The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today according to a report from the Employment Policies Institute, the majority of lawmakers sponsoring legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour do not pay their interns.
The article reports:
However, the analysis conducted by the Employment Policies Institute shows that the majority of the lawmakers who have co-sponsored the measure do not pay their interns a wage at all. The study found that of the 184 lawmakers who supported the bill, 174, or 95 percent did not pay their interns.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.), Rep. Betty McCollum (D., Mn.) and Rep. Robert Scott (D., Va.) pay their interns with a stipend. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said they offer some stipends or limited financial assistance.
Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hi.), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hi.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) offer stipends or some assistance but they are only under certain conditions or to cover expenses like travel or housing.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) said stipends are often available but they are not guaranteed.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt. ) is the only lawmaker who pays his interns at $12 an hour, which is still less than what the legislation demands for the private sector.
“If Democrats in Congress are passionate about raising the wage to $15, they should start by paying it to their own staffers,” said Michael Saltsman, managing director at the Institute. “It’s the height of hypocrisy to hire interns for $0 an hour, while asking private small businesses to pay $15.”
“Entry-level jobs, like unpaid internships, provide young employees with valuable experience–experience that will be difficult if not impossible to come by if the minimum wage is hiked by 107 percent,” he said.
A minimum wage job is not supposed to actually support a person–it is supposed to provide an entry into the workforce for a young person. During the time a young person works at a minimum wage job, they are expected to learn some basic workforce skills–showing up on time, being courteous to people who may not be courteous to them, showing up every day, and respecting authority. When the minimum wage is raised to a certain point, the number of jobs available to young people entering the workforce will decrease and the hours that they will be available for them to work will also decrease.
Aside from the basic economics ignored by those politicians attempting to gain votes by supporting a minimum wage, I find it highly ironic that those supporting a minimum wage are not even paying their interns.