April 4, 2014


Now it's the middle class's turn to feel the employment earthquake (Christina Patterson, 4/04/14, The Guardian)

'The working classes have been here already. They've watched whole industries shipped out to China and wiped out.' Illustration: Otto
It isn't all that often that your heart bleeds for an estate agent. When I read that the Poundland boss, Steve Smith, has shacked up with the founder of the dating website Match.com to launch something called Estatesdirect.com, mine did. It would, said one newspaper, give homeowners a "warm glow". Sell your home for £390 plus VAT! Save yourself a bunch of hassle and cash! That'll show the bastards who keep messing you around.

In the brave new digital world, we're all experts. We can sell our homes online, or rent them out on the travel accommodation site Airbnb. We can post our own music, publish our own books, and edit our own magazines. We can, in other words, cut out the middle man. And this is just the start. It won't be long before we can print our own stuff on 3D printers and share energy on a global network called "the internet of things". Never mind Ed Miliband and his "cost of living crisis". It's algorithms that will cut our costs and set us free.

Quite a few people will be excited by the thought of a world where so many things are so cheap. 

Posted by at April 4, 2014 7:07 PM

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