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Old 12-15-2007, 08:39 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Yeah, I'm not buying this whole shtick. It's that holier than thou thing that makes me wonder. My guess is still that he is frustrated with being unable to FIRE so he's re-casting it as something vaguely immoral or self-serving. B+ for troll value, though.

I'm moving on to more existential and philosophical threads, like the booze thread.
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Looks like Jarhead came out of the bushes to prove your point
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:51 PM   #82
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Wow. A rare Jarhead sighting!
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:10 PM   #83
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The more I read and think about bongo2s posts, the more I come to the conclusion that his issue is with a person having too much leisure time (with some exceptions previously noted). He seems to think that is inherently detrimental to other people in some way that I don't yet understand.

For example, why someone with $100 million invested and golfing 40 hours a week is detrimental to others while the same person working at a minimum-wage job in a fast-food restaurant 40 hours a week is a productive member of society is beyond me.

I do note that bongo2 has taken a lot of grief in this thread, and he went into it knowing that he would take grief, yet he's attempting to defend his proposition. That takes a certain amount of guts, and I admire him for that, even though I disagree with his proposition.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:13 PM   #84
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So bongo2 is now 37, give or take a year. I'm guessing that the obligations he referred to earlier are his minor children.

At 40 myself, I guess I'm a young whipper-snapper on this forum as well. And just when I've gotten out of the habit of looking over my shoulder for my father when someone calls me 'sir' or 'Mr. TickTock'.
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enough with the poetry.....what about the economy?
Old 12-15-2007, 09:16 PM   #85
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enough with the poetry.....what about the economy?

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Not everything that contributes to the economy is paid work. Not by a long shot.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:22 PM   #86
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When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
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I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
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Either man's work or his own gifts.
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Nicely done Meadbh.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:38 PM   #87
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Not everything that contributes to the economy is paid work. Not by a long shot.
While I agree with your statement, this irritates me, as bongo2 never made the claim that paid work is the only way to contribute to society (not quite the same thing as contributing to the economy, but still I don't think you're arguing against a position that he's taken).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo2
I want to get straight what I mean by retirement. Technically you can say things like “Bob retired from his job as a lawyer to teach starving children in Africa,”

[snip]

If you are leaving your job to pursue a higher calling then I think it is misleading to say you are “retiring”
Now, I disagree with his stated position that ERing to a life of leisure is detrimental to society. But let's argue against what he actually claims.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:17 PM   #88
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Is it about time to point out that a vacuum is frequently better than the things nature decides to fill it with?

Theres a couple of ways to take that. I mean it the good way.
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:59 PM   #89
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All human beings are by nature selfish. ER's are human beings and are therefore selfish, but no more and no less than anyone else.
I echo what Gumby said in one sentence but of course I'll take a few paragraphs.

I threaten to make Bongo's point in an earlier post. Luckily, he beat me to it and once again proved the rule that you can spot pioneers by the arrows in their backs.

I agree with much of Bongo's observation, but I feel so much of what people to is selfish, that early retirement is about as selfish as habitually driving 5-10 miles an hour over the speed limit.

Most activity that people do is selfish, the exception are rare enough that you can pretty much list them. Taking care of your children, family, and strangers. Helping the poor and the defenseless . Arguably helping animals and the environment. Basically, anything will earn you sainthood, or sometimes a Noble Peace Prize is selfless most everything else is selfish at some levels.

It seems that as long as have sufficient resource when you retire to take care of your children and family you aren't adding to a society burden. Where I do agree somewhat with Bongo is that when you retire you are decreasing (taxes) the ability of society to take on care of poor or spend on things that will benefit everyone (e.g. roads, clean water). I think you can argue that maximizing the taxes paid or given to charity is a selfless act, but don't I think not doing it is particularly selfish.

I also think it matters to some extent what your profession was if ER is selfish. It seems to me that few would argue, that a smart ruthless annuity salesman drug lord, retiring early would be detrimental to society. On the other hand a brilliant medical research who has already discovered the cures for 3 forms of cancer, deciding to retire at 45 to life of golf, and sailboat would be a blow to society.

Many public service jobs are beneficial to society firefighters, K-12 teachers, cops, garbage collector. Also many health care workers are similarly valuable. On the other hand there are lot of profession which are competitive in nature and the net contribution to society is marginal. For instance if 1/2 of the following profession disappeared tomorrow would we be really worse off overall? (Lawyer, money manager, sales/marketing/ad, TV producer, Casino personal, any body involved in liquor, gun, tobacco industry, fashion industry etc.) So it seems to me it isn't all selfish to ER from one of those jobs. Now that leaves a lot of jobs which actually produce something valuable and so you could make the argument that taking an Early Retirement is somewhat detrimental to society. On the other hand, if you retire from a you do give an opportunity for some else to take over your position and get promoted.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:33 AM   #90
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"I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached."

In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:50 AM   #91
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Not completely sure about the point Bongo is trying to make.

But I think Bongo is Wrongo!!!

Especially if he is equating ER with societies free loaders that have never worked... Most of us have deferred consumption (saved) early on to consume during a later phase in life. Once one has squirreled away enough nuts for 50 winters... no reason to keep gathering nuts. Time to start doing something different.

If his point is that people who do not produce are a drag on society, he could be correct if the ratio of non-workers to workers was too large. But economic forces (e.g., inflation) will adjust to bring about an equilibrium between supply and demand of most goods and services.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:09 AM   #92
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Most activity that people do is selfish, the exception are rare enough that you can pretty much list them.
Its the point I made early on. So are most of the choices that lead to your job..education, place of employment, whether you went all out in a job or pursued other interests, whether you stayed current in your knowledge, and on and on.

For Bongo to state that ER is selfish, my reply is "yeah, so what's your point?" (and why not just state that all retirement is selfish?)

It's like Bongo is pointing out a tomato while not noticing he's standing in a fresh produce market.

We need more philosophical ideas. Similar to: "I ER therefore I am."
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:40 AM   #93
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For only a slight twist on Descartes, I offer "J'ai pension, donc je suis."
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:57 AM   #94
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.

For example, why someone with $100 million invested and golfing 40 hours a week is detrimental to others while the same person working at a minimum-wage job in a fast-food restaurant 40 hours a week is a productive member of society is beyond me.
Right on brother! Now, one more cup of coffee before I head to the golf course.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:58 AM   #95
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For example, why someone with $100 million invested and golfing 40 hours a week is detrimental to others while the same person working at a minimum-wage job in a fast-food restaurant 40 hours a week is a productive member of society is beyond me.
Jarhead, Is that you?

I worked for 43 years... from 17 to 60. This does not count the time in school when I delivered papers and bagged groceries... I feel no angst that I decided to take the money and run. I do not feel unproductive; I don't think I'm a freeloader, and I could care less if someone thinks ill of me as the checks pour in.

Let's ask Ed Abbey about this...quote

Wealth should come like manna from heaven, unearned and uncalled for. Money should be like grace--a gift. It is not worth sweating and scheming for.

I have found through trial and error that I work best under duress. In fact I work only under duress.

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Old 12-16-2007, 09:20 AM   #96
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I feel no angst that I decided to take the money and run. I do not feel unproductive; I don't think I'm a freeloader, and I could care less if someone thinks ill of me as the checks pour in.
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:24 AM   #97
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Evidently the golfing weather in Jarhead's neck of the woods is lousy since he (or someone claiming to be him) reappeared from the mists and posted this quote on another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo2 View Post
Hi all! I've piped up a few times before, and I thought I'd introduce myself. I think I'm quite a bit younger than most of you (33) and still working with three young children (all under 5). I have a typical desk job, and my wife stays at home. I dream of FI/RE, but, like the typical family, saving money was a lot easier when it was Double Income No Kids, rather than Single Income Three Kids. With the wife and kids sending our expenses up rapidly, the dream seems farther and farther away each year. This year was particularly bad, with a move to a higher-priced neighborhood, and an almost endless stream of large expenses that went with it. In the next two years I hope to get back to saving significantly (something that I used to do easily, but haven’t been able to manage for the last two years).
This certainly lends credence to RIT's sour grape theory as the motivation behind this thread.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:36 AM   #98
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Jarhead, Is that you?
Nope, I don't know Jarhead*. Members List shows the last time he posted before today was on 5/19/07, before I signed up.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:59 AM   #99
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This thread got me thinking .I have worked 39 years . I worked when my children were babies and all thru their childhood . I worked extra so they could go to college . I worked an extra year to pay for a wedding . I worked so I could help my Mom out for years . Do I feel selfish now that I finally stopped working ? Not at all !
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #100
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Evidently the golfing weather in Jarhead's neck of the woods is lousy since he (or someone claiming to be him) reappeared from the mists and posted this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo2
Hi all! I've piped up a few times before, and I thought I'd introduce myself. I think I'm quite a bit younger than most of you (33) and still working with three young children (all under 5). I have a typical desk job, and my wife stays at home. I dream of FI/RE, but, like the typical family, saving money was a lot easier when it was Double Income No Kids, rather than Single Income Three Kids. With the wife and kids sending our expenses up rapidly, the dream seems farther and farther away each year. This year was particularly bad, with a move to a higher-priced neighborhood, and an almost endless stream of large expenses that went with it. In the next two years I hope to get back to saving significantly (something that I used to do easily, but haven’t been able to manage for the last two years).
This certainly lends credence to RIT's sour grape theory as the motivation behind this thread.
That's quite a turnaround in attitude.

Not to be harsh on the OP - it's tough to pull off especially with a few kids. But the first step is a hard self-assessment and reality check. If life and dreams are not aligned, change things - enlist the family to live beneath, move to less expensive housing, whatever. If that can't be done, accept the fact and identify some potential compromises.

But to realize you're falling short (no shame in that) and react by playing games with the validity of your original dream won't get you anywhere except frustrated. If there's any truth to this take on the original post, I hope it serves as a wake up call to get back on track to FIRE - it may still be reachable even it it takes a few compromises. Bongo is still young with lots of possibilities, once he accepts that the current strategy (whatever it might be) may need some adjustments.

Of course, this could all be a genuine moral crisis for the OP in which case FIRE is not the goal at all. Seems to me his proper response to that is to work forever.

Bongo, good luck to you.
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