Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) is a case study in the Washington approach. Rep. Waters, who like so many of her peers offers unpaid internships, celebrated the passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007—raising the rate of the minimum wage to $7.25 from $5.15—with a House floor statement. "The economic gap between the rich and poor is growing. Too many people are living at or below the poverty line," Rep. Waters said. "When we pass this bill, we will all feel better about ourselves."
By offering unpaid internships, Rep. Waters says that some jobs are valuable in and of themselves and that the experience is more valuable than a minimum wage would be. I agree with that. I also agree that some jobs are beneficial with a combination of a low salary and job experience.
And yet. Rep Waters is supporting legislation that would make these jobs illegal. Why is she offering these jobs to her staffers but trying to make it illegal for anyone else to offer these jobs to their employees?