... internships are largely for rich kids--and therein lies another problem. The menial summer job gave many kids their first paycheck and the feeling of independence that came with it. It was also inherently democratic. For eight hours a day, at any rate, working-class and middle-class kids were in the same boat. They all had to learn that life wasn't always entertaining. They had to wait tables for people who could be less than polite--people who sometimes reminded them of themselves. With many of them in four-year colleges (where close to 75% of their classmates come from homes at the top quarter of the income scale), without a draft and now without menial jobs, privileged kids almost never meet up with their less well-off peers.
Maybe, she suggests, your kids should be learning Spanish, not on a volunteer trip to Mexico, but by working alongside immigrants at Taco Bell. Of course she won't make her own daughter do that because she might not get into Harvard!