Tired of the BS that is the rat race? System rigged? Tired of getting shafted as a near 1%er? Wish you could find the exit ramp for your life? —
One main ingredient in our well-being is being able to hear the financial news without supposing the end of the world is at hand. The leading economic indicators, the balance of payments, the energy crisis, inflation, unemployment, the GNP–what are they to us? Each evening on the six o’clock news the economists, the natural heirs of the medieval scholastic theologians, trot out all their nonsense and solemnly present it as being of cosmic significance. Now, why is this? After all, mankind was living on Earth-and often living well–for thou sands of years before the dogma of “growth” and the rest of our present economic catechism were invented.
My father and I produce most of our food and all of our drink (and fine food and drink they are, too, if I do say so myself ) and spend only about $700 each per year. And as I said, we imagine we live well. While not overly religious, we do heed the Biblical admonition that “every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:13). Notice it says “God,” not “GNP.”
We aren’t magic. Neither of us does anything any other reasonably able person can’t do–you, for instance.
Excerpt from the book Possum Living.
Its a short tome and can be read in an evening. If you have sat there looking at the bills and wondered why, it is a highly recommended read. Consider it a how-to for —
A young fisherman goes out every morning and brings back a dozen big fish. A lawyer on vacation notices this goes on for days on end. The lawyer finally approaches the fisherman offering a beer as he speaks.
“You fish everyday. Why not get a motor and catch more fish?”
“If I did then what?” asks the fisherman
“Get a bigger boat and catch even more fish and get a fine home with the proceeds.” intones the lawyer.
“Buy more boats and hire men to run them. Catch even more fish.”
“But why Senor?” the fisherman quizzes.
“So that you can buy the cannery, fix it up, retire and lay on the beach all day in retirement.” says the lawyer.
“But Senor I do that now except for the hour it takes to catch the fish.”
If you understand the logic then the book is for you. There are some cautions however. The book was published in 1978. In the interim technology has advanced. So the scene of making calls without being identified are long gone. If you live in a HOA or master planned community so too is the idea of ripping out your front lawn and raising wheat. A reasonable person will be able to identify the pitfalls from the intervening years.
The core of the book is a paid for home. With a roof over your head anything is possible. Yes I know, that’s X number of years in the future, Dog. Yes if you willingly accept the rules that the System has laid down. The book mentions one way in sufficient detail. There are other ways, if you are willing to move. Most of us are in the trap of having a job. Having that job we need housing in a reasonable distance of the job. We need the job to continue to use the housing. Sort of vicious isn’t it?
Uncouple the housing – job dynamic, then open your eyes. Walk away from the urban cores where costs are high. That which is called `flyover country` by the American Intelligentsia is teeming with low cost housing. There are whole sections of what were once suburban Detroit that are going for several thousand per lot. Cobble several parcels together for acreage. There are towns in the midwest that at one time or another were actively looking for people to homestead vacant properties. Cheap. Get an idea of where you might want to live then do the searching. If you are married it might mean a lot of changes, like being apart a good deal of the time while the primary bread winner keeps the money flowing till the final ties can be severed.
Adopting Possum Living can also be a political act if you wish it. Nothing overt mind you, more a personal middle finger to the fixtures that are embedded in America today. The Founders cobbled together a governmental system they assumed would encourage each to pursue their individual interests. (… pursuit of happiness…). Washington DC and Madison Ave have perverted the pursuit to their own interests by making their interests your desires.
Look at an IRS tax table. You find an interesting fact if you cobble some numbers — A family of four making less than $40k a year pays little or no federal tax. The Democrats have built it that way over the years. And an untold fact is that the Democrats have indexed it by their maneuverings over the years. Nothing in code but defacto indexing. In 1970 making less than $3k a year kept you from doing so, that $40k today does.
Can a family of four live on $40k? Certainly not in Central Park West NYC. But if you have situated yourself accordingly, adjusted your skill set for the local environs, grow most of your primary food sources on your small bit of acreage then it is certainly possible and with room for some luxuries.
The consequences? Well if enough middle class adopted the Jeffersonian agrarian mindset the tax base would whither over a very short period of time. Lacking the funds the government is in a pickle. The Democrats will not be willing to ratchet down the tax trigger for it will impact their constituency base of takers. There would not be enough 1%ers to cover the gap (there aren’t enough now). The beast starves.
But what is the whole purpose Dog? It can’t be just to stick it to The Man is it? No. Time my friend, time. Through out my life the mantra for my generation has been learn hard, work hard, work long then toward the end with maybe 20 years left of your life get the gold watch, retire to Florida and later turn to dust lying in an oxygen tent. Now does that sound like a deal^? Why can’t you do what you want when you are 30 or so? And have 40, 50 years to pursue it? If you have a roof over your head and food in the pantry, why not?
I know, it all sounds great but that book was written 30 years ago. You can’t possibly do that today! There is a family doing this today in Pasadena CA. They do it all on a 1/10 acre of land.
I don’t want to be labelled a slacker! Is a farmer a slacker? Most bust their humps running a megafarm. Its not easy work. But the fact is most agricultural pursuits have long periods of down time. Time which you use to your own pursuits. The other periods you too are working hard on a small bit of acreage. Its a matter of scale.
I close this treatise with the opening of a new page. The family intends on being on the homestead by February or March of next year. If there is the interest I will provide updates of our progress from time to time as we Go Galt and live the Possum Lifestyle.
“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”
— Thomas Jefferson
^Most of it I don’t regret cause by God’s hand I had so much fun doing most of it that it did not seem like work most of the time. Except for the meetings, those damn meetings.