For years and years I said it doesn’t matter when jobs get replaced by automation, it didn’t matter, because it freed people up to do other more creative and interesting things. And I do believe that’s been a general trend for generations. That said, I increasingly find myself wondering how much longer it will be before there are essentially almost no jobs people are needed for.
What will “wealth” and “capital” mean in a society when most of the population has no clear purpose? I’m just not sure. But I’m not the only one who’s wondering, so do professors at places like MIT.
I’m no longer so blithe about assuming this is a self-solving problem. I think one problem futurists have always faced is predicting future events too soon (i.e. before they actually happen, even though they eventually do) or predicting things will happen a lot later than they do. But I suspect we’re in a decade where we’re growing to a point where an ever-increasing and noticeable percentage of the population actually doensn’t have anything they’re needed for, strictly speaking. And I wonder what happens then?