Consider the following equation.
Employment = (Population+Population Growth)-Number of Jobs
Ok so far so good. Right now population is growing but the number of jobs isn’t because of the poor economy. Therefore employment is pretty stagnant but there is another factor in the equation I didn’t list. Technology is replacing human workers at an ever increasing pace. Let’s revise that equation.
Employment = (Population+Population Growth)-(Number of Jobs-Automated Jobs)
That will start to look pretty grim really fast. Even so I think there is some equilibrium built into the system. If people aren’t employed, then they don’t have money, therefore they can’t buy goods, therefore there isn’t a market, therefore you don’t need workers, robotic or otherwise.
There are two possible scenarios I see here.
1. The vast majority of people live in poverty because they have no creative skills. Robots have taken all non creative jobs. Most people don’t care though because the live in a virtual reality world of entertainment and games.
2. People can use robots as work multipliers. Most people are employed but only need to work a handful of hours a week to give direction and creativity to their computer and robots.
I need to ponder this more but one thing is clear: If you aren’t creative in the upcoming decades, you are in danger of being replaced by a machine.