Sure, the public face of Mother Jones is all “workers of the world unite,” but underneath it all they do understand the law of supply and demand. If they didn’t, their interns would earn more than Walmart employees.
While there are many reasons to disagree with the Mother Jones stance, perhaps the biggest reason was revealed on Monday—even at $7.25 an hour, Walmart is paying 21% more than Mother Jones pays its lowest level employees. That’s assuming the magazine’s employees are working only 40 hours a week, which according to the report is a big assumption.
It’s fun to play gotcha with a lefty outlet like Mother Jones, but let’s face simple reality. There are a whole lot of people who want to work for organizations like this, and they’re willing to work for peanuts under lousy conditions in the hope that one day after all of the slaving over the Xerox machine, they might earn the opportunity to hack out articles for Mother Jones, The New Republic or Salon. Okay, maybe not Salon. These outfits can pay lower than minimum wage because there are a lot more people looking to get in the door than there are available internships, and liberal hipster journalism grads will go through a lot of pain to be the next Ezra Klein.
I’d like to welcome Mother Jones to the bourgeois bloodsucking capitalist class. If your writers ever figure out what you’re up to and go on strike, I’m willing to work for less than Davis-Bacon wages.