"This is hardly an isolated case (see my book, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, co-edited with Arlie Hochschild.) If the new “top” involves pay in the tens or hundreds of millions, a private jet and a few acres of Nantucket, the new bottom is slavery. Some of America’s slaves are captive domestics, like the Indonesian women in Long Island. Others are factory workers, and at least 10,000 are sex slaves lured from their home country to American brothels by promises of respectable jobs. CEOs and slaves: these are the extreme ends of American class polarization.
But a parallel kind of splitting is going in many of the professions. Top-ranked college professors, for example, enjoy salaries of several hundred thousand a year, often augmented by consulting fees and earnings from their patents or biotech companies. At the other end of the professoriate, you have adjunct teachers toiling away for about $5000 a semester or less, with no benefits or chance of tenure. There was a story a few years ago about an adjunct who commuted to his classes from a homeless shelter in Manhattan, and adjuncts who moonlight as waitresses or cleaning ladies are legion.
Similarly, the legal profession, which is topped by law firm partners billing hundred of dollars an hour, now has a new proletariat of temp lawyers working for $19-25 an hour in sweatshop conditions. On sites like http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com/, temp lawyers report working 12 hours a day, six days a week, in crowded basements with inadequate sanitary facilities. According to an article in American Lawyer, a legal temp at a major New York firm reports being “corralled in a windowless basement room littered with dead cockroaches,” where six out of seven exits were blocked."
--Barbara Ehrenreich, "Going to Extremes: CEOs vs. Slaves." Barbara is the author of thirteen books, including the New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed.
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Unsurprisingly, biglaw profits per partner (PPP) continued to soar in '06: http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thread_id=563047&mc=119&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;forum_id=2.