In the day job, I've coined a newish word - decorporatization.
My chart shows what I mean. It shows that in recent years we haven't seen just a squeeze on wages, but also a squeeze on profits; the share of these in GDP has fallen recently. One reason for this is that the incomes of the self-employed - measured by the ONS as other incomes - have increased. This hasn't happened because the self-employed are raking it in, but because there are so many more of them.
This is what I mean by decorporatization; we're seeing a shift from corporate sector activity to the self-employed.
Some of this might be due to firms employing freelancers and one-man subcontractors rather than staff - perhaps because transactions costs have fallen. However, whilst this might have have increased profits for particular firms, it hasn't increased them in aggregate.
What might also be going on is a shift in consumption patterns. For example, if we pay a gardener £100 we have £100 less to spend in the corporate sector. And it might also be that there are countless small-scale shifts in spending happening: for example from supermarkets to farmers' markets; from banks to P2P lending; from shops to eBay; from removal companies to men with vans; from chain coffee shops and restaurants to independent ones and pop-ups. And so on. You migh think these are small changes. But they can easily add up to a couple of percentage points of GDP.
I don't know if these changes will continue. Maybe Rick is right and that as the economy picks up, poorly paid under-employed freelancers and handymen will return to employment thus reversing these trends. Or maybe they won't, perhaps because more people will want to escape corporate drudgery and downshift whilst the fashion for artisanal goods and services will continue.
But futurology isn't my point. Instead, there are two others.
One is that culture matters for macroeconomics even over shortish periods. A cultural change towards self-employment - both the supply thereof and demand for its goods - is affecting profits now.
Secondly, those hipster twats who think they can sock it to "The Man" by tweaking their "lifestyles" aren't as stupid as they look. Small-scale changes can add up to significant discomfort for big capitalism. As I've said, social change can happen without formal politics realizing it. The transition from feudalism to capitalism didn't happen quickly or because of nationally organized political protest ("What do we want? Less socage! When do we want it? Now!") so perhaps the transition from capitalism* won't either.
* Clarification for the hard of thinking: by capitalism I mean a system of ownership, not a market economy.