Do you believe this author, that "white collar sweatshops" are now the norm for the American middle class?


Sep 6, 2000
Interesting theory... i'll have to get the book... article

<< Is a eupeptic stock market a sign not of new wealth creation but of a redistribution of resources from workers to owners? Or, rather, from workers to their own pension funds? &quot;We are all devouring ourselves,&quot; an art designer for a major publisher told Fraser. &quot;We all own stock, and as stockholders, all we care about is profits. So we are the ones who are encouraging the conditions that make our work lives so awful.&quot; Call it cannibalistic capitalism. >>



No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
Should be taken seriously. The problem with American Capitalism seems to be that it is too dependent on the Consumer. If the Consumer stops consuming, the economy tanks. The computer industry is a good example of what happens in such an environment:

1) At a new technology's birth only a few enthusiasts(those who see potential) are interested.
2) Some enthusiast(s) finds a practical application(s)
3) Those who can benefit begin adopting the technology
4) More applications/uses become available or are realized
5) The Technology's industry grows dramatically as Consumers(both institutional and individual)begin using the Technology as an appliance
6) Eventually the Technology reaches Market Saturation
7) The industry supporting the Technology shrinks dramatically as new technologies replace it or as Consumers only replace the Technology due to breakdowns

I think we're reaching the end of the Computer Industry's cycle. That's why we keep hearing the term &quot;killer app&quot; kicked around so much right now, because everyone is waiting for a reason to buy another computer. My bro reports that at a Microsoft XP Conference they were claiming WinXP and OfficeXP as the next &quot;killer apps&quot;(especially for P4), but I have a hard time believing that.

So what has this to do with that article? Quite a lot. As long as new technology comes around that is of benefit to Consumers and causes them to want to consume, the Consumer based economy will continue to survive and flourish. It will do well because at the begining of each Technological Cycle many people will acquire great wealth, many jobs will be created which will absorb job losses from other industries made obsolete from the new technology, and most importantly workers and consumers will enthusiastically support a Consumer Economy.

OTOH, if technological advancement stalls or fails to develop into something that interests Consumers, the economy will need to adjust to a level where stagnating industries can support it. If that stagnation continues too long, workers will no longer put up with their current conditions. Labour Laws, Unions, and a return to Employer-Employee conflict will again become the norm.

As long as you can keep the public's eyes on the little birdie, all will be fine!