Regulating Internships Only Limits Opportunity

Dear Editor,

In her April 26 article entitled “Unequal Pay for Equal Labor,” Kelsey Marrujo applauds the government for “standing up for” the student against internship exploitation. Marrujo applies dubious arguments in support of further labor regulations, including appealing to emotion by pointing at the rise in tuition costs.

While I admit that a paid wage is far more lucrative than an unpaid internship, regulation does more harm than good. The decision to accept an internship is voluntary. As such, the student enters the contract aware of the conditions. Contracts can be broken if such an action behooves the student. Any claims that internships represent a form of exploitation are clearly nonsensical.

Regulating internships will hurt the student because it will inevitably decrease the availability of internships. Businesses will no longer offer positions if they are coerced into paying their interns, and, as a result, they will deny students valuable work experience. This means that the few fortunate enough to have interned will have advantage over those that did not, thanks to state regulation.

Before jumping the gun and berating employers for exploiting students, let’s remember that all internships are voluntary in nature. It follows that unpaid internships are indeed advantageous to the student.

—Jonathan Finegold Catalán

Resident, San Diego

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