PLEDGE NOW
Paying to Work for Free
University of Dream Website (detail)

A detail from the website University of Dreams (summerinternships.com).

The economy’s still lousy. Unemployment’s high and higher. Starting a career is murder. And guess who’s getting the internships that so often put a foot on the ladder to success?

Well, people with money. A hot business has grown up around paying for hot internships. Unpaid internships. Mom and dad shelling out $5000, $8000, $9000 to buy a summer internship that may get junior started.

Nice, if you’ve got the money. But what about merit? What about opportunity for all?

This hour: When it’s pay-to-play in the American economy.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Gerry Shih, a paid summer intern at The New York Times and author of the article “Unpaid Work, but They Pay for Privilege.”

Sara Lipka, former staff reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, where she covered internships and career services, among many other topics. She currently works on a farm, and blogs for The Atlantic on farming and food.

Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute. He is the principle author of the EPI’s “The State of Working America,” an analysis of the US labor market released every two years.

Lev Bayer, president and CEO of the Washington Internship Program.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 4, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, and daughter Ivanka, left, as he arrives for a primary night news conference, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Results from the 2016 Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 3, 2016
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, fifteen-year-old Amorette Castillo has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab in Alhambra, Calif. Scientists across the country are playing with miniature gadgets and fitting them on the overweight and obese to get an unbiased glimpse into their exercise and eating habits. The cell phone for gathering data is on her hip. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show’s contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.

 
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment