Artificial Intelligence leads to Structural Unemployment leads to Indentured Servitude.
Let me explain.
Artificial intelligence leads to a wave of unemployment unheard of due to the levels of automation possible. As a society pushed constantly towards a digital future by tech giants and Gov depts it has become a lot easier to lose your job than during the Industrial Revolution.
Structural unemployment takes hold before nation states and governments can cope with and put plans into action, mainly due to them spending years talking about action but never preparing for it. UBI is a myth, perpetuated and supported in theory by the very billionaires and tech leaders who developed and invested in the systems that took the jobs.
Fiscal and national economics cannot sustain such a sweeping change in society.
The unemployed riot, the unemployed still consume. As of 2021 we are consuming 73% more Earth resources than the planet can regenerate, it cannot support a growing civilization that adds nothing to the ecosystem.
But there is an answer.
The White Knights arrive promising new worlds, a new life. They'll take you there if you pledge your fealty. You become indentured to them willingly, there is little hope left here on Earth as society creaks at the seams to bursting point and AI automates much of the joy you once felt.
Your new life awaits, building the settlements on distant worlds away from Earth.
All aboard, next stop: Mars