Namely, what is the future of work?
It’s important to realize that in some sense we’ve been here before. When all the farming equipment got super efficient and we lost agricultural jobs by the thousands, people swarmed to the cities and we started building things with manufacturing. So if before we had “the age of the farm,” we then entered into “the age of stuff.” And I don’t know about you but I have LOTS of stuff.
Now that all the robots have been trained and are being trained to build our stuff for us, what’s next? What age are we entering?
I kind of want to complain at this point that economists are kind of useless when it comes to questions like this. I mean, aren’t they in charge of understanding the economy? Shouldn’t they have the answer here? I don’t think they have explained it if they do.
I hope the future of work lies in realizing that a person’s value and worth as a person has nothing to do with what kind of work they are able to do, but I’m not that optimistic about it.
"Universal basic income," whispers the idealist in me. "Universal health care. The end of poverty." But the rest of me knows it won’t happen in my lifetime, if it ever happens at all.