Post-scarcity/What does this mean for people and society?
It could provide the resources for bringing a high quality of life to those that are not currently fortunate enough to have the amenities and services of 'developed' nations. Worthy projects that really ought to happen, can happen – and in fact this applies just as much to advanced nations where there is still plenty of inequality and missed opportunities. It will not only provide everyone with the basic necessities for a decent life but give maximum opportunity for people and societies to live and prosper how they might like to.
This means different things to different people. For some it enables a life enhanced by advanced technology, able to do new things they have never been able to before, and for others it means almost the exact opposite - allowing them to lead a more basic rural life perhaps with a, more in touch with nature and older ways of living. But they can do this without worrying about a bad year in terms of yield from the land or medical care because of the advanced infrastructure in the background that they can call upon if required.
Post-scarcity almost by definition implies 'post-economic' as economics is based on scarcity. A post-scarcity society means that the basic necessities of living (and plenty more) will be available for everyone who requires it. There may well still be markets for certain items that have purposefully not been made publicly available or are rare, but for many people this will be irrelevant. It will be a choice and not a necessity to enter that market. The important point here is that for the first time the general population will be able to live comfortably without having to owe anyone else their time.
People will not have to suffer drudgery and what amounts to wage slavery during the best years of their lives. Unfortunately a large proportion of people today in both white and blue collar jobs would really rather be doing something else than the jobs they are employed to do. They feel perhaps that what they are doing is not directly relevant to their lives or is not particularly interesting and feel they are simply a cog with little control in a larger machine. Currently they have to do it to afford food, shelter and goods. A post-scarcity society enables them to have the time and space to work on things that are important to them, and to learn the skills needed to reach their goals and have room to be more creative.
One scarce resource today for people is time. In a post-scarcity culture, not having to spend the best part of the day working for a living also frees people up to spend more time with each other - something that is vital for a proper community. Both for friendship and mentoring the next generation.
However some people feel that increasing automation is a threat. A threat to their livelihoods, a threat to humanity's pride even. The reality is that automation is likely to provide in scenarios where people would prefer not to do that job. It leaves people free to be creative and industrious in activities that they want to be part of and allows for greater variety than the average working life offers today. Open design will enable people to be involved in the creation or customisation of the goods they want in a way not seen before and reverses the trend of people simply being passive consumers. Creativity is something that can give huge satisfaction to people but if not fulfilled can cause great frustration and dissatisfaction. It enables an individual to have more control over their environment and life.