Donald Trump, The Coen Brothers, and the Decline of the American Middle Class – LARB

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These days, just about everyone in Hollywood is an independent contractor living from film to film. While you are working, you make a decent living, but once one movie is done, you have to sit by the phone or badger all of your contacts until you get the next one. This is the world “The Future” envisioned, and for most of us, it isn’t that pretty. One good year does not guarantee the next, and certainly not the one after that.

And it is not just Hollywood. The gig economy makes everyone from software designers to truck drivers to strippers to academics independent contractors. My father and grandfather pretty much worked for one company their entire lives. I haven’t held a staff job since 1987. When my father got sick, his employer found him doctors and continued to pay his salary. Had I gotten sick, they would have just forgotten my name. Risk used to be absorbed by the corporation. Today it has shifted to the working stiff.

-Tom Streithorst

Source: Donald Trump, The Coen Brothers, and the Decline of the American Middle Class – The Los Angeles Review of Books