This "free market supporter" said that there will have to be a role for government in the jobs sector in the future because of the coming robotic age which will mean the loss of massive amounts of jobs.
I hit him with the usual stuff that, until we end up back in the Garden of Eden. there will always be desires that need to be met and therefore jobs. I said to him that to suggest that somehow there will be vast numbers of unemployed for long periods means that he does not believe in supply and demand economics.
He said, the number of robots replacing jobs would come too fast for the market to handle.
I told him the same concern existed after World War II, but not only wasn't there any problem but the economy went into a major boom.
Here's Cecil Bohanon on that period:
The standard thinking of the day was that the United States would sink into a deep depression at the war’s end. Paul Samuelson, a future Nobel Prize winner, wrote in 1943 that upon cessation of hostilities and demobilization “some ten million men will be thrown on the labor market.” He warned that unless wartime controls were extended there would be “the greatest period of unemployment and industrial dislocation which any economy has ever faced.” Another future Nobel laureate, Gunnar Myrdal, predicted that postwar economic turmoil would be so severe that it would generate an “epidemic of violence.”Markets clear. They did after the war.
But he still wasn't buying it. He warned ominously that not only would low wage jobs be replaced by robots but high skilled jobs, including that of doctors. Robots will be doing all the medical diagnoses he "warned."
So I finally asked him, "Well, so your model is that productivity is going to explode to unheard levels at exponential rates and this is going to cause starvation?"
Bottom line: There is no robot problem. To the degree that robots can replace human labor, it increases productivity and makes more products available for all of us.