It was true in the first and second industrial revolutions, for one simple reason: the new industrial revolution created vast numbers of low-skill jobs that offered displaced workers abundant opportunities for work that did not require more than entry-level skills….
The "solution" in the Digital Revolution is to eliminate all labor overhead and transfer all these risks and expenses onto the free-lancer. As a free-lancer/self-employed worker, I am well-acquainted with these overhead costs: it costs $15,300 annually to purchase stripped-down healthcare insurance for my self-employed wife and I.
This is $7.66 per hour for a 2,000-hour work year. The total value of the labor overhead paid by employers for someone of my age and experience exceeds the $15/hour being trumpeted as a minimum wage.
In other words, it would cost an employer $30/hour to pay me $15/hour.
The net result of reducing labor to auctioned-off surplus is that the state, and thus ultimately the taxpayer, is paying the overhead costs. The person being paid $5 to shop at Target (or $50/day to deliver whatever the high-earners didn't order through Amazon) for a top 5% earner can't possibly afford $15,000 a year for healthcare insurance, much less all the other benefits paid by employers………..
The truth is we need a new system--one that deals with the realities of labor, capital, scarcity and surplus head-on. The need for a social economy rather than a merely financial one is why I wrote my new book.