Unpaid Labor and the Neoliberal Myth of Meritocracy

The Myth of Meritocracy Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs

Several months ago, a British journalist and writer James Bloodworth published his first book The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working Class Jobs. The main thesis of the book is precisely reflected in its title: it discusses the neoliberal false premise and misleading promise of Work-Hard-Get-Ahead, and also focuses on the burdens of unpaid labor. Demonstrating that employers and corporations exploit the precariat and do not provide proper and fair wages to youth from poor and middle classes, Bloodworth showed, for example, that 83% of journalists did some sort of internship before they got a job, and in 92% of cases they were not paid.
As the book came out, Bloodworth circulated a press release and was glad to hear back from the Huffington Post, whose editor asked him to write for then a piece about the book. But – for FREE. The author of the book about unpaid labor was asked to perform unpaid work for a media outlet having $150-200 million in annual revenue. Well, Bloodworth shrewdly aired his just frustration on Twitter and definitely made a point:

Myth of Meritocracy

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