In discussing the current techie paranoia about robots putting people out of work, I wrote that the hippies prove the opposite.
We may have some of that again. At its peak in 1998, 67% of eligible workers were in the labor force. That has dropped to the current 62%. Compared to the past, 3 million more people of working age 25 to 54 are not working. I think they are staying home smoking pot and playing computer games.
As I said in the same earlier blog: “Hippies were Americans. The truth is we used our free time to create a new world. We created home-schooling, comics, bakeries, organic farming, organic groceries, cheese, new sports (mountain bikes) and thousands (yes thousands) of new businesses including the home computer industry.”
Simply put: we live in an incredibly rich society and many people can chose not to work. But because the American spirit is restless and always imagining a new and better world, we Americans create new desires, new industries and we are always pushing commerce ahead of us.
Americans, left to their own devices will always create new demands and new businesses. That is very American and a driving source of global commerce.