The opposite of poor is not rich...

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Sharon in NY, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    ...it is self-sufficient. Journalist and writer Jeremy Seabrook makes this observation, but it is hardly his own observation. If you are rich and dependent on outside forces, you can be as vulnerable as many poor people - all it takes is the loss of a job, excessive debt, a major disaster. Now there's no such thing as invulnerability, but basic self sufficiency seems like it rides on several things:

    1. Little or no debt. Even for "good" debt, your security from foreclosure on property or repossession of goods is greatest if you own at least a majority of an item.

    2. An economic reserve of both money and goods. The American savings rate is now negative. Most Americans have little or no savings, and they also have only a few days of supplies to meet basic needs. Ideally, most people would both have a six month supply of funds, but also six months of food and materials.

    3. The capacity to regenerate to some degree outside the formal economy. Only about 1/3 of the work done on the earth operates in the formal economy - 2/3 of all economic labor is "unofficial" - grandma takes care of the grandkids without pay, but in exchange for some help with the groceries, someone pays the babysitter under the table, someone grows food for the family to eat and trades with a neighbor for eggs, etc... Many, many people live to a large degree outside the official economy - and more people do this when economic times are hard or jobs are short. They cobble together several jobs, do subsistence work, grow food, barter, work under the table, trade in unofficial markets. Being able to provide some of your own support without help from the official economy is of enormous benefit - that means growing some food, having a tradable skill, developing strong relationships in your community. Money is necessary to get along, but you can reduce your need enormously, even if the economy doesn't help.

    4. Strong family and/or community ties, ideally both. That way, in hard times, you can pool resources and share benefits. Elders, the disabled, children and other vulnerable members can be protected even if outside social supports, like social security or disability fail.

    So, how are you doing on these measures of self-sufficicency? What will you do this year to make yourself more secure?

    Sharon
     
  2. Reptyle

    Reptyle Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so what IS the opposite of rich?
     

  3. Jeff54321

    Jeff54321 Well-Known Member

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    Happy.
     
  4. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Opposite of rich- want. As in wanting something, anything, not necessarily NEEDING it.
     
  5. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am rich AND on the road to self-sufficient. Rich because I am very satisfied (in a room with two giggling joyous 6 year olds right now) with where I am and not yearning too much for anything I can't or don't have. Self-sufficient- aiming for only having to go to the market to get dairy products and 'exotic' fruit and staples like bread flour and chocolate.
     
  6. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

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    Perhaps the opposite is self-sufficient? I donno...sometimes I believe the less we know makes folks happier. :rolleyes:
     
  7. annethcz

    annethcz Well-Known Member

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    Excellent question! I think the opposite of rich is someone who is poor without the means (resources, intelligence, ambition, abilites) to improve their situation.
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Being satisfied with what is yours is being rich.
    If you are never satisfied with your worldly goods, you are poor.

    Gaining a worldly fortune is worthless if you loose your Soul.