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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 10-02-11, 02:28 AM   #1
poormanbiking
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Another recession on its way !

I read the threads about living simple and car-free.
Has anyone noticed how the ecomonic issues doesn't affect them as much as others due to your lifestyle decisions ?
I use to be in the automotive industry where my co-workers all bought big expensive homes and cars , most of them have had foreclosures and repos. I choose an older cheaper area to live and doing fine.
At one plant I use to work at people would comment about the expense of my bike and turn around and lease a car for more then that a month.
At what point will society stop showboating and re-learn values ?
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Old 10-02-11, 05:31 AM   #2
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I still worry about the economy. Sure, I can live on less money than I used to be able to, but I don't want to. I also worry about losing my job. No income really doesn't work for anybody.
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Old 10-02-11, 05:54 AM   #3
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At one plant I use to work at people would comment about the expense of my bike and turn around and lease a car for more then that a month.
I got that too from a guy who spent much more on his big screen tv.

If you lose your job, it doesn't matter if you live cheaply. Having no income is a disaster no matter how you look at it.
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Old 10-02-11, 06:00 AM   #4
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Living below your means and planning ahead goes a long ways if you do lose your job. I currently have enough in savings to cover my basic bills and living costs for over a year and probably closer to two years. No mortgage, no car payments and no credit card payments. And after this latest round of BS from Bank of America over card fees I may go back to an all cash lifestyle.

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Old 10-02-11, 06:08 AM   #5
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I keep hearing about another recession, uh when did the last one end?
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Old 10-02-11, 06:33 AM   #6
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If you lose your job, it doesn't matter if you live cheaply. Having no income is a disaster no matter how you look at it.
Yes, but if you live below your means in the good times, then you likely have a cushion for the bad times.
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Old 10-02-11, 07:25 AM   #7
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I keep hearing about another recession, uh when did the last one end?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-2000s_recession
Excerpt:

The late-2000s recession, sometimes referred to as the Great Recession[1] or Lesser Depression,[2] is a severe ongoing global economic problem that began in December 2007 and took a particularly sharp downward turn in September 2008. The Great Recession has affected the entire world economy, with higher detriment in some countries than others. It is a global recession characterized by various systemic imbalances and was sparked by the outbreak of the late-2000s financial crisis.

There are two senses of the word "recession": a less precise sense, referring broadly to "a period of reduced economic activity",[3] and the scientific sense used most often in economics, which is defined operationally, referring specifically to the contraction phase of a business cycle, with two or more consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. By the economic-science definition of the word "recession", the Great Recession ended in the U.S. in June or July 2009.[4][5] However, in the broader, layperson sense of the word, many people use the term to refer to the ongoing hardship (in the same way that the term "Great Depression" is also popularly used).[6] In the U.S., for example, persistent high unemployment remains, along with low consumer confidence, the continuing decline in home values and increase in foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, an escalating federal debt crisis, inflation, and rising gas and food prices. In fact, a 2011 poll found that more than half of all Americans think the U.S. is still in recession or even depression, despite official data that shows a historically modest recovery.[7]
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Old 10-02-11, 07:46 AM   #8
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The problem with arguments about whether we are in recession or not is that the macroeconomic measurements are meaningful only when applied to the economy as a whole, and tell one very little about local circumstances. So if the economy is growing, but the whole of that growth takes place in California, for example - or if all the wealth created by that growth is appropriated by the richest 400 people - then the rest of our economies can be in recession even if, technically, the national economy is not.

We are in for a long period of low or zero growth. But for most people, that doesn't mean much change. Median incomes in the US have changed remarkably little during the past thirty years, despite the economy having grown substantially. It would appear, pace JFK, that a rising tide does not lift all boats.
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Old 10-02-11, 08:06 AM   #9
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The problem with arguments about whether we are in recession or not is that the macroeconomic measurements are meaningful only when applied to the economy as a whole, and tell one very little about local circumstances. So if the economy is growing, but the whole of that growth takes place in California, for example - or if all the wealth created by that growth is appropriated by the richest 400 people - then the rest of our economies can be in recession even if, technically, the national economy is not.

We are in for a long period of low or zero growth. But for most people, that doesn't mean much change. Median incomes in the US have changed remarkably little during the past thirty years, despite the economy having grown substantially. It would appear, pace JFK, that a rising tide does not lift all boats.
You're right and that's the basic premise of the wikipedia article above. Something that isn't really covered much is that this is a global phenomena, not just the U.S. as we get the impression. Europe is really having problems. Personally I don't really feel the effects of the recession, regardless of how it's defined. However, I can see the problems if we don't change our ways.
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Old 10-02-11, 08:50 AM   #10
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I think we already entered a recession.

I didn't know until almost a year after the great recession started and ended. The government never reveals the date a recession started but only months after it ends. Telling the public the date a recession starts makes it worse so we're never informed. Don't be surprised if they say a year from now we entered a recession in October 2011

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Old 10-02-11, 08:56 AM   #11
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I'm carfree and living simply, and my job doesn't seem to be threatened. But I still feel a lot of stress from the recession.

My son and his family were foreclosed and moved in with me. for one thing. It tears me up to see my son blaming himself for what happened. I tell him over and over that he has done everything humanly possible to find work and get back on his feet, but he can't seem to stop blaming himself when the only jobs he can find are temporary and low paying.

I also feel anxiety about the global situation. I always try to stay optimistic, but there are times when I start thinking that this whole thing is just the start of a long slide into a new dark ages. I don't really believe that, but sometimes I have those thoughts.

One salvation is bikes' A good bike ride does more than anything else to get me back on my feet again emotionally.
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Old 10-02-11, 09:24 AM   #12
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This thread points up the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy mind. If you sleep,drive, work, drive, watch TV, sleep, your mental health will eventually be degraded whatever the state of the world economy.
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Old 10-02-11, 09:26 AM   #13
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I also feel anxiety about the global situation. I always try to stay optimistic, but there are times when I start thinking that this whole thing is just the start of a long slide into a new dark ages. I don't really believe that, but sometimes I have those thoughts.
Much depends on one's perspective. Viewed from Korea or South East Asia, things must look a lot less bleak. But we in the West are having to come to terms with the fact that for many years we have maintained our standard of living by not paying the going rate for what we consume. Slavery, mercantilism, Empire, economic imperialism have all been mechanisms through which we get goods and commodities without paying the true cost of their production. That is ending and we will have to adjust to our incomes falling relative to the rest of the world.
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One salvation is bikes' A good bike ride does more than anything else to get me back on my feet again emotionally.
Yes, cycling is good for the mental health. Cheap, too.
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Old 10-02-11, 09:28 AM   #14
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At one plant I use to work at people would comment about the expense of my bike and turn around and lease a car for more then that a month.
Heh. All of my coworkers have decided that anything more than $200 for a bicycle is "way too much money". I don't even know where to find a $200 bike. I suppose at Walmart, but I haven't stepped foot in one of those hellholes in over 6 years, and don't intend to start now.

They all think I'm out of my mind because my next bike will be about $1000. Yet a few of them had no qualms about plonking down $5000 for a crappy 3D TV last year. I don't get it. I really don't.
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Old 10-02-11, 09:29 AM   #15
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I read the threads about living simple and car-free.
Has anyone noticed how the ecomonic issues doesn't affect them as much as others due to your lifestyle decisions ?
I've noticed.
http://artsytime.com/homeless-people-with-wifi/
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Old 10-02-11, 09:35 AM   #16
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They all think I'm out of my mind because my next bike will be about $1000. Yet a few of them had no qualms about plonking down $5000 for a crappy 3D TV last year. I don't get it. I really don't.
They live in a culture in which a TV is seen as a necessary part of a fulfilling lifestyle, and having a better TV makes them feel they aren't missing out. But they don't see a bicycle as a source of any benefit, just as a piece of play equipment that they might use a few times a year at best. It would not occur to most people to consider a bicycle as something that facilitates a more rewarding lifestyle...
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Old 10-02-11, 09:51 AM   #17
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Yes, but if you live below your means in the good times, then you likely have a cushion for the bad times.
Fair enough.
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Old 10-02-11, 10:00 AM   #18
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Heh...
They all think...I don't get it. I really don't.
Sure you "get it."
You know all about what "they" think; about you and themselves. Must be nice to be omniscient.
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Old 10-02-11, 10:07 AM   #19
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I'll add, it doesn't cease to amaze me all these living on the margin people walking around with iphones-type rigs and expensive services packages... in this economy I mean, really, a job that pays the rent/mortgage and buys a few beers, but they pay a small fortune for maintaining a gadget that can't even make a decent telephone call. Talk about brainwashing.
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Old 10-02-11, 10:32 AM   #20
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I think it's all about what you're used to. I haven't bought a bike yet, but our money has typically been spent on flying to see friends and family in Europe and East Asia. We just prioritize our spending in different areas. We don't buy the same things as our friends.

We've found the recession has been an opportunity as we haven't experienced job loss and have a little money saved up.

However, I do understand some of the things that come up. How many people have student loans, medical bills and things that just didn't go as planned. We had money saved up when our second child was born and ended up in the nicu. Savings were gone so fast and soon we were taking out a line of credit. It took a couple of years to get out of that one and we didn't have any job losses to contend with.
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Old 10-02-11, 11:27 AM   #21
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I've been carfree for 22 out of the past 27 years and made an average of $85k a year. I live simply amd I actively support many charities and "green" advocacy groups. Looking at the USA today, I would bet that we are most similar to Mexico in the next 20 years. We have seeded or own wealth and savings to two political parties that have given it to the elite class, which has made us all join the poverty class. Politics has impoverished us all in order to wealthen the few. We have been hoodwinked as though by slight of hand.......
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Old 10-02-11, 12:18 PM   #22
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We are in for a long period of low or zero growth. But for most people, that doesn't mean much change. Median incomes in the US have changed remarkably little during the past thirty years, despite the economy having grown substantially. It would appear, pace JFK, that a rising tide does not lift all boats.
It's clear that zero growth is upon us. What's less clear is how we really have to learn to deal with "zero growth".. It's a complex issue, one that affects our personal lifestyles and the economy as a whole.

But isn't it clear that an economy can't continue to grow forever? We can't continue to insist on 4, 5, 6 percent growth every year.

What we really need to do as an economy is learn to smooth the hardship bumps a little by spending more on things like unemployment insurance and help for the jobless.

Personally, we need to realize that periods of unemployment or other hardship can also be a time of great personal growth... After all, being unemployed can give us the time we didn't have before to learn and do new things.... as long as we have something to eat while we are doing this.
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Old 10-02-11, 12:54 PM   #23
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Personally, we need to realize that periods of unemployment or other hardship can also be a time of great personal growth... After all, being unemployed can give us the time we didn't have before to learn and do new things.... as long as we have something to eat while we are doing this.
Hmm. As long as we have something to eat. Lots of people won't have enough to eat if policymakers don't grasp the new reality, and continue to imagine that they can restore growth by cutting public spending. Sorry, this thread is becoming a candidate for P&R, but I'm afraid a great many people are going to be not just car-free, but home-free and potentially food-free. Which in countries like mine, and yours, seems to me to be a disgrace.
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Old 10-02-11, 01:20 PM   #24
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Sure you "get it."
You know all about what "they" think; about you and themselves. Must be nice to be omniscient.
I know because they've told me so, right to my face. I can't go a week without being told that I'm either crazy or have a death wish for commuting to work (19 miles each way).

Or like last week, when it started pouring 20 minutes after I left the office on Thursday, they started cracking jokes and laughing at me the next day when I came in. Or 2 weeks ago when someone commented that they don't understand how I couldn't afford a car with my job (they assumed since I was cycling that I didn't own a car, because it didn't even occur to them that someone would voluntarily bike to work).

Trust me, I'm not omniscient. These opinions are gladly proffered to me, frequently.
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Old 10-02-11, 02:29 PM   #25
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The latest great depression has affected me only because I don't have as many job opportunities. I'd like to switch to a full time position but in my small town there aren't many driving jobs unless one has a Class A commercial driver license. I've just got a B and don't have six-thousand dollars to spare to do the training. If I did I'd go for it. Trucking is a job that will always need people. Since I'm single it wouldn't be a big problem for me to be away from home twenty-one days per month. For people with children it is difficult for them to do it. Thirty-five thousand to one-hundred-thousand dollars per year is a decent living behind the wheel for someone willing to live on the road in a truck with living space the size of a large closet.

My bills are about the same. My rent went up a year ago. Since I stopped using the clothes dryer my electric bill is half of what it was. Food is costing a bit more and gasoline is about level in price. I use about three gallons per month when I use my motorized bicycle.

I could live very nicely on $25,000 per year. If I wanted to save for retirement and pay for health insurance then it wouldn't be enough. If I owned a car I'd need plenty more money per year. Being debt free is great with the exception that the government gives away great tax deductions for people to buy houses and cars and I can't utilize them because I don't want to own a house or car. I don't want to go into debt making such a purchase just to get a tax credit.
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