Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Killing the Goose

The WSJ today carries a story today about summer internships for students.  According to the story, there has been rampant litigation by students, after the fact, suing their employers for the "unpaid" aspect of their internships.

When a student obtains an "unpaid" internship, they normally displace many other students who would have liked to have had that internship.  So, the winner gets the internship.  They know full well that it is unpaid and they take the internship with that knowledge.  No deception.

Then what?  After taking advantage of the internship and taking a position that many others would liked to have, the winners go hire a lawyer and sue because they weren't paid, even though they knew from beginning to end that they would not be paid. That was the deal.

So, now what?  Companies are simply eliminating these "unpaid" internships and replacing them, mostly with nothing.  This is how the entitled student of modern times makes sure that the students that come after them have less opportunity than they have.  The arrogance, hypocricy and selfishness of these litigant students is astounding.

A free internship used to be a free market outcome for a student (or anyone) who wishes to learn and is willing to pay an implicit tuition by accepting an "unpaid" internship.  The labor department went a long way towards outlawing this free market contract when it required such internships to meet college course standards.  Now, lawsuits by the entitled are likely to kill off these internships permanently.

Who wins?  Lawyers and a handful of entitled, selfish students.  Who loses?  The free market and everyone who wishes to make their own decisions without the nanny state prohibiting the right of free contract.

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