Barack Obama is telling teenagers and college students, who are now suffering through a 26% unemployment rate, that they are not allowed to volunteer their time in the free market in exchange for acquiring valuable and relevant job skills that might, just might, get them off the unemployment line — and that ignores the ability to make valuable connections through networking in the workplace and build relationships for future careers and opportunities. The lost opportunity just of the loss of networking and relationship building is overwhelming and will put some college students who did not go to the right school or belong to the right fraternity or sorority or come from the right town at a serious, serious disadvantage.
“If … you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” the Labor Department’s Nancy J. Leppink tells the New York Times.
The Times also quotes Trudy Steinfeld, director of New York University’s Office of Career Services, regarding opportunities for unpaid internships. “A few famous banks have called and said, ‘We’d like to do this,’ said Ms. Steinfeld. “I said, ‘No way. You will not list on this campus.’” To be fair, she doesn’t want a Labor Department enforcer knocking on her door next week. But we wonder what NYU students trying to get their feet in the doors of financial firms think about Ms. Steinfeld rejecting opportunities on their behalf.
How all of this helps young people who are trying to develop marketable skills is a mystery.
Every day it becomes harder to tell if Obama is simply an overmatched imbecile or the most dangerous radical to ever occupy the White House. The results are the same: a great country's institutions and freedoms reduced to rubble. If you aren't involved, get there. If you have been involved, don't get tired--there is a long fight ahead to slow the long march.