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Thursday, July 19, 2012

First Jobs

John Stossel
What was your first job?

I stuck pieces of plastic and metal together at an Evanston, Ill., assembly line. We produced photocopiers for a company called American Photocopy.

I hated the work. It was hot and boring. But it was useful. It taught me to get good grades in school so I might have other choices.

Four years later, good grades got me a job as a researcher at a TV station.

To my surprise, that became a career. I never planned to be a TV reporter. I hadn't even watched TV news. I never took a journalism course.

But by showing up and trying stuff, I found a career.

I write about this because I'm appalled watching politicians kill off "first" jobs. (They say it's to protect us.)

First, they raise the minimum wage. Forcing employers to pay $7.25 an hour leaves them reluctant to give unskilled kids a chance -- why pay more than a worker can produce? So they offer fewer "first" jobs.

On top of that, the Obama Labor Department has issued a fact sheet that says free internships are only legal if the employer derives "no immediate advantage" from the intern.

Are you kidding me? What's the point of that? I want interns who are helpful!

The bureaucrats say they will crack down on companies that don't pay, but that's a terrible thing to do.

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