There is good reason to believe that we are heading towards post-scarcity, a new economy in which, basically, anybody can have anything they want. We’ll all be rich:
Post-scarcity is a theoretical alternative form of economics or social engineering in which goods, services and information are universally accessible. This would require a sophisticated system of resource recycling, in conjunction with technologically advanced automated systems capable of converting raw materials into finished goods.
Here’s the problem. Although we can describe what the enabling technologies for post-scarcity will be (nanotech, biotech, artificial intelligence) and while it is fairly easy to provide a sketch of what a post-scarcity world will look like, the question of how, exactly, we get there from here leads to a lot of hemming and hawing.
We need a roadmap that starts with the technology and economy we have now and that leads us, step-by-step, into post-scarcity. The roadmap needs to include thoughts on how we avoid various pitfalls (that is, scarcity scenarios) that a post-scarcity society might fall into.