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What Rifkin does envision is eventually transitioning to a community-centered, service-
oriented third sector with a social conscience for constructive rebuilding of community in
order to fill the void left in the public and private sectors (p. 239):
The diminishing role of both the mass worker and central government in the affairs
of the marketplace is going to force a fundamental rethinking of the social contract.
Recall that for most of the industrial era, market relationships took precedence over
traditional relationships, and human worth was measured almost exclusively in
commercial terms. Now that ‘selling one’s time’ is diminishing in value, the entire
labyrinth of commercial relationships that it is built upon that arrangement is likewise
threatened. Similarly, now that the role of central government as a guarantor of
markets is diminishing in importance, governing institution adrift and will need to
redefine their mission if they are to remain relevant to the lives of their citizens.
(Rifkin, 2004, p. 238)
To learn more about Jeremy Rifkin’s Foundation for Economic Trends click on the following
link:
(http://www.foet.org/).
The Changing Marketplace
There are many Americans who are working from home by choice. Matt Bai, who covers
politics for the New York Times magazine talks with NPR host Anthony Brooks about “the
new American workers untethered and unplugged” in a segment “Why More Americans
Are Choosing To Work From Home.” Bai suggests that the government has not caught up
to the new workforce situated at home. Horowitz executive director of the freelancers
union notes, “there’s a frustration because this is a third of the workforce 10 percent are
independent contractors and self-employed -- And they have to pay out of their own
pocket for health, retirement. They have to craft their own unemployment system” (NPR,
2007, November 13). Anthony Brooks asks a significant question, “is it time to rewrite the
social contract?” Click on the following link to listen to this NPR segment
(http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16258233).
The incongruity is that many of the communication and media textbooks are slowly waking
up to the reality that the dominant work theme in media that is emerging is freelance. After
examining the best-selling textbook utilized for my basic introduction to media course,
there was only one indexed reference for freelance (Vivian, 2009, 2010). There were
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