The work challenge is not a problem of scarcity but a spoil of riches.
Rebooting Work
douglas rushkoff
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Douglas Rushkoff writes of a world that is devoid of any reference to actual reality. Instead he refers to some imagined Rushkoff reality.

In the reality I see, there is no “spoil of riches”. What is actually happening is that a small number of people reap the benefits of automation and globalization. Many more people have their prospects for earning a decent income diminished. One of the drivers of increasing income inequality is automation and globalization.

In the reality I see, the post capitalist system where work is not needed to survive, has not arrived. Nor does it appear to be close.

What may appear instead is a dystopian world where something like 20% of the labor force has jobs that pay well. Many of these jobs will be service jobs like plumbing where automation is not practical (yet). These service jobs will serve those with the education, talent and creativity to prosper in the automated economy.

Outside of the thin class of knowledge workers and skilled trades, humans may become cheap. This has already happened in countries like Mexico or Pakistan. People on the lower end of the economic spectrum will only find employment in areas where it is cheaper to use inexpensive labor than to automate. As the cost of automation gets lower, these jobs will be threatened as well.

If Mexico is any example, people who are desperate to survive become fodder for criminal organizations. In this dystopian world those with money may live in gated compounds with private, armed, security.

I hope that this dark world that I have portrayed does not come to pass. I hope that another answer is found. But sadly the dystopian world that I have outlined is much closer to reality than the Rushkoff world of techno-fantasy.

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