I discuss some of the many important points made in Ch. 2 of Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, entitled “Why the Precariat is Growing.” Standing details what happened in OECD countries when emerging market countries started to out-compete them in terms of production and availability of low-cost labor. He shows how globalization, smoothed by government policies, led to the ultimate “flexible” labor force, with subsequent insecurity and strain on individuals, families and communities. Being ultimately flexible means not having any hope for a career, not identifying with an employer, and not being rewarded for the development of skills, among many other effects. People are most often blamed (and blame themselves) for their difficulty in finding a good job, but the deck is stacked against them like never before, and Standing does not think there is any way to turn back the clock.
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