When work disappears

When work disappears for all but the well-educated elite, what happens to society?

Salary Surfer predicts future pay after two and five years for an associate degree or certificate in various fields for prospective California community college students.

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  1. Nobody’s wringing their hands about Peak Oil any more so the new worry du jour must be Peak Employment.

    But is worrying about “when work disappears” really the end-point?

    Let’s just extrapolate out a few thousand years to when most of the human race has been consigned to the sunless world of the underground, there to toil for their overlords who enjoy an eden-like existence above ground. Being divided into the have-sun’s and the have-nones, genetic difference manifest themselves and humanity splits into two, distinct species….

    Or, we could defer to history’s lessons which make it pretty clear that expanding wealth creates more, and better, opportunities not fewer.

    But where’s the fun, and the opportunities for hysterical predictions, in that?

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      I don’t think we have to worry about turning into Morlocks and Eloi. And it is always a good idea to remember the sentiment (variously attributed), “Prediction is hard, especially about the future.”

      However, there is one thing I think we can say for sure. For the last several decades, it has been conventional wisdom that getting more education (defined as more years in a college prep and college curriculum) pretty much automatically gets you a better job with higher pay. Somehow those jobs will just be there. As a young person, you should be trying to do as well at school as possible, and go to as selective a college as possible.

      Many people no longer think this is a correct description of reality.

      • They’ve been led astray be the preponderance of evidence. Greater fools they.

        All other things being equal, more education is better then less but all other things never are equal so it’s becoming pretty clear that enough education is sufficient and too much is no good thing.

        But to get back to the post, the linked article has the same breathless quality as articles I’ve read in the past in which the writer discovers the power of compound interest and calculates, or has calculated for them, that if the rate of road-building keeps on going up the way it has in the past within two hundred years THE ENTIRE EARTH WILL BE PAVED OVER!!!!!! OMG!!!! LOL!!!! LSMFT!!!!

        The trend that’s being ignored in order to obey the journalistic dictum of “if it bleeds it leads” is that the state of the human race has never been as good as it is today and shows quite a bit of promise of being better, much better, in the future.

  2. Florida resident says:

    “John Derbyshire Asks: Do We Need More Smart Foreigners?”
    With invavering respect of the work done by Ms. Jacobs,
    Your F.r.