Friday, January 31, 2014


Given the amount I read and write about the economy, you would think I would have run across the term ‘precariat’ before. After all, I’ve written about the condition on a number of occasions. But, somehow I missed the actual word until now.

Here is what Wiki says about it:

In sociology and economics, precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security. Specifically, it is applied to the condition of lack of job security, in other words intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence.[1]

The term is obtained by merging precarious with proletariat.[2]

The British economist Guy Standing has analyzed the precariat as a new emerging social class in work done for the think tank Policy Network and a subsequent book Precariat: The New Dangerous Class[1][5] and claims for a basic income as a solution for addressing the problem.

The corporation, which keeps keeps your hours down (typically to avoid having to pay you some benefit or other), yet insists you be on call—unpaid of course—just in case you are needed, is turning you into a precariat.

Unpleasant word for an unpleasant condition.

It’s disgusting corporate behavior—and it is becoming endemic in retail and food service.

It’s time to do away with such nastiness—especially as an unpredictable schedule is typically combined with lousy pay.

Stressing out your employees also makes them ill because—as is well proven—there is a direct relationship between your emotions and your health.  Quite how that benefits a corporation beats me. Instead, it has to lead to a loss of productivity.

Many corporations don’t seem to know this, but treating your employees with common human decency isn’t incompatible with profitability. In fact—let me tell you a secret—it can enhance it.

“The moral is to the physical as three is to one.” Works in war—and in business too. We owe that oft demonstrated insight to Napoleon.


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