blue-collar work

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pages: 338 words: 92,465

Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century by Katherine S. Newman, Hella Winston

active measures, blue-collar work, business cycle, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, deindustrialization, desegregation, factory automation, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job-hopping, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, performance metric, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, two tier labour market, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor

But his emphasis on the aspirations and cultivation of elites faded away in favor of a universal call to open the doors of educational institutions, provide employment opportunities, desegregate housing, and guarantee the right to vote. Everyone should be able to seek a spot among the ranks of the talented tenth. Accommodating to inequality—as Washington was prepared to do in the name of economic security—was unacceptable. Upward mobility into the professions was the path toward respect. White America did not see the world so differently. Class intruded everywhere. Blue-collar work paid well, at least during the heyday of industrial unions, but it was not a source of pride. In David Halle’s book on New Jersey chemical company employees, America’s Working Man, a line worker instructs his eight-year-old kid to wave the father’s paycheck in front of his second-grade teacher and ask whether she had anything to say for herself. On the defensive, the blue-collar dad argued that his money trumped her prestige.

The notion that we should turn away from the dire consequences of the educational disaster unfolding in inner-city America and trust in the power of the college ideal is an irresponsible position as long as the pathway to college is strewn with so many obstacles. Moreover, it draws upon a different kind of prejudice: biases against careers that utilize the kind of intelligence and skill it takes to program a huge high-speed precision lathe, determine the cause of a plumbing problem, or spot a mistake in a drug dose in a hospital ward. This kind of talent built a booming nation and was once the bedrock of a proud blue-collar working class, whose unions organized for good wages. As a country, we stood in collective admiration of their achievements written in stone, glass, and metal. The United States was a mighty industrial power in the past and could be one again, but not until we find it in ourselves to respect what workers produce as much as we admire lawyers, doctors, or Silicon Valley computer wizards. * * * Modern manufacturers in the newly reindustrializing states are looking for people who can work with their hands and their heads, and they are having a hard time finding enough of them.

States were encouraged to spend federal funds on vocational education for students who had dropped out of college, workers who needed training or retraining, and individuals with academic, socioeconomic, or other handicaps.26 It was this very association of vocational training with disadvantage, especially urban black and rural white poverty, that would saddle it with a remedial taint. That valence was reinforced by the association of practical training with blue-collar work in a country fixated on white-collar employment as a mark of upward mobility. While other countries linked skilled manufacturing to international trade dominance with almost nationalist zeal, Americans pushed the blue-collar training agenda into an educational corner and virtually ensured that anyone who ventured there would be tarred by stigma. The route to middle-class status ran through the managerial, white-collar, or professional world and getting a ticket was the ambition of the upwardly mobile.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

It was the advantaged and dominant class of our time, I argued, and its members’ tastes, preferences, and proclivities were reshaping not just our cities but our culture, workplace practices, and society at large. I also identified two less advantaged classes that together made up the rest of the workforce: the larger and much-lower-paid service class, roughly 60 million workers, about half of the workforce, who toiled in low-paid food prep, retail, and personal service jobs, and the shrinking ranks of the blue-collar working class, who worked in factories, construction, the trades, and transportation and logistics and constituted about one-fifth of the workforce. The cities and the larger metropolitan areas that were most successful economically, I argued further, were those that excelled at what I called the “3Ts of economic development”: technology, talent, and tolerance. They had clusters of technology industry; they had great school systems and research universities that produced talent; and they were open-minded and tolerant, which allowed them to attract and retain talent regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

The service class is concentrated in a tight band outside downtown Boston, continuing north past Marblehead and south to Quincy along the coast, forming two big clusters at the northern and southern fringes of the metro. Nine of the ten most concentrated service-class neighborhoods in the metro are in the city of Boston, mainly in South and East Boston around historically black Roxbury and near Logan Airport. Slightly less than 15 percent of the region’s workers belong to the blue-collar working class, well below the national average—and a stark change from the middle of the twentieth century, when Boston was a preeminent manufacturing center. Figure 7.7: Boston Source: Map by Martin Prosperity Institute, based on data from the US Census. Washington, DC’s, creative class makes up nearly half the metro’s workforce, one of the highest levels in the country, spanning large areas of the city and the suburbs (see Figure 7.8).

Some will say that Trump and the Republicans are in the way here, but a lot can be done on this front by states and cities and the private sector. The strategies that politicians typically offer up for rebuilding the middle class will not even come close to solving the problem. Many, most notably Trump himself, like to talk about bringing middle-class manufacturing jobs back to America, for instance. But only 20 percent of Americans do blue-collar work of any sort today, and that includes huge numbers of construction and transportation workers. Just 6 percent of workers actually make things in factories. Even if we were able to bring large numbers of manufacturing jobs back, and even if the much-publicized successes with advanced and so-called artisanal manufacturing continue apace, these new jobs will still amount to just a drop in the bucket.


pages: 311 words: 130,761

Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America by Diana Elizabeth Kendall

Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, declining real wages, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, framing effect, Georg Cantor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, haute couture, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working poor

FADING BLUE-COLLAR FRAMING: OUT OF WORK OR UNHAPPY AT WORK Twenty-first-century media representations of the working class have described the diminished political and economic clout of the laboring class as compared to the heyday of unionized blue-collar workers’ earning relatively high wages with good benefits and job stability. News reports now focus on the “fading” of blue-collar work due to job loss, the threat of cheap immigrant labor, the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, the downgrading of blue-collar work generally, and the number of working-class families joining the ranks of the working poor or unemployed. A political cartoon summed up the problems of the formerly well-paid union factory worker by showing a man wearing a hard hat and work shirt sitting across a desk from a young woman at a computer. Behind them, a sign reads, “U.S.

The focus had shifted from workers’ issues and why they were threatening to strike to how workers’ actions inconvenienced and harmed other people. Congressional investigations, governmental actions, and violence during labor strikes provided reporters with fodder for numerous articles on the working class and its problems; however, the focus of many stories remained primarily on labor organizers and what Puette refers to as a “cartoon image” of labor unions—one that portrayed the “worthless, unproductive, overpaid blue-collar work force, which is considered the unhappy but inevitable result of unionization.”33 In articles ranging from coverage of the 1920 Palmer Raids (in which federal agents arrested more than five thousand people to break a nationwide strike)34 to news reports about passage of the Taft-Hartley Labor Act in 1947 (which curbed union strikes),35 reporters had ample opportunity to inform their readers about key issues facing workers.

With regard to the impoverished class, classic films like Gone with the Wind popularized the phrase “po’ white trash”; since the 1980s, the media have employed the whitetrash caricature to portray blue-collar and lower-income white-collar families. The term has also been bandied about in television situation comedies like the now-syndicated Roseanne, which features a working-class family that prides itself on its “trashy” origins and behavior. In an episode titled “White Trash Christmas,” Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr), a blue-collar working mother, and her husband, Dan (John Goodman), snub their neighbors by putting up gaudy Christmas decorations outside their house. In another episode, Roseanne sits in the garage on a favorite sofa the family discarded when they purchased a new one. Roseanne is laughing at an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, a “whitetrash-made-good” show, which she is watching on the family’s discarded TV set.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, American ideology, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

As companies shuttered factories in the United States and income inequality began its steady ascent, jobs for home health aides, child-care workers, fast-food workers, janitors, and waiters swelled to accommodate major cultural and social trends, including the growing disposable income of the upper echelon and the time crunch facing all workers, but especially those who have young children or aging parents to care for. The New Big Jobs: Feeding, Serving, Caring, and Stocking America The old leviathan of the blue-collar working class, the auto industry, is commonly referred to as the Big Three, meaning GM, Ford, and Chrysler. In their prime, these companies symbolized American ingenuity, prosperity, and industrial hegemony. Despite major setbacks, including bankruptcy filings, the Big Three automakers have rebounded, though employing a fraction of the workers they did at their peak. And in an unprecedented concession, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union agreed in 2007 to a two-tier wage system, with new workers hired at lower wages and with fewer benefits.

Arlene, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago at the age of seventeen, today works in a job where she compares the way she’s treated to our nation’s greatest moral stain. Arlene isn’t alone in her dissatisfaction. Various surveys find that jobs in retail and food service rank very low in terms of job satisfaction.12 The Blue-Collar Jobs In the top-ten list of occupations providing the largest number of jobs in our country, two of the ten (laborers/material movers and janitors) could be described as traditional blue-collar work, that is, physical labor done overwhelmingly by men. But unlike four decades ago, these jobs aren’t on the assembly line or factory floor. Today over 2 million people in the new working class are employed as janitors or cleaners, earning an average hourly wage of $10.73.13 Nearly seven out of ten of these jobs are held by men. About half of them are held by whites, whereas Latinos make up 30 percent, African Americans 16 percent, and Asian Americans 3 percent of the other half.14 The other big occupation for working-class men today is what’s known as hand laborers and material movers, employing 3.4 million people.15 This is classic manual labor: moving freight or stock to and from cargo containers, warehouses, and docks.


pages: 345 words: 92,849

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

But if we do that, then it is entirely possible to overcome our disadvantages and build a career for ourselves that is financially and spiritually rewarding. Take someone who, despite his best efforts, struggles with academic work. There are still enormous opportunities for skilled blue-collar work—for mechanics, electricians, plumbers, welders, and the like. These are well-paying jobs that can be deeply fulfilling, and yet millions of such jobs are going unfilled right now because there aren’t enough workers trained to do them. As former Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe has argued, the main reason for this is that “our society [has] waged . . . a sort of cold war on [blue-collar] work. . . . [L]ook at the way those industries are portrayed in pop culture. Show me a plumber, and I’ll show you a 300-pound guy with a giant butt crack and a tool belt. He’s a punch line.”37 But it’s the plumber who gets the last laugh: the fact is that with only a couple years of training, a junior plumber can earn between $40,000 and $50,000 a year, and an experienced plumber can earn upward of $70,000.38 Even the low-skilled service-sector jobs at places such as McDonald’s and Walmart have been unfairly maligned as “dead-end jobs.”


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Blue-collar manufacturing jobs have been the most visible targets of AI’s advance. The Foxconn factories that make iPhones allegedly replaced 60,000 humans with robots in 2016. Amazon’s 20 fulfillment centers reportedly deployed 45,000 robots to work alongside 230,000 people that same year. Yet these numbers confound how many jobs are created by automation. And the media coverage of AI’s impact on full-time blue-collar work can distract us from the rapid growth of a new category of human workers to complement or tend to automated manufacturing systems when AI hits its limits. In the past 20 years, the most profitable companies have slowly transitioned from ones that mass-manufacture durable goods, like furniture and clothing, to businesses that sell services, like healthcare, consumer analytics, and retail. There’s more money to be made in selling consumers an experience, from sipping a latte to watching a bit of infotainment, than building a television set.13 Businesses of all types manage costs by tapping into and maintaining control of a pool of contingent workers.

See application programming interface (API) Apollo 13, 52 application programming interface (API) circumventing, 74 collaboration, 178–80 definition, xiv growth of, 169 head count on, 103–4 hiring via, 4–6 improvements to, 138–39 inequality of power in, 91–93 limitations of, 170–71, 174 logistics of, xiv, 62 networking, 127 thoughtlessness of, 67–68 training and trust, 71–72 articulation work, 238 n1 artificial intelligence (AI), 231 n41 advancement of, 176–77 humans, dependency on, ix–x, xviii–xxiii, 231 n41 misconceptions about, 191–92 natural language processing, 30 rise of, 6–8 training, xxiii, 6–8, 16, 170, 222 n11 Asra, 106–8 assembly lines, 41–42 automation cost shifts from, 173–77 human labor and, xviii–xxiii, 58–59, 176–77 machinery use in Industrial Revolution, 42–45 paradox of automation, 170 projections for, 243 n5 autonomy vs isolation, 80–84 Avendano, Pablo, 142, 143, 145 Ayesha, 81, 219 n8 B B Corps, 147, 164 bait-and-switch strategy, 83 Bangalore, xi, 17, 76, 219 n5, 238 n7 Bangladesh, 193–94 Beckett, Samuel, 29 benefits APIs, 171 at Caviar, 142 at CrowdFlower, 35 disappearance of, 98, 156 at DoorDash, 157–58, 162 full-time employment, 47, 48, 49, 60 at LeadGenius, 159–60 permatemps (Microsoft), 56–57 recommendations for, 189–92 statistics on, xxiii Uber lawsuit, 146 as worker cost, 32 See also employment, reasons for Bezos, Jeff, 2–3, 90, 135–37, 222 n5 Biewald, Lukas, 35 Bing, xii Blight, David, 226 n2 blue collar work. See unskilled work British Airways, 54–55 Bureau of Labor Statistics, xxiv–xxv, 158 business process outsourcing (BPO), 17, 55, 87 Butler, Elizabeth Beardsley, 228 n9 C camelback couch, xiii “campaigns” (LeadGenius), 150 captioning, 28, 29, 153–55, 225 n29 career ladder. See advancement Carmela, 112–13 Catalant, xxv Caviar, 141–43, 144, 145 chess, 5–6 child labor, 42, 43, 46, 164, 229 n21 Civil War, 40–41 classification algorithm, xiii CloudFactory, xv, 140–41, 143, 147, 149, 164, 239 n1 Coase, Ronald, 36, 69, 186 collaboration, 121–39 effects of, 133–37, 173–74 flash teams, 182–83 improvements for, 178–79 on LeadGenius, 150, 151, 160, 240 n11 letter to Bezos, 135–37 with platforms, 169 reasons for, 137–39, 233 n6 sharing work, 128–31 social environment, 132–33 transaction cost reduction, 124–28 workplace, 121–23, 164 college education, xxix, 50, 97, 98, 101, 190 commercial content moderation.


Social Capital and Civil Society by Francis Fukuyama

Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, p-value, Pareto efficiency, postindustrial economy, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transaction costs, World Values Survey

The degree to which power has been moved down to the bottom layer of the organization is symbolized by the famous cord at each workstation in Toyota’s Takaoka assembly plant, which allows each individual blue-collar worker to stop the entire assembly line if he or she sees a problem in the production process. The cord constitutes what game theorists would call a unit veto, by which each actor can sabotage the entire group’s effort. It is obvious that this kind of authority can be safely delegated only under certain conditions : the blue-collar work force has to be adequately trained to be able to undertake the management skills formerly performed by white-collar middle managers, and they have to have a sense of responsibility to use their power to further group rather than individual ends. The post-Fordist factory requires, in other words, a higher degree of trust and social capital than the Taylorite workplace with its comprehensive workplace rules.


pages: 397 words: 121,211

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 by Charles Murray

affirmative action, assortative mating, blue-collar work, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, George Gilder, Haight Ashbury, happiness index / gross national happiness, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, income inequality, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, new economy, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working-age population, young professional

In 1960, 40 percent of Manhattan’s jobs had been industrial. By 2000, that 40 percent had shrunk to 5 percent. By 2000, 15 percent of all jobs in Manhattan were in the financial sector, another 15 percent fell into the category of “professional, scientific, and technical services,” and another 9 percent were in a category labeled simply “information.” That’s 39 percent of all jobs. That doesn’t mean blue-collar work wasn’t being done in Manhattan anymore. It just means that by the year 2000, people who lived in Manhattan south of the Nineties weren’t doing them. Instead, Manhattan south of the Nineties had turned into an abode for a highly educated, highly paid professional, managerial, and technical class. Even excluding the Upper East Side, the median family income of Manhattan south of Ninety-Sixth Street had risen from the $39,300 of 1960 to $121,400 in 2000.

Murray, 2006, 21. 25. Fogel, 2000, 17. 26. Ibid., 25. 27. Ibid., 176–77. Appendix A: Data Sources and Presentation 1. Cleveland, 1979. 2. Fischer and Hout, 2006, 253. Appendix C: Supplemental Material for the Chapter on Belmont and Fishtown 1. “Blue-collar professions” refer to high-skill blue-collar jobs that lend themselves to self-employment or have a natural career path to supervisory positions on blue-collar work sites. 2. This stipulation means that a person whose spouse has an AA degree or higher is not assigned to Fishtown even if both the husband and wife are in Fishtown occupations. 3. For databases that show a person’s years of completed education rather than highest degree completed, persons who have completed a thirteenth year of schooling are categorized as “no more than a high school diploma.”


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the sewing machine, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

We will return in subsequent chapters to the enormous change in the occupational distribution between 1870 and 2010. Farming has almost disappeared as an occupation, the share of blue-collar work has declined by one-third, and there has been an explosion of the share of service occupations as well as of managers and professionals. The share of professionals today is about the same as that of farm laborers in 1870, implying a tremendous change in working conditions along all dimensions, including physical difficulty, exposure to the elements, risk of injury or death, and educational qualifications.66 Throughout this book, we trace the gradual transition from unpleasant to pleasant work. If we describe farming, blue-collar work, and domestic service as unpleasant, then 87 percent of jobs in 1870 were unpleasant. In 1940, this percentage was 60.4 percent, and by 2009, it had declined to only 21.6 percent.

Consider the greatly diminished disutility of a farmer who now plants his field in an air-conditioned and GPS-equipped tractor, contrasting it with the 1870 farmer guiding a plow behind a horse or mule. This approach interprets the improvement in the standard of living by viewing members of each household both as consumers and as workers. The greatly increased quality of work includes the shift from the physical strain and danger of manual blue-collar work to air-conditioned work in offices, hotels, and retail stores. It includes such improvements of quality as increased flexibility and control over one’s own work hours, a contrast to the highly regimented nature of assembly work in the heyday of manufacturing. Likewise, the “quality of youth” has been improved by the end of child labor and the advance of educational attainment, captured by the sharp contrast between the children of 1900 guiding mules in dark and dangerous coal mines and the pampered teenagers of 2015 texting, tweeting, and playing games on multiple electronic gadgets.

To some extent, the rising share of professionals mirrored the rising share of employment in the education and health sectors; also, the growth in the professional category was a natural by-product of rising college completion rates. A crude way to summarize the transition toward lessened disutility of work is to tally the share of total employees engaged in relatively disagreeable work, whether outside, exposed to the elements; involving heavy lifting or digging; or featuring monotonous repetitive motions on the assembly line. For this purpose, we will include all those engaged in farming, blue-collar work, or domestic service as having “unpleasant” jobs and everyone else as having “pleasant” jobs. This two-way classification does not allow for nuances—for instance, that cashiers in retail stores may have jobs that are as repetitive and boring as those of assembly line workers, whereas some craft workers in manufacturing or construction create objects of which workers can be proud. Nevertheless, the shift in the nature of work since 1870 has been striking, as the share of those in unpleasant occupations declined from an initial 87.2 percent over the years to 21.6 percent in 2009.


Hollow City by Rebecca Solnit, Susan Schwartzenberg

blue-collar work, Brownian motion, dematerialisation, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, low skilled workers, new economy, New Urbanism, pets.com, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave

is this history, the differences more or less middle literally gets work condos gleaming amid which of the city can only press up against important to discuss another factor in The civility abil- have written about the relations between those in the cafe of redevelopment and those it's more than that a lot of people have recently arrived in is wealthy; their cumulative effect of between Some of but we have artists as well as developers to thank for the nouveaux riches of San Francisco refuse to cohabit SKID MARKS ON THE SOCIAL CONTRACT with the poor, the needy, the recent arrival from Seattle borhood complains "invites these where I pay clientele trial and even with blue-collar work. (A festive, who bought a loft condo in an industrial neigh- that the Maritime Hall, a longtime nightclub nearby, people not just to the Maritime but to a hell of a lot of become more 121 money to live.")^ my neighborhood, As the Haight-Ashbury has affluent, tolerance has declined for social services and their of drug users, homeless people and runaway kids. In the indus- neighborhoods, the buyers of live /work spaces are notorious for pro- and sometimes successfully shutting down the actual industries testing and cultural activities of the neighborhood.


pages: 225 words: 55,458

Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education by Mike Rose

blue-collar work, centre right, creative destruction, delayed gratification, George Santayana, income inequality, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, new economy, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Unpacking the College-for-All Versus Occupational Training Debate When I was in high school in the early 1960s, the curriculum was split into three tracks: an academic or college preparatory track, a general education track, and a vocational track. Upon entrance, students were placed in one of these on the basis of their previous academic records or a measure of ability, typically an IQ score. The curriculum directed the students toward a four-year college or university, possibly a community college; toward service or lowlevel managerial careers; or into blue-collar work. The curriculum also contributed powerfully to the school’s social order. The college-bound were in student government, edited the newspaper and the annual, and at year’s end had a thick list of activities under their class photographs. I swear, looking back on it all, that the college prep crowd walked around campus with an air of promise. Since the mid-twentieth century, sociological and educational studies have documented the bias at work in the way students got placed in these tracks; for example, working-class and racial and ethnic minority students with records of achievement comparable to their advantaged peers were more frequently placed in the general ed or vocational tracks.


pages: 220 words: 64,234

Fewer, Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects by Glenn Adamson

big-box store, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, dumpster diving, haute couture, informal economy, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Mason jar, race to the bottom, trade route, white flight

My sympathies have always been with the former crowd, but there is no doubt that craft’s history is bound up in an inferiority complex. It is often seen as inadequate in comparison to powerful industrial processes, or, in more rarefied circles, compared to the conceptual investigations of fine art.1 When we casually dismiss craft as a vital factor in our lives, however, we miss out on many satisfactions. We also ignore and implicitly demean the skilled labor—the “blue-collar” work—that goes on in the background of many human endeavors. When many people hear the word “craft,” they think of humble, decorative things: pots, baskets, or macramé plant hangers. But if we consider “craft” in its active form, treating it as a verb rather than a noun, we immediately realize it is much, much broader than that. People “craft” things as diverse as theatrical set designs, couture gowns, skyscrapers, and automobiles.


In the Age of the Smart Machine by Shoshana Zuboff

affirmative action, American ideology, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, data acquisition, demand response, deskilling, factory automation, Ford paid five dollars a day, fudge factor, future of work, industrial robot, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, job automation, lateral thinking, linked data, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, old-boy network, optical character recognition, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Shoshana Zuboff, social web, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, zero-sum game

It may well be that those individuals who remain in the manufacturing sector of the work force will be able to trade in their blue collars for ones that are gleaming white. However, this historical trajectory of the blue-collar body does little to inform our understanding of what has been white-collar work and what it is likely to become. The evolution of white-collar work has followed a historical path that is in many ways the precise opposite of that taken by blue-collar work. Manufacturing has its roots in the work of skilled craft. In most cases, that work was successively gutted of the elements that made it skillful-leaving behind jobs that were simplified and routinized. An examination of work at the various levels of the management hierarchy reveals a different process. Elements of managerial work most easily subjected to rationalization were "carved out" of the manager's activit- ies.

Pierenkemper compares his own data to that of several other studies of white-collar employment at that time and concludes that "the evidence suggests that industrial white collar employees in the late nineteenth century were a distinct but heterogeneous group. They performed a broad range of tasks-at one extreme close to those of management, at the other difficult to distinguish from those of the blue collar work force. ,,47 The White-Collar Body in History 11 5 Another study documented the experiences of female clerks in the federal government during the later part of the nineteenth century. The testimony of one woman who worked as a clerk examining the accounts of Indian agents, reveals the range of her accountability: For years I worked faithfully. . . the work being brain work of a character that requires a knowledge not only of the rulings of this Department, but also those of the Treasury, Second Auditor, Second Comptroller, and Revised Statutes; demanding the closest and most critical attention, together with a great deal of legal and business knowledge. ,,48 The experiences of another clerk, Jane Seavey, have survived in her corre- spondence.


pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun

barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, post-work, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route, zero-sum game

Instead those ideas are rooted in the origins of work; we've just lost our way. Through the last two centuries, work has become increasingly abstract, which of course, is, in some ways, progress. Fewer people (at least in the First World) are exposed to dangerous, backbreaking labor. But at the same time, we've lost the beneficial effects work used to have on our psychology. In Shopcraft as Soulcraft, a book about recovering the lost values of what we call blue-collar work, Matthew Crawford identifies how often we mock the emptiness of modern workplaces: “The popularity of Dilbert, The Office, and any number of other pop-culture windows on cubicle life attests to the dark absurdism with which many Americans have come to view their white-collar work.”2 It has been only in the past hundred years that work has become this way. In the centuries of civilization prior, many more of us had crafts and skills that gave us pride.


pages: 325 words: 73,035

Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life by Richard Florida

active measures, assortative mating, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, Celebration, Florida, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, edge city, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, extreme commuting, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, industrial cluster, invention of the telegraph, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Calthorpe, place-making, post-work, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, World Values Survey, young professional

They also include young people, who, as attached as they may be to family and friends, stand to make significant gains from relocating. For most of human history migration has been involuntary. People moved out of necessity—to avoid war, escape political or religious persecution, or find work. Even as recently as the 1950s and 1960s most people—white-collar and blue-collar workers alike—moved to find jobs. Nobody had much choice, actually. Blue-collar work was heavily concentrated in cites that had grown up around natural resources and transportation hubs. White-collar workers were company men who went where their superiors told them to go. In the 1970s, IBM workers joked that their company name stood for “I’ve Been Moved.” There was much truth to that sentiment, and it applied to companies other than the computer giant. Today, however, more moves are voluntary.


pages: 265 words: 74,941

The Great Reset: How the Post-Crash Economy Will Change the Way We Live and Work by Richard Florida

banking crisis, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, creative destruction, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial innovation, Ford paid five dollars a day, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, total factor productivity, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

Manufacturing cities and regions—the ones with the rusting steel beams and the pigeons roosting in the rafters—weigh most heavily on the minds of economists and policy makers. Will the lost jobs ever come back? Can they be replaced? Can we reclaim our industrial might? What’s really in store in those places? Chapter Twelve Death and Life of Great Industrial Cities There’s a long history of writers extolling the virtues of blue-collar work. From Leo Tolstoy’s Levin finding happiness alongside his field hands in Anna Karenina to Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in 1974, our greatest intellects have repeatedly been surprised to discover the simple joys of hard physical labor. In his best-selling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew Crawford, a University of Chicago philosophy PhD, walked away from his knowledge-work career in a boring think-tank job and, following in Pirsig’s footsteps, found far more satisfying work in a motorcycle repair shop.


pages: 223 words: 77,566

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, blue-collar work, cognitive dissonance, late fees, medical malpractice, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, unbiased observer, upwardly mobile, working poor

Apparently not paid employment, since the man has never worked a paying job in his life. Ultimately, the verdict of his own son is damning: “Daddy says he’s worked in his life. Only thing Daddy’s worked is his goddamned ass. Why not be straight about it, Pa? Daddy was an alcoholic. He would stay drunk, he didn’t bring food home. Mommy supported her young’uns. If it hadn’t been for Mommy, we’d have been dead.”15 Alongside these conflicting norms about the value of blue-collar work existed a massive ignorance about how to achieve white-collar work. We didn’t know that all across the country—and even in our hometown—other kids had already started a competition to get ahead in life. During first grade, we played a game every morning: The teacher would announce the number of the day, and we’d go person by person and announce a math equation that produced the number. So if the number of the day was four, you could announce “two plus two” and claim a prize, usually a small piece of candy.


pages: 272 words: 78,876

Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar

blue-collar work, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, Honoré de Balzac, John Snow's cholera map, mass immigration, medical residency, placebo effect, publish or perish, Rubik’s Cube, selection bias, stem cell, the scientific method

What clues were available about how they might have lived or died? The most obvious thing about mine was that he died old. Surgical scars—most prominently a long track down the middle of his breastbone, a remnant of open-heart surgery—indicated that he’d had access to health care. His clean nail beds meant he had been well-off, at least well enough to take care of himself (or to pay others to take care of him). Callused hands generally suggest blue-collar work. My cadaver’s hands were smooth and polished. The feeding tube in his stomach implied his final days had been difficult, perhaps spent in a nursing home or some other fulltime care facility. The edema in his limbs pointed to congestive heart failure. And the bulge in his abdomen? Probably a pacemaker. It was a fascinating exercise, a reminder to us aspiring doctors that even as we tried to figure out how our cadavers had died, we should not forget to think about how they might have lived.


pages: 299 words: 83,854

Shortchanged: Life and Debt in the Fringe Economy by Howard Karger

big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, delayed gratification, financial deregulation, fixed income, illegal immigration, labor-force participation, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, microcredit, mortgage debt, negative equity, New Journalism, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, predatory finance, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, underbanked, working poor

Finally, the complaints included Byrider’s discouraging customers from purchasing certain cars; hiding or failing to reveal the real purchase price; and requiring detailed financial information and a credit check before disclosing a vehicle’s price.22 It seems that Byrider’s mission to “Deliver dependable cars and provide affordable financing in a friendly and professional atmosphere” may need some fine-tuning.158 BHPH dealers foresee a brisk future as more middle-class families face increased debt and blemished credit. In fact, the BHPH sector is beginning to stratify, with middle- and higher-end lots selling vehicles costing $10,000 or more. Some are even selling newer cars and trucks for $20,000 and up. According to Michael Linn, CEO of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA), “We’re no longer just talking blue-collar working people.… We’re talking doctors, lawyers. It’s a growing industry because of what is going on economically, and the influx of immigrants. The common denominator is no credit or damaged credit.”23 Like much of the fringe economy, the BHPH industry is driven by the profitability of financing rather than the profitability in selling a product. As one BHPH customer described, “They wanted $1,900 for that car.… These people wouldn’t take cash; they wouldn’t take cash for any of their vehicles.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

It’s about the horror of blue-collar life, about how dehumanizing it is to do the kind of work that no one who passes by here ever does anymore: I think of the men I’ve known in factories with no way to get out— choking while living choking while laughing When I think of the men I’ve known in factories, I think of those locked-out workers I met in Decatur, Illinois, in the early days of the Clinton administration. What concerned them was not so much the existential frustration of blue-collar work as it was the fraying of the middle-class promise. Although they were “out,” they weren’t particularly interested in staying out; they would have been happy to go back in provided their jobs were safe and paid well. They wanted to live what we used to think of as ordinary lives. In a scholarly paper about social class published in 1946, the sociologist C. Wright Mills found that “Big Business and Executives” in Decatur earned a little more than two times as much as the town’s “Wage Workers” did.7 In 2014, the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, a company that dominates Decatur today, earned an estimated 261 times as much as did average wage workers.


pages: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Creating the construction boom of the future would undoubtedly involve government subsidies and programs similar to Eisenhower’s Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956.49 It would also involve tax incentives to encourage entrepreneurs to build the right kinds of infrastructure. These arguments about construction obviously go against the notion that white-collar work bolstered by a college education will be the best defense against the depredations of job loss due to robots and artificial intelligence. In fact, building and trades, traditional blue-collar work, could well turn out to be the Last Stand of the Good Job. Another opportunity lies in entrepreneurship. New companies are the major source of new jobs in the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, new business formation has dropped to a forty-year low that is about 25 percent behind its best year.50 Our lawmakers hardly seem to have noticed that fact—after all, small start-ups are too busy to do much lobbying on their own account, even if they could afford to.


pages: 309 words: 91,581

The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah

assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Erik Brynjolfsson, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, feminist movement, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, moral hazard, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, positional goods, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, upwardly mobile, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

Not easy, but not impossible either.”9 Levy and Murnane’s larger point, however, is reinforced by Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s caveat. The elimination of rule-based jobs tends to fall heavily on middle incomes—including, conceivably, truck drivers. Higher-income jobs seldom involve, in Manjoo’s formulation, doing “a single thing.” In 1969 the two broad categories encompassing the occupations of the largest proportion of American workers were blue-collar work and administrative support. Together, Levy and Murnane calculate, these categories described 56 percent of the workforce. By 1999, they described only 39 percent. The decline occurred because many of these jobs were sufficiently rule-based that industrial robots and desktop computers could do them. During that same period, sales-related occupations increased from 8 to 12 percent; professional occupations increased from 10 to 13 percent; and managers and administrators increased from 8 percent to 14 percent.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

The Depression and wartime periods forged widespread agreement among all parties that the best way to end poverty was through economic growth, consumerism, and regulation of the economy to guarantee fundamental fairness.96 Postwar prosperity enabled political leaders to focus on those still living in pockets of poverty, a trend examined in the next chapter. CHAPTER 6 The Great Compression and the War on Poverty: 1945–1979 The years between 1945 and the late 1960s saw unprecedented compression between the wealthy and the poor. It was fueled by high taxes on upper incomes, healthy American industries with high wages for blue-collar work, demographic growth, and an expanding managerial sector. The union movement flourished, and 35 percent of the workforce was unionized in 1954—the highest percentage in American history.1 The GI bill greatly expanded access to a college education. Returns from a college education actually slightly decreased, helping to compress inequality further.2 Between 1945 and 1973, the economy grew at the impressive rate of 3.42 percent.


pages: 322 words: 87,181

Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy by Dani Rodrik

3D printing, airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, global value chain, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Pareto efficiency, postindustrial economy, price stability, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steven Pinker, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, éminence grise

And democracy in turn tamed capitalism. Conditions in the workplace improved as state-mandated or negotiated arrangements led to reduced working hours; greater safety; and vacation, family, health, and other benefits. Public investment in education and training made workers both more productive and freer to exercise choice. Labor’s share of the enterprise surplus rose. Factory jobs never became pleasant. But at least blue-collar work now enabled a middle-class existence, with all its consumption possibilities and lifestyle opportunities. Technological progress fostered industrial capitalism, but would eventually undermine it. Labor productivity in manufacturing industries rose much faster than in the rest of the economy. That meant that the same or higher quantity of steel, cars, and electronics could be produced with many fewer workers.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, business cycle, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, different worldview, double helix, Downton Abbey, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

There are exceptions to the rule, and America’s increasing affluence hasn’t been without shortcomings. One need only read the New York Times’s 2013 profile of a homeless girl living in the Big Apple to realize that many have been left out.11 The discretionary income of many middle- and lower-income families, measured in real terms, has declined.12 The three decades preceding the Great Recession of 2007 saw wages stagnate for full-time male workers, particularly those doing blue-collar work.13 And retirement security remains a real worry for many Americans, even as few have embraced strategies that would help to finance the elderly lifestyle they dream of enjoying. Nevertheless, in the aggregate it’s almost impossible to deny that the goods that define the average American’s material life have improved. The destitution that was so palpable to even middle-class adults who survived the 1930s and 1940s—the scenes described in The Grapes of Wrath and typical in the nation’s Hoovervilles—have been pushed further to margins.


words: 49,604

The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, George Santayana, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the sewing machine, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McJob, microcredit, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population

For educated women, the rates climbed from 3.2 to 4.1 per cent and fell back to 3.5 per cent in 1989. Signs of a modest upward trend. For men with only a basic education, however, the unemployment rates in 1970, 1979 and 1989 climbed from 4.0 to 6.6 to 9.7 per cent, and for women from 5.7 to 8.3 to 8.4 per cent. According to the OECD’s figures, only in Italy and for Japanese women was unemployment higher for the better-educated at any time. Typically, those likely to be in blue collar work are two or three times more at risk of unemployment than those likely to be white collar workers. Beyond that, the one striking feature about redundancies is the upsurge during the 1980s recession. It has fallen sharply since. That episode of industrial restructuring has dwarfed any other. One could therefore argue that during the past decade this unwelcome aspect of flexibility has diminished.


pages: 336 words: 95,773

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials' Economic Future by Joseph C. Sternberg

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, centre right, corporate raider, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, job-hopping, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

Economists have studied this by dividing jobs between “routine” roles that mainly involve performing functions that are relatively mechanical or that require following specific rules (such as working on an assembly line, data entry, or some aspects of bookkeeping); nonroutine manual jobs such as truck driving or customer service in a retail shop; and nonroutine “cognitive” jobs such as marketing.14 Traditionally, routine jobs encompassed a wide range of clerical and blue-collar work that required some training or education but not a prohibitive amount—and jobs in which young workers especially might acquire skills that would allow them to move up the ladder over time. Those jobs have borne the brunt of recent recessions. By one estimate, nearly 12 percent of routine jobs disappeared during the Great Recession. All in all, those routine jobs accounted for 94 percent of the job losses during the recession.15 This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it has been a surprise to economists.


pages: 565 words: 122,605

The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional

Whether it’s Calvin Soh in Singapore or an aging hipster in New York, residents worry, as one London writer put it, about their city losing its “soul” to globalized capital, migration, and tourism.144 This presents a unique issue, even for the most successful cities. “No amount of analysis and forward planning,” says longtime government adviser Peter Ho, “will eliminate volatility and uncertainty in a complex world.” The economics-driven managerial model, he concedes, so successful in the past, is not so effective in dealing with issues of identity and growing pressure on the middle class, particularly with the reduction in high-wage, blue-collar work. To thrive in the future, Singapore, like other great global cities, will have to find its way without a pre-drawn map. As Asia modernizes and develops a modern infrastructure, Singaporeans cannot remain competitive merely by being more efficient or better educated. The city-state will have to rediscover the boldness of its founding generation, even while discarding many of its methods. “We will have to be pioneers again,” notes Calvin Soh, “and recognize that we don’t have the same strategic advantages that we used to have.


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour: How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work by Iain Gately

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, global pandemic, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

In each case he was placed on a manslaughter charge until the coroner’s inquest had established that the traveller was seeking oblivion. On the second occasion, he needed three months’ sick leave and counselling before he could work again. The stress is as bad on a day-to-day basis among bus drivers. According to Professor M. A. J. Kompier, a Dutch psychologist, driving a bus is ‘a high-risk occupation’, cruel to both body and psyche, in comparison to office work, blue-collar work, taxi driving or working at a brewery or as a civil servant – or indeed almost every other occupation. Sitting down all day and driving a large vehicle slowly is more dangerous than it seems. The ergonomics of many drivers’ cabs are poor – the steering wheels are too big, the seats are one-size-fits-all and the pedals are either not close enough or almost out of reach, with the result that most drivers have to twist, stretch or hunch up while they’re being shaken by the motion of the bus, blasted with hot or cold air whenever they open the doors, and abused by their passengers.


pages: 419 words: 109,241

A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, precariat, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor, working-age population, Y Combinator

Yet even as early as 1940, the debate about technological unemployment was so commonplace that the New York Times felt comfortable calling it an “old argument.”16 And it is true that these arguments do tend to repeat themselves. President Barack Obama, in his 2016 farewell address, described automation as “the next wave of economic dislocation.” But so did President John F. Kennedy, about sixty years earlier, when, using almost identical words, he said that automation carried with it “the dark menace of industrial dislocation.”17 Similarly, in 2016 Stephen Hawking described how automation has “decimated” blue-collar work and predicted that this would soon “extend … deep into the middle classes.”18 Yet Albert Einstein had made a similar threat in 1931, warning that “man-made machines,” which were meant to liberate human beings from drudgery and toil, were instead poised to “overwhelm” their creators.19 In fact, in almost every decade since 1920, it is possible to find a piece in the New York Times engaging in some way with the threat of technological unemployment.20 UPHEAVAL AND CHANGE Most of these anxieties about the economic harm caused by new technology have turned out to be misplaced.


The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler

A Pattern Language, blue-collar work, California gold rush, car-free, City Beautiful movement, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial independence, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, indoor plumbing, jitney, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, megastructure, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shock, Peter Calthorpe, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

The building boom associated with the new automobile suburbs started fizzling in early 1928. There were only so many office managers, regional sales direc­ tors, and other business executives to buy those new "colonial" houses out in Lazy Acres. The bulk of American workers toiled in the very factories that were overproducing cars and electric waffle irons, and even before they were laid off in the Depression, few blue-collar work­ ers could have afforded a new house in the suburbs and a car to drive there. They were the very ones who remained behind in the cities until after World War II. The huge public expenditure in paving streets and building new high­ ways had also reached a kind of natural limit in the late twenties; the basic infrastructure for cars was now in place. The slowdown in car and home sales and in road-building affected suppliers down the line : steel makers, tire makers, glassmakers, lumber companies, cement compa­ nies.


pages: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

A similar dynamic is taking place in the United States too, where large numbers of the white working class, traditionally Democrat because of its pro-worker and pro-union stance, are drifting away from the party, feeling it has become culturally distant from their lives and their concerns. As I discuss in Chapter 5, with the story of Beppe Grillo, this is in part a rebellion against a professional political class that speaks its own PR-honed language. But it also reflects a fundamental rift within many left-wing parties that now seek to represent both a socially and economically liberal graduate class and a less liberal blue-collar working class. The two groups’ interests don’t always align, and most political leaders—well-educated liberals themselves—are more at ease with the language, politics, lobbying groups and ideas of the progressive wing. As a result, billionaire right-wing politicians with economic policies that won’t help them, like Donald Trump, can attract millions of working-class voters who feel forgotten with the right language and identity-based promises.


pages: 450 words: 113,173

The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, computer age, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, desegregation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, George Gilder, global value chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, pre–internet, profit motive, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

She complained that, “to top it all off, the problem of servants or child care often proves insurmountable after others are solved”—and this at a time well before mass immigration had reintroduced household servants into American upper-middle-class life. In the eyes of almost all men, women’s liberation was not just by but for such women as Steinem. It aimed at improving the position of women in white-collar work. The question of whether blue-collar work—plowing, lifting, grinding, getting dirty—was appropriate to women came up much less often than one might have anticipated. Partly feminists were blinded to it by their own social background, but in hindsight we can see another explanation: The supply of well-paying blue-collar jobs had begun to shrink rapidly. It could not accommodate large classes of new entrants. The collapse of working- and middle-class economic security was one of the defining conditions of feminism’s development.


pages: 415 words: 119,277

Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin

1960s counterculture, big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, crack epidemic, creative destruction, David Brooks, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, rent control, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Today the use of “gritty” in the media depicts a desirable synergy between underground cultures and the creative energy they bring to both cultural consumption and real estate development, not as an alternative to but as a driver of the city’s growth. When the New York Times recommends “the gritty charm of Friday Night Fights” in the basement of a church, where the audience includes “thugs from the ghetto … blue-collar working class types … rich dudes and hipsters,” readers know this is a positive recommendation. So is the comment of ninety-one-year-old Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book of the original musical West Side Story and directed its revival on Broadway in 2009; the new version of the play, said Laurents, should “achieve an authentic grittiness that the theater of the 1950s didn’t allow.” “Gritty,” we now understand, means authenticity, and that is good.29 But a trace of the bad old gritty remains when it comes to race.


pages: 423 words: 129,831

The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways by Earl Swift

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, big-box store, blue-collar work, Donner party, edge city, Kickstarter, new economy, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Nader, side project, smart transportation, traveling salesman, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

In retrospect, the surveys were self-fulfilling—their yardsticks were motorist safety, travel time, gasoline use, and incidence of repair, all facets of the driving experience. The effects on those not using the roads were neither as easily tallied nor as eagerly sought. And they rested on a fundamental assumption that would soon prove flawed: that in the years to come, white-collar jobs would remain clustered in downtown office buildings, along with most retail shopping and nighttime entertainment, and blue-collar work would stay concentrated in well-established industrial zones. Most urban traffic, then, would continue to move back and forth between these few defined destinations and a city's residential neighborhoods. The Chief failed to grasp that his roads would change the old patterns, that in addition to addressing traffic that already existed, they would spawn new centers for business and entertainment, and farther-flung subdivisions—that they would explode the traditional city built around a nucleus, something resembling a cell, into a blob sprinkled with smaller nodes of activity.


pages: 484 words: 131,168

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop, Robert G. Cushing

"Robert Solow", 1960s counterculture, affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, assortative mating, big-box store, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, War on Poverty, white flight, World Values Survey

The top five cities in percentage of creative-class workers were Washington, Raleigh-Durham, Seattle, San Francisco, and Austin. Las Vegas had the lowest percentage of creatives, followed by Miami, Memphis, and Louisville. Florida found that the cities teeming with creative-class workers had fewer working-class jobs—the assembly-line, mechanical, construction, and production jobs traditionally called blue-collar work. The cities with the most service jobs (Las Vegas being at the top) also lacked creative-class workers. There simply wasn't much overlap. Few cities had both a sizable working class and a large creative class. The same kind of segregation was happening at work. Older firms—General Motors and U.S. Steel—hired people with all manner of skills. In the economy being created, there were high-skilled firms and low-skilled firms—Google and McDonald's.


When Computers Can Think: The Artificial Intelligence Singularity by Anthony Berglas, William Black, Samantha Thalind, Max Scratchmann, Michelle Estes

3D printing, AI winter, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, blue-collar work, brain emulation, call centre, cognitive bias, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, create, read, update, delete, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, factory automation, feminist movement, finite state, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, natural language processing, Parkinson's law, patent troll, patient HM, pattern recognition, phenotype, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, zero day

That makes it difficult to really understand the higher level descriptions unless the reader already has some understanding of the technology, but such a grounded understanding is probably unnecessary for management purposes. CGP Grey 2014 Humans Need not apply. http://www.cgpgrey.com/ Fair Use. A short, sharp video on the short-term effects of automation. Discusses the end of a large proportion of blue collar work, although the claims about automating white collar jobs in the short term are less well founded in my opinion. Berglas 2014 When Computers Can Think Owned The present book differs from the preceding ones by providing a strong focus on why people ultimately are the way they are, namely upon natural selection. It strongly asserts that goals are not in fact arbitrary. That the need to exist is not in fact an intrinsic subgoal of other goals, but rather is the one and only true super goal for either man or machine.


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

* * * — In his landmark 1977 study Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs, British sociologist Paul Willis relates the true story of a group of teenage boys growing up in a place he called “Hammertown,” a hardscrabble factory town where workers far outnumbered opportunities. He wrote that the “lads” rebelled against school authorities, believing that their future lay not in books or office jobs but in the blue-collar work of their fathers. These “lads” were scornful of what Willis called the “work hard, move forward” educational system they believed would bring them at best a humiliating low-wage desk job. These students did poorly in school, and most of them dropped out. They failed not because they were lazy or dimwitted but because the standards of educational success of the time were proscribed by a system geared to satisfy the demands of employers rather than to build on individual capabilities, values, and strengths.


The Push by Tommy Caldwell

blue-collar work, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, helicopter parent, white picket fence, zero-sum game

In the case of a fall we can hang on the rope to rework moves. But before moving on we must free the pitch bottom to top, with no weighting of the rope or gear. Only when we’ve freed through pitch 28 will we haul a portaledge and lightweight supplies to make another camp for a night, and then blast the remaining four pitches to the top. As we walk I talk in pleasantries, a little uneasy with the fact that others are doing my blue-collar work. I always thought it arrogant to have someone else do the heavy lifting for you. If you don’t own your grunt work, can you really say you’ve done the climb? Kevin doesn’t seem to worry much about such things. “What would the Tour de France look like if the riders had to carry all their equipment with them?” he has argued. I try to be open-minded; no two ways about it, the climbing on the Dawn Wall is so difficult that we’re making big compromises in style.


pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

There is this concept that you have to go college and not become a blue-collar worker. We pay health care, pensions, all the holidays, and $18 to $22 an hour. I think it is going to be a major issue for this country in the next few years. Our biggest problem is finding factory workers who are going to replace this group of men and women in their fifties who started with us.” That is especially a problem, he explained, because blue-collar work is not what it used to be. On the shop floor, as is the case everywhere else, average is over. “We look for a guy who can think for himself a little bit, not like before,” said Stevenson. “We sell an $80,000 to $150,000 computer-controlled cutter, and it has a software program that helps the customer design parts. So when we hire these young guys, I tell them, ‘You are the face of the company.


pages: 497 words: 143,175

Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies by Judith Stein

"Robert Solow", 1960s counterculture, activist lawyer, affirmative action, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, desegregation, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-industrial society, post-oil, price mechanism, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yom Kippur War

The notion of naming a southern banker damaged by scandal and identified with an unpopular president demonstrated Mondale’s tin ear. It was another instance of the Democratic attempt to attract white southern voters with symbols, not policies. Many whites had left the Democratic Party in the South, but those who remained had characteristics similar to Democratic whites in the rest of the nation: older, Catholic, union member, blue collar, working class, less educated, and less affluent.49 During the 1970s, southern Democrats learned to represent biracial constituencies. The addition of black voters and the departure of more affluent whites made white Democrats more liberal than their predecessors on economic matters. Carter was weakest and Reagan the strongest in the white suburbs and other affluent communities.50 The South was still in play during the 1970s.


pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Between 1981 and 1991, more than 1.8 million manufacturing jobs disappeared in the US.15 In Germany, manufacturers have been shedding workers even faster, eliminating more than 500,000 jobs in a single twelve-month period between early 1992 and 1993. 16 The decline in manufacturing jobs is part of a long-term trend that has seen the increasing replacement of human beings by machines at the workplace. In the 1950s, 33 percent of all US. workers were employed in manufacturing. By the 1960s, the number of manufacturing jobs had dropped to 30 percent, and by the 1980s to 20 percent. Today, less than 17 percent of the workforce is engaged in blue collar work. Management consultant Peter Drucker estimates that employment in manufacturing is going to continue dropping to less than 12 percent of the US. workforce in the next decade. 17 For most of the 1980s it was fashionable to blame the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States on foreign competition and cheap labor markets abroad. Recently, however, economists have begun to revise their views in light of new in-depth studies of the US. manufacturing sector.


pages: 455 words: 133,719

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise

abortion academia Accenture addiction ADHD; adult diagnosis adrenaline Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The (TV show) advertising Africa African Americans; mothers after-school care age; brain and; of parenthood agriculture Aka pygmies Akil, Huda Albrechtsen, Sharmi alcohol Allen, David alloparents allostasis Almeida, David Alzheimer’s disease ambivalence; intensive mothering and American Academy of Pediatrics American Psychological Association American Time Use Survey amygdala Anciano, Dionne Android animal play Ann Arbor, Michigan Ansell, Emily anxiety; effect of stress on brain Apple appliances Archimedes aristocracy Aristotle Arrowood, Bryce Astrata Group Atlanta Atlantic, The attachment theory Augustine, Saint Australia Austria autism autoimmune deficiency diseases Ayanna, Ariel Babik, Lisamarie babysitters Bakst, Dina Banaji, Mahzarin Bandura, Albert basal ganglia Baysinger, Sara BDO Financial Services Beauvoir, Simone de Beblo, Miriam Beck, Melinda Becker, Gary: A Treatise on the Family Beeman, Mark Beeson, Tracy Belgium Benard, Stephen Berns, Gregory Best Buy Better Balance, A Bianchi, Suzanne bias, unconscious bills, paying Birmingham, Betsy birth control birthday parties birth defects birthrates, declining BlackBerry Blades, Joan blood pressure Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg LP blue-collar work; flexibility Bonke, Jens Bono boredom Boston Boston College Bowdoin College Bowlby, John Brach, Tara brain; attachment and; blink; development; effect of stress on; gender differences; information overload and; mindfulness and; play and; pulsing; shrinkage; sleep and; urge to conform and Brannen, Barbara Bravo, Ellen Brazil breadwinner-homemaker stereotype breakups, romantic breast-feeding Bregman, Peter British Medical Journal Brown, Stuart Brown Palace Hotel, Denver Buchanan, Pat Buddhism Budig, Michelle Bulgaria Bureau of Labor Statistics Burnett, Ann Bush, George H.


pages: 436 words: 141,321

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, different worldview, failed state, future of work, hiring and firing, index card, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, the market place, the scientific method, Tony Hsieh, zero-sum game

FAVI, a family-owned French brass foundry, was the first example I stumbled upon of a blue-collar company that operates with Evolutionary-Teal principles of self-management. FAVI was created in the late 1950s and started off creating brass pieces for faucets. Today most of its revenue comes from the gearbox forks it produces for the automotive industry; its other products include components for electrical motors, water meters, and hospital equipment. Work at FAVI is physically demanding; it’s real blue-collar work. The factory is not a squeaky clean automotive assembly where you can see robots perform elegant and silent dances. It’s a workshop where operators work hard loading and unloading metal pieces onto noisy workstations. The nature of batch production at FAVI allows for only limited automation. Walking through the factory, you might not notice immediately what is special about it. You could be forgiven for thinking that cranking out gearbox pieces isn’t a very sexy or rewarding business.


Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History by Peter Houlahan

blue-collar work, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, index card, reserve currency

This was one place they did not need to worry about for the next few hours, not with all these Jesus freaks running around. George paused, his dark eyes fixed coldly on them. George had a deep distrust of police even though he had never been in trouble with the law. It was something he got from his father. There was another reason Walter Smith had wanted to put Wyoming behind him. After three years of blue-collar work, Walter had finally landed a job as an officer with the Casper Police Department. The only thing Walter ever wanted to be was a cop, and he hoped the job with the Casper PD would be the first step in a lifelong career in law enforcement. What he found instead was a culture of corruption and criminal activity on the part of his fellow officers. After being reprimanded for arresting two officers he found burglarizing a shop on Main Street, Walter Smith quit the force after only a year and a half.


pages: 389 words: 131,688

The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life by Mark Synnott

blue-collar work, California gold rush, Google Earth, index fund, Nate Silver, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, trade route, Y2K

Rock your full weight onto the left foot, so that you’re up on your tippy toes with the right. Now drop back onto the right foot, making sure the bungee is pulling hard on the weight belt—again, chafing is important. Repeat this process ALL DAY LONG. . . . Now imagine you’re doing this for fun. Actually, this is what you’ve been dreaming about all year. And the good times aren’t reserved just for today. You’re going to be sitting behind K-Mart ALL SUMMER. . . . This is serious blue-collar work, for which there is little tangible reward. You could jug loads all day and there would still be plenty of stuff waiting to be brought up. Such is the nature of a heavy-handed big wall climb. You would have to be numb in the head to actually enjoy this stuff. * * * — AND HERE’S ALEX’S take on the same subject. Hauling inevitably elicits predictable groans and grunts from most climbers, but I actually find solace in the rhythmic cadence of throwing my weight against the resisting bag, over and over again until it gradually flops up onto the ledge like some great inanimate leviathan.


pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Computers give the illusion that they possess intelligence, but that is only because they can add millions of times faster than we can. We forget that computers are just sophisticated adding machines, and repetitive work is what they do best. That is why some automobile assembly-line workers have been among the first to suffer from the computer revolution. This means that any factory work that can be reduced to a set of scripted, repetitive motions will eventually disappear. Surprisingly, there is a large class of blue-collar work that will survive the computer revolution and even flourish. The winners will be those who perform nonrepetitive work that requires pattern recognition. Garbage collectors, police officers, construction workers, gardeners, and plumbers will all have jobs in the future. Garbage collectors, in order to pick up the trash at different homes and apartments, have to recognize the garbage bags, place them in the truck, and haul them out to the waste yard.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

The first mass wave were the personal-computer pioneers, the nerdy kids who started with Commodore 64s or early HTML and parlayed it into millions. But now coding is mature. It’s become more of a ticket to the middle class; something that the great mass of people can see as a route to reasonably stable, enjoyable employment. It’s like, in other words, pretty much what mining used to be around Kentucky. “These are blue-collar workers,” Justice says of his programmers. “And this is blue-collar work.” Justice is right. The entire world of programming is now growing so quickly that it’s changing the nature of who becomes a coder, and why. We’re likely to see the mainstreaming of coding—its rapid growth into a skill that many more educated adults, and possibly a majority of them, need to possess to some degree. The reigning image has been of the hoodied young Zuckerbergian coders, cribbing together apps they boast will “change the world.”


India's Long Road by Vijay Joshi

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Induced demand, inflation targeting, invisible hand, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, obamacare, Pareto efficiency, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban sprawl, working-age population

An optimistic forecast would be that it will add another 1.5 million to employment in the present decade. But that number pales into insignificance compared with the forthcoming additions to the labour force, which run into tens of millions, over the same period.14 In any case, the sector mostly employs skilled labour. It is not the answer to the employment needs of millions of low-​skilled people with only primary and secondary education. They require industrial blue-​collar work, with most training received on the job. The second manifestation of the bias against labour is the highly peculiar employment-​ size-​ distribution of India’s business enterprises. The economy has an inordinate number of tiny firms with very low productivity. The following data refer to 2005.15 In manufacturing there were around 50 million workers. They worked in no less than 17 million enterprises.


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

The system that had been reengineered to better serve big business and the rich remained in place. * * * — Because I’m an American who graduated college and as an adult haven’t been paid to do physical labor, I’ve never thought of myself as a worker. It’s too bad, I think, because since the 1960s that linguistic distinction has reinforced the divide between people who do white-collar and blue-collar work. We’re nearly all workers, rather than people who live off investments. Looking back now, probably the single most significant cause and effect of the big 1980s change in our political economy was the disempowerment of workers vis-à-vis employers. A few years ago when I first read the book Postcapitalism by the British business journalist Paul Mason, I came across a paragraph that stopped me short because it seemed so hyperbolic and reductive.


pages: 506 words: 167,034

Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, feminist movement, financial independence, invisible hand, Magellanic Cloud, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Pepto Bismol, placebo effect, Potemkin village, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, space pen, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent, your tax dollars at work

From start to finish, a task that might have taken me five minutes on Earth had consumed nearly thirty minutes in space (and covered about eight thousand miles). There are times in an astronaut’s life he or she would pay dearly to have a gravity vector. Using the toilet is one of those times. Our third and last communication satellite was successfully deployed on flight day three. Compared with the missions of the early space program this was blue-collar work, completely devoid of glory. We weren’t beating the Russians to anything. We weren’t planting an American flag in alien soil. On Earth, there was no Walter Cronkite removing his dorky glasses, wiping his forehead, and shaking his head in relief while telling a waiting, breathless world, “They’ve done it! TheDiscovery crew has just released another communication satellite!” The space program had become a freight service, justifiably ignored by the press and public.


pages: 585 words: 165,304

Trust: The Social Virtue and the Creation of Prosperity by Francis Fukuyama

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mittelstand, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, union organizing

The former sold 30,000 copies by 1922, and the latter went through thirty successive printings in the following years, leading to minor cults of Taylorismus and Fordismus.1 The enormous advance in productivity represented by Ford’s Highland Park facility impressed on German manufacturers the need to adopt mass production techniques in their own operations, and lay behind the “rationalization” movement in German industry during the mid-1920s. But while German industry adopted mass production, Taylorismus never sat very well with German managers and industrial engineers, much less German workers. The deskilling of the workforce, its overspecialization, and the unsatisfying nature of blue-collar work in a Taylorite factory threatened the long-standing German belief in the importance of Arbeitsfreude, or “joy in work,” whose origins lay in Germany’s powerful premodern craft traditions. Industrial engineers who wrote on the subject of factory organization in this period, like Gustav Frenz, Paul Rieppel, Friedrich von Gottl-Ottlilienfeld, and Goetz Briefs, all tended to distinguish between Taylorism and what they regarded as the more human system that Ford actually implemented.2 That is, while Taylor and Ford are closely linked in historical memory as the codifier and implementer, respectively, of the low-trust mass production factory system, Ford’s early plants actually practiced a form of company paternalism that was never part of Taylor’s scientific management principles.


pages: 662 words: 180,546

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown by Philip Mirowski

"Robert Solow", Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, working poor

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Galt Foucault refuses to allow that people may be mired in “false consciousness,” or to concede that there are means by which they may become instilled with systematically distorted beliefs about both themselves and their place in the social order, distractions that work in regular ways against their own interests and welfare. There have been a fair number of writers who assert the contrary; one worth considering because he has been specifically concerned with political developments in the last three decades in the United States is Thomas Frank. In his breakthrough book What’s the Matter with Kansas? he posed the question in a rather American idiom: Why had the blue-collar working class abandoned the Democratic Party in favor of voting for snake-oil neoliberal salesmen who had demonstrated open contempt for their welfare? Or as he himself put it: All they have to show for their Republican loyalty are lower wages, more dangerous jobs, dirtier air, a new overlord class that comports itself like King Farouk—and of course, a crap culture whose moral free fall continues, without significant interference from the grandstanding Christers whom they send triumphantly back to Washington every couple of years.27 Frank’s answer to his own question was, crudely, a version of “bait and switch” that subsequently gained a fair level of acceptance among circles of the U.S. left, at least before the crisis.


pages: 772 words: 203,182

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler

8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Or at least the market as interpreted by the business community and their Washington men. Blaming Globalization for the Sins of Reaganomics Here is conservative author Ross Douthat writing in February 2012, shifting responsibility for the outcome of Reaganomics onto globalization: “It was globalization, not Republicans, that killed the private-sector union and reduced the returns to blue-collar work.”26 Too many economists were taken in by this canard delivered with certitude by folks like a writer for the Economist in June 2006: “The integration of China’s low-skilled millions and the increased offshoring of services to India and other countries has expanded the global supply of workers. This has reduced the relative price of labour and raised the returns to capital. That reinforces the income concentration at the top, since most stocks and shares are held by richer people.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations timewise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process. The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home. A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge. Refuse to compromise. And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process.


pages: 801 words: 209,348

Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American ideology, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, oil rush, peer-to-peer, pets.com, popular electronics, profit motive, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

America now bought $500 billion more from the rest of the world than it sold, an annual imbalance of more than $1,500 per capita caused by the influx of foreign goods. But even services were not safe. Customer-service representatives and certain types of programmers couldn’t take their jobs for granted either. Millions of college-educated, English-speaking Indians starting at less than $500 per month were willing to do for white-collar work what the Chinese had done for blue-collar work. There was little middle ground. The nativist saw jobs leaving due to free trade while the globalist saw the standard of living improving due to the same. America didn’t produce anything anymore, one common view held. But it did. It certainly built its own houses—the American enjoyed more square footage than anyone else in the free world. It grew its own food—it remained the largest producer of agricultural products.


pages: 797 words: 227,399

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

Every revolution in technology has its winners and losers. The telegraph was great for news junkies, but bad for the Pony Express riders. The same will be true with robotics. Numerous professions have already been displaced by very simple robotics, from automobile factory workers to maids, and this will continue as robotics gets more and more capable each year. As the trend plays out, robots won’t just be doing blue-collar work, but also service and even white-collar jobs. And for each job they eliminate, there will be one more person competing for the remaining jobs. It’s the robot version of outsourcing, just that your job is being shipped to a piece of faceless hardware, rather than some textile worker in Bangkok or engineer in Bangalore. If history is any guide, many will speak out against what they see as a technology-caused injustice and some might translate their anger into violence.


The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A Twentieth-Century History by David Edgerton

active measures, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, corporate governance, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, Donald Davies, double helix, endogenous growth, Etonian, European colonialism, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, full employment, imperial preference, James Dyson, knowledge economy, labour mobility, land reform, land value tax, manufacturing employment, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, packet switching, Philip Mirowski, Piper Alpha, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, trade liberalization, union organizing, very high income, wages for housework, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor

Secondly, new techniques replaced labour, for example in the making of motor car engines, where transfer machines moved work automatically between machine tools. Another very important reason was changes in the organization of work, partly in relation to scale of operation. There may have been an element of the deskilling of a large section of manual work, though by no means all. Even more than in the interwar years, the years of the long boom were those of the management expert, the white-collar organizers and measurers of blue-collar work. The idea that British business was slow in taking up new machines and methods is not borne out by studies.35 Increasing the productivity of labour was the routine concern of managements, and of the state. High levels of employment, and a culture committed to production, gave trade unions a strong place in the private economy. The largest unions were overwhelmingly in the private sector and some of the nationalized industries.


pages: 918 words: 257,605

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

Industrial capitalism was marked by the specialized division of labor, with its historically specific characteristics: the conversion of craft work to mass production based on standardization, rationalization, and the interchangeability of parts; the moving assembly line; volume production; large populations of wage earners concentrated in factory settings; professionalized administrative hierarchies; managerial authority; functional specialization; and the distinction between white-collar work and blue-collar work. The list is illustrative, not exhaustive, but enough to remind us that industrial civilization was drawn from these expressions of the economic imperatives that ruled industrial expansion. The division of labor shaped culture, psychology, and social experience. The shift from craft to hourly wages created new populations of employees and consumers, men and women wholly dependent on the means of production owned and operated by private firms.