Rather than simply send the following brief reply to him privately, I am making it public to stimulate thinking by others, as well as John, after reading it and John's article.
"Can we learn to distribute our goods and services according to need (on an ongoing basis) rather than by the ability to pay?"
There is no "our goods and services". There are only goods and services that some single or group of individuals have produced in exchange directly for that of others of for a medium of exchange. You are taking a view that some large group - the population of the US?? - owns the good and services. But under this assumption who is going to produce those good and services?? Are you proposing that producers be required to produce simply because they know how?
"Wouldn't it be more efficient to have everybody freely working together, sharing ideas, thoughts and technical knowledge?"
Voluntary exchanging with others to mutual advantage with each seeking to maximize hir lifetime happiness is the situation of the goal society, I seek. However, one in which you describe where, just for one example, "provided housing ... priority [will] be established.. [p]erhaps [by] a local board elected by the people in the neighborhood such as a school board" is hardly one of voluntary exchange. It is one of central planning and rule by some elite group, which you don't define. But it is definitely not one in which good will will abound.
"The profit motive will no longer be a hindrance to efficiency. There will be no need to sacrifice quality and safety in our products for the sake of profit. We will, like in the olden days, take pride in our work."
You make the concept of "profit", otherwise known as gain, into a dirty word. In the goal society I envision and work towards making clear to others, each individual would be maximizing hir lifetime happiness all at the same time. But with what you are promoting, people would be doing work to make articles or provide services for no specific gain. Some board/group would decide what of all their wants/needs (and the board decides just what those are) they will get from others who are under the same requirement by this overriding board.
"However, ownership of property will remain the same as it is today. Our government will remain the same. Our free enterprise system will remain in place as it is today."This is impossible with the requirements of the society you have envisioned in which boards decide what is made, sold, and who will be granted possession of much of what is produced.
What you are proposing, John, is socialism, but you have very carefully not used that word, or communism, a variant. But avoiding the word does not change the message you are attempting to spread. These methods of a society in which individuals live much as you describe existed for over 50 years in the Soviet Union. It was a disaster - though not admitted by many Western economists and pundits who praised it until near its collapse - and has been everywhere else it has been tried. And as an education into the realities of current kibbutz in Israel ("Can you picture the USA as one big kibbutz?"), I suggest that you read what they are really like now after the start of this experiment in communalism (communism) in 1909 - 117,300 people live in 268 kibbutzim across Israel which has a population of 7,337,000. 5,542,000 of the population (75.5 percent) are Jewish Israelis and only 2.1% of these choose to live in a kibbutz.
John, I think you truly do want a better society, but your approach via socialism is without complete understanding of praxeology (the theory of human action - of which Mises "Human Action" and a more complete basis for all optimal human action is described by the Theory of Social Meta-Needs). Unfortunately, neither of these are yet taught at the majority of US educational institutions, but rather the various faulty philosophic and economic theories which dominate government actions.