At least one person in the mainstream media thinks that selling jobs isn’t fair game. Timothy Noah, at Slate, picked on an article from the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. Interesting tidbit: according to Noah, the first report on internships sales was in the Wall Street Journal in June 2006. So, what’s the trend? Not pretty. But where Noah really puts his finger on the problem is when he points at the double moral standard applied to unfair internships and other issues of equal opportunity.
Equality of opportunity was no longer a fashionable topic, except as it pertained to race or gender (where it enjoys some legal protection) or to sexual orientation (where public attitudes are evolving toward greater tolerance). The failure of college kids who lacked means or connections to get choice internships was not new, and the formal monetization of such internships didn’t seem to shock very many people.
And this is how it gets from an entry-level salary, to a sub-legal salary, to an unpaid job, to a job that you pay for. Hey, it’s not like getting a job has ever ben easy! Now how’s that a reason not to draw a line at what’s acceptable? The line have been drawn and now it’s been crossed without anyone noticing.