Post-employment economy

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A post-employment economy is an economy in which employment is no longer used as the basis for allocating basic needs.

Although there are many types of economy in which employment has never been used for this purpose, there are a number of problems not addressed directly by these systems:

  • how to transition gracefully from an employment economy. especially one in which the majority have built their identity and sense of self-worth around the idea of employment
  • how to "scale up" these systems, which typically are found in small manual-labor societies, to a society that is large and highly automated


There are two key steps in this transition:

  1. Figure out how we would like society to be afterwards.
  2. Figure out how to get there from where we are.

Step 1: the goal

We need to determine:

  • what work is useful
  • how to ensure that it gets done
  • how to distribute wealth so that everyone gets enough

While considering what changes we want to make, we also need to keep in mind that we want to avoid hindering individual creativity and innovation, either technologically or artistically. Some post-employment systems such as communism have been shown to have very negative effects on creativity and progress.

Note that such analysis does not imply that the resulting society should be centrally-planned; the point is to learn as much about what outcome we're looking for, and then identify and/or design a system most likely to produce that outcome. The resulting system will probably have elements of conscious planning (not necessarily central) mixed with free market systems.

what work is useful

Just as much employment is make-work, much useful work is currently unpaid. Which types of work actually make for a better society?

Needed: a catalog of all jobs currently in existence

how to ensure it gets done

means of distribution

Step 2: how to get there