In 2013, Andrew Curry posted this blog: “The Box that Built the Modern World: How Shipping Containers Made Distance Irrelevant.”
This was a fascinating (if now slightly dated) article. As a poster noted a couple of years ago (around when this was first posted), containerization explains a little of how globalization works (in the sense of off-shoring). But it also explains a foundation of the 21st century “economy without workers,” in which wealth is generated without a great part of that wealth distributing to the middle class through wages and salaries. With much greater volumes of cargo moving through much smaller numbers of manual workers and their managers, wealth is created, but kept at the upper levels, producing greater inequality, and putting out of work the dock-worker and his manager without providing them with any measure of a replacement job. Wal-Mart, Amazon, and others have joined this network of producing cheap, slave-labor products in poor nations, and transporting them virtually free of movement costs to the US, where the unemployed and under-employed workers have little choice to maintain a standard of living but to buy the cheap products that are all they can afford.
Image posted from Curry (illustrations by Peter & Maria Hoey) in the article cited.