Meet the new Precariat – the rapidly growing number of people facing lives of insecurity, on zero hours contracts, moving in and out of jobs that give little meaning to their lives. The delivery driver who brings your packages, the uber driver who gets you to work, the security guard at the mall, the carer looking after our elderly…these are The Precariat.
Guy Standing investigates this new and growing group, finding a frustrated and angry new underclass who are often ignored by politicians and economists. The rise of zero hours contracts, encouraged by fat cat corporations as risk-free employment, and by Silicon Valley as a way of outsourcing costs and responsibility, has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. At the same time, in its experience of lockdown, the western world is realizing the true value of these nurses, carers and key workers.
The answer? The return of income security and meaningful work – the principles 20th century capitalism was built on. By making the fears and desires of the Precariat central to economic thinking, Standing shows how concepts like Basic Income are not just desirable but inevitable, and plots the way to a better future.
Guy Standing updates his landmark work for the time of Covid. Published by Bloomsbury.
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