The impending fall of the Western middle-class (Part II)

From 2011: Ben Baumberg discusses ‘Digital Taylorism’ as argued in The Global Auction (Brown, Lauder and Ashton). Perhaps this further cements the argument that Guy Standing’s Precariat is growing?


A call centreIn my post last week I described the controversial new book The Global Auction, where Brown, Lauder and Ashton argue that the Western middle-class are subject to increasing competition from an army of highly-qualified workers in India, China and other countries. Not only can the workers undercut the pay of the Western middle-classes, but companies can increasingly integrate these people into a global workforce – leading to a global ‘war for talent’, and increasing pressures on most middle-class jobs.

This isn’t the whole story though. It’s not just that there will be an impending fall for some mystical and homogeneous ‘middle-class’. Instead, the middle-class is fracturing into those that are increasingly prized in the war for talent, and the rest of the struggling middle-classes – a divide that depends on ‘Digital Taylorism’, and with sharp consequences for intra-national inequality, as I describe in this post.

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