We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am far less concerned that "no major new works of social theory have emerged in the United States in the last thirty years, than the author. In fact, I'd dispute that with all the talk of the 1% vs the 99%, the Occupy movements, and the "you didn't build that" claptrap we continually hear about. I know it's not necessarily completely new, but seems major (or at least relentless).
I'm far more concerned that the kids today are screwed because of more than the cost of (a worthless degree from) college. While they are paying off their college debt, they will have to pay about half the benefits (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) of a single retiree (since the ratio of wage earners to retirees will approach 2:1). They will service a larger percentage of the federal debt because most retirees will have a lower tax rate and as the baby boomers age, that share will increase. Because they are paying all that to the government, they will have a harder time buying a house or new car. The likely result from all that is that the economy will be tougher for them.
Yeah, adjuncts may get screwed, but there is a lot more to worry about than them.
It might help to think of part-time adjuncts [I'm a full-time adjunct with a decent contract and benefits] as being like aspiring actors or baseball players or members of a garage band. They all endure hardship and low wages and being 'mistreated' because they have dreams of becoming one of the elite [star, major leaguer, big name band, tenured professor].
In most ways they have excelled in their 'talent' beyond all but a few percent of their contemporaries, but for one reason or another can't hit the Big Time.
I mean, seriously, is the 900th best baseball player in the world that much worse than the 400th [the one who is on a major league roster], or is he just unlucky as to time, place, and need?
My experience is that there are really a very few 'types' of adjuncts -- the ABD or freshly minted PhD who is not an obvious star and/or doesn't have the right kind of connections to land a tenure track position, the person who has chosen a major of study which is not especially needed by many schools, the spouse/significant other of a tenured prof, the second gig adjunct with a full-time 'real' job and specialized knowledge, the politically connected [highly paid for a single course], those tethered to a locale where there is no full-time prof job for their degree/major, and those who either won't "give up the dream" despite years of not landing a tenure job or who simply don't have any other skills to land a different type of job they're willing to take.
I'm not sure why we should feel sorry for any of them, and I have adjunct friends I like a lot.
I also know more than a few who, despite thinking they're getting screwed, simply won't admit that whatever they've got, it isn't and will never be enough to land a tenure job. While sad I don't see what can be done.
Aside from that, top level admins are quite aware that they don't have to treat most adjuncts very well because there will always be those willing to live on "the Street of Broken Dreams."