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Impact of the Economy on Intentional Communities

 
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An interesting read, primarily about Twin Oaks in Louisa, VA.

http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2014/12/communes-still-thrivedecadesafterthe60sbuteconomyisabummerman.html
 
master pollinator
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Reliance on craft type items seems to be a risky financial strategy. Groups who sell items requiring greater skill sets, are likely to experience a more stable income.

I used to live near the Amish in rural Ontario. Most farms had well managed wood lots. Maple and oak furniture of exceptional quality found an eager market. The men also specialized in the erection of farm buildings. The women and children produced pies, jams, dried fruit and many more value added food items. Market gardening was a big business for some families. Maple syrup was the earliest cash crop of the season.

These folks had everything that they needed. Their religion frowns upon frivolous consumption and indebtedness, so money doesn't leave their pockets easily.

When I was about 9, my Amish school friend Caleb earned an income from a section of his parents garden. This was his only money, and he spent it carefully. When the kids talked about wanting various toys, Caleb expressed a desire to get his own taps and pails, so he could make some money selling syrup. I haven't seen him in 40 years, but I'd be willing to bet that he has never been on welfare or been burdened with crushing debt.

The website mentioned student debt. Many people train for a certain type of work and then they simply change their minds and never seriously pursue employment in that field. This is their debt. I hope that nobody expects to have their debts paid off by the entire community.

My daughter is almost finished her first year as a teacher. She is on track to pay off 40% of her student loans by January. A combination of frugality and traveling to the right job have led to this. I know people 15 years older who still struggle with debt. Some other priority always prevents them from allocating funds to financial freedom.
 
John Rogers
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
The website mentioned student debt. Many people train for a certain type of work and then they simply change their minds and never seriously pursue employment in that field. This is their debt. I hope that nobody expects to have their debts paid off by the entire community.


I think the point was that a higher number of people needing traditional jobs to pay back a higher debt load is resulting in fewer people seeking alternative lifestyles supported by smaller incomes.
 
steward
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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I think if one wishes to live simply, the first thing is to cut off listening to advertisements. lol One thing I have noticed is those who live back in the forest here in Costa Rica don't even have television - and are happy. Once a tv shows up, all of a sudden, more trappings of an industrialized life show up as well. As a species, we ten to be happy with food, clothing, shelter, till we start seeing others with much more.

I know for myself, I rarely want more than I have, until I travel to the "flesh pots", and then it takes a bit to get over it.

Having an affluent life style AND living in an intentional community may be at odds.

Just my opinion.

 
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