In times past, World Fairs had exhibits of the “World of the Future.” These exhibits would show how, through automation, people would have a much easier life. Machines would do the work for them. These exhibits were correct; machines now do the work instead of people. But rather than life being easier for humanity, it means that an easy life is only possible for those who haven’t yet been replaced by machines. For the others, even a hard life is allusive.
For those with money enough to invest in modern technological business, those who manage these businesses and those who have the knowledge, skills and aptitudes to participate in such endeavors, all may be rosy. However, there are those whose knowledge, skills and aptitudes will never be suitable for jobs in the technological world. They are not guilty of anything. Their abilities are just the ones that society is eliminating by automating. Should they all become janitors and night watchmen? Are there enough low skilled, though perhaps physically demanding, jobs for them. And will these jobs provide the income needed to allow these workers a reasonable standard of living.
My mother could drive anywhere, but she could never follow a map. She couldn’t visualize the lines on the map as roads that could be followed. In the 1980s we had a secretary who, for quite a while, couldn’t cope with her typing not being on a piece of paper. She was afraid that turning off her terminal would lose all her work. When I started working with software in 1962, I got a job with Union Carbide on the basis of my performance on a programmer’s aptitude test. In general, aptitude is a qualifier or disqualifier for many jobs, particularly technological ones.
We need jobs for the entirety of the human spectrum. In a unmanaged economy such as ours, there is no force working to provide valuable and meaningful work for those without technological aptitude.