27 September, 2014

‘The New Class Conflict’, by Joel Kotkin – review - FT.com

‘The New Class Conflict’, by Joel Kotkin – review - FT.com: The new oligarchy differs from the old in important ways. Its technology wing is concentrated in and around San Francisco, with a secondary cluster in Seattle, and it employs far fewer people than traditional industries. Kotkin estimates that in 2013 the leading social media companies together directly employed fewer than 60,000 people in the US. By contrast, GM employed 200,000, Ford 164,000 and Exxon more than 100,000. The different nature of technology firms, with far less dependence on cheap energy, helps explain why they are predisposed to green thinking. They also tend to be both geographically and emotionally distant from middle America.


new oligarchs are in alliance with what Kotkin calls the clerisy. This
is the burgeoning class of technical specialists ensconced in
government, law firms, the media and foundations. The technical class
has swollen in line with the increased role of the state. Almost
instinctively, the clerisy advocates increased regulation as the
solution to any problem it encounters.