I’ve commented recently about unpaid interns, primarily because some lawsuits have erupted from this abusive practice.
Now here comes James Surowiecki, the New Yorker’s Financial Page columnist, who, in a brilliant, limpid, one-page dissertation, analyzes how and why the U.S. is in an employment crisis. His emphasis is on low-wage workers.
You must read it, because you can read it. Suroweicki is clear and rationally compassionate about the problem of low-wage work in the United States, why this form of serfdom has metastacized, and how we all are complicit.
He discusses the minimum wage, why it’s “brutally hard…to live on a McDonald’s wage,” and why raising it would help but why it’s not the long-term solution.
He tells us why “Low-wage earners have long been the hardest workers to organize and the easiest to ignore. Now they’re front-page news.” And he explains why this has happened, too.
The article ends:
As Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, told me, “The best friend that low-wage workers have is a strong economy and a tight job market.” It isn’t enough to make bad jobs better. We need to create better jobs.
Read it. Just read it.