Economics is about exchange.
It's based on the idea of supply and demand, but doesn't explain demand.
It simply assumes that demand exists, and that in an economic system, suppliers can fulfill them. But what if:
We could fundamentally understand demand
We could then fully supply demand at 100% effectiveness with 0 labor cost, thus ending the need for suppliers and exchange altogether
This would effectively end the need for economics & labor.
While this seems far fetched, it's simply a model without 1 of the 3 common fulfillment methods:
Fulfillment without exchange or tools (by oneself)
Fulfillment through exchange (by others)
Fulfillment through Technology (by tech)
Fulfillment without Exchange is the classic manual approach to solving problems. The limits of what can be accomplished are based on limits of physics and biology.
Most things are done this way.
We walk, talk, eat, digest, think, feel, and generally navigate life thanks primarily to the laws of physics and our biological structure. And without payment or exchange with others. They are done 'free of charge' and without direct outside intervention for achievement.
But, they are very limited... we can only walk so fast, and do so much. There are also plenty of things we could do, but prefer not to. So...
Fulfillment through Exchange is the next most natural approach to problems solving. If I can do it, so can others. If I can't, or don't want to do it, maybe other can. And I can get them to do it through some form of 'exchange'.
This is the basis of economics.
Money is a substitute for resources (labor or a physical resource), but is 1 of 3 means of achievement, and certainly not the only one.
Fulfillment through Technology is the last classic approach, and requires both the most and least resources, depending on where you are in the tech life cycle.
We are all aware of tech today, but often reserve the term for the latest technologies. Classic technologies like the wheel, fire, roads, houses, iron, or agriculture are often forgotten, but are just as much a technology, and serve the same function.
Technology exists... to perform tasks... that we otherwise can't, or don't want to.
The approach is not uniquely human (other creatures make homes, and use tools) but the extent to which we use technology is unique.
This brings us to a comparison of the 3 methods:
Manual "fulfillment without exchange" is differentiated from the others, which are grouped as forms of 'automation'
Tech is broken into its 2 primary phases, New and Existing
Fulfillment without Exchange -- Manually by oneself means a high degree of labor, some resource costs, but no cost for others. While the most common fulfillment method (both for work and play) it is the most labor intensive for the consumer.
Fulfilment through Exchange -- Automation to Others means essentially all the qualities of the manual approach, simply transferred to another person. With division of labor and specialization, there can be an efficiency gain in fulfillment, but this is not guaranteed. There is also a higher $ cost overall than the manual approach.
Fulfillment through Technology -- Automation to NEW Tech means that the technology to fulfill the need doesn't yet exist, and the cost of invention and production needs to be accounted for. This involves costs for both the intellectual and physical components, and so is the highest cost of all the options. It's also why it's used so infrequently, particularly by individuals. Very few people are true 'inventors'. But once it's been invented and produced, the math changes dramatically.
Fulfillment through Technology -- Automation to Existing Tech means that the tech already exists. We tend to call this "using" a technology or "applying" a technology. So, using you cell phone is far easier and costs far less than manufacturing it. We tend to consider 'use' a 'nominal cost'. When a technology lasts for a long time, we call it 'durable'.
The 'profitability' of a technology is often based on the cost applied to the initial invention and production of the tech, compared to the period and cost when it is bought. But, also before it can be easily duplicated and devalued.
We have lived in a world with all 4 of these methods for a very very very long time... 100s of thousands of years.
The methods and math haven't changed.
The ONLY change is that technology has gotten so good that there is nothing left that we can do manually that can't be fulfill more effectively and efficiently with tech.
We still can... but doing them manually is now the realm of 'hobby' and 'entertainment', instead of optimizing production.
The manual methods (By Oneself or By Others) are less effective AND less efficient than using Existing Tech.
The high costs of invention and production found at the early stages of New Technology are almost entirely in the past, and won't need to be absorbed in most fulfillment.
In short: We are living in an age, for the first time, where "Using existing Tech" is a method that can allow you to do everything you could want to do, WHILE also being the most effective AND efficient way of doing it.
The only remaining parts are:
Understanding where demand comes from, and how to teach technology to fulfill it
Helping humanity and it's institutions transition to a fully tech enabled society
Life after Labor
What will life after the need for labor be like...... once we apply tech to fulfill ALL of our need and demands... what will it be like?
It'll be like winning the lottery.
You can still do everything you want to do... travel... eat... take walks... surf the internet... You'll simply have the means to 'automate' everything you don't want to do.
And you can still be wrong.
Having the means to live the life of your dreams doesn't mean you'll be successful doing it on your own. So we will still need support, guidance, and protection, from our own and others mistakes and limitations.
But, we will each have the capability, and access to all the resources to do so.
Or put another way: Enabling technology to automatically manage our well-being is the closest we can get to actualizating heaven on earth.