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Old 12-22-2007, 12:01 PM   #241
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I would rather look out for myself and my family rather than work for my previous employer. It is a derived element of selfish, in that I want the primary essence of my life, my time and choices, to accrue my side of the ledger rather than some corporations. In that sense, keeping life simple and allocated to those who mean the most to you equates into a form of self interest, which is not a vice.
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:02 PM   #242
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:42 PM   #243
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Whoaaa! I came back to this thread and found a handful of new pages w/in hours. I got up to the point of agreeing w/ Purron and realized there were 2 more pages to go. I don't know what stash of uppers the "shut down the thread" police have gotten into.. but ya know, the thread would be SHORTER w/o people repeatedly calling for shutting down the thread or speculating on such, and then (some of 'em) posting anew. [Can't such pleas go to the mods as PMs if really necessary?]

At seven pages (well, maybe only 4-5 minus the shutdown BS and wacky animals) it seems WAY worth pursuing and I'm game (like TickTock -- tho'.. I will be away for a while after today) but I think it's a core ER philosophic issue and worth discussion for those who want to participate, and I'd be interested in seeing where it evolves in a week (or more).

Responding to one of Bongo2's posts:
Quote:
Spending time on leisure when you are obligated..
Obligated by whom? I'm not being facetious here. Name the entity. If the entity, for you, is anyone but God, I would reserve the right to question that authority. [Don't want to step on God's toes.. but "lilies of the field" and all that.. yeh?] Skipping out on your kid's child support to kick up your feet and buy a plasma TV is not exactly what's promoted on this board. Once you can say to yourself, honestly, that your obligations are fulfilled, then feel free to ER; if you can't say that to yourself, don't ... or contribute in other ways besides punching a clock. If you think obligations to the world at large are lifelong and infinite.. then the corporate workplace is the LAST place you should be, and I would recommend the priesthood. Seriously.

If you are spiritually committed to Service, why choose to Serve Mammon?

Quote:
I think we can all agree on that, and just haggle about the details.
Let's get into 'em! People who have ER w/in their grasp, like Purron and others, are there solely because of hard work and careful planning. Should hard work and careful planning mean nothing..? Just sign 'em up for the same arbitrary number of years in the yoke as anyone else? Despite whether they have been prudent or profligate?

Quote:
In this society you are expected to work more or less full time from, say, age 20-60. This is just a convention – so can we reject it if we don’t like it?
Um? YES?

Just as it is a "convention", oftentimes, WHAT it is that you work at. Nurse. doctor, PT? Hedge-fund manager? Wal*Mart "greeter"? Tokyo subway pusher? Pointless Italian notary that makes millions, having essentially no valid or concrete societal role beyond inherited prestige? Prince (of Wales)? Britney Spears? The lattermost of these are pointless conventions.

I've often talked to a close friend of a close friend here; the guy is an international patent lawyer in his late 60s, married to an international patent lawyer in her sixties. THEY ARE IN HARNESS. They could buy me ten, twenty times over, at least. They don't "get" ER (as someone said elsewhere, correctly, it is a question of prestige). Both His and Her fathers were international patent lawyers, so the die was cast, they must be international patent lawyers-- and despite whether they are INCLINED to be international patent lawyers.. or whether they are particularly INTELLIGENT or INSIGHTFUL or GOOD international patent lawyers matters nothing.. they just ARE such, and keep working at it. WHAT exactly are they contributing towards? WHO are they doing this for? Their clients? Already super-rich. Their kids? Already rich. Themselves? Already rich beyond the dreams of most here. Yet the wife wears dresses better left to GoodWill (and *I* dress in 1980s Limited Express "vintage" with all its holes after 20+ years, so you can imagine).. and brings RAW TURNIPS (more than once) to dinner parties I have hosted!! Shades of BlackAdder, my dears. At SOME point one DOES ask oneself "why"?

I mean, why TURNIPS?

"OH,.. thank you for the -em- RAW TURNIPS!!"

Quote:
There is a philosophical term for this that escapes me, but there are some moral rules that exist in every society – like murder – and some that exist as a matter of convention – like parking restrictions.
Maybe delve into some Plato or something.. I am not super-well-versed in it myself, but he does posit a universal notion of Good and Justice. I try to follow the Golden Rule, and beyond that I just try to stay out of everybody else's way!

Quote:
If you park in the handicapped spot then that is selfish. Another society might have different parking rules, ... but that doesn’t necessarily make breaking the conventions OK.
If I go to Home Depot and there are 57 handicapped spaces (the handicapped being notorious gutter- plumbing- and tile-installers) -(sorry!), my parking there -which I wouldn't- is slightly, and materially, different from my arrogantly occupying the one measly and insultingly-insufficient pkg. space or -if lucky- spaces, plural, in front of the public Post Office / courthouse / library / hospital or whatever. There, the same 'abuse' has a greater significant negative impact. Following blind 'convention' is not the same as following 'common sense' OR maintaining a proper respect for one's co-citizens.

Quote:
Why is this convention needed? Because you need producers to have the things society needs.
Here, bongo, you sound like my Right-Wing Sis. Consumers have a "duty" to consume in order to prop up mfg. .. as though mfg. of who-cares-what Christmas-Tree-Shoppe-drecque were some be-all end-all good -in-and-of-itself.. Your assumption is that 'society" NEEDS everything it produces. Look around you and you'll see that's not true, not even by a long shot.. We could equally occupy people producing FAR less, MUCH BETTER. "We" just don't usually choose to.. globally (or as a nation or local society, either, most often).

Quote:
You can try as hard as you like to pay for something, but if no one is making it, then it won’t be there.
Fantastic.. if there really is this market, then you've got a new business plan!! Have at it, my lad..

Quote:
If paying our most productive people more causes them to work less rather than more, then the whole system pretty much breaks down, right? The ER is exploiting a flaw in the system.
To me, ER is in no way "the flaw".. but the endgame, the PRIZE of "The System". "The System" needs willing and eager and needy recruits.. but the point of working one's way up the pyramid, or lucking-out (even in part), or investing the sweat of one's brow. or using one's brain-cells to come up with the better mousetrap... should not necessitate one's finding oneself once again at the absolute bottom just to start all over again.

If one takes away ER (which one can.. in theory) then the only option left is indentured servitude at best, slavery at worst.

I'm not sure what bongo2's proposal is here: pay "the most productive people" LESS rather than more? How will that play out, exactly? I see in that a 'breakdown' far greater than what he currently fears. We are talking wholesale ballerina-chaining as per Vonnegut. Can anyone effectively sell this notion?

There are many on this board who have ER'd by dint of their six-figure salaries (let's say techies and lawyers and finance people). There are others, at LEAST equally, objectively, 'worthy/necessary' (let's say nurses, landlords, soldiers, duct-installers) who have made do with far less, and still reached the same goal. Good on all of them!

In Bongo2-world.. do we "need" a nurse LESS than a Megacorp lawyer/engineer/PR flack paid 5x as much?? Yes? No? Why? Should we press the average nurse/soldier into necessary, extended, service? Or, (as the HBS Bulletin would have it) are the Robert Mertons and Richard Prices of the world more 'valuable'? koff koff koff) and thus it is THEY who must never retire.. in order that they continue sprinkling their bounty upon us, like so much ticker-tape at Michael Milken's HONORARY F****** PARADE.

There are SOME people I would heartily WISH into ER.. and I won't mention them for fear of taking this thread "too political".

Otherwise, I must note that this is the first thread in which I have agreed with both samclem and donheff!!

But I don't even want to get into what HFWR finds 'erotic'!!! ...


Codicil:
---
People may know me here as a "liberal" and I still am. ("Liberal" does not equal "communist ballerina-chainer", BTW). it just means I'm interested in Platonic Justice and Fairness as well as the idea of 'pay-to-play'.. Any big corporation you can name pays a relative pittance to muck about in our supposedly-free-market capital playground, and many reap an immensurate profit compared with what they extract and return.. I just want an even playing field... a mom&pop enterprise should get the same breaks as ADM or Wal*Mart or a timber/mining operation, or some dead-useless sports franchise.. or a light-fingered energy/financial behemoth:

Greenspan, 1963:
Quote:
In a 1963 essay for Ms. [Ayn] Rand’s newsletter, Mr. Greenspan dismissed as a “collectivist” myth the idea that businessmen, left to their own devices, “would attempt to sell unsafe food and drugs, fraudulent securities, and shoddy buildings.” On the contrary, he declared, “it is in the self-interest of every businessman to have a reputation for honest dealings and a quality product.”
OOOHHHHHH PERISH THE THOUGHT!!!!!

Greenspan today:
Quote:
..now that it has all gone bad, people with ties to the financial industry are rethinking their belief in the perfection of free markets. Mr. Greenspan has come out in favor of, yes, a government bailout. “Cash is available,” he says — meaning taxpayer money — “and we should use that in larger amounts, as is necessary, to solve the problems of the stress of this.”
Blindly Into the Bubble - New York Times
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:11 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
People may know me here as a "liberal" and I still am. ("Liberal" does not equal "communist ballerina-chainer", BTW). it just means I'm interested in Platonic Justice and Fairness as well as the idea of 'pay-to-play'.

I just want an even playing field... a mom&pop enterprise should get the same breaks as ADM or Wal*Mart or a timber/mining operation, or some dead-useless sports franchise.. or a light-fingered energy/financial behemoth:
Sorry to veer OT for a bit, but I think one could read that and call it a 'libertarian' view. I'm not saying this to perpetuate 'labels', but to break them down.

-ERD50
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:14 PM   #245
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So whatcha drinking, L?
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:02 AM   #246
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:51 AM   #247
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But I don't even want to get into what HFWR finds 'erotic'!!! ...
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:14 AM   #248
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I'm glad no one has asked you to explain the Fonz reference.

Or maybe no one recognizes it anymore...
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:20 AM   #249
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I'm glad no one has asked you to explain the Fonz reference.

Or maybe no one recognizes it anymore...
I thought your prior post (the one you replaced with this one) was much more pertinent to the topic...
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:32 AM   #250
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Uh oh, someones been spending too much time watching the portal and examining satellite photos...

Obscurity has its own rewards. Not everyone has to get it.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:35 AM   #251
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Obscurity has its own rewards. Not everyone has to get it.
If I understand you correctly, you're suggesting I need to work harder at getting obscurity?
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:47 AM   #252
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Dont think of it as work. The whole point is just to enjoy yourself.
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:53 AM   #253
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If I understand you correctly, you're suggesting I need to work harder at getting obscurity?
Unless you become as obscure as possible, you are simply not doing your part and civilization as we know it will crumble.
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:45 PM   #254
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  • In this society you are expected to work more or less full time from, say, age 20-60. This is just a convention Ė so can we reject it if we donít like it?
Yes, we can.

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  • Why is this convention needed? Because you need producers to have the things society needs.
Well, I don't agree. I work in a service industry, I am not producing anything. I am saving a life here and there and making other lives better. But I can be equally productive by mentoring other people in RE. I can also contribute to improved productivity by providing investment capital. I might also have more time to contribute to the arts, to paint or to write poetry. I fail to see how front line production would be more "worthy". Societal value is much broader than producing "stuff".
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Old 12-23-2007, 02:28 PM   #255
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Conventions change with time. Today's 40-hr work week might have seemed "selfish" 200 years ago when the norm was more like a 70-hr work week. The ER crowd is just on the leading edge of tomorrow's convention, when workers won't be expected to work full time from age 25 to age 65. Tomorrow's convention might be to work 30 hrs/week from age 25 to 50. Then the "shirkers" will be those who ER at age 35 instead of those who quit the race at 45 today.

The judgemmental will always find someone to judge. That is what I take away from the OP's proposition.
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Old 12-23-2007, 02:53 PM   #256
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Some final thoughts. The OP was attracted to the idea of ER which is what drew him to this board in the first place. He can't ER due to family responsibilites and handling the expense of a newer, larger home to accomodate his children. Human nature is to put down that which you can't have. Therefore, he is labeling ER as a bad thing (shelfish). It makes it much easier to do without something you want when you have decided is bad and not worth having in the first place.

In his case, ER would be selfish as he would be denying his family, who depend on him, a decent life. I'm sure his friends and family would not want him to quit his job and go fishing. In my case, and many others here, ER is not a selfish act at all. My friends and family are very happy for me and support my decision. They are happy to know, through hard work and saving, I have gotten to this stage in my life.

In closing, I think Bongo should be happy for his blessings - a wife, three kids, and a nice home - and simply let go of this idea that ER is a bad, or shelfish thing.

Have a Merry Christmas Bongo and as you look into the faces of your children on Christmas Day, realize what you have is a good thing and many people on this earth would be happy to have the life you have. That doesn't make it bad, or shelfish, does it?
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:56 PM   #257
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Great. Now I want shellfish.

Good revenge for that whole bacon thing I started this morning, I guess...
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:06 PM   #258
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This whole "convention" thing of there being a society expectation that people work from ages 20 to 60 is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Some people may have that OPINION. However, if an overwhelming majority of a particular society truly believed that the majority of its members had such an obligation, it would become LAW and enforced.

I think that I can safely assume, that since early retirement is NOT illegal in the United States, not even a misdemeanor, that US society at least as a whole is JUST FINE WITH IT.

I notice that the US was founded with the concept of man's inalienable right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!

There is nothing there about obligations to contribute to society through X years via work for hire or volunteering. Nil, zip, nada. In fact, the founding fathers clearly envisioned a society in which an individual could seek his own individualistic path with minimal interference from "society".

This is one of those things that makes me very glad for the civil liberties I am able to enjoy in the US.

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Old 12-24-2007, 08:30 AM   #259
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This whole "convention" thing of there being a society expectation that people work from ages 20 to 60 is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
Oh come on Audrey...I'm sure someone could come up with something more ridiculous. Dont underestimate the ingenuity of the average person.
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Old 12-24-2007, 08:34 AM   #260
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The very best thing we can do for the environment (the least selfish thing) is to stop working and consume as little as possible. I'm not that unselfish yet. I still want too much.
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