Monday, 14 June 2010

How much is enough?


600 years ago, your average farmer worked just 120 days per year, his wife stayed at home and raised the kids and they spent the rest of the year feasting and partying. Fair enough, life expectancy was short and could be brutal if your feudal Lord decided he didn't like your lack of forelock tugging but we obviously survived and thrived.

To maintain the same standard of living today, two adults must work around 440 days a year between them. Not much time for feasting and partying, even if the kitchen is full of time saving white goods. Too busy buying shite we'll forget we even had 10 years from today.

Why? Why are we working ourselves to death? Africans don't. South Americans don't. Eskimos don't. Aborigines don't. Navajo Indians don't and the rain forests of the Amazon are hardly full of stressed executives preparing powerpoint slides and fretting over their blackberries.

Why do we do it? Where is all the leisure time we were promised when the toaster was invented? Whilst the washing machine runs for an hour instead of 8 hours of hand washing, what are we doing with that saved time? Educating our kids? Enjoying the one life we get? Spending quality time with loved ones? No, we're working. To buy more time saving devices so we can work more with the time saved.

I've worked exactly how much money I need, how much I spend and how much I save. Assuming I live to 75 and don't have a crippling disease, I'll need around £600,000. Not exactly a fortune but half of that will be tied up in property anyway. I'm not expecting the state to cough up anything and in return, I'm not expecting taxes to rise either.

I'm not going to own a helicopter, an infinity pool or a diamond studded Learjet. I have no desire to own more than two suits or every release of the iPhone. In fact, I've realised.....

I have enough.

I'm done with "stuff". I'm free. Niether my children or I are going to starve or be homeless. Ever. So I'm not going to bust a gut for anybody.

Now of course, I'm not telling my readers what is right or wrong or how to live your lives but perhaps if a few of us just decided that the endless scramble to sell our labour to the highest bidder, the endless consumption of everything we see and the endless struggle to own it all is actually pointless.

If you lose your money, you can regain it. If you lose your health, you can recover it, even if you lose a loved one, you will get over it. The one thing you can never ever have again is your Time. It's gone and it's never coming back. Ever.

Think about that the next time the boss wants you to work late whilst he takes his family to a restaurant or the government asks you to work harder "for the sake of the economy" from their villas in Tuscany.

Ps. Keep an eye on my MP, Brooks Newmark. So far this parliament, he's been to Boston to watch his kid graduate from Harvard and is currently in South Africa watching the football.

UPDATE: This little gem arrived in the comments section. Fascinating. Idleness is GOOD.

98 comments:

richard said...

Hurrah!

bofl said...

blimey holby!!!!!!!

you are correct. we have been duped.
it was the same when the stones wrote 'satisfaction'.in the 1970s we were going to be richer than saudi (due to north sea oil) and all enjoying ourselves!!!!!! ho-hum.

we are caught in a game of one- upmanship. buying stuff to impress others. most of it gets thrown away.

i know someone that has bought an £80,000 smallbone kitchen.
in 10 years time it will be ripped out and taken to the tip,because it will be out of fashion! go to a car breakers and see all the cars piled up.....
some people have worked themselves almost to death to buy a chariot and they too all become unfashionable and end up in the crusher.........

thinking of how much effort is needed to buy these vanity products is an eye opener........how many hours would it take on minimum wage to buy an £80,000 kitchen?????

it is also true that our towns and planners have no interest in quality of life. in s.e essex we are crammed in like sardines.terraced houses converted into 3 or more flats with little if any sound proofing and no parking.

the countryside is being destroyed to make way for shopping centres.(to buy more shit-made in 3rd world sweat shops)at my local golf club there is now a huge b+q looking like a vast black monolith from a sci-fi film.

where i lived as a teenager is now a vast mass of houses. once land is built on it is LOST!

it will never be arable land again.

for all the marvellous things we have today it doesnt seem that as a people we are any happier does it?

john in cheshire said...

Welcome to the club. I made the same evaluation about a decade ago and 3 years ago I stopped working altogether. Like you, I think I've got enough to live on for the rest of my life. Not an extravagent lifestyle, but if buying things is recognised for what it is, living becomes quite pleasant.

Roger Thornhill said...

This concept slammed into me when I stRted my business.

Away from the monthly income that would refill coffers each month making that stream of "must get" possible, I just stopped buying shyte.

I kept my phone. I did not buy a new car, just chose a secondhand Merc wisely ( it is still with me, 8 years later) which I am sure has saved me probably £20+ grand if not more and makes me greener than any pompous egotistical Prius driver.

Renovating the house now means tough choices, but designing to enable us to keep old kit kit until it really needs to go will save us bundles and we will be able to update and refresh with limited costs. Buying quality and robustness, not trendy tat.

If people want to buy tag then fine, but such things should be done intentionally not via inertia or ignorance.

Anonymous said...

even if you lose a loved one, you will get over it." How very true I know when my first wife ran off with my best friend I have no idea who he is but he is my best friend. As for the rest of the bollocks just ask any centre lathe turner (if you can find one) and ask him how much he has saved up about 2 weeks on the dole or sick before he is banging on the door of the social security office. Fuck me save us from smug fuckers like you.

Sack MP's said...

So "your" troughing bastard MP isn't even at work (HoC)? Is he being paid (apologies for a stupid question)?
Also, where the fuck is McBruin? He hasn't turned up for work once this Parliament. Don't give me bollocks about exhaustion.
The bastards have 3 months off anytime soon annyway. Suppose he HAD won the GE (thank fuck he didn't), he'd have had to have fucking turned up then (more saving of the world to be done).

MP = Utter, utter thieving corrupt, lying bastard.

JD said...

Thanks for reminding me.

Dioclese said...

Couldn't agree more! Six years ago having just turned 50 I walked away from a lucrative contract in IT because I added up what I had and looked at what I would have to give up if I took the job.

I did the for/against balance sheet thing and guess what? The only thing on the for side was the money. Then I thought again and crossed it out and wrote "money not that good" on the against side. When I turned the offer down, the first thing the company did was to up the pay - so I concluded that I was correct in my decision!

Interestingly, when I analysed it all in hard cash (typical ex bloudy accountant - sorry!) I realised that one of the biggest daily expense in my life was actually attending work. Add up the suits, travel, second car, meals, mobile phone etc and you can see what I mean.

On a cruise recently on a very nice boat, I met a man who had just retired from a big US financial company. I made this same point to him and asked what his biggest daily expense was. He replied thoughtfully "Oh - er - the Ferraris" Turns out he collects them.

Different world over there isn't it?

Dave said...

Agreed. I spent more than 20 years in retail and couldn't fathom why people bought food to last 3 weeks when we were closed for one day over a bank holiday. I couldn't work out why anyone would want to buy a video or dvd when they'd only watch the film once. I don't understand why people, in the rush to express their individuality, rush out to buy the latest clothes or gadget, so that they all look and sound the same as everyone else.
This of course makes me an enemy of the state. The last government relied on the sheeple buying things they didn't want, using money they didn't have,all to impress people they didn't like.

I'm not going shopping to save the economy.

Caratacus said...

Spot on OH.

About five years ago I had the opportunity of expanding my little business and this would have meant taking on three employees. Mrs.C and I sat down and worked things through - after acting as an unpaid tax collector, an unpaid social worker, been allowed the privelige of having to keep someone on the books even if he's a lazy sod we reckoned we would have been around £10,000 a year better off. So we said bugger it, no thank you very much. I remain self-employed, just little old me, I have weekends and evenings off, I am relaxed most of the time and it's worth ten grand a year for the lack of headaches.

Dennis said...

In the days of which you speak, the economy was largely barter, with some cash.
Now that the banks have succeeded in creating an almost cashless society, the realisation of what money really represents has disappeared, almost totally, from the public comprehension.

No one seems to wonder why your car (for example) starts to loose value as soon as you buy it, and yet your house starts to increase in value at an alarming rate.

It is all tied together in "unreal" economics.

http://realitymoney.page.tl/

Anonymous said...

I agree entirely Old Holborn.

The problem is that the bastard boomers haven't bought into this. So I'll be forced to spend much more than I want to just to provide a roof over myself and my Mrs's heads.

SadButMadLad said...

"600 years ago, your average farmer worked just 120 days per year, his wife stayed at home and raised the kids and they spent the rest of the year feasting and partying."

Bollocks. 600 years ago your average farmer spent 365 days partying. It was the agricultural labourers who worked 365 days a year. They had to work every day possible for the meagre wages to get the food that only just kept them alive. Their wives also worked hard. Doing such tasks as straw weaving or spinning wool. Their children also worked hard from a young age, as young 10. Thats why we have summer holidays, to allow the children to go and work out in the fields to bring in the harvest.

Old Holborn said...

Sad,

Read the facts

Not a wage slave. said...

Well said OH
I realised this about 7 years ago and decided to sell up the house and downsize to a smaller one in the country.Been mortgage free since then and havnt seen the need to work all hours just to buy the latest crap.Still do a bit of self employed work but am not bothered about the latest car or phone.I do come across quite a lot of the executive BMW brigade however who are still motivated by driving a shit german car and going to the golf course after long houirs at the office.
They really dont get it do they.

Ron Broxted said...
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Watt Tyler said...

"600 years ago, your average farmer worked just 120 days per year"

Where have you got this fucking wank from?

Do you think the average person 600years ago owned a fucking farm?

People were forced to provide a certain amount of Labour for their feudal Lords farm, they spent the rest of the time working to grow subsistence crops on common ground to survive.

Do you know anything about Livestock? How exactly do you have 245 days out of the year leaving them to their own devices, never read such utter shit.

RantinRab said...

I laugh at the fuckwits who mortgage themselves up to the hilt in order to own a poorly built rabbit hutch in a row of identical rabbit hutches.

They own a car each and have all the latest gear.

They eat beans and toast for tea, the wife works to help pay the bills and the kids barely recognise their parents as they are farmed out to carers and grandparents every working day.

For what?

Old Holborn said...

Watt Tyler

A Dairy farm was unheard of 1400. You owned a cow and a pig on unenclosed land.

It was only with the enclosure act that landowners decided the peasants could become "productive" and started working us like dogs.

Hence the reference to Eskimos, Abbos, Gypos and Africans who are rarely "enclosed" by anyone or anything

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Fausty said...

You can probably lay some blame on the disposability of goods.

When I were a lass, we bought a lounge suite for life - hell, even a box for life - their being made of solid stuff, created by craftsmen, at a time when "made in England" was proudly stamped on most goods.

Now, we can expect microwaves to last 2 years, so we have to keep shelling out - and besides, everyone wants the latest model because it's 'cool'. So, in a quarter of a century, you can expect to purchase 12 microwaves. If each costs £40, you'll spend nearly £500.

We can blame the media and advertising for that, fuelled by the greedy corporations.

Old Holborn said...

"We can blame the media and advertising for that, fuelled by the greedy corporations."

I blame greedy people

Morlock said...

Spot on, OH.

Not that it's a particularly original thought: Aristotle makes much of leisure being the goal that we should be striving for.

Unfortunately(?!), if too many folks shared this thinking, our entire economic system would collapse: it requires constant growth. No wonder that there is so much overt and covert pressure to conform to the work/sleep/work/die mantra.

Rebel Saint said...

Thanks OH - pulled me up short.

"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul" - Jesus Davidson circa 30AD

Watt Tyler said...

"A Dairy farm was unheard of 1400. You owned a cow and a pig on unenclosed land."

Thats not a fucking farm then is it? So how were these people farmers? and how were they 'partying' off the back of one pig and some turnips? They were the feudal property of the Lord on whose land they lived, in return they worked the Lords lands for him for free, as he required

There is also no such thing as the enclosure act, enclosure of land was ongoing and took hundreds of years, still occuring in the 19th century. But it was a process started by the Normans.

If you are looking for some sort of English golden age where the peasant roamed free then the closest you will get is the Anglo-Saxon era where laws over land were called 'Folk Right' and based on the 'conscience of the people' rather than a King or Lord but as that lifestyle was tribal, clannish and based on community rather than individuals it might not be up your alley.

Wondering how this country would have developed if William I had lost at Hastings, I suspect the answer would have been to follow the path of the Scandinavian socialist countries like Sweden Denmark and Norway.

This is why your blog confuses me OH, you are a proponent of right wing liberal capitalism, but rant against the forces which enabled it to develop - feudalism, taxes, rent, debt, wages etc etc.

Yes, if we had taken the Scandinavian route, and had no Empire or mercantile drive or industrial revolution we may now be a happier socialist country like Norway.

Ron Broxted said...
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King Kong said...

Made it with a great ape Broxted, surely that amounts to animal abuse and is illegal?

Alistair Darling said...

Gentlemen and Broxted, can we please return to the subject of this blog please.

Monkey Spanker said...

Broxted did you give it a banana afterwards or just your mobile number?

Anonymous said...

Hear hear, OP.
Some years ago, I realised that if I spent absolutely nothing on non-essentials, and pumped my entire disposable income into overpaying my mortgage, I would save *three years salary* in interest payments.
That's *three years* of my life I've saved. Three years for which I don't have to struggle in a job I can't say I like simply to pay some greedy banker.

"The things you own end up owning you".

Prof Lamprey said...
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George Monsoon said...

good article, and I don't care if it is bollocks, or the fact that you come across as being a bit smug with 600k to play with, I am currently redesigning my life around living in woodland and selling stuff like wood art and charcoal to any middle class twat, silly enough to buy it, so that I can smoke pot all day, do fuck all and party the rest of the time.

Farmer Giles said...

Four years ago had a £500,000,00 mortgage and lost my job as a City trader. Thanks to farming and growing things I have now paid it off in full and own property both in Spain and France and drive top of the range cars. Hydroponics and Skunk have turned my life around. By the way I now have plenty of free time to enjoy my life.

George Osborne said...

Farmer Giles, good on you, it is people like you who refuse to lie down and be crushed by financial adversity, and through pure hard work develop great entrepreneurial skills, that have throughout history help enhance the capitalist ethic. How many strains are you currently growing?

@FarmerGiles said...

Congratualtions on agreeing a 5 billion pound mortgage, who was your broker?

Rebel Saint said...
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Rebel Saint said...

What will my reward be? Sums it up nicely I think.

The Burger Man said...

I was the Chairman of a large company when I was made redundant three years ago. My two timing slut of a wife divorced me and took most of my assets leaving me with very little. Determined not to let her and redundancy ruin what was left of my life, I invested all my money in a mobile hot dog stall. The first week I cleared £1500 just parked in a lay-by. The second week I twisted neck my badly when I slipped on a discarded bacon roll. I have to say I haven't looked back since and when reversing the van it is very awkward.

Catflap said...

'It's not getting what you want,but wanting what you have got'

I have had some spanking synths and electric piano's in my time but have now discovered the Accordion.
Only a little one.....easy Ron.
It cost me only £60 and makes me grin from ear to ear when ever I play it.
Stick that electric shit now matey. I'm unplugged.

Basil said...

Burger Man, have you tried acupuncture for you painful neck? I was until five years ago a senior manager for a large supermarket chain until it was taken over by a large competitor. I used my redundancy pay off to clear a few debts and find a nice Chinese wife via the Internet, and train in Chinese medicine. Now I practice acupuncture and charge £75 per hour sticking needles in people. I am not sure it works, but nobody has complained as yet. On the upside I now have plenty of money and great sex with my young wife. Even better I have saved pounds by not having to buy Chinese take-a-ways, and her not being able to speak English is a real godsend during the long winter nights.

Jack Off said...

There is no doubt in my mind we would all be a lot happier if we were all filthy rich. The only thing money doesn't buy is poverty.

Begbie said...

Fifteen years ago I was sent to prison for nine years for a crime I didn't commit. Determined to do something useful with my life when I was released I took a teaching degree. I now spend most of my time educating young orphan children in Eastern Europe where checks are less stringent.

Ron Broxted said...
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Tony Blair said...

I am certain there is more to life than becoming filthy rich. Sadly however both my wife and myself find it quite addictive.
Special offer for after dinner and conferences speeches this August for one month only,$300,000 plus expenses.

Alan Sugarlumps said...

The secret of making lots of money is to produce a load of crap products, then invest in commercial property and get the BBC to build a show round you, then suck up to some senior members of the labour Party, get an advisory position and Joseph's your uncle and Sadie your aunt, and you are creaming it in.
Anyone know how to fix a computer?

killemallletgodsortemout said...

If you're done with "stuff", can I have your shotgun, please?

Arthur Mow said...

I used to be a Lion Tamer with a travelling circus until five years ago, then I suddenly became allergic to chairs and whips so I decided a career change was in order.
After much deliberation I decided to invest my life savings in the Bonsai tree business. I have never looked back. The business is now so successful that I have been able this year to move into much smaller premises.
My advice is don't let the grass grow under your feet, make life happen for you.

Wayne Begbie said...

Who says money doesn't grow on trees? This morning I was walking through my local park on my way to the Job Centre when a ladies handbag fell out of a tree and hit me on the head. On opening it I found an empty purse and an old pension book. On searching further in a cunningly disguised zipped compartment I found thirty quid.
I must say this is quite a change from being hit on the head by an old Tesco's carrier bag full of dog shit.
Now I am pleasantly drunk.

the beast of clerkenwell said...

You make a fucking good point
I was playing with my new blackberry this morning I can watch a film (was soul 2 soul keep on movin) listen to any music, anywhere I choose to be whilst calling Mrs Dr Beast 8000 miles away on my other phone
Amazing for a man brought up when we had B&W TV
Am I happier for having these toys?
No!
BTW Orange are total fucking wankers, go to T mobile for UK stuff, Lyca for calling foreign types

Anonymous said...

Maybe I move in the wrong circles, but I don't know anybody who "buys stuff they don't need". They buy stuff which subjectively makes sense to them. Need is subjective; there is a sense in which people don't "need" to have children, or the use of two legs where one and a prosthetic would do.

The reason the "leisure society" hasn't emerged is that tax freedom day in the UK is 30 May, so you spend five months of the year supporting the public sector, leaving seven months to provide for yourself. The more leisured groups which OH mentions generally pay either no tax, or proportionally far less; for example in many latin american countries public spending is about half that of the UK relative to GDP.

Old Holborn said...

Anon

Have you seen the argos catalogue?

Mr McEgan said...
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Catflap said...

Notice how all the labour saving devices are made for women and the labour intensive ones are made for men.
DIY tools that my grandfather didn't need because some other cunt always did that job are now in every blokes shed.
Toil is no longer reserved just in the workplace for a man.
Running a home is like a full time fucking job as well now.
Remember that shit when you hear the phrase 'Busy Mum's'on a poxy tv advert.

bofl said...

lots of amusing posts.......

but surely oh has made a very good point?

and it can be made on a national level too......

why are we doing xyz?

why do we devote a major amount of time and effort to buy crap?
it is all worthless really......
whatever you have is only on loan.....you can't take it with you thru the pearly gates...

perhaps as a nation we should all look at what we are doing and why?

the casino banking has resulted in a few people becomomg vastly wealthy..with everyone else paying the price....

the politicians desperate to be the first european emperor have given away 1000 years of our heritage...

and they fight wars with foriegners whilst filling up the uk with........more foriegners!

the govt. and business in the uk has enslaved us......

i believe bhutan is the only country in the world that aims for gross national happiness rather than gdp....they drink,smoke,shag and enjoy a good sing song.

it really is time to shake off the conditioning.so many people live life on auto-pilot......

think about why you want a big house?
new car?
children?
designer clothes?

and what is the downside to those things?

the programmers do not want this to happen because they are making shedloads out of the public.....

Anonymous said...

Guido says that McDoom is confined to barracks in Edinburgh. Anyone heard anything?

Hemulen said...

Fucking hippy.

Twitter this said...

Dinner, a few glasses of your favourite tipple and a smoke at the dimming of the day.
Now that's luxurious living.

Old Holborn said...

My freedom is to throw away my wristwatch and every clock in the house.

Eat when hungry, sleep when tired, work when something needs to be done.

I'm kicking myself it took me nearly 50 years to work it out.

Swampy said...

After paying rent, council tax, water rates, electric, gas, road tax, car insurance and tv licence, I'm FREE!

Old Holborn said...

Catflap, you play synths?

me too

Catflap said...

OH:
I always wanted to be second keyboards in a Jazz/Funk band.
I always ended up as lone keys in fucking rock/blues bands instead.
Nothing against the music it was just Jazz/Funk attracts more pussy :)
I spent a lot of time drinking Snakebite and wanking in the 80-90s as a result.

bofl said...

i sing+ write......

have a listen.....

http://www.myspace.com/markmasonmusic

(sound ripped at low quality-but you get the idea)

caesars wife said...

Your post OH is sort of on the right lines for me , esp when I think of some Labours inintaives like raising pension age to make it work for gold plated fat pensions .

Its getting free of the political fraudsters , they tax us for there mistakes . I dont mind being voted in and having authority , or we would have mafia type construct.

There is but and basically its that honest work has just about gone out the window under labours client state , i dont mind regualtions and licences so much ,its just big business gets the contracts , wage earner on £6 hr gets more cost and indirect taxes , elite coin it in .

Happy life ? well yes once you realise that you can get out of the hamster wheel of slavery by not being miserable because you dont live like a scene out of esquire is ok .

to give an example , you want to open a little shop , well theres rent , electric , business rates , fitting out , prof fees , all taking there cut before you may get yours .

not buying stuff and making do is sound advice , ive planted some veg in my garden this year and enjoyed it . You have to learn alot of new skills , and know about the values of things , such as new boiler at £800 or new circuit board at £400 , or even if refurbished will do .

savings require steady house prices , but your right there is a madness about how we live and i hope they see that and make a commitment to return the ability to live back to the owner .

(I think youve choose a big variable subject OH but thats ok you have quite afew thinkers on your site)

Hot air said...

But OH you did not provide the answers, other than say no and for most then watch your house be reprocessed, now if you wouldn't mind can we have the answers, bleating about the problem is pointless.

Explaining how we got here and how we can get out would be nice - You do know specifically why don't you?

Anonymous said...

A young fella at work announced he wants to sell his car. He wants TWENTY SEVEN FUCKIN GRAND for a used motor.

Probably get it too.

What you wrote (for once) is true Holby.

We have no quality of life here.

And the weather is fuckin shite as well.

Old Holborn said...

Hot air

I am not here to provide answers. I am here to point out problems. My solutions would not suit you anymore than your solutions would suit me.

Me? I've bought land (enough to support me) and am having a cheap wooden house built. I'll farm a few sacks of oysters, a few ropes of mussels, raise a couple of sheep and a couple of pigs, half a dozen chickens and I'll run a polytunnel, brew my own beer, distill my own whisky and smoke my own bacon and mackeral. I can even generate my own electricty via a hydro generator bought on Ebay.

It isn't a hippy lifestyle, I'm not some eco loon. I just want to live my life the way that gives me the most pleasure and having as little to do with the State as possible does exactly that.

Find your own answers to whatever problem you have.

Anonymous said...

Find your own answers to whatever problem you have.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJjM9lr8nys

HeadsonPoles said...

I'm considering a career change. I'll have to live on pennies per day and will live on some pounds per week if I succeed.
This item is very well timed and encouraging.
Thank you.

Sciatico said...

Funnily enough, I'm just back from pruning my orange trees. Tomorrow the tobacco seedlings will be planted. Putting in 100 Dark Virginia And Burley plants for my pipe. In UK money, that'll save me a grand and I'll have loads of fun harvesting it. Don't wear a watch and never owned a mobile, yet I have a business which I let other people run for me.
Sciatico

Old Holborn said...

Interestingly, I'm presenting a business plan next week to a bunch of go getters.

Then I'm going to sit back and watch them go get ulcers, 3 hours sleep a night, knives in their backs and eventually ruined and fired. All because they really think a pretty girl will love their Rolexes and therefore provide them with perfect children which they will send to boarding school aged 7 (once the Polish nanny has finished with them)

Go for it guys...it's what life is about

caesars wife said...

Hot air: perhaps OH does speak for the can do mentality and not the whiners .

So what about those that commute and work in manufacturing or service sector . and have a nice semi with a bit of garden . well your going to want low political costs to stop poll tax getting out of hand , same with all the quango and third way rubbish, thats a start , stop taxing savings and pensions and reduce bankers learjet awards schemes for automating ordinary peoples jobs and closing branches into resturants (as portrayed by labours sci fi eutopian wonk delusions).

scrap NI and let nhs fall into counties and raise ther own funds and publish accounts , have a central standrds and audit group paid out of general taxation, pay pensions out of general taxation and stop all final salary public pensions , give people a pensions saver account from 30 that they cant touch until they are 65 , and the release it back to them over a 25 yr period , if they make it to 90 good on em if not at least they can leave somthing .

How does that sound

Old Holborn said...

CW

How about we just let the state defend the borders and police the streets?

Everything else, we can take care of ourselves. We have done for the past 2 million years after all....

John said...

OH, you come across as a smart kind of guy so how the hell did it take you so long to "work it out"? I just turned 60, worked until 52 but after 45 I took it easy since that was when I had enough to buy the things my wife and kids needed. We didn't want "stuff" - and I like to think that I passed that on to my kids, which is good since they were cheap to raise. While the neighbours were always improving their house, new cars, new toys, we got by pretty well. I didn't earn a lot but I spent even less.

At 45 I worked it out and I realised I would have enough if I worked till 50, I enjoyed my job and didn't try to get to the top. Now I spend whatever I want because I can and, I can get a new kitchen, phone, car, every year if I wanted but I don't. The wife is happy.

The only problem is actually getting my kids to spend because they grew up always thinking about saving money. They will graduate without any debt (well they can pay me back if they want, but I don't need it), student loans into a high interest account. It's funny that my son's peers at university have shitloads of debt but spend £5 on coffee every day, and hundreds on a pissup every other week.

Old Holborn said...

John

It's a long and fascinating story. Pretty soon it'll be a book. And possibly a film.

Who is John Galt? said...

Government (all of em) shit in their own nest.

Now its John Galt time.

Downsized at 54, retired for six years now. Time to garden and chat with neighbours, and extended fishing trips. Pick up the odd cash job (no taxes)if I feel like it. No watch, no cel phone, no debts.

Margo said...

Jerry! Look what he's doing now... he's building a fucking polytunnel!? Think of the flies. Oh, have a word with him will you?

Vyvyan said...

I HATE THE GOOD LIFE!

Ron Broxted said...

OH, I hope your proposed book and film do better than my attempt at Hollywood fame. I just wish I had listened to my old English and drama teacher. She said I had the imagination of a door stop and the writing skills of a Chimpanzee, or was that the other way round? I was sobbing like a baby at the time.

Doc Haslam said...

Ron, let me help you with your obesity before it is too late. Have you considered having a gastric band fitted?
It could be the answer, as all your trips to the Queens Physical Education Centre in Belfast do not appear to be having any effect, and the only piece of equipment you appear to use there is the Mars Bar vending machine. I am only a phone call away.

Garry. Braintree Essex. said...

You make some good points OH about evaluating what you really need to be happy in life. Last night I sat down my in my new electric massage chair with my Apple notebook whilst watching the football in full HD on my new 50 inch Sony Wide-screen television with full surround sound, drinking a glass or three of Johnny Walker Blue label, and started to make a list.
This morning I have told the wife to fuck off. I am starting to feel better already.

Arthur said...

Money will soon not be a problem to me "Yippee" as I have just received an email from a former Nigerian government official who is attempting to extract $13 million dollars from his Nigerian business account to transfer to the UK. He is offering me 10% just for letting him funnel it through my bank account.
The good life will soon be mine.

Hellion Rocks said...

In 1988 Zygmunt Bauman (a Polish sociologist who was exiled to England) wrote his theory of the “Consumer Society”. Bauman’s theory was a logical progression of previous work by Susman and Veblen and their theories of consumrism to display status and identity.
Bauman suggests that the Consumer Society was the successor to the Industrial Society, although I would contend that it is not a new phenomonen as Bauman suggsts. Indeed the consumer society ran hand in hand with the Industrial Society. It is merely that the Industrial Society was brought to a premature end in the UK by the devestating policies of the Thatcher government which destroyed industry in this country.
The main concept of the Consumer Society theory is that there are two main groupings in the Consumer Society – the “seduced” and the “repressed”. The seduced are those that are able to partake in the Consumer Society by being able to afford the goods and services on offer or by having the transport to go shopping or by being in the in-crowd. The “repressed” were those left behind by the Consumer Society such as the unemployed, those on low wages, the elderly, those who aren’t part of the in-crowd or those who don’t have their own transport to go to the out-of-town shopping centres that have become the main shopping premises in the Consumer Society.

Bang Won Ing said...

Talking of things nobody needs or really wants. Did anybody witness that fat arsed Welsh tart Katherine Zeta Jones going all Valley at the awards? What a fucking joke.

bofl said...

nothing new about consumerism-or showing off......

it's all about vanity-buddha
c.500 b.c.

Anusol user said...

That bloke Buddha was a fat idle bastard, too!

Mr. Micawber. said...

OK folks - what do you think is "enough" money?
I can tell you that even with no mortgage, but running a 9 year old car, no SKY, but obviously 'phone & internet, it isn't easy to live on our joint income, as pensioners, of around £1200 per month.

Morlock said...

@Anusol user
That bloke Buddha was a fat idle bastard, too!

'Idleness' is a natural state, and something to aim for... Here's some reading that you might find interesting.

Old Holborn said...

Morlock, brilliant link

Anonymous said...

"It's Easy to Play Elton John", OH?!?!?

yozzerhughs said...

I have gone back in time. Like your link, too idle to read it.But like I said one time,grow your own it tastes amazing and it saves you dosh and keeps you fit,and starves the beast.

pop said...

1) What is life if full of care we have not time to stand and stare... etc

2) Whose deathbed words were "If only I had spent more time at the office"? (Answer: Noones, ever)

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