What I mean is that we should regard Jeremy Hunt's proposal to change their working conditions as part of a general trend - resulting from both market and state action - for "good" jobs to decline in quality. This happened long ago to journalists, but we're seeing it among criminal lawyers where cuts to legal aid are depressing already-modest pay and among academics who face increasingly stressful demands to act as money-grubbers and coppers as well as intellectuals. And even the best-paid jobs in the City come at the price of long hours and mind-numbing tedium. As Rick says, "being middle class just ain’t what it used to be".
It's not just among what were once the most prized jobs that this is happening. Job polarization means there are fewer decent white-collar jobs for diligent but less academically able people.
I say all this is significant because it undermines what has been the mindset of both Tories and New Labour. Tories have believed that a "free market" has offered able and hard-working youngsters the chance of better lives. New Labour thought that skill-biased technical change would increase demand for skilled workers - that we'd all become "symbolic analysts" - and so the economy needed ever more university graduates.
All this might have been correct once: there was for decades an upskilling of jobs which created an illusion of upward social mobility. But it is questionable now.
Young people used to be told: "do well at school and you'll get a good job."
But today, people who have achieved what was once the pinnacle of youngsters' ambitions - to become a doctor - are so discontent they are thinking of emigrating or striking.
The best we can tell our children now is: "if you do really well at school and university you'll be saddled with thousands of pounds of debt but you'll get a chance of working deadly long hours in a job that might eventually pay you well enough to afford a small flat in London."
It's not much of an offer. And a society that cannot offer much to even the brightest and most hard-working of its young people is one that is fundamentally sick.
In this context the fact that many of these youngsters are supporting Jeremy Corbyn is not at all surprising. What is surprising is that the political establishment are so narcissistically self-absorbed that they cannot see that his rise represents their own abject failure.