Readersforum's Blog

June 7, 2013

In the digital economy, we’ll soon all be working for free – and I refuse

Who Owns The FutureThe digital economy operates as a kind of sophisticated X Factor: someone will make it, but most won’t – and the real loser is society

By Suzanne Moore

Never mind checking your privilege. Flaunting those enviable privileges is where it’s at. Go to any of our big cities and cash will be flowing through ponced-up restaurants nestled between Poundland and the nail bars. They even wave it in our faces.

Already at a private school that charges £7,000 a term? Then you must need a hand up the ladder. So let Mater and Pater bid as internships for Mary Portas or Fabergé are auctioned off. Not so much getting a foot in the door as crowbarring it in with money. Theirs is a world in which austerity remains an abstract idea.

Meanwhile, we have more than a million Neets in the country – young people not in work, education or training. They could do with a helping hand but they have somehow missed the boat. It hardly matters to them that the boat was the Titanic. Their older brothers and sisters have gone to college but are still in a world of part-time pub jobs. They don’t have proper salaries and therefore no chance of mortgages. And, of course, in other European countries the situation is even worse.

At this point it is customary to blame the banksters. Or at least the politicians. But there is another group partly responsible for the parlous state in which we find ourselves: the digi-heads of Silicon Valley who told us everything could be kinda free. And easy. In some virtual paradise.

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