Yes, we have this backwards
We have a long history of backing into the future. Humans tend to lead with their asses. Another way to look at this is if you select asses to lead, you are definitely not going into the future head first. While I have another article in the works on this whole future thing, the basic problem needs to be addressed now. This is not terribly difficult intellectually and perhaps that is the problem.
Isn’t the goal for people to be comfortable, secure, and happy? Now if you answered ‘no’ I strongly suggest that you go somewhere and ask for help. If you answered that with a ‘Yes, but . . .’ then you are part of the problem. Understand that I am not talking about a definition of happiness that goes beyond being fed, housed, healthy, educated, secure, and able to pursue happiness. The fact that even I am uncomfortable with that list is indicative. I know there are a whole lot of people who are very busy trying to think up ways to explain why people should be happy without any of those things as national commitments. And that doesn’t make any sense but . . .
Here’s the problem. I’m supposed to work really hard to earn my living and pay for everything that I and my family needs including education and healthcare, and if we let some very rich folks have their way, and I better have made all I need to live until I die because I’m screwed otherwise. So what if I’ve done that? Is it ok for me not to work? Is it ok for me to go on vacation? Of course. In fact I’m supposed to buy several big houses and lots of cars, and spend money on outrageous things so that all the other people are impressed and sick with jealousy because they want those things, too. That’t the goal, right?
If I come from a large and very wealthy family it’s ok if I have big houses, lots of cars, vacations, airplanes, and never work a day in my life, right? The worst that can be said of me is that I’ a spoiled rich kid but, hey, that’s ok, right? And I can get the best medical care and all the plastic surgery that I want, right?
What is our goal? Isn’t our goal to have that for everyone on this planet? Aren’t we committed to this opportunity for everyone? I thought the ideal was that this should not be limited by ethnicity, geographic location, family connection, race, gender or anything else.
Yet we have people who work to pass laws that people who are out of work and receiving some of our excess resources for their needs must be blocked from buying things they shouldn’t have. If they do not currently need to work are they entitled to the benefits of that? To put it a little more directly, does it matter whether the check you live on comes from the public accounts or a trust that was funded by your great grandfather? It is, after all, exactly the same thing and we better get this straight.
We will have more and more people who will not need to work. The symptom of this problem is the employment thing. How is it different if we succeed in creating an economy that can provide the basics for everyone without them having to do anything and people who do not have to do anything due to the efficiency and luck of a grandparent? The situations are identical and we had better get use to it.
Suddenly problems that we have become clearer. They are not problems but successes that we are not use to. Unemployment is not a problem but a goal. By eliminating scarcity we all succeed. The problem is how to allocate the resources so that everyone has the opportunity to work less and do more of what they want. We definitely are being stupid by forcing people to work and punishing them for it while allowing, even honoring, people who live on capital gains.
We will soon have a steady removal of jobs from the economy as they will be handled by AI. That is an incredible success never before achieved. We need to begin getting people away from work as a way to make a living now. The point is not how much people make but what they need and the fact that they are given the time to do what they want, for all of us.