“The Future’s Not What It Used to Be”—Ogden Nash

Part of the Creative Economy book series (CRE)


Currently, the ‘Harmony of Humanity’, the quest of Chapter 21, is deeply disturbed, most evocatively, by the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States of Donald Trump, a signal of deep concern spreading across the experience of globalization from its negative consequences. Chapter 25 starts with an exploration of the ‘meaning’ of the “Trump Phenomenon” which basically represents an emerging broad-ranging desire to erect boundaries against globalization, and to return to past securities. The most fundamental problem with the ‘return to the past’ in Trump’s philosophies however, is that it is no longer realistic. Productive enterprise, in particular, has moved on, so employment rich industries of the past simply do not compete any more, and the assumption of unlimited resources requiring no need for conservation and care, is demonstrably wrong. This Chapter starts with this analysis and parallel resistance to globalization elsewhere, but moves on to explore what we can expect in terms of our immediate technology-driven and robotic-inspired future. One key finding is that world society is likely to have to make major adjustments to a future of non-work which some describe as a society of ‘unemployment’ rather than ‘employment’. It is not just jobs which are at stake, but the whole social and meaning fabric which is associated. The Chapter finishes with an assessment of new experiments on the role of ‘universal basic income’ in the society of our future.


  1. ABC. (2017). Donald Trump’s inauguration: Who is (and isn’t) performing?—US…. ABC News. www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-14/who-is-and-isnt-attending-the-donald-trump-inauguration/8180122.
  2. Al-Khatib, T. (2016, February 4). Robo-lawyers, farmers, docs: Our future on autopilot. Seeker. http://www.seeker.com/robo-lawyers-farners-docs-on-autopilot-177083892.
  3. Avis, D. (2016, July 22). BBC’s UGC and social news team. US Election: Artist Builds Wall Around Trump’s Hollywood Star. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36854572.
  4. Berry, W. (2013, January 22). The unforeseen wilderness: An essay on Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. Quote Investigator. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/01/22/borrow-earth…/.
  5. Brachmann, S. (2014, November 1). The rise and fall of the company that invented digital cameras. IP Watchdog. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/11/01/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-company-that-invented-digital-cameras.
  6. Bradner, E. (2017). Conway: Trump White House offered ‘alternative facts’ on crowd size. https://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/22/politics/kellyane-conway-alternative-facts/.
  7. Briody, B. (2013, March 26). The robot reality: Service jobs are next to go. The Fiscal Times. http://www.cnbc/id/100592545.
  8. Burgess, M. (2016, April 4). Robots and automation to replace 40% of today’s jobs so workers need to re-skill now. News Corporation, Australia, Career One. http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/robots-and-automation-to-replace-40-per-cent-of-todays-jobs-so-workers-need-to-reskill-now/.
  9. Butcher, K. F. (2017, January 27). Assessing the long-run benefits of transfers to low-income families. Hutchins Center Working Paper No. 26. Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/wp26_butcher_transfers_final.pdf.
  10. CBS. (2014, January 23). News. U.S. Army general says robots could replace one-fourth of combat. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/robotic-soldiers-by-2030-us-army-general-says-robots-may-replace.
  11. Chanseau, A. (2016, August 10). Robot companions are coming into our homes. How human should they be. World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/08/robot-companions-are-coming-into-our-homes-how-human-should-they-be.html.
  12. Chira, S., & Alcindor, Y. (2017, January 21). Defiant voices flood US cities as women rally for rights. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/women-march-protest-president-trump.html.
  13. Collins, J. (2009, May). How the mighty fall. Business Week. http://www.jimcollins.com/books/how-the-mighty-fall.html.
  14. Davis, J. H., & Rosenberg, M. (2017, January 21). With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/politics/trump-white-house-briefing-inauguration-cr.
  15. Diamond, J., & Bash, D. (2017, January 24). Trump signs order withdrawing from TPP, reinstate “Mexico City policy” on abortion. CNN Politics. http://www.cnn.com/…/trans-pacific-trade-deal-withdrawal-trumps-first-executive-order/.
  16. Dunlop, T. (2016). Why the future is workless. Sydney: New South Publishing.Google Scholar
  17. EPA. (2012). Scientific integrity policy. US EPA. https://www.epa.gov/osa/basic-information-about-scientific-integrity.
  18. Express. (2016, September 14). Now for NEXIT? Dutch ‘turn to the right’ as eurosceptic Geert Wilders soars in polls. Express. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/7717904/Nexit-Dutch-turn-right-euroscepticism-…/.
  19. Gilmore, J. (2016, November 23). The inconceivable truth: Our jobs are not coming back. News.com.au. http://www.news/com.au/finance/work/careers/the-inconceivable-truth-our-jobs-are-not-coming-back.
  20. Gorges, M. (2016, May 16). A role for robots in caring for the elderly’. Newsroom. http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1763666.
  21. Grant, S. (2017, January 24). Trump must conform with constitution or he will be removed, ex Bush adviser Richard Painter says. ABC News. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-23/trump-will-conform-or-be-removed-former-bush-adviser-richard-painter-says.
  22. Griffiths, A. (2014, July 8). How Paro the robot seal is being used to help UK dementia patients. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/08/paro-robot-seal-dementia-patients-/.
  23. Griswold, D. (2016, August 1). Globalization isn’t killing factory jobs. Trade is actually why manufacturing is up 40%. Center for Business Growth, Ball State University. Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-griswold-globalization-and-trade-help-manufacturing-20160801.
  24. Guardian. (2016, November 10). Basic income for all: a 500-year-old idea whose time has come? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/11/basic-income-for-all-a-500-year-old-idea-whose-time-has-come.
  25. Henderson, R.F. (1975). (Chairman). Poverty in Australia first main report April 1975. In Commission of Inquiry into Poverty, AGPS, Canberra.Google Scholar
  26. Henderson, R. F., Harcourt, A., & Harper, R. J. A. (1970). People in poverty—A Melbourne Survey. Melbourne: Chesire.Google Scholar
  27. Henley, J. (2017, January, 4). Finland trials basic income or unemployed. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/03/finland-trials-basic-income-for-unemployed/.
  28. Hicks, M. J., & Devaraj, S. (2015). The Myth and the reality of manufacturing in America. Indiana: Center for Business and Economic Research, Ball State University, June 2015, p. 3. http://conexus.cberdata.org/files/MfgReality.pdf.
  29. Hill, Stephen. (1988). The tragedy of technology, human liberation versus domination in the late 20th century. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  30. Innovation Files. (2014). How America’s manufacturing job loss outpaces other leading industrialized countries. Innovation Files. http://www.innovationfiles.org/how-americas-manufacturing-job-loss-outpaces-other-leading-industrialized-countries.
  31. Jaczek, H. (2017). Minister of Community and Social Services, Canadian Government. Canada’s basic income experiment—Will it work?, reported by Mukherjee, A. (2017, February 2). Reuters (Anindito Mukherjee). https://weforum.org/agenda/2017/02/canadas-basic-income-experiment-will-it-work/.
  32. Jeffrey, T. P. (2015, May 12). 7,231,000 lost jobs: Manufacturing employment down 37% from 1979 peak. CNS News. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/7231000-lose-jobs-manufacturing-employment-down-37-%-from-1979-peak.html.
  33. Kahn, C. (2017, January 31). Reuters, Poll: 49% of Americans agree with Trump’s immigration ban. Business Insider. https://article.wn.com/view/2017/01/31/Poll_49_of_Americans_agree_with_Trumps_immigration_ban/.
  34. Kakaes, K. (2016). The All-American iPhone. MIT Technology Review, 119(4), 35–37.Google Scholar
  35. Knott, M. (2016, August 3). Universities Australia urges Turnbull government to abandon $3.2 billion ‘zombie’ cut. The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.cm.au/federal-politics/universities-australia-urges-turnbull-government-to-abandon-$3.2-billion-zombie-cuts.html.
  36. Kreig, G. (2016, December 22). Its official: Clinton swamps Trump in popular vote. CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/21/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-popular vote.
  37. Lang, S. (2017, January 20). Donald Trump’s presidency will be ‘hopelessly conflicted’, corporate governance expert says. ABC News. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-19/donald-trump-presidency-to-be-hopelessly-conflicted.
  38. Manyika, J., Chui, M., & Miremadi, M. (2016a, July). Where machines could replace humans—And where they can’t (yet). McKinsey Quarterly. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet/.
  39. Manyika, J., Chui, M., & Miremadi, M. (2016b, July 11). These are the jobs least likely to go to robots. Fortune. http://fortune.com/2016/07/11/skills-gap-automation/.
  40. Mason, P. (2015, July 17). The end of capitalism has begun. The Guardian. Economics. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/july/17/the-end-of-capitalism-has-begun/.
  41. Mason, P. (2016). ‘PostCapitalism’: A guide to our future. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/post-capitalism-paul-mason/1121817838.
  42. Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. (2016, October 20). Legislative proposal on basic income experiment submitted to Parliament, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (Finland). Press Release 178/2016 (published in English on October 25th, 2016). http://stm.fi/en/article/-/asset-publisher/lakiehdotus-perustulokokeilusta-eduskunnan-/.
  43. Mokyr, J., Vickers, C., & Ziebarth, N. L. (2015). The history of technological anxiety and the future of economic growth: Is this time different? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(3). quoted in Tim Dunlop (2016). Loc 1997.Google Scholar
  44. Mufson, S., & Eilperin, J. (2017, January 24). Trump to give green light to Dakota Access, Keystone XL oil pipelines. The Washington Post. https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2017/01.24/trump-to-give-green-light-to-dakota-access-keystone-xl-piplines/.
  45. Newport, F. (2013, August 14). In U.S., most would still work even if they won millions. Economy. https://www.gallup.com/poll/163973/work-even-won-millions.aspx/.
  46. New York Daily News. (2017, February). Trump’s Muslim ban excludes countries linked to his businesses. New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-muslim-ban-excludes-countries-linked-businesses-art/.
  47. Nowrasteh, A. (2016, September 2016). Terrorism and immigration—A risk analysis. Cato Institute—Policy Analysis. https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa798.2.pdf.
  48. Parker, A. (2017, January 21). Donald Trump inauguration: White House website removes Obama climate change initiatives. Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh/com.au/world/donald-trump-inauguration-white-house-website-removes-Obama-climate-change-initiatives-20170120-gtvwmm.httml.
  49. Pash, C. (2016, July 27). VIDEO: A one-armed Australian robot can build a house four times quicker than a brickie. Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/video-a-one-armed-australian-robot-can-build-a-house-four-times-quicker-than-a-brickie.
  50. Pasha-Robinson, L. (2016, November 20). Marine Le Pen takes huge lead over Nicolas Sarkozy in French first round presidential election poll. The Independent Online. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/marine-le-pen-election-odds-latest-french/.
  51. Range, P. R. (2016, July 27). Hitler expert says comparing Donald Trump to Hitler isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/comparing-donald-trump-to-hitler-isnt-as-farfetched-as-it-sounds.
  52. Reed, H., & Lansley, S. (2016). Universal basic income: A idea whose time has come? In Compass. London: Impact Hub Islington. https://www.compassonline.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/UniversalBasicIncomeByCompas. Also, quoted in Henley, J. (2017, January 4). Finland trials basic income or unemployed. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/03/finland-trials-basic-income-for-unemployed/.
  53. Rhodes, B. M. (2015, June 22). Canute (Knud) the great—The King who could not stop the sea but stemmed the Viking tide on England’s Shores. The Viking Network. http://viking.no/the-viking-kings-and-earls-knud-the-great/.
  54. Robinson, A. (2013, September 25). The reshoring trend is good for U.S. Engineers and America’. Cerasis. http://cerasis.com/2013/09/25/reshoring/.
  55. Rott, N. (2017, January, 25). EPA scientists’ work may face “case by case” review by Trump Team, Official Says. The Two-Way Breaking News From NPR. http://www.nprorg/sections/the%20two-way/2017/01/25/511572169/epa-scientists-work-may-face-case-by-case-review-by-trump-team-official-says.httml.
  56. Roysam, V. (2016, November 11). 7 Reasons why Donald Trump won the Presidential campaign. https://www.yourstory.com/2016/11/why-donald-trump-won/.
  57. Rucker, P. (2017, February 2). (White House Correspondent). Breaking news: Trump, Australian PM Turnbull have tense phone call over Muslim refugees. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-australian-pm-turnbull-have-tense-phone-call-over-muslim-refugee.
  58. Sabransky, R. (2016, November 21). Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia during campaign: Report. The Hill. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/306990-trump-appeared-to-register-eight-companies-/.
  59. Shuster, S. (2016). European politics are swinging to the right. Time. http://time.com/4504010/europ-politics-swing-right/.
  60. Spence, P. (2016, July 12). Robots will replace a quarter of business service workers by 2035, says Deloitte. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/07/11/robots-will-replace-a-quarter-of-business-service-workers-by-2035-says-deloitte.
  61. Srnicek, N., & William, A. (2015). Inventing the future: Postcapitalism and a world without work, Verso. https://www.versobooks.com/books/1989-inventing-the-future.
  62. Stafford, A. (2016, November 3). Android clone v human: Will you be able to tell the difference at work?. The Guardian. https://theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/03/android-clone-v-human-will-you-be-able-to-tell-the-difference-at-work/.
  63. Stern, Fritz. (1974). The politics of cultural despair: A study in the rise of the germanic ideology. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  64. Tabatabai, H. (2011). The basic income road to reforming Iran’s price subsidies. Basic Income Studies, 6(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Taylor, D. (2017, January 24). Donald Trump becomes the single biggest global market influence. ABC News. http://www.abc/net/au/news/2017-01-24/how-trump-has-become-biggest-influncer-on-global-markets.
  66. Taylor, H. (2016, March 16). Could you fall in love with this robot? CNBC-PRO. http://cnbc.com/2016/03/16/could-you-fall-in-love-with-this-robot.html.
  67. TED. (2017, February 1). Employment in apparel manufacturing decreased by 85% over last 25 years. The Economics Daily. https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017.employment-in-apparel-manufacturing-decreased-by-85-percent-over-last-25-years.html.
  68. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015, December 8). Employment projections: Employment by major industry sector. https://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_201.htm.
  69. Vandenbroek, P. (2016, April 14). Employment by industry statistics: A quick guide. Australian Parliamentary Library. Research Papers 2015–2016. http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/.
  70. Wald, E. R. (2017, January 24). Here are the jobs the Keystone XL Pipeline Would Create Under Trump’s Executive Order. Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/ellenrwald/here-are-the-jobs-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-would-create-under-trumps-executive-order.
  71. Welsh, S. (2016, September 1). Are we ready for Robotopia, when robots replace the human workforce. The Conversation. https://theconversation.comare-we-ready-for-robotopia-when-robots-replace-the-human-workforce.
  72. Whigham, N. (2017, January 4). Finland begins Universal Basic Income trial as the world watches. http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/finland-begins-universal-basic-income-trial-as-the-world-watches/.
  73. Windshuttle, K. (1981). ‘Unemployment’, A Social and Political Analysis of the Economic Crisis in Australia’ (Revised Edition). Australia: Pelican/Penguin Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Personalised recommendations