Everywhere I go, I see people working multiple, low-paid, part-time jobs, and help wanted signs for more people just like them.
The most recent was a woman in a restaurant working as a cashier. She was probably in her late 20s or early 30s. She revealed that she works three part-time jobs, seven days a week. At least she seemed somewhat optimistic.
The previous guy was also working in a restaurant, but as a server. He was pushing 60 with a bad leg. He worked two part-time jobs. Not surprisingly, he was bitter about life in general, not least because he had a bachelor's degree but worked at jobs a high school graduate could handle.
The guy before that worked in an office supply store. He was probably in his late 30s or early 40s. He also worked multiple part-time jobs. He wasn't bitter, but he wasn't optimistic either.
These people are examples of the unemployment statistic U6, currently at 8.6%, which counts people who are unable to obtain full-time work and are forced to settle for multiple part-time jobs, usually without benefits. The media ignores this statistic for the most part and touts U3, currently at 4.4%.
When I attended high school and university, I worked part-time jobs. I had a regular schedule and could not have tolerated a changing one. Today I often hear from people who have changing schedules, making it impossible to attend school, take care of children, or work another part-time job.
In many respects, we've already transitioned to Gilded Age 2.0, with monopolies, oligarchs, and ersatz serfs. One big difference is that the Internet has allowed the creation of a new class of people, reality TV stars who rise above the otherwise depressed employment market, with Trump being their patron saint though they won't admit it. Trump's promises to save American jobs, e.g. with respect to H-1B and H-2B visa abuse, were all bluster and deceit, similar to Obama, Bush and Clinton.
Carly Fiorina, the former HP CEO who laid-off 30,000 employees, with many of those jobs being outsourced to foreign lands, was in the presidential campaign for a while. She infamously asserted: "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs as a nation." But what she really meant was that her $40 million golden parachute was her God-given right, not to mention that she conflated American jobs and ones created overseas.
The other amusing thing about Fiorina was her "personal relationship with Jesus Christ that saved [her and her husband] from a desperate sadness," though I would imagine that $40 million would mitigate a large amount of sadness or at least pay for a hunky pool boy to wipe away the tears. Unlike Fiorina, the Tea Party, and the Religious Right, I've actually read the New Testament, especially the part where Jesus said, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."