As America and the Entire Industrialized World dips into the second act of our 21st Century Greatest Depression, workers and employers are developing new skills to cope with the complete lack of money. In the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, for example, about a hundred actual qualified lawyers have worked in the “reserve” program, meaning that they work full-time and prosecute cases and shuffle papers for 10 hours a day like any paid city attorney, minus the “pay” part. Los Angeles is one of the richest cities in the world, with 45 known billionaires and 268,000 millionaires — more millionaires than anywhere else in the nation, and America has the most millionaires of any nation on Earth. Anyway, it’s a hot new trend, having degreed professionals work full-time without any pay at all. Because there are no jobs! And the governments are all broke, because the billionaires and millionaires don’t pay any taxes. No wonder rich people love America so much, as a legal address!
Ashley St. Johns-Jacobs, 40, typically rises before 5 a.m. to get to her job at the Los Angeles city attorney’s office by 8 a.m. After a full day prosecuting misdemeanors, she often brings work home. What she doesn’t bring home is a paycheck. With no position open, she has been working as an unpaid intern for nearly a year in hopes of eventually getting hired when a job opens up ….
Meet the new interns. With the unemployment rate still high and the economy not creating nearly enough jobs to put the nation’s 13.7 million unemployed back to work, seasoned workers like St. Johns-Jacobs are doing what was once unthinkable: working for free.
And there are no Official Records for such things, so knowing the scope of the “work a professional job without wages” phenomenon is limited to anecdotal evidence and Craigslist ads and Facebook suicide updates and other informational tools of our era. But we will add that the number of job-applicant emails to Wonkette has risen to a pretty shocking level in the past three months. Times are awful. [LA Times via Wonkette operative chascates]