We're so productive, but *what* are we producing and for *who*?
Great post. That's the million dollar question, right there. We certainly are propping up an outdated socio-economic system. But powerful people retain their power through this system. That's the obstacle I see. Otherwise we could all be working much less, have full employment and much more time for personal pursuits.
Your "outdated socio-economic system" is someone else's "reality". While we are rapidly eliminating jobs for people on the left side of whatever IQ test you wish to use, we still have to pay people for food and to build stuff. When we automate THOSE jobs, we'll STILL have to pay for the energy production, energy usage, and maintenance of said automation, energy production and energy distribution.
"Powerful people" aren't the problem. Energy and materials science is. Until energy production and transmission is zero cost, or close enough to it that it becomes an advertising expense, the leisure society isn't going to happen. I also don't believe that "Powerful people" are hiding the near zero cost energy production silver bullet. To speculate that it is so leads down the dark hole of conspiracy. Near zero cost energy not going to be in my lifetime, and probably not in my child's either. If the NIF (or any of its analogs) produce a self-sustaining fusion reaction, that will be tipping point. The materials science problem is nearly taken care of, but said materials (Iconel, among others) are too expensive and (again) energy intensive to produce in large quantities.
There is speculation that if we actually get to the zero cost for energy society, mankind will inadvertently self-exterminate. I can see this being a very real possibility.