Toronto Life has been running an internship program for about 20 years. It paid interns a stipend until the financial crisis in 2009. "I would love to pay our interns," said Mr. Knight. "I would also love to give our regular staff annual cost of living increases. We can't do it."
Really? You can't reward the labour you need for your organization to thrive? How much do you pull in a year, Mr. Knight?
You know who really has no money? Homeless people. They have the clothes on their backs and that's it. Everyone else has money in one form or another. Some have more than others. The executives who jet set around the world, eat at expensive restaurants, wear expensive clothes and golf at exclusive clubs? They have lots of money.
They just aren't sharing it.
If the purpose of an organization is to survive, then money has got to flow. The braintrust needs it's bloodflow, but so do the limbs. Without it, they atrophy and the whole system dies. Interns aren't meant to be free labour, they're meant to be investments in the future - for your company and for society as a whole. Giving a kid experience fetching your coffee isn't value-add.
That's where we're at right now in society - we've been living the Randian dream of competitive, selfish people getting ahead (power in politics, money in the Private Sector, starfish throws in the Not-For-Profit sector) instead of investing in the system.
Businesses don't look to survive, they look to make their shareholders/executives money. It's like clear-cutting a forest - you suck the resources dry and when that entity is dead, you move on to the next one. Or you die off yourself. It happens to fungi.
This is not a sustainable model. In fact, it's detrimental to our collective economy, infrastructure and society.
Which revolution do I need to point to before that message sticks in the brains of these people with money pretending they don't have any?
It's been long enough that the people in power have been telling everyone else to pick up their bootstraps and compete hard for what they want.
Be careful what you wish for, etc.