In general we’ve moved from an agricultural economy to manufacturing, then to a services industry. What’s next? Probably a frivolity economy.
I think this bothers some people. A standard complaint about capitalism is that it devotes enormous energy to producing things we don’t need and shouldn’t want. Many thinkers, left and right, seem to think we should just produce the bare necessities– or at least, avoid obvious excesses, like plastic surgery and bondage gear.
My contention is that what capitalism is good at is producing things people want, whether or not either anarchist professors or austerian central bankers approve of them– and that it should produce those things. In fact, if it didn’t, the economy would collapse. In the far future, I expect human activity to be little but frivolity.