« It's Just Bad Form | Main | Eat The Old »

June 14, 2005

Free Work, Emphasis on the Work

The New York Times clocks in this morning with a superb article on the Heritage Foundation's attitude towards its Summer interns.  Rather than the wageless servitude ambitious, affluent kids generally go through, Heritage offers a $2,500 stipend, palatial living quarters (at least by intern standards), intellectually rigorous work, and a lunch series where interns trudge through the conservative philosophical canon.

Sweet deal.  And not just for the interns.  These kids, due to the living quarters, will network with each other.  These kids, due to the work, will actually have the opportunity to prove themselves.  They'll be further indoctrinated into conservative ideas and exit the Summer with a tidy little sum.  The Heritage internship program, in short, is a perfect inversion of a normal program: for Heritage, it's about serving the interns, not the other way around.

It's certainly tilling no new ground to exclaim over the conservative movement's attention to its young and their devotion to cultivating college talent.  So I'll save you that -- I'm not even sure how much this sort of thing matters.  After all, the same connections can be made without the living quarters, the same experience had (assuming you can pay for it, which is a major, and often untrue, assumption) without the stipend.  What's different is the work. 

I'm going to work for the American Prospect for the simple reason that the Washington Monthly actually let me write and report articles.  If my internship with them had been anything like my work with the ACLU or the Dean campaign, I'd be off to grad school.  Liberals often lament the fact that talented young progressives dash off to single interest groups and NGO's rather than enter the party superstructure.  Makes sense -- who wants to spend a lifetime making coffee and filling out spreadsheets?  The Washington Monthly, with its skeleton staff, had lots for me to do.  The ACLU didn't.  My friends who've worked for the DNC pushed paper, those on the Kerry campaign did less.  But those who interned for small NGO's or offices are, to a one, excited to reenter their field and praying their organizations offer them a job. 

If liberals want to build their farm team, keep their talent and involve their young, the answer isn't in the Heritage Foundation's glitz.  Aside from subsidizing those who can't pay, a program's success isn't in the living quarters or stipend, it's in the respect and responsibility.  Fair or not, interns don't want to be interns, they want to be entry level staffers.  And if you give them something of that life, they'll come back for the real thing.  The Heritage Foundation is doing exactly that and, from what I hear, CATO works similarly.  No wonder that the two of them attract so much young talent. 

So CAP?  Ball's in your court.

June 14, 2005 in Republicans | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c572d53ef00d83449524253ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Free Work, Emphasis on the Work:

Comments

Did you mean that to read "Balls in your court" or was it supposed to be "Ball's in your court."

The former is much funnier.

Posted by: Matt Singer | Jun 14, 2005 11:49:29 AM

heh heh, he said "balls"

Posted by: verplanck colvin | Jun 14, 2005 11:53:30 AM

So here's a question Ezra: It has been thrown around by folks that the boomer age cohort in charge of liberaldom wants to stay forever. Do you think that these things are related? The lack of mentoring and many real mechanisms for setting up a farm team, or bringing along new talent may be a manifestation of that inertia (though it may be called gravitas by those on the inside).

Posted by: TJ | Jun 14, 2005 12:04:55 PM

Matt, Varplanck: To your rooms! Both of you! You didn't see nothing...

TJ -- Nope, I don't think that's it at all. It may make them feel like they don't need to worry about bringing up the young, but I don't believe they're actively keeping anyone out.

Posted by: Ezra | Jun 14, 2005 12:19:04 PM

You're forgetting that Heritage can afford to pay people to do all the things other groups have interns do. I don't think there's a political campaign that would be able to pay people to do all the paper shuffling necessary to stay afloat, and the ACLU and other groups would rather spend money on other things. Get some lefty zillionaires to fund clerical staff and there'll be more brain tasks for the interns.

Posted by: Also | Jun 14, 2005 12:21:55 PM

I would second the notion that ultimately this is about money... although I think it's also about priorities. Liberals, I think tend to think of this sort of thing - political think-tank work, campaigning, agitating for change - as the thing you do because you're passionate, and that passion subsitutes for the kind of wages you would make in private sector - which, after all is bad/the enemy/ what-have-you. I think rich conservatives learned painfully that on their side no one wants to turn out for a good day of agitating for the status quo voluntarily; but, like their maids, if you pay someone enough money, they'll do what you want. Which has translated into a version of think thank internships that look and feel a lot like private sector ones.

A similar example - my friend who is doing graduate work in Urban Planning at MIT has her MBA and has worked in private sector and public/private partnerships. I'm paraphrasing, but she's been amazed at how her colleagues expect no money and consider it a badge of honor to rail against "the man" and the pain of limited grant money, etc. Whereas she's wondering "why don't we go out there and get the private sector to fund some of this."

I work (in said private sector) with people who'd be happy to give their excess money to a good cause that was vaguely liberal. I don't see them (or me) getting asked to all that much - and when we are, it's rather graceless invites to join the ACLU or People for the American Way to fund lawsuits and ad campaigns. As much as I think Heritage is perverting the rules to some degree, the fact remains that liberlas probably have the resources to develop similar programs. I suspect what we don't have is the will - or the sense of priority - because, in part, a lot of young - and even older - agitators don't want to be associated with the filthy lucre of the private sector any more than is absolutely necessary. Which I get, but I think the sentiment is misplaced. We're not all bad evil Capitalists bent on Only One Thing.

Posted by: weboy | Jun 14, 2005 12:37:11 PM

That sounds like the internships that insurance companies offer math majors in order to entice them to become actuaries. The outstanding compensation and benefits are supposed to make you forget about the dullness and repetitiveness of the work and are supposed to make you believe that you actually like being an actuary. (In my case, it drove me right into the arms of consulting, where you actually interact with other human beings.) In other words, when you see a big dollar sign next to an internship salary, don't think "damn, that's a sweet gig"; think "that's how much they have to pay to get people to even try doing this for a living."

Posted by: diddy | Jun 14, 2005 1:14:05 PM

I think that the money and housing ARE important. Right after a Freshman year in college, figuring out how to rent an apartment is tricky, especially if you don't have connections.

A lot of people are dissuaded from entering politics, because they can't figure out how to make a living. Taking away some of those worries is the least we can do. If you're constantly stressed, it can be hard to be creative.

A lot of people, for example, recommend taking a semester off from school to get an internship. I never considered doing this, because I got my health insurance through school. These internship programs assume that you are a dependent covered by your parents' insurance, when that's not always the case. I'd rather be more generous than less. You can always ask for donations from the better off alums.

Posted by: Abby | Jun 14, 2005 3:37:23 PM

I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: Lavoisier1794 | Jun 14, 2005 10:14:03 PM

Maybe young interns at left-leaning think tanks are our "rural voters" of the Democratic party-- people who constantly "vote" against their self-interest.

when you see a big dollar sign next to an internship salary, don't think "damn, that's a sweet gig"; think "that's how much they have to pay to get people to even try doing this for a living."

That's a perfectly reasonable attitude for you, as a prospective job-seeker, to have. Best to be skeptical. However, the problem is that I think this attitude towards well-paid internships seems endemic among the people offering them as well-- ie, "low-paid internships are the morally right ones." If an internship can't cover your housing and living expenses, then it's just a form of exploitation-- or a prestige position available only to the well-off.

Posted by: Constantine | Jun 15, 2005 8:02:16 AM

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
钢托盘
木托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
南京托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
杭州托盘
成都托盘
武汉托盘
长沙托盘
合肥托盘
苏州托盘
无锡托盘
昆山托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
南京托盘
南京钢制托盘
南京钢托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘

托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
塑料托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
铁托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
木托盘
塑料托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘

托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
木制托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
铁托盘
塑料托盘
木托盘
纸托盘
木塑托盘
柱式托盘
波纹板托盘
镀锌托盘
南京托盘
上海托盘
北京托盘
广州托盘


托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
托盘
塑料托盘

Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 10:03:49 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.