In praise of hipsters (with requisite snark)

Requisite snark
Requisite snark

Bots and robots are already replacing jobs. This trend will accelerate, affecting tech workers and white-collar jobs as well as blue-collar. So, with less money and more time, people will learn to do on their own, buying local, growing their own food, maybe swapping food for goods, etc. Alternate and underground economies will flourish.

The hipsters are setting a good example of how to be happy and productive when you have little money and much time. Your interesting hobbies may be your future wealth.

Here’s the scenario:

  1. Increasing automation drives down wages and employment
  2. Workers are forced to consume less on less income and/or work time
  3. They begin to spend more time on “self supply” of goods and services, to save money and increase their satisfaction as consumers (quality) and producers (useful effort)
  4. Some of these people see the advantage of “going back to the land” where the rent is lower (or non-existent), food production is easier, neighbors are available for company and exchange, and so on.
  5. The monetary economy shrinks (and taxes on income and spending fall), thereby reinforcing the loop from #1

Where does this cycle end? I’d guess at a new “equilibrium” where bots do lots of the routine work and people do all the “craft” work, in economies that are sometimes complements and sometimes substitutes.

This assumes things remain peaceful and hipsters don’t get overtly political, wondering why their expensive educations were for naught and jobs are vanishing.

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