Intern Sweatshops?

Jeffrey Miron comments on state officials’ claim that increasing the use of unpaid (or barely paid) interns might run afoul of minimum wage laws.

Your first reaction to this story might be, “Well that’s just ridiculous: how can it make sense to prevent employers and interns from engaging in a mutually beneficial interaction?”

It does not. But that is exactly what minimum wages laws are meant to do: prevent a willing employer and employee from engaging in mutually beneficial interaction at a wage below the legal minimum.

Indeed, it’s so wrongheaded, that the entrepreneurial libertarian video documentarian Jan Helfeld once decided to confront a famous intern employer and supporter of the minimum wage just on this topic. See video below.