Every now and again I use Twitter to make a multipoint argument. Today I talked about unpaid internships and youth unemployment. The tweets have gotten a lot of attention, so I’m reposting them here. You can follow me on Twitter at @sarahkendzior.
This is what I wrote:
Thomas Friedman writes on the internship scam. He benefits from the scam, so he doesn’t call it a scam.
Here is how the internship scam works. It’s not about a “skills” gap. It’s about a morality gap.
1) Make higher education worthless by redefining “skill” as a specific corporate contribution. Tell young people they have no skills.
2) With “skill” irrelevant, require experience. Make internship sole path to experience. Make internships unpaid, locking out all but rich.
3) End on the job training for entry level jobs. Educated told skills are irrelevant. Uneducated told they have no way to obtain skills.
4) As wealthy progress on professional career path, middle and lower class youth take service jobs to pay off massive educational debt.
5) Make these part-time jobs not “count” on resume. Hire on prestige, not skill or education. Punish those who need to work to survive.
6) Punish young people who never found any kind of work the hardest. Make them untouchables — unhireable.
7) Tell wealthy people they are “privileged” to be working 40 hrs/week for free. Don’t tell them what kind of “privileged” it is.
8) Make status quo commentary written by unpaid interns or people hiring unpaid interns. They will tell you it’s your fault.
9) Young people, it is not your fault. Speak out. Fight back. Bankrupt the prestige economy.