The highest regular task of the United Nations central Assembly and other assemblies representative of the people of the world would be to rank human activities by relative need and social value, doing so as finely or crudely as circumstances permit or require. Allowing basic subsistence is more important than providing a yacht; caring for infants is more valuable than adding houses to an urban sprawl. Neither socialist nor capitalist will deny the validity of this kind of choice in a world where everyone must be content with a lot less than everything. The people's representatives must increasingly make this kind of determination which the market (and the economics profession with its GNP mythology) are unfit to make. To each activity, a Value Index is assigned.
Fundamental to both capitalist and socialist perestroika is the Rule of Accountability, which forms the basis of a second index, the Social Costs Index. The pollution, road-use, policing, and every other social cost attributable to a given activity should be carefully calculated by an expert agency of public policy scientists serving the assemblies. Private enterprise and state activities and independent non-commercial associations must all come under scrutiny in this regard.
A third index is the Production Costs Index and reflects the material, labor and charges going into the activity. This PCI, added to the Social Costs Index (SCI), and then subtracted from the Value Index (VI) gives in effect the Supplier's Offering Price. This price encounters the bidders coming out of the Demand side with their bids, and the selling price eventuates from the haggling of sellers and buyers. It is expressed in money and the exchange takes place.
Then, we can say, "infant care" (actually several components) will possibly be given a high Value Index such as 9 out of 10, a medium Social Costs Index of 3, and a medium Production Costs Index of 3, for a supply offering at a negative price of -3, evidencing that this activity is due for subsidy to bring it at least up to a price of zero, which means that it is "given away," provided free. The components of a decent minimum subsistence (also several and separately figured in reality) will receive a VI of 10, a low SCI of 4 and a low PCI of 2, providing an offering price in the haggling range of -4, meaning again a heavy subsidy, a giveaway, which is brought up to where it can be handled in the market or delivered to claimants quite outside of the market distribution system. A motor yacht will be denoted by a low Value Index, a high Social Costs Index for its polluting, unused and un-useful functioning, its high demand for energy, and its use of public-private costly docking, etc. It is an expensive production and will have a high PCI, giving it a total Offering Price made up of 8 + 9 - 1 = 16; if a buyer can afford this price and really wants a boat he is welcome to his yacht; it would be better all around if he took after his grandfathers and bought or made a dinghy.
The judgement of the people's representatives is crucial; if they have slipped through the elective process, even though they are corrupt or militaristic or stupid, they may assign high social value to unnecessary weaponry that would have cannons available for sale to the government itself or to third parties at low prices. Or, what is also possible, the Assembly, lacking courage or influenced by conventional capitalist economists and other moral relativists, will assign roughly the same Value Index to practically every activity. The consequence of this behavior would be a general tendency of the world to get poorer and more polluted, and to continue existing patterns of invidious discrimination.