Blue Collar Vs White Collar.

It has not yet come to Vs in India. It is still peaceful coexistence, albeit with a subtext of unease.

The Blue Collar population striving hard to get its children move up the social and economic ladder by sending them to good schools/colleges etc and to a large extent succeeding. On the other hand, what I would call a Green Collar population, predominantly rural and agriculture oriented, strives hard to send part of its numbers into cities into Blue Collar occupations and succeeding at that too.

That leaves us with the White Collar which aspires to just keep up with the better off neighbours! In other words, wealth.

There is however a new category called Knowledge Workers which mostly does not wear collars at all and is totally outside the ambit of fashion. This category is the latest kid on the block and has created quite a stir in some of our cities like Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad where our Information Technology companies tend to concentrate.

All three are interdependent and feed off each other quite peacefully.  And Hambone explains the economic reality beautifully in this cartoon.

 

There is however the looming danger of automation which will increasingly affect all three categories. Beyond that, the scenario is even more startling as depicted so starkly by Yuval Noah Harari in his amazing book Homo Deus. From where we stand, he says, in the accelerating present, no long-term future is imaginable, still less predictable – and there is plenty of time for questions. In that book he suggests a future for human beings that will be more like the Gods of yore than humans of now! I leave my readers to either read the book or research on their own.

Shackman has suggested this week’s LBC topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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