This is something I have often thought about. I have often thought about what do you do when people are no longer needed to do work because that work is automated? It seems like a bleak future, because you know that if companies do not need to hire people, they won’t, and wages will suffer.
I the face of this I think a good question to ask is how can people afford all these cheap consumer goods (made cheap by automation) if they have no jobs and therefore no money? It is possible automation will drive prices down because no-on can afford the consumer good?
I think there are two answers to this, for food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities. I think folks will find a way to obtain these (legal or no). I think for things like TV shows, music, and new phones and computers all the time I think the answer is harder. You can’t eat a TV show (and just talking with you neighbor is free). And despite how easy the latest gadget might make your life, is it really needed if you can barely eat?
The other thought I have is this, in the past, specialization has lead to great advancement of society. Back in the stone age, when farmers learned there craft so well the food practically grew itself (automation) this led to over production and it left time for people to tinker and learn new stuff, such metallurgy and architecture. This led to having people who did not produce the stuff needed to live, but instead produced the gadgets to make peoples lives easier and traded these for food (and at the same time made the food easier to grow). This ability for a society to specialize led to more advancements (a positive feedback loop) (those first blacksmiths got board of making only horseshoes and plow shards).
Fast-forward to today were farming is so easy that very few people need to do it. Not to mention there are very few blacksmiths in this world because making stuff out of metal is easy too. In fact today our society is extremely specialized. And this automating of truckers is going to make us even more specialized. What do we get to do when we are freed from our jobs indeed!