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comment by francopoli
francopoli  ·  1043 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Your Job Is Pointless

    How much money do you have in the bank?

One year's take home pay not counting 401K and investments.

    If you stop working now, how many years could you live with that money, in a decent cheap house (in a cheap part of your country, not even in a cheap foreign country)

If I stretched it, sold the house lived in a shitty apartment, 2-3 years. Having lived in shitty apartments let me say that I will never allow myself to do that again, and I won't ever do it willingly. How about you?

    Remember you do not have to work: so no transit, no representation shopping, plenty of time, so you can enjoy repairing broken furniture instead of replacing it, you can enjoy cooking instead of going out, etc.. You can fish, but will more likely buy fish... fish are cheap. How many years?

This sounds like hippy bullshit so let's break it down.

    so no transit

So, you are never going to leave home? Walk everywhere? Bike? Bikes cost money, walking costs time and burns food that will have to be procured. Walking a few miles a day is very energy intensive and that energy needs to be replaced or you get sick and hurt.

    no representation shopping

Which I personally don't do. I spend my money on my hobbies and books. I guess we need to define "representation shopping?"

    plenty of time, so you can enjoy repairing broken furniture instead of replacing it,

Repairing furniture is a skill you get better at. Depending on costs involved, this does not take a lot of time. Hell under your system, build your own furniture. But don't buy the lumber cause you don't work. So go find trees, cut them down. Go find sheep and make the wool. Go find deer and cows to skin for leather. Grow a few hundred acres of cotton for fabric.

    you can enjoy cooking instead of going out

I already cook my own meals and rarely eat out. Are there people who need this bit of advice? sure. So I'll give you 1/2 this point. The raw ingredients still need to come from somewhere, food will need to be stored and defended against the elements and vermin, and cooking implements will need to be either made or procured.

    You can fish, but will more likely buy fish

What in the actual fuck? Where the hell do you live that you think someone can just pick up and live off the land? I mean I live out in the middle if the USA and I can't pull this one off. Studies I see say you need 5 acres to feed yourself. one such link That much land is about 300K out here if you have access to water, and that does not necessarily include a stream or pond with fish in it. Unless you own 20 acres you need to pay for hunting licenses, deer tags etc. Then you need to build a shelter. And the starting livestock (go with goats they are easier than cows and take less room).

I'm getting a vibe off you that have some overly romantic version of life that will be crushed in 30 minutes of living out in the sticks. I could up and quit right now, buy land and have the cash to live for a while. But I know shit about farming, rural living, auto repair and the tens if not hundreds of skills needed to not die on my own. This is how a specialized economy works. I do something that is needed, you do something else that is needed, and we use that labour to pay for the services of other people who do work that needs to be done. Farmers farm, milling companies turn that into food, trucking companies ship it, retailers store and sell the final goods. Money makes that all happen otherwise the farmer has to spend a not minimal time doing tasks that are not farming.

    Those years measure the part of your income that go into paying for the obligatory expense your working lifestyle impose upon you.And that's my only argument: money you get from work is overrated, it is mostly useful because you work.

Maybe if you make minimum wage. Or have some insane crazy expensive lifestyle. I have to keep track of work expenses for tax purposes, and less than one week a year is needed to pay for my work related expense. This is everything I need to 'work' and use for work alone. My car makes me mobile so I am not stuck in the house all the time, along with taking me to work. My house (worth below median value for the area if that is important to you) holds my stuff, lets me get a good sleep, keeps me warm and dry at night and is almost paid off. My yearly utilities cost less than two weeks of full time work a year, my insurance bill is about a week's employment, so even if I am generous and include that, I am spending about a month's labour to "work" and everything else is for my life.

Off the grid living is not camping, and if that is your goal, cool go for it. But for a sizable chunk of people that ain't gonna happen. The first bad rain, or -20F night or the first time you slip and gash your leg open or even coming to the realization that a "hunter-gatherer" life is brutal and short will make you realize why people in those societies die young.

    There must be a case for a sustainable innovative world where we work 15-10-5h/week. But obviously we will be too bored to indulge in it.

Now this I agree with. And better utilization of our workforce is something I think we should talk about.




kleinbl00  ·  1043 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Adding:

Your link implies that self-sufficiency can be accomplished in 2 acres of selective, intensive agriculture, which is a number I've seen a few places. If you delve deeper into it, you'll see that the hour estimates for that sort of lifestyle hover around 10-16 hrs/week for half the year, and 2 or less for the rest of it. This is a great book - it was reprinted in 1973, first published in 1929 or so. It still implies mechanized agriculture; you can subsist on 5 acres if you have a tractor, a truck to get your produce to market, and a house pre-built.

There's this real Chris McCandless vibe to a lot of young mens' concepts of self-sufficiency without really grasping that Chris McCandless starved to death 5 months into his odyssey even with someone else's hunting shack to live in. A more reasonable and sustainable approach can be found in Shannon Hayes' Radical Homemakers, which solves the investment capital quandary with "freeload off your friends and relatives until you don't have to anymore."

Which gets to the crux of the issue - money exists so that people without nepotism can function. If you have nepotism, you don't need money. Even then, subsistence farming is a job just like any other. Its hallmarks include difficult manual labor, long hours and outsized risk exposure due to weather, market forces, blight, etc. I love me some Mother Earth News as much as the next guy (had a letter published, in fact!) but even the most die-hard preppers will point out that self-reliance is hella hard work.

There's a reason jobs specialized. I'd much rather make hundreds of dollars a day pushing faders than averaging less than a hundred dollars a day milking cows. As a result, I arranged my education and experience to further that goal. That doesn't make me deviant, that makes me normal.

francopoli  ·  1043 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Your link implies that self-sufficiency can be accomplished in 2 acres of selective, intensive agriculture, which is a number I've seen a few places.

This assumes you know how to raise food, which is much more involved than throwing seeds into dirt.

    There's this real Chris McCandless vibe to a lot of young mens' concepts of self-sufficiency without really grasping that Chris McCandless starved to death 5 months into his odyssey even with someone else's hunting shack to live in.

That is the one I was thinking. There is a romantic version of going back to nature, living off the land etc. There is a reason it is a romantic fantasy; go talk to a old farmer for a few hours and that fantasy comes crashing down. I have the added benefit that I have friends living on farms so I get to see how the sausage is made and have no desire to do that on my own.

    There's a reason jobs specialized. I'd much rather make hundreds of dollars a day pushing faders than averaging less than a hundred dollars a day milking cows. As a result, I arranged my education and experience to further that goal. That doesn't make me deviant, that makes me normal.

Bingo. I make ~100 per billable hour; doing a lot of things would be a good learning experience but there is an opportunity cost that needs to be added to the equation. The concept of an opportunity cost is one of the things I have trouble explaining to people.