ABSTRACT

My purpose in this book has been to reanalyse the issue of economic growth in advanced industrial nations, and to point out some of its limits and costs. I have shown that automation which produces higher output per person employed in productive industry does not necessarily increase national income, and that when it does not, it reduces the incomes of the working class. I have suggested that some such point will be reached in every advanced industrialised country eventually. Britain, as the first nation to mechanise production, is merely experiencing the first example of a universal phenomenon of technological change. It is having the first glimpse of the true nature of automation – the replacement of human workers by machines, and the transition from a hand-made to a machine-made economy.