Why Baby Boomers Don’t Get Bernie Sanders

Bryan Williams in New Republic:

Even among elite PMC careers, workers are seeing much of their professional autonomy removed. Forty years ago, most lawyers worked in individual practice or small firms. Now, young lawyers are more likely to work for huge corporate law firms for very long hours doing depressing work like “document review,” all because they have no other choice if they want to pay back their mortgage-sized student loans. For the first seven years of a career as an investment banker, a young associate may work 90 hours a week—to support a Boomer managing director, who may only work 60. Young college professors are much more likely to be part-time and non-tenure track than Boomer professors were at the same points in their careers, leading to increased militancy among adjunct professors.

In short, PMC jobs, especially for younger workers, increasingly resemble the crappy jobs of the beginning of the twentieth century. They have the proletarian character of the same monotonous thing day after day: spreadsheets, multiple-choice tests, document review. These changes in professional work mean we can no longer avoid the issue of class. Some economic groups have very different interests from others, and society generally is set up to benefit those at the top.

This has been the essential message of Sanders’s campaign: that the game is rigged, and the only thing to do is take on the employers. Her very recent adoption of that rhetoric notwithstanding, Clinton believes you can play the game and climb the ladder—that Americans should fight for their careers, not fight their employers. She has embraced the corporations and elite groups that determine these career trajectories, and won the support of Wall Street billionaires like George Soros and Warren Buffett.

Read the whole thing here.

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