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Rice Professor Predicts Humans Out of Work In 30 Years 808

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the welcome-to-burger-hut dept.
kkleiner writes "Rice University professor Moshe Vardi has been evaluating technological progress in computer science and artificial intelligence and has recently concluded that robots will replace most, if not all, human labor by 2045, putting millions out of work. The issue is whether AI enables humans to do more or less. But perhaps the real question about technological unemployment of labor isn't 'How will people do nothing?' but 'What kind of work will they do instead?'"
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Rice Professor Predicts Humans Out of Work In 30 Years

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @05:56PM (#43745417)

    I can't wait to actually live! come on automation! we're ready for this!

    • by msauve (701917) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:06PM (#43745557)

      'What kind of work will they do instead?'

      I, for one, will be serving my robotic overlords.

      • by alonsoac (180192) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:20PM (#43745749) Homepage Journal

        I am sure most people are ready for their boss to be replaced by a robot. And not some genius robot, just a competent one would do.

    • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:16PM (#43745699)

      Ideally, this professor needs to get to building these robots asap.

      And then robots that maintain those robots...
      and then...
      robots that maintain those robot's robots.

      Hopefully the 3rd generator of robots will exhibit more logic than the professor at which point skynet will be born.

  • What? Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @05:57PM (#43745425)
    This was predicted back in the 1930s, too. How did that work out for them?
    • Re:What? Again? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by paulpach (798828) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:10PM (#43745593)

      This was predicted back in the 1930s, too. How did that work out for them?

      Exactly!

      People became more productive due to technology. Now you are able to produce enough for you and your family in 40 hours / week. Before this technology advancement, you needed to work 60-80 hours / week in order to produce enough.

      What will happen if we are super productive as that professor claims? Have you seen the Jetsons? that is pretty much what will happen: you would work 2 days a week for 5 hours / day. Your job would not be canning tuna, but making sure that the machine that does it gets maintenance. We would spend our time, doing art, music, entertainment, or any other leisure related activity/job.

      Consider this: we don't have to work to get air. All that it means, is that we can use the labor to produce something else. If we had to work to get air, we would simply switch some of the labor from their current occupation to air production, but we would not get the benefit from what they are currently doing.

      Jobs are not a scarce resource, labor is. There is always enough jobs for everyone that wants one and then some, even if it means being self employed. The only reason there is unemployment at all, is because of bad laws.

      • Re:What? Again? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:21PM (#43745769)

        I predict we'll get in a lot more trouble, but I for one like to believe I will get some time to do all the fun projects I have to put off now. Maybe things that now seem impractical or prohibitively expensive will get done. The egyptians showed us a large amount of cheap labor can produce wonders that still boggle the mind, what about large amounts of educate, dedicated labor?

      • Re:What? Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail.cCOBOLom minus language> on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:27PM (#43745829) Journal

        I'd look at the last 30-40 years for an example of what will happen: Less jobs, stagnant pay, more ludicrous wealth for a select few.

        • Re:What? Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:11PM (#43746431) Journal

          That's what you take from the last 30-40 years? We're much better off now than the mid-70s, when we had all those things plus gas lines!

          We're at the end of a long economic downturn, as happened in the 70s, and in the 30s, and so on. It's merely cyclic - like complaining in August "if this trend continues, the seas will boil!"

          Almost everyone used to farm - now very very few do that work, thanks to automation (and food is amazingly cheap by historical standards), and most people now have non-farm jobs. A great many people used to do manufacturing work - now very few do that, thanks to automation (and soon enough it will be none), and most people will have non-manufacturing jobs.

          We're just working our way up the hierarchy of needs. Once food was easy, everyone wanted a car, a washing machine, and a TV. Now cars, washing machines, and TVs are easy, and everyone wants entertainment and social interaction (and, yes, a few entertainers are ludicrously wealthy), as well as personal services and consulting.

          • Re:What? Again? (Score:4, Informative)

            by dryeo (100693) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @10:59PM (#43748121)

            Were you alive and working in the '70s? In many ways things were better. There was enough work and even a minimum wage job could support me better then now when I make 2.5X minimum wage. Some of the toys now might be better and the big thing is that debt is available which is why the average person is in debt to their eyeballs.

      • Re:What? Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:41PM (#43746039)

        Where are you getting your numbers? Among the white-collar class at least 40+ hours was fairly standard, and allowed a man to support his family comfortably. It's these days where 60+ hours is not uncommon, and typically both parents are working, so we're talking 100+ hours a week to support a family. Real wages have been falling for a long time. Yes all that technology has been making us more productive, but we're not earning correspondingly more, all the extra profit is accumulating to those few at the top of the heap, and they're not likely to start spreading the wealth around just because you ask nicely.

        You offer a nice view of how extensive automation *could* play out, but so far I see little evidence that it *will* play out that way. The way things are going it seems more likely that most people will simply become obsolete and be fighting for a place in the welfare line. Because quite frankly most people aren't cut out for high-tech maintenance jobs, and if robots can do all menial and service jobs faster and cheaper than a human, what exactly are Joe and Jane Sixpack supposed to do to earn a living?

        As for the reason this issue was brought up in the 30's, is that it was in fact imminent then. In the US at least it has in fact been *decades* since there's been any technological need for anyone to work more than a couple days a week to provide everyone with a comfortable lifestyle, the problem is that our economic model has yet to adapt to the new reality, if anything it's been going in the opposite direction. Current claims simply hilight the fact that things are likely to soon reach an critical level where they can't be ignored. Heck, factory robots are already becoming cheaper than Chinese laborers, and are beginning to take over service jobs as well.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:40PM (#43747275)

          The benefits accrue to those who have the capital. So increased automation has resulted in increased concentration of wealth (a fairly common cyclical behavior.. see gilded age, for example), because the value of the increased productivity over the last 30-40 years have paid the investor, not the laborer.

          It's all about "who owns the means of production", because that's who gets the benefits of the production. When you are a tenant farmer, the landowner makes the money. When you own the land, your asset becomes more valuable.

          When you are providing labor for a wage, you ARE in economic terms, no different than the machine that replaces you.

          So.. "to the barricades"

      • Re:What? Again? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:49PM (#43746153) Journal

        People became more productive due to technology. Now you are able to produce enough for you and your family in 40 hours / week. Before this technology advancement, you needed to work 60-80 hours / week in order to produce enough.

        That's what you'd think isn't it?
        The reality is somewhat different:
        http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/130305161550-chart-productivity-hourly-compensation.gif [turner.com]

        I'll leave it to the educated reader to deduce what happened to *40 years worth of difference between productivity and wages.
        *It's not labeled, but the lines diverge in 1973

      • Re:What? Again? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:35PM (#43746697)

        Labour at zero cost is a scarce resource, that doesn't preclude jobs above subsistence cost being scarce too ...

        Why would the bosses hand out Jetson's job to lots of different people working 5 hours for 2 days out of the week ... much more efficient to have someone there longer, less shift hand overs means less room for mistakes. Unless the law demands it, the jobs won't be spread out across the entire population.

        Labour can't pull itself up by the bootstraps either, since natural resources ARE scarce ... there is no more land to homestead.

    • I remember it in the 1960s. Robots (or machines) have certainly replaced some jobs, or changed them - we no longer have the office typing pool for instance. However for some jobs it is going to be hard to replace humans: hospital nurses, kindergarten teachers for instance.

    • If it's getting cheaper for companies to run robot factories in the US than to employ Chinese labourers, I get the feeling the idea is a lot closer to reality than in the 1930s. I find the idea that robots wil be able to replicate imagination or creativity utterly laughable though, in any field.

    • Re:What? Again? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:21PM (#43745765)

      in the US, in 1900 41% of the labour was involved in agriculture, in 1930 it was 21.5%. Today it's between 2 and 3%. Europe is something similar.

      And that's to say nothing of the 10's of millions of farm animals that worked in the same period and were replaced as well.

      To an extent you're right though, people are still needed to oversee the robots, to replace and repair robots etc. The modern car factory even though it may have thousands of workers is very different than a car factory of thousands of workers before. That doesn't mean an end to work, it just means an end to a lot more manual work.

      With opens then next possible revolution in industry. Customization. Rather than 10 different models of cars you can have 10 000 all for the same price and only a tiny marginal cost in deciding which one is best for you. That certainly happens now with cars, the marginal cost is just too high for a lot of it. But that will apply to a lot more goods likely, a lot more 'service' jobs that are are about deciding what you want the robots to do, and telling them how to do it, and fixing them when they fail.

    • Re:What? Again? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HeckRuler (1369601) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:36PM (#43745951)

      Uh, yeah, about that. [wikipedia.org] It pretty much happened. [wikipedia.org] Technology and machines took over the farm job and everyone moved to the cities. More so than they did in the past. You know, what with the improvements from crop rotation leading to people moving to cities and helping with the Renaissance.

      So... it's not that there are no farmers any more, just SIGNIFICANTLY LESS. And that's really what sociologists, historians, and people that make policy care about. Nothing ever works in absolutes in these fields, but they care what 80% of the masses do.

      Then in the 1960, the smart people at the time predicted that computers would take over the work and no-one would have to work. And lo and behold, the vast swath of meaningless paper pushers are gone, replaced with email, databases, and computers. And manufacturing took a massive hit. The plants are still there, but they don't employ nearly as many people.

      The "if not all" clause is complete bullshit and the professor should be ashamed for making it, but it's not unreasonable that the trend of technology automating away jobs will continue. Duh. And if you had been paying attention in history class this would have been obvious.

    • and as we all know, if somebody predicted something and it didn't happen right away, it will never ever ever happen. Ever.

      Point is: So the time frame was a bit off. It's still happening. The US is undergoing a manufacturing boom. Google it. There's tonnes of articles asking the question: where are all the manufacturing jobs. We all know the answer, but we're not allowed to say it. Because it inevitably leads to Socialism. To wealth redistribution. That's the white elephant we're all dancing around. The
  • No problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by backslashdot (95548) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @05:58PM (#43745439)

    The economy functions fine with workers and companies right? Why wouldn't it function with robotic workers and companies?

    1. People can own shares in companies that own robots. Those shares will pay dividends (or increase in value etc).

    2. The government can tax the profits of the robot run factories. These profits can provide a dividend check to citizens who would hopefully invest wisely in the robot companies.

    Rather than work, people's time will be spent trying to figure out which robot companies perform well. You can use a computer program to do it .. which will let you decide if you want to be a risky investor etc. If you want to design robots for extra income, you can do that too.

    I didn't say products should be free. People will have to pay for the manufactured goods. Think of it this way -- it's the same as working. Instead of you physically going to work and getting a paycheck. Your robot does it for you.
    People who make bad investment choices will be worse off than those who make wiser choices. Hopefully nobody will starve, because government will have enough tax revenue for a welfare scheme that provides the bare essentials.

    • Also, instead of paying $200,000 for a college education, you can get the education 100% free online (udacity, khan academy etc) and instead buy shares in a robot-using company. People will be able to pursue things they are interested in, they will just have a much greater safety net and more freedom to try out ideas.

      Of course this is the utopian vision, but at least you must concede that the reality will not be a dystopia either.

    • Re:No problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Thruen (753567) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:34PM (#43745935)

      1. People can own shares in companies that own robots. Those shares will pay dividends (or increase in value etc).

      People can own shares in Google, too. It doesn't mean people just have shares in Google, they still need to earn money to buy them.

      2. The government can tax the profits of the robot run factories. These profits can provide a dividend check to citizens who would hopefully invest wisely in the robot companies.

      Ah, I see, you expect people of the world to endorse socialism. I'm not sure what sorcery you intend to use to force this, or how you think we can successfully transition to such a system, but I'm interested to hear it. Keep in mind, human nature has always been the big problem with things like socialism; in general, people don't want to be equal, they want more, and they certainly don't want to hand what they've earned to their neighbor who didn't earn it.

      • Well no, I don't expect people to endorse socialism. Socialism is when government owns the factories and controls the industry. Instead, I am are talking about taxation and welfare. Not socialism. It's better than fascism (forcing people to hire humans instead of purchase robots) suggested by the people who are anti robots.

        • Re:No problem (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Thruen (753567) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:52PM (#43746203)
          Actually, I think you need to look up the definition of socialism. The government owning the factories is a part of one possible implementation, but what you describe is pretty much the definition of socialism. While you're at it, you should look up fascism, too. Forcing people to hire humans could be done under a fascist government, but that's not all. As it is, we live in a republic that people call a democracy, and still there are equal opportunity employment laws that often do result in being forced to hire one person over another not based on merit but on characteristics that shouldn't even be considered in the hiring process. I'm not giving an opinion one way or the other on those laws, I'm just pointing out that you don't seem to understand what you're saying.
    • Re:No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:37PM (#43745977) Homepage Journal

      The economy functions fine with workers and companies right? Why wouldn't it function with robotic workers and companies?

      Uh... because robots don't buy stuff?

  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @05:58PM (#43745441) Journal

    'What kind of work will they do instead?'

    Well, that's a tricky one: If the worker-robots advance faster than the killer robots, it seems likely that the unemployed humans will find exciting new opportunities in either the 'rioting jobless masses' sector or the 'rentacops keeping the rioting jobless masses in their place' sector.

    If the killer robots advance as fast or faster than the worker-robots, I predict a surge of new applicants in the organic fertilizer sector.

    • I don't know if this is insightful or funny. Actually, I was afraid to choose.

    • by Hrdina (781504)
      Soylent Corporation is always hiring.
  • by transporter_ii (986545) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:01PM (#43745495) Homepage

    One fork in the eye of the Uber Rich is that the process is somewhat self-correcting. Nobody will have money to buy their stuff if nobody has jobs, or there are some jobs but they pay squat.

  • Robo-communism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Each robot works according to its capacity, and the people receive according to their needs. This should be an improvement, since we don't need to work. Technology is suppose to decrease the amount you need to work by increasing efficiency.

    We really need to progress toward an economic system where thats what happens, instead of what we are heading for: a concentration of wealth in a smaller and smaller number of individuals (he who owns the most robots, can build the most robot factories etc). The simple fa

  • Cut full time to 25-30 hours a week and have forced overtime pay (no more of this salary BS) and (no comp time only) or maybe have a high level of pay where any on makeing over that on salary does not get overtime maybe starting it 100K+ adjusted for inflation.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:04PM (#43745531)

    The question is not how will people "do nothing", the question is how will people get paid for "doing nothing".

    There will be a small percentage of people who do actual physical work. There will be a small percentage of people who do mental work. Those people will be paid well.

    What about the rest? McDonalds/Starbucks will be fully robotic.

  • Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:05PM (#43745535)

    I've heard that before. These new fangled PC's in everyone's home will make datacenters a thing of the past! Cloud computing will make home computers a thing of the past! New 4GL languages will make developers a thing of the past! New spreadsheets will make business software developers a thing of the past! New point-and-click GUI's will make web developers a thing of the past!

    So far, things just seem to be getting more and more complicated, requiring more and more people to run them.

    • Yes, they are. And it's happening too fast, and people are turning into Missouri mules because of it, the harder progress tries to pull them ahead, the harder they dig their heels in and pull backwards. You see it every day, and it's only getting worse. We haven't even reached the crisis point with it yet, and when it happens it's not going to be pretty.
  • Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.
  • taking into consideration the debt crisis that spreads in the western countries and its consequences (unemployment etc), the population will be out of work long before 2045. So no need to worry about those schemy robots taking our jobs!
  • by MindPrison (864299) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:09PM (#43745589) Journal
    He is right when it comes to actual physical hard labor.

    He is wrong when it comes to us being out of work, the biggest (and hardest challenge of all times) will be in entertainment. The lazier we become, the more entertainment we need, online series, drawings, animations, films, stories, interactive experiences etc. will be the biggest thing on earth.

    We will NEVER be out of work. We'll just work DIFFERENTLY than what we do now.
  • by srobert (4099) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:12PM (#43745633)

    An economy so structured, with so little work for humans to do, will be a disaster if humanity continues insisting that there's an intrinsic morality in the "work ethic". For centuries we've tried to convince people that if they didn't work harder, they weren't morally entitled to a share of the aggregate sum of all that was produced through human labor. With almost nothing left that requires human labor, we'll be in bad shape if we don't replace the work ethic with entitlement ethic. (That will no doubt ruffle some conservative sensibilities). Want to see how the economy will have to work? Think "Star Trek Replicators"; that's why the Federation doesn't use money anymore in the 24th century.

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:14PM (#43745661)

    Right now, people have jobs; they perform work in exchange for goods, services, and more often some type of currency.
    In turn, currency derives it's value increasingly not from the rarity of a linked specie, but from perceived worth. It's not invalid to say that the value of money is determined by how much it's worth - in terms of goods or services - thus you have things like A big mac index [wikipedia.org].

    Here's the interesting thought in all this; what happens when the value of work effectively becomes zero? What happens on the way, when 20, 50, 80 percent unemployment is reached but society suffers no scarcity of services or goods thanks to robotic workers? When the effective value of work and the linked value of money become near zero not through hyperinflation, but out of lack of need? What happens when one country achieves that before others, especially since they're the likely candidate for top world power?

    Personally, I think that we'll come up with another arbitrarily determined valuation system to peg individual worth to, like reputation or creative accomplishments; the desire to compare and compete and to have a discrete scale to measure is too ingrained into us to disappear just because the index we used is meaningless. I think that a vacation lifestyle would get boring after a few months, much less a lifetime, but hey, maybe I'm wrong.

    What do you folks think?

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      This isn't actually a new problem. Many tropical societies have been existing for millenia in environments where scarcity doesn't really exist, it's simply that the current dominant cultures pretty much all originated in areas where you had to work to survive rather than just wandering around eating whenever you got hungry and dodging the jaguars and numerous venemous snakes and bugs. Such societies tend to develop gift economies which do in fact operate something like you describe - reputation is the "cu

  • by sehlat (180760) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:15PM (#43745679)

    I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlords.

  • People need a sense of purpose or Bad Things will happen. Some will turn to violence and crime; some more 'enabled' types will start wars.

    Of course I don't believe any of this crap in the first place; robots are not going to replace the majority of human labor, not at least in the next 30 years.
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:30PM (#43745863)
    As I now am unemployed (but a student at least), should I be worried (like I sometimes am) that I don't have a job, or think more often that the world is just so automated that it's not unethical that we all are not actively participating in the work pool?
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:32PM (#43745891) Homepage

    There's a list of things humans can do. There's a list of things machines can do. The second list is growing steadily. The first list, not so much. As machines check off more of the items on the list of human capabilities, the need for human workers decreases. As new jobs appear, more of them will be done by machines.

    The current "jobless recovery" demonstrates this. US production is back up. The stock market is back up. The number of people working is not back up. Hiring large numbers of people is so last-cen. Even Foxconn in Shenzhen is converting to robots.

    We don't need "the singularity" for this. Just routine progress. Computers are so cheap now that they're cheaper than even low-wage people.

    Here's a vision of the future. Watch this Kiva Robotics [youtube.com] system fill orders. Those robots already fill about 15% of on-line orders in the US (Gap, Staples, Office.com, Walgreens, drugstore.com, pets.com, etc). Amazon bought Kiva recently. Those big new warehouses Amazon is building for local distribution won't have many employees. They'll kill off even more of retail.

    We may not like the society we get from this, but that's where capitalism is taking us.

    Machines should work. People should think.

  • Wrong question. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:32PM (#43745893)

    The question that actually needs to be asked is, will the people who own the robots let the rest of us have any food?

  • by Dave Emami (237460) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:32PM (#43745899) Homepage

    Back the late 1800s, agricultural work required about 3/4 of the US's population. Now it's about 3%. If, back then, you'd asked "what would happen if 96% of the farming jobs vanished?", you'd probably have gotten predictions of doom similar to this one. But what actually happened was that those people (or their descendants, rather, since this change didn't happen overnight) got employed doing other things, most of which people in the late 1800s couldn't have anticipated. The same thing will happen here. Human intelligence, creativity, and flexibility are valuable, and valuable stuff tends not to sit idle. People figure out something to do with it. There are temporary displacements and adjustments, but overall, automation doesn't idle people, it frees them up to do new things.

    Note that I'm not talking about a situation where the machines are actually creatively intelligent, in contrast with something like Deep Blue being programmed ahead of time to do a highly-specific task. If we get to that point, all bets are off, but then we're venturing into singularity territory at that point, anyway.

  • by bdwoolman (561635) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:43PM (#43746765) Homepage

    So what did the aristocracy do in those days? Many were wasters and drunks, although they knew the bankruptcy and shortness of such a life. They gambled. They intrigued. They fought. They screwed around. They did lots of hunting. Some worked in areas of interest. Some were genuinely religious. Some were good managers and organized their large farms. Some used their wealth to pursue science or art. Or patronize it. But they occupied themselves and tried not to overdo it. (Except the French who quite lost their heads.)

    One does not see a classless world evolving in the coming robot age.. We are great apes wired to have status. We will find a way to stratify ourselves. The self starters and the gifted will make music and art -- cannot help themselves. Driven to it. . And some will gain status from it as they always have. Scientists, too, will plod on, with much help from smart machines. Einstein said computers were not very interesting because they did not ask questions. I suspect that no matter how smart machines get they probably won't ask meaningful ones. So we will need scientists -- if only to ask questions. But we may have to see about that. A lot of people, of course, will be happy to consume. To watch sports... and porn... and reality TV (Now there is an oxymoron for the morons.) And reality porn.

    So how will society look? The holders of capital will do as they do now. Organize the disposition of production and consumption and distribution. They will decide where to build shopping centers and robot factories. So, at the top, where they are now and have been,we will have the wealthy. They will do what they have always done. Their 'work' will not change. They will own the bots. The priestly class of yore will be replaced by the computerists and roboticists. The machine tenders. Not everyone can do this, but it will be a far more widely spread ability. It is already happening. Even flacks and ad men are supposed to code. Feh! These cyber guys guys will have real work, lots of status, money and awesome sex appeal. Nerds are clearly enjoying more status than ever. Ten years ago not many girls would look at a guy wearing a computer on his head (there were a few) except to laugh.. Now he's the bad ass with the Google Glass on the red carpet. Anyway, I digress. Then, next level down, come the artists and other creative types. Next level down from that? There will be lots and lots of makers. And people will just make plastic choking hazards to trade and or sell. There will be a lot more yoga instructors and massage artists. Craft beer will be more popular in the future. MUCH more popular.

    I think back to Ancient Rome where there were lots of slaves to do the farming and the drudgery. Thousands upon thousands of citizens were on the dole. Bloody sports were really popular. Then, at the bottom, as always there will be a percentage of people simply content to consume the food, clothes, music, and entertainment the machines and other people make while contributing little. They will get some support from the state, which should do its level best to educate and elevate them as well as placate them. In other words things won't change much.

    "Now. Bite my shiny metal ass."

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