Are We Headed Toward An Economy Based Around Serving Rich People?

Via Alternet, Sam Pizzigati ponders the jobs of the future, with masses clamoring for the opportunity to cater to the rich:

We’re well on the way to becoming a full-fledged “servant economy.” Most Americans no longer make things. They provide services.

Young people can become engineers and programmers and spend their careers in pitiless competition with people all over the world just as smart and trained but willing to work for much less. Or they can join the servant economy and “service those few at the top who have successfully joined the global elite.”

In this new “servant economy,” we’re not talking just nannies and chauffeurs. We’re talking, as journalist Camilla Long notes, “pilots, publicists, art dealers, and bodyguards” — a “newer, brighter phalanx of personal helpers.”

Want to see the world? In the new servant economy, you can become a “jewelry curator” and voyage to foreign lands to pick up gems for wealthy clients. Want to face daily challenges? You can become a concierge and hire an elephant for a wealthy patron’s wedding reception one day, get your patron a chess match with a grand master the next.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    May I never live to see the dark day this comes to pass.

  • MadHierophant

    This economy already exists, all this article proposes is that the delusion of upward mobility will be stripped away, if it hasn’t been already for most.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      So you’re saying there’s a reasonable chance of the FDA approving bath salts after all? As ‘opiates of the masses’ go, organized religion and television seemed to outlived their usefulness in distracting us from this fact.

      • MadHierophant

        If they do, it’ll only be so that nobody starves to death–we’d be too busy eating each other literally instead of figuratively as resources become scarce. It’s the compassionate thing to do, you see.

      • Anarchy Pony

        I thought the new opiates of the masses was smartphones and facebook.

        • MadHierophant

          Or simply the internet itself.

          oh shit it has us we’re fucked

          • Anarchy Pony

            Yeah. We are.

          • MadHierophant

            I like you. How do I subscribe to your newsletter?

          • Anarchy Pony

            Please, I’m way to lazy to write a newsletter. Not even biannually. Yes both kinds of biannually.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            I lost the plot. Are you referring to the frequent confusion of ‘biannually’ with ‘semiannually’?

          • Anarchy Pony

            I guess so. Stop showing me up. It makes me feel inadequate. =P

          • MadHierophant

            Don’t feel inadequate. I like you, after all. And that validates your existence FOR ALL TIME

          • Anarchy Pony

            I have the approval of anonymous internet commentors? Yes! I’ve made it!

          • MadHierophant

            Well that vote up/down feature isn’t there for nothing. I know I’ve always wanted my value as a person summed up by an arbitrary number.

          • Anarchy Pony

            I’ve been trying damn hard to get my “like” to “post” ratio at 2:1. So close, but so far.

          • Jin The Ninja

            ugh, i know how you feel:P

          • Liam_McGonagle

            But wouldn’t you prefer that arbitrarily huge number represent the credit balance of a Swiss bank account?

          • MadHierophant

            Only until we can turn article views and comment “likes” Into currency. Then we, the snarky pop-culture addicts, will rule the planet like gods! GODS, I SAY!

          • Anarchy Pony

            I’d certainly be better off. I could get my house hooked up to renewable power and actually have time to work a food garden.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Not at all. Such pedantry on my part is merely a reflexion of a slow news day around the offices of McGonagle & Co.–Gun for Hire.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Slow for you too? The deluxe shitty weather yesterday seems to have thrown a monkey wrench into things around my neck of the woods.

        • Liam_McGonagle

          That only works if consumers can afford the most recent, trendy models, a notion that runs counter to the idea that capitalists can indefinitely shrink worker wages to bolster profits. “More” is not a concept of restraint.

          Sorry ’bout that. You knew all that already, but something impelled me to gratuitously repeat the obvious.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Okay, I should have said that they are the opiates of the still marginally affluent masses.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Still, we can’t be too far away from Ye Ende. Lots of people believe that the Eurozone’s sustained recession/depression and recent declines in the U.S.’s trade deficit, along with some very dodgy numbers from China’s own economic bureaus, indicate that Chinese mothers won’t be willing to sell their children to Foxconn slavery for too much longer. We can only afford this stuff because they can’t.

            I don’t even want to think of what 1.5 billion angry Chinese workers will look like.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Scary. I imagine.

          • MadHierophant

            I do. Then maybe people the world over will get the same idea…

        • “Big” Richard Johnson

          Upvotes all around!

  • Andrew

    Huh, freedom’s turned out to be slavery after all.

    • emperorreagan

      Get rid of company scrip and they just figure out how to turn the entire economy into company scrip.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Headed toward? That’s the goal of every civilized economy.

  • David Destin

    as a cook i’ve been living this truth for 20 yrs…..

    • MadHierophant

      I totally feel you on that. I was a cook once, and it made me disdain people even more than I already did.

      • Matt Staggs

        I don’t think meth counts… 😉

        • MadHierophant

          Psht, I’d rather have cooked meth than some of the slop I served in the Navy, it might have been safer to ingest. 😛

  • Calypso_1

    Chris Hedges thinks we’re all headed for the Gazan Ghettos.

    • InfvoCuernos

      Great link, thanks!

  • DeepCough

    By “headed toward” you mean “back to square-one serfdom” I take it?

  • You Slaves

    If you don’t own a business or rent out a house or apartment, then sadly you are a slave.

  • Ted Heistman

    I’d rather be more like Robert DiNero’s character in the movie “Brazil”

  • InfvoCuernos

    I own my own business and it can hardly be classified as catering to the rich. While I acknowledge that the economy is headed in this direction, it isn’t there quiet yet. The hard part is not allowing rich fucks to think they can buy you. greed is an ailment of the poor and a tool of the rich.

  • alizardx

    When income is being transferred upward with the superwealthy co-opting government into a rent-seeking tool, who else still has disposable income? The base of the economic pyramid is being systematically starved.

    This has been tried before. it doesn’t end well. Reducing demand eats holes into the vendor web everybody depends on. Enough holes in the web and it effectively no longer exists.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    The whole science of Economics is built around an elite ‘Priesthood’ of ‘Economists’ who covertly control who gets access to the wealth, and who doesn’t.

  • Lisa Farkass

    Okay, now I totally depressed, thanks ;)!

  • anonymous

    Yes, we see assimilation of all companies doing well into one large one. so we end up with few really big companies (global), but all these company owners will be related either by bloodline or groups, beleif etc… so we end up with a situation like in the age of pharaohs but on a global scale.

  • Pete Wagner

    Quote: In the new servant economy, you can become a “jewelry curator” and voyage to foreign lands to pick up gems for wealthy clients.

    More like “jewry curator”, but it’s actually a very mature profession.

    • Andrew

      Sorry, but I don’t take advice on maturity from people who make antisemitic puns.

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