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Why? Shouldn't I be free to work for no charge if I really want? AREN'T WE SUPPOSED TO HAVE "FREEDOM" IN THIS COUNTRY? (the US, that is.)

(Postscript while comment score at 0. I take your downvotes to indicate 'no'. Which is about what I figured. :P)

The USA has a century long precedent of certain protections for laborers. Child labor protections and regulated overtime pay are just as non-free than the "equal work, equal pay" mentality when it comes to intern abuse... For better or for worse.

There is also a century long precedent of unpaid internships, apprenticeships, etc.. This is a recent change in the workplace. I find it very odd, and restrictive that I can't work for free.

I think it's mostly to protect the "hirees".

My Airbnb host used to "hire" a Japanese kid to water her garden without paying him a cent. She told him it was an "internship" for her design company, and she told him by tradition and by default, internship is unpaid. That kid was paying very high rent to her already, obeying all kinds of house rules like "shower should be less than 5 minutes and only one time per day". He was nice enough to work for her for free for over a month. I don't think that kid knew about his right. That's where the laws should come in.

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