Technology has made us much more efficient, but inequality broadly and capitalism specifically have forced us to work more. One of the great challenges for us going forward is correcting inequality and ending capitalism.
“Harvard economist Benjamin M Friedman has a new paper in the Journal of Evolutionary Economics (paywall) that reinvestigates Keynes’s prediction and the mystery of the longer American work-week. Friedman confirms Keynes’s prediction about technological contributions to productivity: he says that by 2029, America will have octupled its labor productivity, just as Keynes predicted.
As to the longer working hours, Friedman thinks that the answer is inequality. Because all additional profits from increased productivity go to the owners of the technology (capital), labor’s dividend is cheaper goods, not more leisure. Basically: Americans are too poor to stop working.”