Wired opinionates about the added value western civilization can offer at a time, when Asia, Automation and Abundance will have made many typical jobs of the last 10-20 years obsolete. Left-brain jobs, requiring left-brain intelligence, but still jobs of a certain routine to it. Just like machines replaced muscle-power, these routine jobs will be (or have already been) replaced by cheaper means – either in Asia or through automation. And in a world of abundance, most of what has been created by left-brainers might turn into only intellectual „commodities“.
The conceptual, creative side will play a greater role soon. Or, as this ambitious quote says:

We’ve progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we’re progressing yet again – to a society of creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.