Poverty is not a lack of money, but rather the lack of opportunity to make money.
Money in hand gives one an immediate relief but not a long-term solution to poverty.
Hence, charity is not a self sustainable solution to poverty.

We all know money allows us to have food, clothing and shelter.
How would the world be if these three basic necessities were free?
Is it even possible to consider that such an idea, somewhere in the future, could be a reality?
If one simply analyzes our technological evolution from the bottom up, then fortunately, yes, it is a reachable reality.

Let’s take the simple example of buying a bag of apples in a grocery store.
We pay anywhere from $2-$4 per pound for these apples, when in reality, the apple is a natural product and is a free gift from mother nature.
However, we pay so much money for it because there are overhead costs in the manual labor that is required for growing, harvesting, transporting, warehousing, and shelving at the store, until it is finally purchased by the consumer.
We are not paying for the apple itself, but for all the manual effort that is involved in bringing it to us. Though the apple is a free natural creation, as a product it is not free. Every apple we buy has its own journey.

Now think of a scenario where these manual services are automated.
What if the food is grown by machines, transported by machines, and delivered by machines?
Well, someone has to pay to operate and maintain these machines though, right?
What if these machines are highly sophisticated and can take care of themselves?
Remember the less human labor is in the picture, the less we pay.

Now let’s investigate this matter further and discuss if such automation is even possible.
Can you name any one automated process in the natural world that is highly sophisticated and does not need any human intervention at all?
How about honey bees? They travel from flower to flower, collect nectar, create the honey, and we get honey for free. They are highly complex beings who reproduce, feed, clean, and live pretty much on their own and we reap the products. That is why honey is free.

How about the apple we just talked about? The apple tree absorbs the fertilizer, manure and all the nutrients, filters it molecule by molecule, and creates the apple cell by cell. It is a highly complex process that needs no human intervention at all, and that is why it is a free eco-food.
Plants work day and night for us and we pay nothing. What we pay for is the human labor to sow the seeds, work the ground, fertilize the plants, harvest the product, transport the product to retailers, and for the retailers who sell it to us. We don't pay a dime towards the actual, highly complex system that synthesizes our food cell by cell.
What about the fresh air and water we consume every day? Natural systems clean the air and water free for us. In fact if you look around almost all the natural processes happening around us are highly complex, self sustainable, and free.

What we can deduce from this argument is that, as the technology becomes complex and sophisticated, there will be less and less need for human labor and intervention, which will drive down the cost of producing the product or service. You can notice this trend in our own history. Poverty and mortality have decreased each decade as our technology (material and medical) has improved, and the cost of material goods has gone down and the standard of living has risen. This line of thinking will certainly help us to look into the future. A poverty-free society is certainly achievable, not by charity, but by technology. It is possible to eradicate world poverty with technology. Charity can carry us along for only so long, but is only needed to survive until we reach such technological sophistication.

This indicates that technology and poverty are inversely proportional – if one goes up, the other comes down. To achieve zero poverty, our technology has to be infinitely sophisticated to stand on its own. This is what has been achieved by our ecosystem, and is how it has survived these millions of years. Whether we humans live or not, the eco system will survive, sustain and continue to feed the flora and fauna. It is a fully matured, self-regulating and self-sustainable, highly sophisticated system on which we all can fully depend on.

Now human technology is still in its infancy stage, and that is why it is expensive. We have to pay humans for all the manual labor and efforts they undertake.
Undoubtedly, as our technology matures, goods will become cheaper and we will pay less than ever before to survive and poverty diminishes gradually until one day we reach that state of zero poverty.
The saying "Nothing comes for FREE" is a universally accepted adage, but this is only because we are living in a man-made age still and not a machine-made age. We have to still pay for our food, clothing and shelter, until the day our technology comes to our rescue and automates all of these processes. "Technological evolution" is all about creating self-sustaining, man-made technology on which we all can depend.


-R.S. Amblee
email: rsamblee@hotmail.com
Author of "The Art of Looking into the Future: The Five Principles of Technological Evolution"
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Published on September 19, 2012 14:38 • 388 views • Tags: future, hunger, nothing-comes-for-free, poverty, technology

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