Automation is a big topic, but let me just say this: It can be useful in spots to reduce labour, but it's not nearly as straightforward as proponents would have you believe. You need a bunch of highly productive people to make the highly productive machines and to make them work and keep working. The promise of fractal automation is a lie.
Everyone I know is less interested in video games than ever before and more disappointed with what's released, yet somehow they're making unimaginable amounts of money every year.
The Amish is a different beast, because they're completely outside of the system we've built. Certainly seems to be evidence that there is another way.
I expect big changes in the next couple generations. The whole world looks different when populations start to shrink, starting with a massive improvement in quality of life for the working class. That's why governments and corporations are so terrified of a shrinking population.
One interesting thing you hear from immigrants is that they're shocked at how expensive just living is. Many move back after realizing it isn't actually the land of milk and honey they've been promised.
My wife really felt a peer pressure not to be a stay at home wife and mother. That's what our culture is doing to women. She rejected society's demands because that's what she wanted, and I feel our family is happier for it. The thing is, not only did she have to reject society's pressure to go fail to become a CEO, but we also have to walk an economic tightrope to be able to attain the ability to have such a lifestyle.
The Millennials were actually a relative population boom, that's why the generation is called "Echo boom" by some sociologists. But then those kids grew up into situations where they didn't feel they could have kids of their own, and so there's serious problems
[sauce on "echo boom"] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-echo-boomers-01-10-2004/
The attached image demonstrates that the working class is getting a short end of the stick. Everyone is working harder and harder for less and less. In times where disparities like this add up, there's often bad times for everyone ahead. The French Revolution was one such time in history, for example.
We just finished having the longest economic recovery ever, and everyone everyone everyone went "we need to spend more money!" the whole time, despite under Keynes the right thing to do was to suck some of the air out of that recovery to save for tomorrow.
Reality is much more complicated. There's a reason why the workforce labour participation rate is at record lows, labour productivity is plummeting, fertility is below replacement, and so on and so forth.
No matter where the government money goes, it takes up real resources that would have otherwise gone elsewhere. If the government is hiring, then those people get soaked up doing non-productive work. If the government gives money to companies that don't necessarily have the capcity to use it, then either you get stock buybacks or you get companies that get huge and are filled with non-productive or anti-productive people because there's money for it and spending tends to expand to fill budgets. If the government gives money to regular people, then some of those people will decide they don't need to be part of the productive economy.
In all 3 cases, you have people sucking up productivity but not producing any. That might make the numbers go up, but it doesn't improve quality of living for people as a whole.
Now, government spending *can* help improve productivity, but it has to be extremely carefully calculated because government cannot create wealth, it can only pull wealth from one spot and injected it into another spot. Medical doctors often pull something out of one part of the body and inject it into another part of the body and it results in positive results, but if you just do it randomly you'll kill the patient dead.
Arguably, the effects of the main street bailout were better for the world because at least they were honest. The incredible malinvestment caused by 2008 has demolished many productive industries because not just money but talent has been siphoned off of other things to get lost in the black hole of tech. Hundreds of thousands of the generations smartest people working on chat apps and other useless crap. Trillions of dollars siphoned into useless crap instead of finding additional oil, gas and minerals. A total lack of investment in capital equipment such that key strategic manufacturing can't be done anymore without outsourcing it to our opponent in the next war.
At least the consumer side inflation is honest, it hits you in the face and you have to deal with it.
Well give it just a few days, and this guy DJ Sures has already got it executing code sent from a modern PC!