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In 1930 John Maynard Keynes, a member economist of the Bloomsbury Group wrote Economic prospects for our grandchildren.

In this essay, which many consider visionary, a future prediction is hypothesized, taking into account technological development.

Some passages are in my opinion very interesting:

We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come — namely, technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.

And how we hear about it …

Let’s take cars for example: how many are produced in your opinion?
Now any model is equipped with technology.
How much have prices risen compared to an average salary?
I speak for the province: now there is a range of models that cost like a flat.

Indeed, to be honest, very often the price is not even mentioned anymore: car manufacturers advertise offers directly on the basis of a monthly fee.
It is no coincidence that long-term rental forms are proliferating on the market: Why Buy, Free2move Lease, Simply with you, are just some examples.

How do you consider this?

In many other cases, however, the products have less and less value.

Let’s continue with Keynes’s essay:
…But this is only a temporary phase of maladjustment. All this means in the long run that mankind is solving its economic problem.

I draw the conclusion that, assuming no important wars and no important increase in population, the economic problem may be solved, or be at least within sight of solution, within a hundred years.

We shall do more things for ourselves than is usual with the rich to-day, only too glad to have small duties and tasks and routines. But beyond this, we shall endeavour to spread the bread thin on the butter — to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week may put off the problem for a great while. For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy the old Adam in most of us!

“Within a century,” Keyes predicted, to reach the 100-year deadline there are still 9, apparently few, even if we are experiencing on our skin how everything can change more quickly than we could imagine.

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