Aye, good point and one I've often thought of when I see fear mongering articles about worker replacement, especially in agriculture. You see, I farm - that's how we earn our living. I have always farmed just myself and my family. No hired help. We get everything done ourselves. Tools have let us work more efficiently. The tools didn't put us out of work but rather they allowed us to do more. They helped us accomplish what wasn't possible.
First there was the digging stick. This let us poke holes in the ground saving us from wearing out our fingers and hands. Now we were able to plant more efficiently. Believe me this was a huge improvement in Vermont's hard rocky soil!
Then there was the rake. Yes, the simple rake is a wonderful invention that lets us broadcast large amounts of seed quickly and then get it in contact with the dirt so it grows better. (Later I perfected techniques of using storm, frost and mob but that's another story.)
Next we had shovels, hay knives, pitchforks, plows and eventually tractors. We now have two tractors that are able to do the combined pulling work of over 300 horses plus they have articulated arms (backhoe), forks, grabbers, bucket loader (super shovel), seeders and other handy attachments.
This has let us raise far more food yet none of us are out of work. Rather we are more productive. In fact, we were so productive the wife and I had time to fool around a bit and have another child so now our family was able to expand! That's a good thing - my genes say so since that's their main goal. All this tool use has been the opposite of the doom and gloomers predictions.
On top of that we have electric fences, 1" and 2" black water pipe that saves us from lugging buckets of water to the livestock and plants. Heck, we even have buckets so we didn't have to carry everything in our hands for that matter - try carrying 5 gallons of water in your bare hands! Very messy. At least it's messy half the year... (A Vermont Joke)
Then at the end of the last millennium along came this thing called the Internet and Web (invented long before most of you youngsters were born) that let us communicate with other farmers to share ideas. This led to an explosion of farming as more and more people learned how to do it.
All of these simple improvements in technology have been a wonderful boon. We weren't put out of work but rather we became more efficient. Our standard of living increased. We work fewer hours. We are healthier. Everyone's getting to eat more good food. Starvation has been dramatically reduced so that it is more of a political issue than anything else.
Bravo for advancing technology and shorter work weeks!
A real farmer