From the Zorro Project:- (I'm not posting a link, use google)
"Technical progress has enormously boosted productivity worldwide and is still increasing it at a rate of about 2% per year. Theoretically, we needed to work four days less every year for producing the same goods and earning the same income.
However it does not happen this way. Producers use productivity boosts for reducing costs - mostly wages and salaries. This is supposed to improve their profits, but it also has an adverse affect. Layoffs, unemployment, subsequent demand shortfall and economic crises eat a large part of the benefits from increased productivity.
The remaining excess profits are invested - however not in production of goods, but in financial assets. Hedge funds, investment banks, and trading firms circulate an immense money volume (up to seven trillion US$ per day) through the financial markets, this way creating a shadow economy that largely surpasses the market of real products and services. It consumes most rewards of technical progress, and gives back occasional market crashes and financial crises.
But it also offers the opportunity to redistribute some of the excess profit back from the rich to the poor. Providing many people with a small but regular trading income will take liquidity out of the financial markets and inject it back into the production cycle. This will boost demand worldwide and soften the world's economical problems."