Suzanne Moore, on The Guardian, makes a point about that not-so-slightly difference between freelance work and free work quoting Jaron Lanier, a mindful Internet critic:
Kodak used to have 140,000 really good middle-class employees. Instagram has 13 employees, period…
We can shrug and say it’s just another industrial revolution, a move from formal to informal work, the whole “portfolio” number. But where is the social contract, then…?
The implosion of the middle class produces instability. We cannot all be freelancers for ever. Freelance work, like interning, is fine if you have the funds to manage without a regular income. That is, if you are already wealthy. But the digital economy operates as a kind of sophisticated X Factor. Someone will make it, sure. For more than 15 seconds even, maybe. But most won’t.
We built the Internet on the promise of personal advancement, and as a land of opportunities for everybody. Instead, is now the creative worker doomed? Did we do some mistake on the way?