We need jobs that allow for interdependence, rather than digital technology to replace the workforce susceptible to chaotic break down, hacking, or control of a wealthy few. With technology, too many are "expendable." Expendable is a difficult place emotionally and physically. Interdependence fosters equality, democracy, and self-worth. Thomas Jefferson believed that farmers, owning & tilling their own land, had the independence necessary for democracy. Today few have economic independence.
Technology can remove many jobs, and must be subject to public interests. Automated checkout, robocalls, and Google Translate are examples of job replacement, the latter indicating the additional risk that skilled mental labor will also be replaced. The military, historically a large US employer, is also replacing soldiers with technology. The military has developed a great deal of technology through sponsorship of taxpayers, and yet taxpayers do not benefit financially from this sponsorship. The OECD's 2018 Economic Outlook points out that the top 1% has wages skyrocketing, while most workers experience "unprecedented wage stagnation." Economist Larry Summers emphasizes that redistributing wealth from the top one percent is especially necessary when few jobs exist, and adds "[saying] improving education is the solution to inequality is, I think, an evasion."
Solutions proposed include retraining, STEM training, universal basic income (UBI), shorter work week, six-hour workdays, taxes on overtime, a robot tax, tech tax, progressive taxes, and "human quotas." Job retraining is popular today, but if only a few jobs exist training would just create a large supply of workers in competition for low wages. A universal basic income would be helpful at alleviating economic dependence and dire straits.
Another option not often considered is to fall back from technology use, and create systems which depend on human beings. Surprisingly, a decent job is good for the soul, elevating the importance and self-worth of human beings. In addition, systems dependent on technology may pose risks that bear limiting, whether threats of hacking, environmental pollution, or the mistakes or malevolent programming of artificial intelligence such as discussed by the The Future of Life Institute.
The ideal of technology is to better lives, but application or programming of technology can be thoughtless and cruel to the less lucky. Allowing everything to go forward is a mistake that neglects human rights and public interest. Technology can have enormous impacts on society. In the past, new technology such as trains allowed rapid settling of the western states, taking away the hunting grounds of native Americans and reducing time for adaptation or resistance. New technology allowed the rise of factories, where employees were akin to cogs in a wheel, but suffering as humans from boredom, poor health, and little job security or pay. The latter led Karl Marx to coin the word "alienation" for factory work and identify the wealthy owners of production as enemies, the " bourgeoisie," and suggest revolution to create a world where means of production was owned and shared by the state: communism.
Despite the failure of communism thanks to human corruption, failure to provide decent lives for human beings can spur trouble such as crime or revolution.
Returning to the need for a decent job, not everyone has the same idea of a decent job, but at least a decent job should sustain economic and political independence as well as health.
Some aspects of technology can interfere with health as well as independence. Consider that technology allows the following to easily occur, whether or better or worse: