One of the main reasons behind starting this blog was that I couldn’t find anything that was similar to ERE/MMM/Raptitude in the local context. And so, I thought why not create one myself? (I am definitely not saying I am as good as them, but I am not denying that I am trying?)
There’s no doubting that there are many established local personal finance bloggers out there. For most of them, the primary aim is to accumulate wealth to the tune of close to $1 million before declaring themselves financially independent. Worthy goals indeed.
But then, this is also pretty different (in my humble opinion) compared to my ultimate goal of accumulating $500k after 10 years of full-time work. With the dividends, Mrs 15HWW and I would then be able to semi-retire and reduce the length of our work week, which is also considered pretty unorthodox even in this financial blogosphere.
However, interestingly, it seems that this sort of idea is starting to catch on after i saw this latest post from a “buddy” blogger. (Not sure how much influence I have had on him. =p) This also helped to add on to my excitement after I stumbled onto this blog last week: earlyretirementsg.weebly.com
Upon reading through some of his posts, I thought I had found a kindred spirit who was a few years older than me but way ahead on a similar “early retirement” journey in Singapore. However, since he had only started blogging for about a month, I immediately thought of inviting him to guest post on this blog so that he could reach a wider audience.
Thankfully he didn’t find my approach preposterous (afterall, I am also quite new) and even suggested a few possible topics to me. But then I figured that there’s an easier way out. So here I am, posting my favourite post (thus far) from his new blog.
And well… good stuff are meant to be shared so I hope you enjoy his article below.
A Utopian World Where No One Needs To Work (18/12/2013)
I’ve always wondered if humans get together, we could come up with a world where everyone would have food to eat and a roof over our heads and medical would be free. People could volunteer to work for companies providing necessities like farming, medical, construction. Machines would do bulk of the work. These volunteers would get a first selection of the necessities which are produced.
There are so many people in this world. So many folks doing (in my view) “non-productive” work. For example, a bunch of marketers, production of LV, Prada, the finance industry. If we closed down all these sectors and put more resources to necessities, humans could produce more necessities, (I’m tired of listing necessities, But lets define necessities as doctors, farmers, fishing, food producers, construction, transport, education, research, technology. Non-necessities, I’m defining as the luxury industry, complex finance, gambling, tobacco, abusive drugs, etc)
We could all either not work or work for maybe 1-2 hours per day and everyone would have enough to eat, a food over their heads, free medical. As mentioned, volunteers who want to work would get the first selection of the produce. The products would be disbursed by the government on a monthly basis to all families in a country. Those are the basic needs of humans.
After which, humans can choose to spend their time doing other useful things like being doctors, researchers, etc.
So we’d have a bunch of volunteers working as producers who get slightly more than others, and the rest could bum around and get the base necessities of housing, food and medical and do whatever they would like with their lives.
Essentially money is just an illusion to fulfill human’s unlimited wants, its to gain financial security. If it is possible for a just and fair government to come up with a system to fulfill an individual’s base needs for his whole life, he would have security for life, then he could put his efforts to doing other things to contribute to society and he won’t be stashing cash and working for non-necessities in life and chasing the non essentials.
Isn’t that what we developed technology for? To work less? However, as people’s wants increase, they work even more. If everytime you were offered a raise, you asked for the same salary but with the increment as a deduction of the work done instead. How many hours would you be working now? (I’m talking about folks who are earning sufficient and not just above the poverty line.) So if the boss offers you a 5% increment, you counter that you would keep the same pay but with 5% less work hours. Well, you lived well enough with that pay already. It’s now time to work less. After 10 years you’d work about 50% less. Ok assuming compounding, you’d actually compound more pay if you increase 5% per ann for 10 years. But I’m just talking about this conceptually. That humans initially created technology to improve their lives to work less. But ended up finding other things to do to fill up their time again and keep themselves busy. Constant improvement to processes are fine but some desires are just pointless, like SGD2000 handbags. There’s a whole industry for these products worth billions. If the money were used to help the poor countries develop and end up in the same situation, no one would starve or be left in the streets or be unable to afford healthcare. The gambling industry is also another industry of pure waste. I’m appalled that people find that they have no other way to be happy or get a thrill besides to spend money.
What is GDP? It’s another number for countries to compare against each other. And we keep wanting to increase GDP/productivity. If GDP falls, we are in a recession. Like who cares about a recession if everyone has enough to eat, a place a stay and free medical? So we end up continuously pushing for more products, goods which really don’t do very much for the human race.
Personally, I think the current system is a silly system and maybe some folks may think my idea might be bordering on communism, I’m not in favour of communism. Humans have a tendency to be selfish and greedy so a single person holding power is a bad idea. I’d prefer to believe in a more socialistic society where everyone gets a fair amount of basic necessities and is allowed to do whatever they want without fear of going hungry. That would be the true life everyone should live. If you want to be a doctor, then do so for interest and include your services in society rather than believing that you should be compensated more just cos you can save someone else’s life. If you want to build buildings, then do it cos you have interest in building big structures rather than wanting to make millions.
Do you think such a society would work? Is this familiar with your thinking? Are there already countries successfully pulling this structure off?
Do visit earlyretirementsg.weebly.com to check out some of his other great articles!