The Talkin’ New Economy Blues: How Mainstream Discourse on the New Economy Diminishes Workers

Mike Rose on the representation of old-economy workers in the new economy discourse.

Work in Progress

Mindatworkby Mike Rose

If that venerable debunker of inflated language, George Orwell, were alive today, he would gleefully be ripping into the lingo of the “new economy,” particularly taking aim at the gaseous hyperbole associated with digital technology.

To be sure, the last half-century has been a time of significant changes in the organization and technologies of work, and these changes have had huge consequences for workers. But the typical depictions of those changes misrepresent the complex nature of work and the workers who do it. The standard story line—found in political speech, opinion pages, and countless popular books on the new economy—is familiar to the readers of this blog.

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