from Too Much: A Commentary on Excess and Inequality:
Keeping the Rich Comfy: Your Job Future? October 28, 2012
We’ve lost our manufacturing economy in the United States. Now we’re losing our service economy. We’re rapidly becoming, some observers fear, a ‘servant economy.’
By Sam Pizzigati
Fire fighter, basketball player, lion tamer, teacher, nurse: Ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up, and you’ll get all sorts of answers. But you’ll never hear this one. You’ll never hear youngsters say they want to devote their careers to serving rich people.
Today’s youth might want to reconsider. They’re facing an American economy where serving rich people increasingly seems to offer the best future with real opportunity. Or, as the economist Jeff Faux puts it, we’re well on the way to becoming a full-fledged “servant economy.”
We’ve had “servant economies” in the world before. At times, people even rushed toward servant status. In the early industrial age, jobs in mines and factories would be dirty and dangerous and pay next to nothing. Domestic work for rich families could seem, by comparison, a relatively safe haven.
But that calculus changed as workers organized and won the right to bargain collectively for a greater share of the wealth they were creating. Over the first half of the 20th century, America’s super rich lost their dominance, and fewer and fewer Americans worked as servants for them. .................(more)