This humorous essay at Cracked.com by David Wong has a lot of truth in it about the change we are now seeing in how the economy functions, as so many goods and services are produced using automation:
And if someday we do perfect cold-fusion reactors or nanotech manufacturing and everyone has 100 GB/second Wi-Fi connections downloading data into a computerized contact lens, the [marketers] will be the guardians of the Old Way, convincing you that you shouldn’t use those shoes that your replicator spits out for three cents a pair. You need to buy theirshoes, for $80. Because they’re handmade.
Maybe they’ll build the concept of “paying just to be paying” into a new morality. Or a new religion — one based entirely around [Forced ARTificial Scarcity].
Worth reading, and funny. —Chris Peterson