I’m not a class warrior. Or maybe I am. I don’t know. Whether I am or not, there certainly seems to be frequent mention of the shrinking middle class. I can’t help but wonder how much the current buzz-word, the so-called gig-economy feeds into this. All sense of stability is on its way out the window (look at me.. talking about stability! What rot) which could only increase the likelihood of living paycheck to paycheck.
One of the best things that came out of Douglas Coupland’s Generation X was how the novel added new lexicon in the margins of the book. It’s where he coined the phrase “McJob.” In his recent book, he added a few more new words, which was the impetus of my writing here:
The new post-class class. They are a future global mono-class of citizenry adrift in a classless sea. Neither middle-class nor working-class–and certainly not rich–blank collar workers are aware of their status as simply one unit among seven billion other units. Blank-collar workers rely on a grab bag of skills to pay the rent and see themselves as having seventeen different careers before they suffer death from neglect in a government-run senior-care facility in the year 2042.
This paints a very conceivable picture of what is/could be happening. It reminds me of the bidding sites for development work, where a person puts in a request of what they want done, and developers bid on the work. To put this into a nerd perspective (just because you program, does not automatically place you into a nerd category! Stop profiling!), think about the pen and paper RPG Shadowrun. Doing runs were a more black market style of gig-market, but it’s basically the same thing. Imagine it, though. Bidding on taking out people’s trash or cleaning houses. A corporation needs someone to clean their wipe boards after a marathon development sessions. Or, if you are more fortunate, a new marketing plan for the upcoming holiday season. I am not saying this is a bad thing, but it will certainly leave people of my generation at a complete loss.