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Old 12-24-2008, 12:14 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by tiuxiu View Post
Or perhaps a realignment of expectations? If you put someone lower middle class today back 30 years ago they look pretty fat with their cell phone, home computer, flat screen TV, car that doesn't require tuneups and has goodies like airbags, etc.
I wonder if there is a "free lunch" economic state possible - where technology and automation "does everything for us" - kind of a "Jetson's economy".

100 years ago it took 90% of us to grow all our food - now it takes only 2% of population.

Then it took a huge percent of population to "make our goods". What if through automation it only takes 2% of worlds population to make goods.

Now we have a huge percent of population processing our banking, warehousing, and retailing - again, what if computers, internet, and robots brought that down to only 2% of people needed.

Then, what if "energy becomes nearly free" through solar, wind, etc ?

We'd have an enormous "happily unemployed" class.

OK, I'm losing it - trying to stay positive with holidays - I'm reminded of that Steeley Dan song, IGY what a beautiful world it would be....

Standing tough under stars and stripes
We can tell
This dream's in sight
You've got to admit it
At this point in time that it's clear
The future looks bright
On that train all graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
Ninety minutes from New York to Paris
Well by seventy-six we'll be A.O.K.

What a beautiful world this will be
What a glorious time to be free

Get your ticket to that wheel in space
While there's time
The fix is in
You'll be a witness to that game of chance in the sky
You know we've got to win
Here at home we'll play in the city
Powered by the sun
Perfect weather for a streamlined world
There'll be spandex jackets one for everyone

What a beautiful world this will be
What a glorious time to be free

On that train all graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
Ninety minutes from New York to Paris
(More leisure for artists everywhere)
A just machine to make big decisions
Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision
We'll be clean when their work is done
We'll be eternally free yes and eternally young

What a beautiful world this will be
What a glorious time to be free
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:45 PM   #42
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I wonder if there is a "free lunch" economic state possible - where technology and automation "does everything for us" - kind of a "Jetson's economy".
......
Even then, there would always be people who make bad economic decisions or suffer personal economic misfortune. And there would always be those trying to "get over" and manipulate the system either legally or illegally.

Those of us on here shooting for FI/RE are just trying to legally manipulate the system - bank robbers are just trying to FI/RE too.
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:39 PM   #43
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Personally I think ER has never been very prevalent, and I don't see any real reason it won't continue to be viable for the few. I doubt the military or the cops are going to stop offering pensions. Even if you have to work 30 years to get it you can still retire at 48 or 52ish. There will always be those that make more than they need and save and invest it rather than spend it. They are few and far between now, and will continue to be. And there will continue to be those that get lucky or smart in their choice of investments or parents.

I mean, get real. There just aren't that many FIREs out there, and there never will be. I personally only know 2 others besides myself. But there will always be some. It isn't easy now, and may be even harder in the future, but it will still be an option for some. As far as the 401(k) matches go, that makes it a little harder. But I don't know a single ER who's sole source of retirement was his/her 401(k).
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