Read the whole thing at Medium.
I fully agree with this. And to whatever extent that an unpaid internship benefits the intern, it’s a benefit that’s restricted to people who can afford to work without pay.
As some of you may already know, I have been interested in the world of finance for some time. After a series of summer internships, however, I have somehow found myself without a full-time job offer for the upcoming year. Fuckin’ Obama’s fault for strangling this economy.
Luckily, due to the tough job market, my dad has agreed to let me access my trust fund early (mid 7-figures) to start a relatively small hedge fund, ___ Ventures, after graduation. I’m emailing you guys today to let you know that, for the rest rest of the year, I will be recruiting 2 full-time employees and 1 intern to help me get this off the ground.
With my financial expertise, help from my powerful father and connections, and a skilled team, I have no doubt that this fund will rise quickly to prominence. We’ll all get filthy rich and, inevitably, bag hot slampieces. If possible, I’d love to give all 3 of these positions to my brothers.
A brief excerpt from an In These Times article on a one day strike by concession workers at Giants Stadium in San Francisco. My little brother, who I happened to run in to on the train ride home tonight, is a concession worker at Fenway Park, so I’m interested in this strike a bit more than normal.
Some woman who can afford season tickets says she doesn’t “have much empathy for the workers”? Well, that’s just great. Can she really explain why she deserves the money for season tickets and the people working the stands don’t deserve any more than they already have? I mean, it sounds to me like she’s got a “pretty good thing going on,” whatever the fuck it is. If things are way over on the pricey side, maybe look at the owners raking in money fist over fist and constantly crying for more subsidies from the government. Team ownership is totally a fucking racket.
In chapter 8 of The Constitution of Liberty, Friedrich Hayek defends the idea of some people inheriting vast sums of money for the good of society as a whole. You see, we proles can’t handle “the propagation of new ideas in politics, morals, and religion” ourselves. We need people “who can back their beliefs financially” to do that sort of thing. Of course, not all of the idle rich will take it upon themselves to instruct the lower orders:
It is undeniable that such a leisured group will produce a much larger proportion of bons vivant than of scholars ad public servants and that the former will shock the public conscience by their conspicuous waste. But such waste is everywhere the price of freedom; and it would be difficult to maintain that the standard by which the consumption of the idlest of the idle rich is judged wasteful and objectionable is really different than that by which the consumption of the American masses will be judged wasteful by the Egyptian fellaheen or the Chinese coolie.
And, so we see, Rich Kids Of Instagram is not a call to man the barricades and sharpen the guillotines, it’s simply the price we have to pay to be free. This kid’s got three bottles of Dom Perignon so that our world can be a better, freer place for all.
Tom Friedman, NY Times columnist, and somebody for whom the world is tailored because he had the self-motivation to marry into a family that owns several shopping malls.
Anyways, this is interesting primarily to make fun of, or rail against, depending on which seems more effective at the moment. It’s the sort of thing that drives a smart finance blogger like Felix Salmon at Reuters to start sounding downright Marxist:
This manages to be both incomprehensible and incredibly offensive at the same time. I have no idea what Friedman thinks he’s talking about when he blathers on about disappearing protective floors; I can only hope that he isn’t making a super-tasteless reference to the recent disaster in Bangladesh. But it’s simply wrong that today’s world is “tailored” for anybody who happens to be “self-motivated”. Both the self and the motivation are components of labor, not capital, and as such they’re on the losing side of the global economy, not the winning side.
Always good to see people who get that class conflict is at the heart of economic issues. He goes on to describe the reality of 401(k) plans for those of us who aren’t highly-paid shills for the capitalist class:
Friedman might be right that we’re living in a 401(k) world, but if he is then he’s right for the wrong reason. In Friedman’s mind, a 401(k) plan is an icon of self-determination: you get out what you put in. “Your specific contribution,” he writes, italics and all, “will define your specific benefits.”
In reality, however, a 401(k) plan is an icon of futility and the way in which the owners of capital extract rents from the owners of labor. Yves Smith is good on this, as is Matt Yglesias, although the real expert is Helaine Olen: the 401(k) is a way for both your government and your employer to disown you, and to leave your life savings to be raided by the financial-services industry and its plethora of hidden and invidious fees.
And thus we see Tom Friedman’s metaphor exposed for what it really means. His body of work (OK, the part that’s not straight-up warmongering) is dedicated to selling the working classes on the premise that they are better off facing the global economy as individuals than using collective action. And he’s a serious pundit (heck, he’s even usually considered a liberal pundit) with a regular column in our nation’s most influential newspaper opinion page.