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In a world where everything would be automated but resources were still finite, would there be "rich" people (aka people with privilege to better and rarer stuff) and how would they be chosen?

The assumption is that, if everything is automated, there is no need for a currency therefore the question.

Edit: The machines, resources and it's sustainable management rights and responsibilities would belong to the government (that was also run by AI, since we are in such an advanced world)

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closed as too broad by Mołot, L.Dutch, Bellerophon, sphennings, Separatrix Aug 1 '17 at 12:29

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    $\begingroup$ Looks like high concept - if it's not, please share more details about how your world works, and be more specific about what are you actually asking. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Aug 1 '17 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ Someone will own the automated stuff and someone will own the resources. They won't give them away for free so their must be some form of buying. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Aug 1 '17 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon Except if the means and whats are owned by nobody/everybody/the State. $\endgroup$ – ksjohn Aug 1 '17 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ Rich? They would be either the owners of those machines, or politicians who nationalized them and in consequence decide how the production would be divided "fairly". $\endgroup$ – Shadow1024 Aug 1 '17 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ I think your assumption is flawed: Currency is not needed because there is too little automation. Currency is useful for having something "everyone" can account for (how should I be able to evaluate how much the haircut you are doing is worth, just put a number on it and I can compare that to how many potatoes that would be worth....) Also Currency is useful for things that are scarce and you mentioned there are still finite goods.... $\endgroup$ – DrCopyPaste Aug 1 '17 at 11:18
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To be honest, your world sounds a lot like communism. That means that - in theory - as everyone has roughly equal needs then everyone would get what they need, and any surplus would be fairly divided amongst everyone leaving no one rich and no one poor.

Human nature being what it is however would almost certainly mean that in practice it works like communism actually did, with people still being rich and poor. There will still be some incentive to have more, and people will likely find ways of doing so (crime and corruption immediately spring to mind). How much that affects things will largely be down to how plentiful the bounty is for everyone (the better provisioned everyone is, the less likely they are to desire more), the presence or indeed concept of luxury goods and how good (or willing) the AI is to enforce equality.

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  • $\begingroup$ Communist were communist, but still had currency... $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Aug 1 '17 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but it would have been seen as more of a necessary evil. This is essentially if anything a more pure example of communism. $\endgroup$ – Matt Bowyer Aug 1 '17 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch - Not according to themselves. The Soviet Union and other "communist" countries never claimed to be communist. They claimed to be "socialist", which to them meant "in transition from capitalism to communism". And they claimed that such transition was led by a "communist" party. But they knew very well that "communism" was a misnomer, and that they were not "communist" in any meaningful sence of the word. $\endgroup$ – Luís Henrique Mar 6 at 15:02
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This system sounds like a form of a resource allocation economy. It's similar to the sort of rationing that had been instituted in wartime except the level of resources are far greater. Wartime rationing was designed to provide equitable access to scarce resources. The querent's proposed system would be allocating not so scarce resources.

Despite all the automation in running and maintaining this system somewhere along the line someone has to make the decisions about what algorithms are required to manage the resource allocation. While the majority of people will receive equal allocations, there will be some people who will need more resources than the average citizen. Now some of this enhanced allocation will arise from their occupations or their functional roles in society (this may be irrespective of their occupation). They could be this world's "rich".

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You're talking about Universal Basic Income, which is one possible solution to the very real problem manual labor will face in the near future. With manual labor being increasingly automated, the question at hand is "what will people do?"

However, in your world everything is automated, and there is no currency to act as a value placeholder, so your basic income will be some amount of resources. Now, not everyone has need of the same amount or type of resources, so if your AI is adhering to the tenets of communism* (see Matt's answer) "...for each, according to need", everyone will get different amounts and types of resources based on personal need.

Some resources, being more finite, will be worth more in a "market" sense, but not necessarily worth more within your need-based society. So from an outside perspective, you will have "rich" and "poor", as some people will have a greater share of valuable resources, however, within your society those people will likely not be viewed as such. If everyone has what they need, and not more, to contribute fully to society, everyone is effectively equal. The fact that some have overall greater "value" than others is irrelevant.

*Pure ideological communism is often described as "from each according to ability, for each according to need". This is a pretty functional description of the ideology behind communism, though lacking in implementation.

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