I am not saying that technology inherently has any negative effects on the human condition (well put). I'm just saying that it does ultimately reduce the workforce needed.
Sure, as you state, it increases the required workload in the short term, but the ultimate result is definitely a reduction. Take any industry in isolation. Say, farming... what now takes 2 people used to take over a hundred. The difference lies in those external jobs you indirectly reference.
At some point, those jobs will be consolidated or automated out and the number will ultimately cut back. My point in taking this track is not, however, to argue that technology is bad because it harms the middle class, but quite the opposite.
The benefits from technological advancements actually helps. No one can argue that surgery, medical, air conditioning or the internet are not vast conveniences. It's just the apparent result that they are against (and often their being used for tyranny - different topic!). My stance on this is that the job reduction should be a great thing. Just think if we were able to ensure the profits were fairly shared among the workers as with the owners of all the businesses. Just think if those workers also held some accountable voting control in their companies. If, by some miracle, we returned to those days, the average career length might migrate from 40 years down to 20. Instead, it has gone significantly north.
With the increased wealth from an average job, people may leave early and allow the next generation to take their slot. This alone would turn the unemployment number negative, bringing out the voice of the worker in the fashion of the striking workers of the last century. When workers gain the upper hand again, there will be no stopping them from walking out on a bad or lousy paying job. That will be the day the small businesses take the power back from the bloated, stock-market financed mega-corporations we now live with.
Then, lastly, when those corporations and the banksters who swindle the profits out of them all go under, the people will regain power in government once again. That will be the day my work will be done.
Want DP delivered to your inbox daily? Subscribe here: