You have totally nailed it.
What the nerds (mostly of libertarian leanings, I notice) who frequent this site forget, is that there are lots of people out there are simply not that bright and haven't had access to the opportunities that they have; and that by structuring everything in society such that thick people can't make an honest living, then we are storing up massive trouble for ourselves. It's an arrogant and naive point of view to just assume that thick people are morally defective for being unemployed or on minimum wage, IMHO.
In the face of automation and cheap competition, we have a huge problem. On one hand, human civilization won't survive billions of people living in absolute squalor; we need economic development and productivity increases to get those societies up and beyond the demographic transition; OTOH, we don't want our own societies to turn into a dystopian hell, because the bottom 70% of society has become -- quite literally -- economically useless.
Closing the borders won't help; if you're not competing with an immigrant here, you're competing with them elsewhere (factor price equalization). And it's politically nearly impossible to consider radical options like a basic income when you see the absolute fucking travesty that America is so inept, that it can't even manage to give everyone a decent health plan, despite being the richest and most powerful nation on Earth.
I suppose we can conclude that productivity increases are required for the human race to survive the next 100 years; but niceties like meaningful employment are simply going to have to disappear. That in itself is a form of "poverty", albeit, not a material one.