[ExI] Middle Class Doomed?

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Sep 30 14:02:23 UTC 2013

On Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 07:29:34AM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:

> I believe that incomes almost always follow a power curve, with a few

Depends on the country. It's not a natural law.

> people making a lot of money, and a lot of people making a little bit of
> money. The best one can hope for is that the curve isn't too "corner
> hugging" and that there is a robust middle class. That seems like pretty
> simple economics to me.

The only simple thing about economics is that it's an academical fairy-tale.
When many grown men believe into fairy tales, bad things happen.
> The question that this article brings up is whether technological progress
> itself dooms the middle class to types of jobs that are either highly
> creative and highly profitable, or to types of jobs that are service

Engineering is highly creative and should be highly profitable, but 
it isn't. The job numbers aren't that terrible, but the quality loss
is awful. Nobody wants to advertise this, as doing so would be political

> oriented, and low paying.
> I am curious if you agree or disagree with the premise of the article, if

I think it's a terrible blog.

> so why, and whether other forces might be at play beyond technological
> improvements that make "the rich richer, the poor poorer", which is another
> way of saying that the curve above is too "corner hugging".

There are two major factors mentioned: loss of cheap plentiful energy
(by adaptive increase in numbers of consumers and also consumption per
individual), and soon scarcity in other material supply, and globalization. 
Loss of special snowflake status is hard to take. No doubt there are
several other factors I'm missing.

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