Surplus to Society

Source: Quillette
by John Lloyd

“We are at an inflection point, and significant change is likely. Even as COVID retreats, and the prestige that essential workers have accrued begins to fade with it, a larger threat to livelihoods comes into view — the threat of being replaced by technology. Admittedly, new technologies are always greeted with gloomy forecasts of mass redundancies, while technological advances often usher in higher productivity, greater wealth, and more (if different) jobs. The British industrial revolution of the early 19th century produced soaring national wealth that helped secure the ‘British Century’ in the mother country and in its vast empire. Nevertheless, mass redundancies did occur, along with mass immiseration.” (07/14/21)