So I see that dear old Slashdot is in a tizzy about a new book from a couple of guys from MIT. The thesis? Just what I've been saying for years now. Most of our jobs are going away forever. Getting replaced by robots. It looks like we're now about two more years away from this becoming cocktail party conventional wisdom. And when that happens maybe, just maybe, people will be willing to admit that there is NO FUCKING WAY TO GET "FULL" EMPLOYMENT IN A FREE MARKET MODERN TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY.
A few years back I laid this out, category by category, for literally every kind of job that there is, using the federal government's own classification system. And the bottom line is that there is no magic new place to look where "replacement" jobs will fill in for those that are gone.
Going along with this is the basic truth, yes, TRUTH, that most of our wealth is a legacy of the innovation and infrastructure that we have inherited from previous generations. Wealth that has largely been a result of the actions and expenditure of government and wealth that has NOT tidily ended up in the hands of the innovators or those who have worked hardest.
There is no magic parent in the sky making sure that the "good" boys and girls end up with a "fair" proportion of the riches. Ask any childcare center worker or first responder now dying from having worked at the WTC site or any crippled combat vet from recent years if you somehow need proof of this.
Funny how we have all these stories that people now tell about the vast immorality of people like Thomas Edison but each case is somehow "just an exception" to the supposed general rule that if somebody is wealthy then surely they've earned it. You know, like the senior exectives at Goldman, Sachs. Though the cab driver who puts in longer days for a microscopic comparative return evidently somehow doesn't undermine that thesis.
And once that has been faced, either people just come out and admit that they're cool with having just about everybody starving and desperate forever while a small minority bask in the incomprehensible riches that they have NOT uniquely earned or they start to concede that a decent and sane society involves EVERYBODY getting some share of that wealth, just for being alive. For life. With no preconditions or limitations. Because, you see, this isn't some form of charity. This is distribution of goods to somebody who inherited them. To "just give" a living wage worth of money and goods to every citizen is not generosity. It's justice.