Left Wing Magazine Caught Urging its Poorly Paid Employees to Get Food Stamps

Mother Jones is an extremely left-wing magazine. It is pro-socialism, pro-unions, and big on paying the minimum wage. Well, maybe big on other people paying the minimum wage because a recent expose found that Mother Jones pays its employees so poorly that executives urge them to sign up for food stamps so they can, you know, eat.

Mother Jones magazine is one of those placard-toting, protest-loving, true red concerns that love Occupy Wall Street whilst screaming “¡Viva la Revolución!” at the top of their red-tinged lungs. But paying their own interns a so-called living wage? Fuggedaboutit.

A recent piece by Vice columnist Charles Davis reported that MJ interns were told that they should go sign up for food stamps because the magazine doesn’t pay enough cash to live off of.

Here is how Davis put it:

One former MJ intern who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity told me they “slept on an air mattress for six months while I worked there because I couldn’t afford a real one.” Another former intern said, “During our first meeting with HR at Mother Jones, we were advised to sign up for food stamps.”

But for other people? Yep, MJ magazine is all about other people paying the minimum wage. Only as far back as June, for instance, the magazine attacked Walmart for its pay practices. But now we find out that Mother Jones itself pays even less than Walmart?

Of course, after the expose came out, suddenly the lefty extremists of MJ magazine announced that they are giving raises to their interns. Hallelujah!

But, in light of the magazine’s decades of support for the minimum wage, its constant advocacy for raising the min. wage, and its long-time support of socialism, the fact that it took an expose in another magazine to get MJ to live up to its so-called principals is so illustrative of liberal hypocrisy.

What this proves is that liberals love their principals… as long as those rules and concepts are only forced on other people and not themselves.

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  • jim_m

    Come now. We know from Nancy Pelosi that “It is the biggest bang for the buck when you do food stamps and unemployment insurance. The biggest bang for the buck,”. So Mother Jones is just trying to do everything it can to help the US economy.

  • Brucehenry

    Magazines, advocacy groups, and political campaigns often use low-paid or unpaid interns, who view the internships as a “foot in the door” to a paid gig.

    Compare and contrast the situation at Mother Jones with McDonald’s and Walmart.



    I doubt the interns at Mother Jones cost the taxpayers $7 billion a year.

    • jim_m

      Unions use low paid workers to walk picket line too. Doesn’t mean it’s right to bitch about Walmart not paying people more when your company refuses to do what you would demand from everyone else.

      But that really is the essence of being a leftist. You demand that everyone do as you tell them while you completely ignore your own advice. Until you are willing to pay your employees the way you demand that Walmart does you should STFU.

      But then if the left had to actually do what they say everyone else should do they wouldn’t be telling us to do much anymore.

      • Brucehenry

        Do you know what an “intern” is, as opposed to an “employee,” Jim? Ever worked for a company that used unpaid interns?

        My daughter has a film degree (fer chrissake, a film degree!) She is forever being offered unpaid internships as opposed to paid gigs. She, like these interns at MJ, is free to turn those offers down.

        “Employees,” on the other hand, expect to be paid enough to, you know, not have to get food stamps. as they should.

        • jim_m

          Actually, no. I haven’t ever worked for a company that used unpaid interns. Even residents in a hospital get paid (quite well too these days, although not on an hourly basis if you consider it that way).

          My company takes in many interns every summer. They get paid pretty well but then I work for a company that intends to make money and not a communist front seeking to bleed the productive members of society dry.

          I would hazard that interns ought to be college age kids and not people raising a family. If they are then they are idiots and deserve to live in poverty as the price of not having enough balls to go out and earn a living like the rest of us.

          • Brucehenry

            There are some fields where starting out as an unpaid or barely paid intern is the norm. Journalism, I believe, is one. Film is another.

            I guess everyone who works at fields that can’t make them a bejillion dollars is a parasite and an idiot.

          • jim_m

            There are some fields where starting out as an unpaid or barely paid intern is the norm. Retail, I believe, is one. Fry cook is another.


            Gee Bruce. Hypocrite much????? People know that these jobs pay low. But in both Walmart and McDonald’s they have the opportunity to go up a career ladder, kind of like journalism but you get pid from the beginning rather than having to work for nothing. Funny how you think that getting paid is wrong but not getting paid is OK.

            People know that when they go into it so they shouldn’t be complaining. I am staggered at what a freaking hypocrite you are. Get over yourself Mr commie. You disgust me with your double standard. It’s OK when your commie pals aren’t paying anyone but someone who actually wants to make money and help others make money, well they are just evil and must be stopped.

          • Brucehenry

            Completely un-self-aware as usual, Mr My-Parents-Paid-For-My-College-Education-I-Pulled-Myself-Up-By-My-Bootstraps.

            Trouble with libertarians and conservatives: No empathy for anyone or anything outside their own experience.

          • jim_m

            So you are telling me that you really do not see the hypocrisy?

            You really think that it is OK for MotherJones to do this but it is wrong for Walmart? In fact you think it is OK for MJ to NOT pay their employees anything and that it is wrong for Walmart to pay them something.

            I thought you were better than this but obviously you only care about the ideology and you are totally un self aware to that fact.

          • Brucehenry

            I’m pointing out that the situations aren’t equivalent. The few interns at Mother Jones should indeed be paid, but traditionally, low-paid or unpaid internships are part of breaking into this field.

            On the other hand we have multibillion dollar corporations whose owners are richer than Croesus because taxpayers subsidize their labor costs and you got noooo problem with that.

          • jim_m

            I am saying that I have no problem with companies offering jobs that are low paying because there is a need for low paying jobs and certain jobs do not add the value to the operation that would warrant the higher pay.

            I am also saying that for people who complain that jobs should pay more they should not be in an organization that is asking for free interns and their lowest wage should be in excess of what they demand Walmart pay.

            It’s that simple. If you want to eliminate those jobs by forcing employers to pay an elevated minimum wage them be my guest. I think it is pretty well established that raising the minimum wage does not increase wages for people overall, it reduces the number of jobs available (ie increases unemployment)

            And in reality, minimum wage laws are nothing but a transfer to the democratic party. Union contract wages are tied to the minimum wage s any minimum wage increase means an increase in union wages. Union dues are often a % of wages so an increase in union wages = an increase in union dues. Increases in union revenues are spent almost exclusively on support for the democratic party (when they don;t go into the pockets of corrupt union officials)

            So while you say that I am for taxpayers subsidizing Walmart, I would say that you are for a direct wealth transfer from productive industry to the dems and increasing the corruption of our political process..

          • JWH

            Bruce, I was in journalism from 1996 to 2001. When I was in college, I interned at three different places. Every single one of those places paid me for my work.

          • Brucehenry

            So I stand corrected, kind of.

          • Brucehenry

            So I stand corrected, kind of.

        • LiberalNightmare

          She, like these interns at MJ, is free to turn those offers down.

          Wow! Starting to sound like a republican there Brucie.

          • Brucehenry

            I’ve never been the wild-eyed loony you guys like to paint me. I’m a common-sense FDR-RFK Democrat.

          • LiberalNightmare

            I wouldnt let the rest of the moonbats around here hear you talking like that – they might take your “Si se peude” bumper sticker away.

            By the way, aren’t all of those low wage workers also allowed to turn down those job offers that pay so low?

          • jim_m

            Bruce thinks it is OK for his commie pals at Mother Jones to not pay anything but it is wrong for Walmart to pay a little. What a disgusting fraud he is.

          • Brucehenry

            Sure, and they can be homeless. Mother Jones interns, I’ll wager, are from what Westlake calls the “chattering classes.” They have choices other than “Take this low-paid job or be unemployed.”

          • jim_m

            Where they are from is of no import. THe fact remains that you are willing to look the other way because one company is ideologically aligned with your views and you are against the other because they oppose your views. That makes you a hypocrite. It isn’t about government aid or the pay, it is about ideology.

          • Brucehenry

            Nuh-uh, YOU are.

          • jim_m

            As I say above, you are OK with people being on food stamps as long as they work for someone who is ideologically aligned with your views. THAT is what makes you a hypocrite.

        • JWH

          Sorry, Bruce, but no dice. Film companies and magazines are actually in a heap of trouble right now because they’ve used unpaid interns to do tasks that should be the purview of paid employees. That’s exploitation. Pure and simple.

    • You forgot OFA

    • jim_m

      Never mind the fact that Walmart does not intend that its entry level jobs should be the career of slothful leftist parasites who don’t want to work for a living. The idea is that you work, do a good job, get experience and either go elsewhere for something better or get yourself promoted.

      Only socialists like Bruce and Chico think that the idea is to get a job as a fry cook in a McDonald’s and that you would spend 40+ years of your life doing that job. Most of us have more ambition than you guys do. We aspire to make something of ourselves and we don’t make the goal of our life to go on sex tourism trips and get free antibiotics from obamacare (chico).

      • Brucehenry

        Somebody has to do the grunt work, Jim. We ain’t all bootstrap-puller-uppers like you and the other Randian he-men here on Wizbang. There’s only room at the top for so many. There will always be folks who aren’t the Elite, like you are.

        Is it too much to ask that those at the bottom, who put in an honest day’s work, not be subjected to the indignity of asking for welfare?

        And why should the rest of us, even those who don’t SHOP at Walmart, have to pony up to keep Walmart’s employees’ bodies and souls together?

        • jim_m

          I sincerely doubt that there are that many Walmart employees that are on food stamps and Medicaid (but then again obama has dramatically expanded the qualifications for Medicaid so I am sure that even Jack Welch could qualify, certainly Warren Buffet’s secretary would).

          Why should we support them? Because not every job is intended to be a career, or did you miss that? At that point Bruce why not just say that Medcaid should be illegal for anyone who has any income other than welfare. That is really what you want anyway isn’t it. You want people to be solely dependent upon the government and that it should be nearly impossible to ever get yourself free of that once you are trapped in it. People compare it to slavery and here Bruce is admitting that that is pretty much what he wants.

          • Brucehenry

            I’m not following your arglebargle, Jim. You got angry and are not making yourself clear.

            Here’s something YOU missed: It is part of the BUSINESS MODEL of both Walmart and McDonald’s that their employees will be on SNAP and Medicaid in order to afford to work there.

            In other words, OUR taxes are going to subsidize THEIR labor costs, so they can pay such low wages and yet their labor force still doesn’t strike, or even unionize. They can make it, as long as that sweet sweet government money supplements the pittance Walmart pays.

          • jim_m

            Hello. Their business model is that a person will not be able to support themselves on what the entry level job pays, but they also plan on those people being young and without a family to support.

            As I said you have no problem with MJ or your daughter’s employers paying nothing to their employees but you want to castigate Walmart for actually paying something. You’re a fraud.

            So you are OK with OUR taxes going to subsidize the labor costs of MJ and the film company your daughter works for but not anyone who might have a different political viewpoint from you. THAT is what this is about. It isn’t about subsidizing workers it is about political ideology and punishing those you disagree with.

          • Brucehenry

            I said my daughter is always being OFFERED these internships. She doesn’t take ’em, preferring to support herself with her day job and hoping and looking for opportunities in her chosen field. But that’s her choice.

            And I’m not necessarily OK with MJ not paying their interns, just pointing out that it has been a common practice in that industry. Retail and fast-food? Not so much.

            Plus, the 5 or so interns (or are there more?) at MJ don’t add up to $7 billion, as Walmart’s unfortunate employees do.

            I point out that Walmart and McDonald’s cynically model their businesses so that the taxpayers subsidize them, but all you Bootstrap Advocates defend the outlay of government funds to subsidize the Walton family’s riches. Talk about hypocrisy!

            God forbid a SNAP recipient buys a flat screen TV, but it’s dandy to give SEVEN BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS to Sam Walton’s spawn (who inherited their riches.)

          • jim_m

            The point is that you are OK with MJ employees being on food stamps and you are not with Walmart employees. There is no difference in the justice of the pay scale if the employer is big or small. Either it is OK or it is not.

            It seems that the only difference that means anything to you is the ideology of the organization.

            And excuse me, we are not giving Walmart money, we are giving their employees money. Unless you are saying that you believe that companies should be allowed to actually own their employees.

          • Brucehenry

            If we didn’t provide $7 billion in subsidies Walmart would have to pay its employees at least some of that, or face labor strife.

            As for your reframing of what I said into what you want me to have said, that’s just typical Jim stuff. You were much better on the Why-Don’t-We-Redo-English thread.

          • jim_m

            No Walmart would not have to pay it and they wouldn’t pay it. People would have to find other ways. They would work multiple jobs (I have). They would live with someone else who had a job (I have).

            If Walmart’s pay scale was a problem they would already be facing labor strife. You think that people like being on Food Stamps? (Not everyone wants to help the economy like Nancy Pelosi does). The truth is that Walmart does not have labor problems which lays the lie to all your agitprop.

            You were less of a hypocrite on that thread too.

            [edit] And speaking of which, how can the left complain about Walmart employees being on Food Stamps when Nancy Pelosi claims that it is the single most effective thing we can do to boost the economy? I suppose she was lying about that too.

          • Retired military

            Ref your daughter.
            I don’t know if you agree with her career choice or not. I have a coworker whose son does commercial and bit acting parts. He worked on one superbowl commercial (his part was cut though) and several fast food commercials as well as doing some plays that have gotten good reviews in major papers. His dad wouldn’t have chosen that career path for his son but he is pleased that is son is doing what he is doing and making a go of it.

          • Brucehenry

            I think her problem is that she’s no salesman/politician. Doesn’t suffer fools gladly, as it were. So she has a little ….umm…trouble, making the connections she needs. She gets some work and does a great job at it but has trouble scoring new gigs.

  • Lawrence Westlake

    I’m sure that all 12 of MJ’s readers alternately were perplexed, beguiled or titillated by this news. That aside, the thing about the mental disorder otherwise known as leftism is that its practitioners are incapable of acting in conformity with their own stated political viewpoints. Or alleged viewpoints. At the risk of being tautological the reason is that leftism is a mental disease, not a legitimate political ideology. When for example a multi-millionaire liberal airhead (BIRM) in Malibu rails at a cocktail party about corporate greed and income inequality, and then drives their Porsche home to their McMansion for a meeting with their $500/hour tax attorney, he or she actually can’t grasp the various levels of hypocrisy, duplicity and banality. The underlying rant wasn’t really a political statement. It was projection.

  • GarandFan

    Just more hypocrisy on the left. Just like Harry Reid exempting some of his staff from having to enroll in ObamaCare. Seems some animals are ‘more equal’ than others.

  • JWH

    A fair ball. Neither MJ nor any other employer should pay wages on the assumption employees will be on the dole.

    • jim_m

      Wait, so companies should not assist employees from accessing benefits that they are entitled to by law?

      A company places a value on the work you do. That value is based on the contribution margin of the work performed and the price for labor that the labor market dictates. A company, realizing that the labor market value of the work is such that if an employee does not have a second job or does not live in a household where others are contributing to household income, should not be allowed to help its employees to access other sources of income or benefits?

      That makes no sense. So you believe that if we raise the minimum wage that no jobs will be lost? That is a fantasy that has been demonstrated false. As the price of labor goes up the number of jobs declines. Supply and demand still work in the labor market. If you increase wages at the bottom you will reduce the demand for the labor at the bottom of the market.

      Another question: If we increase the minimum wage are you therefore in favor of completely eliminating welfare? Why would we need it if every job paid a living wage? All we should ever need then is unemployment insurance (which is time limited) and social security disability, because every able bodied person should be able to get a job that pays them a living wage.

      Yeah, I suppose that is just another area of hypocrisy for you,

      • JWH

        You mistake my position. I believe that because government-funded welfare is so easily available, you and I, as taxpayers, are enabling Mother Jones to pay its interns less.

        • jim_m

          That’s what I am asking. If we passed an increase in the minimum wage to a level that was considered a “living wage” would you accept that welfare, food stamps and other related government programs for poverty could all be eliminated immediately? If every job pays a living wage then there is no excuse for the able bodied to not have a job. Period.

          We would save the tax payer over a trillion dollars a year.

          • JWH

            Do you live in a state that’s legalizing wacky tobacky? A “living wage” does not guarantee full employment.

          • jim_m

            I said before that we would retain unemployment. If you can work you should be able to get a job. There is always some churn in the job market, but every person who is able to work should be able to get a job. Unemployment was never permanent, at least it wasn’t until obama took office. That seems to have changed with him.