Website owner:  James Miller

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Attaining an Independent and Self-Sufficient Lifestyle

   There are many negatives associated with jobs and working in 
   organizations for other people.  To me the ideal is an 
   independent lifestyle in which you work for yourself.

   Q. Why do so many people in our society work for others?

   A. We live in a highly organized, highly interdependent society 
      where most of the jobs available involve working for others.  
      Whether we are talking about manufacturing, service 
      industries, government jobs, teaching, etc. they all involve 
      working for others.  And because the cost of living is so 
      high (i.e. you have to pay the rent, buy food, etc.), and 
      because everyone else works for others, most people take 
      that route because it seems the simple, natural and easy 
      route to take.  And once they have taken that route their 
      appetite for all the "good things of life" starts increasing 
      and they start buying expensive houses, cars, clothes, etc..  
      And as their appetites increase so the money requirements 
      needed to support the lifestyle increases.  Their "cost of 
      living" goes higher and higher.  And where does all the 
      money needed to support their selected lifestyle come from?  
      Their job.  And so the job becomes more and more important 
      because their job is the underpinning, the entire support, 
      for their expensive lifestyle.  A threat to their job is a 
      threat to their entire lifestyle.  They become a slave to 
      their job.  To lose or quit it would be unthinkable.  They 
      need it so much they would do almost anything to keep it, 
      including bending a few moral principles.  Their needs 
      become iron chains binding them to their jobs.

   Q. How can one attain the ideal, that independent, self-
      sufficient lifestyle in which one is working for himself?

   A. Because most jobs in which you are working for yourself may, 
      at the start at least, pay much less than those in which you 
      are working for others I would say there are two first 

       1) Reduce your wants.  Ask yourself how little you really 
         need in order to be happy;  ask what the minimum is that 
         you really need.  Try to devise in your mind a lifestyle 
         that is the simplest possible in wants and needs. 

       2) Reduce your requirements for cash money.  The more cash 
         money you need for your lifestyle the more likely it is 
         you will have to take a job working for others.  If, 
         however, you can conceive for yourself a lifestyle in 
         which you have built your own house out of adobe for 
         almost nothing (and thus have no mortgage payments), you 
         grow your own food (and thus have few needs for cash in 
         that regard), have no car (so you are not paying out the 
         high costs of car ownership), etc. then your requirements 
         for cash income is low and the independent, self-
         sufficient lifestyle starts sounding feasible.  How about 
         a homestead out in the country where you have a goat, a 
         few rabbits, a flock of geese and a garden?

   Q. What are the things in the American lifestyle that are the big 
      requirers of cash?

   A. The following:

           - rent payments (or house payments)
           - cars (cost of owning and operating)
           - food
           - clothes
           - medical expenses
           - entertainment
           - taxes
           - utility bills (heating, cooling, etc.)

   Apr 1981

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