There has been much buzz about technology erasing millions of jobs. “Atlantic Magazine” explored what a world without jobs might be: a world where people pursue their passions, craftsman and artists trade skills and accomplish lots of jobs that need to be done. The need to live in Cities would diminish. Statistically, Americans would have the most difficult time adjusting. Annual hours worked in Germany and the Netherlands fell 40% from 1950 – 2012, but only 10% in the US. Richer, college educated Americans are working more than they did 30 years ago. UC Berkeley research shows that it is harder to recover from a long bout of joblessness than from losing a loved one or suffering a life altering injury. The writers acknowledge most people need to work on things to feel a lasting sense of purpose, but posed the ultimate question, would millions of people do meaningful work for barter instead of formal wages?
July 1, 2015