Jeremy Rifkin argues that we are entering a new phase in history - one characterized by the steady and inevitable decline of jobs. The world, says Rifkin, is fast polarizing into two potentially irreconcilable forces: on one side, an information elite that controls and manages the high-tech global economy; and on the other, the growing numbers displaced workers, who have few prospects and little hope for meaningful employment in an increasingly automated world. The end of work could mean the demise of civilization as we have come to know it, or signal the beginning of a great social transformation and a rebirth of the human spirit.
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Jeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of The Biotech Century, The Age of Access, and The Hydrogen Economy. A fellow at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program, he is the president of The Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C.From Publishers Weekly:
In this challenging report, social activist Rifkin (Biosphere Politics) contends that worldwide unemployment will increase as new computer-based and communications technologies eliminate tens of millions of jobs in the manufacturing, agricultural and service sectors. He traces the devastating impact of automation on blue-collar, retail and wholesale employees, with a chapter devoted to African Americans. While a small elite of corporate managers and knowledge workers reap the benefits of the high-tech global economy, the middle class continues to shrink and the workplace becomes ever more stressful, according to Rifkin. As the market economy and public sector decline, he forsees the growth of a "third sector"-voluntary and community-based service organizations-that will create new jobs with government support to rebuild decaying neighborhoods and provide social services. To finance this enterprise, he advocates scaling down the military budget, enacting a value-added tax on nonessential goods and services and redirecting federal and state funds to provide a "social wage" in lieu of welfare payments to third-sector workers. 50,000 first printing; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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