The Economic Possibilities of Our Grandchildren  

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"For many ages to come the old Adam will be so strong in us that everybody will need to do some work if he is to be contented. We shall do more things for ourselves than is usual with the rich to-day, only too glad to have small duties and tasks and routines. But beyond this, we shall endeavour to spread the bread thin on the butter-to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week may put off the problem for a great while. For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy the old Adam in most of us!"-"The Economic Possibilities of Our Grandchildren" (1930) by John Maynard Keynes

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"The Economic Possibilities of Our Grandchildren" (1930) is an essay by John Maynard Keynes. Keynes ventured to look one hundred years ahead into the future and predict the standard of living in the 21st century. Writing at the beginning of the Great Depression, Keynes rejected the prevailing "bad attack of economic pessimism" of his own time and foresaw that by 2030, the grandchildren of his generation would live in a state of abundance, where saturation would have been reached. People would find themselves liberated from such economic activities as saving and capital accumulation, and be able to get rid of 'pseudo-moral principles' — avarice, exaction of interest, love of money — that had characterized capitalistic societies so far. Instead, people would devote themselves to the true art of life, to live "wisely and agreeably and well." Mankind would finally have solved "the economic problem," that is, the struggle for existence.

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