We have automated most of our work. We don't need to do much work anymore. At first we used technology to create more work for ourselves. During the past few decades, while most actual work was shipped overseas, most of the labor of the bourgeois was spent in speculation, trying to work the system to amass more resources. Information technology enabled/forced us all to become bankers/accountants/attorneys, etc. But eventually the "winners" won out. They amassed the most and there is not really any work to be done for hire. The result of automation was supposed to give us huge amounts of free time, resulting in a flowering of the arts, leisure, good deeds, etc. Mankind has been developing technology with the eventual goal of utopia. What other possible goal could/should there be? But, because of the cold war, any kind of macroeconomic cooperation or planning is branded as "socialism" and we are frozen in dogma. I just don't see jobs returning to our economy, and they shouldn't. We need to accept that the essentials of life need not be tied to work. Everyone has to work, but we need to come up with another model for how to incorporate work into life.