Automation and Technology Continue to Increase Living Standards

The advanced OECD economies face the prospect of aging populations and under-funded retirement programs, coupled with new threats to national security, demands for better healthcare, and concerns about maintaining a healthy environment. As demonstrated in Ride the Wave by Fred Rogers and Richard Lalich, solutions to all these problems, as well as additional crises afflicting the planet’s other six billion people, either already exist or are likely to emerge from the R&D pipeline over the next twenty years. However, just as in every prior techno-economic revolution, workers fear the possible disruptions that inevitably come with deploying revolutionary new technologies and business models. Yet stasis is not an option; we’ll never be able solve our problems and provide increasing living standards for those workers without embracing automation. What lies ahead? What can we learn from the past? Why should we ignore claims that “it’s different this time?” We’ll provide the answers.

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