It is the “manly-man” work in manufacturing9 and farming and transportation that is on the decline, falling from 40% of GDP in 1950 to 15% today. Meanwhile, it is the intellectual “geek work” in finance, professional services and information that is on the rise, as is health care. These high growth sectors have grown from 18% in 1950 to 44% today. I think we need to be concerned about the innovative process in an economy with so much finance and so little manufacturing. Dude, what is the latest financial derivative really worth? How much is it going to change your life?
9 If it is the kind of thing you like to do, please substitute “It is the ‘womanly-woman’ work in womanufacturing.’
In The Great Transformation, Karl Polanyi posed what he considered the major paradox of the past 200 years. How is it possible to maintain the dynamism of the market on which our society is based without destroying, as he put it, “the human and natural substance of society?” [...] Addressing the paradox requires first recognizing that prime directive of our market society and the global economy in general is maintaining continual capital accumulation, creating what Ernest Gellner (1983: 24) called a “society of perpetual growth.” For our economy (and indeed our society) to function we must produce and consume more this year than last and more next year than this in perpetuity. Failure to do so will result in political, economic and social upheaval.
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