There are more workers than jobs and with the growing population that reality grows with no prospects for returning to the paid labor force and jobs matching. 

Robots do more work and will do more in the future; from computers to 3D production by computers, goods and services will be delivered without the hands of humans. The future work is in inventing, maintaining, and operating robots.

Capitalism is better than feudalism but it does not meet the needs of modern economic reality. 

So, what comes next in the evolution of work? 

Fully Automated Luxury Communism

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Replies to This Discussion

"Deserve" is another question.  Maybe you get what you need.

Really? Now that sounds not only fundamentalist but like it is coming from someone with a mindset of control over others. I have no doubt in my mind that there are VERY few working people that get the time off they deserve. I'm not certain how many companies/organizations offer sabbaticals, but I know the one I worked for discovered 2 months off every 7 years was a bit thin, shall we say? They have recently shortened the time required to earn a sabbatical, though since I am no longer there I don't know the precise numbers (4 years possibly). Yet....most companies out there do not offer them at all. I worked at this company that it seems, many would call overly generous, for 15 years (after serving 20 in the Air Force) and it was not the walk in the park you'd imagine. 12 hour shifts 24/7 not shutting for any holidays. Hell, in the military we only did 12 hr shifts for serious operations or when deployed.


Your brain was supposed to fill in "You can't always get what you want..."  It was funny, trust me.

Good job doing 20 in the Air Force.  I got out of the Navy after my one hitch.  Wasn't for me.

As for the rest, would a person with a mindset of control over others walk away from flamebait like that?

See ya.

I really am getting old to miss a 'Stones quote from a favorite song. Shame on me, score to you.

Navy was a different animal all together, granted, no foxholes etc but it's quite a different thing than the Air Force. I don't blame you not wanting to stay the course with them. And...No...I was never on a golf course in those entire 20 yrs in the Air Force. 

I believe that no society in history has been "rich" without taking advantage of slavery or an underpaid working class.  That includes the USA in the golden age of the middle class after WW2.  

I have also long thought that robots would become the underclass of the world, allowing us all to be rich after a fashion by making goods cheap.  But I also remember the "unlimited leisure time" and "power too cheap to meter" that people looked forward to when I was young.  It didn't exactly work out that way.

The old saw about textile automation and how it failed to destroy the English working class is a good observation, but think about this: English textiles fed a rapidly growing global market, including in India where they enforced a monopoly with guns.  Remember that one of Gandhi's big moves was to wear homespun cloth.

Current automation tends toward lower skill jobs, and towards improving supply efficiency into slowly growing markets.  It also boosts offshoring, which is great for people in low labor cost countries but not so great for us in the USA and western Europe.

I worry about this, which is why I am jumping in with a big comment. Thanks for starting the thread, Joan.

As low skill or autonomous automation takes over global production, what is everyone here going to do for money?  We are pretty far from being able to implement Star Trek type credits, distributed to everyone just for being special snowflakes. 

Hell, how many jobs are there currently, which require about 30 minutes of work each day, followed by 7 1/2 hours of browsing the internet?  The guys in the back room of the I.T. department, imaging machines, spend most of their time doing nothing online, since the machines image themselves off of the network, after you physically set them and kick off the process.

I've had jobs that paid half of the hourly wage for being on-call.  Then you switch over to full pay when something goes wrong and you need to go in.  That almost never happened, though.

Getting paid to be connected through a cell phone sounds no different than working from home now.  Lots of companies push as many people as possible out the door, since the savings on office space are huge.

You're failing to make the distinction between skilled and unskilled labor, though.  Plumbers and electricians get paid a lot.  Random people hauling stuff around do not.  The people who have to monitor the robots and fix things when they go wrong are skilled laborers and will be paid accordingly.  Farm laborers will be paid shit, as they are now.

Heh heh heh.  You haven't met many of our more ... special members, around and about on the site, have you?  All of the stuff that you and I may say with irony and satire will be subjects of serious discussion for them.

It's kind of scary out there, within the circles of the more extreme conservative types.  We may have a few atheists who remain conservative in a sane manner, but most of the ones I encounter are the most extreme libertarian sorts: the anarcho-capitalist variety.

Those are the ones who go on and on about how all taxation is theft; the military, transportation, law enforcement, fire suppression, and just about everything you can think of should be privatized; the 2nd Amendment is absolute ...

Have you met many of those guys?

We have a few of that sort in my local atheist groups.  There were two guys making all kinds of noise about the 2nd Amendment in the message-board section of one of our groups, and I tried to introduce a dose of reality by demonstrating that there has to be some limit to the 2nd Amendment, unless you want to have people running around with nuclear weapons.

No go.  Those two guys think that private ownership of nuclear weapons is perfectly acceptable.  Where do you even start, trying to reason with someone who holds that kind of position?

One of those guys also thinks that we should abolish all government, except for arbitration of contract law ... which the government will enforce ... somehow.  I never got a clear answer about how the government was supposed to accomplish that or how his proposed system was supposed to actually function.

The other guy thinks that we need to break the units of final authority down to the state or preferably the county level.  Hello?  We're in freaking North Carolina.  Our own state is currently demonstrating what kind of horrifying legislation will get passed at that sort of lower level.  Other states have proposed and have tried to pass similar bathroom bills but have been blocked once someone woke up and realized that it would be a very, very bad idea.  Ours is the first to go through with it and stick by it.

Heh, so yeah, I don't assume that someone is being satirical, without at least a bit of a wink.  It's hard to catch that in a purely text format.  My bad.

Right there with you on the portable-electronics usage of most millennials.  I didn't make the leap to the actual texting and random game-app usage of that group, from what you said.  That's a bit different, yeah.  I make proper use of my phone, the same as I would do with a laptop or tablet.  I think I'm in the vast minority, though.

Worse are the actual communication patterns and habits.  Have you tried to text with a lower-20-something?  Holy crap, two of my friends text

in broken

fragments of random le

ngth, all rushed together

faster than the


networks can handle

the transmission, cau

sing the fragmentary

messages to arrive out of


... which I won't actually simulate, because I don't want to be completely incomprehensible.


I had one of my friends overload my texting app to the point that it gave my phone a nervous breakdown, crashing the podcast app that I was trying to use while going for a run ... after I told her that I would get back to her in a half hour or so, when I got back home.

Oh, hey, Valdosta.  I didn't even notice that.  Two of the three guys who do the Scathing Atheist, Skepticrats, and God Awful Movies podcasts (they're some busy guys) are down there.  They're working on moving back up to the New York City area, though, since their podcasts have really taken off in the last year or so.

And hey, your governor at least had the sense to veto the recent anti-gay legislation that your insane legislature passed him.  McCrory has been a tool (what an appropriate word) of the most extreme elements of my state's Republican party, ever since he took office.  I don't know how anyone was fooled by his promises to be a moderate governor.  He's signed every insane thing that our legislature has passed him, since he took office.

We don't have many of the sorts I was talking about, within the atheist community.  Almost everyone turns hard towards the liberal end of things, once they toss off their religious brainwashing, assuming that they weren't already very liberal as theists.  Considering that the only reason to support the social regressivism of the Republican party is some sort of conservative religion, once new atheists toss off that religion, the shift is almost inevitable.

I can't directly relate, since I haven't been a believer since I was old enough to think about religion with any kind of sophistication, around 8 or 9 years old.  The Catholic brainwashing never took hold.  I can sort of conceptualize the process, though.

Anyway, what I was saying about the anarcho-capitalist libertarians ... they're a tiny percentage, but they tend to be really noisy.  You also get a lot of assholish behavior from some of them, such as turning to the rest of the skeptical movement and declaring nonstop that if you're not an absolute libertarian, you aren't a real skeptic.

Never mind the fact that a scientific examination of societies indicates that a hybrid capitalist/socialist system (way the hell to the socialist side of things from where the US is right now) results in the healthiest society.  Skeptics are supposed to rely upon scientific examination of things, but adhering to a dogmatic position that absolute lassez-faire capitalism will make everything better, despite all evidence to the contrary, apparently makes them the only real skeptics.  *shrug*

John, and Joseph, I see we have two lively thinkers able and more than willing to take up the topic and run with it. You make my day. I anticipate a challenge to distinguish humor, sarcasm, and metaphor. Joseph catches me rather often. 

I am glad each of you are on this site.

As to the evolution of work, I agree that the coming generation finds no utility in learning skills, solving problems, or imagining solutions to challenges. Those little things they hold in their hands, pulling attention away from tasks that need doing, are beyond frustrating, they are intolerable.  

I decided to leave the young'ins to their electronic devices and am in a garden that is a food forest of the most delightful kind. I am happier here, more content, more useful and not frustrated. Even my worms work harder than the coming generation. 

I wonder if there is a way to harness the e-obsession of the younger generation, like the distributed SETI program I had running on my PC for a while at night.

I think we should use the online activity of the younger generation to generate electricity, but we'd come out ahead if we used ... other stroking activities as a source of kinetic energy.  :-P

I think I can cover for most of the shortfall, during peak demand.

Good.  I could use an extra burst of cold, from time to time.  Those industrial lubricants do have their limits.




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