Since the Luddites were first in vogue the number of hours has gone down, the retirement age began to mean something, and we could afford social welfare programs. Employment back then was miserable.
If you lost your job and did not get work again decades ago it was because you were not willing to do some types of work.
Now we have all this Ayn Rand crap being spouted all over the place and anyone who wants to see continued progress is being labeled a communist.
Most of the jobs that practically anyone could do now do not provide a living wage. You are expected to work 2+ jobs if your skills are not unique.
People who are older than 50 are particularly being damaged by this. Extending Social Security to older and older ages can not continue. It is causing many more valid disability claims.
Listen to the Tea Party people carefully. They want to return to a feudal society.
The problem will eventually solve itself with protests, strikes and perhaps violence. I hope it does not go that far, but I don't see much hope in the short term.