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Radical Philosophy Today

Volume 4, 2006

Philosophy Against Empire

David R. Cormier, Harry Targ
Pages 59-80

Globalization, Neoliberalism, and the “Precarious Classes”
The Next Phase

This paper looks at an emerging major economic trend which appears to be, in part, a consequence of neoliberal globalization. This development is the rise of a huge segment of the world’s population, in both developed and developing countries, comprising a redundant or unneeded group of workers, both rural and urban. These make up “the precarious classes.” The paper initially presents background ideas to set the stage for discussing these findings. It looks at data summarizing the consequences of globalization to date in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. The rise of the “working poor” in the U.S. is first documented and then we summarize Samir Amin’s work on what he calls the emergence of “precarious classes” around the globe. Finally, we tie this apparent trend to related global problems and look at what is needed to further research this potentially ominous development.

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