For each of life’s ten essentials (Air * Water * Food * Clothing * Shelter * Information * Communication * Transportation * Health Care * and Energy) we will form a workgroup to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of the many individuals and organizations around the world who are active in that field to make a plausible estimate of what would be required to meet the one-time goal of making that necessity universally available, and what would be needed thereafter to maintain its availability at that level.
Ordinarily, such an estimate would be expressed in monetary terms, in trillions of dollars, euros, yen, or renminbe. In this case, however, the estimate will also include the cost in units of labor, which is the ultimate source of all wealth. In the case of water, for example, the relevant workgroup will estimate how many workers with each of the required skill sets (engineers, planners, ditchdiggers, plumbers, electricians, pump and filter manufacturers, etc.), laboring how many hours/months/years, would be needed to meet the pure-water objective.
The calculations are to include, not only the labor required for the final assembly and installation of materials and equipment, but also the labor involved all along the entire chain of production beginning with the extraction and harvesting of raw materials from nature’s bounty. Then, based upon a consolidation and integration of the authoritative estimates of all ten workgroups, we will proclaim − with the fanfare from a million metaphoric trumpets − that there is enough for everyone! Further, we will announce, with the support of graphs, statistics, and charts, that the abundance of available human, natural and technological resources makes it possible to provide every individual on the planet with all of life’s essentials; that an all-hands worldwide emergency effort could bring the planet’s entire population up to a humane and sustainable standard of living in just a few short years; and that the maintenance of that standard would require as little as the equivalent of a day a week from each of us as our individual contribution to the smooth functioning of the economic system.