Originally posted by ABNARTY
reply to post by Phage
Maybe I am unclear. Not the first time.
If I labor directly to provide my needs, let's say food, it will not take 40 hours per week by a long shot. Sure planting/picking/preserving will have
some long days but not all the time. If I labor directly to put a roof over my head, building it will be tough but then I am done.
I grew up in a farming family, as I've noted in several other posts, and spent a great amount of my 'free' time as a teen and young adult helping my
grandfather on his farm. It wasn't a 'corporate' farm, it was exactly what you'd need to be self-sufficient...it was a mixed-use spread with ~100 head
of cattle, several acres of 'truck farm' crops (produce and fruit) and about 400 acres of wheat, soybeans, or corn. You're very correct...if you had
to directly provide for your needs, it won't take 40 hours per week. That won't even get you started. During planting season, you'll be preparing the
soil, then planting your seed. Once it's planted, you don't just sit on the porch and watch it grow...you have to weed the crops, keep them watered,
and fertilize them. Once they're mature, you get to harvest, clean, preserve, and store them. That could easily keep a small family occupied for 40
hours a week by itself. Over and above that, though, you've got to take time to care for your livestock and / or draft animals, service your tools and
machinery, and take care of the pastureland for your animals. Tired yet? Too bad, because you still haven't ground any flour, baked any bread, made
any butter to put on it, or actually cooked a meal. You also haven't cleaned and mended your clothes, eaten, or bathed.
I can speak from experience...keeping a farm operational is a long way from a 40 hour week...it's closer to 60-80 hours, with peak times that can be
Now that your farm is tended to, we can move on to other things, like building your own house (since you mentioned working directly to keep a roof
overhead). Do you have the skills (or the time, see above) to dig out, prep, and lay or pour a foundation? Are you a good enough carpenter to square
up a wall, ceiling, and floors? Do you know how to waterproof your roof, install your plumbing, electrical system, and HVAC? If you do, good on you.
Now, do you have the time (while juggling the needs of the farm for your food) to do maintenance and upkeep on your dwelling? Even if you keep this to
the 'primitive peasant' level and leave out indoor plumbing and electricity, keeping a house in good repair is a major time-killer...and if you skip
the plumbing, don't forget that you'll have to dig, use, and maintain an outhouse and a well (neither one as simple a thing as you might think).
In the copious free time granted you by your self-sufficient lifestyle, you can weave some cloth and sew a shirt and trousers, tan some leather to
make boots, gloves, and a hat (trust me, you *will* need them).
Been there, done that...and trust me, the 'good old days' weren't that good.
Most modern Americans do not labor this way. There are a lot of steps between what they do and what they get in return. They go to work everyday
(hopefully) and spend the entire day producing nothing directly for themselves. They get currency in exchange for their labor. That currency then
needs to be exchanged for what they need, be it food or a roof over their head. That indirectness subjects them to a loss.
Really? What do I lose by letting farmers farm, while I run computers for a living. I give up the strain of farming life, and gain leisure time to do
things like raise my macaw, and post on ATS. Am I missing something?
If that time laboring was spent directly producing food to eat or building the roof over their head, no way would they spend 8-10 hours a day, 51
weeks a year making it happen. Ergo, they would have more time for other things.
The argument that people want modern medical care and cable TV has little to do with this. We are only talking about time not technology comparisons.
As noted, you're right, 8-10 hours / day for 50 weeks a year wouldn't come *close*. You'll notice that in my list of things you'd need to do, I didn't
mention medical care, dental care, cable TV, or an education. I was looking at JUST the basics of food, clothing, and shelter. If you think I'm wrong
in any way, you could test my theory by hiring on as a farmhand for a season or two, or by living in a truly self-sufficient way...but that would be
rather hard to document on the Web, since building a PC or Mac from basic materials (sand, oil, copper ore etc) is probably a bigger project than any
of us have time for.
edit on 6-9-2013 by Brother Stormhammer because: Typo-fixing