We’ve got it backwards, eliminating jobs that many fall back on in hard times is not a useful social development. While a certain number of good paying jobs to build and service the self-driving network, it can’t be as many as many that are lost.
Back long ago, say 50 years ago, it was a service economy, service in the sense there were no self-serve anything. No automatic elevators as each building with elevators had a number of attendants who ran the elevator, acted as a security filter for strange people, helped lost people with real directions. The gas stations soaked up teenagers in entry- level jobs until they moved on. But they did clean the windshield, tell when you needed to schedule an oil change. In case you didn’t notice the grocery stores used lots of people. If you didn’t work there perhaps you worked in the local factory where there was lots of machinery but no computers; it was all done with semi-skilled labor. The office may have had some IBM card driven equipment to do the billing but many smaller companies had lots of clerks shuffling paper. No PCs here, the internet seems to be missing as well.
If there is any helpful in this story, except perhaps every time someone acts to make a process a little more efficient, improve the bottom line and retire with lots of money, there is a social cost as well and we haven’t adjusted. I’m not saying we should unautomate, I’m saying there doesn’t seem to be a magic way to create new ones as fast as we are losing them.