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

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.

Good idea. Small generators linked to key strokes wired to the grid should generate a huge amount of electrical energy cheaply and reduce carbon emissions at the same time!

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

too much variation by age group. We'd never stabilize the grid and we'd run short during peak demand.

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

I am definitely impressed. I am going to turn up my air conditioner in your honor. Salute!

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

John, you wrote, "No one seems to want to discuss the downsides seriously."

I want and need a place where I can thrash out issues; I want to learn how others think. I like to influence others and be influenced by them. Many people on this site like debate; I think we are getting better at it. 

Someone else used a colon or semicolon properly!  Woo!

And yeah, while it often turns into something more akin to bickering than debate, it's still generally useful for hashing out ideas.  Even in Michael Pianko's occasional discussions about some aspect of politics or romantic relationships, in which it's like banging your head against a wall, at least we get practice in expressing ourselves to someone who's capable of learning, even if Michael never will.

As far as the topic goes, we have:

* public works projects

* more time off

* dirt pay for farmers unless they sell direct to localvore consumers at luxury prices

* no substitute for capital

Maybe I'm taking things too seriously, but that's not an optimistic outlook.

Others seem to think that Americans need to give up our hard won labor and environmental laws so we can compete on price with China etc.  That's even worse.

I've written before that more people need to expect to be self employed.  That reduces our dependence on global corporations for our own livelihoods.  

The game is so rigged, over regulated and over taxed now that it is very nearly impossible for new small business or self employed tradesmen to make a successful start in the US. Self employment sounds good until one does it for a few years. The frustration alone is lethal,, and the demands are pretty much 24/7 leaving no time for life outside work for most. With a global population of over 6 billion now and projected to hit 12 billion sometime around 2040 how feasible is it that most will independently come up with viable self employment?

@John -

The game is so rigged, over regulated and over taxed now that it is very nearly impossible for new small business or self employed tradesmen to make a successful start in the US. 

I don't know about that.  I've been self employed in software for 12 years. At first money was tight but I had time with the kids.  At peak I had 4 employees, and that did take a lot of time, but the kids were in high school by then and didn't need me as much.  It turned out my idea was too small, so I'm freelancing again and thinking about the next idea.  And doing a little social media on the side.  Further, how many guys do you see driving around in shabby trucks with a hundred tools in back and a magnetic sign on the side?  Maybe they're not getting rich, but they can afford gas.

> 12 billion ... how feasible is it that most will independently come up with viable self employment?

I'm not trying to answer that question.  I'm trying to figure out how people here (NC, USA) can turn things around.  I've seen smart people languish because they couldn't get a job.  They get depressed instead, and never try to make anything happen themselves.  

If I squint just right, I can see small business as guerilla warfare against global corps.

BTW taxes - you only pay taxes when you make money :)  I have a lot more trouble with insurance.

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