Thoughts on economics and liberty

A book project: The Glorious Abundance and Creativity of the Robotic Age

I've spent some time over the past week in analysis of the issues involved in the Robotic Age and although I haven't articulated my conclusions in any detailed form yet, and I'm still reading and thinking, I'm now VERY confident that there is NOTHING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT (about the Robotic Age) for those nations which follow high quality governance and economic policies.  (This, of course, rules out a good future for nations like India with socialist policies).

Strong adjustments are at work in the world today. The KEY shift is towards two main industries: IT and creative.

In the rush to blame robots and IT for loss of jobs, people are forgetting that the rich are beginning to pay significant amounts of money for 'soft' expertise which improves their QUALITY of life. This includes personal fitness coaches, personal life coaches, yoga teachers, and spiritual advisers.The arts are also flourishing. More museums, more production of art. More music, more sports.

I believe that FOR THOSE COUNTRIES which follow good governance and competitive policies, there lies an era of SUPER-RICHES ahead.

There will likely be some further increase in inequality but let's not forget that inequality is NEVER an issue. The key issue is human flourishing. And that seems guaranteed – for those nations which keep their economies fit, lean and agile.

A flourishing creative class will take the 'mid-tier' jobs earlier taken by the non-creative boring clerks and managers. Dilbert is dead.

Within each clerk is a singer/ writer/ poet or artist. It is time to wake up your creative inner being. Or you can choose to be a nerd. Both nerds and creative people will earn well.

Those who are neither nerds nor creative will be come SERVANTS of the rich. Nothing wrong with that. By servants I mean the service industry – waiters/ nurses/ aged care workers/ gardeners/hairdressers, etc.

Does the government have to do anything?

I firmly oppose the ideas of socialists like Paul Krugman who are trying to increase socialist policies and further destroy USA in the guise of solving the 'unemployment' problem arising from the Robotic Age. Such people should, instead, ask the young to re-skill themselves – and spend more effort in the creative fields. 

Download the preliminary book below:


(About 5 MB since I've got lots of images in this book)

This book is a warning to anyone who wants government bureaucrats and politicians to meddle with the new economy. ANY UNNECESSARY MEDDLING will lead to seriously harmful consequences.

Let the market work out which kinds of jobs it wants to reward.


This short talk by Peter Schiff is an excellent short summary of key issues involved.

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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8 thoughts on “A book project: The Glorious Abundance and Creativity of the Robotic Age
  1. satyajit

    hi arjun
    read your new draft. good and interesting read. will love to support you in your endeavor.
    have you read “Sovereign Individual” by davidson and rees-mogg.

  2. Prakash

    You forgot one “employment option” – old fashioned looting/raiding.

    When there is no perceptibly large gain in cooperating with other tribes/clans/nations, i.e. when all you need are resources and robots, then attacking others for their resources pays off in a game theoretic sense. This has not been the case for any time since the beginning of the 20th century. The gains that classic liberalism has had in bringing peace to the world enticing the holdouts with the latest shiny gadgets, could end, and drastically so.

    This scenario is the unspoken hidden fear behind every basic income / socialist scheme listed in your book. If the masses are not pacified, they will rebel with 3d printed weapons in their hands.

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Prakash, there is definitely some merit in what you say. Assurance of law and order is critical for this glorious abundance to be produced. What price has to be paid for law and order – and how such issues are dealt with – will influence how far mankind can go in the future.

  4. chrisf

    I started reading the draft but I quickly became tired by frequent appearances of the word “socialist” used as a perjorative (“hopelessly confused socialist” etc).

    Politics aside, if you truly believe that “robots will never be able to replace the creativity of the human mind” and that we’ll be able to support a population of ten billion by teaching yoga and interior design to one another, then I suspect it’s you who may be confused. But good luck with your project.

  5. microsrfr

    We have been witnessing a downward economic spiral in our middle class for the past four decades. Left unabated, it will ultimately destroy our economic/political system.

    It is the result of an unfortunate combination — the destruction of US jobs by rapidly evolving technology together with the singular focus of CEO’s on short-term profit improvements that has diverted all of the technologically generated savings to the wealthy.

    If you see any way that this trend can be arrested without federal intervention, please speak up, for we are rapidly entering an era of demagogues and mob violence as the economic screws continue to tighten on what was once the middle class.

  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Bob, we should be concerned about the reduction in liberties in USA, not so much these market/technology-based trends. Liberty is the mandatory condition, middle class is optional. If liberty is available to everyone (and therefore opportunity) then people won’t really care so much about the inevitably increasing inequality.

    If there is enough prosperity through modern technology, then progressive taxation can rebalance distribution (although I disagree with this idea of ‘rebalancing’), if necessary.

    The risk comes not from the reducing middle class but from increasing restrictions on technology and capital. And federal debt. If such restrictions (and over-spending by government) are not removed, technology and capital flight will occur, driving away even prosperity from USA. 

    America’s goal should be (a) increased liberty (b) lower taxes (c) attract the smartest brains from all over the world.

  7. Dr. Bob Goldschmidt

    Sanjeev — The new age society you describe is more akin to “Hunger Games” than a democracy. Please take a look at

    “Twilight of the Elites” by Christopher Hayes

    The principal fallacy in your proposal is that equality of opportunity based upon native skills will prevail in such a scheme.

  8. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Bob, you make a basic error of anlaysis. I do not, at any stage, claim any “meritocracy” or rewards being based on “native skills”. One may have the greatest talent or merit but if the others (the market) doesn’t recognise it of any value, then the output of the talented person is worthless.

    The idea here is that the MARKET (you and I and others, together) will continue to pay for what is of value, but because what is of value (e.g. Facebook) can be supplied so cheaply and widely, the entrepreneur will make huge amounts of money. That is not an argument based on “merit” but on value.

    There is no reason to believe that value produced (and total income) will not increase over time, even as inequality increases.

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