This article, "Disembodied robotic arm clambers round home", from
, is another great example of technology with the potential to put people out of work. In this case, it will reduce the need for homecare health workers.
I should point out that I am not a luddite. I welcome the new technology. My concern is how we adjust the socio-economic policy of our country to adapt to these changes. At one time, these advances were looked to as the road to an ideal world. One where people didn't have to do the mundane chores, and were left with free time to explore their own personal interests. However, under the conservative view currently popular with a large percentage of Americans, if you are not productively employed, you deserve no financial help nor health insurance from our government. This is the point which I think we must revisit, and in fact, develop some sort of policies that recognize a large population coexisting in a world where their labors are not 'needed'. The old utopian vision dealt with this by basically doing away with capitalism. Resources were deemed to become so plentiful, and their recovery so cheap and automated, that there was no need for an economic system as we currently have in place. We seem to be achieving one part of the utopian vision, but have no desire to free people from the corporate yoke. So, what are the alternatives?