There are a lot of people unhappy with the progress, or lack of progress, Obama has made on the many economic, social and political problems he faced when he took office. Me too, to some extent. But that brings to mind a really tough question, or major project most likely. Suppose we accept the fact that our present technology is powerful but has limits, that our present knowledge of economics and finance enables us to do lots of things but has limits, or in general, that we have many powerful techniques of attacking the world's problems but they all have limits. The other major consideration in solving all these problems is that people can't get along. Rich and poor, Democrats and Republicans, Sunnis and Shiites, Taliban and Afghans, etc. all are at each others throats. They're all trying to optimize their own progress.
So my question is this. Suppose some aliens from another world sent some flying saucers here over one weekend and sprinkled an anti-conflict dust over the entire world. When we woke up the next Monday morning, everyone in the world had lost all desire to fight with someone else over anything. We're all just one big happy family interested in solving the world's problems and improving everyone's standard of living and happiness quotient as rapidly as possible. How fast could we progress in achieving some such goal as this? Would it be possible to put together a study which would answer this question to any degree of reliability? What I'm looking for is some sort of standard to measure Obama, or any other world leader say, against. It's clearly unreasonable to hold someone responsible for slow progress if, in this imaginary utopia, it would take a century to make substantial progress.
I'm interested in some sort of answer even though it might be necessary to make assumptions as to how to proceed. For example, I don't care whether you use a planned economy or just let capitalism do the job. But I do want it to recognize real world limits. Like there are billions of people around the world who have to have jobs which put them on the road to the same standard of living as everyone else in the world. Like providing transportation and energy for everyone in the world will have to produce pollution of some sort. And all other real-life limits.
What would this utopia look like and how fast could we get there?