Ever since my first father-in-law, a Connecticut resident and member of the American Stock Exchange, insisted to me that there could and would be infinitely sustained growth, that new tech would always make bonanzas of new jobs, etc. (this was in 1982), I have known that there was no thought being given to what to do under the current situation of automated manufacturing and a steadily diminishing NEED for a growth in physical infrastructure (though that is only under an oil-and-other-fossil-fuel powered, non-durable-consumer-goods-manufacturing paradigm).
However, the figures in the Club of Rome Report of 1970-- The Limits to Growth-- were my first clue, along with the theory of technological determinism-- if a technology can be innovated, it will be used-- first fully elaborated by Jacques Ellul in The Technological Society (1960). As Ellul presciently argued, the reason for automation is to approach maximum efficiency, by virtually eliminating the possibility of human error.
To reduce this to its end, greatest efficiency is reached with minimum human participation. Everyone should read Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano, and see what happens when there is no work, and then people are stigmatized for not being able to find work.
Of course, I also must come back and hammer on the "supply" side a moment. If people stop making babies willynilly, then there can hardly be as may people thrown out of work because no one needs what they're making any more.
The consumerist economy is driven-- prodded, titillated, blandished, misled, deceptively advertized, all in the behalf of behavioral manipulation to buy, buy, buy, more more more!-- by WANTS, not NEEDS. If you've got a few days, I will describe for you how to back down from centrally and automatically produced non-needs and begin to use locally/regionally produced NEEDS.
What needs to be done is for us to gradually-- but not very gradually!-- reconfigure the energy infrastructure of the US so as to move from non-renewable-energy dependence to renewable-energy independence and flexibility of distribution.
Now, there will have to be some aspects of communalism involved. The local municipality-- the village-- must become the paradigm for coping with human/social/energy needs. As some people who understand post-industrial technocracy might say, maybe early retirements are part of the solution.
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