“First Jobs” an Endangered Species?

18 Jul

Boy, does this guy make sense, or what!!  Do you remember YOUR first job, or have you maybe even given others their first jobs?

 John Stossel, practical thinker extraordinaire, in a column at Rasmussen Reports (distributed by Creators.com):


 Here is a major portion of the column:  [Bolding is mine, and content in brackets [] is mine.]

What was your first job?

I stuck pieces of plastic and metal together .  .  .  .   I hated the work.  .  .  .  But it was useful. It taught me to get good grades in school so I might have other choices.   Four years later, good grades got me a job as a researcher at a TV station.

To my surprise, that became a career. I never planned to be a TV reporter. I hadn’t even watched TV news. I never took a journalism course.  But by showing up and trying stuff, I found a career.

I write about this because I’m appalled watching politicians kill off “first” jobs. (They say it’s to protect us.)

First, they raise the minimum wage. Forcing employers to pay $7.25 an hour leaves them reluctant to give unskilled kids a chance — why pay more than a worker can produce? So they offer fewer “first” jobs.

On top of that, the Obama Labor Department has issued a fact sheet that says free internships are only legal if the employer derives “no immediate advantage” from the intern. 

Are you kidding me? What’s the point of that?  [Why would you bring on an intern if you didn’t expect him/her to be helpful;?]  .  .  .  . 

Unpaid internships are great. They are win-win. They let young people experiment with careers, and figure out what they’d like and what they’re good at. They help employers produce better things and recruit new employees.

I’ve used interns all my career. They have done some of my best research. Some became journalists themselves. Many told me: “Thank you! I learned more working for you than I learned in college, and I didn’t have to pay tuition!

I could have paid them, but then I would have used fewer interns. When I worked at ABC, the network decided to pay them — $10 an hour — but it also cut the number of internships by half. Politicians don’t get it. Neither do most people. Polls show that Americans support raising the minimum wage. Most probably also support limits on unpaid internships, believing that they replace paid work.

But they don’t.

OK, sometimes they do. But the free exchange of labor creates so many good things that, in the long run, more jobs are created and many more people get paid work — and we get better work.

But American politicians think they “protect” workers by limiting employers’ (and workers’) choices and giving handouts to the unemployed.

Outside a welfare office near Fox News, I was told that because of high unemployment, there are no jobs: “There’s nothing out there. Nothing.” I asked my team to check that out. They walked around for two hours,  .  .  . 

Of the 79 businesses that we asked, 40 said they would hire. Twenty-four said they would take people with no experience.  .  .  . 

I told German Munoz, a recent high school graduate, about one of the jobs offered, at a soul food restaurant. He went there and was hired to wash dishes for minimum wage. Within a few days, he was promoted to busboy — then to waiter. Now, two weeks later, he makes twice the minimum wage. German doesn’t want a career as a waiter, but he says it’s great having a real first job.

“.  .  .   It is like a stepping stone,” he said. Exactly.

Low-wage first jobs are indispensable for both personal advancement and social progress. Our best hope for prosperity is the free market. Government must get out of our way and allow consenting adults to create as many “first” jobs as possible.

[End of Excerpt]

 What can be added to this?  When will politicians and bureaucrats butt out?


3 Responses to ““First Jobs” an Endangered Species?”

  1. III July 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Government will never butt out until we force them to. They’ve taken on an attitude of “big government knows what’s best.” However, when you really look at all the good things government has done, you find very few things. lol. Generally, everything they touch winds up defunct and fails, while the left will tout it about as a success. They never learn. I would say they’re similar to fish in front of a mirror, but even the fish finally realizes it’s time to leave his reflection alone.

    • illero July 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      Thanks for visiting and responding. Agree completely. And love your “fish and the mirror” analogy.

      By the way, can you think of a couple of things that the government has done an undebatable good job on? [You mentioned that “you find very few things” the government has done well.]

      • III July 19, 2012 at 9:40 am #

        yeah, but like I said just a couple. Wait… I’m trying to think of one. Gimme a few mins…. Well, crap, I can’t think of anything really. Maybe I was being too easy on them. I was going to say civil rights, but they kinda screwed that up with Affirmative Action.

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