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Different_Owl_9715 t1_j7b4ixr wrote

Technology continues to make workers more productive, but that means that you need fewer workers to make what you need. So if all goods were durable, lasting a long time and not breaking, and if people only bought stuff they actually needed, then pretty soon unemployment would skyrocket. Not sure if consumerism was specifically promoted as a jobs creation idea, or not, but it's been filling that purpose to an extent.

The idea that technology displaces workers hasn't exactly been in the shadows, but with AI, it is starting to impact more employment sectors.

Technology also enables a rapid expansion of the wealth gap, which generates discord in society.

The impacts of consumerism are just one aspect of the larger problem of technology displacing workers. It would be great if we could all start working just one or two days of the week and share all the wealth, but psychologically, humans don't do well when they are not working towards a worthwhile goal.


craeftsmith t1_j7bkxxv wrote

I agree that right now, surplus productivity must be destroyed. In 1984, surplus productivity was destroyed by endless war. Right now, it is destroyed by making less durable products. I don't know of any attempts to destroy the surplus by making workers less productive, eg, only work two days a week.

I think it would be better if we could circumvent the need to destroy excess productivity, but I have no idea how to do that.


Wild_Sun_1223 t1_j7e3ezc wrote

Sure, but why must all "working toward goals" be driven by another, imposed, need - especially one that's going to ruin the ecosystems we depend on so thoroughly? Is it worth the "psychological" benefit if the alternative is a whole planet turned to a toxic hellscape?