who magically have a downtown apartment and money for drinks, and feel themselves struggling to make it. There they are, in a smelly apartment with roommates, riding the subway, maybe short on cigarette money before payday.

I agree.

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