I think there is a significant turning point that is arriving and it's NOT the singularity that Kurzweil imagined with artificial intelligence. It's computers and robots that are "good enough" to replace most human jobs. There are still going to be jobs for the people who fix the robots, but we are well on our path to diminishing jobs in return for progress in technology. The shovel-ready jobs are going to go away. Checkout lines, fast food, security, transportation -- there are many fields where an automated "drone like" device would be good enough. It frees up labor to do other tasks; like fill out unemployment forms.
For some time, many jobs have really depended on "make work." Regulation is the #1 provider for jobs. How many jobs would we lose if Taxes became merely a percent of income above 1 million and the rest tariffs that only importers paid? Overnight, accountants, clerks and ancillary jobs related to tax would disappear. There'd still be a few jobs in the rarefied world of "really smart" to allow companies to skir their tax burdens.
Most of us are not paid on merit -- and never have been. Most income is related to where you stand in the bottleneck of money -- not your value to society, the sweat of your brow, or your intelligence (though nominally, you can truly fail in some tasks without it). Income is a policy and society decision -- and our current public awareness, political landscape and "free market" driven oligarchy are not even on the same page with what to do.
Our current system of "growth" is unsustainable -- as is our Free Market. A lot of people have not understood it and some people will never allow themselves to come to terms with that because they've been weened on the "miracle of the invisible hand" -- which only existed because of Socialist reforms and wealth transfer to the poor in the first place.
What do we do when 80 to 90% are unemployed and they still live in a "work or die" country? It seems to me that our laws are ready to treat everyone as a bad guy and crush them. There is no middle ground between public assistance and starve to death. So do people opt out or do the fight? That's the future I worry about and I see no clear resolution.
The same inequities and bad planning that are killing the planet are the same ones that cause most of the misery for most people. I'm amazed that in a short time "most" people on Slashdot have moved from a Libertarian mindset to a Progressive -- likely because the goldmine days of Programming have dried up and now they can't feel like the "world is my oyster" wunderkind. They've got limits, responsibilities and problems they cannot surmount on their own. So I don't think it's impossible that people take the next logical step.
The "Singularity" that I see is that point at which the world has to change or devolve into Chaos. The age of the Free Market is coming to a close. The age of un-managed resources is coming to a close. And some people aren't going to like not having their toys. There are two choices; quickly remove all the population that is unnecessary or share stuff and people work if they've got something of value to offer -- like in Star Trek.
I'm already annoyed at having to explain these simple and obvious realities but that's life.