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pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, old age dependency ratio, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

And dark forces spread in the political arena. We will come to those after considering who is entering the precariat and what is happening to the key assets of the global market society. 3 Who Enters the Precariat? O ne answer is ‘everybody, actually’. Falling into the precariat could happen to most of us, if accidents occurred or a shock wiped out the trappings of security many have come to rely on. That said, we must remember that the precariat does not just comprise victims; some enter the precariat because they do not want the available alternatives, some because it suits their particular circumstances at the time. In short, there are varieties of precariat. Some enter the precariat due to mishaps or failings, some are driven into it, some enter hoping it will be a stepping stone to something else, even if it does not offer a direct route, some choose to be in it instrumentally – including old agers and students simply wishing to obtain a little money or experience – and some combine a precariat activity with something else, as is increasingly common in Japan.

The precariat outside will no doubt welcome the competition. Concluding points The precariat does not consist of people with identical backgrounds and is not made up just of those groups we have highlighted. It makes sense to think there WHO ENTERS THE PRECARIAT? 89 are varieties of precariat, with different degrees of insecurity and attitudes to having a precariat existence. The growth of the global precariat has coincided with four remarkable shifts. Women have been displacing men, to the point where there is talk of ‘mancessions’ and feminisation of labour markets. Men have been dragged into the precariat, while women have been confronted by the prospect of the triple burden. More remarkably, old agers have been marching back into labour markets, subsidised in taking precariat jobs and pushing down wages and opportunities for youths. For their part, youth are faced with status frustration, career-less prospects and subsidised competition from home and abroad.

Printed and bound in Great Britain by the MPG Books Group, Bodmin, Cornwall Cover designer: MP Cover image: Construction Workers at Kings Cross by Colin Gray www.CGPGrey.com CC licensed www.bloomsburyacademic.com Contents Preface vii List of Abbreviations ix 1 The Precariat 1 2 Why the Precariat Is Growing 26 3 Who Enters the Precariat? 59 4 Migrants: Victims, Villains or Heroes? 90 5 Labour, Work and the Time Squeeze 115 6 A Politics of Inferno 132 7 A Politics of Paradise 155 Bibliography 184 Index 191 v This page intentionally left blank Preface T his book is about a new group in the world, a class-in-the-making. It sets out to answer five questions: What is it? Why should we care about its growth? Why is it growing? Who is entering it? And where is the precariat taking us? That last question is crucial. There is a danger that, unless the precariat is understood, its emergence could lead society towards a politics of inferno. This is not a prediction. It is a disturbing possibility. It will only be avoided if the precariat can become a class-for-itself, with effective agency, and a force for forging a new ‘politics of paradise’, a mildly utopian agenda and strategy to be taken up by politicians and by what is euphemistically called ‘civil society’, including the multitude of non-governmental organisations that too often flirt with becoming quasi-government organisations.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

W. 1 Phillips curve 1 ‘pig cycle’ effects 1 Piketty, Thomas 1, 2 Pinochet, Augusto 1, 2, 3 platform debt 1 Plato 1 plutocracy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 Polanyi, Karl 1 policing 1 political consultancy 1 Politico magazine 1 Ponzi schemes 1 Poor Law Amendment Act (1834) 1 POPS (privately owned public spaces) 1 Portfolio Recovery Associates 1 ‘postcapitalism’ 1 poverty traps 1, 2, 3 precariat and commons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and debt 1, 2 and democracy 1, 2 emergence of 1 growth of 1, 2 and rentier platforms 1, 2, 3 revolt of see revolt of precariat predatory creditors 1 ‘primitive rebel’ phase 1 Private Landlords Survey (2010) 1 privatisation and commons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and debt 1, 2 and democracy 1 and neo-liberalism 1 and rentier platforms 1 and revolt of precariat 1 and shaping of rentier capitalism 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 professionalism 1 ‘profit shifting’ 1 Property Law Act (1925) 1 Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph 1 Public and Commercial Services Union 1 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 1, 2, 3. 4, 5, 6 QE (quantitative easing) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Quayle, Dan 1 QuickQuid 1 Reagan, Ronald 1, 2 reCAPTCHA security system 1 ‘recognition’ phase 1 ‘redistribution’ phase 1 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 1 rentier platforms and automation 1 and cloud labour 1 and commodification 1 and ‘concierge’ economy 1 ecological and safety costs 1 and occupational dismantling 1 and on-call employees 1 and precariat 1, 2, 3 and revolt of precariat 1, 2 and ‘sharing economy’ 1, 2, 3, 4 and underpaid labour 1 and venture capital 1 rentiers ascendency of 1, 2 and British Disease 1 classical images of 1 and commons see commons and debt 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and democracy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 digital/tasking platforms see rentier platforms ‘euthanasia’ of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 lies of rentier capitalism 1, 2, 3 revolt of precariat see revolt of precariat shaping of see shaping of rentier capitalism subsidies for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ‘representation’ phase 1 ‘repression effect’ 1 Research of Gartner 1 revolt of precariat and basic income systems 1 and commons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ‘euthanasia’ of rentiers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 inequality of rentier capitalism 1, 2, 3 and intellectual property 1, 2, 3 and neo-liberalism 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 organisational forms 1 potential growth of movement 1 progressive political reengagement 1, 2 and rentier platforms 1, 2 rights as demands 1 sovereign wealth funds 1 wage and labour regulation 1, 2 ‘right to buy’ schemes 1, 2, 3, 4 Robbins, Lionel 1 Rockefeller, David 1 Rockefeller, John D. 1 Rolling Stone 1 Romney, Mitt 1 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 1 Ross, Andrew 1 Ross, Michael 1 Rothermere, Viscount 1, 2 Royal Bank of Scotland 1, 2 Royal Mail 1 Royal Parks 1 Rubin, Robert 1, 2 Rudd, Amber 1 Ruralec 1 Ryan, Conor 1 Sainsbury, Lord 1 Samsung 1, 2, 3 Sanders, Bernie 1, 2, 3 Sassen, Saskia 1 school–business partnerships 1 Schröder, Gerhard 1 Schwab Holdings 1 Schwarz, Dieter 1 Scottish Water 1 Second Gilded Age 1, 2, 3 Securitas 1 securitisation 1, 2, 3 selective tax rates 1 Selma 1 shaping of rentier capitalism branding 1 Bretton Woods system 1, 2, 3 and copyright 1 and ‘crony capitalism’ 1, 2, 3 dispute settlement systems 1, 2, 3 global architecture of rentier capitalism 1 lies of rentier capitalism 1 and neo-liberalism 1, 2 patents 1 and privatisation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and ‘shock therapy’ 1, 2 trade and investment treaties 1 ‘sharing economy’ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Shelter 1 ‘shock therapy’ 1, 2, 3, 4 Shore Capital 1 Sierakowski, Slawomir 1, 2, 3, 4 silicon revolution 1 Simon, Herbert 1 Sirius Minerals 1 Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship 1 Sky UK 1, 2 SLABS (student loan asset-backed securities) 1, 2 Slim, Carlos 1, 2 Smith, Adam 1 Snow, John 1 Social Care Act (2012) 1 social commons 1, 2, 3 social dividend systems 1, 2 social housing 1 ‘social income’ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 social strike 1 SoFi (Social Finance) 1 Solidarność (Solidarity) movement 1 South West Water 1 sovereign wealth funds 1 spatial commons 1, 2 Speenhamland system 1, 2, 3 Spielberg, Steven 1 Springer 1 ‘squeezed state’ 1 Statute of Anne (1710) 1 Statute of Monopolies (1624) 1 StepChange 1 Stevens, Simon 1 ‘strategic’ debt 1 strike action/demonstrations 1, 2, 3 student debt 1, 2 subsidies 1 and austerity 1, 2 and bank ‘bailouts’ 1 and charities 1 and ‘competitiveness’ 1 direct subsidies 1 and moral hazards 1 and ‘non-dom’ status 1 and quantitative easing 1, 2 for rentiers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 selective tax rates 1 and sovereign wealth funds 1 subsidised landlordism 1 tax avoidance and evasion 1 tax breaks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 tax credits 1 Summers, Larry 1, 2 Sun, The 1, 2 Sunday Telegraph 1 Sunday Times 1 Sutton Trust 1 ‘sweetheart deals’ 1 tasking platforms see rentier platforms TaskRabbit 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Tatler magazine 1 tax avoidance/evasion 1 tax breaks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 tax credits 1, 2, 3 Tax Justice Network 1 Tax Research UK 1 Taylor & Francis 1 Tennessee Valley Authority 1 ‘tertiary time’ regime 1 Tesco 1 Texas Permanent School Fund 1 Textor, Mark 1 Thames Water 1 Thatcher, Margaret 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 The Bonfire of the Vanities 1 The Constitution of Liberty 1 The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money 1 The Innovator’s Dilemma 1 think tanks 1 ‘thinner’ democracy 1 ‘Third-Way’ thinking 1, 2, 3 Times, The 1 TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) 1 Tottenham Court Road underground station 1 TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) 1, 2, 3 Trades Union Congress 1, 2 ‘tragedy of the commons’ 1 ‘tranching’ of loans 1 Treaty of Detroit (1950) 1, 2 Treuhand 1 TRIPS (Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) 1, 2, 3, 4 trolling (of patents) 1 Trump, Donald 1, 2 TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) 1, 2, 3, 4 Turnbull, Malcolm 1 Turner, Adair 1 Twain, Mark 1 Uber 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ‘ultra-loose’ monetary policy 1 underpaid labour 1 UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) 1 UNHCR (UN refugee agency) 1 Unison 1 Unite 1 UnitedHealth Group 1 universal credit scheme 1 universal justice 1 UpCounsel 1 Upwork 1, 2 Uruguay Round 1, 2, 3 USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) 1 Vattenfall 1 Veblen, Thorstein 1 venture capital 1 Veolia 1 Vero Group 1 Victoria, Queen 1 Villeroy de Galhau, François 1 Vlieghe, Gertjan 1 Warner Chappell Music 1 Watt, James 1 welfare abuse/fraud 1 Wilde, Oscar 1 Wilson, Fergus 1 Wilson, Judith 1 WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Wolf, Martin 1, 2 Wolfe, Tom 1 Wonga 1, 2 Work Capability Assessment 1 Work Programme 1 World Bank 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 World Economic Forum 1 world heritage sites 1 Wriglesworth Consultancy 1 WTO (World Trade Organization) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Y Combinator 1 Yanukovych, Viktor 1 Yukos 1 de Zayas, Alfred-Maurice 1 van Zeeland, Marcel 1 Zell, Sam 1 zero-hours contracts 1, 2, 3 Zipcar 1 Copyright First published in Great Britain in 2016 by Biteback Publishing Ltd Westminster Tower 3 Albert Embankment London SE1 7SP Copyright © Guy Standing 2016 Guy Standing has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

But with their life of insecurity, they should be sympathetic to the realities faced by the precariat. They are potential allies. The proletariat is too enfeebled and atavistic, pining for a real or imagined past and hanging on to the labourist traditions of social democratic parties. It is easy prey for populists and neofascist politicians, playing on racism and xenophobia. Only the precariat has the potential, in terms of size, growth and structured disadvantage, to articulate a progressive response to rentier capitalism and its corruption. The lumpen-precariat, the underclass, does not have the agency to act, although some in it might join protests, as they did in 2011. Literally, as beggars, they cannot afford to be choosers. So, the revolt must be led by the precariat and those around them. But, to have a chance of success, it must have three features: a sense of unity around commonly held beliefs; a sustainable understanding of the flaws, inequities and unsustainability of existing arrangements; and a reasonably clear vision of feasible goals.

In response, mainstream economists have advocated more education. Education is desirable for many reasons, but more of it will not alter the character of the income distribution system. THE PRECARIAT SMOULDERS Globalisation, neo-liberal policies, institutional changes and the technological revolution have combined to generate a new global class structure superimposed on preceding class structures.37 This consists of a tiny plutocracy (perhaps 0.001 per cent) atop a bigger elite, a ‘salariat’ (in relatively secure salaried jobs), ‘proficians’ (freelance professionals), a core working class, a precariat and a ‘lumpen-precariat’ at the bottom. The plutocracy, elite, salariat and proficians enjoy not just higher incomes but gain most (or an increasing part) of their income from capital and rental income, rather than from labour.


pages: 297 words: 89,206

Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage

call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clapham omnibus, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, moral panic, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, old-boy network, precariat, psychological pricing, Sloane Ranger, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, very high income, winner-take-all economy, young professional

But let us now turn to another very hard-working group, who do not have these economic advantages – the group we have called the ‘precariat’. We now move to a very different world from that of the elite. This is the ‘precariat’ class, who are positioned at the bottom of the social hierarchy. They are a group who have very low amounts of all the kinds of capital which we have analysed, with incomes of only a few thousand pounds a year, little savings and wealth. They also – unlike our ‘ordinary’ wealth-elite – were not attracted to being part of the GBCS. Although around 15 per cent of the population fit into the precariat class, fewer than 1 per cent of the GBCS respondents fitted the precariat profile – and those small number who did do the GBCS were rather atypical, being more likely to be downwardly mobile into this class than born into it. The precariat are the GBCS’s ‘missing people’.

We thus learn that 51 per cent of those in our elite class had parents who were in class 1 (senior managerial and professional) compared to only 11 per cent who had parents who were in the precariat. This is a remarkable difference, with over twelve times as many of the elite coming from the most advantaged backgrounds compared to the precariat. Only 11 per cent of the elite have climbed from the valley floor compared to the majority, who, because of their starting position high up on the mountain, have had to do little or no climbing at all. At the other extreme, the picture is reversed: 65 per cent of the precariat remain where they grew up, on the valley floor (their parents having been in semi-skilled and routine employment). And we can see that only 4 per cent of the precariat come from senior managerial or traditional professional backgrounds: there is not much mobility going from top to bottom of British society either.

This kind of categorization can be put in the context of the long history of stigmatization of the poor, which can be traced back for many centuries, and the nineteenth-century preoccupation with the differentiation of the deserving and undeserving poor which we saw in Chapter 1 (when Charles Booth designated the lowest classes as ‘vicious and semi-criminal’ on his famous map).12 The naming of the poorest has always been problematic, with the danger that defining them at all might stigmatize their inequality and add to the rhetoric about them as a ‘dangerous class’. Given this difficult politics of naming and classification, we think the precariat concept is preferable to that of an underclass because Standing’s term draws direct attention to the way that the vulnerability of these groups is linked to their structural location in society. It also avoids the clichéd stereotypes. The precariat are not passive, culturally disengaged or morally limited. Although the term ‘precariat’ runs the risk of giving an over-rigid definition of this group, it captures the structural instability of a global market, and a group of people at the mercy of that structure. The precariat concept also recognizes that there is mobility into and out of its ranks, because it situates this group within the wider processes of contemporary labour markets rather than fixing on them as being outside employment altogether.


Basic Income And The Left by henningmeyer

basic income, Bernie Sanders, centre right, eurozone crisis, income inequality, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, land value tax, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, precariat, quantitative easing, Silicon Valley, the market place, Tobin tax, universal basic income

Its essen‐ tial character is being a supplicant, a beggar, pushed to rely on discretionary and conditional hand-outs from the state and by privatised agencies and chari‐ The precariat has distinctive relations of production ties operating on its behalf. For understanding the (unstable labour, lack of occupational identity, a high precariat, and the nature of the class struggle to ratio of work-for-labour to labour, and so on), come, this supplicant status is more important than distinctive relations of distribution (depending on its insecure labour relations. money wages that are stagnant at best, and volatile as the norm, living on the edge of unsustainable debt), and distinctive relations to the state. This last The Precariat And Global Capitalism aspect has received too little attention. The precariat The precariat’s position must be understood in is the first mass class in history that has been terms of the changing character of global capitalism systematically losing the acquired rights of citizen‐ and its underlying distribution system, something ship – civil, cultural, political, social and economic.

Indeed, the weakest aspect of Piketty’s analysis is his prognosis. 9 The likelihood of very high marginal direct tax rates security, none of us can be expected to be rational is remote. Structural changes are required. and socially responsible. Let us find ways of going A Precariat Charter must start from understanding on that road. the nature and depth of insecurities faced by the precariat, and also from understanding the aspira‐ tions that exist in the more educated component of the precariat. It would be quite wrong to imagine that the precariat wants a return to the old norms of full-time stable wage labour. It wants to build a good society, resurrect a sense of ‘a future’ and create institutional networks that would enable more and more to pursue a life of work, labour and leisure. That means building their own sense of occupation, in which ecological values of reproductive work predominate over the resource-depleting values of labour.

The ambition of this little Next year (2015) is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the first class-based charter of liber‐ ties against the state. Today, we need a Charter to advance the rights of the precariat and substantially reduce the inequalities and insecurities in society. This is the theme of my new book, A Precariat Char‐ ter: From Denizens to Citizens. volume is to provide some easily digestible food for The context is clear. We are in the midst of a Global such serious thought. Transformation, in which a globalised market system is under painful construction. In its disembedded phase, the transformation was dominated by the interests of financial capital, just as set out in Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation. Inequalities multiplied, economic insecurity became pervasive. 4 5 Above all, a new globalised class structure took The precariat consists of supplicants, being forced to shape. All economic and social analysis of the beg for entitlements, being sanctioned without due growth of inequality that ignores the class dimen‐ process, being dependent on discretionary charity.


pages: 307 words: 82,680

A Pelican Introduction: Basic Income by Guy Standing

bank run, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, intangible asset, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, labour market flexibility, land value tax, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, universal basic income, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Within nominally rich countries, absolute and relative poverty have grown in the twenty-first century, not fallen, while the number of homeless has hit new records. This is a powerful indictment of all governments. Globalization and policies of market flexibility, combined with the technological revolution unleashed by or associated with globalization, have also produced a growing precariat, consisting of millions of people everywhere living in chronic insecurity and losing all forms of rights.3 Even if economic growth were to pick up, which seems unlikely, the precariat would not gain economically. It certainly has not done so in the first two decades of this century. In a relative sense, the precariat almost certainly loses from growth, because the gains from the sort of growth that is occurring go disproportionately if not entirely to the plutocracy, elite and salariat.4 To compound the challenge, the old recipe of job creation – ‘work is the best route out of poverty’ – is increasingly wrong and even counter-productive.

It reflects unequal access to the other key assets of a good life – security (both physical and economic), quality time, quality space, education and knowledge, and financial capital.14 Security is the pivotal key asset, which is probably even more unequally distributed than income or wealth as conventionally defined and measured. The rich can buy physical security, and have almost total economic security. Someone in the precariat or with low and uncertain income has no security at all. A basic income would rectify that chronic inequality. Similarly, the inequality of control over time is vast. The upper echelons of the income and wealth spectrum can have complete control of their time, paying others to do tasks they do not wish to do. By contrast, the precariat has little or no control over time. Even if it did not do so fully or adequately, a basic income would allow people more control over the allocation of their time, for example, by reducing the financial pressure to work long or unsocial hours at the expense of family and community life.

In any event, as noted in Chapter 4, the Beveridge and Bismarck models of social insurance simply do not work in open, flexible economies with a large and growing precariat. The point being made here, however, is that support for or opposition to a policy should not be based on whether someone one does not like supports or opposes it. A Basic Income Would Distract from Progressive Policies, Such as ‘Full Employment’ There are several ways of rebutting this version of Hirschmann’s ‘jeopardy’ point. First, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, where is the pressure to achieve other progressive policies? The growth and level of inequality are almost unprecedented; economic insecurity is pervasive; full employment has been redefined to be about 5 per cent unemployment with much ‘underemployment’, concealed by labour statistics that are unfit for purpose; and, above all, the growing precariat has been neglected by mainstream politics.


Battling Eight Giants: Basic Income Now by Guy Standing

basic income, Bernie Sanders, centre right, collective bargaining, decarbonisation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, labour market flexibility, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open economy, pension reform, precariat, quantitative easing, rent control, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, universal basic income, Y Combinator

There is also a lot of anecdotal data to suggest that many more people must do more work that is not paid. The precariat, in particular, must use more unpaid time doing activities that are work but not counted as such. And over a million workers are doing unpaid overtime hours. This means average hourly wage rates are lower than they appear. If, as is likely, it is lower-earning workers who are mainly affected, this in itself will have widened wage inequality. Wage differentials have grown enormously. Earnings at the top have risen much faster than in the middle, and real earnings have fallen for lower-paid men.23 For those in the bottom half of the income spectrum – most in the precariat – wages have fallen by more than average and can be expected to continue to lag behind those of the minority earning good salaries and receiving part of the rental income from the high and rising returns to capital and ownership of physical, financial and intellectual property.

In the post-war era, non-wage enterprise-based benefits – such as paid holidays and paid medical leave, subsidized transport and food, annual bonuses, premium pay for unsocial hours and occupational defined-benefit pensions – rose as a share of total compensation. As many of these were paid equally to all workers, they tended to moderate earnings inequality. But with the growth of the precariat fewer workers, young and old, have access to such benefits, and many firms have quietly converted them into money wages, giving a false impression of income growth.28 Meanwhile, those still in the salariat – on a stable contracted salary – have gained more in such benefits, the value of which has been elevated by tax policies. What has happened to non-wage benefits is a largely unmeasured aspect of growing income inequality in Britain, particularly between the precariat and the salariat. However, it is likely that the trend is similar to that in the United States. According to the official Bureau of Economic Analysis, the lowest 10% of US wage earners saw non-wage benefits fall by about 2% in real terms between 2009 and 2018, while the top 10% enjoyed a rise of 17%.29 Slaying Giants with Basic Income 17 Another sign of the failing distribution system is that by 2019 one in every three working-age households was receiving state benefits of one kind or another, including tax credits.

Such findings imply that even modest basic income payments would have some social value beyond their impact on poverty and inequality. (5) Precarity Millions of people are living bits-and-pieces lives that go beyond issues of insecurity and stress. They feel that they are unable to develop themselves, have no occupational identity or narrative to give to their lives and must do a lot of work that is not recognized or remunerated. They are the precariat.60 Perhaps worst of all, they are, and feel like, supplicants: they must ask for favours, for permission, for help, which if not granted threaten their ability to function. The original Latin meaning of precariousness was ‘to obtain by prayer’. That is what being in the precariat is like; they are dependent on others’ goodwill. This is undignified, potentially traumatizing and puts people on the road to losing the ordinary rights of citizenship, exemplified by the increasingly discretionary character of welfare benefits. A case in point was the government’s closure of the national Social Fund, which made one-off payments for exceptional needs such as replacing a fridge or a bed, and the slow evaporation of funding for the devolved welfare assistance schemes that replaced it.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America by Alissa Quart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business intelligence, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, East Village, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute couture, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, job automation, late capitalism, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, new economy, nuclear winter, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, post-work, precariat, price mechanism, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, surplus humans, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor

But fathers are harmed too: if they strive to more evenly balance their careers and their families, they may be stereotyped at work as “weak.” And if they go into traditionally female caring professions—where most of the employment growth is these days—they may receive the “traditional” female lower pay. I call this just-making-it group “the Middle Precariat,” after the precariat, a term first popularized six years ago by the economist Guy Standing to describe an expanding working class burdened with temporary, low-paid, and part-time jobs. My term, the Middle Precariat, describes those at the upper end of that group in terms of income. Its membership is expanding higher and higher into what was traditionally known as the solid bourgeoisie. These people believed that their training or background would ensure that they would be properly, comfortably middle-class, but it has not worked out that way.

These people believed that their training or background would ensure that they would be properly, comfortably middle-class, but it has not worked out that way. Their labor has also become inconstant or contingent—they do short-term contract or shift work, as well as unpaid overtime. They also do unpaid shadow work, like adjunct professors putting together packets for their classes off the clock, in contrast to their tenured colleagues. And it’s worse for the Middle Precariat of color, which typically has much less retirement security and ability to pay college tuition. Like the classic precariat, the Middle Precariat has lost the narrative of their lives and futures. Who are they and what will they become? Their income has flatlined. Many are “fronting” as bourgeois while standing on a pile of debt. There are many culprits for the straits in which they find themselves—most crucially growing income inequality, or as the business TV shows like to call it euphemistically, as if to deny their role in creating it, “disparity.”

Michelle Belmont, the Minnesota librarian and web developer who admitted that few of her friends had any clue how broke she was, put it this way: “Every American thinks they’re a temporarily embarrassed millionaire: I am no exception.” These professors and other extensively trained and educated workers have all the typical problems of the Middle Precariat: debt, overwork, isolation, and shame about their lack of money. They also may have very little time for leisure, not even for a few dates over pale ale with their partners or get-togethers with friends where they can confess their woes or snicker over gossip. They take almost no holidays. Many of them told me that their parents were more economically comfortable than they were, even though their parents often had far fewer educational attainments. Whenever I talked to these Middle Precariat parents, I also heard the ring of self-blame and ridicule. Was it a sin to have pursued a high-minded profession and to want nice things? They felt like it was.


Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy by Philippe van Parijs, Yannick Vanderborght

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, centre right, collective bargaining, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, declining real wages, diversified portfolio, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income per capita, informal economy, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, open borders, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, selection bias, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, universal basic income, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor

As an example, in June 2016, the head of Flanders’s UNIZO (the OrganÂ� ization of Self-Â�Employed Entrepreneurs), Karel Van Eetvelt, declared that the basic-Â�income proposal had to be further explored as it could potentially boost entrepreneurship and better protect freelance workers.44 From the Â�labor movement and the business world, let us now turn to two components of our socieÂ�ties whose attitude Â�towards basic income can a priori be expected to be more favorable: the precariat and Â�women. The Precariat Job seekers, Â�people with short-Â�term or part-Â�time contracts, Â�those enrolled in workfare schemes, the more vulnerable among the self-Â�employed, and more broadly, all Â�those excluded for whatÂ�ever reason from good jobs that provide material security and positive identification—Â�these are the Â�people commonly gathered Â�under the label “precariat.”↜45 They include many of the Â�people who stand to gain most, in an immediate sense, from the introduction of a basic income. But this doesn’t Â� necessarily mean that the associations that represent them find it obvious to advocate something as general and remote as an unconditional basic income.

But they tend to lack the financial and Â�human resources that make for robust social movements: for most of them, it is difficult enough to make ends meet, and many of Â�those with the skills of effective leaders Â�will remain in the precariat only for short periods of time. Moreover, the precariat lacks the sort of intense and regular interaction that the proletariat owes to sharing a workplace. It also lacks an asset analogous to the insiders’ Â�labor power, on whose collaboration the operation of the economy depends. And, most seriously perhaps, it Â�faces the challenge of breeding a positive identification with the stigmatized status of the unemployed or precariously employed. One may therefore doubt that precariat associations Â�will ever gain strength even remotely comparable to that of traditional Â�labor organÂ�izations, let alone sufficient to secure the introduction of an unconditional basic income.53 Â�Women Â� Women form another and far larger category from which greater support for basic income should be expected than from the mainstream Â�labor movement.

A Basic Income Grant for South Africa. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press. Standing, Guy. 1986. “Meshing Â�Labour Flexibility with Security: An Answer to Mass Unemployment?” International Â�Labour Review 125(1): 87–106. —Â�—Â�—. 1999. Global Â�Labour Flexibility: Seeking Distributive Justice. Basingstoke: Macmillan. —Â�—Â�—. 2011. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury. —Â�—Â�—. 2012. “Why a Basic Income Is Necessary for a Right to Work.” Basic Income Studies 7(2): 19–40. —Â�—Â�—. 2014a. A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens. London: Bloomsbury. —Â�—Â�—. 2014b. “Cash Transfers Can Work Better than Subsidies.” The Hindu, December 6. www╉.Â�thehindu╉.Â�com ╉/Â�a rticle6666913╉.Â�ece. Steensland, Brian. 2008. The Failed Welfare Revolution: AmerÂ�iÂ�ca’s StrugÂ�gle over Guaranteed Income Policy.


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Occupy by Noam Chomsky

corporate governance, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Martin Wolf, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, union organizing

So, for example, Alan Greenspan, at the time when he was still “Saint Alan”—hailed by the economics profession as one of the greatest economists of all time (this was before the crash for which he was substantially responsible)—was testifying to Congress in the Clinton years, and he explained the wonders of the great economy that he was supervising. He said a lot of the success of this economy was based substantially on what he called “growing worker insecurity.” If working people are insecure, if they’re part of what we now call the “precariat,” living precarious existences, they’re not going to make demands, they’re not going to try to get wages, they won’t get benefits. We can kick ’em out if we don’t need ’em. And that’s what’s called a “healthy” economy, technically. And he was very highly praised for this, greatly admired. Well, now the world is indeed splitting into a plutonomy and a precariat—again, in the imagery of the Occupy movement, the 1 percent and the 99 percent. Not literal numbers, but the right picture. Now, the plutonomy is where the action is. Well, it could continue like this. If it does continue like this, the historic reversal that began in the 1970s could become irreversible.

In his classic Wealth of Nations, that’s the only occurrence of the phrase, “invisible hand.” Maybe England would be saved from neoliberal globalization by an “invisible hand.” The other great classical economist, David Ricardo, recognized the same thing and hoped that it wouldn’t happen—kind of a sentimental hope—and it didn’t for a long time. But now it is happening. Over the last thirty years that’s exactly what has been underway. Plutonomy and the Precariat For the general population, the 99 percent in the imagery of the Occupy movement, it’s been pretty harsh. And it could get worse. This could be a period of irreversible decline. For the 1 percent and even less—the one-tenth of the 1 percent—it’s just fine. They are richer than ever, more powerful than ever, controlling the political system, disregarding the public. And if it can continue, as far as they’re concerned, sure, why not?

They said that their plutonomy index was way out-performing the stock market, so people should put money into it. As for the rest, we send ’em adrift. We don’t really care about them. We don’t really need ’em. They have to be around to provide a powerful state, which will protect us and bail us out when we get into trouble, but other than that they essentially have no function. These days they’re sometimes called the “precariat”—people who live a precarious existence at the periphery of society. It’s not the periphery anymore. It’s becoming a very substantial part of the society in the United States, and indeed elsewhere. And this is considered a good thing. So, for example, Alan Greenspan, at the time when he was still “Saint Alan”—hailed by the economics profession as one of the greatest economists of all time (this was before the crash for which he was substantially responsible)—was testifying to Congress in the Clinton years, and he explained the wonders of the great economy that he was supervising.


Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres by Jamie Woodcock

always be closing, anti-work, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, David Graeber, invention of the telephone, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, millennium bug, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, profit motive, social intelligence, stakhanovite, women in the workforce

Wacquant, (London: Verso, 1998), p. 85 [Originally 178 Notes 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. published as Contre Feux 2: Pour un movement social européen, Paris: Éditions Raisons d’agir]. Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (London: Bloomsbury, 2011). Richard Seymour, ‘We Are All Precarious: On the Concept of the “Precariat” and Its Misuses’, New Left Project, 2 October 2012, www. newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/we_are_all_ precarious_on_the_concept_of_the_precariat_and_its_misuses Quoted in ibid. Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2007), p. 12. Seymour, ‘We Are All Precarious’ (2012). Mitropoulos, ‘Precari-Us’ (2005), p. 13. Anthony Iles, ‘The Insecurity Lasts a Long Time’, Mute, Vol. 2 (2005), p. 36. Kidd McKarthy, ‘Is Precarity Enough?’

C. (1987) Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, New Haven: Yale University Press. Seymour, R. (2012) ‘We Are All Precarious: On the Concept of the “Precariat” and Its Misuses’, New Left Project, 2 October, www. newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/we_are_all_ precarious_on_the_concept_of_the_precariat_and_its_misuses Skeggs, B. and Wood, H. (2012) Reacting to Reality Television: Performance, Audience and Value, New York: Routledge. Simms, M. and Holgate, J. (2010) ‘Organising for What? Where Is the Debate on the Politics of Organising?’, Work, Employment & Society, vol. 24 no. 1, pp. 157–68. Spivak, G. C. (1988) ‘Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography’, in Selected Subaltern Studies, edited by R. Guha, New York: Oxford University Press. Standing, G. (2011) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, London: Bloomsbury. Strangleman, T. (2004) ‘Ways of (Not) Seeing Work: The Visual as a Blind Spot in WES?’

If anything can be said ‘for certain about precariousness, it is that it teeters’, which points towards ‘some of the tensions that shadow much of the discussion about precarious labour’.23 Pierre Bourdieu explains that ‘casualisation of employment is part of a mode of domination of a new kind, based on the creation of a generalized and permanent state of insecurity aimed at forcing workers into submission, into the acceptance of exploitation’.24 This definition provides an important starting point for the discussion of precarity, yet the arguments about the existence of a ‘precariat’ put forward by Guy Standing has done much to muddy the waters.25 Richard Seymour argues that Standing’s formulation of the precariat ‘remains at best a purely negative, critical concept’, but this is not to say that the term should be completely rejected.26 The problem with the concept is that ‘its advocates want it to do far more than it is capable of doing – that is, naming, describing, and explaining a developing social class’. Precarious employment is not new, as is evident from the description by a dock worker in 1882, ‘dock labouring is at all times a precarious and uncertain mode of living’.27 Furthermore, the imbalance of power between capital and labour has meant that the period of secure employment for men in Western Europe under the Fordism of the 1960–1970s is an exception to the rule historically.


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The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations Series) by James Bloodworth

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, income inequality, light touch regulation, precariat, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, zero-sum game

Yet there is evidence that, as inequality has soared in recent decades, the elite has become more exclusive and un-meritocratic. This perhaps goes some way to explaining the widespread assumption that social mobility is in reverse: we see a good deal of the elite on our television screens and are thus liable to assume that the ‘stickiness’ of their social position reflects a collapse in mobility right across society. Similarly, at the other end of the ladder, the so-called precariat has become even more entrenched. The stereotypical images of Burberry-clad twenty-somethings trapped on benefits have come to denote a country in a parlous state of social stagnation. Relative to other comparable nations, social mobility in Britain is poor. According to the OECD,36 Britain has some of the lowest rates of social mobility in the developed world. In the UK, a person’s earnings are more likely to reflect their father’s than in any other country.

While Oxford and Cambridge graduates comprise just 1 per cent of Britain’s population, according to the aforementioned report they make up 75 per cent of senior judges, 59 per cent of Cabinet ministers, 47 per cent of newspaper columnists and 12 per cent of the Sunday Times Rich List.39 A nationally representative survey of 1,026 people conducted by the market research firm GfK for the BBC found further evidence of a closed shop at the top. Using seven social classes,40 the study found that over twelve times as many of the elite in 2011 came from the most privileged backgrounds compared to those from the precariat. Just 11 per cent of the elite had risen from the lowest social class.41 The Sutton Trust, which has been carrying out surveys of Britain’s professions for over a decade, has talked of the ‘staying power of the privately educated at the top of the UK’s professional hierarchy’. In its 2016 annual report, it found that almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of top military officers were educated privately, while 61 per cent of Britain’s top doctors were educated at independent schools (another 22 per cent attended grammar schools).42 Even the music industry, which once gave expression to working-class authenticity, is increasingly dominated by the children of privilege.

There is only so much room at the top. 37 ‘Kate and Lottie Moss to become Vogue’s first cover sisters’, Charlotte Griffiths, Daily Mail, 21 August 2014. 38 ‘Kate Moss’ little sister made her catwalk debut’, Ella Alexander, Glamour, 10 March 2015. 39 ‘Closed shop at the top in deeply elitist Britain, says study’, Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian, 28 August 2014. 40 The seven categories: elite, established middle class, new affluent workers, technical middle class, traditional working class, emerging service workers, precariat. 41 Social Class in the 21st Century, Professor Mike Savage, op. cit. 42 ‘Leading People 2016’, Sutton Trust, 24 February 2016, http://www.suttontrust.com/researcharchive/leading-people-2016. 43 ‘Has pop gone posh?’, Tom Bateman, bbc.co.uk, 28 January 2011. 44 ‘Julie Walters warns of a future where only “posh” can afford to act’, Andrew Hough, Daily Telegraph, 3 September 2012. 45 ‘Class a big issue in arts, says BBC drama boss’, Hannah Furness, Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2014. 46 ‘Conservative MP: How the Queen secured my selection for the party’, Tim Walker, Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2012. 47 ‘Exclusive: Cabinet is worth £70 million’, Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2012. 48 ‘Leading People 2016’, Sutton Trust, op. cit. 49 ‘Record numbers of female and minority-ethnic MPs in new House of Commons’, Helena Bengtsson, Sally Weale and Libby Brooks, The Guardian, 8 May 2015. 50 ‘The concept of class is absent from political debate, even as inequality in Britain reaches new heights’, Sean Swan, Democratic Audit, 11 February 2016. 51 ‘Dead Souls: The Denationalization of the American Elite’, Samuel P.


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We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages by Annelise Orleck

airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Food sovereignty, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McJob, means of production, new economy, payday loans, precariat, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

But that is just a lie to keep us quiet, because the truth is: We are all fast-food workers now.” Bleu Rainer laughs. “Or maybe, we are all professor adjuncts,” he says. Either way, almost everyone is working longer hours for less pay.2 If the first half of the twentieth century was marked by uprisings of the industrial proletariat, the twenty-first century has been characterized by civil unrest among the postindustrial working class—the precariat. Whoever coined the term, and many have claimed credit, the precariat represents an ever-growing share of all workers. They have no security, seniority, or benefits. They earn too little to comfortably live on. And the corporations, hospitals, universities, and government agencies for which they work evade legal responsibility for meeting minimum wage, maximum hours, and safety standards by classifying them as “temporary” or as “contract” employees provided by third-party labor suppliers.

—KEEGAN SHEPARD, graduate student and Fight for $15 activist, 2015 CONTENTS AUTHOR’S NOTE PART I POVERTY WAGES, WE’RE NOT LOVIN’ IT: ROOTS AND BRANCHES OF A GLOBAL UPRISING PROLOGUE Brands of Wage Slavery, Marks of Labor Solidarity CHAPTER 1 Inequality Rising CHAPTER 2 All We’re Asking for Is a Little Respect CHAPTER 3 “We Are Workers, Not Slaves” CHAPTER 4 “I Consider the Union My Second Mother” CHAPTER 5 Hotel Housekeepers Go Norma Rae CHAPTER 6 United for Respect: OUR Walmart and the Uprising of Retail Workers CHAPTER 7 Supersize My Wages: Fast-Food Workers and the March of History CHAPTER 8 1911–2011: History and the Global Labor Struggle CHAPTER 9 People Power Movements in the Twenty-First Century CHAPTER 10 “You Can’t Dismantle Capitalism Without Dismantling Patriarchy” CHAPTER 11 This Is What Solidarity Feels Like PART II THE RISING OF THE GLOBAL PRECARIAT CHAPTER 12 Respect, Let It Go, ‘Cause Baby, You’re a Firework CHAPTER 13 Realizing Precarity: “We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now” CHAPTER 14 Days of Disruption, 2016 CHAPTER 15 The New Civil Rights Movement CHAPTER 16 Counting Victories, Girding for an Uphill Struggle CHAPTER 17 Huelga de Hambre: Hunger and Hunger Strikes Rising CHAPTER 18 Social Movement Unionism and the Souls of Workers CHAPTER 19 “Contractualization” CHAPTER 20 “Stand Up, Live Better”: Organizing for Respect at Walmart PART III GARMENT WORKERS’ ORGANIZING IN THE AGE OF FAST FASHION CHAPTER 21 “If People Would Think About Us, We Wouldn’t Die”: Beautiful Clothes, Ugly Reality CHAPTER 22 How the Rag Trade Went Global CHAPTER 23 “The Girl Effect” CHAPTER 24 “Made with Love in Bangladesh” CHAPTER 25 “We Are Not a Pocket Revolution”: Bangladeshi Garment Workers Since Rana Plaza CHAPTER 26 “A Khmer Would Rather Work for Free Than Work Without Dignity” CHAPTER 27 “After Pol Pot, We Need a Good Life” CHAPTER 28 Consciousness-Raising, Cambodia Style CHAPTER 29 Filipina Garment Workers: Organizing in the Zone PART IV NO RICE WITHOUT FREEDOM, NO FREEDOM WITHOUT RICE: THE GLOBAL UPRISING OF PEASANTS AND FARMWORKERS CHAPTER 30 “No Land No Life”: Uprisings of the “Landless,” 2017 CHAPTER 31 “Agrarian Reform in Reverse”: Food Crises, Land Grabs, and Migrant Labor CHAPTER 32 Milk with Dignity CHAPTER 33 “Like the Time of Cesar Chavez”: Strawberry Fields, Exploitation Forever CHAPTER 34 Bitter Grapes CHAPTER 35 “What Are We Rising For?”

And though the forces arrayed against low-wage workers are powerful, and often violent, the spirit, creativity, courage, and stamina of this global uprising are seemingly endless. With all that I have learned as I researched this book, I am left with feelings of hope and possibility. I hope you will be too. This book is arranged in four parts. The first is a broad view, a sweep, an attempt to frame how our world has changed and to sketch the roots and spreading branches of global rebellion. The second traces the rising of the global precariat. The third examines garment organizing in the age of fast fashion. And in the fourth section, I trace local and global activism by farmers and farmworkers. I try to cast some sparks of light by sketching small successes that can be seen as models. Finally, I reflect on some quite ambitious visions for a more humane future in which a system based on poverty wages gives way to a living wage and dignified work for everyone.


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Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn by Chris Hughes

"side hustle", basic income, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, end world poverty, full employment, future of journalism, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, oil rush, payday loans, Peter Singer: altruism, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, TaskRabbit, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, universal basic income, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

When the participants in that market see a meaningful boost in their spending power, they are able to buy and sell goods and create stronger incentives for local entrepreneurs to invest and expand their own work. 75 up from around 6 percent: International Rescue Committee, “The IRC’s Cash Strategy, 2015-2020.” 75 amount of cash benefits that humanitarian organizations provide is still small: Harvey, “Cash Transfers: Only 6% of Humanitarian Spending.” 76 GiveDirectly raised more than $90 million: GiveDirectly, “Our Financials.” Four 79 The Precariat: Precariat is a portmanteau word referring to the “precarious proletariat”—an emerging social class who struggle to get by, bouncing frequently between unemployment and underemployment. The term was made famous by British economist Guy Standing in his 2011 book of the same name, but dates back to a group of French sociologists who coined the term (précariat) more than 30 years ago after noting a marked increase in unstable jobs across Europe. 82 “In terms of artificial intelligence taking American jobs”: Soergel, “Mnuchin ‘Not At All’ Worried.” 82 Nine out of ten economists, a University of Chicago survey found, agree: The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business assembles a panel of expert economists who are meant to be representative of the field and polls them from time to time to “inform the public about the extent to which economists agree or disagree on important public policy issues.”

To my surprise, I discovered that the United States already runs the biggest cash transfer program in the world, giving tens of billions of dollars, no strings attached, to struggling poor families to help boost their incomes and stabilize their financial lives. We don’t talk about it much, but we have good, home-grown evidence that aligns with the international studies’ conclusions: that this money is well spent and lifts education and health outcomes for recipients here, just as it does abroad. And by tweaking and expanding it, we could make it possible for all American families to make ends meet. 4 The Precariat Over the past couple years, many technology and business leaders have come to believe we need a guaranteed income because of the threat of artificial intelligence. Elon Musk and Richard Branson, for instance, believe that “intelligent” machines may soon create a new era of mass unemployment. In that world, they argue, there will be no choice but to help people meet their basic needs. These leaders aren’t contemplating a future of wholesale job destruction in order to be contrarian or controversial.

To receive special offers, bonus content, and info on new releases and other great reads, sign up for our newsletters. Or visit us online at us.macmillan.com/newslettersignup For email updates on the author, click here. Contents Title Page Dedication Introduction 1: How It Happens 2: The Dismantling of the American Dream 3: Kenya & Back 4: The Precariat 5: A Guaranteed Income for Working People 6: Worthwhile Work 7: Untethered Idealism 8: Everybody Likes a Tax Credit 9: What We Owe One Another Afterword What You Can Do Acknowledgments Bibliography Notes About the Author Copyright fair shot. Copyright © 2018 by Chris Hughes. All rights reserved. For information, address St.


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The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

In addition to its own employees there, the company relies on the labor of more than 700,000 workers—roughly ten times its U.S. employment—to build Apple products at contractors like Foxconn. These workers suffer conditions that have led to illegal strikes and suicides; workers often claim they are treated no better than robots.8 From Proletariat to Precariat In the old working-class world, unions often set hours and benefits, but many low-status workers today are sinking into what has been described as the “precariat,” with limited control over their working hours and often living on barely subsistence wages.9 One reason for this descent is a general shift away from relatively stable jobs in skill-dependent industries or in services like retail to such occupations as hotel housekeepers and home care aides.10 People in jobs of this kind have seen only meager wage gains, and they suffer from “income volatility” due to changing conditions of employment and a lack of long-term contracts.11 This kind of volatility has become more common even in countries with fairly strong labor laws.

smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur; Olivia Solon, “Amazon patents wristband that tracks warehouse workers’ movements,” Guardian, February 1, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/31/amazon-warehouse-wristband-tracking; Alan Boyle, “Amazon wins a pair of patents for wireless wristbands that track warehouse workers,” Geek Wire, January 30, 2018, https://www.geekwire.com/2018/amazon-wins-patents-wireless-wristbands-track-warehouse-workers/; Natasha Bernal, “Amazon’s warehouse computer system tracked and fired hundreds of workers,” Telegraph, April 26, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/04/26/amazons-warehouse-computer-system-tracked-fired-hundreds-workers/. 8 David Goldman, “Why Apple will never bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.,” CNN Business, October 17, 2012, https://money.cnn.com/2012/10/17/technology/apple-china-jobs/; “China tech factory conditions fuel suicides,” France 24, November 14, 2018, https://www.france24.com/en/20181114-china-tech-factory-conditions-fuel-suicides-study. 9 Guy Standing, “Meet the precariat, the new global class fuelling the rise of populism,” World Economic Forum, November 9, 2016, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/11/precariat-global-class-rise-of-populism/. 10 Sarah Jaffe, “The New Working Class,” New Republic, February 22, 2018, https://newrepublic.com/article/146904/new-working-class; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment by major industry sector,” https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/employment-by-major-industry-sector.htm; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides,” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides-and-personal-care-aides.htm. 11 Bradley Hardy and James P.

New York Times, October 14, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/14/opinion/sunday/millennials-freedom-fear.html. 52 Ronald Brownstein, “Millennials to pass baby boomers as largest voter-eligible age group and what it means,” CNN, July 25, 2017, https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/politics/brownstein-millennials-largest-voter-group-baby-boomers/index.html. 53 Li Sun, Rural Urban Migration and Policy Intervention in China (Singapore: Palgrave, 2019), 133; Zhiming Cheng, Haining Wang, and Russell Smyth, “Happiness and job satisfaction in urban China: A comparative study of two generations of migrants and urban locals,” Urban Studies, vol. 51:10 (November 2013), 2160–84. 54 Rob Schmitz, “In China, The Communist Party’s Latest, Unlikely Target: Young Marxists,” NPR, November 21, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/11/21/669509554/in-china-the-communist-partys-latest-unlikely-target-young-marxists?fbclid=IwAR2Qubw2ENnDLE_G1GHwGwsDaOUtwmBfRZalygyhQmO-Au7xAAd28CLXGwc; “Officials in Beijing worry about Marx-loving students,” Economist, September 27, 2018, https://www.economist.com/china/2018/09/27/officials-in-beijing-worry-about-marx-loving-students. 55 Guy Standing, “A ‘Precariat Charter’ is required to combat the inequalities and insecurities produced by global capitalism,” London School of Economics and Political Science, May 5, 2014, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2014/05/05/a-precariat-charter-is-required-to-combat-the-inequalities-and-insecurities-produced-by-global-capitalism/; Aaron M. Renn, “Post-Work Won’t Work,” City Journal, August 4, 2017, https://www.city-journal.org/html/post-work-wont-work-15383.html. 56 Wendell Berry, What Are People For? (New York: Northpoint, 1990), 125.


pages: 258 words: 63,367

Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, full employment, Howard Zinn, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, liberation theology, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, precariat, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor

The brochure informed investors that the index has greatly outperformed the market ever since the mid-1980s, when the Reagan-Thatcher regime was settling in. “The world is dividing into two blocs—the plutonomy and the rest,” Citigroup summarized. “The U.S., U.K. and Canada are the key plutonomies—economies powered by the wealthy.” As for the non-rich, they’re sometimes called the precariat—people who live a precarious existence at the periphery of society. The “periphery,” however, has become a substantial proportion of the population in the United States and elsewhere. So we have the plutonomy and the precariat: the 1 percent and the 99 percent, in the imagery of the Occupy movement—not literal numbers, but the right picture. The historic reversal in people’s confidence about the future is a reflection of tendencies that could become irreversible. The Occupy protests are the first major popular reaction that could change the dynamic.

The International Assault on Labor May 2, 2011 In most of the world, May Day is an international workers’ holiday, bound up with the bitter nineteenth-century struggle of American workers for an eight-hour day. The May Day just past leads to somber reflection. A decade ago, a useful word was coined in honor of May Day by radical Italian labor activists: “precarity.” It referred at first to the increasingly precarious existence of working people “at the margins”—women, youth, migrants. Then it expanded to apply to the growing “precariat” of the core labor force, the “precarious proletariat” suffering from the programs of deunionization, flexibilization and deregulation that are part of the assault on labor throughout the world. By that time, even in Europe there was mounting concern about what labor historian Ronaldo Munck, citing Ulrich Beck, calls the “Brazilianization of the West . . . the spread of temporary and insecure employment, discontinuity and loose informality into Western societies that have hitherto been the bastions of full employment.”

The crash left the United States with levels of real unemployment comparable to the Great Depression, and in many ways worse, because under the current policies of the masters those jobs are not coming back, as they did through massive government stimulus during World War II and the following decades of the “golden age” of state capitalism. During the Great Moderation, American workers had become accustomed to a precarious existence. The rise of an American precariat was proudly hailed as a primary factor in the Great Moderation that brought slower economic growth, virtual stagnation of real income for the majority of the population, and wealth beyond the dreams of avarice for a tiny sector, mostly the agents of this historical transformation. The high priest of this magnificent economy was Alan Greenspan, described by the business press as “saintly” for his brilliant stewardship.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Another, much smaller, set of arguments has been interested in the claim that the surplus population has a secular trend to grow in size. 49.Marx, Capital, Volume I, p. 798. 50.Richard Duboff, ‘Full Employment: The History of a Receding Target’, Politics & Society 7: 1 (1977), pp. 7–8. 51.While NAIRU is debatable as a measure of full employment, the postwar period saw unemployment typically below NAIRU, and the neoliberal period has seen unemployment consistently above NAIRU. Jared Bernstein and Dean Baker, ‘Full Employment: The Recovery’s Missing Ingredient’, Washington Post, 3 November 2014, p. 10; José Nun, ‘The End of Work and the “Marginal Mass” Thesis’, Latin American Perspectives 27: 1 (2000), p. 8; Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2011), pp. 46–7; Jeffrey Straussman, ‘The “Reserve Army” of Unemployed Revisited’, Society 14: 3 (1977), p. 42. 52.Economic Projections of Federal Reserve Board Members and Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, December 2014, Federal Reserve Board, 2014, pdf available at federal-reserve.gov, p. 1. 53.Claire Cain Miller, ‘As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up’, New York Times, 15 December 2014. 54.Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Civilian Employment–Population Ratio’, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, 2014, at research.stlouisfed.org; Deepankar Basu, The Reserve Army of Labour in the Postwar US Economy: Some Stock and Flow Estimates, Working Paper (Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 2012), p. 7. 55.ILO, Global Employment Trends 2014, p. 17. 56.The job growth rate dropped from 1.7 per cent between 1991 and 2007 to 1.2 per cent between 2007 and 2014.

ILO, World Employment and Social Outlook, p. 16; ILO, World Employment and Social Outlook, p. 29. 57.Ibid., p. 20. 58.Workers in developing economies, of course, have long lived under conditions of precarity. The new concern for precarity is therefore a symptom of the collapse of a model of work peculiar to developed economies in the postwar period. 59.A more thorough exploration of these characteristics can be found in Standing, Precariat, pp. 10–11. 60.Marx, Capital, Volume I, p. 789. 61.Francis Green, Tarek Mostafa, Agnès Parent-Thirion, Greet Vermeylen, Gijs van Houten, Isabella Biletta and Maija Lyly-Yrjanainen, ‘Is Job Quality Becoming More Unequal?’, Industrial & Labor Relations Review 66: 4 (2013), pp. 770–1; Andrew Glyn, Capitalism Unleashed: Finance, Globalization, and Welfare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 114. 62.Carrie Gleason and Susan Lambert, Uncertainty by the Hour, pp. 1–3, pdf available at opensocietyfoundations.org. 63.While this aspect of precarity has often been emphasised, irregular work still remains a small portion of the labour market in most advanced capitalist countries.

Gregory Elliot (London: Verso, 2014), p. 67. 126.ILO, ‘Trends’, World Employment and Social Outlook, p. 23. 127.Peter Cappelli, ‘The Path Not Studied: Schools of Dreams More Education Is Not an Economic Elixir’, Issues in Science and Technology, 27 November 2013, at issues.org; Stanley Aronowitz, Dawn Esposito, William DiFazio and Margaret Yard, ‘The Post-Work Manifesto’, in Stanley Aronowitz and Jonathan Cutler, eds, Post-Work: The Wages of Cybernation (New York: Routledge, 1998), p. 48; Stefan Collini, What Are Universities For? (London: Penguin, 2012); Andrew McGettigan, The Great University Gamble: Money, Markets and the Future of Higher Education (London: Pluto Press, 2013). 128.Standing, Precariat, p. 45. 129.Notably, even Paul Krugman and Lawrence Summers are doubtful that skills training will be able to solve the upcoming problems. Paul Krugman, ‘Sympathy for the Luddites’, New York Times, 13 June 2013; Lawrence Summers, ‘Roundtable: The Future of Jobs’, presented at The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine, Hamilton Project, Washington, DC, 19 February 2015, at hamiltonproject.org. 130.Glyn, Capitalism Unleashed, pp. 27–31. 131.Harvey, Companion to Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, pp. 284–5. 132.PMI surveys suggest the annual growth rate has been 2 per cent, which is far below what has been standard for global GDP growth.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

‘It is an open question whether this is a market correction in democracy, or a global depression,’ Francis Fukuyama tells me.4 The backlash of the West’s middle classes, who are the biggest losers in a global economy that has been rapidly converging, but still has decades to go, has been brewing since the early 1990s. In Britain we call them the ‘left-behinds’. In France, they are the ‘couches moyennes’. In America, they are the ‘squeezed middle’. A better term is the ‘precariat’ – those whose lives are dominated by economic insecurity. Their weight of numbers is growing. So, too, is their impatience. Barrington Moore, the American sociologist, famously said, ‘No bourgeoisie, no democracy.’ In the coming years we will find out if he was right. This book is divided into four parts. The first, Fusion, explains the integration of the global economy and the radical impact that is having on Western economies.

., 31, 73, 79–81, 103, 156, 157, 163, 165, 182 Bush Republicans, 189 Cameron, David, 15, 92, 98, 99–100 Carnegie, Andrew, 42–3 Cherokee Indians, 114, 134 Chicago, 48 China: as autocracy, 78, 80, 83–6, 159–60, 165, 201; circular view of history, 11; colonial exploitation of, 20, 22–3, 55; decoupling of economy from West (2008), 29–30, 83–4; democracy activists in, 86, 140; entry to WTO (2001), 26; exceptionalism, 166; expulsion of Western NGOs, 85; future importance of, 200–1; and global trading system, 19–20, 26–7; Great Firewall in, 129; handover of Hong Kong (1997), 163–4; history in popular imagination, 163–4; hostility to Western liberalism, 84–6, 159–60, 162; and hydrogen bomb, 163; and Industrial Revolution, 22, 23–4; internal migration in, 41; investment in developing countries, 32, 84; military expansion, 157, 158; as nuclear power, 175; Obama’s trip to (2009), 159–60; political future of, 168–9, 202; pragmatic development route, 28, 29–30; pre-Industrial Revolution economy, 22; rapid expansion of, 13, 20–2, 25–8, 30, 35, 58, 157, 159; and robot economy, 62; Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 80; Trump’s promised trade war, 135, 145, 149; and Trump’s victory, 85–6, 140; US naval patrols in seas off, 148, 158, 165; US policy towards, 25–6, 145–6, 157–61, 165; US–China war scenario, 145–53, 161; in Western thought, 161–2; Xi’s crackdown on internal dissent, 168; Zheng He’s naval fleet, 165–6 China Central Television (CCTV), 84, 85 Christianity, 10, 105 Churchill, Winston, 98, 117, 128, 169 cities, 47–51, 130 class: creeping gentrification, 46, 48, 50–1; emerging middle classes, 21, 31, 39, 159; in Didier Eribon’s France, 104–10; Golden Age for Western middle class, 33–4, 43; Hillaryland in USA, 87–8; ‘meritocracy’, 43, 44–6; mobility as vanishing in West, 43–6; move rightwards of blue-collar whites, 95–9, 102, 108–10, 189–91, 194–5; poor whites in USA, 95–6, 112–13; populism in late nineteenth century, 110–11; and post-war centre-left politics, 89–92, 99; ‘precariat’ (‘left-behinds’), 12, 13, 43–8, 50, 91, 98–9, 110, 111, 131; and Trump’s agenda, 111, 151, 169, 190; urban liberal elites, 47, 49–51, 71, 87–9, 91–5, 110, 204; West’s middle-income problem, 13, 31–2, 34–41 Clausewitz, Carl von, 161 Clinton, Bill, 26, 71, 73, 90, 97–8, 157–9 Clinton, Hillary, 15, 16, 47, 67, 79, 160, 188; 2016 election campaign, 87–8, 91–4, 95–6, 119, 133; reasons for defeat of, 94–5, 96–8 Cold War: end of, 3–5, 6, 7, 74, 77, 78, 117, 121; nuclear near misses, 174; in US popular imagination, 163; and Western democracy, 115–16, 117, 183 Colombia, 72 colonialism, European, 11, 13, 20, 22–3; anti-colonial movements, 9–10; and Industrial Revolution, 13, 23–5, 55–6 Comey, James, 133 communism, 3–4, 5, 6, 105–8, 115 Confucius Institutes, 84 Congress, US, 133–4 Copenhagen summit (2009), 160 Coughlin, Father, 113 Cowen, Tyler, 40, 50, 57 Crick, Bernard, 138 crime, 47 Crimea, annexation of (2014), 8, 173 Cuba, 165 Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), 165, 174 cyber warfare, 176–8 Cyborg, 54 D’Alema, Massimo, 90 Daley, Richard, 189 Danish People’s Party, 102 Davos Forum, 19–20, 27, 68–71, 72–3, 91, 121 de Blasio, Bill, 49 de Gaulle, Charles, 106, 116 de Tocqueville, Alexis, 38, 112, 126–7 democracy, liberal: as an adaptive organism, 87; and America’s Founding Fathers, 9, 112–13, 123, 126, 138; and Arab Spring, 82; Chinese view of US system, 85–6; communism replaces as bête noire, 115; concept of ‘the people’, 87, 116, 119–20; damaged by responses to 9/11 attacks, 79–81, 86, 140, 165; and Davos elite, 68–71; de Tocqueville on, 126–7; declining faith in, 8–9, 12, 14, 88–9, 98–100, 103–4, 119–23, 202–3; demophobia, 111, 114, 119–23; economic growth as strongest glue, 13, 37, 103, 201–2; efforts to suppress franchise, 104, 123; elite disenchantment with, 121; elite fear of public opinion, 69, 111, 118; failing democracies (since 2000), 12, 82–3, 138–9; and ‘folk theory of democracy’, 119, 120; Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’, 5, 14, 181; and global trilemma, 72–3; and Great Recession, 83–4; and Hong Kong, 164; idealism of Rousseau and Kant, 126; illiberal democracy concept, 119, 120, 136–7, 138–9, 204; in India, 201; individual rights and liberty, 14, 97, 120; late twentieth century democratic wave, 77–8, 83; and mass distraction, 127, 128–30; need for regaining of optimism, 202–3; need to abandon deep globalisation, 73–4; nineteenth-century fear of, 114–15; and plural society, 139; popular will concept, 87, 118, 119–20, 126, 137–8; post-Cold War triumphalism, 5, 6, 71; post-war golden era, 33–4, 43, 89, 116, 117; post-WW2 European constitutions, 116; and ‘precariat’ (‘left-behinds’), 12, 13, 43–8, 50, 91, 98–9, 110, 111, 131; the rich as losing faith in, 122–3; Russia’s hostility to, 6–8, 79, 85; space for as shrinking, 72–3; technocratic mindset of elites, 88–9, 92–5, 111; Trump as mortal threat to, 97, 104, 111, 126, 133–6, 138, 139, 161, 169–70, 178–84, 203–4; and US-led invasion of Iraq (2003), 8, 81, 85; Western toolkit for, 77–9; see also politics in West Diamond, Larry, 83 digital revolution, 51–5, 59–66, 67–8, 174; cyber-utopians, 52, 60, 65; debate over future impact, 56; and education, 197, 198; exponential rate of change, 170, 172, 197; internet, 34, 35, 127, 128, 129–30, 131, 163; internet boom (1990s), 34, 59; and low productivity growth, 34, 59, 60; as one-sided exchange, 66–7; and risk-averse/conformist mindset, 40 diplomacy and global politics: annexation of Crimea (2014), 8, 173; China’s increased prestige, 19–20, 26–8, 29–30, 35, 83–5, 159; declining US/Western hegemony, 14, 21–2, 26–8, 140–1, 200–1; existential challenges in years ahead, 174–84; multipolarity concept, 6–8, 70; and nation’s popular imagination, 162–3; parallels with 1914 period, 155–61; and US ‘war on terror’, 80–1, 140, 183; US–China relations, 25–6, 145–6, 157–61, 165; US–China war scenario, 145–53, 161; US–Russia relations under Obama, 79 Doha Round, 73 drugs and narcotics, 37–8 Drutman, Lee, 68 Dubai, 48 Durkheim, Émile, 37 Duterte, Rodrigo, 136–7, 138 economists, 27 economy, global see global economy; globalisation, economic; growth, economic Edison, Thomas, 59 education, 42, 44–5, 53, 55, 197, 198 Egypt, 82, 175 electricity, 58, 59 Elephant Chart, 31–3 Enlightenment, 24, 104 entrepreneurialism, decline of in West, 39–40 Erdoğan, Recep Tayyip, 137 Eribon, Didier, 104–10, 111 Ethiopia, 82 Europe: ‘complacent classes’ in, 40; decline of established parties, 89; geopolitical loss, 141; growth of inequality in modern era, 43; identity politics in, 139–40; migration crisis, 70, 100, 140, 180–1; nationalism in, 10–11, 102, 108–9; nineteenth-century diplomacy, 7–8, 155–6, 171–2; post-war constitutions in, 116; Putin’s interference in, 179, 180; as turning inwards, 14 European Commission, 118, 120 European Union, 72, 117–19, 139–40, 179–80, 181, 201; see also Brexit Facebook, 39, 54, 67, 178 fake news, 130, 148, 178–9 Farage, Nigel, 98–9, 100, 184 fascism, 5, 77, 97, 100, 117 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 131–2, 133 Felt, Mark, 131–2, 134 financial crisis, global (2008), 27, 29, 30, 91; Atlantic recession following, 30, 63–4, 83–4 financial services, 54 Financial Times, 136, 200 Finland, 139 First World War, 115, 154–5 Flake, Jeff, 134 Florida, Richard, 47, 49, 50, 51 Flynn, Michael, 148, 149 Foa, Roberto Stefan, 123 Ford, Henry, 66–7 Foucault, Michel, 107 France, 15, 37, 63, 102, 104–10, 116; 1968 Paris demonstrations, 188; French Revolution, 3 Franco, General Francisco, 77 Franco-German War (1870–1), 155–6 Frank, Robert H., 30, 35–6, 44 Franklin, Benjamin, 204 Freelancer.com, 63 Friedman, Ben, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, 38 Friedman, Thomas, 74 Frontex (border agency), 181 FSB, 6 Fukuyama, Francis, 12, 83, 101, 139, 193–4; ‘The End of History?’

., 31, 73, 79–81, 103, 156, 157, 163, 165, 182 Bush Republicans, 189 Cameron, David, 15, 92, 98, 99–100 Carnegie, Andrew, 42–3 Cherokee Indians, 114, 134 Chicago, 48 China: as autocracy, 78, 80, 83–6, 159–60, 165, 201; circular view of history, 11; colonial exploitation of, 20, 22–3, 55; decoupling of economy from West (2008), 29–30, 83–4; democracy activists in, 86, 140; entry to WTO (2001), 26; exceptionalism, 166; expulsion of Western NGOs, 85; future importance of, 200–1; and global trading system, 19–20, 26–7; Great Firewall in, 129; handover of Hong Kong (1997), 163–4; history in popular imagination, 163–4; hostility to Western liberalism, 84–6, 159–60, 162; and hydrogen bomb, 163; and Industrial Revolution, 22, 23–4; internal migration in, 41; investment in developing countries, 32, 84; military expansion, 157, 158; as nuclear power, 175; Obama’s trip to (2009), 159–60; political future of, 168–9, 202; pragmatic development route, 28, 29–30; pre-Industrial Revolution economy, 22; rapid expansion of, 13, 20–2, 25–8, 30, 35, 58, 157, 159; and robot economy, 62; Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 80; Trump’s promised trade war, 135, 145, 149; and Trump’s victory, 85–6, 140; US naval patrols in seas off, 148, 158, 165; US policy towards, 25–6, 145–6, 157–61, 165; US–China war scenario, 145–53, 161; in Western thought, 161–2; Xi’s crackdown on internal dissent, 168; Zheng He’s naval fleet, 165–6 China Central Television (CCTV), 84, 85 Christianity, 10, 105 Churchill, Winston, 98, 117, 128, 169 cities, 47–51, 130 class: creeping gentrification, 46, 48, 50–1; emerging middle classes, 21, 31, 39, 159; in Didier Eribon’s France, 104–10; Golden Age for Western middle class, 33–4, 43; Hillaryland in USA, 87–8; ‘meritocracy’, 43, 44–6; mobility as vanishing in West, 43–6; move rightwards of blue-collar whites, 95–9, 102, 108–10, 189–91, 194–5; poor whites in USA, 95–6, 112–13; populism in late nineteenth century, 110–11; and post-war centre-left politics, 89–92, 99; ‘precariat’ (‘left-behinds’), 12, 13, 43–8, 50, 91, 98–9, 110, 111, 131; and Trump’s agenda, 111, 151, 169, 190; urban liberal elites, 47, 49–51, 71, 87–9, 91–5, 110, 204; West’s middle-income problem, 13, 31–2, 34–41 Clausewitz, Carl von, 161 Clinton, Bill, 26, 71, 73, 90, 97–8, 157–9 Clinton, Hillary, 15, 16, 47, 67, 79, 160, 188; 2016 election campaign, 87–8, 91–4, 95–6, 119, 133; reasons for defeat of, 94–5, 96–8 Cold War: end of, 3–5, 6, 7, 74, 77, 78, 117, 121; nuclear near misses, 174; in US popular imagination, 163; and Western democracy, 115–16, 117, 183 Colombia, 72 colonialism, European, 11, 13, 20, 22–3; anti-colonial movements, 9–10; and Industrial Revolution, 13, 23–5, 55–6 Comey, James, 133 communism, 3–4, 5, 6, 105–8, 115 Confucius Institutes, 84 Congress, US, 133–4 Copenhagen summit (2009), 160 Coughlin, Father, 113 Cowen, Tyler, 40, 50, 57 Crick, Bernard, 138 crime, 47 Crimea, annexation of (2014), 8, 173 Cuba, 165 Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), 165, 174 cyber warfare, 176–8 Cyborg, 54 D’Alema, Massimo, 90 Daley, Richard, 189 Danish People’s Party, 102 Davos Forum, 19–20, 27, 68–71, 72–3, 91, 121 de Blasio, Bill, 49 de Gaulle, Charles, 106, 116 de Tocqueville, Alexis, 38, 112, 126–7 democracy, liberal: as an adaptive organism, 87; and America’s Founding Fathers, 9, 112–13, 123, 126, 138; and Arab Spring, 82; Chinese view of US system, 85–6; communism replaces as bête noire, 115; concept of ‘the people’, 87, 116, 119–20; damaged by responses to 9/11 attacks, 79–81, 86, 140, 165; and Davos elite, 68–71; de Tocqueville on, 126–7; declining faith in, 8–9, 12, 14, 88–9, 98–100, 103–4, 119–23, 202–3; demophobia, 111, 114, 119–23; economic growth as strongest glue, 13, 37, 103, 201–2; efforts to suppress franchise, 104, 123; elite disenchantment with, 121; elite fear of public opinion, 69, 111, 118; failing democracies (since 2000), 12, 82–3, 138–9; and ‘folk theory of democracy’, 119, 120; Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’, 5, 14, 181; and global trilemma, 72–3; and Great Recession, 83–4; and Hong Kong, 164; idealism of Rousseau and Kant, 126; illiberal democracy concept, 119, 120, 136–7, 138–9, 204; in India, 201; individual rights and liberty, 14, 97, 120; late twentieth century democratic wave, 77–8, 83; and mass distraction, 127, 128–30; need for regaining of optimism, 202–3; need to abandon deep globalisation, 73–4; nineteenth-century fear of, 114–15; and plural society, 139; popular will concept, 87, 118, 119–20, 126, 137–8; post-Cold War triumphalism, 5, 6, 71; post-war golden era, 33–4, 43, 89, 116, 117; post-WW2 European constitutions, 116; and ‘precariat’ (‘left-behinds’), 12, 13, 43–8, 50, 91, 98–9, 110, 111, 131; the rich as losing faith in, 122–3; Russia’s hostility to, 6–8, 79, 85; space for as shrinking, 72–3; technocratic mindset of elites, 88–9, 92–5, 111; Trump as mortal threat to, 97, 104, 111, 126, 133–6, 138, 139, 161, 169–70, 178–84, 203–4; and US-led invasion of Iraq (2003), 8, 81, 85; Western toolkit for, 77–9; see also politics in West Diamond, Larry, 83 digital revolution, 51–5, 59–66, 67–8, 174; cyber-utopians, 52, 60, 65; debate over future impact, 56; and education, 197, 198; exponential rate of change, 170, 172, 197; internet, 34, 35, 127, 128, 129–30, 131, 163; internet boom (1990s), 34, 59; and low productivity growth, 34, 59, 60; as one-sided exchange, 66–7; and risk-averse/conformist mindset, 40 diplomacy and global politics: annexation of Crimea (2014), 8, 173; China’s increased prestige, 19–20, 26–8, 29–30, 35, 83–5, 159; declining US/Western hegemony, 14, 21–2, 26–8, 140–1, 200–1; existential challenges in years ahead, 174–84; multipolarity concept, 6–8, 70; and nation’s popular imagination, 162–3; parallels with 1914 period, 155–61; and US ‘war on terror’, 80–1, 140, 183; US–China relations, 25–6, 145–6, 157–61, 165; US–China war scenario, 145–53, 161; US–Russia relations under Obama, 79 Doha Round, 73 drugs and narcotics, 37–8 Drutman, Lee, 68 Dubai, 48 Durkheim, Émile, 37 Duterte, Rodrigo, 136–7, 138 economists, 27 economy, global see global economy; globalisation, economic; growth, economic Edison, Thomas, 59 education, 42, 44–5, 53, 55, 197, 198 Egypt, 82, 175 electricity, 58, 59 Elephant Chart, 31–3 Enlightenment, 24, 104 entrepreneurialism, decline of in West, 39–40 Erdoğan, Recep Tayyip, 137 Eribon, Didier, 104–10, 111 Ethiopia, 82 Europe: ‘complacent classes’ in, 40; decline of established parties, 89; geopolitical loss, 141; growth of inequality in modern era, 43; identity politics in, 139–40; migration crisis, 70, 100, 140, 180–1; nationalism in, 10–11, 102, 108–9; nineteenth-century diplomacy, 7–8, 155–6, 171–2; post-war constitutions in, 116; Putin’s interference in, 179, 180; as turning inwards, 14 European Commission, 118, 120 European Union, 72, 117–19, 139–40, 179–80, 181, 201; see also Brexit Facebook, 39, 54, 67, 178 fake news, 130, 148, 178–9 Farage, Nigel, 98–9, 100, 184 fascism, 5, 77, 97, 100, 117 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 131–2, 133 Felt, Mark, 131–2, 134 financial crisis, global (2008), 27, 29, 30, 91; Atlantic recession following, 30, 63–4, 83–4 financial services, 54 Financial Times, 136, 200 Finland, 139 First World War, 115, 154–5 Flake, Jeff, 134 Florida, Richard, 47, 49, 50, 51 Flynn, Michael, 148, 149 Foa, Roberto Stefan, 123 Ford, Henry, 66–7 Foucault, Michel, 107 France, 15, 37, 63, 102, 104–10, 116; 1968 Paris demonstrations, 188; French Revolution, 3 Franco, General Francisco, 77 Franco-German War (1870–1), 155–6 Frank, Robert H., 30, 35–6, 44 Franklin, Benjamin, 204 Freelancer.com, 63 Friedman, Ben, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, 38 Friedman, Thomas, 74 Frontex (border agency), 181 FSB, 6 Fukuyama, Francis, 12, 83, 101, 139, 193–4; ‘The End of History?’


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The Gig Economy: A Critical Introduction by Jamie Woodcock, Mark Graham

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, global value chain, informal economy, information asymmetry, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, Lyft, mass immigration, means of production, Network effects, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, precariat, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

For Ulrich Beck (1992: 144), precarious work involved a break away from the system of either ‘lifelong full-time work’ or unemployment towards a ‘risk-fraught system of flexible, pluralized, decentralized underemployment, which, however, will possibly no longer raise the problem of unemployment in the sense of being completely without a paid job’. In a similar vein, Pierre Bourdieu (1998: 95) argues that ‘précarité’ is a ‘new mode of domination in public life … based on the creation of a generalized and permanent state of insecurity aimed at forcing workers into submission, into the acceptance of exploitation’. Guy Standing (2011) goes even further, claiming that this has led to the formation of a new class: the ‘precariat’. What each of these positions is trying to argue is that there has been a significant break from the ‘standard employment relationship’, meaning we are now entering a new phase of the organization of work. The criticisms of these positions tend to focus on a rejection of two aspects – either the empirical basis or the implications of what is being argued. For example, Kevin Doogan (2009: 91) attempted to explain why there is a ‘broad public perception of the end of jobs for life and the decline of stable employment’ which operates alongside ‘the rise in long-term employment’.

At its core, his argument is an attempt to counter the ideology of neoliberalism by insisting that work is still really the same – and therefore trade unions can continue to organize in the same way that they have before. Similar critiques have been made against Guy Standing’s assertion that an entirely new class of worker has been created. Perhaps the most useful of these comes from Richard Seymour (2012, quoted in Woodcock, 2017: 136), who argues that the concept of the precariat ‘remains at best a purely negative, critical concept’, unable to actually describe or explain a social class. Nevertheless, Seymour notes that it identifies something that requires further attention: if people feel more precarious, then this is an important dimension for understanding work. Thinking about this in relation to the gig economy, it is selfevident that these new kinds of work are more precarious than established forms.

Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/17/gig-work-online-selling-and-home-sharing/ Solon, O. (2018) The rise of ‘pseudo-AI’: How tech firms quietly use humans to do bots’ work. The Guardian, 6 July. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/06/artificial-intelligence-ai-humans-bots-tech-companies Srnicek, N. (2017) Platform Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity. Standing, G. (2011) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury. Standing, G. (2016) The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay. London: Biteback Publishing. Sundararajan, A. (2017) The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Susskind, R. (2018) AI, work and outcome-thinking. British Academy Review, 34: 30–1. SweepSouth (2018) Report on pay and working conditions for domestic work in SA 2018.


pages: 302 words: 84,881

The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo

Airbnb, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, centre right, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, gig economy, industrial robot, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, post-industrial society, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, software studies, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, WikiLeaks

The bulk of new jobs that have been created by the digital revolution and its transformation of the world of work tend instead to be lowly qualified and lowly paid jobs. This trend is epitomised by the rapid growth of causalised workers such as call centre workers, riders for delivery companies such as Deliveroo, Uber drivers or warehouse workers as those of Amazon104 among many other typical profiles of the so-called ‘gig economy’.105 These figures can be considered as part of the ‘precariat’, an emerging class which, in his General Theory of the Precariat, Italian activist and theorist Alex Foti describes as ‘the underpaid, underemployed, underprotected, overeducated, and overexploited’.106 What is more, many fear the job-destroying avalanche of the incoming second automation revolution, with robots predicted to eliminate many manual jobs such as drivers substituted by self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence threatening to destroy clerical jobs, such as those in the legal and accounting sectors.

A good account of this development is provided in Trebor Scholz, Uber-worked and underpaid: how workers are disrupting the digital economy (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2017). 105. Valerio De Stefano, ‘The rise of the just-in-time workforce: on-demand work, crowdwork, and labor protection in the gig-economy’, Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 37 (2015): 471. 106. Alex Foti, General theory of the precariat: great recession, revolution, reaction (Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2017). 107. Nicholas Kulish, ‘Direct Democracy, 2.0’, New York Times Sunday Review, 5 May 2012, retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/sunday-review/direct-democracy-2-0.html. 108. Alessandro Gilioli, ‘Chi sono gli elettori del Movimento 5 Stelle e di Beppe Grillo’, L’Espresso, 30 January 2014, retrieved from espresso.repubblica.it/palazzo/2014/01/30/news/chi-sono-gli-elettori-del-movimento-5-stelle-1.150530#gallery-slider=undefined. 109.

Cyber-proletariat: global labour in the digital vortex. Toronto, Ontario: Between the Lines, 2015. Epstein, Leon D. Political parties in Western democracies. Piscatawy, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1980. Fanon, Frantz. Black skin, white masks. New York: Grove Press, 2008. Floridia, Antonio e Rinaldo Vignati, ‘Deliberativa, diretta o partecipativa?’, Quaderni di Sociologia 65 (2014): 51–74. Foti, Alex. General theory of the precariat: great recession, revolution, reaction. Theory on Demand, 2017. Friedman, Thomas L. The world is flat: a brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Macmillan, 2005. Fuchs, D. Participatory, liberal and electronic democracy. In T. Zittel and D. Fuchs, eds, Participatory democracy and political participation: can participatory engineering bring citizens back in? (pp. 29–54). London: Routledge, 2007.


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The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

Raphael, “The American Middle Class Is Shrinking,” Public Radio International, December 13, 2015. http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-12-13/american-middle-class-shrinking “screwed”: Kevin Drum, “Chart of the Day: Even the Rich Think the Middle Class Is Getting Screwed,” Mother Jones, March 15, 2015. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/03/chart-day-even-rich-think-middle-class-getting-screwed “doing worse than you”: Haley Sweetland Edwards, “The Middle Class Is Doing Worse Than You Think,” Time, April 8, 2015. http://time.com/3814048/income-inequality-middle-class/ “turning proletarian”: Joel Kotkin, “The US Middle Class Is Turning Proletarian,” Forbes, February 16, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2014/02/16/the-u-s-middle-class-is-turning-proletarian/#2715e4857a0b284313c82f29 “the precariat, an emerging class”: Guy Standing, A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), p. 1. “unnecessary and amoral”: Ibid., p. x. 48 Nearly half of Americans now: Christopher Matthews, “Nearly Half of America Lives Paycheck-to-Paycheck,” Time, January 30, 2014. http://time.com/2742/nearly-half-of-america-lives-paycheck-to-paycheck/ Nearly half could not come: Kasey Wiedrich et al., “Treading Water in the Deep End: Findings from the 2014 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard” (Washington, DC: Corporation for Enterprise Development, January 2016). http://assetsandopportunity.org/scorecard/about/main_findings/ “enjoys less opportunity”: Ronald Brownstein, “Meet the New Middle Class: Who They Are, What They Want, and What They Fear,” The Atlantic, April 25, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/04/meet-the-new-middle-class-who-they-are-what-they-want-and-what-they-fear/275307/ “redefined to mean not”: FTI Consulting, “Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor XVI Key Findings,” memorandum (Washington, DC: FTI Consulting, April 15, 2013). http://heartlandmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Tab-5-ASNJ-Heartland-Monitor-16-Key-Findings-Memo-04-15-13-1230-PM-ET.pdf 50 “in the eighteen-month period”: Tim Ranney and Mike Cook, “Changing Patterns and Behaviors of Unsecured Short-Term Loan Consumers” (Clearwater, FL: Clarity Services, 2011). https://www.nonprime101.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/1376498431_Clarity-Services-Consumers-Behavior-White-Paper.pdf 2015 study using updated: MDRC (Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation), “The Subprime Lending Database Exploration Study: Initial Findings,” unpublished paper (New York: MDRC, December 23, 2015).

They’re the new middle class. 3 The New Middle Class Just read the headlines: “Middle-Class Betrayal? Why Working Hard Is No Longer Enough in America” and “Dear Middle Class: Welcome to Poverty.” These ominous tidings appear in the media with increasing regularity. The middle class is “shrinking,” “screwed,” “doing worse than you think,” and “turning proletarian.” The economist Guy Standing labels this new group “the precariat, an emerging class characterized by chronic insecurity” and calls what has been happening to its members “unnecessary and amoral.” At the same time that the banking industry has reneged on its responsibilities to ordinary consumers, the larger economic context in which we make financial decisions has changed in ways that make the American Dream an unattainable fantasy for far too many people.

“Do Payday Loans Cause Bankruptcy?” Working paper, February 19, 2008. Sommeiller, Estelle, and Mark Price. “The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012.” Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute, 2015. Stack, Carol B. All Our Kin. New York: Basic Books, 1975. Stahl, Ashley. “The 5.4 Percent Unemployment Rate Means Nothing for Millennials.” Forbes, May 11, 2015. Standing, Guy. A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. Stango, Victor. “Some New Evidence on Competition in Payday Lending Markets.” Contemporary Economic Policy, vol. 30, no. 2 (2012): 149–61. Stempel, Jonathan. “US Agency Claims Darden Won’t Hire ‘Old White Guys’ for Dining Chain.” Reuters, February 12, 2015. Sweetland Edwards, Haley. “The Middle Class Is Doing Worse Than You Think.”


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Broke: How to Survive the Middle Class Crisis by David Boyle

anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, mortgage debt, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, precariat, quantitative easing, school choice, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor

It had nothing to do with the global downturn. When the Bath University professor Guy Standing coined the phrase ‘the Precariat’ in 2011, to describe those on low to middle incomes that exist in a precarious succession of short-term contracts, my impression is that it wasn’t intended to include the traditional middle class (he calls them the ‘salariat’).[8] But in fact the same precarious existence, struggling with the costs of a respectable, civilized life, while the generous Victorian provision of parks and libraries shrinks before their eyes, is affecting the middle classes too. Perhaps not so corrosively, but as a terrifying future prospect that they can see all too clearly, it is there. The Precariat has no control over its time — that is Guy Standing’s definition — and one definition of the middle classes since the Industrial Revolution is that they have leisure time.[9] Of course the middle classes still have some control over their time, over-mortgaged and over-indebted as they are, but it is increasingly uncertain.

David Boyle, November 2013 Notes 1 The scene of the crime [1] Shona Sibary, ‘Stuck in the rent trap’, Daily Mail, 23 Feb. 2012. [2] Frances Hardy, ‘The nouveau poor’, Daily Mail, 21 Apr. 2011. [3] One fifth of the school places in Deborah’s borough are independent. [4] William Leith, ‘Have the middle class lost their place?’, Daily Telegraph, 23 Oct. 2011. [5] Huffington Post, 1 Mar. 2012. [6] Guardian, 20 Nov. 2011. [7] The Times, 22 May 2006. [8] Guy Standing, The Precariat: The new dangerous class (London, Bloomsbury, 2011). [9] Guy Standing, ‘The Precariat — the new dangerous class’, Policy Network, 24 May 2011. [10] Resolution Foundation. [11] Daily Mail, 23 Jun. 2011. [12] Shelter, online statement, 6 Mar. 2012. [13] UK average: 347 per cent. [14] Daycare Trust/Save the Children Fund survey, Sept. 2011. [15] Daily Telegraph, 21 Apr. 2012. [16] PrimeLocation survey, 2011. [17] Evening Standard, 27 Feb. 2012

Edgar, 122 Hopkinson, David, 139, 146, 150 Horta-Osorio, Antonio, 155 Hoskyn, John, 59 hospital consultants, 89, 249 house-price inflation, 3, 15, 18, 20–1, 24, 55–85, 160, 280, 284, 286 ‘Barber Boom’, 56 and building societies’ cartel, 65–6, 71–3 and divorce, 79–80 and housing density, 78–9 and Lloyd’s scandal, 28, 32 and mortgage interest tax relief, 108–9 and rents, 68–9 and school catchments, 20, 210–11, 221 and size of houses, 77–9 and working couples, 74–6 house prices, 56, 61, 68–9, 74, 87 household loans, increase in, 69 housing market, parallel, 301–2 housing shortages, 56 Howard, Michael, 177 Howe, Elspeth, 58 Howe, Sir Geoffrey, 58–60, 62–7, 97, 99, 128, 130 Human Scale Education, 235 Hutber, Patrick, 5, 36–7, 45, 47, 55, 60, 174–5, 283 I IKB, 156 IMF, 59, 128 immigrants, 39 Imperial College, London, 140 income tax, 36 Independent, 118 Independent on Sunday, 175 index-linked funds, 197–8 Industrial Revolution, 152 inflation, 36, 58, 161, 199, 279–80, 284, 286, 289 Initial Rentokil, 295 Institute of New Economic Thinking, 157 insurance, 171 interest rates, artificially low, 195, 203 ISAs, 171 It’s a Wonderful Life, 122–3 Italy, 97, 299 J Japan, 75, 152, 176, 299 Jenkins, Simon, 72, 226, 266 Jersey, 147 Jews, 39 job seeker’s allowance, 271 jobbers, 136–7, 145–7 Johnson, Rob, 157 Johnson, Simon, 151 Jones, Owen, 68, 287–8 Joseph, Sir Keith, 58, 99, 177, 220 JP Morgan, 143, 152 Judd School, 216–17 Julius II, Pope, 278 Jung, Carl, 95 junk bonds, 148, 154 K Katz, Cindi, 46 Kay, John, 104 Kensington and Chelsea, 211 Kent, 216–19 Keynes, John Maynard, 157, 290 Killik, Paul, 147 King, Mervyn, 129–31, 141 King’s School, Tyneside, 238–9 Kingsland Foundation School, 204–6 Kinnock, Neil, 31 Kinsman, Francis, 174 Kozlowski, Dennis, 117 Kramer, Sebastian, 80 Kynaston, David, 130, 311 L Labour Party, 24, 66–7, 179, 182, 194, 287 Lambton, Lucinda, 224 Lane, Deborah, 11–14, 17 Latin American debt crisis, 71 Lawson, Nigel, 58–60, 62–6, 71–2, 128, 130 and building societies, 97, 99–100, 104 and City deregulation, 138, 149 and end of MIRAS, 108–9 and pension reforms, 177, 180–5, 188, 190, 194 Leeds, 225 Leeson, Nick, 158 Leigh-Pemberton, Robin, 151 leisure time, 17 Leith, William, 15, 83 Lewis, Michael, 153–4 Lewis, Roy, 37–9 Liberal Democrats, 211 libraries, 17 Little Venice, 1–2 Lloyd George, David, 38, 172, 255 Lloyd’s of London, 27–35, 50–1, 69, 286 Lloyds Bank, 71, 109, 118, 122, 155, 171 Local Enterprise Partnership, 293 localism, 299 Lockheed Martin, 132 London education, 210–11, 219, 221, 232, 240 housing, 68–9, 85 middle classes, 41–2 wealth disparities, 284 London Olympics, 221 London Oratory School, 228 London Rebuilding Society, 296 London School of Economics, 140–1 London Stock Exchange, deregulation of, 135–40, 147–51 M M&G, 139 McDonald’s, 47 Maclnnes, Colin, 305 McKinsey, 261, 266 ‘Macmillan Gap’, 152 McRae, Hamish, 118 Major, John, 30–1, 101, 176, 213, 258, 263–4 and education reforms, 221–5 Major, Stephen, 113 Manchester, 95, 189, 224, 255 Manchester High School for Girls, 225 Mandelson, Peter, 24, 263 Mangan, Lucy, 76 Marks & Spencer, 243, 248 Martin’s Bank, 96, 122 Marx, Karl, 272–3 Mass Observation, 40 Maude, Angus, 37–9 Maxwell, Robert, 190–1, 201 Meacher, Michael, 182 medical schools, 212 Meeker, Mary, 133 Merrill Lynch, 139, 155 Merton, 211, 213 Metroland, 82 Mexico, 200 Michelangelo, 278 Middle Class Association, 37 Middle Class Defence Organisation, 38 Middle Class International, 38 Middle Class Union, 38 middle-class values, 13–14, 46–9 aspiration, 88, 234 authenticity, 242 confidence, 87 corrosion by financial sector, 154–6, 158–62 education, 14, 45–6, 49–50, 204 independence, 52, 69, 84, 86, 174, 283 internationalism, 163 moderation, 125, 160 thrift, 36, 39, 45, 49, 108, 120, 160, 169, 174, 195, 283, 301, 305 tolerance, 47, 274 middle classes and assimilation, 39 average incomes, 274 ‘casualisation’ of, 175 and children’s intelligence, 229–30 Cobbett’s description of, 282–3 definitions of, 39–45, 52 demography, 35–6 differences of taste within, 305 disapproval and embarrassment, 46–9 disparities of wealth within, 116 impoverishment, 267–72 in London, 41–2 and racism, 230 solidarity with working classes, 289–90 and status, 20, 267 vilification of working classes, 230, 287–8 Middle England, 39 middle managers, 255 Middleton, Peter, 182 Miliband, Ed, 22 miners’ strike, 148, 288 Mischel, Walter, 45 Moody-Stuart, Elizabeth, 211 Morgan, John Pierpont, 143 Morgan Grenfell, 135 Morgan Stanley, 133 Morris, Peter, 175 Morris, William, 255 Morrison, Steve, 205 mortgage interest tax relief, 61, 108–9, 182 mortgages, 14–15, 18, 20, 203, 270, 287, 290 and building societies, 71–2, 97–8, 101 ‘Grandparent Mortgages’, 75 and house-price inflation, 56–7, 60–1, 65–6 interest-only, 75, 171 and lack of choice, 82–4 and multiples of salaries, 75 and rents, 68–9 see also remortgaging Mount, Ferdinand, 26 Mrs Miniver, 275 Muesli Belt, 44, 83 Multis, 43 musicals, 44, 53 N nannies, 169 napkin rings, 39–40 Nasdaq index, 155 National Association of Pension Funds, 180, 184, 191 National Childbirth Trust, 73, 164–5 National Health Service (NHS), 85, 177, 180, 249, 253–4, 260, 267, 291 National Insurance, 181–2, 184 National Lottery, 221, 253 National Theatre, 125–6 National Trust cafés, 87–9, 163 Nationwide Building Society, 112–14, 119 NatWest, 30, 71, 96 Neill Report, 33 Nelson, Admiral Horatio, 198 Nether Wallop, 245–7 Netscape, 114 New Economics Foundation, 116 New Labour, 230 New Public Management, 263–4 New York, 78, 122, 186, 218 New York Stock Exchange, 155 newspapers, 253 Nikko, 149 noise complaints, 78 Nonconformists, 39 Norman, Montagu, 95 North Sea oil, 64, 279 Northern Ireland, 221 Northern Rock, 72, 101, 110, 112, 118 Northwood, 73 Nottingham, 225, 238, 295 nurseries, 19, 76–7, 299 O Oakwood High School, 224 Obama administration, 152 Observer, 110 Occupy movement, 289–90 Office of Fair Trading (OFT), 135–6 Ofsted, 205–6, 231, 269 oil prices, 59, 299 old age pensions, introduction of, 38, 172 Oliver, Jamie, 295 One Per Cent, the, 23–6, 45, 69, 121, 159, 161, 163, 165, 193 O’Neal, Stanley, 155 Orpington, 162 Osborne, David, 261 Outhwaite, Dick, 30–1 outsourcing, 23, 26, 41, 160, 248, 285 Owen, Wilfred, 234 Oxford University, 80, 88, 234 P Pahl, Ray, 49 Palmer, Alasdair, 175 Parents’ Charter, 222–3 Parkinson, Cecil, 137–8, 149 parks, 17 Patten, John, 224, 226–8, 238 Pawson, Andrew, 233 Pearce, Edward, 62 Penhaligon, David, 102–3 Penman, Andrew, 213–14 pensions, 167–203, 270, 281, 284–5, 290, 302 annuities, 172, 196–7 automatic enrolment, 202 average pot, 204 Brown’s tax on, 19, 194 Conservative reforms, 176–85 defined benefit vs. defined contribution, 175–6, 195–6 and home ownership, 14, 19, 21, 85, 200–1, 203 mis-selling of, 188 occupational, 172–3, 175, 178, 185, 188, 190–3, 196–7, 201–2 public sector pensions, 43, 192, 202, 253 SERPs, 179–84 state pensions, 81, 178, 200–1 surpluses, 193–4 Pepper, Gordon, 66 Perry, Grayson, 289, 297, 305 pets, 10 Pinchin Denny, 138 Pinsent Masons, 189 plutonomy, 25, 143, 152, 159–60 political economy, 48, 51 Popcorn, Faith, 83 post offices, closure of, 252 Post-Autistic Economics campaign, 157 Potosí, 279–80 Power, Michael, 257 ‘Precariat’, 17 Pride and Prejudice, 281–2 Priestley, J. B., 37 property, investing in, 57, 168–71 public sector salaries, 268–9, 291 Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets, 264 public services, centralization of, 263–7 pubs, closure of, 252 Q ‘quangocracy’, 291 quant funds, 129 Quattrone, Frank, 114–15 Quilter Goodison, 134, 147 R Radley College, 59 railways, coming of, 35, 282 Raphael, Adam, 33 Rawnsley, Andrew, 225 Ray, Paul, 49 Raynsford, Nick, 265 Read, Peter, 217–19 remortgaging, 9–10 rents, 21, 68–9, 306 restrictive covenants, 302 retirement age, 180, 203, 302 Reynolds, Christina, 10–11 RIBA, 77–8 Richardson, Gordon, 62, 72 Richmond, 287 Riddell, Fred, 225 Ridley, Adam, 58–60, 63 Ritalin, 229 Roddick, Anita, 301 Rogers, Richard, 78 Roman Catholics, 39 Romania, 3, 68 Rothschild, Jacob, 146 Rowe & Pitman, 138, 146 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), 119, 122, 193 Royal Mail, 194 Royal Navy, 143, 264 Rutlish School, 213–14 S Sainsbury’s, 244, 246, 250 St Francis of Assisi, 59 St Paul’s Cathedral, 289 ‘salariat’, 17 Salomon Brothers, 149, 153 Samuel Montagu, 135, 146 Santander, 118, 122 Saratoga, New York, 253–4 Savage, Mike, 40, 44, 53 Scarborough, 265 Schiff, Andrew, 20 school catchment areas, 212–13 and house prices, 20, 210–11, 221 school fees, 19–20, 204, 212, 239 School for Social Entrepreneurs, 296 school meals, 294–5 school playing fields, 238 schools choice of, 230–4, 288 church schools, 211, 214, 216, 239–40 free schools, 216, 240–1 grammar schools, 36–7, 216–17, 219 grant-maintained schools, 221 investment in, 211–12 and league tables, 224–9, 231–3 237–8, 285, 302 Literacy Hour in, 265 nursery schools, 268–9 rural, 252 secondary moderns, 229, 237 size of, 234–8, 303, 328 special school units, 218 ‘super-selective’, 216 see also education Schwed, Fred, 186 SEAC (Stock Exchange Automated Quotations), 147 Seldon, Anthony, 232 self-employment, 5, 45, 184, 249, 292 self-help, 49 Shaw, George Bernard, 290 Shearlock, Peter, 150 Sheffield, 162 Shepherd, Gillian, 228 Shrewsbury, 252 Sibary, Shona, 9–11, 16 Sieff, Marcus, 243 silver, 278–9 Simmonds, Jane, 271 Sizer, Ted, 237 Skegness, 221 Skidelsky, Lord, 227 skiing, 169 Skinners’ School, 217 Smith, John, 225, 263 social care, 21, 85, 201, 296 software ERP and CRM, 256, 261 report-writing, 231 Somerset Food Links, 296 Sorbonne, 157 Soros, George, 131, 157 South London, 43 Southwark, 225 Spain, 56, 97, 294 Golden Age, 277–81 ‘squeezed middle’ (the term), 22 stamp duty, 149 Standard & Poor’s index, 198 Standard Life, 172 Standing, Guy, 17 Stewart, James, 255 Stiperstones Primary School, 252 Stock Market Crash (1987), 61 stockbrokers, 134, 136–40, 145–8, 150, 162, 247 Stockton, Earl of (Harold Macmillan), 288 Stockwell, Christopher, 27–34, 50 Stott, Martin, 44 student loans, 19, 300 subprime mortgage crisis, 140, 155 suicides, 32 Sunday Telegraph, 36, 60 Sunday Times, 33, 150 Surbiton, 73–4 Sure Start centres, 76 sustainable living, 78–9 Sutton Coldfield, 180 Swiss Cottage, 287 Switzerland, 97, 116, 180, 183 T Tasker, Mary, 234–5, 237 Tatler, 284 tax avoidance, 300 tax credits, 5, 164, 270–1 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 248, 253–7, 261–3 Tea Party, 273 teaching unions, 224, 227–8 Tebbit, Norman, 149, 181 Tennant, Julian, 34 Tesco, 47, 243, 246, 250–1, 300 Thames Water, 202 Thatcher, Margaret, 1, 3, 36, 67, 70, 99, 109, 176–7, 221–2, 290 and City deregulation, 137–8 and financial reforms, 57–9, 63–4, 72–3 and pension reforms, 180, 183, 190 theatres, 126 Thornton, Clive, 71 ‘Tiger Parents’, 215 time banks, 299 Time Warner, 133 Times, The, 65, 67, 135, 147, 177, 226 Times Educational Supplement, 237, 269 Tokyo, 75, 78, 149 Tough, Paul, 234 Toulouse University, 127, 141 Tower Hamlets, 61 trade unions, 160, 255 transport costs, 18 Travelex, 126 trickle-down economics, 124, 157, 161, 286, 289–91 Trollope, Joanna, 79, 245 Truro, 18, 102 Tufnell Park, 80–1 Tunbridge Wells, 216–17 Turner, Adair, 152, 202 tutoring, 219 Tyco, 117 U UKIP, 273 unemployment, 271–2 Unilever, 194 United States of America and auditing culture, 261 banking, 92, 95–7 education, 215–16, 236, 238 housing developments, 85 inequalities of wealth, 23–4 influence of financial sector, 152 job creation, 249 middle classes, 22–3, 272, 282, 286 New Deal, 153 small-town life, 122–3 subprime lending, 75 universities, 212, 215, 242, 248–9 university fees, 18–19, 270 UnLtd, 296 utility bills, rising, 10–11 see also fuel bills V Valladolid, 277, 280–1 Van Reenen, John, 248 Vickers da Costa, 146 Vinson, Nigel, 179 voluntary organizations, 253, 260 W Waitrose, 242–4, 302, 306 Wakeham, John, 181 Walker, David, 137 Wall Street, deregulation of, 135 Wall Street Crash, 186 Warburg’s, 146 Wass, Sir Douglas, 62 Watt, James, 152 Wellington College, 232, 239 Wells, H.


pages: 285 words: 83,682

The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah

affirmative action, assortative mating, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, European colonialism, Ferguson, Missouri, four colour theorem, full employment, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, luminiferous ether, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, precariat, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, transatlantic slave trade, zero-sum game

This top 6 percent of the population has an average income of more than £89,000 ($115,000), education at elite universities like Oxford and Cambridge, and a network of social connections to one another and into the old aristocracy. And there’s still a well-defined place at the bottom: 15 percent of the British population is now what Savage and his colleagues called the “precariat,” with low incomes (typically around £8,000, or a little over $10,000, after taxes), irregular, unstable employment, few savings, and few social connections to the classes above them. Only about 3 percent of the children of the precariat get a college education.33 But between these two classes, Savage identified five distinct groups, clusters of financial, social, and cultural capital, which are not easily ranked against each other: emergent service workers, like chefs and production assistants, who go to gigs, play sports, and use gyms and social media; a traditional working class, like truck drivers and office cleaners, who mostly don’t do these things; a class of newly affluent workers; a technical middle class; and an established middle class, who work in the professions and in upper management.

Yet, researchers have found, many elite schools—including Brown, Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, and Yale—take more students from the top 1 percent of the income distribution than from the bottom 60 percent.47 “American meritocracy,” the Yale law professor Daniel Markovits, drawing on similar research, argues, “has thus become precisely what it was invented to combat: a mechanism for the dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations.” To the extent that you can predict that disproportionately many of the children of the elite will—and disproportionately many of the children of the precariat will not—achieve a position in the top tier of wealth, power, and privilege, you have something too much like the intergenerational transmission of status that marks systems of caste. In Markovits’s view, “Meritocracy now constitutes a modern-day aristocracy, one might even say, purpose-built for a world in which the greatest source of wealth is not land or factories but human capital, the free labor of skilled workers.”48 These problems received some attention in the United States after the election in 2016 of Donald Trump; some people think the alienation of poorer whites from the “coastal elites” is in part a result of the former’s recognition that the latter have fixed the game to the advantage of their families.

In Markovits’s view, “Meritocracy now constitutes a modern-day aristocracy, one might even say, purpose-built for a world in which the greatest source of wealth is not land or factories but human capital, the free labor of skilled workers.”48 These problems received some attention in the United States after the election in 2016 of Donald Trump; some people think the alienation of poorer whites from the “coastal elites” is in part a result of the former’s recognition that the latter have fixed the game to the advantage of their families. But the problem is not particularly American. In China, too, wealth and status is 80 percent determined, using one measure, by the wealth and status of your parents. (For women, it’s even more.)49 And that is a society whose ruling party officially set out nearly a century ago to abolish class. In Britain, the alienation of the precariat from the cosmopolitan elites who mostly live in London—an alienation that manifested itself in the pattern of voting on Brexit—reflects a similar concentration of our three kinds of capital in a self-perpetuating upper class. Michael Young, who lived to be eighty-six, saw what was happening. Writing at the start of the new century, a year before his death in 2002, he lamented that educational institutions had been enlisted into a newly calcifying form of social stratification.


pages: 322 words: 84,580

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All by Martin Sandbu

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, collective bargaining, debt deflation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mini-job, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, pink-collar, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, social intelligence, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, universal basic income, very high income, winner-take-all economy, working poor

Policy has generally failed to counteract the growing economic precariousness of ordinary people’s lives, even where inequality has increased only moderately (nowhere has it failed to rise at all). This is most striking in labour markets. It is paradoxical that the most liberalised labour markets in the West (typically the English-speaking countries) and the most heavily regulated ones (the “Latin” countries: France and southern Europe) have both seen the emergence of a “precariat”—an underclass of workers trapped in erratic, unpredictable, and impoverishing conditions. In “flexible” labour markets, this is because they permit workers to be hired with little job security and no guarantee of minimum hours worked (or paid for), sometimes known as zero-hours contracts. In conjunction with the disappearance of union-regulated factory jobs, this has naturally made insecure work more prevalent.

And this works in reverse as well: the psychological impact of precariousness aggravates the economic dynamics that leave people behind. The stress of insecurity worsens individuals’ decision-making by eroding their cognitive abilities and their aptitude for long-term planning and commitment1—precisely the sorts of skills that jobs in the modern economy increasingly demand. In some countries, this new “precariat” has added to the ranks of a deprived and vulnerable group that had shrunk but never quite gone away; in others it constitutes the bewildering return of a problem that had entirely disappeared except in the historical and literary memory of a distant past. It is the worst manifestation of economic dependence and disempowerment. It is not, however, the only one. An economy that produces better jobs, through the policies set out in the previous and next chapters, would certainly help to lift incomes.

Robert Moffitt and Sisi Zhang, “Income Volatility and the PSID: Past Research and New Results” (NBER Working Paper No. 24390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, March 2018), https://www.nber.org/papers/w24390; Robert Moffitt and Sisi Zhang, “Income Volatility and the PSID: Past Research and New Results,” AEA Papers and Proceedings 108 (2018): 277–80, https://doi.org/10.1257/pandp.20181048; Noah Smith, “America Is Poorer Than It Thinks,” Bloomberg Opinion, 26 November 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-26/poverty-in-america-greater-than-statistics-indicate; Daniel Tomlinson, Irregular Payments: Assessing the Breadth and Depth of Month to Month Earnings Volatility, Resolution Foundation, 15 November 2018, https://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/irregular-payments/. 8. Martin Sandbu, “The Rise of the Precariat,” Financial Times, 6 August 2015, https://www.ft.com/content/d42ddef4-3c1b-11e5-8613-07d16aad2152. 9. Sarah O’Connor, “The New World of Work: Recovery Driven by Rise in Temp Jobs,” Financial Times, 4 August 2015, https://www.ft.com/content/b2171222-31e4-11e5-8873-775ba7c2ea3d. 10. Marcel Fratzscher, “A German Debate over the Future of Europe Is Long Overdue,” Financial Times, 28 February 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/54d0ed6e-fda7-11e6-8d8e-a5e3738f9ae4. 11.


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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

German sociologist Hajo Holst contends that these loopholes are profit-driven rather than reaction to inflexible labor markets.48 Among the family capitalism countries, precariats are perhaps most common in Australia. Indeed, Australians were likely stunned by data showing a sharp rise during 2012 in those holding precarious employment.49 At a few Australian multinationals such as the giant miner BHP Billiton, systematic management strategies have seen regular employees dwindle to be a minority.50 Precariats also include victimized Australians working for employers adopting the American-style independent contractor scam, common at US firms such as FedEx or SuperShuttle.51 While comprising a smaller share of the German workforce, the number of precariats has risen there as well since the 2003 labor market reforms. Trade unions have responded by negotiating worksite agreements in some sectors, which require that precariats receive the same pay as regular employees.52 The rise in precariats was an important factor in the German minimum wage debate.

Trade unions have responded by negotiating worksite agreements in some sectors, which require that precariats receive the same pay as regular employees.52 The rise in precariats was an important factor in the German minimum wage debate. Expanding codeterminism to Australia and America may neutralize the precarious employment business model to some degree. Yet the German trend is sobering and emphasizes the need for strengthening family-friendly labor market rules everywhere. In particular, precariats should receive competitive pay and fringe benefits after a limited training period as suggested by the German Bertelsmann Foundation.53 Tax Reform, Including Closing Tax Havens A first priority is improving tax equity. Revenue lost from corporate tax cuts have been replaced by regressive payroll taxes. Lifting the earnings cap on payroll taxes will improve equity; the poorest Americans pay a combined 14.6 percent FICA rate while the effective rate on the top one percent is just 1.8 percent.

,” New York Times, Aug. 5, 2012. 42 Hugh Carnegy, “Titan Hits Out at French Productivity,” Financial Times, Feb 20, 2013. 43 Agence France-Presse, “EU Tax on Chinese Mandarin,” Le Figaro, Feb. 22, 2013. http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/2013/02/22/97002-20130222FILWWW00619-ue-une-taxe-sur-les-mandarines-chinoises.php. 44 Erin Hatton, “The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy,” New York Times, Jan. 26, 2013. 45 Steven Greenhouse, “A Part-Time Life, as Hours Shrink and Shift,” New York Times, Oct. 28, 2012. 46 Ibid. 47 Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2012). 48 Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann, “Shut Up and Keep Working,” Berliner Zeitung, March 29, 2012. 49 Chris Zappone, “Bad Jobs Trap Looms for Workers,” Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 1, 2012, http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/bad-jobs-trap-looms-for-workers-20121101-28lf2.html. 50 Tim Colebatch, “BHP Wants to Be Free of Unions,” Sydney Morning Herald, May 18, 2012. 51 Steve Greenhouse, “Working Life (High and Low),” New York Times, April 20, 2008.


Free Money for All: A Basic Income Guarantee Solution for the Twenty-First Century by Mark Walker

3D printing, 8-hour work day, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, commoditize, financial independence, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, market clearing, means of production, new economy, obamacare, off grid, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, universal basic income, working poor

With a BIG of $10,000, these same households will have increased in their income in absolute terms, but in terms of social comparison, they still have the lowest income. On the other hand, it may be that BIG provides a bigger boost than the naive prediction indicates. It is no secret that many low paying jobs provide unpredictable employment. Part-time jobs and seasonal jobs typically offer workers very little guarantee in terms of regular employment. This bourgeoning segment of the labor market has been dubbed the “precariat” by Guy Standing.20 The enormous uncertainty in the lives of the precariat worker is no doubt a source of unhappiness. Even a modest BIG of $10,000 could boost happiness more than we would predict on the basis of income alone, if the fact that it is guaranteed makes a difference to how vulnerable workers feel. Universal health insurance is also another confounding variable. We might expect that some of the unhappiness of the lowest income group is due to lack of affordable health care.

Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation? (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2013), http://www.nber.org/papers/ w18992. 18. Daniel W. Sacks, Betsey Stevenson, and Justin Wolfers, “The New Stylized Facts about Income and Subjective Well-Being,” Emotion 12, 6 (2012): 1181–1187. 19. Data are reported by Stevenson and Wolfers, Subjective Well-Being and Income. 20. G. Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (New York: Bloomsbury, 2011). 21. The Gallup Poll is based on household income but BIG is paid individually. Households with more than one adult will have a lower net tax, since they will be eligible for more than one BIG payment. 22. Bruno S. Frey, “Happiness: A Revolution in Economics,” MIT Press Books 1 (2008). Carol Graham, Happiness around the World: The Paradox of Happy Peasants and Miserable Millionaires (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). 23.

Smith, Eric Alden, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Samuel Bowles, Michael Gurven, Tom Hertz, and Mary K. Shenk. “Production Systems, Inheritance, and Inequality in Premodern Societies.” Current Anthropology 51, 1 (2010): 85–94. Sofge, Erik. “3 New Farm Bots Programmed to Pick, Plant and Drive.” Popular Mechanics, 2009. http://www.popularmechanics.com/ technology/engineering/robots/4328685. Standing, G. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. New York: Bloomsbury, 2011. “State & County Quick Facts.” The United States Census Bureau, April 29, 2015. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html. Stevenson, Betsey, and Justin Wolfers. Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation?. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2013. http://www.nber.org/papers/w18992. Sumner, L. W. “Two Theories of the Good.”


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

I chatted with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle about the failing middle class and whether the country needed a new, big redistributive policy to strengthen it. I had beers with European intellectuals enthralled with the idea. I talked with Hill aides convinced that a UBI would be a part of a 2020 presidential platform. I spoke with advocates certain that in a decade, millions of people around the world would have a monthly check to fall back on—or else would make up a miserable new precariat. I heard from philosophers convinced that our understanding of work, our social contract, and the underpinnings of our economy were about to undergo an epochal transformation. The more I learned about UBI, the more obsessed I became with it, because it raised such interesting questions about our economy and our politics. Could libertarians in the United States really want the same thing as Indian economists as the Black Lives Matter protesters as Silicon Valley tech pooh-bahs?

The attending problems are financial, physical, and emotional. Luis and Josefa talked about the pressure and the stress of their uncertain schedules, and the strain of knowing their children were growing up deprived. At the end of her shift at Raising Cane’s, climbing into Luis’s car, one of the Ortiz daughters told me that she often did not eat dinner. “The smell of the chicken fills me up,” she said. The working poor, the precariat, the left behind: this is modern-day America. We no longer have a jobs crisis, with the economy recovering to something like full employment a decade after the start of the Great Recession. But we do have a good-jobs crisis, a more permanent, festering problem that started more than a generation ago. Work simply is not paying like it used to, leaving more and more families struggling to get by, relying on the government to lift them out of and away from poverty, feeling like the American Dream is unachievable—even before the robots come for all of our jobs.

The basic income would help the chronically poor, but it would also help the tens of millions of people who find themselves intermittently in need of support. In any given year, one in three workers leave a job. Millions of others experience a family illness, an eviction, a car breaking down. Self-employment and contract work, falling benefits and rising costs—driven by worker disempowerment, wage stagnation, and high inequality—have together created a kind of precariat that overlaps and exists just below the middle class, itself shrinking. One in three families has no savings, and half would have to borrow or sell something to come up with $400 in an emergency. A safety net is a tool to prevent deprivation among some. Universal cash benefits are a tool of insurance and self-determination for all. A universal cash grant also might help promote dynamism across the country at a time when the cosmopolitan coasts and the rural middle are cleaving apart.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

No matter that much of the business generated at networks like Airbnb is under investigation by US authorities, with many of the fifteen thousand “hosts” in New York not paying tax on their rental income.15 Nor that TaskRabbit’s so-called distributed-workforce model—whose simple goal, according to its CEO, Leah Busque, is to “revolutionize the world’s labor force”16—profits from what Brad Stone calls the “backbreaking” and “soul-draining” nature of low-paying menial labor.17 “This revolutionary work built out of Silicon Valley convenience is not really about technological innovation,” warns the podcaster and writer Sarah Jaffe about the role of labor brokers like TaskRabbit in our increasingly unequal economy. “It’s just the next step in a decades-old trend of fragmenting jobs, isolating workers and driving down wages.”18 And with 7.5 million Americans working in part-time jobs in July 2014 because they didn’t have full-time jobs, Leah Busque’s “revolutionizing” of the world’s workforce is, in truth, a reflection of a new poorly paid class of peer-to-peer project workers, dubbed the “precariat” by the labor economist Guy Standing.19 “With piecemeal gigs easier to obtain than long-term employment,” warns the New York Times’ Natasha Singer, this highly insecure labor model, the dark underbelly of DIY capitalism, is becoming an increasingly important piece of the new networked economy.20 But that’s all beside the point for these self-styled disrupters who, without our permission, are building the distributed capitalist architecture of the early twenty-first century.

Rather than an Internet Bill of Rights, what we really need is an informal Bill of Responsibilities that establishes a new social contract for every member of networked society. Silicon Valley has fetishized the ideals of collaboration and conversation. But where we need real collaboration is in our conversation about the impact of the Internet on society. This is a conversation that affects everyone from digital natives to the precariat to Silicon Valley billionaires. And it’s a conversation in which we all need to take responsibility for our online actions—whether it’s our narcissistic addiction to social media, our anonymous cruelty, or our lack of respect for the intellectual property of creative professionals. The answer lies in the kind of responsible self-regulation laid out in William Powers’s Hamlet’s BlackBerry, his excellent guide for building a good life in the digital age.67 “You have only one identity,” Mark Zuckerberg so memorably trivialized the complexity of the human condition.

Harris, “The Airbnb Economy in New York: Lucrative but Often Unlawful,” New York Times, November 4, 2013. 16 Alexia Tsotsis, “TaskRabbit Gets $13M from Founders Fund and Others to ‘Revolutionize the World’s Labor Force,’” TechCrunch, July 23, 2012. 17 Brad Stone, “My Life as a TaskRabbit,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 13, 2012. 18 Sarah Jaffe, “Silicon Valley’s Gig Economy Is Not the Future of Work—It’s Driving Down Wages,” Guardian, July 23, 2014. 19 Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic, 2001). 20 Natasha Singer, “In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty,” New York Times, August 16, 2014. 21 George Packer, “Change the World,” New Yorker, May 27, 2013, newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/130527fa_fact_packer. For my TechCrunchTV interview with Packer about his New Yorker piece, see “Keen On . . . How We Need to Scale Down Our Self-Regard and Grow Up,” TechCrunch, June 19, 2013, techcrunch.com/2013/06/19/keen-on-silicon-valley-how-we-need-to-scale-down-our-self-regard-and-grow-up. 22 For a video of Kalanick’s FailCon speech, see youtube.com/watch?


pages: 324 words: 86,056

The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality by Bhaskar Sunkara

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, inventory management, labor-force participation, land reform, land value tax, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Occupy movement, postindustrial economy, precariat, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, We are the 99%

Today you might find pockets of organized, class-conscious working-class people across the advanced capitalist world, but these are the exception, not the rule. The twenty-first-century working class is fragmented. William Morris wrote in 1885 that while workers are a class, socialists must convince them “they ought to be Society.” Now we have to convince them about the class part, too. Though the working class has changed, the shifts are overstated by those who proclaim this to be the era of the “precariat.” There’s nothing new about workers suffering through precarious, low-wage employment. After all, Karl Kautsky confronted the question of working-class heterogeneity in the 1880s, the “golden age” of the industrial proletariat, as did Engels when he studied 1840s Manchester. Whatever semblance of security existed in the past was not due to the inherent nature of “pre-neoliberal” capitalism but the result of successful class struggle and organization.

“A Slim Majority of Americans Support a National Government-Run Health Care Program,” Washington Post, April 12, 2018, washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/04/12/National-Politics/Polling/release_517.xml?tid=a_mcntx. 5. This is perfectly rational in conditions of reduced profitability or high uncertainty. 6. Vivek Chibber, “Why Do Socialists Talk So Much About Workers?” The ABCs of Socialism, edited by Bhaskar Sunkara (London: Verso, 2016). 7. Kim Moody, “The State of American Labor,” Jacobin, June 20, 2016, jacobinmag.com/2016/06/precariat-labor-us-workers-uber-walmart-gig-economy. 8. See Eric Blanc’s writing in Jacobin, including: “The Lessons of West Virginia,” March 9, 2018; “Red Oklahoma,” April 13, 2018; “Arizona Versus the Privatizers,” April 30, 2018; “Betting on the Working Class,” May 29, 2018. 9. Eric Blanc and Jane McAlevy, “A Strategy to Win,” Jacobin, April 18, 2018, jacobinmag.com/2018/04/teachers-strikes-rank-and-file-union-socialists. 10.

See also civil rights political strategy, 215–237 and class struggle, 31, 74, 75, 83, 216–219, 224–228 democratization, 233–234 in election campaigns, 204, 205, 212, 217–218 government involvement, 108, 109, 110, 218–220 historical awareness, 236–237 immediate reforms, 220–223 mass mobilization, 223–224 political party formation, 229–230 and unions, 228–229 See also reformism Pompidou, Georges, 105 Popular Front, France, 109–111 Popular Front, United States, 178, 179–180 population increase, 37 populism and Debs, 167, 170–171 and political strategy, 218 of right wing, 2–3, 213, 219–220 Populist Movement, 163–164, 171 Poverty of Philosophy, The (Marx), 44 Pravda (newspaper), 84 precariat, 225 predatory capitalism, 210 profit sharing, 119–120 Progress and Poverty (George), 164 Progressive Party, United States, 181–182 proletariat cooperation with peasants, 88–89, 99, 112–113, 133, 139 dictatorship of, 47, 54, 66, 85, 91, 98, 144 living conditions of, 40 migration to cities, 37–38 origin of, 37, 42 political influence of, 76, 101, 137 substitute proletariats, 131 and Trotsky, 87, 96 proportional voting, 233–234 protests against war, 2, 75–76 as class tool, 219 of CPC, 144 following Ferguson events, 198–199 Haymarket Square, 163 Occupy Movement, 196–198 in Russia, 86, 88 Wisconsin uprising, 195–196 Provisional Government (Russia), 88–92 public services.


pages: 428 words: 126,013

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

basic income, Berlin Wall, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, gig economy, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, open borders, placebo effect, precariat, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Rat Park, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the scientific method, The Spirit Level, twin studies, universal basic income, urban planning, zero-sum game

For the past thirty years, across almost all of the Western world, this kind of insecurity has been characterizing work for more and more people. Around 20 percent of people in the United States and Germany have no job contract, but instead have to work from shift to shift. The Italian philosopher Paolo Virno says11 we have moved from having a “proletariat”—a solid block of manual workers with jobs—to a “precariat,” a shifting mass of chronically insecure people who don’t know whether they will have any work next week and may never have a stable job. When Angela had a sense of a positive future, back when we were students, she had been a whirl of positivity. Now, sitting opposite me, talking about being choked off from a sense of a hopeful future, she was drained, almost affectless. There was a window when people on middle-class and working-class incomes had some sense of security and could plan for the future.

She described what the area was like when her grandparents lived there, and you could work in a factory and have a middle-class life—and she made a verbal slip. She meant to say “when I was young.” What she actually said was “when I was alive.” After she said that, I remembered what that Crow member told an anthropologist in the 1890s: “I am trying to live a life I do not understand.” Angela—and my other friends who have been swallowed into the precariat—can’t make sense of their lives, either: the future is constantly fragmenting. All the expectations they were raised with for what comes next seem to have vanished. When I told Angela about Michael Chandler’s studies, she smiled sadly. It made intuitive sense to her, she said. When you have a stable picture of yourself in the future, she explained, what it gives you is “perspective—doesn’t it?

When you have a stable picture of yourself in the future, she explained, what it gives you is “perspective—doesn’t it? You are able to say—‘Okay, I’m having a shitty day. But I’m not having a shitty life.’ ” She never expected, she says, to be partying with Jay-Z, or to own a yacht. But she did expect to be able to plan on an annual vacation. She did expect—by the time she got into her late thirties—to know who her employer would be next week, and the week after that. But instead, she got trapped in the precariat. And after that, nothing happened. CHAPTER 13 Causes Eight and Nine: The Real Role of Genes and Brain Changes The story we have been told about our brains—that we are depressed and anxious because they are simply and spontaneously low in serotonin—is not, I knew by now, true. Yet I saw that some people conclude from this that none of the biological stories on this subject we have been told are right—that they are entirely caused by social and psychological factors.


pages: 492 words: 141,544

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

artificial general intelligence, basic income, blockchain, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, gig economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, megacity, precariat, Schrödinger's Cat, seigniorage, strong AI, Turing machine, universal basic income, zero-sum game

“Yes. But offline. It’s not a netizen thing. The netizens are mostly urban youth, content to live in their wrists and get by in the gig economy. They’re not working-class, they’re the hollowed-out middle class. Often very nationalistic. They’ve taken the Party line, and they don’t see how much they have in common with the migrants. They’re the precariat, do you know that word? No? Everyone’s precarious now, you should know that word. You’re the precariat. For us here, it’s the withouts. The two withouts, the three withouts, there are all kinds of variations on the withouts, but the main without is a hukou registration where you actually work. Those are the people you saw in that room.” “And are you their leader?” “I’m one of them,” she said after thinking this over for a while. “It didn’t make sense at first, because I’m a princeling and a woman, and I’ve lived abroad, and my dad is in the Party leadership.

It would surely collapse into the most horrible chaos. If democracy came to China they would end up electing idiots, as in America. Best of a bad situation to let professionals work on these matters, meaning engineers, technicians, bureaucrats. Maybe. Or maybe not. Now he began to see that many or even most of these lines of young people snaking through the crowd were not urban youth, not the netizen precariat with their wristpads and part-time service jobs. These marchers were workers, looking weather-beaten even though young. They were the hardened and hungry internal migrants, the three withouts, the billion. Many of them had to have come to Beijing from far away, although quite a few looked as if they had arrived directly from work sites. Quite a few looked like they owned little more than the clothes they stood in.

Very little intelligence either. In retrospect it didn’t seem that desperate of a moment for China, or even for the Party. The leadership had probably overreacted to events elsewhere in the world, in particular the ongoing collapse of the Soviet empire. Seeing the trouble in Moscow they had panicked in Beijing, and so a number of idealistic protesters had died. Now he was caught in a crowd of such people. Workers and urban precariat, the three withouts and the two maybe withouts, some exploited by their hukou status, some by the gig economy, some simply unemployed. The so-called billion, converging on Beijing to support the rule of law, but also, Ta Shu thought, just a decent living. The return of the iron rice bowl, or maybe even the whole work unit system, which had given several generations some stability in China’s constantly shifting economy.


pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

The secondary labor market is defined as providing workers with low pay, few benefits, and a level of economic insecurity in which work today doesn’t necessarily mean work tomorrow—the very definition of gig employment. While this casualization of the workplace and increasing transfer of risk to workers was once a defining characteristic of the secondary labor market, it has become much more pervasive and generalized, increasingly affecting managerial and professional workers.40 British economist Guy Standing warns that this instability has led to the “precariat,” a growing number of people “living and working precariously, usually in a series of short-term jobs, without recourse to stable occupational identities or careers, stable social protection or protective regulations.” This precariousness often leads to a sense of anxiety, anomie, alienation, and anger.41 The Wall Street Journal, a bastion of big business, suggests that the rumblings of worker discontent “highlight the ambivalence that many workers feel towards the platforms that supply or supplement their income.”

Shared, Collaborative and On Demand: The New Digital Economy. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. May. Smith, Lindsey J. 2016. “Wall Street Loans Uber $1 Billion to Offer Subprime Auto Leases.” The Verge, June 3. Smith, Sandra Susan. 2003. “Exploring the Efficacy of African Americans’ Job Referral Networks: A Study of the Obligations of Exchange around Job Information and Influence.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 26(6):1029–45. Standing, Guy. 2014. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Stansell, Christine. 1987. City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789–1860. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. Stevenson, Howard H., and David E. Gumpert. 1985. “The Heart of Entrepreneurship.” Harvard Business Review (March–April): 85–94. Stone, Brad. 2012. “My Life as a TaskRabbit.” Bloomberg Business, September 13. Stone, Jeff. 2014.

See also consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales platforms: architecture and, 17; co-opting of, 221n4; entrepreneurship and, 6; escrow services, 229n6; hands-off approach of, 45; information collection, 15; service fees, 5, 55–56, 79–80, 224n2 policy changes, 24, 74–79, 233n72. See also pivots Pooper, 173–74, 174fig. 13 portable benefits plan, 201–2, 203 possession monetization, 27 Postmates, 110–11, 127–28, 142, 155, 203 postrecession effects, 26–27 poverty, criminal activity and, 140, 142 precariat, defined, 37 price-fixing conspiracy lawsuit, 71 profiles: fake profiles, 140; guest screening and, 169; by Kitchensurfing, 57; profile pictures, 29, 47 promises, of Uber, 50, 54fig. 10 Pugh, Allison, 38 Pullman Palace Car Company, 68 putting-out system, 66, 68. See also piecemeal system race issues: digital divide and, 193; discrimination, 35–36, 193; race of chefs, 59; race of TaskRabbit workers, 56; segregation, 119; vulnerability categories, 193–94 Ravenelle, Alexandrea, 194 Reagan, Ronald, 178 recession effects, 26–27 recession of 1981–1982, 178 recirculation of goods, 27 recruitment: by Kitchensurfing, 57, 58–59; by Uber, 50 redress options, 6, 22 registration requirements, 222–23n64 regulation issues, 37 regulatory issues, 50 RelayRides, 33 rental cars, 2, 5 rentals: in East Village, 41, 129; Ellis Law, 41; landlord-tenant disputes, 13; long-term rentals, 39, 39–41; necessity of shared rentals, 132; rent-controlled residents, 41; renter protections, 41; short-term rentals, 19–20, 40, 149–50.


pages: 352 words: 107,280

Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us by John Hills

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, credit crunch, Donald Trump, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, longitudinal study, mortgage debt, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, working-age population, World Values Survey

Skinner, C. and Main, G. (2013) ‘The contribution of child maintenance payments to the income packages of lone mothers’, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, vol 21, no 1, pp 47–60. Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (2013) The state of the nation: Social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain, London: HMSO. Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (2015) State of the nation 2015: Social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain, London: HMSO. Standing, G. (2011) The precariat: The new dangerous class, London: Bloomsbury Academic. Standing, G. (2014) A precariat charter: From denizens to citizens, London: Bloomsbury Academic. Stiglitz, J. (2012) The price of inequality, New York: Norton. Sutherland, H., Evans, M., Hancock, R., Hills, J. and Zantomio, E. (2008) The impact of tax and benefit reforms on incomes and poverty, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Tarr, A. and Finn, D. (2012) Implementing Universal Credit: Will the reforms improve the service for users?

According to the ONS, by the spring of 2016, 900,000 people reported that they were on such contracts, five times the number reporting this in 2010 (although people may be more likely to report this status following recent publicity).12 And using results from a survey of businesses, the ONS estimated that in November 2015 as many as 1.7 million employee contracts did not specify a minimum number of hours (with more than 2 million in the summer months).13 At the same time, most of the growth in employment since the low point of the recession has been in ‘self-employment’. In many cases this involves highly variable, even casual, work, with very variable hours. If we repeated our survey today, we would probably find even more variation than there was a decade ago. This has contributed to the growth of what Guy Standing has labelled as a new ‘precariat’ – workers in insecure work with limited protection.14 The precariousness of people’s jobs is not just about variable hours; it is also about whether they are in work at all. While we recruited the group described above from people who had been in work at the end of 2002, some of them were actually out of work by the time we started tracking their incomes, while others lost and regained jobs during the year.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, microservices, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

In the developed world, the core-periphery model first envisaged in Japan has become the norm, replacing ‘unskilled vs skilled’ as the most important division within the working class. The core workforce has been able to cling on to stable, permanent employment, with non-wage benefits attached to the job. The periphery must relate either as temporary agency workers, or via a network of contracting firms. But the core is shrunken: seven years into the post-2008 crisis, a permanent contract on a decent wage is an unattainable privilege for many people. Being part of the ‘precariat’ is all too real for up to a quarter of the population. For both groups flexibility has become the key attribute. Among skilled workers, much value is placed on the ability to reinvent yourself, to align yourself with short-term corporate objectives, to be good at forgetting old skills and learning new ones, to be a networker and above all to live the dream of the firm you work for. These qualities, which would have attracted the word ‘scab’ in a Toronto print shop in 1890, are since the 1990s obligatory – if you want to stay in the core.

In the first place, the current global division of labour can only be seen as transitional. The workforce of the global south will achieve higher living standards and at some point capital will react by introducing greater automation and pursuing higher productivity in the emerging markets. This will place the workers of China and Brazil on the same overall trajectory as the rich-world workforce, which is to become service-dominated, split into a skilled core and a precariat, with both layers seeing work partially de-linked from wages. In addition, as the Oxford Martin School suggests, it is the low-skilled service jobs that stand the highest risk of total automation over the next two decades. The global working class is not destined to remain for ever divided into factory drones in China and games designers in the USA. However, the struggle in the workplace is no longer the only, or most important, drama.

Other forms of needs-based welfare – such as family, disability or child payments – would still exist, but would be smaller top-ups to the basic income. Why pay people just to exist? Because we need to radically accelerate technological progress. If as the Oxford Martin School study suggested, 47 per cent of all jobs in an advanced economy will be redundant due to automation, then the result under neoliberalism is going to be an enormously expanded precariat. A basic income paid for out of taxes on the market economy gives people the chance to build positions in the non-market economy. It allows them to volunteer, set up co-ops, edit Wikipedia, learn how to use 3D design software, or just exist. It allows them to space out periods of work; make a late entry or early exit from working life; switch more easily into and out of high-intensity, stressful jobs.


pages: 463 words: 115,103

Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

For many people, work has had all forms of self-expression and self-determination removed. And as Daniel Bell predicted in his writing about postindustrial society, the rising status of Head workers has gone hand in hand with routinization and loss of autonomy lower down the occupational hierarchy. The loss of autonomy also informs the concept of “precariat,” a new insecure stratum of the workforce whose long-term job prospects are unclear and are therefore unable to develop a consistent work identity. Although analysts of the precariat tend to exaggerate the degree of employment insecurity in rich countries, they are describing the status of those who are unable to move from job to career. So, even if one accepts that working life in general has been improving for the average employee in many rich countries, this is still compatible with relative status decline for those in non-Head jobs, and especially if one takes account of the wider cultural factors surrounding work.

., 153–54, 177 need for cognitive diversity and, 282–83 political participation “pyramid,” 157–58, 175–77 problems with, 158–64, 284 technocratic depolitization and, 166–78 Trump election in 2016 and, 32, 154–55, 159, 161, 169, 214–15, 220 in the UK, 154–57, 160–68, 179–80, 185–86, 213–14 in the US, 156, 158, 160–61, 162, 180 values and, 180–86 polytechnics/“new universities” (UK), 98, 100–102, 105–8, 115, 119, 263 populist movement, xiii, 12, 112, 177, 204–6, see also Brexit Britain; Trump, Donald postindustrial societies: cognitive class disenchantment in, 32, 35–39 cognitive-analytical ability as gold standard of human esteem, 3–5, 11–12, 28, 253, 287 distribution of status of self-respect, 10–11, 37–38 power, meaning vs., 21 practical intelligence, 67 precariat, 211 professions: automation of work in, 23–25 decline of, 259, 261–62 graduate pay premium, 105, 116–17, 136, 139, 145, 152, 262–64 graduatization of, 147–51, 234–39 growth in, 138–39 Head (cognitive) work and, 38, 39–40, 97 as high-skill occupations, 97, 135–36, 138, 148, 259, 268–71 income divergence with Hand (manual) and Heart (care) work, 133–41 training and certification, 39–43, 44, 53 women in, 26 Putnam, Robert D., Bowling Alone, 168, 221 Pythagoras, 197 Rauch, Jonathan, The Happiness Curve, 302 Rawls, John, 84, 87 Rayner, Angela, 125 Rees, Martin, 299 Reeves, Richard, 80, 111–12 Reich, Robert, The Work of Nations, 111, 161–62 religion: erosion of belief systems in postindustrial societies, 35–36, 221 language and, 181, 184 mind vs. body and, 11 rebalancing and, 301–2 urbanization process and, 34 Research Institute of Industrial Economics, 78 Resolution Foundation (UK), 150 Rise of the Meritocracy (M.


pages: 317 words: 71,776

Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, David Graeber, delayed gratification, Dominic Cummings, double helix, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, family office, financial deregulation, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, land value tax, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, mega-rich, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, TaskRabbit, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor

Many books are now being written to explain that there are areas of our lives where crude markets are inefficient, and where competition causes harm. Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy is a good example. Other current titles, such as Chystia Freeland’s Plutocrats, explain what it is like to be superrich; or how it is to live life more precariously, as Guy Standing’s The Precariat makes clear; or what it feels like to be at the bottom, as Owen Jones describes in Chavs; or the top as Jones describes in The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It. In the US the growing precariat majority – those whose lives are economically precarious – has come to be called the ‘task rabbit economy’. Task rabbits are people who bid for very short-term jobs on the internet. To win the bid, the task rabbit must be willing to bid below what they think others will put in as their lowest bid.


pages: 550 words: 124,073

Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism Through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen, David Soskice

Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, implied volatility, income inequality, industrial cluster, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, means of production, mittelstand, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, passive investing, precariat, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban decay, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game

The great rise in higher education has been accompanied almost necessarily by a major cleavage between graduates and nongraduates, and (as we will see later) this and its translation into a locational cleavage has been a main driver of the development of populism: that, over time, younger graduates were increasingly associated with successful expanding cities (skill agglomerations) while many nongraduates, even with skills and high school education, felt “left behind” in smaller, less successful, peripheral communities (Goodhart 2013). There has also been significant growth in poverty, especially in the United States and the UK, to a lesser extent in continental Europe, notably Germany, and to a lesser extent still in Scandinavia. The term the “precariat” has been coined by Guy Standing (2011) to refer to this growing army of the “undeserving poor,” living on benefits seen by the employed as unreasonably generous. In the next chapter we discuss how such hostility toward the poor is part of the emerging populist ethos that has taken root in the “old” middle classes: those mostly semiskilled workers who did well in the Fordist economy but who have been losing out in the new economy, often forced to accept lower-paid jobs and diminished benefits.

Those in left-behind communities are equally “organized” in social networks: while there are important common political preferences, as with health and schools, their positions are more likely otherwise to be populist, and these social networks are more closed and hostile to those from different backgrounds. In particular, these networks have no place for the poor and for immigrants (as discussed in the previous chapter). And the poor, the precariat, is marginalized politically. If this analysis is accurate, it is both good and bad news for ACDs. On the one hand, there is no need to worry about the ability of the well-educated to organize politically and defend their interests, which includes strong support for education and the knowledge economy; from this perspective, it is possible to be both a techno-optimist and a socio-optimist. On the other hand, so too are populists capable of articulating a political agenda, albeit not necessarily (or at all) in their interests: they live in their own social networks, and political entrepreneurs have proved highly capable of using them.

Oxford Review of Economic Policy 6 (4): 36–61. Soskice, David, Robert Bates, and David Epstein. 1992. “Ambition and Constraint: The Stabilizing Role of Institutions.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 8 (3): 547–60. Soskice, David, and Torben Iversen. 2000. “The Non-neutrality of Monetary Policy with Large Wage and Price Setters.” Quarterly Journal of Economics (February): 265–84. Standing, Guy. 2011. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. Edinburgh: A&C Black. Stephens, John D. 1979. The Transition from Capitalism to Socialism. London: Macmillan. Stewart, Gordon. 1986. The Origins of Canadian Politics: A Comparative Approach. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Stigler, George J. 1971. “The Theory of Economic Regulation.” Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science 2; reprinted in Stigler, The Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation.


pages: 206 words: 9,776

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

In much of the advanced capitalist world the factories have either disappeared or been so diminished as to decimate the classical industrial working class. The important and ever-expanding labor of making and sustaining urban life is increasingly done by insecure, often part-time and disorganized low-paid labor. The so-called "precariat" has displaced the traditional "proletariat:' If there is to be any revolutionary movement in our times, at least in our part of the world (as opposed to industri­ alizing China), the problematic and disorganized "precariat" must be reckoned with. How such disparate groups may become self-organized into a revolutionary force is the big political problem. And part of the task is to understand the origins and nature of their cries and demands. I am not sure how Lefebvre would have responded to the Ecologistes' poster vision.


pages: 252 words: 78,780

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

In January 2017, a few months after the election but before Trump actually took office, elites at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos were all talking about income inequality. The WEF itself cited widening income inequality as a threat to the global economy. Some saw the election of Trump as a warning that the victims of the Information Age were lashing out. “People around the world have become aware they are part of the bottom class, and they’re angry. Trump could be just the beginning,” British economist Guy Standing declared. Standing uses the term precariat to describe a new class of people who lack secure employment or predictable income, and suffer psychologically as a result. While economists and government ministers wring their hands, some billionaires and tech leaders have taken matters into their own. But instead of trying to fix the situation, they are making plans to escape whatever calamity might arise from the forces Trump has unleashed—civil war, a proletariat uprising, a collapse of the power grid, an economic meltdown.

That was only fair, since they had created it. Hanauer started writing books and essays, giving speeches, and lobbying politicians to enact policies—like raising the minimum wage—that could reverse the widening gap between haves and have-nots. In a blistering 2014 essay, titled “The Pitchforks Are Coming for Us Plutocrats,” Hanauer warned that if we continued on the same path, eventually millions of people in the precariat would launch a revolution. “You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples,” he wrote. What’s more, Hanauer believes the people rising up would be completely justified, for they have been the victims of one of the greatest swindles of all time. They have been robbed of $2 trillion a year that should be flowing to working people and instead has been siphoned off by the rich, he says.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Today, a new underclass provides grist for the technology entrepreneurs and investors in the sharing economy. It is desperate piecework labor, the end of middle-class dreams. Postwar society was built on good, well-paid jobs: “The most important model that rolled off the Detroit assembly lines in the twentieth century was the middle class for blue-collar workers.”11 Now the squeezed middle classes are members of the “precariat” or the “precarious proletariat.” The terms originally described Japanese workers without job security, who now make up over 30 percent of the country's workforce as companies cut labor costs. The phenomenon of short-term contract employment is global. Since 2009, the UK has enjoyed strong increases in employment, but the type and quality of jobs have changed. Before 2007, self-employed workers accounted for 16 percent of new jobs created.

Households” found that only one-third of Americans aged 18–59 years had sufficient savings to cover three months of expenses; 52 percent of Americans could not produce US$400 on short notice without borrowing money or selling something; 45 percent saved none of their income. Around 46 million now qualify for food stamps, up from 17 million in 2000. It is English philosopher Thomas Hobbes's war of all against all, in which life for many workers becomes poorer and more precarious. In the new “eke-onomy,” the precariat survive rather than prosper, in an essentially subsistence existence. Their life is like a modern version of the dance marathons popular during the Great Depression, when impoverished young couples competed for prize money, dancing sometimes for weeks until they dropped exhausted. After rising steadily, home ownership levels, another contributor to improved living standards, stagnated or began to decline.


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The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite by Daniel Markovits

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Anton Chekhov, asset-backed security, assortative mating, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Emanuel Derman, equity premium, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, high net worth, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, medical residency, minimum wage unemployment, Myron Scholes, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, stakhanovite, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, traveling salesman, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

“Annual income twenty pounds”: Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973 [1850]), 141. Dickens’s own father: Jerry White, Mansions of Misery: A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison (London: Penguin Random House, 2016), 179–219. wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies: Warren and Warren Tyagi, The Two-Income Trap, 20. in all federal courts that year: Lemar, Debt Weight, 3. the precariat: Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (London: Bloomsbury, 2011). social and economic caste: A related argument appears in Bowles and Park, “Emulation, Inequality, and Work Hours.” in every major city today: “Super luxury” cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series can range anywhere from the low $90,000s range to $250,000. “Best Super Luxury Cars,” U.S. News & World Report, accessed October 7, 2018, https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/super-luxury-cars.

The scale of enforced debt collection is remarkable: in a typical recent year, New York City alone saw 320,000 consumer debt cases filed in its civil courts, a number roughly equal to all the cases filed in all federal courts that year. Even with the threat of prison removed, debt remains an affliction for the middle class. And like imprisonment, foreclosures and bankruptcies cast their shadows across whole lives, and down the generations, breaking marriages and disrupting childhoods. Indeed, the effect is so powerful that the middle class has been renamed, by some, the precariat. On the other hand, luxury goods—goods that appeal to those at the top, in the glare of economic inequality’s light—increasingly dominate the spending and mold the self-image of the rich. The norms and habits that framed Fortune’s midcentury sensibilities have been ground away under the pressure of meritocratic inequality’s inner logic, and the meritocratic elite now prizes the extravagances that the magazine then derided.

See geographical class concentration political correctness complaints, xvii, 60 politics, 211–14 See also elite political power populism, xvi–xvii, 64–65, 188, 211, 271, 272, 278 postgraduate schooling, 139–44, 183, 184–85, 252 Pound, Roscoe, 261 poverty current rates of, 21, 102–4, 293fig early twentieth century, 77 and education, 136 and industry, 3 and leisure, 103 and low-end inequality, 98 midcentury, 77–78, 99–100, 101–2, 103, 106, 107, 293fig War on Poverty, 101–2, 107, 109, 273 precariat, 219 prejudice, denunciation of. See identity politics prenatal stress, 119 preschools, 7, 33, 122–23 primogeniture, 261 Princeton University, 112, 277 prisoner’s dilemma, 190 private schools, 114, 125–26, 133 privilege, responsibilities of. See elite service promise progressive critiques. See critiques of meritocracy property ideology, 55, 65 public schools, 126–28, 133, 151–54 public sector wages, 55–56 race and labor market polarization, 206–7 midcentury divide, 26, 50, 99, 131 and nativism, 63–64, 65–66, 67 Rajan, Raghuram, 353n(131), 363n(165), 364nn(166), 367n(175), 387nn(234), 388n(236), 389n(239), 404n(306) rat-race equilibrium, 189–90 Rauh, Joshua, 314n(5), 335n(88), 336nn(89–90), 363n(164) Reagan, Ronald, 104, 108, 233 Reardon, Sean F., 301, 319n(26), 347n(120), 348–49n(123), 353n(131), 355n(135), 356n(136), 385n(226), 402–3n(300–301) redistribution, 273–74 reform agenda, xxii–xxiii and cycle of meritocracy, 283–84 democratic equality as goal of, 285–86 and education reform, 275, 276–79 and mid-skilled job promotion, 275–76, 279–83 and redistribution, 273–74 and shared interest, xxii, xxiii, 274–75, 285 See also critiques of meritocracy regulation elite resistance to, 53, 54–58 and mid-skilled job promotion, 279–81 Reich, Robert, 319n(25), 328n(56), 351n(127), 352n(128), 353n(131), 359n(141), 362n(157), 368n(177), 369n(179), 370n(181), 390n(244), 398n(277) religion, 48, 208–9, 211 Rensi, Ed, 159, 160, 161, 175, 204 Reshef, Ariell, 363nn(163–64), 365nn(168–69), 372n(183), 388n(235), 389n(239), 396n(267), 403nn(302–3) resource curse, 256–57 restaurants, 221, 222 retail industry and class divide, 222 growth of, 180 innovation-based labor market polarization in, 9 labor market polarization in, 9, 177–78 luxury goods, 219–22, 224–25 midcentury, 177 thrift goods, 217–18 Rhode, Deborah L., 315n(10), 332n(82), 333n(84), 376–77nn(190, 192), 378n(192) Right to Be Lazy, The (Lafargue), 185 Rise of the Meritocracy, The (Young), 258–59, 260 Rockefeller, David, 18 Romney, Mitt, 61, 66–67, 69 Rowling, J.


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Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, global pandemic, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social intelligence, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

The question, of course, is whether the provision of income with no strings attached will create too much disincentive to work for recipients’ own good and the good of society. Proponents of unconditional income believe the impulse to create value is innate in humans, and if anything is channeled into less socially valuable activities then the point must be to gain payment for one’s work. University of London professor Guy Standing, who coined the term “precariat” to describe a working class increasingly stressed by precarious work arrangements, says that, even more important than a redistribution of wealth, guarantees of basic income would constitute a “redistribution of security.” Opponents of the idea are much more inclined to think humans are naturally lazy, and that if given the opportunity to do nothing for their income, will do exactly that. While such critics are legion, we would put, for example, New York Times columnist David Brooks in this camp.

.), 163 Nayar, Vineet, 204 NBA, 116–17 New Division of Labor, The (Levy and Murnane), 27 Newton, Isaac, 165 New York Federal Reserve Bank, 90 New York Stock Exchange, 11–12, 18 Nicita, Camille, 62–63 Nokia, 239 Nordfors, David, 248 Northeastern University, 232 NYU Langone Medical Center, 138 Obama, Barack, 95 Office, The (TV show), 109–10 office workers, 3, 157, 187, 217, 239 Off the Grid News, 110, 111 Oracle, 133 Orellana, Marco, 202 Oremus, Will, 127 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 27 Osindero, Simon, 126 Oxford study, U.S. jobs at risk, 2, 30 Painting Fool, 125 Palmer, Shelly, 234 Parikh, Jay, 206–7, 211 Partners HealthCare, 66 Patil, D. J., 179 Persado, 121 personal shoppers, 111 Pink, Daniel, 169 Plett, Heather, 110–11 Popa, Dan, 123 Port, David, 87 precariat, 241 Predictably Irrational (Ariely), 113 Press, Gil, 191 productivity automation and gains, 1, 3, 167, 227 BYOD and, 13 knowledge workers and, 100 man-machine partnerships and, 234 price reductions and, 14 “silent firing” and, 24 Progressive insurance, 197 “Prose of the Machines, The” (Oremus), 127 ProSystem, 22 “quantified self” movement, 68 Race Against the Machine, 31 RAGE Frameworks, 45, 216–17 Reimsbach-Kounatze, Christian, 236 Rethink Robotics, 50, 182, 193 Rhodin, Mike, 55 Riedl, Mark, 126 Riordan, Staci Jennifer, 160 Rise of the Robots (Ford), 205 Risi, Karin, 210, 220, 223 Ritchie, Graeme, 125 Robinson, Sir Ken, 115 robotic process automation, 48–49, 187, 221, 222–23 robotics, 24, 35, 40, 49–52, 54, 157 anthropomorphizing and, 49 collaborative robots, 49–51, 182, 193 DARPA Robotics Challenge, 51, 56 education for, 232 patience and, 123–24 programming language, 49, 50 self-awareness and, 56 transparency and ease of use, 193 warnings and predictions about, 225–26 Ronanki, Rajeev, 187–89, 220 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 238, 248 Rudin, Cynthia, 193 Rumsfeld, Donald, 214 Russell, Stuart, 227–28 Sachs, Jeffrey, 228 Sadler-Smith, Eugene, 117–18 Safecast, 247 Saffo, Paul, 24 Salovey, Peter, 113, 116 Samasource, 168 Sand, Benjamin, 6 SAP, 133 SAS, 104, 132, 140, 141, 194 Saxena, Manoj, 45 Schneider National, 132, 147–48, 189–90, 196 Short Haul Optimizer, 147, 190, 191 Scientific Music Generator (SMUG), 126 “School of One,” 141 Science: The Endless Frontier (Bush), 248 Scott, David, 67 Scott, Rebecca, 162 Second Machine Age, The (Brynjolfsson and McAfee), 6, 74 self-driving vehicles, 4, 51–52, 213–14, 244, 246 Sharp, Phillip, 209 Shaughnessy, Dan, 117 Shiller, Robert, 7 Simon, Herbert, 163 Singapore, 250 Singularity Is Near, The (Kurzweil), 36 Skype Translator, 56 smartphones, 53, 235, 239 “social license to operate,” 233 Spanish National Research Council, 54–55 Spielberg, Steven, 125 spreadsheets, 69–70 Standing, Guy, 241 Starner, Thad, 65 Stats Inc., 97 Steinberg, Dan, 124–25 Stepping Aside, 77 artisanal jobs, 119–21 augmentation to free people up, 121–24 characteristics of a candidate, 129 for financial planners and brokers, 87 how to build skills for, 129–30 incursion of machines into human attributes, 124–27 in insurance underwriting, 81 jobs with nonprogrammable skills, 109–12 learning “noncognitive” skills, 115–18 multiple intelligences and, 112–14 for teachers, 85 value of human involvement, 127–28 what it means, 108 where a candidate is likely found, 130 Stepping Forward, 77, 176–200 adding new sources of data, 196–97 broadening application of tools, 194–95 broadening the base of methods, 194 characteristics of a candidate, 199–200 consultants, 187–89 creating usability and transparency by business users, 192–94 data scientists, 179–80 embedding automation functions, 196 entrepreneurs, 185–87 examples, successful people, 179–89 for financial planners and brokers, 88 focusing on behavioral finance and economics, 198–99 how to build skills for, 200 in insurance underwriting, 83–84 internal automation leaders, 189–91 jobs, technical and nontechnical, 177–91 marketers, 183–85 number of jobs, 191–92 product managers, 182–83 programmers and IT professionals, 178 reporting and showing results, 195–96 researchers, 181–82 for teachers, 85–86 what it is, 176 where a candidate is likely found, 200 working on the math, 197–98 Stepping In, 77, 131–52 automation technologies and, 134–35 bright future for, 149–51 characteristics of a candidate, 151–52 common attributes of, 145–49 examples, successful people, 132, 134–35, 137–48 for financial planners and brokers, 97 having an aptitude for, 142–45 how to build skills for, 152 in insurance underwriting, 81–82 predecessors of, 132–34 purple people, 131, 133–34, 135, 147, 151 for teachers, 85 value provided by, 138–42 what it is, 131–32 what candidates are and aren’t, 135–38 where a candidate is likely found, 152 working with vendors and, 140–41 Stepping Narrowly, 77, 153–75 achieving mastery and, 162–66 augmentation and, 166–69, 173–74 building on your narrowness, 161–62 characteristics of a candidate, 174 education for, 232 examples, successful people, 153–54, 159–60, 162, 163, 164, 170, 172–73 for financial planners and brokers, 87–88 finding a specialty, 158–61 “hedgehog” thinker and, 171 how to build skills for, 175 individual psychology and, 169–71 in insurance underwriting, 82 “long tail” and, 157, 162 machine-unfriendly economics and, 155–58, 162 in medicine, 157 niche business, 153–54, 171–73 for teachers, 85 where a candidate is likely found, 175 Stepping Up, 76–77, 89–107, 155 automation decisions and, 93–95 big-picture perspective, 98–100 building and ecosystem, 100–102 careful work design for automated business functions, 103–4 characteristics of a candidate, 106 creating a balance between computer-based and human skills, 105–6 examples, successful people, 89–91, 95–98 for financial planners and brokers, 86–87 in financial sector, 92–93 how to build skills for, 106–7 in insurance underwriting, 80 in marketing, 93 staying close, but moving on and, 102–3 for teachers, 84–85 what it is, 91–93 where a candidate is likely found, 107 Stewart, Martha, 111 Summers, Larry, 95, 227 Suncor, 205 Surrogates (film), 125 Sutton, Bob, 170–71 Sweetwood, Adele, 104 taste, augmentation and, 122 TaxCut, 22 tax preparation, 22, 67–68 Tegmark, Max, 243–44, 247 Telefónica’s O2, 49 Teradata, 43 Terminator films, 65 Tesla, 213, 246 Thiel, Peter, 243 Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman), 236 Thinking for a Living (Davenport), 5 This, Herve, 164 Thompson, Derek, 242 Tibco, 194 Time magazine, AI cover and article, 36 TopCoder, 168 Torrence, Travis, 132, 147–48, 189, 190 Tourville, Lisa, 83–84, 137 TurboTax, 22, 67–68 “12 Risks That Threaten Human Civilization” (Armstrong), 249 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 76, 245 Udacity, 178 UltraTax, 22 UnitedHealthCare, 83 University of California, Berkeley, 51 University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, 115 “Unusual and Highly Specialized Practice Areas” (Bohrer), 159 UPS automated driver routing algorithm (ORION), 196 USAA, 87–88 U.S.


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

The second impact of people crowding into the work that remains is that there will be downward pressure on the quality of some of the jobs as well. With more workers chasing after those jobs, there is less need for employers to attract them with good working conditions. Karl Marx spoke of workers as the “proletariat,” adopting the ancient Roman term for members of the lowest social class; today, though, the term precariat is gaining ground instead—a word that captures the fact that more and more work is not just poorly paid, but also unstable and stressful.38 It is sometimes said, in a positive spirit, that new technologies make it easier for people to work flexibly, to start up businesses, become self-employed, and to have a more varied career than their parents or grandparents. That may be true. But for many, this “flexibility” feels more like instability.

See Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies Pichai, Sundar Pigou, Arthur Piketty, Thomas pink-collar work Plato pluribus poetry poker polarization, twenty-first century and political power, Big Tech and Political Power Oversight Authority politics, defined Poor Laws Popper, Karl Porter, Michael power countervailing labor inequality and political processing pragmatism ALM hypothesis and beginnings of disappointment and priority shift and precariat pricing, supply and pride Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (Ricardo) privatization of political lives processing power producers, changing-pie effect and productivity Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) proletariat Prometheus property rights Protestant Reformation pseudo-artificial intelligence Pullman, Philip purism, pragmatism vs.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Although the human cloud is in its infancy, there is already substantial anecdotal evidence that it entails silent offshoring (silent because human cloud platforms are not listed and do not have to disclose their data). Is this the beginning of a new and flexible work revolution that will empower any individual who has an internet connection and that will eliminate the shortage of skills? Or will it trigger the onset of an inexorable race to the bottom in a world of unregulated virtual sweatshops? If the result is the latter – a world of the precariat, a social class of workers who move from task to task to make ends meet while suffering a loss of labour rights, bargaining rights and job security – would this create a potent source of social unrest and political instability? Finally, could the development of the human cloud merely accelerate the automation of human jobs? The challenge we face is to come up with new forms of social and employment contracts that suit the changing workforce and the evolving nature of work.


pages: 188 words: 40,950

The Case for Universal Basic Income by Louise Haagh

back-to-the-land, basic income, battle of ideas, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, full employment, future of work, housing crisis, income inequality, job-hopping, land reform, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mini-job, moral hazard, new economy, offshore financial centre, precariat, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, trickle-down economics, universal basic income

There is a risk today of the basic income debate being caught up in a new form of market fatalism, by making security in jobs rather than unstable jobs the problem basic income seeks to address.105 The notion of building an alternative social movement of the dispossessed as basic income creates a ‘big strike fund’ – as sometimes argued – underestimates how individuals’ power is protected by institutional gains. In the end, attempting to turn the old so-called ‘occupational’ movement into a ‘precariat’ movement supported by basic income is to settle for less. Highlighting how basic income supports democratic institutions and actors in civil society – many of whom may be hostile to the idea as it has been presented in the past – is a challenging task. However, it is increasingly important as a range of new populist parties see in basic income a way to radically simplify governance through a flat tax, a single transfer model of welfare, full nationalization of money, and – in some cases – keeping foreigners out.


pages: 492 words: 118,882

The Blockchain Alternative: Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Theory by Kariappa Bheemaiah

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, cellular automata, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, constrained optimization, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, deskilling, Diane Coyle, discrete time, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, inventory management, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, precariat, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, QR code, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Real Time Gross Settlement, rent control, rent-seeking, Satoshi Nakamoto, Satyajit Das, savings glut, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, supply-chain management, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Washington Consensus

This creates a ripple effect, for as higher-skilled workers are forced to apply for the jobs of lower-skilled workers, it creates a self-sustaining circle of poverty for marginalized groups, pushes down wages across sectors, puts more burdens on the state, and impacts monetary and The concept of technological underemployment and unemployment has been explored in detail by Guy Standing in his very excellent book, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, (2011). 22 142 Chapter 3 ■ Innovating Capitalism fiscal policy. Thus the question becomes: how does capitalism respond to the juggernaut of technological evolution? Technology is embryonically linked to innovation, and innovation is often cited as the cure-all to problems in any sector. But the link between markets and governments in the context of innovation is often sidelined.

Blockchain Revolution: Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World This recent success is filled with insights and interviews with a number of key persons in the financial field. The book is a general read but offers readers a look into how key persons are thinking about the Blockchain, while offering a dictionary of whom to follow in this space. Chapter 3 Following is a list of literature resources for learning about Universal Basic Income (UBI): • “The Simple Analytics of Helicopter Money: Why It Works – Always” (2014), Willem H. Buiter • The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011), Guy Standing • Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (2015), Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams • Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream (2016), Andy Stern 239 Index „„         A Aadhaar program, 80 Agent Based Computational Economics (ABCE) models complexity economists, 196 developments, 211–213 El Farol problem and minority games, 207–210 Kim-Markowitz Portfolio Insurers Model, 204 Santa Fe artificial stock market model, 205–207 Agent based modelling (ABM), 180–181 aggregate behavioural trends, 197 axiomatisation, linearization and generalization, 184 black-boxing, 199 bottom-up approach, 197 challenge, 198 computational modelling paradigm, 196 conceptualizing, individual agents, 198 EBM, 197 enacting agent interaction, 202–204 environmental factors, 198 environment creation, 201–202 individual agent, 199 parameters and modelling decisions, 199 simulation designing, 199–200 specifying agent behaviour, 200–201 Alaska, 147 Anti-Money Laundering (AML), 67 ARPANet, 54 Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), 222–224 Atlantic model, 75 Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), 140 Autor-Levy-Murnane (ALM), 85 „„         B Bandits’ Club, 32 BankID system, 79 Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), 143 Bitnation, 69 Blockchain, 45, 151 ARPANet, 54 break down points, 56–57 decentralized communication, 54 emails, 54 fiat currency, 123 functions, 55 Jiggery Pokery accounts, 107 malware, 54 protocols, 57 Satoshi, 55 skeleton keys, 54, 63–64 smart contract, 58 TCP/IP protocol, 54 technological and financial innovation, 54 trade finance, 101–102 Blockchain-based regulatory framework (BRF), 108 BlockVerify, 68 „„         C Capitalism, 83 ALM hypotheses and SBTC, 90 Blockchain and CoCo, 151 canonical model, 87 © Kariappa Bheemaiah 2017 K.


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

British economist Guy Standing has written extensively on what he describes as a breakdown in the twentieth-century income distribution system, whereby wealth was reflected in one’s wages. By contrast today, wealth is channeled away from workers to “rentiers”–that is, owners of financial, physical, or intellectual property, like software. He coined the term precariat to describe a new class of workers left to stew in a toxic mix of what he calls the “four A’s”—anxiety, anomie, alienation, and anger. In setting the terms of employment, employers fully expect this “precariat” to willingly push aside the demands of their personal lives to accommodate unpredictable schedules and uncertain career prospects. Not a few employers make these demands under the cheerful guise of offering workplace “freedom” and “flexibility”—as though workers should be grateful to not know from one week to the next what their schedules, or paychecks, will be.


pages: 511 words: 132,682

Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us From Citizen Kings to Market Servants by Maurice E. Stucke, Ariel Ezrachi

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Chrome, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, mortgage debt, Network effects, out of africa, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price anchoring, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, winner-take-all economy

Only half of Americans born in 1985, for example, are likely to earn more than their parents.12 They have on average more debt and less wealth than earlier generations at their age.13 This is true despite the fact that many are better educated than their parents and grandparents. As for Generation Z (defined as those born in the mid-1990s to the early or mid-2000s) 17 percent of young adults ages eighteen to twenty-four are out of work in mid to large cities in the United States, totaling 2.3 million young people.14 They and future generations will likely join the swelling ranks of “precariats”—those clinging precariously to their current economic rung, while bearing ever greater risks in the digital economy.15 Should they try to organize to secure fairer wages, as many Uber and Lyft drivers attempted to do in Seattle in 2015, they can expect the government to intervene—and not on their behalf. Competition is inherently good, the FTC and DOJ will tell the court: Antitrust law “forbids independent contractors from collectively negotiating the terms of their engagement.”16 That’s price-fixing, which “is at the very core of the harms the antitrust laws seek to address.”17 Unionizing, which may be the only remedy left to the powerless, has also come under attack, in part for being anticompetitive—the very same rationale we saw that sent union leaders (and socialists) to jail under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.

See also social, moral, and ethical values Muilenburg, Dennis, 266 Mulvaney, Mick, 159, 269 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), 134–38, 142 National Hockey League and helmets, 4–5 Nazi party and reprivatization, 189–90 negative externalities, 124 neighborhood community organizations, 243–44 Nestlé, 55, 56 Netherlands, The, 148 network effects and online dating, 111–12 neurological research, 72–73 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), 138 New Mexico complaint against Tiny Lab, Google, and other online companies, 194–95, 198, 199, 202–3, 223 Newsweek magazine, 245 New York City private day schools, 32–33 New York Times, 106, 107, 177, 196, 223 NHS (UK National Health Service), 183–87 noble competition overview, 228, 229, 256–60 big business role in promoting, 272–78 Brady’s diet scenario, 5 consumers’ role in promoting, 279–91 overcoming the paradox, 258–60 See also competition ideal; government’s role in promoting healthy competition Notes from the Underground (Dostoyevsky), 71 Obama, Barack, 10, 130 Obama administration, 174, 268 OkCupid.com, 108, 110 olive oil fraud, 52 “On the Origin and Nature of Values” (Ellis), 256–58 Oxford University, Tanner Lecture, 256–60 Page, Lawrence, 282–83 partition pricing, 78–79 pen-buying experience, 104–5 perceptions based on names, 242 Pew Research, 113, 114 pharmaceutical prices, 60–61 Platonic ideal of morality, 257 POF.com dating service, 109 police as forensic examiners, 179–80, 180–81 policy makers alignment with big business for reelection, 230–31, 232 ways to bolster the FTC, 269 and competition ideology, 130–32 concerns about fairness of anticompetitive restraints, 144 contributions from private prisons, 173, 174–75 and crony capitalism, 160, 163, 230, 285 designers of competitive process, 251–52 on drip pricing, 150 failure to act on toxic competition in collegiate sports, 143–45 on financial crisis of 2008, 158 and Gamemakers, 223 privatization designed to gain support from the wealthy, 190 promoting competition as a panacea, 229 protecting and promoting a competition ideal, 261–69 See also government’s role in promoting healthy competition; regulations pollution as negative externality, 124 poor people, 160, 230–31, 232 Porter, Michael, 244 positive-sum competition, 242, 244, 251, 255–56, 257, 289–90 precariats, 232 prep schools, 31–34 price, single-minded focus on, 56. See also quality price schemes, 78, 79, 82. See also drip pricing Princeton University, 25, 26–27, 122 Prisoner’s Dilemma game, 86 prison system, 164–65, 166, 168–69. See also privatization of the prison system private school matriculation, 31–34, 296–98 privatization, 162–91 overview, xiii, 162–63, 190–91 and cream skimming, 169–70, 175, 183–87 cutting state expenditures with, 182–83 of Forensic Science Service in UK, 177–83 origin and purpose of, 189–90 private sector’s incentives vs. public sector’s goals, 166–69 providers as free riders, 185–86 of water supply in UK, 187–89 privatization of the prison system overview, 174 cream skimming, 169–70, 175, 183–87 incentive to keep prisoners for longer, 167–68, 173 inmates’ costs higher, services lower, 174, 175–76 invoking competition ideology, 163–64, 176–77 lobbyists, 173–76 provider reports on industry challenges, 166–67 sacrificing quality, 164, 166, 170–73 violence in prisons, 171, 172–73 product reviews on Amazon, 107 products purchased via Alexa, 106 ProPublica investigation of Amazon search results, 103–4 public good, 124–25, 241, 291 Public Goods game, 241–42 public policy study of privatization of prisons, 163–64 public school education, 6–9, 282 public sector goals vs. private sector incentives, 166–69 publishers of online apps, 206, 209–10, 214, 215 purpose-driven companies, 276–78 Putnam, Robert, 250–51 quality airlines’ cost reductions vs., 56–58, 61 belief that competition delivers quality at a low price, 47–48, 49 companies’ degradation of, 49, 58–59, 64–65 consumers’ belief that high price = quality, 59–60 consumers’ failure to notice quality degradation, 49, 62–65 diminishing profitability vs., 50–51, 58 of food, 51–54, 287–89 food apartheid in Europe, 51 hidden costs of good quality at a low price, 70 and privatization of prisons, 164, 166, 170–73 and privatization of UK forensic science, 178 of treatment of laborers, 54–56 quality of life, 247–49, 252 race to the bottom, 3–40 overview, 3–4, 38–40, 70, 123 competitors are harmed, 4–6, 9–12, 25–27, 264 cooperation, trust, and fairness vs., 242–44 government’s failure to regulate leads to financial crisis of 2008, 261–64 intended beneficiaries are harmed, 7–9, 9–12, 27–34, 264 See also college rankings; toxic competition race to the top, 3, 5, 6–7, 39, 40, 255 Ramirez, Edith, 151, 152 Randox Testing Services, United Kingdom, 181 rationality of competition, 34–38 Reagan, Ronald, 234 reductive competition ideology, 126–30, 146–47, 155–57, 176 regulations as anathema to exploiting human weakness, 93 Bank Holding Company Act, 126–30 California Consumer Privacy Act, 286–87 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, 194 competition as reason for deregulation of banks, 126–30 dismantling, since 1970s, 229 First Step Act, 169 Glass-Steagall Act, 127–28 as paternalistic vs. personal pride, 156 and policy makers, 143–45 politicians combating price drip legislation, 152–53 Truth in Hotel Advertising Act, 153–54 See also policy makers religion, 240, 250–51, 257–58 reprivatization, 189–90 resort fees as drip pricing, 154, 155–57 rewarded ads, 198 rip currents metaphor, 69–70 Roosevelt, Eleanor, 271 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 271 Russia and US social media, 216 Ryanair, 57–58 safety net, 269–72 salaries of college football coaches 135–137 Division I versus NESCAC 139 sale pricing, 82 Sandberg, Sheryl, 204–5 Sandel, Michael, 246 Sanders, Bernie, 175 Santos, Laurie, 34 Schiff, Adam, 159 Schmidt, Eric, 220 search costs, 109 self-interest, 243–44 self-regulation in food industry, United Kingdom, 273–74 seller response to choice overload, 101–8 shock treatment experiment, 279–82, 285 Singer, William “Rick,” 30–31 slave labor, 54–56 Smith, Adam, 3–4, 235, 236–37 Smith, Greg, 274–76 social, moral, and ethical values competition ideology does not excuse lack of, 271 competition undermining, xiii–xiv, 235–36, 237, 245–46, 274 complementing the competitive process, 252 enhancing the marketplace, 237 fairness, 144, 242–44, 252 farms with a social purpose, 290–91 as means to increase profits, 276–78 morality continuum, 257–58 morality through self-interest, 257 shaping behavior of others, 284–87 Smith on need for, 236–37 zero-sum competition vs., 249–51 social ideal, noble competition as, 259–60 socialism for the rich, 231 social outcome of markets, 124, 125 social values.


pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

And while it’s still often more efficient to outsource work cheaply to Asia and Africa,29 the moment wages and technologies in those countries start to catch up, robots will win out even there. In the end, outsourcing is just a stepping-stone. Eventually, even the sweatshops in Vietnam and Bangladesh will be automated.30 Robots don’t get sick, don’t take time off, and never complain, but if they wind up forcing masses of people into poorly paid, deadend jobs, well that’s just asking for trouble. The British economist Guy Standing has predicted the emergence of a new, dangerous “precariat” – a surging social class of people in low-wage, temporary jobs and with no political voice. Their frustrations sound eerily like those of William Leadbeater. This English craftsman who was afraid that machines would destroy his country – or, indeed, the entire universe – was a part of such a dangerous class, and of a movement that laid the foundations of capitalism. Meet the Luddites. The Battle of Rawfolds Mill April 11, 1812 – Some 100 to 200 masked men have gathered on a darkened plot of land near Huddersfield, between Manchester and Leeds in England.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Many freelancers find that in hindsight, the reassurance of a steady income goes a long way to compensate for the 9 to 5 routine of the salaried employee. Whether or not the new forms of freelancing opened up by Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy and so on are precarious is a matter of debate, especially in their birthplace, San Francisco. Are the people hired out by these organisations “micro-entrepreneurs” or “instaserfs” - members of a new “precariat”, forced to compete against each other on price for low-end work with no benefits? Are they operating in a network economy or an exploitation economy? Is the sharing economy actually a selfish economy? Whichever side of this debate you come down on, the gig economy is a significant development: a survey by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that as many as 7% of US adults were involved in it.


pages: 290 words: 76,216

What's Wrong with Economics? by Robert Skidelsky

"Robert Solow", additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, full employment, George Akerlof, George Santayana, global supply chain, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, precariat, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, survivorship bias, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Revised ed.), Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Simon, Herbert (1976). Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-making Processes in Administrative Organization, New York: Free Press. Simon, Herbert (1991). ‘Organizations and Markets’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 5 (2): 25–44. Standing, Guy (2014 [2011]). The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, London: Bloomsbury Academic. Unger, Roberto Mangabeira (2019). The Knowledge Economy, London: Verso. Chapter 9 Cartwright, Nancy (1999). The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cherrier, Beatrice (2011). ‘The Lucky Consistency of Milton Friedman’s Science and Politics, 1933–1963’, in R. Van Horn, P. Mirowski and T.


pages: 693 words: 204,042

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, Black-Scholes formula, Burning Man, central bank independence, creative destruction, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, East Village, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, liquidity trap, Mason jar, mass immigration, megastructure, microbiome, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, the built environment, too big to fail

When Radio City was first opened they dosed its air with ozone with the idea that this would make people happier. The developer, Samuel Rothafel, had wanted it to be laughing gas, but he couldn’t get the city to approve it. Robin Hood Asset Management began by analyzing twenty of the most successful hedge funds and creating an algorithm that combined all their most successful strategies, then offering its services to micro-investments from the precariat, and going from there to their now-famous success. The old Waldorf Astoria, demolished to make way for the Empire State Building, was dumped in the Atlantic five miles off Sandy Hook. We lingered in New York till the city felt so homelike that it seemed wrong to leave it. And further, the more one studied it, the more grotesquely bad it grew. —Rudyard Kipling, 1892 h) Mutt and Jeff Jeff, are you awake?”

And every building in lower Manhattan is the same, and they’re part of the mutual aid society, and those are everywhere now, all over the drowned world. Probably every intertidal building in the world is just like us. For sure everyone I meet in my job is.” “So it’s mistaking the particular for the general?” Mutt says. “Something like that. And there’s something like two hundred major coastal cities, all just as drowned as New York. Like a billion people. And we’re all wet, we’re all in the precariat, we’re all pissed off at Denver and at the rich assholes still parading around. We all want justice and revenge.” “Which is one thing,” Jeff reminds her. “Okay whatever. We want justice-revenge.” “Jusvenge,” Mutt tries. “Rejustenge. It doesn’t seem to combine.” “Let’s leave it at justice,” Charlotte suggests. “We all want justice.” “We demand justice,” Jeff says. “We don’t have it, the world is a mess because of assholes who think they can steal everything and get away with it.


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

accounting loophole / creative accounting, active measures, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

From 1991 to 2006, the urban workforce increased by 260 million, 85 percent of that through migration to the cities. An estimated 120 to 150 million workers, accounting for almost two-thirds of the industrial workforce and one-third of the service sector, had no formal status in the cities; they joined newly laid-off SOE workers to swell the ranks of the 270 million Chinese known as “dispatch workers”—the world’s largest “precariat.”102 Notably, the commodification, deregulation, and exploitation of labor power was based, as Ching Kwan Lee has emphasized, on a “remarkable and momentous increase in law-making activity by the central authority and the professionalization of the judiciary . . .”103 Workers were left vulnerable to local administrations competing to attract investment, and to overworked judges closely linked to the same local officials.

In actual expenditures, the US spent close to $700 billion and China $60 billion, and even if China’s official numbers are doubled, as the Pentagon suggests, that still leaves China’s expenditures at only 17 percent of the US’s. Gordon Fairclough, “China Slows Increase in Defense Spending,” Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2010. 101 Ching Kwan Lee, Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007, p. 71. 102 In 2004, only 10 percent of the Chinese precariat had medical insurance, less than half were paid regularly, over half were never paid overtime, and two-thirds worked without any weekly day of rest. At the same time, employment in state-owned enterprises peaked in 1995, and over the next decade fell by 48 million (30 million of those being laid off and the rest transferred to TVEs). See Eli Friedman and Ching Kwan Lee, “Remaking the World of Chinese Labour: A 30-Year Retrospective,” British Journal of Industrial Relations 48: 3 (September 2010), pp. 510–16; as well as Fang Cai, Albert Park, and Yaohui Zhao, “The Chinese Labor Market in the Reform Era,” and Loren Brandt, Chang-tai Hsieh, and Xiaodong Zhu, “Growth and Structural Transformation in China,” both in Brandt and Rawski, China’s Great Economic Transformation, Table 6.1, p. 168, and Table 17.1, p. 690, respectively. 103 Ching Kwan Lee, Against the Law, p. 10.


pages: 273 words: 85,195

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, full employment, game design, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Mars Rover, new economy, off grid, payday loans, Pepto Bismol, precariat, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, six sigma, supply-chain management, union organizing, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Y2K

As of 2017, you could still go to Google Maps Street View, drop a tiny avatar on Circle Drive, and wander around looking at parked cars and lawn furniture and folks watering their yards uninterrupted, all frozen in a photographic landscape that hasn’t been updated since 2009. AT THE SAME TIME Empire was dying, a new and very different kind of company town was thriving seventy miles to the south. In many ways, it felt like the opposite of Empire. Rather than offering middle-class stability, this village was populated by members of the “precariat”: temporary laborers doing short-term jobs in exchange for low wages. More specifically, its citizens were hundreds of itinerant workers living in RVs, trailers, vans, and even a few tents. Early each fall, they began filling the mobile home parks surrounding Fernley. Linda didn’t know it yet, but she would soon be joining them. Many were in their sixties and seventies, approaching or well into traditional retirement age.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Their political presence is more often marked by spontaneous riots and voluntarist uprisings (such as those that occurred in the Paris banlieues in recent times or the piqueteros (demonstrators) who erupted into action in Argentina after the country’s financial collapse of 2001) rather than persistent organisation. But they are fully conscious of their conditions of exploitation and are deeply alienated by their precarious existence and antagonistic to the often brutal policing of their daily lives by state power. Now often referred to as ‘the precariat’ (to emphasise the floating and unstable character of their employment and lifestyles) these workers have always accounted for a large segment of the total labour force. In the advanced capitalist world they have become ever more prominent over the last thirty years because of changing labour relations imposed by neoliberal corporate restructuring and deindustrialisation. It is wrong to ignore the struggles of all these other workers.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

An early statement of the trend is Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann, “The Cheapest Generation,” Atlantic (September 2012); for a statistical critique of the “myth of the ‘don’t own’ economy,” see The Millennial Study (Accel and Qualtrics, 2017); for a critique of this “investment” see Malcolm Harris, Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials (Little, Brown, 2017). 7. On housing, see Laura Gottesdiener, “The Empire Strikes Back,” TomDispatch (November 26, 2013); on employment, see Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic, 2011); on citizenship, see Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen (Columbia Global Reports, 2015); on clouds, see John Durham Peters, The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media (University of Chicago Press, 2015). 8. Richard Florida, Who’s Your City? How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life (Basic Books, 2008), argued for a tripartite distinction among the “mobile,” the “stuck,” and the “rooted”; for a more recent policy analysis, see David Schleicher, “Stuck!


pages: 423 words: 92,798

No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age by Jane F. McAlevey

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, feminist movement, hiring and firing, immigration reform, informal economy, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, precariat, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, The Chicago School, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

Deborah Axt explains that that this program has deep value beyond recruitment: “These individual and small-scale fights matter a great deal, because the members can get involved and exercise, test, and improve upon their leadership immediately. It’s like having dozens of mini campaigns going on all at once all the time.” By 2004, Make the Road had decided to try something new in their worker justice campaigns: organizing unions. It was a bold move, with a high risk of failure, because the precariat workers that dominate the lowest wage sector have proven particularly difficult to unionize. Union election victories are hard to come by in any sector, given the incentive for employers to systematically violate the few remaining worker protections under U.S. law. But given the sheer numbers of individuals experiencing wage theft, Make the Road wanted to scale up. If the workers could form unions, it would give them access to ongoing assistance and potentially raise their wages and living standards above the poverty line.


Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

One discusses how Republicans fervently oppose any deal “that involves increased revenues”—a euphemism for taxes on the rich.26 The other is headlined “Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves.”27 This developing picture is aptly described in a brochure for investors produced by Citigroup, the huge bank that is once again feeding at the public trough, as it has done regularly for thirty years in a cycle of risky loans, huge profits, crashes, and bailouts. The bank’s analysts describe a world that is dividing into two blocs, the plutonomy and the rest, creating a global society in which growth is powered by the wealthy few and largely consumed by them. Left out of the gains of the plutonomy are the “non-rich,” the vast majority, now sometimes called the “global precariat,” the workforce living an unstable and increasingly penurious existence. In the United States, they are subject to “growing worker insecurity,” the basis for a healthy economy, as Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan explained to Congress while lauding his own skills in economic management.28 This is the real shift of power in global society. The Citigroup analysts advise investors to focus on the very rich, where the action is.


Corbyn by Richard Seymour

anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, first-past-the-post, full employment, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, knowledge economy, land value tax, liberal world order, mass immigration, means of production, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Philip Mirowski, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, working-age population, éminence grise

The Labour Right, though unimaginative and timid even in terms of achieving their own limited objectives, were correct to identify the problem that the existing vote for socialism of the Corbyn variety was not enough to win an election. The metropolitan Left, based in large urban centres and university towns, may be a sufficient source of activists to drive a movement for change. The educated precariat, politicised and with spare time and resources, could take a leading role, insofar as there was a movement for them to lead. And surrounding them were some social groups who never particularly cared for neoliberalism, but were previously silenced because they lacked representation. But beyond that, there were more provincial areas where the concerns of the urban working class were not as visible, where the difficulties with home ownership and renting were not as acute, where a sense of neglect and distance from Westminster wasn’t expressed in progressive attitudes.


pages: 410 words: 106,931

Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, informal economy, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, Republic of Letters, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Snapchat, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Marx thought that wage slavery, insecure and impersonal, was worse than serfdom; but, today, stable employment in a single line of work, let alone a single enterprise, is becoming increasingly rare. Ad hoc work is more common. Many young people work part-time, study and work at the same time, travel huge distances in order to find work – if they can find it at all. These significantly numerous members of the precariat know that there is no such thing as a level playing field. They share a suspicion, which was previously mostly found among paranoid conspiracy theorists, that their own political elite has become the enemy of freedom, not its protector. The fierce contempt among these groups in America for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton reflects more than just a misogynist backlash against the gains of feminism, or deflected hatred of minorities; it reflects a severely diminished respect for the political process itself.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

HUMPHRIES Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). S. LEE, D. MCCANN AND J. MESSENGER Working Time Around the World: Trends in Working Hours, Laws and Policies in a Global Comparative Perspective (London: Routledge, 2007). K. MARX Capital (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976), vol. 1, chapter 15. U. PAGANO Work and Welfare in Economic Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985). G. STANDING The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2011). J. TREVITHICK Involuntary Unemployment: Macroeconomics from a Keynesian Point of View (New York and London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992). ‘Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.’ RONALD REAGAN ‘The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole.’


pages: 343 words: 102,846

Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor

These are task brokers like Fiverr and Taskrabbit, or driver-on-demand apps like Uber and Lyft—low-wage, task-based labor hubs that take a cut of every transaction but don’t take much, if any, responsibility for the estimated seventeen million or so Americans who work at least part time as “independent contributors.”81 These workers who race around walking dogs, hanging pictures, and giving rides to the airport don’t know what work at what wage they’ll have next day or next week. They are hired—or connected to jobs—by companies who say they are not employees, but independent contractors, which conveniently insures that the workers “don’t qualify for employee benefits like health insurance, payroll deductions for Social Security or unemployment benefits.”82 Guy Standing, a labor economist, has dubbed this rapidly expanding class of laborer “the precariat.”83 “These are not jobs, jobs that have any future, jobs that have the possibility of upgrading; this is contingent, arbitrary work,” says Stanley Aronowitz, director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Technology and Work at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. “It might as well be called wage slavery in which all the cards are held, mediated by technology, by the employer, whether it is the intermediary company or the customer.”84 The intermediary holds all the cards.


pages: 370 words: 107,983

Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All by Robert Elliott Smith

Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, AI winter, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, animal electricity, autonomous vehicles, Black Swan, British Empire, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, corporate personhood, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Gerolamo Cardano, gig economy, Gödel, Escher, Bach, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, p-value, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, women in the workforce

, described a perfect case of the Babbage Effect: Assuming a progressive shift to dark kitchens and declining delivery costs, the economic benefits of one hour spent cooking [relative to ordering a meal via an app] could decline from £13 per hour to £8 per hour … i.e. lower than the median wage. The UK’s Skills and Employment survey revealed that nearly a third of workers now have to work at very high speed ‘all’ or ‘most of’ the time, while the share of people who have ‘a lot of discretion over how they do their job’ has crashed from 62 per cent to 38 per cent.8 Instead of the proletariat we now have the precariat: a class of people with insecure jobs afraid to ask for pay rises or improved working conditions. And, just like the Luddites before them, workers insist that they are not against innovation, technology or flexibility, they just want some basic rights and security. From dark kitchens it doesn’t seem like such a large step to Blake’s ‘dark, satanic mills’. While there are currently no signs of online services nailing children’s ears to tables, the dehumanizing effects of quantification as it reaches into the far corners of our cognitive and affective worlds is already painfully evident.


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

The communities where new immigrants live, the poorer parts of town, were typically the places where they would first arrive, which placed pressure on whatever limited public services or housing was available, along with creating, for some at least, a sense of bitterness and loss.40 Gone are the settled communities and secure manufacturing jobs of the 1960s and 1970s. While many are better off, large lumps of the white working class are now a precariat class reliant on short-term, unreliable work, living in rented accommodation, without transferable skills, with low (and falling) wages and few prospects.41 White men are also, by some margin, now the least likely to do well at school or go to university compared to other ethnic groups of similar economic background. They are looked down upon as a minority underclass.42 Tommy was born in 1982 and spent his young years in Farley Hill on the outskirts of Luton, which he remembers as a working-class neighbourhood with a strong sense of community.


pages: 360 words: 113,429

Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence by Rachel Sherman

American ideology, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, financial independence, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, mental accounting, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

“The Subjective Interpretation of Inequality: A Model of the Relative Deprivation Experience.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 8 (12): 755–765. Spence, Emma. 2016. “Performing Wealth and Status: Observing Super-Yachts and the Super-Rich in Monaco.” Pp. 287–301 in Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich, edited by Jonathan V. Beaverstock and Iain Hay. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. Standing, Guy. 2011. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury. Stewart, James B. 2016. “In the Chamber of Secrets: J. K. Rowling’s Net Worth.” New York Times, November 25, A1. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/business/in-the-chamber-of-secrets-jk-rowlings-net-worth.html. Accessed November 26, 2016. Stone, Pamela. 2007. Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy by Wolfram Eilenberger

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, liberation theology, precariat, scientific worldview, side project, traveling salesman, wikimedia commons

It is easy to call to mind the caricature of an essentially aimless, financially cosseted, extraordinarily talented almost twenty-eight-year-old, slowly but surely figuring out that the world hasn’t exactly been waiting for the genius he doubtless thinks he is. Benjamin’s only independent source of income at this point in his life came from graphological analyses. Today he would be a lifestyle consultant or a feng shui adviser. In 1920, then, this academic overachiever was heading straight for the class we call the precariat. The remnants of the 30,000 reichsmarks, which he had extorted to propel himself into a new life, would only three years later be worth less than a sandwich. If there is a constant in Benjamin’s life from now on, it is his keen ability to make the wrong decision at the wrong time, but a second, life-shaping pattern also appears in exemplary form in this letter. It would go on to inform Benjamin’s dealings with the people he calls friends.


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Television commercials feature tales of woe about those who let their credit scores slip, and some pitilessly equate low scores with laziness and unreliability.7 The sponsors of these ads profit from the insecurity they both publicize and reinforce. They don’t include in their moralizing the top fi nanciers who walk away unscathed from their own companies’ debts when too-risky bets don’t work out. The importance of credit reputation grows as public assistance shrinks.8 Austerity promotes loans as a lifeline for an insecure precariat. Students who once earned state scholarships are now earning profits for government or private lenders. In our “market state” and “ownership society,” private credit rather than public grant is the key to opportunity. Would-be homeowners, students, and the very poor are forced back on commercial credit to buy places to live, to prepare for careers, or even just to pay the costs of day-to-day living.


pages: 385 words: 123,168

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber

1960s counterculture, active measures, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, David Graeber, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, full employment, global supply chain, High speed trading, hiring and firing, informal economy, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge worker, moral panic, post-work, precariat, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software as a service, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, unpaid internship, wage slave, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, éminence grise

Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System That Shapes Their Lives. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001. Sennett, Richard. The Fall of Public Man. London: Penguin, 2003. ________. Respect: The Formation of Character in an Age of Inequality. London: Penguin, 2004. ________. The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism. New York: Norton, 2008. ________. The Craftsman. New York: Penguin, 2009. Standing, Guy. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Revelations). London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2016. ________. Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen. London: Pelican, 2017. Starkey, David. “Representation Through Intimacy: A Study in the Symbolism of Monarchy and Court Office in Early Modern England.” In Symbols and Sentiments: Cross-Cultural Studies in Symbolism, edited by Ioan Lewis, 187–224.


pages: 489 words: 136,195

Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, demand response, Google Earth, megacity, Minecraft, oil rush, out of africa, planetary scale, precariat, sovereign wealth fund, supervolcano, the built environment, The Spirit Level, uranium enrichment

Snowmobiles run the risk of plunging through thin ice, carrying their drivers with them. Hunting – one of the few aspects of traditional Greenlandic life that survived settlement – is under threat of erasure, this time by global temperature change. Ice has a social life. Its changeability shapes the culture, language and stories of those who live near it. In Kulusuk, the consequences of recent changes are widely apparent. The inhabitants of this village are part of the precariat of a volatile, fast-warping planet. The melting of the ice, together with forced settlement and other factors, has had severe effects upon the mental and physical health of native Greenlanders, causing rates of depression, alcoholism, obesity and suicide to rise, especially in small communities. ‘The loss of that landscape of ice,’ writes Andrew Solomon, studying depression rates in Greenland, ‘is not merely an environmental catastrophe, but also a cultural one.’


The Cigarette: A Political History by Sarah Milov

activist lawyer, affirmative action, airline deregulation, American Legislative Exchange Council, barriers to entry, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, fixed income, Frederick Winslow Taylor, G4S, global supply chain, imperial preference, Indoor air pollution, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, land tenure, new economy, New Journalism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, Torches of Freedom, trade route, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

Nancy MacLean, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008); Katherine Turk, Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); Sophia Z. Lee, The Workplace Constitution: From the New Deal to the New Right (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014); Serena Mayeri, Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011); Margot Canaday, Pink Precariat: LGBT Workers in the Shadow of Civil Rights (forthcoming), chapter 6. 7. By the late 1980s, antidiscrimination law covered not only women and racial minorities, but also the disabled, pregnant women, and, in Reagan’s one contribution to the expansion of antidiscrimination law, older Americans. At the same time, Katherine Turk argues, the “conceptual terrain” of what constituted sex equality dramatically contracted in the 1980s and 1990s.


pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

Back in Chad she had seen clear signs of heavy internal parasite loads. She had seen hunger, disease, premature death. Wasted lives in blasted biomes. Basic needs not met for three billion of the eleven billion on the planet. Three billion was a lot already, but there were also another five or six billion teetering on the brink, about to slide into that same hole, never a day free of worry. The great precariat, wired in enough to know their situation perfectly well. That was life on Earth. Split, fractionated, divided into castes or classes. The wealthiest lived as if they were spacers on sabbatical, mobile and curious, actualizing themselves in all the ways possible, augmenting themselves—genderizing—speciating—dodging death, extending life. Whole countries seemed like that, in fact, but they were small countries—Norway, Finland, Chile, Australia, Scotland, California, Switzerland; on it went for a few score more.


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

In a sense, playing slot machines or attending betting parlors or blackjack or roulette tables is not just the privilege of the idle rich, but rather, a mass version of simulated practice for an ideal life. In the neoliberal era, the state went from trying to quarantine gambling to insinuating it into every hamlet, high street, filling station, and Indian reservation. In the United States, individual states have been falling over one another to promote every form of gambling they might tax. Not only was it lucrative, but it taught the precariat to live suspended in a delirium of lottery fever, the better to be distracted from working life. This elevation of risk as the heightened consciousness of the neoliberal self has direct causal connections to the crisis, as one might expect. This case has been made by Christopher Payne in his Consumer, Credit and Neoliberalism. He explicitly documents how various think tanks in the neoliberal Russian doll took it upon themselves to refute the older “paternalistic” Keynesian identity of the “worker-saver” household and replace him/her with the swashbuckling entrepreneur.


Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism by Pippa Norris, Ronald Inglehart

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Cass Sunstein, centre right, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, declining real wages, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, liberal world order, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, open borders, open economy, post-industrial society, post-materialism, precariat, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, statistical model, stem cell, War on Poverty, white flight, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

As Lipset argued: ‘Extremist movements have much in common. They appeal to the disgruntled and psychologically homeless, to the personal failures, the socially isolated, the economically insecure, the uneducated, unsophisticated, and the authoritarian persons.’6 Contemporary concern about working-­ class authoritarianism has revived today, stimulated by the emergence of a poorly educated, under-­ class in Western societies (the ‘precariat’), with increasingly stark disparities of income and wealth dividing rich and poor during the late-­twentieth century.7 The growing electoral success of Authoritarian-­Populist parties and leaders has often been attributed to several related economic developments occurring during the late twentieth century. They include the advanced globalization of labor, finance, investment, trade and goods flowing across national borders, coupled with economic liberalization and deregulation, deteriorating job security for unskilled workers, the loss of manufacturing industries, and growing economic inequality.8 Millions of people in low and middle-­ income countries, particularly China and India, have benefitted from international trade and finance – and by the remarkable growth in GDP, which has halved the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty since 1990, and reduced income inequality and raised living standards in these countries.9 The less-­educated population in advanced industrialized economies have been losers from global markets.


pages: 736 words: 233,366

Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950-2017 by Ian Kershaw

airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, centre right, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, illegal immigration, income inequality, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour market flexibility, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, young professional

But, as preceding chapters have shown, there have also been substantial negative consequences. Globalization has paved the way for turbo-capitalism. Global investment banks, big corporate concerns and information-technology giants have established their power beyond the control of nation states, and in 2007–8 a bloated and irresponsible finance sector took the international financial system to the brink of collapse. A new ‘precariat’ of unskilled, often migrant, labour has emerged, taking up poorly paid jobs, able only to afford sub-standard accommodation, and living with constant material uncertainty. The sense of physical insecurity has also intensified as the incidence of, especially, Islamist terrorism – a legacy in good measure of Europe’s involvement in wars in the Middle East, and of its imperial past – has increased.