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?
Yes, and permaculture has a large part in that kind of farming. I follow Ben Falk's progress as he moves through the years of training new people to have the skills and vision of permaculture. I started watching his videos before he built his current studio and find his methods easy to put into place and maintain.
"Regenerative design, resiliency planning, permaculture design consulting, courses.
Transition training, Vermont relocation, sustainable homestead design. Farm design.
Permaculture consultant, food security, water systems planning, preparedness.
Root cellar, greenhouse design, secure home design, rural relocation.
Resilient homes & off-grid design. Vermont permaculture farm."
Small-scale (and artisanal) farming is actually on the increase in many areas...
But most small farmers don't earn enough from farming to support themselves and their families.
I have to put this out there, in all fairness to hard working pawns of the system everywhere. Another little addressed injustice is working 5 days for 2 down days (and often 6 for 1). A human being's life is worthy of a more reasonable ratio for their own pursuits and enrichment. Within this unjust expectation are wasted the best years of the human condition. Only to leave us in our poorest state for a supposed period of entertainment and accomplishing that list of things important to each of us. I get that it would be difficult but it is not impossible for one to devise a system where one borrows time while they are young to accomplish many of the things important to them whilst in an appropriate physical condition (under 30 or 35 for example). This time could be earned in advance for superior work ethics and performance or borrowed like an advance, of sorts, on one's career. Scoff at the concept as I know most will but this expectation of the sacrifice one is expected to make of the best years of their life is not logical nor is it in any way fair.
Especially in today's economy, young couples with children have to spend so much of their time earning money, they are unable to spend time with children that they deserve. It is easy to say to live within the earning power of one parent but that is complicated. The young families want to live at a higher standard of living that maybe you and I did. They want a nice car, often need two if the wife works outside the home. Appliances that make it possible for families to have both parents work but it does not create time for children. We can say, "Stop trying to live up to the Jones'". In recent years, easy credit made it possible to get things and pay later. This is a bad strategy at best but try to convince young couples of that.
I am glad I am not a parent of young children at this time. The economy is headed for some very rough times ahead and too many have not made preparations. They will learn the hard way, I am afraid.
My daughter and her boyfriend have formed an economic unit with two other long term bachelors. They are renting a property together that none could afford alone. They seem closer than typical roommates, and help each other through downturns. I'm interested to see how it works out for them.
...and I just wish there was a way of knowing how it was going to present itself (I refer to your all too politely mentioned "rough times"). I have been receiving doom and gloom data, scenario's, stories etc etc for years now and it's just made me wish 'someone' would just get on with it. I only say this 'knowing' it's inevitable given our circumstances and guessing that the longer it takes to happen, likely the worse it will manifest itself.
Yes, a financial collase is predicted by many well known analysts. The data is very clear, the debt is on a exponential spike that cannot be sustained. Some say the crash will come before or after this election. I am ready for it.
Isn't the crash we just lived through the Big One we've been dreading since the Seventies?
No, the crash we just lived through was not the Big One. It was the start of THE Big Depression.
Capitalism's design creates great wealth for the few and creates a poverty class, virtually ending the middle class.
Yes, but - for most of human history, most people were either asleep or working. Or maybe in church. The weekend and the holiday are fairly recent innovations.
But don't you think most people deserve more? And don't mistake that question as meaning some Utopian ideal, just more. Like sabbaticals for everyone (we got them at Intel and most people I know or meet don't) and more often than many offer them. It would be a start.
Sabbatical sounds to me like a luxury, like shopping at Whole Foods. When I had employees, we were lucky to get our vacations in. If I were interchangeable enough in a job to not be missed for that amount of time, I'd be worried about my job security.
OTOH, our colleagues in Germany disappear on holidays every August, and their economy seems strong enough. But I think it is dominated by large corporations, with "Turkish" guest workers to do the heavy lifting. So impact on small business may be less of an issue over there.
"Deserve" is another question. Maybe you get what you need.