What Does the Future Look Like?

Interesting discussion over on Reddit: Imagine a robot that is a complete replacement for the average American worker. What economic system develops when workers are obsolete?

From some of the comments, here’s the idea that economy changes, and we’ll change with it.

In the year 1900, 93 out of every 100 Americans had to be a farmer in order to supply the amount of food the country needed. Today, that number is 3 out of every 100. Yet when all those jobs disappeared, people found new ones, and workforce participation percentages have remained relatively steady - and that’s even with the vast increase in population!


Then the world will plunge again into another Industrial Revolution (essentially, it is one). There will be job layoffs and productivity will grow too; there will be a shift from mundane jobs into a higher level skill activity.

We’ll all have so much:

[…] inevitably, we will enter an age of hyper abundance (energy, food, etc ) around the world where no one has to work to eat or pay the electric bill, etc. Our entire social paradigm will change. We will have to restructure everything.

Or the idea that the value-add will change – the things we’re willing to pay for won’t be the same:

[…] things like working at McDonalds will have lower value since it can be automated. Things like being a comedian will be HUGE in terms of financial support of the self because that is something that cannot be automated. Basically, the shift will be towards intellectualism and away from labor.

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