Tres English Posted about 2 years ago Will Automation Lead to Economic Collapse? I wouldn't say that automation by itself if meaningful. The problem is runaway productivity. Automation is only one way to achieve that. (Think the waiter in the restaurant that takes your order on a hand-held device that places the order with the cook, makes an entry in the sales receipt, and deducts the materials from inventory.) Every time you hear that productivity has increased by two percent, you need to think that either labor costs (employment and/or wages) must decrease by 2%, OR consumption must increase by 2%. In the first case, this leads to our current jobless recovery and eventual economic collapse. In the second case, it leads to eventual ecological collapse. Automation is only one way to cause runaway productivity.