It's a hell of a lot of complexity.
I would argue that since the industrial revolution, we've probably had the THEORETICAL ABILITY to give everyone a decent life (food, water, shelter, electricity...) if we could organize society properly.
I don't think it is a surprise that communism came about around the same time as the industrial revolution where it became possible for academics and others to 'see' a better world.
The trouble has always been how to organize society properly.
And never underestimate this problem.
It sounds nice to change to a guaranteed income and you could save money spent on countless government programs. But here we go. Have you seen what happens to countries as they deal with public sector unions? It's hard enough to get wage freezes or pension reform. You're talking about gutting entire agencies. Good luck with that one.
Then we still have to deal with the reality that we're not in robot utopia yet and some jobs still need to be done. And who will want to do them if the guaranteed income provides a *good enough* life? Oh sure, it is easy for academics and others with pretty interesting jobs to think they'd just keep working. I'm sure I'd still write software. I'm sure some people would still teach, be doctors... I mean I certainly wouldn't work as hard as I do now, but I'd still do it out of interest.
But I mean, who'd want to stock shelves, go into the mines to mine lithium, clean the sewers...
I'm not saying it is impossible, I'm just saying it is pretty screwed up. You can say those jobs would increase wages and maybe that works. On the other hand, what could that extra money buy you versus someone who just get the free money?
So maybe we assign people work. Not guaranteed income, but guaranteed jobs. Now you're into how much is each job worth. How do you keep people working at a productive pace? Who gets what job? What should the state focus on? All the problems communism ended up with.
Somehow, the 'good' jobs get assigned to those with connections. All the crappy jobs get assigned to those without. And those with the good jobs and connections start trumping themselves up on how they deserve more.
You see this today. Oh, I studied for 5 years! I deserve more money than someone with a high school education! Even if the person with a high school education is performing a more useful task to society or is doing a job that is harder/more competitive/produces more for others?
And how will society respond to being told they would be assigned jobs? Or maybe you can just bring in enough immigrants or outsource enough work to third world countries? Who knows.
Right now, in Canada we have a shortage of farm workers because Canadians won't do the work and with increased scrutiny of temporary foreign labor, it results in problems.
Or what should society focus on?
This is a huge one. I tell you right now, I'd rather work less and focus on infrastructure. But others want more healthcare. Others want more education. Others want more military. Others might want to explore space...
And then you have the state making others work harder to make those goals happen. And judging by history, those in power do not want to just give the rest of us a good life. Imagine if the soviet union focused on giving the people a good life? Instead they focused on the military and expansion.
Can you design a system of government to ensure the people are the focus?
It's a hugely complex problem.
It's not a technical problem, but an organization one.
But those are normally the hardest problems to solve.