Lately I have been reading Ray Kurzweil's "How to create a mind: the secret of human thought revealed". The book deals with the history of neuroscience, AI and thinking, with a dash of epistemology and meta-ethics thrown in for completeness. One of those rare books where you read for twenty minutes, go away and think about what you read for several days and then read some more. Kurzweil's book provides much of the intellectual underpinning for an article in The Economist,"Technology and jobs: Coming to an office near you".
The Economist chronicles the upcoming dislocation in jobs, with computer technology replacing up to 47 percent of jobs in the next 20 years (numbers very similar to other sources I have seen). Basically artificial intelligence and their devices, what you call robots, have advanced to the point where many traditional jobs can be done by devices of one type or another. You have been following Google's driverless cars and contact lenses to measure sugar levels for diabetes patients?
Back to Kurzweil, who along with Marvin Minsky and Herbert Simon (founders of AI), point out that AI and neuroscience advances are teaching each other about their subjects. AI teaches us about neuroscience and neuroscience helps us to improve AI, all with the outcome of computers increasingly approaching the abilities of the human mind. I think Kurweil might be saying that critical thinking may be the only function of the brain/mind that cannot yet be duplicated through a computer.
This increasing sophistication in AI suggests that the disruption to jobs may be underestimated significantly and especially by the governments in developed countries such as the U.S. While certain governments talk about wealth concentration, this is just a number of no consequences. Popular politically but of no consequence in the lives of ordinary people. Jobs might be the better issue but the government does not have a solution, which is why they are distracting us with the speciousness of wealth concentration.
Actually, the issue the government needs to address is how do people need to be educated and trained to live productively (economically) in a world where computers and robots will be able to do 90-95% of all the work performed in 1900. Governments are not designed to handle environmental change of such consequence. Governments manage status quo adequately but do not shine in rapidly and dramatically changing environments they have not seen before. Governments can barely handle a hurricane let alone the complete disruption of the labor force...in the U.S. Perhaps the days of government as "Big Brother" are numbered. Perhaps the private sector will need to take more responsibility. I guess organized religion is another alternative. Probably does not matter where the solution comes from, but someone needs to prepare people for this new world where AI plays a bigger role.
Sounds like a business opportunity to me. Maybe the charter schools were just practice for a declining role for government.