Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

First Jobs ^ | July 18, 2012 | John Stossel

Posted on 07/18/2012 4:15:47 AM PDT by Kaslin

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.

Unpaid internships are great. They are win-win. They let young people experiment with careers, and figure out what they'd like and what they're good at. They help employers produce better things and recruit new employees.

I've used interns all my career. They have done some of my best research. Some became journalists themselves. Many told me: "Thank you! I learned more working for you than I learned in college, and I didn't have to pay tuition!

I could have paid them, but then I would have used fewer interns. When I worked at ABC, the network decided to pay them -- $10 an hour -- but it also cut the number of internships by half. Politicians don't get it. Neither do most people. Polls show that Americans support raising the minimum wage. Most probably also support limits on unpaid internships, believing that they replace paid work.

But they don't.

OK, sometimes they do. But the free exchange of labor creates so many good things that, in the long run, more jobs are created and many more people get paid work -- and we get better work.

But American politicians think they "protect" workers by limiting employers' (and workers') choices and giving handouts to the unemployed.

Outside a welfare office near Fox News, I was told that because of high unemployment, there are no jobs: "There's nothing out there. Nothing." I asked my team to check that out. They walked around for two hours, and within a few blocks of that welfare office they found lots of businesses that want to hire people. On the same block where I was told that there are no jobs, a store manager said he was desperate for applicants. "We need like two or three people all the time."

Of the 79 businesses that we asked, 40 said they would hire. Twenty-four said they would take people with no experience. All wished more people would apply.

I told German Munoz, a recent high school graduate, about one of the jobs offered, at a soul food restaurant. He went there and was hired to wash dishes for minimum wage. Within a few days, he was promoted to busboy -- then to waiter. Now, two weeks later, he makes twice the minimum wage. German doesn't want a career as a waiter, but he says it's great having a real first job.

"I meet successful people, and they give good advice and tips on how to become successful. I love it. I love going there every day and learning new stuff. It is like a stepping stone," he said. Exactly.

Low-wage first jobs are indispensable for both personal advancement and social progress. Our best hope for prosperity is the free market. Government must get out of our way and allow consenting adults to create as many "first" jobs as possible.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: jobs; jobsandeconomy; minimumwage
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-45 next last

1 posted on 07/18/2012 4:15:56 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I started working at a little grocery store at the age of 9 and have worked ever since. Back then I worked for 25 cents per hour and later got a raise to 50!

2 posted on 07/18/2012 4:20:20 AM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

My first business was selling cold drinks to the construction workers building houses on my street. On hot summer afternoons they paid handsomely for a cold bottle of Nehi. My bicycle would carry enough to take care of those working on one or two houses. They would take their break when I arrived with the cold drinks.

As an 11 year old entrepreneur I did well. (I did have help. My mom drove on public roads to the store where I bought the drinks)

3 posted on 07/18/2012 4:22:48 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Harvesting Tobacco was my first job.
I worked on my fathers farm and after we got our crops in I hired out to the neighbors, for 5 dollars a day and lunch.I was 14 the first time I was hired.

4 posted on 07/18/2012 4:24:24 AM PDT by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I disagree. Politicians, particularly Democrats do get it. They want more unemployment and dependency while claiming they are helping people. Dependency on government programs guarantees a larger Rat power base. Why would they want a prosperous, independent and free voter base? They might vote Conservative.

5 posted on 07/18/2012 4:28:52 AM PDT by Truth29
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bert
Check out this cute Youtube video

Post-Lemonade Day Lessons

6 posted on 07/18/2012 4:34:53 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I started my FIRST job in 1945 at age 10. At 77 I’m still at it, but I’m down to 50 hours a week. I’m a 4th generation watchmaker, taught by family, in a traditional apprenticeship. This country is woefully short of people of my trade, and the rules and regulations handed down by the governments is a large part of the problem.
I’ve always wanted to teach a youngster this trade, but with the exception of two young cousins, the 5th generation at the bench, I wouldn’t consider it. What a shame.
You could substitute any of dozens of vanishing trades for the word “watchmaker” and the reasons are the same.

7 posted on 07/18/2012 4:36:37 AM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf ( NY Times: We print the news as it fits our views.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
I worked at a bearing factory on midnights. I was seventeen.

It was awful.

And I was thinking the whole time about all my friends out having a ball while I was dying in that dark, dirty, noisy place.

Of course, the pay was great and I was able to buy my first car cash and get into college.

8 posted on 07/18/2012 4:37:31 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
My first job was 50 cents per hour working on my Uncle's dairy farm. I milked cows and bailed hay. Learned how to drive a tractor, operate a front end loader and a hay bailer when I was 10 years old.
9 posted on 07/18/2012 4:39:36 AM PDT by OldMissileer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
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.

This can't be stressed enough. Many students coast through school without any real idea of the value of an education. Oh they say the right things, but when it comes to applying themselves toward getting an education (as opposed to getting good grades) they fail. And that failure continues through college where the expectations about that first "real job" veer off into fantasy-land. Lessons about word & education are better learned early.

10 posted on 07/18/2012 4:40:22 AM PDT by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Summer at age 14.
Mowed 4 peoples yards on a regular basis
Caddied 2-3 times a week at the local golf course.
Sold golf balls (recovered from fields) You would not believe the money this generated....
Dug a foundation ditch (helped) (shovel) for a person building a garage.
All cash jobs and I made GOOD money

11 posted on 07/18/2012 4:51:19 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tallguy

I never forget, I was was watching a game show in 1967 and the host asked one of the contestants, who looked about 25 years old, what he was doing. The contestant replied he was a college student. So the host asked him what he wanted to do when he graduate. The contestant replied. I have no idea

12 posted on 07/18/2012 4:52:31 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Venturer

I cropped tobacco , too. Eastern NC, started when I was 13, summer of ‘73. Also drove the tractor, loaded the curing barns, unloaded the barns, topped and suckered, you name it. Dad wasn’t a farmer, it was a friend of his I worked for. Dad worked at MCAS Cherry Point, but was raised on a tobacco farm. I come from a long line of NC tobacco farmers. Anyway, 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, pay was $2.00 an hour back then.

13 posted on 07/18/2012 4:53:07 AM PDT by fredhead (It's my Herbie year...check out the number on the side of the famous VW.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

My first job was covering my High School’s varsity sports games for the local newspaper when I was a freshman. I was paid by the age so I learned about ‘padding’ quickly.

14 posted on 07/18/2012 4:53:31 AM PDT by AU72
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Washing walls.

15 posted on 07/18/2012 4:58:30 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Truth29

I had TWO first jobs! I worked in a beauty shop cleaning hair brushes, sweeping hair, keeping the reception area organized and taking money (had to do the change in my head), during the week and on Sunday’s took care of the nursury at my church. Saturdays we had to first help daddy with the yard and then clean our room and whatever our weekly rotating area was. Ended up with a career in commercial property management- loved it most of the time.

When I think of all the people I KNOW who are getting government handouts it about makes me sick. The younger ones rely heavily on their parents when these don’t make ends meet. God get all the free money you can is their way of looking at life. Older ones who opted out of health insurance and their health faded, got on LONG TERM disablity or employee disability insurance programs where they worked. Some live a luxury life off government grants to give them expensive operations as they think they deserve them! Their health is finally somewhat important. I comment now to them that I am blessed by my GOD that I could live out my dad’s stern rule to us-—you cannot go without health insurance and have savings or insurance enough to bury yourself. We did without finer things in life for insurance-health, car, home, life—BUT, never did without love, respect and ethics in life as a family. My sisters and I carry that on as my nieces all have jobs that support them and/or their family and all have insurances. We have a situation going on now with preemie TWINS and if they had not had insurance would have cost the taxpayers a million dollars. Some of the preemies are uninsured and the cost is unbelievable. And, imagine after spending a full day in the hospital with these babies then going to a non-profit room nearby for emergency calls and hearing a banging headboard several times a night waking you up! True stories!

I also know of a case where a motorized wheelchair sits out front of a house because he lost the key to it. And, when I ask my senator what happens to them after the patient isn’t using the ones WE pay grandly answer. Guess the family sells them on Craig’s list or e-bay.

UNLESS we fall into a hole financially as a nation or have a religious revival what will change this mentality?

16 posted on 07/18/2012 5:05:33 AM PDT by YouGoTexasGirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

My first job was shoveling hog manure on the farm.

Was always paid in my internships. Engineers usually are. Honestly, I don’t understand why you would work for free at one. That hints your field is not very good.

17 posted on 07/18/2012 5:07:52 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I picked radishes and green onions. On my knees. In the field. I was paid by the “twistie”.

People may not know this, but the green onions and radishes you buy at the store were bunched in those little twisty ties right where they were pulled out of the ground. By a human being.

When I turned 15 I sometimes would be paid by the hour to come up behind the other “bunchers” and put their piles of bunches in the wooden boxes and load ‘em onto the tractor, take it into the barn and wash it. Washing meant dunking each box into a big sink a couple of times and pulling it out and into a stack.

When I turned 16 I drove the truck load of veggies to the distribution centers for places like Safeway.

I think most of what I did is now illegal to allow young people to do. What a shame.

18 posted on 07/18/2012 5:10:35 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
I started at 14 picking strawberries at a u-pick farm, right next to the migrant workers. The Vietnamese worked circles around me.

I had that job all through high school and college, from stoop labor to assistant farm manager. In fact during the amnesty of 1986 I had between 20 and 60 migrant workers through out the harvest. I only had 2 that that were illegal. We had immigration officials pay us a visit a couple times a month.

That job bought a moped, a '68 Camaro, payed for half my flying lessons and offset a great deal of college expenses.

There are more and more days I simply miss that job.

19 posted on 07/18/2012 5:12:52 AM PDT by Kakaze (I want The Republic back !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Babysitting. Then waitress in a diner. Then short order cook in a factory.

20 posted on 07/18/2012 5:14:04 AM PDT by randita (Either the politicians fix our fiscal insanity, or the markets will.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-45 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson