The Calculation Problem -- Without prices resources cannot be rationally distributed.
No, that's not the calculation problem. The calculation problem is: without exchanges of private property, there are no prices; and without prices, there is no information that anyone can use to compare the costs and benefits of some action with the costs and benefits of some alternative action. It concerns the INPUTS that one relies on in order to make informed decisions about what to produce and what to consume.
Economic calculation is the process of deciding what action you can take that will result in a state of affairs at some point in the future (whether that's 5 seconds or 50 years from now) that YOU find more-preferrable to some other state of affairs. It's about predicting what the results of action will likely be, based on the existing alternatives, which are constantly changing. Those inputs include everything that everyone else is doing or not doing. That's what makes an economic system complex.
So, economic calcuation is not primarily about "distribution of resources." The process of everyone engaging in economic calculation is one component
that affects how resources end up getting distributed, but the Economic
Calculation Problem is much more fundamental than that.
Demand - How much people want or need something, measured
using surveys and data on their usage.
No, that's wrong, too. I have always thought that "demand" is a poor word for what it really describes. Demand is not just "what people want." "What people want" is purely hypothetical and abstract. Desire is imaginary. It is what you might be able to have if things were different than they are now. None of that matters in economics. Economics is concerned with what actually is.
Demand is really just a matter of preferences -- preferring some outcome more than some other outcome. It is therefore entirely relative. It can only be seen when you put two (or more) REAL alternatives next to each other and choose one over the other.
This is what people mean when we say that "subjective value is ordinal." That's just a complicated way of saying that demand (in the economic sense) is a matter of exercising one's preferences. Every thing one wants is either higher or lower on the list of wants -- either more-preferred or less-preferred than something else.
As a result, demand for some economic good can ONLY be measured by what each individual person is willing to FOREGO in order to get it.
This cannot be measured by surveys, because surveys cost nothing. It makes ZERO economic difference whether you answer a survey asking for X amount of stuff or 10,000X. It costs the same amount of time, ink and energy to ask for X as it does to ask for 10,000X. A survey therefore measures nothing meaningful. The only true measure of demand is what people are willing to forego in order to get something. That may be money they're willing to part with, goods they give away (or don't buy), labor to expend, leisure to avoid, time spent doing X instead of Y, whatever.
Every one will be provided a nice, but minimalistic, living through
mechanization. This freeing of humanity will create a new renaissance of creativity
and progress. The creativity renaissance may be precluded by a golden age of
laziness; doing nothing gets boring though and people will continue to produce
even if their needs are provided for.
Have you paused to consider why you are attracted to this as your ideal vision of the world? Put aside the economics for a moment, and think about you and your own life and situation.
It sounds to me like you are describing what YOU want -- to be provided a nice-but minimalistic living, just for being you, which you'd probably use at first to do little or nothing, and perhaps followed by some artistic work you find personally fulfilling.
It sounds like the dreamy fantasy of a 20-something soon-to-be or recent-graduate who hates the idea of entering the workforce full-time, and wants to have the life of relative leisure and artistic exploration that is possible when you are being provided stuff by others. This "other" has merely taken on the form of robots and computers, as a proxy for parents, the State, etc.
It also sounds positively awful. Have you visited housing projects? Section 8 apartments? They are filled with people whose "minimalistic" needs are met by the welfare system. They have food, clothing, shelter and medical care provided to them, and remain unemployed. It results in depression, suicide, drug abuse, and general apathy and destruction of any kind of planning and foresight.
I don't like to waste my time, if I'm going to be spending
time explaining the intricacies of a RBE I want to be sure I am hitting home.
Stefan, that would be you. I don't want to spend my time debating hundreds of
individuals of lesser intelligence and with lesser influence then yourself. I'd
like to hear more of your questions or concerns within this thread. I only
request that you allow me to handle your questions on an individual basis. You
can see that one question can take a while to answer, if you want a proper
answer. I look forward to coming to a resolution on an ideal economic/social
Good luck with that.
"The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime."
-- Max Stirner