It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. And here, precisely, lies the mystery. In capitalism, this is precisely what is not supposed to happen. Sure, in the old inefficient socialist states like the Soviet Union, where employment was considered both a right and a sacred duty, the system made up as many jobs as they had to (this is why in Soviet department stores it took three clerks to sell a piece of meat). But, of course, this is the sort of very problem market competition is supposed to fix. According to economic theory, at least, the last thing a profit-seeking firm is going to do is shell out money to workers they don’t really need to employ. Still, somehow, it happens.
The conclusion, which is pretty obvious, is that the fundamental basis of our economy may be deeply flawed, and of course it stems again from our fetish for putting the needs of some vague class of "business" in front of the needs of our citizens.
If we can have a social order where we work 4 hours a day and robots do the rest, why don't we?