There was a time when everyone on the planet was a farmer. Now, in America, it's one in fifty. In a sense, food has ceased to be a problem for the vast majority of the population; now it's TV sets. Maybe someday work itself will go the way of everyone being a farmer, amputations without anesthetic... The economy will just run itself.
"The Nirvana of ecommerce is a software agent buying a digital product
and paying for it with cybercash" - to paraphrase Quidnunc. I can easily see the day most of the economy runs without human intervention.
-- email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way