Minimum Wage

The Double Standard on Low-Wage Work

Democrats love unpaid interns. Republicans more likely to pay them.

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Tim Kaine, Virginia's junior senator and perhaps Hillary Clinton's running mate, has expressed his disappointment over Washington's failure to raise the minimum wage. Last year he sponsored legislation to raise the federal minimum to $12 an hour. Bobby Scott, Virginia's 3rd District representative, supports the idea. Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, another Democrat, also wants to raise the wage. So does Virginia's third Democratic congressman, Don Beyer—and so does President Obama.

And that's no surprise; it's a rare Democrat who doesn't want to raise the wage. Republicans aren't on board, though, so legislation to do so has languished in purgatory.

But Democrats don't have to wait for Republican assent to strike a blow on behalf of the working stiff. They could start right now—by encouraging their colleagues to stop exploiting cheap labor in their very own offices.

That cheap labor is provided by interns, usually of college age. Most of those interns do not work for the minimum wage. In fact, they don't work for any wage at all. They are unpaid.

As The New York Times recently reported, congressional offices "hire thousands of interns each year" but "pay very few of them." What's more, "the White House does not pay a single intern out of almost 100." Still more unpaid interns "come to work for local nonprofits." The interns either work second jobs to pay their bills or come from rich families that can support them.

Despite his support for higher wages, Beyer doesn't pay his interns. Neither does Connolly. Nor does Nancy Pelosi, another supporter of higher minimum wages. The same goes for Harry Reid. Not even the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pays its interns. Kaine and Scott both pay some of their interns, but not those who are getting course credit for the work. (Bernie Sanders, to his credit, pays interns $12 an hour, with evidently no exceptions.)

This is, to say the least, incongruous.

After all, it's an article of Democratic faith that raising the minimum wage is not just a nice idea but a moral imperative—indeed, nothing less than a matter of economic justice. Therefore, to pay workers a measly $7.25 an hour—rather than $10.10 an hour, or $12 an hour, or $15 an hour—is simply wrong.

But if it is morally wrong to pay workers only $7.25 an hour, how can it be right to pay some of them $0.00 an hour?

Well, there are reasons. Or excuses, depending on how you look at it. As Connolly's website notes, "an internship provides an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience." Besides, "internships are available expressly for the purpose of furthering educational objectives, therefore they are unpaid." Beyer's office makes a similar point: "Although all internships in all offices are unpaid, interns gain invaluable work experience."

And that makes a certain amount of sense. In fact, it makes so much sense that corporate America routinely calls attention to the same point when it argues against the government mandating high wages for entry-level and other low-skilled workers: Those employees are learning valuable job skills that will help them climb the ladder of success. The non-monetary compensation therefore makes up for the low pay.

But Democrats don't accept that argument when it comes from the private sector. So why do they use it themselves?

Congressional Democrats also tend to be keen on the concept of equal pay. Earlier this year the president and Democratic leaders gathered at a museum Obama was dedicating as the Women's Equality National Monument. "If we truly value fairness then America should be a level playing field," the president said. Equal pay for equal work is a fine principle. So why not practice it? How can Obama and other Democrats justify two different pay scales—one for the category of workers known as "employees" and one for the category known as "interns"? Especially when some of those interns are college graduates?

One of the reasons Donald Trump has attracted so much support is the sense that, as he puts it, the system is rigged: There is one set of rules for the nation's elite and another set for everybody else. So it's worth noting that the Fair Labor Standards Act does allow private employers to use unpaid interns in rare cases, under very strict criteria. Congress, however, applies a different, laxer version of the law to itself, which explicitly excludes interns from employees covered by the statute.

If the preceding isn't enough to convince Democrats, there's one more fact that might shame them into doing so. When The Atlantic looked at the issue a couple of years ago, it noted that only a third of U.S. senators pay their interns—and "most of them are Republicans."

Of course, Republicans generally don't try to force companies to pay workers more. Democrats who aren't willing to pay decent wages themselves have no business trying to, either.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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194 responses to “The Double Standard on Low-Wage Work

  1. Pretty funny. Also Sad! But predictable.

    1. The exact words of the reviews of me on Tinder.

      1. Your reviews on Grindr are even worse. And i won’t even mention what they’re saying about you on J-Date.

        1. You know, apropos of Nutrasweet’s link in the previous thread, I think dating apps should allow you to rate your date by selecting a corresponding sandwich. I mean the male rating system would be pretty obvious, but it never occurred to me until this morning that you could compare a woman’s genitalia to a sandwich.

          1. “She smelled like a reuben but tasted like a french dip.”

          2. Haven’t you ever had an open faced roast beef sandwich?

              1. Do you have any idea how many plastic surgeons lost their licenses in the process of making the edges round like that?

              2. What does the bread even….

                Never mind

              3. C’mon Sug, you can do better than that, she always has three pieces of meat in her at all times.

            1. No, I never had the pleasure of sharing intimate times with Hope Solo.

              1. That girl looks like she was ravaged by wolves.

              1. you were in highschool 8 years ago….

          3. With the bottom being the Larry David?

            Whitefish, sable, onions, cream cheese, and capers.

    2. I’m making over $15k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. Go to website and click toTech tab for more work details…Now this Website… http://www.Trends88.com

  2. Emocrats?

    We want free eyeliner!

    When do we want it?

    Now!

    1. That is sooooooooooo appropriate.

      It is, after all, all about the feelz!

    2. When do we want it?

      Now!It doesn’t matter… nothing matters, not even the inky blackness of my soul

  3. Yeah, except… I’ve worked with interns for several different companies. Interns are typically NOT paid. It’s a mutual benefit for both employer and employed. Mostly for the employed, who should be more than happy to trade labor for real work experience, which is difficult to get for someone who has no experience and many times, not even a degree.

    For all of the examples of hypocrisy supplied on a daily basis by Democrats, this is more than weak, it’s pretty much a non-issue.

    1. A number of Democrats (I don’t know about Kaine) have gone after “unpaid” internships, whether calling them for them to be much more tightly regulated or else banning them altogether. And Hinkle’s buried point is that if it’s okay to have someone make $0.00/hr and it’s okay to have someone make $7.15/hr (or more), then how is it not okay to have someone make $3.00/hr?

      1. When upaid interns are made illegal, then companies will stop taking on interns. No one ever accused Democrats of being economically literate.

        1. No! All companies have deep pockets, and when unpaid internships are banned, companies will be able to pay their intents a living wage. Sure, the CEOs will make a little less, but there’s no reason they should make more than anyone else.

          1. *interns, not intents.

        2. No, they will, as people do, find loopholes. They will start offering “immersive job experience sessions,” and make the interns, er, I mean “students” actually pay a token amount to hang around the office and do the tasks that unpaid interns formerly did.

          1. Ohh I know you could start a,say, four year “experience seminar”, and after q few years get the govt to subsidize it, then make it mandatory. *cash register sound*

    2. If you ask, in my completely antecedal experience, most of the time they will give you something. I’ve actually never done in internship that didn’t pay. Of the two I had one advertised they paid, the other didn’t pay any other interns except for me to my knowledge because I asked. Same thing for many of my friends.

      1. My only internship was paid, back in the day. Paid internships were customery in my field. However, the unpaid political internships in question are typically taken by students who don’t need to be paid. These are the Ivy-League-educated kids of other elites — future bureaucrats, politicians, federal attorneys and congressional staffers.

        It’s the third step (first and second being elite finishing schools and colleges) on the path to the next generation of beltway powerbrokers.

        Paying the kids would actually level the playing field, because then non-wealthy outside kids could afford to take the internships. The powers-that-be aren’t really interested in uppity yokels competing with their kids.

      2. My company always pays interns. But we also expect them to be productive.

    3. “But Clinton is on record to the contrary. “Businesses have taken advantage of unpaid internships to an extent that it is blocking the opportunities for young people to move on into paid employment,” she lectured at UCLA in 2013. “More businesses need to move their so-called interns to employees.”

      http://nypost.com/2015/08/17/h…..hypocrisy/

      Seems like pretty standard hypocrisy to me.

      1. unpaid internships [are] blocking the opportunities for young people to move on into paid employment

        In the same vein, housing shortages arise from houses costing too much. It makes sense if you don’t think about it too hard.

      2. Standard “Hillary speak”.

    4. Most MW jobs are also completely unskilled but I don’t hear anyone arguing that grocery baggers and hotel desk clerks should work for free just to get the experience.

      1. But you do (or did, back when it was possible) hear that low-paid after school work provides kids valuable workplace experience.

        Businesses used to love to hire kids for low pay rates to do simple jobs that pretty much just need warm bodies (baggers, working the local ice cream stand, rounding up carts, cleaning cages (at the Veterinarian I worked for in high school)).

        Now the minimum wages are so high and the necessary paperwork for each employee so burdensome that most teenagers are priced right out of the market.

        Let the market set the rates. If I could find kids to work for $3-$5/hour to clear my fence lines on my ranch, I’d do it. Instead, I hire adults for the job at $10/hour, because I need more out of the one person I can afford instead of the two teenagers.

        1. So you can hire a couple of kids to work as interns for half the time, then pay them the MW the other half.

      2. So – wouldn’t that simply mean that you work for free for a week until you’ve got the hang of things and then look for a paying job doing those things?

        1. And you actually do hear that – not so much anymore but there are places where kids and other ‘low-value’ employees work for tips simply because there’s not enough value in what they’re doing or not enough *valued work* to be done to be worth paying them full-time.

          Interns do scut work – a lot of which wouldn’t get done at all as its not valuable enough to the business to be worth hiring someone to do all the time – which is of low-value to the company but is useful to the intern as training. Plus there’s the whole ‘this is then environment we work in and these are the sorts of things expected of people here’ training that can’t be captured in a brochure.

    5. Except they are bent on making work experience low wages illegal for the lower classes with their living wage nonsense.

  4. “Bernie Sanders, to his credit, pays interns $12 an hour, with evidently no exceptions.)”

    Wasn’t Bernie campaigning on $15 per hour and attacking Hillary for only wanting $12?

    1. Meh. It’s already been established that he has no principles.

      1. Hey now! Limiting the number of deodorants you have available is a principle.

        Something similar to ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’?

        1. But limiting the number of deodorants for Hillary — NEVER!!

    2. “Bernie pays”

      I think maybe we should stop right there and examine these words.

      1. Just for the challenged — not a penny of that money comes out of Bernie’s pockets, k? We pay.

        Now if Bernie docked his own salary $12/hour for each intern he hired, then I’d be impressed.

        1. Do we (taxpayers) pay? I would’ve thought that the money for most staffers comes from donations. Otherwise the Dems would pay their interns $25.00 an hour because it is other peoples money they are using.

          1. It comes out of their office budget I believe.

  5. If the preceding isn’t enough to convince Democrats, there’s one more fact that might shame them into doing so. When The Atlantic looked at the issue a couple of years ago, it noted that only a third of U.S. senators pay their interns?and “most of them are Republicans.”

    Of course, Republicans generally don’t try to force companies to pay workers more. Democrats who aren’t willing to pay decent wages themselves have no business trying to, either.

    this confirms too many of my biases to possibly be true.

  6. emocrats

    Funny, but I think it would be better spelled “Democrats.”

    1. I think emo-crats is right a good bit of the time.

    2. How about Dramacrats?

    3. Emocrats are the college going Democrats.

  7. Try not paying an engineering intern.

    Significantly about minimum wage too.

    1. They are called co-ops. Because they are explicitly paid. Generally well above minimum wage.

      1. Back in 2001-2003 era, I was paying them $12-14 per hour.

        I have no idea what the going rate is today. But I bet it is above $15, despite the “race to the bottom” if we dont raise the minimum wage.

        1. Race to the bottom: what you say when you absolutely cannot afford to take a 10% pay cut because you spend your paycheck before it clears the bank.

        2. My firm pays them around $15 currently. But also adds in free furnished housing including cable and maid service. (and lots & lots of over time).

        3. I got $15 an hour from both academia and industry in ’08 and ’09 as a research assistant/intern. My understanding is that my current company tops $20 for their co-ops today.

        4. We’re paying $16 an hour for first time interns and $18 for returnees.

        5. Back in the 1997-2002 era when I was a co-op (I took longer to graduate because I liked getting paid better than paying to go to school), we were paid between 16 (freshmen) and 22 (seniors) an hour.

          There was actually a problem with that as when you moved from a senior co-op to a full-time hire after graduation, you took a cut in pay.

        6. I was getting $20/hr in ’07-‘ 10. However it was a 5 semester co-op, so they were paying, in part, for me to stay on for 4 more semesters once I was actually trained enough to be productive.

          In law it’s completely different. 15% make $70/hr, 40% make $15/hr, and the rest make $0.

    2. Now you are talking about people with actual jo s skills and marketable abilities.

      1. Paying useful people for their useful skills?

        The government has a sad.

    3. Or even a finance/accounting major.

    4. OTOH, IT interns are typically not paid, in my experience. Most of them I’ve worked with have been college students who were hired during summer break. When I was in college, I would have taken an unpaid internship in a minute if I wasn’t already working full time to pay my way through. Fortunately, I wound up getting a paid entry level IT job before I graduated.

      1. I started my IT career as a paid intern. However, that was 20 years ago so things may have changed.

        1. 20 years ago when I started my IT career, I’d never even heard of an intern. Oh well, flyover country you know.

    5. Well officially an intern engineer is one that has the Fundamentals Exam but has not passed the PE Exam. You are unlikely to not pay them.

      1. Maybe if you’re in one of the sad disciplines that have accepted the Mark of the Beast and actually require a PE to practice.

        1. Nailed it.

    6. One presumes this is because the engineering interns a) have actual skills they’re bringing to the table (unlike political interns), and b) aren’t presumed to be ivy-league elites who can afford to do the internship without pay (unlike political interns).

  8. Someone should also point out that income taxes are disproportionately harmful to low wage workers.

    If it costs an employer $12 an hour to pay a worker $10 an hour in take home pay because of income taxes (and other employment taxes), then those taxes are artificially inflating the cost of hiring unemployed people by 20% as well as making them much more susceptible to replacement by automation.

    And unskilled workers can only compete on price.

    Taxing labor and income is probably the very dumbest possible thing to tax.

    1. Especially as things like the unemployment insurance tax usually has a really low level about which you dont have to pay on it.

      In KY, it is $10,200 this year. It is going up $300 per year until it gets to $12k. It was at $9k for a long time.

      Its obviously a regressive tax as it caps out so quick.

      For federal, it is $7k.

    2. I tell that to my friends who want to raise the min wage. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just have your whole paycheck? 40x $10= $400.

    3. It would be more accurate to say that S.S. and Medicare withholding, not income tax, is disproportionately harmful to low wage workers.

      Actual income tax withholding is very progressive, so its proportionately a smaller portion of the withholding for a low-wage worker.

      But you’re right overall. That’s why taxing income used to be unconstitutional until a bunch of progressives hoodwinked the nation into the income tax amendment.

      1. I think you may have missed the point about how unskilled labor can only compete on price and what happens to unskilled workers who are priced out of the labor market.

        Where I lived in the Yucatan, McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and every other fast food restaurant delivered. They put hot boxes on the back of scooters. In fact, every single store where you could buy anything you could have delivered.

        The price of food in those fast food restaurants was comparable to what we pay for the same items here in the U.S., but the cost of labor was substantially lower. Set a minimum wage down there proportionately lower than what we have in the U.S., and like in the U.S., all those jobs disappear.

        How much they pay relative to other people in taxes because income taxes are progressive is beside the point. The point is that unskilled labor is easily priced out of the job market–because unskilled labor can only differentiate itself and compete on cost/price.

    1. The headphones are a nice touch. Is she listening to a specially made white privilege playlist?

    2. That’s mighty white of her.

    3. I suggest she go to West Baltimore to do that. I want to support her. I’m gonna send a check for expenses and the GPS coordinates. Someone want to volunteer for camera duty?

      1. Or Liberty City/Pork & Beans.

    4. She’s obviously looking for cake.

      1. Or trying to catch a few more pokemon.

    5. Oh, I thought this was gonna be one of those catcalling videos.

      And John McClane did it better.

    6. Why does everyone assume that is an apology.

      It could just be a statement of fact (she looks to be a sorry motherfucker)

    7. That is a scale tipping amount of retardation. I just looked up this rocket scientist’s FB page and came across an image featuring this gem:

      “I only like to be around people that have the same mindset as me, because we’ll keep getting better and keep building each other…”

      1. Also, one of the posts on her page indicates there’s some big “action” planned to make commuters miserable by shutting down transit on July 18th. Hearts and minds, people! Hearts and minds!

    8. Wow, yeah. Isn’t collective guilt great.

      “”I don’t want to continue to see Black American being oppressed, and held down and killed like animals,” Willis said. ”

      How would you prefer they be killed?

  9. They need some mechanism to make sure the pipeline into the new generation of political elites is kept pure of poor and working class people. That is who the government exists for, not who the government consists of. Rich, liberal families are already willing to pay the price of admission to get their little snowflakes into the political class, so why waste any money paying these kids?

    1. I was thinking exactly this-you summed it up nicely. The unpaid internships are great at keeping thought purity.

  10. Intern votes don’t need to be bought, duh.

  11. Why, if not for double standards, most congressional Democrats would have no standards a’tall!

  12. I’m disappointed this story isn’t about sexy legs.

    1. Wait, it’s not? [zips up]

      1. The accompanying photo was very misleading.

        1. accompanied? Whatever. Words our dumb.

  13. Kaine and Scott both pay some of their interns, but not those who are getting course credit for the work

    I have no idea about the rules in D.C. or the schools where those interns are coming from but, where I teach there is a rule which does not allow students to be both paid and earn credits for the same internship. I have no idea why that rule is in place nor what the reasoning is, but it is possible Kaine & Scott have no choice.

    1. Because colleges assign credits a monetary value and you can’t get paid to do something you’re paying for?

      Hmm, no, that doesn’t sound quite right.

      1. Probably something like that. But, it’s kind of vague since students pay the university for tuition but pay for the internship would come from the outside entity which, in our case, normally has no connection whatsoever with the school. In fact, we would really have no way of knowing if interns were being paid.

        1. Maybe it’s to balance out the ban on paying student athletes. Since college athletes can’t be paid for their performance, they can’t let any students be paid.

          Though the athletes don’t get credits for game day it still seems a little more likely. To me, anyway.

    2. I have no idea about the rules in D.C. or the schools where those interns are coming from but, where I teach there is a rule which does not allow students to be both paid and earn credits for the same internship. I have no idea why that rule is in place nor what the reasoning is, but it is possible Kaine & Scott have no choice.

      I think it’s an ABA thing for the legal interns. I’m not allowed to get paid for the externship I’m doing this fall. I would lose my course credit.

      On further review, I was right. It’s an ABA rule, and it’s being reviewed. Of course, there are a bunch of shit head profs who are opposing the rule being changed because of “academic purity” or some such bullshit. There was a WaPo article on it on Feb 1 of this year.

  14. Sorry,I don’t care for unpaid labor. Gots to get paid.When I was a teen I pumped gas,stocked shelves,mowed grass,painted houses and cleaned the local car wash once a week.I learned the value of work and a pay check.I also learned about withholding and the value of cash jobs,mowing and painting ,on the side.

    1. Except that it is *not* unpaid labor. These interns, *all* interns, are paid – in experience, contacts, etc. Just not cash.

      Which is ironically funny that the Democrats – the party of ‘don’t be so materialistic’ is saying that everyone is hustling and ‘they’ll help them’.

      1. Paid to me means cash,you can’t use experience to buy food or pay bills . You can keep you pat on the back,if I do a job well,reach into your wallet. Yes it is free labor I don’t see how you can not see that..Then there’s the fact that many businesses can’t get away with this scam.Like my friend that has a carry out who employs collage age kids and pays all the matching taxes.BTY ,a 15 dollar min. wage will end that.

        1. ‘Paid’ is just an exchange of wealth. And wealth can be experience, entry into a social network – anything of value.

          And calling it a scam is basically saying that all interns are morons.

        2. I worked free for a week, at a cabinet shop, helping the owner with a couple projects. Then I got to use his shop tools to build myself a couple bedroom dressers, which made the wife very happy. I may not be a master cabinet maker, but there’s getting paid and getting paid, if you know what I mean.

          Then a couple months after that I saved $1800 making my own kitchen cabinets for door fronts I bought at Builder’s Material Outlet. So, that’s $1800 bucks in my pocket when comes time to sell this house remodel: using experience to pay bills. Hah!

    2. Yes and crappy jobs also teaches one the value of a degree that provides real skills. As opposed to degrees like journalism and political science and the other sources of deluded suckers for unpaid internships.

    3. Tell me about the last time someone who wasn’t your mom or dad (or a prison guard or a public school rep. unfortunately) forced you to do unpaid labor? What? Never happened? Thought so.

  15. Bernie Sanders, to his credit, pays interns $12 an hour, with evidently no exceptions.

    Paid interns… Aren’t those just employees?

    1. Pelosi is corrupt to the core and not surprisingly so, since she comes from a family of Baltimore politicians.

      1. That’s great. Way to go, Kid.

    1. Barney lets them attend his parties as compensation.

      1. IU thought they attended his parties as party favors.

      2. Lemon parties?

  16. Bernie Sanders, to his credit, pays interns $12 an hour, with evidently no exceptions.

    So *that’s* why he has $85K in credit card debit!

  17. I can’t blame them.

    They are only doing what their voters want them to do: raise minimum wage.

    Let’s look at it this way: if they weren’t calling for minimum wage, they wouldn’t be in office.

    For their personal spendings (or work spending with budgetary constraints), of course it is in their self-interest to do what makes the most sense.

    1. 6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

      1. 10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

        1. 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

          1. I like the notion that the early parts of the Hebrew bible are implicitly anarchist in outlook.

  18. Under NO circumstances should any government employee be paid.

  19. As has been said here, the real minimum wage is zero dollars per hour. Whether it be through internship or unemployment, what difference, at this point, does it make?

  20. I read a few pages of comments from a surprisingly strident anti-tipping movement. Their rationale is that employers are shoving the cost of paying a “proper wage” onto customers, who have to make up for it in tips. I mean, set aside the fact that money is fungible and prices would adjust accordingly, or the fact that they’re essentially arguing for paying minimum wage with all earnings reportable to the feds. No soup?on for Ben the barista or Sarah the server. What is this obsession with standardizing all forms of employment into a universal one-size-fits-all employer/employee relationship? One of the recurring remarks, dropped without comment, is that Europe does it so why can’t we also? Okay, super, europhiles gonna europhile. Why should we change a custom, perhaps antiquated and perhaps irregular (though I don’t think it’s either), simply because snotty European tourists find it peculiar? What don’t snotty European tourists find disagreeable about America? Well, perhaps their safety from gropey immigrants. Even that is probably discounted as a sign of American intolerance. Of course Europeans are going to bitch about our conventions. Envy is a terrible disease.

    1. It was such a brainless show of virtue signalling and economic ignorance (and I’m always reminded of that Murry Rothbard line about economic ignorance: it’s not a crime, but showing it off should be.) They claimed OF COURSE they understand that the money has to come from somewhere, and of course it’s coming out of the customers, but that’s perfectly acceptable because sometimes, some customers don’t tip. Or they tip poorly. And therefore it’s only right and proper to bake the tip into the price and do away with a venerable American tradition and the exaltation of stellar service.

      Fucking numbskulls.

    2. Also, I don’t see higher wages & no tipping leading to better service in Europe – at least in my experience.

      1. On the other hand, it does in Japan.

        1. Japan is the exception that proves every rule. Nobody else would look at a mollusk and think… you know where I’d like to shove that?

      2. I think tipping is stupid and personally am willing to sacrifice whatever benefits tipping leads to, to be rid of it.

        I wonder how at-will employment correlates with customer service.

        1. Tell me about the last time someone forced you to leave a tip.

          1. Is this sarcasm? One is forced to leave a tip in many scenarios, such as parties over some number at restaurants. Not to mention the even short of force, the lameness of the guilting and “emocracy” wrapped up in the stupid custom, such as evidenced in this very thread.

            Or is this an attempt at providing therapy? Well doc, I’d say the most recent time would have to be a credit card readers in a taxis that had only options for different levels of tips, no option for zero tip. I still have PTSD flashbacks about it.

            1. Part of the problem here is *labeling*.

              That ‘tip’ for large parties? It *should* be called a ‘service fee’ or something. Its for the inherent increase in workload that comes with serving those group sizes.

              Not ‘tip, not ‘gratuity’, ‘service fee’.

              *Then* you are still free to leave a tip/gratuity in proportion to the quality of service.

              1. I’d think the workload per customer would actually be less with larger parties. Kind of like a volume discount.

      3. God I hate the service I’ve gotten in Europe.

    3. I would prefer a world without tipping, but that is just a preference.

      I participate in the current one, but would love to see it change.

      1. Out of curiosity – no agenda – why would you prefer a world without tipping?

        1. I agree with robc and I’ll give you my reason. When I go to McDonald’s, I don’t tip the kid who hands me my bag. When I go to the pizza joint, I don’t drop money in the tip jar. In both cases it’s because I’m doing the labor that a server would do at a sit-down restaurant.

          It’s my opinion that a good tip will not turn a bad server into a good server. Especially at a place that pools shift tips. Work ethic makes good workers good, pay doesn’t really figure into that. If a company is willing to pay all of their workers more at my expense then they don’t need me to turn underpaid employees into overpaid employees.

          1. It’s my opinion that a good tip will not turn a bad server into a good server.

            No, and no one cares if it does or doesn’t. If you get good service, you should reward it.

            1. I have rewarded it by being a patron. And if the service was really good, I’ll be a patron there again in the future.

              1. So when you’re traveling in some remote place, and you happen to wander into some restaurant because you like the look of the menu, you ensure not to tip because you’re not “rewarding” that place (yet) with your patronage, and you have zero likelihood of returning?

                Do whatever you want personally, but your theory doesn’t make any sense.

                1. This may come as a shock because of all the foodies here, but when I travel I either get fast food or visit chain restaurants for meals. I know what to expect ahead of time so I don’t have to be concerned about the poor old Italian/German/Russian/whatever guy that’s just trying to make it in America.

                  On the off chance that the wife wants to try something new, we hit a small place and hope for the best.

                  As of right now, except for fast food, I always tip and quite generously unless the service was terrible. Even then I don’t go below 10%. However, if the food cost continues to increase then my options will become not eating at restaurants or not tipping the staff. Which do you suppose the owner would prefer?

                  1. if the food cost continues to increase then my options will become not eating at restaurants or not tipping the staff. Which do you suppose the owner would prefer?

                    If the owner has to increase the pay of his wait staff by 150-400%, how much more do you suppose the cost of the meal goes up?

                    Or the place becomes cafeteria/buffet style and you bus your own shit. The Golden Corral dining experience.

                    1. If the cost of the meals goes up beyond what I’m willing to pay I’ll just stop going. And honestly, I have no problem with buffets.

                  2. Even then I don’t go below 10%

                    And this is part of the problem (and I am basically the same way).

                    You are a waiter. You receive a 13% tip. Did you do a poor job or did you have cheap customers? How can you tell?

                    There isnt enough of a signal to tips. If more people would give 1% or 15% or 25% based on service, the signal would be clear. I suck, am mediocre, rock, respectively.

                    And it isnt the customers job to enforce and reward service, that is the managers job.

                    There was a series of articles by a guy who opened a restaurant with a no tipping policy. Some customers got irate. There were two groups who really didnt like the policy:

                    1. Men who wanted to tip pretty, young waitresses extra.
                    2. Petty little people who wanted to punish others. And didnt like having to go thru the manager. They wanted to do it themselves and feel powerful.

              2. Would it be fair to say you’re shifting the onus to provide good service to the owner/manager rather than placing it on the server? Or am I missing/oversimplifying the point?

                1. I think that’s about right. The owner is the one who prices the menu. If the price is too high, I’m not even going there. If the price is low enough, I’ll go and leave a tip if I like the experience. However, another way to see it is that tipping is a signal that the owner is underpricing his menu. He’s already figuring in all his costs and profits into the cost of the meals. If people are willing to drop more on top of that, he can safely raise the prices and pull in more profit.

          2. Seems reasonable.

          3. Don’t reward a bad server, but don’t return if you leave a bad tip (unless you know you won’t get them again) If you stiff a bad server, it just reinforces their view that customers don’t appreciate how awesome they are. You leave a bad tip to avoid wasting money on an incompetent worker, not to signal anything.

            1. Oh and on the subject of pooling tips, some employers do incredibly shifty things within that system. I probably wouldn’t even patronize a place if I knew they did that, just because it’s frequently abused.

      2. I would like a world in which my restaurant experience is automated from beginning to end, and the only human with whom I interact is the bartender.

        I tip bar staff lavishly.

      3. Its not tipping itself that bothers me, its the newly ingrained idea that tipping is *mandatory* (because I don’t get minimum wage waaaaaah!) and has risen to something like 15% of the bill as a minimum – which used to be what you’d add in for a waiter dealing with a large party.

        1. 15%? Now it’s officially 18%. Which means people expect 20%, of the post-tax total, because it’s easier to calculate than 18% of the pre-tax total. Oh, and round it up to the next dollar.

          1. This is what annoys me. I have always been a big tipper. We have kids, and when they leave a mess, we tend to tip higher because we know that a team of cleaners will need to rehabilitate the place. I also make a habit of learning my server’s name and asking for him or her on future visits if I tipped them well. This makes dining much more enjoyable.

            However, our “big tip” used to be 20%. Now that is barely anything. And this is especially bad since they try to say After Tax Total (BS).

            1. Yeah – no matter what percentage you decide to leave it should be calculated *pre-tax*. I’m not tipping you extra because the state is gouging me in tax (where I live sales tax is 11%).

      4. Oh, and I don’t mind the sentiment per se. It was the moral preening and vapid social commentary and goofy urgency and groupthink that attended it. That bugged me.

      5. It’s a hard balance. I know bartenders who make more on a Friday night than I do all week. Waiting is probably a little more rocky.

        1. Waiting is probably a little more rocky.

          You make nothing on tuesday lunch shifts, but you’re only given the Friday night-shift IF you work the tuesday lunch shift. that’s how it works. For every high-turnover shift you get, you need to cover a dead one. People who work fewer shifts are relegated to weeknights/brunch and trading shifts with the “full timers”

          1. You also get the good shifts by being the good waiter.

            My daughter worked at the Casa de Waffle and would regularly pocket well over $200 for her Saturday morning shift (that was about half just old retirees coming in to drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and shoot the shit).

      6. I am with you on this one. It seems like a pretty silly societal inefficiency to me, but I play along because it would be terrible to take it out on the server when that’s just how it is.

        1. I think there is nothing inefficient about it.

          In fact, it is a great way to return price sensitivity to what can otherwise become an overly formal process of food delivery. I’m happy to pay a little more for a person who has a good attitude or is quicker with drink refills, etc. I think it is great that I can reward them more than the person who is just checking the box each day.

    4. What is this obsession with standardizing all forms of employment into a universal one-size-fits-all employer/employee relationship?

      ‘Legibility’ – http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2010…..egibility/

      The ruling class can’t control what they don’t know is going on so they strive to make all things uniform no matter the cost (to other people) so that they can (try to) impose controls.

    5. I’m sure wait staff will be more than happy that Uncle Sam would then know about every last dime they made last year?

  21. It’s been said many times, but if leftists didn’t have double standards they would have no standards at all.

    Principals, not Principles

    1. In fact, it’s been said in this very thread!

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  23. If the rich would just pay their fair share of taxes, those Congressional offices would have a budget sufficient to pay their interns what they’re worth; $100k seems just.

  24. New Poll:

    “In Ohio, a perennial and vote-rich battleground state, Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton are tied when registered voters are asked to pick between them, with 39% support each. In Iowa, Mrs. Clinton holds a three-point lead, 42% to his 39% . . . . In each state, around 20% of voters said they were either undecided or volunteered that they would support neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton.”

    —-Wall Street Journal

    http://tinyurl.com/zprqy6c

    If this election turns into a referendum on elitism, Hillary Clinton will lose.

  25. the problem i see here is that progs simply twist this into a case for demanding that all internships be paid.

    which, of course, would cut the number of internships to near-zero, and simply create a new-class of employee. (*and generally be restricted to the most-privileged of super-students; which is how it mostly works on wall st already. summer interns ARE paid but they’re only given to specially handpicked wunderkin who meet either exceptional academic or Politically-Correct-requirements)

    paid-internships end up really just being pre-hires. Real internships should be opportunities for people to see if they’re even interested in the field *at all*.

    side note = my high-school had a program where every student took off the month of January to ‘intern’ somewhere, then write a paper about it. Its a great idea. Half the learning experience was trying to find a gig in the months leading up to it, convincing the employer to let you lurk about, do odd tasks. some rich kids used it as an excuse for a month-long vacation (*interning as a “ski instructor” at vail!”); others were stuck working for the city, literally picking up garbage. but many (like myself) used it as a launchpad to get better real-jobs after school or during the summer.

    1. Sorry, no one is going to hire an intern who isn’t sure if they want to do the job, when they have dozens of potential interns who are sure.

      1. That’s not true at all.

        Half the interns i had never followed up in the specific field (*equity analyst); though they did still pursue other areas of finance.

        How many interns have you personally mentored?

  26. It would never make sense for a business to have unpaid interns. Why would a sane business want to inculcate potential employees with the idea that one should do something for nothing (yeah, yeah, I know they’re developing useful job skills, but that’s an excuse for paying them less than an entry level employee, not for paying them nothing.)

    It seems the places that are most likely to insist on unpaid internships are social and political causes that play off the misguided ideas that many young people have about volunteerism and altruism.

    1. How about trying to break into a high-skill industry when you have no formal training? Or maybe a skilled trade? I would be willing to work without pay for a certain period in exchange for being taught the skills needed to get a paid job later.

      Also, how about you let people decide for themselves what they are willing to work for and under what circumstances they are willing to work for free?

      Thanks.

      1. Whoa whoa whoa. Point that shootin’ iron elsewhere, Tex. How about you have a bit less of a hair trigger and stop reading into other people’s posts shit that isn’t there?

        1. It would never make sense for a business to have unpaid interns

          There’s nothing to “read into” that statement. its just wrong.

          It makes perfect sense if its a business that has some pretty demanding requirements and needs to be sure that the people it hires like the pace/environment and can hang. getting potential employees to test-drive before they apply makes lots of sense. And if people willingly take those unpaid internships, who are you to say it doesn’t make sense?

    2. It would never make sense for a business to have unpaid intern

      What if you’re not “A business” but a non-governmental organization like the UN?

      And why wouldn’t it make sense if you have a large population of people ready and willing to take the opportunity?

      1. Sure, why not? That’s why I said “business.” Also that bit about social and governmental causes cynically taking advantage of potential interns’ altruism.

        1. Its not taking advantage of anyone if they know exactly what they’re getting into and why. see above my point about why you’re wrong re: “Businesses” as well.

          1. I think you are assuming my statements flow from a set of assumption that I do not hold, and that you are reacting to your own perception of those assumptions rather than my statement.

            How about this: I think that people should be free to manage their affairs, including employment, however they see fit. However, I reserve the right to judge some of the actors negatively on what I perceive as a cynical attempt to get inexperienced labor by offering the opportunity to contribute to a “good cause.”

            I view personal compensation as the greatest cause. Perhaps others see it differently, as is their right.

            1. Where “personal compensation” can include “feeling good about doing things to help others” if necessary.

            2. “”I think you are assuming my statements flow from a set of assumption that I do not hold””

              I’m not assuming anything = i’m reacting to your blanket statement mentioned above =

              It would never make sense for a business to have unpaid interns

              There are plenty of scenarios in which it makes perfect sense. Your handwaving doesn’t change any of that.

              , I reserve the right to judge some of the actors negatively on what I perceive as a cynical attempt to get inexperienced labor by offering the opportunity to contribute to a “good cause.”

              Sure. You’re free to have an opinion, regardless of how stupid or misinformed it is. You didn’t frame your statement as an opinion. You said, “it never makes sense”. Which implies some objective analysis of the economic situation.

              I view personal compensation as the greatest cause

              I’m not sure what the fuck that even means, other than some horn-tooting “feels”. Compensation is just the price-system at work, nothing more or less. Its not a freaking ’cause’.

            3. Yeah people tend to get easily triggered around here when you express a negative view of something, because they presume you must therefore support regulations to prohibit it.

  27. But Democrats don’t accept that argument when it comes from the private sector. So why do they use it themselves?

    You’re new here, aren’t you?

  28. “the White House does not pay a single intern out of almost 100.”
    Back in the day, some WH interns got something warm in their stomach. Or on their dress.

  29. Despite his support for higher wages, Beyer doesn’t pay his interns. Neither does Connolly. Nor does Nancy Pelosi, another supporter of higher minimum wages.

    Not only does Pelosi not pay her interns, she’s also a union buster when it comes to her to 25 million dollar family vineyard in Napa:

    As Peter Schweizer notes in his best-selling expose of liberal hypocrisy, “Do As I Say (Not As I Do),” part of the fortune of this defender of the working man is a Napa Valley vineyard worth $25 million that she owns with her husband. The vineyard produces expensive grapes for high-end wines. Napa grapes bring up to $4,000 a ton compared with $300 a ton for, say, San Joaquin grapes.

    But Pelosi, winner of the 2003 Cesar Chavez award from the United Farm Workers, hires only nonunion workers and sells these grapes to nonunion wineries. Schweizer places Pelosi in a chapter titled “Workers of the World Unite Somewhere Else.” UFW members need not apply at the Pelosi family vineyards.

  30. At least the Republicans are more honest on this issue than the Democrats. Perhaps we should consider these interns as “volunteers” instead of as “workers”. Perhaps Congress needs to start having the laws that it passes also apply to itself. Of course it will never do this. The ruler is always exempt from the laws he passes. And our representatives and senators do see themselves as our “rulers”. They certainly do not see themselves as our “servants”. Any more than the police who “serve and protect”, but are in reality the servants of the State.

  31. This is, to say the least, incongruous.

    No, it’s not. Democrats view internships not as jobs but as volunteer work for the good of the country and society; they would argue that the fact that Republicans “have to” pay their interns is because Republicans represent big, evil business and have to pay people to do jobs that they know will hurt the country and the people. That’s progressive thinking for you.

    And, in any case, those Democratic internships are springboards for lucrative careers in progressive government.

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