Why is [the machine-milker] so useful? Because it is an immense saver of time and labor - being able to milk twenty-five cows in an hour. A detached mind might contemplate the humour of this answer with some slight degree of amusement. Two things are saved: labour and time. So our question is - What is done with the saved labour? Either nothing at all, since labour-saving devices are coming in every day, or those relieved from hand-milking can theoretically (very thoretically) go now and make machine-milkers. Well, what is done with the time that is saved? Nothing whatever at the moment. We are quite unprepared to deal with this new uneconomic problem. The saved time is chucked away like a dirty piece of paper into the fire. The length of working hours remains exactly the same for the labourers as before. There are fewer labourers, but their hous are the same amount; while the displaced workers (unless they do go and make machine-milkers) are paid a fee to keep away, called Unemployment Benefit or the Dole. These are the lucky ones, you may say, who have stolen a march on us and have entered the Leisure State in advance. The trouble is they don’t seem to appreciate their good fortune.
But, it will be urged, since this saving of labour and time is all so unreal, what then is the reality? Quite simple - it saves money. The employer’s money…
We need not lose heart. It is all paving the way towards the Leisure State of the future. Always an optimist, I feel sure that we shall be economically ready and mentally fit for it in less than three hundred years.” [p.87, 1]
Collis, John S. (1973) 1975. The Worm Forgives the Plough. Penguin. ISBN: 0 14 00.3953 8.