Time to pay the interns?

Published Tuesday, January 08, 2013 / The Five

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," January 8, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: We have been having great time in the commercial breaks today. We'll tell you later on Twitter what was said.

OK. This is what we're going to talk about now, Bob -- interns, internships, important ways to start getting -- no, not that. Not that kind of problem with interns. Internship is very important. I think all of us probably had internships along the way. Some internships are paid, some are unpaid.

Charlie Rose had to settle the lawsuit to pay college interns minimum wage, like $250,000 lawsuit.

Andrea, did you intern?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I did.

PERINO: In addition to working at the diner?

TANTAROS: Yes.

PERINO: That is the difference. You two, I am trying to hold it together here. Interns, should I go this way over here? Did you intern?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Not necessarily intern, but I worked -- my first job on Wall Street you had to work for really, really no money. That's just --

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Oh, I bet.

BOLLING: You did, Bob. You weed people out and finds out who wants to be there and doesn't want to be there and great way teaching people, you know, the skills they need to handle a job later, and it's also great for business.

PERINO: Well, it's a great way to find out what you don't want to do in the future and you can learn things. Did you have unpaid internships?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: I interned for Bill Hemmer.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: That explains --

GUTFELD: I can't say what happened except I can't go to the basement again.

But for information on this topic, I tried to contact liberal business owners of association, but it didn't exist.

The left, I want to make a point, serious point here. The left paints a myth that people toil for years on this low-wage job, but no, they don't. They are only on the low rung of the ladder for a short time. That's why it's low-paying and that's why it's a low rung. You got to keep it low --

BECKEL: How do you know that?

GUTFELD: Because I studied it. A low-paying job has to be on the low rung in order to get people up on that. That's why if you make -- if you make the low rung high paying the unskilled worker can't get up there and move up. That's why the biggest myth of all time is sweat shots are bad.

Sweat shops for emerging economies and for workers with no skills.

And then over time, the country moves away from it.

BECKEL: Well, first minimum wage job I had was security guard at funeral parlor.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: There wasn't a lot of business there, wasn't there? Not a lot of room walking through the door.

BECKEL: One of the biggest funeral parlors in New York City. It had to walk around and see the caskets every night.

TANTAROS: To make sure what?

BECKEL: People don't steal rings. People used to take tough in it, the rings and that stuff.

PERINO: Well, that's another part of this story. There's internship part which I think is valuable. You can learn skills and then you can see if you want to work there.

And then also, it gives an employer a chance to see if they want to hire you. An employer, when you're that age and you're not making production difference in the country, the employers put out and the minimum wage increase going around the country, we just put up a new one, $7.25 an hour I guess. Some people want to even increase that, Eric, more. And that actually has led according to the studies to more teen unemployment and young people unemployment which delays their development and their ability to invest in themselves for later on.

BOLLING: There is nothing good come from the minimum wage law in the country. I know you will lose your mind over there.

Let the market bear the proper level for wages.

BECKEL: Let the management pay them $2 an hour, right?

BOLLING: You know what happens? People won't work at that company.

Work at McDonald's or somewhere elsewhere the wages are higher. They won't get skilled workers.

BECKEL: Corporations in this country, before you had decent labor laws they were running over people.

BOLLING: The free market always works better than when government --

TANTAROS: Now that I've stopped laughing. I want to answer her question.

So, I did intern. I wasn't working at the restaurant. But I had to get a different waitressing job. I was vacuuming up, Bob, Novak's popcorn at CNN when --

PERINO: I would have done that with pleasure.

TANTAROS: Not glorious, but we didn't get paid to do it. And I think if they start to impose minimum wage on these internship jobs --

(LAUGHTER)

BECKEL: Sorry.

TANTAROS: -- you're not going to be able to get an internship. I probably would even have that internship if there was --

PERINO: As a small business owner before I moved to New York, I wanted to get an intern. Some is menial tasks to get done but that's how people learn. If you are under lawsuit like Charlie Rose was, I don't think I would have hired them.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: What are you going to say, Greg?

GUTFELD: You know, I have two interns right now. I actually don't pay at all. I just give them afternoon back rubs. I know they're working because they are trembling.

PERINO: Does that what they call fringe benefits?

This is --

BECKEL: People with benefits -- friends with benefits.

PERINO: Bob --

TANTAROS: Bob --

PERINO: My minimum wage job in college, 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., country music deejay and this was a hit song from there.

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