There is an emerging paradox within the flow of technological diffusion. The paradox is, ironically, that rapid progress of technology has constrained its own ability to progress further.
What exactly is the meaning of this? As we see from Chapter 3 of the ATOM, all technological products currently amount to about 2% of GDP. The speed of diffusion is ever faster (see chart), and the average household is taking on an ever-widening range of rapidly advancing products and services.
Refer to the section from that chapter, about the number of technologically deflating nodes in the average US household by decade (easily verified by viewing any TV program from that decade), and a poll for readers to declare their own quantity of nodes. To revisit the same thing here :
Include : Actively used PCs, LED TVs and monitors, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, VR headsets, digital picture frames, LED light bulbs, home networking devices, laser printers, webcams, DVRs, Kindles, robotic toys, and every external storage device. Count each car as 1 node, even though modern cars may have $4000 of electronics in them.
Exclude : Old tube TVs, film cameras, individual software programs and video games, films on storage discs, any miscellaneous item valued at less than $5, or your washer/dryer/oven/clock radio just for having a digital display, as the product is not improving dramatically each year.
1970s and earlier : 0
1980s : 1-2
1990s : 2-4
2000s : 5-10
2010s : 12-30
2020s : 50-100
2030s : Hundreds?
Herein lies the problem for the average household. The cost to upgrade PCs, smartphones, networking equipment, TVs, storage, and in some cases the entire car, has become expensive. This can often run over $2000/year, and unsurprisingly, upgrades have been slowing.
The technology industry is hence a victim of its own success. By releasing products that cause so much deflation and hence low Nominal GDP growth and sluggish job growth, the technology industry has been constricting its own demand base. Amidst all the job-loss through technological automation, the hiring of the tech industry itself is constrained if fewer people can keep buying their products. If the bottom 70-80% of US household income brackets can no longer keep up with technological upgrades, their ability to keep up with new economic opportunities will suffer as well.
This is why monetization of technological progress into a dividend is crucial, which is where the ATOM Direct Universal Exponential Stipend (DUES) fits in. It is so much more than a mere 'basic income', since it is directly indexed to the exact speed to technological progress. As of April 2017, the estimated DUES amount in the US is $500/month (up from $400/month back in February 2016 when the ATOM was first published). A good portion of this cushion enables faster technology upgrades and more new adoption.