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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-31-06, 02:30 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by attercoppe
Okay, if you're never going to sell it, how is that an investment? That's like writing a check to a securities broker and saying, "Buy some mutual funds or something, but I never want my money back, or any of the money it might make."

You say you were thinking about retirement, do you mean you plan to take out loans against the value of your house to provide a salary? Or that you want a paid-off house to live in by the time you're retired? Either way, that still doesn't make it an investment.

Umm...OK what are you going to live in? A cardboard box?
Once your house is paid off all you owe is utilities..and in some states no real estate tax over age 65
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Old 01-31-06, 07:31 PM   #152
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I think we are getting off topic. The OP was talking about simplicity. While investments can be included in a simple life, this post along with some other has lost the point of the OP, so if anything this post should talk about how paying a mortgage for a house makes the poster feels that his or her life is simpler.
This is true, it was not the intention to discuss the different types of investments. But this always happens to these discussions.


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Originally Posted by shokhead
The plan is to have it paid off by retirement and stay. After that who knows what will happen and by just about everybody that knows what they are doing,a house is the number 1 investment you should do. Now i got in when it was 80,000 and now that its woreth 600,000,i call that a investment that i can sell if i need to for money,leave to my kids to help them or stay there and not worry about a landlord.
Sorry but each person decides for themselves what they "should do". Your judgement as to who "knows what they are doing", is obviously subjective as well. I see the great money-making potential in owning real estate, I really do. But to automatically do whatever brings me the greatest ROI, is to me missing the point of life. It CAN be that, but each of us should really do whatever we feel like.

Some of the greatest minds in the history of humankind lived and worked in rented spaces. Engineers, artists, doctors, scientists, writers... Are you saying they did not know what they were doing? Perhaps their interests and focus were elsewhere. Can you imagine Kerouac growing zucchini and fixing the porch steps? I am not saying that I measure up to these people, but I too see my interests being elsewhere.

I also think that homeowners often quite exaggerate the "hassles" of renting. I rent and I don't worry about my landlord -- imagine that. What is there to worry about, really? I'm sorry you made bad experiences while renting. Care to tell us what was so bad? I know that many landlords try to screw with renters. There's always a few bad apples. But you have to know your rights.

Also most so-called "homeowners" *can* be thrown out of their "own" houses as well, if they miss a few mortgage payments or am I wrong?


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BTW,what are you doing for money when your 60?
As pointed out several times in this thread before, owning a house is not the only way to invest your money. If I'm still alive at 60, chances are I will continue to live a modest but very happy and intellectually stimulating life, using the money I saved and let work for me over the years.


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If i buy for 80,000 and sell for 600,000,i'm thinking thats an investment but maybe i have this all wrong. BTW,anyone that would rather be in an apartment and pay for nothing then a house to own is nuts. I've lived in rented houses,apartments and mobil homes and it sucked,but hey,thats me.
Hey, peace bro. Why are you so defensive? Even though I wouldn't do it, I'm not saying that owning a house is wrong. Why do you call me and everybody else who rents, nuts? Are you sure you can make such a general judgement call?

Also, your situation is quite unique. These days 80,000 bucks won't get you crap. In this city, the cheapest apartments that I would consider living in go for half a mil. And NO, I wouldn't move to somewhere far out where I can get a house for 150K. I would miss Indian food too much.
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Old 01-31-06, 08:22 PM   #153
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Oh brother. Cooking isn't as hard as you think.
By the way, paying rent is simply flushing money down the toilet.
If you're that lazy, you probably aren't much of an investor in general.
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Old 01-31-06, 08:48 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by iBarna
And NO, I wouldn't move to somewhere far out where I can get a house for 150K. I would miss Indian food too much.
Maybe you should invest in an Indian restaurant with upstairs living quarters.
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Old 01-31-06, 09:52 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by FXjohn
By the way, paying rent is simply flushing money down the toilet.
If you're that lazy, you probably aren't much of an investor in general.
I hear you, and I don't mean to offend, but perhaps you're on a tighter budget than some of us, so flushing money down the toilet means more to you.

Flushing or no, some of the happiest fellows I know rent - some of them multiple pads in different cities at once - and they're certainly not bad investors or poor money-makers. Just people who know a hot pad when they see one and who want to live in it, have access to it, or move out of it as they please with as little rigamarole as possible - granted, they are bachelors every one, with loads of disposable and typically shameless urbanites. A fellow doctor friend of mine has a high-rise pad that is simply amazing, and overlooks the entire city of Chicago. I don't see him complaining about anything, and I know he very literally can't buy the place.

My old piano teacher (now deceased), Yvar Mikhashoff, used to travel around the world as a concert performer, but he was also a professor at UB, so he had a little apartment he rented out for when he was in Buffalo. No complaints, and a charming place. It turns out he never needed to own it. He died well before he would have been able to pay it off. In light of that, we are all ultimately renters of space in this world, and whatever we collect in it, we don't get to take it with us in the end.

I also have a friend with both an owned home in Seattle and a hideaway rental apartment in Hawaii, and he seems to be okay with flushing his money down the drain for those trips to the island, while being "smart" by building his home in Seattle.

What I'm getting at: Some of us have the dough to drop frivolously, and are still able to invest. Who among us can tell anyone else they're doing it all wrong if we don't know what the other guy is really doing? I've been compounding interest since I was 19, I have a decent career, and I come from an 'old riche' New England prep family to boot. I'm happy in my little rental cottage for now, and I don't feel crunched into any need to buy a house because I have a nomad streak; nor do I feel like I want to own this one or like it's a big deal that my rental money is lining someone else's pockets. I just want to live in this place for a little while until I get bored of this town and eventually move on to a more exciting one. Where? Who cares? When? Up to me. My month-to-month lease allows me that in spades. Maybe I'm wasting my dough, but I get something out of it, so it's indeed not a waste (it is to you; not to me, and I'm more important in this equation since it's my money) and it's no big. Maybe I'll find somewhere perfect and get a house there someday, but not now, and not here. In any case, I can deal just fine. Home ownership, like car ownership, isn't for everybody, and it's not always the smart choice.

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Old 02-01-06, 12:28 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by FXjohn
Oh brother. Cooking isn't as hard as you think.
By the way, paying rent is simply flushing money down the toilet.
If you're that lazy, you probably aren't much of an investor in general
.
Rent or own, you're probably going to end up paying about the same for shelter, usually 1/4 to 1/3 of your income.

If you own you are taking a risk that your property will be worth less some day. You're obviously hoping it will be worth more, but you never know that. (Look at New Orleans ) Any investment with a payoff means you must assume risks. The riskier the investment the greater the payoff. Period.

If you rent, you don't stand a chance of making any money or losing any money. You rest peacefully, and let the landlord assume the risk. Also you don't have to worry about maintenence, insurance, taxes, etc.

All I'm saying is that obviously there are advantages to renting and buying both. if there weren't, they wouldn't both exist because eveyody would choose the other. If you don't understand that you don't understand markets!

The only thing that's stupid, shokhead and fxjohn, is assuming that your choice is best for somebody else. Not even a proffessional financial advisor would do that!
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Old 02-01-06, 07:24 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Alekhine
I hear you, and I don't mean to offend, but perhaps you're on a tighter budget than some of us, so flushing money down the toilet means more to you.
.

Haha..doubt it. I will add a caveat to my statement that renting is dumb. If you move alot, renting is smarter.
If you think of the way a house appreciates, vs flushing the money in rent, it is a sizeable sum.
I am being more frugal..thus "living simply" more than most so I can retire early.
Like you said....everyone is different.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:25 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Roody
Rent or own, you're probably going to end up paying about the same for shelter, usually 1/4 to 1/3 of your income.

If you own you are taking a risk that your property will be worth less some day. You're obviously hoping it will be worth more, but you never know that. (Look at New Orleans ) Any investment with a payoff means you must assume risks. The riskier the investment the greater the payoff. Period.

If you rent, you don't stand a chance of making any money or losing any money. You rest peacefully, and let the landlord assume the risk. Also you don't have to worry about maintenence, insurance, taxes, etc.

All I'm saying is that obviously there are advantages to renting and buying both. if there weren't, they wouldn't both exist because eveyody would choose the other. If you don't understand that you don't understand markets!

The only thing that's stupid, shokhead and fxjohn, is assuming that your choice is best for somebody else. Not even a proffessional financial advisor would do that!
Roody, there's not much risk if you insure your property.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:44 PM   #159
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Roody, there's not much risk if you insure your property.
Well, there still is in the very rare circumstance of a total disaster. New Orleans property isn't worth much now because the infrastructure is so devastated--roads, transit, hospitals, schools, etc. Who's gonna buy a house in new Orleans right now even if it is undamaged?

Granted, this isn't likely to happen in Indiana, or even down south. But some people are paying way too much for houses right now, and many of them are going to be hurting if they're even late with a payment or something. Like any other investment, do some research and/or get some professional advic before you sign the mortgage.
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Old 02-01-06, 08:57 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by FXjohn
Oh brother. Cooking isn't as hard as you think.
By the way, paying rent is simply flushing money down the toilet.
If you're that lazy, you probably aren't much of an investor in general.
You know what, you're right. I'm stupid and lazy. All because I rent. I can not accomplish anything in life (especially financial security), unless I own my house. And the only explanation why becoming 'much of an investor' isn't one of my life's top goals, is that I'm lazy. Understood.

God. I rest my case. Can we go back on topic now please?

ps. BTW, I'm a great cook. But I like eating out as well. I can afford it, so it's no big of a deal. Dig?

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Old 02-01-06, 09:03 PM   #161
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Any investment with a payoff means you must assume risks. The riskier the investment the greater the payoff. Period.
Actually that's not quite accurate - riskier investments have greater potential returns, at the same time they have a greater potential for loss - that's why they're risky. (I was a securities-licensed financial advisor in a previous life.)



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Originally Posted by FXjohn
By the way, paying rent is simply flushing money down the toilet.

If you think of the way a house appreciates, vs flushing the money in rent, it is a sizeable sum.
If I flush money down the toilet, all I have is a freshly flushed (and probably clogged) toilet. When I pay my rent each month, I am securing another 30 days of four walls and a roof, plus 24-hour maintenance service, and (in my case) heat, lights, running water, and furniture. Some of the rent must necessarily go towards the landlord's overhead like property taxes, maintenance, etc - but I don't have to deal with any of that, and what I pay is much less than if it were my personal responsibility to pay those things on a property I own.

The anti-renting home owners posting here are still ignoring the fact that a house is not a viable investment unless and until you receive a return on the money you put into it. (Arguably, if you get peace of mind from owning, if you take pride in maintaining a nice yard, etc, that could be called a return, but certainly not a monetary one.) Equity is an often-misunderstood concept. "Renting is a waste of money, owning is an investment" is the line used by lenders, realtors, home builders - all the people who stand to profit from home sales - and it is far too widely and blindly accepted. Not enough people question this logic, think it through to try to discover how buying a home could be an investment. So your house is now "worth" X times as much as when you bought it? Great, can you buy groceries with that worth? Can you pay a doctor's bill? Can you go out for dinner and a movie on your house's value? (Yes, but you have to take out a loan against your house.) No matter how much "value" your house has gained or lost, none of it is realized until you sell the house. Then you are starting over - buy another house, or rent?

If you prefer to own rather than rent, that's great - I hope it works for you. But don't condem renting outright, especially not by using specious arguments that you've been fed by those who have profited from your ownership. This harks back to the discussion in the thread regarding car-free living being a threat to some people - you seem overly defensive of your home ownership. Could it be because you are insecure as to whether you've made the right choice after all, or because the arguments for it that you have been supplied with don't ring true when you stop to think about them?
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Old 02-01-06, 09:18 PM   #162
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Maybe you should invest in an Indian restaurant with upstairs living quarters.
That would be so sweet.
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Old 02-02-06, 04:58 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by attercoppe
If I flush money down the toilet, all I have is a freshly flushed (and probably clogged) toilet. When I pay my rent each month, I am securing another 30 days of four walls and a roof, plus 24-hour maintenance service, and (in my case) heat, lights, running water, and furniture. Some of the rent must necessarily go towards the landlord's overhead like property taxes, maintenance, etc - but I don't have to deal with any of that, and what I pay is much less than if it were my personal responsibility to pay those things on a property I own.

?

Wrong. Your landlord is using your rent to pay his mortgage AND make money.
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Old 02-02-06, 06:55 PM   #164
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Wrong. Your landlord is using your rent to pay his mortgage AND make money.
Yes, and I mentioned that. That does not mean that I would pay less for mortgage, PMI, insurance, and maintenance if I owned the place. My landlord is not getting rent just from me - there are four other apartments that he rents out. He has my rent times five - that is how he is able to pay his mortgage etc and still make money.

In my situation, considering my rent, local cost of living, local land prices, and construction plus other concomitant building costs (well drilling, occupancy permit, etc), it is cheaper, not more expensive, for me to rent an apartment than to buy or build a home. That's hardly flushing money down the toilet. For you maybe it's different.
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Old 02-02-06, 07:59 PM   #165
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Spending money is a good thing. It keeps the economy going. Booya!

One other thing, to bring this thread back on topic. In my experience those who own houses tend to accumulate a lot of **** they use once, then put in the garage and never look at it again. Because I rent and move around (and have no car), my life is very "lightweight" in terms of possessions. There's a huge chunk of money NOT spent right there! Money that I use to live conveniently
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Old 02-02-06, 08:43 PM   #166
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One other thing, to bring this thread back on topic. In my experience those who own houses tend to accumulate a lot of **** they use once, then put in the garage and never look at it again. Because I rent and move around (and have no car), my life is very "lightweight" in terms of possessions. There's a huge chunk of money NOT spent right there! Money that I use to live conveniently
Yeah, sorry for keeping the thread hijack going, iBarna, but sometimes I can't resist debating with people who make ridiculous and/or illogical arguments.

I definitely agree on the thought about houses encouraging more accumulation of stuff. It seems that generally the more space one has, the more stuff one gets to fill it. I met a friend of my neighbor's (actually also a neighbor of his, but in another town) who was talking about the outbuilding he just put behind his house. He made it just as big as he possibly could according to city land-use laws, and now that it's passed inspection, plans to build on to it some more. He apparently cleared out his original attached garage, moving it all into the new outbuilding, and now he can actually park two cars in his two-car garage (gasp!). I guess he's got like five cars, four or five snowmobiles, a few motorcycles...he found an entire auto engine he had forgotten he had. Now that he's got the room, he wants to get even more.

I freely admit I have too much stuff, and even after moving six times in the last three and a half years, I still haven't managed to have much of a net loss through attrition. Seems like when I get rid of some stuff, I get more to replace it. But I am working on it, and I think I'm getting a little better. It helps that my lifestyle has changed pretty significantly with this last move; being outside more means I feel less need to keep a lot of my inside hobby stuff. I just have to be careful not to accumulate too many bikes!
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Old 02-02-06, 08:46 PM   #167
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Yes, and I mentioned that. That does not mean that I would pay less for mortgage, PMI, insurance, and maintenance if I owned the place. My landlord is not getting rent just from me - there are four other apartments that he rents out. He has my rent times five - that is how he is able to pay his mortgage etc and still make money.

In my situation, considering my rent, local cost of living, local land prices, and construction plus other concomitant building costs (well drilling, occupancy permit, etc), it is cheaper, not more expensive, for me to rent an apartment than to buy or build a home. That's hardly flushing money down the toilet. For you maybe it's different.
Ok, the five apartment part of your argument means NOTHING. It's neither here nor there.
What about people who rent a single house? Money swirling down the drain.
How much is your rent and utilities?
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Old 02-02-06, 08:51 PM   #168
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Ok, the five apartment part of your argument means NOTHING. It's neither here nor there.
What about people who rent a single house? Money swirling down the drain.
How much is your rent and utilities?
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In my situation
Dude, I'm done with this here. If you want to take it to PM's, fine, but let's get iBarna's thread back on topic.
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Old 02-02-06, 08:53 PM   #169
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Dude, I'm done with this here. If you want to take it to PM's, fine, but let's get iBarna's thread back on topic.

Don't get so upset..I want people to think about the frugal lifestyle, and living simply.
Saving ALOT of money is cool, it's empowering.
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Old 02-03-06, 12:44 PM   #170
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That is one of the reason I want a small living space, so that I am never force to fill a lot of space when I only need so much.
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Old 02-03-06, 02:51 PM   #171
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That is one of the reason I want a small living space, so that I am never force to fill a lot of space when I only need so much.
Maybe these guys are leading the simple life you think is so charming. I suspect they would be glad to trade for your possessions and a warm, dry place to put them. Nonetheless, choosing to lead a simple life free of worldy possessions and responsibilities has nothing to do with bicycling.
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Old 02-03-06, 07:11 PM   #172
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Maybe these guys are leading the simple life you think is so charming. I suspect they would be glad to trade for your possessions and a warm, dry place to put them. Nonetheless, choosing to lead a simple life free of worldy possessions and responsibilities has nothing to do with bicycling.
No, they don't seem to be living simply, they appear to me to simply be living. They're homeless. No one here said they wanted to be homeless. Living simply may not be directly related to bicycling, but it can be closely tied to Living Car Free...hey wait, that's the forum we're in! If you don't want to discuss it, don't come into this subforum. If you don't give a crap about living car-free, don't even come into LCF. At any rate, go troll somewhere else.
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Old 02-03-06, 10:46 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by attercoppe
No, they don't seem to be living simply, they appear to me to simply be living. They're homeless. No one here said they wanted to be homeless. Living simply may not be directly related to bicycling, but it can be closely tied to Living Car Free...hey wait, that's the forum we're in! If you don't want to discuss it, don't come into this subforum. If you don't give a crap about living car-free, don't even come into LCF. At any rate, go troll somewhere else.
no kidding. making a conscience choice to be selective about what i spend my monday on, and spending LESS money than i MAKE, rather than blindly following the rule of going heavily into debt for the betterment of the economy and what my neighbor's may think of my posessions is much different than being homeless and/or penniless.

the people you reference have mental or addiction problems, or are perhaps not interested in any sort of responsibility. the people commenting on this thread have made specific choices about what responsibilities they want in life, and shunning a life devoted to materialism and excess is far different. comparing them to a homeless person is insulting, and comparing a homeless person to us loses sight of what resources they may need.

p.s. what were we told to do right after 9/11? go shopping. that's right. spend money, (or for some go further into debt, for crap we don't need, for the good of the economy). that's about as pathetic as the references you've made.
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Old 02-03-06, 11:22 PM   #174
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Simple is a relative term. For an apples to apples discussion, be as honest as you can:

http://www.bestfootforward.com/footprintlife.htm

It's fair to say that everyone in this forum has "too much", and it's unrealistic to say that everyone should all have "the same". The real discussion should be this:

Are you truley aware of what you consume? Striving for simplicity, where would you be willing to improve?

I'm not perfect, I'm not even car free now. I used to live very simply until I had children. I am aware of my family's consumption, and teach my children in terms of "choices" in life and the effects of choices made. At 2 and 4, they're getting it. That's what I strive for.
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Old 02-04-06, 09:00 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdenver
the people you reference have mental or addiction problems, or are perhaps not interested in any sort of responsibility. the people commenting on this thread have made specific choices about what responsibilities they want in life, and shunning a life devoted to materialism and excess is far different. comparing them to a homeless person is insulting, and comparing a homeless person to us loses sight of what resources they may need.
I'll keep that in mind the next time someone quotes the total number of "car-free people" who live in the big US cities (IAW the US Census data) and seem to be doing just fine.
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