Automation, in essence, is just one of many instances of industrial glut. The problem of surplus is nothing new, as George Orwell pointed out in 1984: "Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to
do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial
society." In the first half of the 20th century, industrial glut had been one of the reasons why some people looked forward to war.
From the Marxist point of view, the 1930's depression was also caused by increased productivity: at one hand, machine churned out much more stuff than before, at the other hand, workers lost their jobs because machines did better job. The result was a machine-made abundance few people can enjoy because people had no money. If people had not stick to the first principle that everyone had to work to make money, then there would have been no problem. But people firmly believed that every penny had to be earned, as a consequence of which, the great depression raged on. Marxism is partly true, partly false. I have to say this part is true.
China is currently experiencing industrial glut. The Chinese government's response is moving towards 4-day work week. Although there are many aspects of the Chinese government I do not like, I have to admin that this policy is a very good one. As Bertrand Russell pointed out in his In Praise of Idleness:
Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle. Modern methods of production have given us the possibility of ease and security for all; we have chosen, instead, to have overwork for some and starvation for others. Hitherto we have continued to be as energetic as we were before there were machines; in this we have been foolish, but there is no reason to go on being foolish forever.