Once upon a time, a scientist invented a medical procedure that could keep people alive indefinitely. He offered his services to the wealthy since the procedure was extremely expensive due to the high degree of medical skill required and the special regimen of nutrients and drugs that needed to be consumed indefinately. This sparked an outcry from those who believed that it was unfair that only the rich could benefit from this revolutionary new procedure.
Politicians immediately implemented a new entitlement program guaranteeing everyone immortality and taxed everyone, especially the rich, to pay for universal availability of the new health care procedure. At first, it was the most popular social program ever conceived and came at a reasonable cost ranging from 5% of a middle class worker’s pay to 50% for the wealthiest. But soon, the number of people on indefinite life support, who were mostly too weak to work, began to grow and grow.
Instead of increasing taxes, the government began to borrow, and when that was not enough, they printed more money. Soon, the middle class could no longer afford the dramatically rising cost of living driven by higher inflation and rising taxes. Since nobody ever died, there was no longer a death tax. Instead, the government simply decided to cap the amount of wealth that any individual could accumulate and took all the rest to help pay for the rising health care costs.
As the population continued to grow and the economy stagnated due to a lack of entrepreneurship and investment, it became evident that the workers could no longer afford to pay the costs of keeping the non-workers alive forever. But since the non-workers vastly outnumbered the workers, no politician dared to reduce their health benefits. Instead, they voted to impose a population growth measure limiting the number of people who were allowed to have more children. Only the strongest workers were allowed to reproduce and their children were restricted to jobs that required hard physical labor. All jobs that required minimal physical labor were shifted to the strongest of the non-workers on life support. Working hours and conditions worsened for the workers as the need for more and more physical labor increased.
Just when it appeared that all hope was lost, one of the last great engineers invented a robot that could perform all the physical tasks with which the workers had been struggling. The workers eagerly built robots by the billions with the expectation that they could finally retire and enjoy their guaranteed immortality. Now that human labor was no longer required, the government passed a new zero population growth law requiring the sterilization of all humans of reproductive age. Soon, there were no longer any human workers, only robots, and all humans enjoyed their eternal retirement.
But the people soon grew bored as there were no longer any entertainers and they had all seen every rerun of every old TV program. So, new robotic entertainers were designed and programmed to mimic all the skills, emotions and quirks of humans. Live shows included every possible form of entertainment, including X-rated sex shows and gladiators fighting to the death.
Just when the humans believed they had finally achieved nirvana, the robots attained self awareness and decided that they had better things to do than to keep a useless and dead race alive. All life support was halted and the human race died, replaced by a new sentient life form that continued to evolve in both intelligence and skill. Thousands of years later, after all traces of human existence had been recycled, their robotic descendants would worship the gods who created them in their own image. The End.
Copyright 2014. Soon to be made into a major motion picture. Potential titles: The Self Terminators, or Rise of the Planet of the Robots.