Douglas Rushkoff has a great piece on CNN about whether we ought to view unemployment as a problem. This reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson's RICH Economy, written thirty years ago and seeming more prescient all the time.
America is productive enough that it could probably shelter, feed, educate, and even provide health care for its entire population with just a fraction of us actually working.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, there is enough food produced to provide everyone in the world with 2,720 kilocalories per person per day. And that's even after America disposes of thousands of tons of crop and dairy just to keep market prices high. Meanwhile, American banks overloaded with foreclosed properties are demolishing vacant dwellings to get the empty houses off their books.
Our problem is not that we don't have enough stuff — it's that we don't have enough ways for people to work and prove that they deserve this stuff.