Frank Rieger, 2005:
First, paid manual labor will be eaten away further by technology, even more rapidly than today. Robotics will evolve far enough to kill a sizeable chunk of the remaining low-end manual jobs. Of course, there will be new jobs, servicing the robots, biotech, designing stuff, working on the nanotech developments etc. But these will be few, compared with today, and require higher education. Globalization continues its merciless course and will also export a lot of jobs of the brain-labor type to India and China, as soon as education levels there permit it.
So the western societies will end up with a large percentage of population, at least a third, but possibly half of those in working age, having no real paid work. There are those whose talents are cheaper to be had elsewhere, those who are more inclined to manual labor. Not only the undereducated but all those who simply cannot find a decent job anymore. This part of the population needs to be pacified, either by Disney or by Dictatorship, most probably by both. The unemployment problem severely affects the ability of states to pay for social benefits. At some point it becomes cheaper to put money into repressive police forces and rule by fear than put the money into pay-outs to the unemployed population and buy the social peace. Criminal activities look more interesting when there is no decent job to be had. Violence is the unavoidable consequence of degrading social standards. Universal surveillance might dampen the consequences for those who remain with some wealth to defend.