The title of the same report-back from Davis by James Quinn (see my penultimate post) was “Davos: four days that failed to save the world.” The reason why it was a failure this years is that it chose Automation as its theme. At the end of the five days, as their own summary of the conference, the Davis people produced a rambling 2,000 essay on automation. They have no answers at all as to what will happene when automation will take care of most of the jobs still being carried out by people.
Pathetically it ends with the following: “Will companies, individual governments and society at large (including educational systems and social safety nets) be able to adapt quickly enough to this new paradigm and create an environment in which all can contribute? For this to happen, all parties will need to collaborate in order to invent a systemic, social and sustainable model for a better future of work.”
There’s little chance of such piety, I’m afraid, giveen our bellicose nature. The answer, however, is quite simple. As the bulk of the populations of advanced nation-states continue to proceed further down a lower-skill, lower-paid future they can’t afford to replenish themselves with enough children, They’ll die out over three or four generations.
The highly educated elite will who devise, program and own the automated machinery that supplies all the food, manufactured goods and basic infrastructure services will supply themselves for what they want as well as being able to afford to have a sufficient number of children to replenish their numbers.