Now, if none of this sounds like free-market economic theory, then you are right. But as Thomas Piketty suggests in his study of inequality in the late capitalist age, there is something decidedly pre-modern about this phase neoliberalism, with its plutocrats, oligarchs and rentiers back in full swing.
Zero-hours contracts are part of a broader ideological system in which the veneer of economic rationality is deployed to hide indefensible inequalities and eye-watering levels of wealth. But as an astute economist recently put it, we can no longer afford the rich. For this reason, everyone ought to champion the abolition of zero-hours contracts.
Peter Fleming is Professor of Business and Society at City University, London.
Peter Fleming wrote this article for The Guardian on a zero hours contract. Because that’s what freelancing is.