We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As early as 1995, author Jeremy Rifkin suggested that automation would eliminate work for most and create the basis for a society where “large numbers of people could be liberated from long hours in the formal marketplace.” This would allow them to focus on “leisure activities,” a kind of technological utopia for the masses.
..It’s a compelling vision in some ways, but right now it looks dystopic...
I dunno.....it seems to me this writer is simply visualizing what might happen rather taking the trouble to look at what's actually happening. The only thing I notice that COVID public policy seems to have done is shutter people inside with mandates and try to stifle their urge to interact and move about freely within the economy - and then, to perpetuate that to varying degrees across the globe. Nobody seems to be troubling themselves with defensible comparisons about the efficacy of these ideas, or their net cost to the human experience, except in partisan political theater.
People have been complaining about being replaced by automation and technology advances for longer than I've been around, and so far it looks like opportunity is still mostly outstripping the supply of humans, at least those with something to offer. My chief concern is that one side effect of the shutdowns is to teach people that they can sit at home and collect pretty good money, the equivalent of a mid-low wage job, and that is the most perverse and damaging incentive I've ever seen our government advance. I can see how it might well have stripped any notions of self-worth from millions of individuals that have never been properly educated in the value of their character and ability, because they've never been meaningfully challenged in a way they could respond to.
...they can sit at home and collect pretty good money, the equivalent of a mid-low wage job...
Yeah, one with no upward mobility, no money for even the smallest luxuries, no legacy for the kids, pretty much no attractive future. We're creating a generation of mascotas, a bunch of brokeass no-hope losers.
We are likely facing a disastrous market crash accompanied by a burst housing bubble and runaway inflation. The fed will have to raise interest rates in spite of the terrible side effects. The higher rates will increase your mortgage payments dramatically (the power of compound interest). The middle class will collapse and the government will go broke. The loony left politicians will try to save welfare but it will collapse as well. slowly at first and then all at once. But that's only if China and Russia don't start WW III with us first. And why not, we have been emasculating our military, our leader is a fool and our priorities are 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Have you planned for the future? There will be a test.