The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is an invaluable source of productivity and happiness. Without positive thinking it is impossible to have a positive life. 

Negative thoughts are also necessary to have a positive life. For instance if you refuse to think anything negative and say to yourself, “The waves are not that choppy today I can swim in them safely. I am a great swimmer!” and then you drown, you crossed the line in terms of thinking in a positive mindset. Or perhaps a better example is when people took out massive housing loans thinking that the banks had their best interests at heart and that if they just worked hard enough they could afford their very own McMansion. Well, the housing market crashed and their positive thinking backfired on them. They lost their homes and became financially destitute. Obviously, I have simplified these examples but you get the picture.

My personal problem is that I am too prone to negative thinking. I can spot the flaw in everything. In fact, the flaws stand out to me like a leopard lying on a couch. I get consumed by these flaws and only focus on them. Some of the biggest flaws I see with our world are overpopulation, climate change, war, and resource depletion. Undoubtedly, these problems are causing catastrophic results like the 6th mass extinction event. Catastrophe is surely in store for the future. Basic science is rarely wrong.

But there comes a point when thinking about it is no longer helpful. There comes a point when thinking about a problem turns into ruminating about a problem. Yes, shit is fucked up and will continue to get more fucked up. Once you have acknowledged that, it is time to move onto the partial or whole solution to the problem. I already have my partial solution to the problem, building a homestead and being as sustainable as possible. I must accept I cannot fix the whole problem. I do not have the scientific brain power. I doubt anyone on the face of the planet does. Sometimes problems are actually blessings in disguise. I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective.

Negative and positive thinking must be combined to form the most satisfying life. If you think too negatively you will always doubt yourself and never accomplish your goals. If you think too positively you will be unrealistic and you will fail at your goals or even worse, destroy what you’ve worked so hard to create. Being realistic is important. At times it is may also be better to be more positive than necessary. Thinking, it’s going to be a great day today, the future is very bright for my family, or I am an excellent artist, is good for your psychological health. And obviously, your lifestyle is largely connected to your happiness levels. It’s also insane how much better I feel once the weather warms up! Things like exercise, healthy food, meditation, and good relationships go a long way. See the forbes article link at the bottom of the page for more information. 

My message to myself and others that can relate is this: “Stop living in fear of failure and try your best to focus on the solutions to the problems we face. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Think positively whenever you can. Focus 90% on positive thoughts and 10% on negative thoughts. Identify the problem and then quickly move on to creating a solution. This is the way to a positive life.” 

Here’s an great example of someone who identified a negative problem and came up with a positive solution.

Namaste

Reading positive books help too

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Source

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150623-sixth-extinction-kolbert-animals-conservation-science-world/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2016/04/14/7-habits-that-may-actually-change-the-brain-according-to-science/#2fddf2b87a9c

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A Farming Video That Touches My Soul

Growing flowers and farming is showing me to not give up when I am not instantly good at something and that if an idea fails it doesn’t mean I am a failure.

– Aisling Aine Maye, flower farmer at Skyberry Farm

Our generation wants to interface. We see the things that are wrong and instead of escaping we choose to lead by example. We feel like we don’t have any other choice then to fix what we have.

– Claire Jutras, Earth Candy Farm

Sometimes it can feel like there are so many young farmers, but in the larger picture it is minuscule. More than 50 percent of Canadian farmers are over 55. There are not enough young farmers to replace them.

– Kate Rustemeyer, Hoe Down CSA at Tulaberry Farm

https://www.facebook.com/Further-806952769342180/

Take a tour of one of the nation’s largest permaculture installations 5 years after planting. Part of an innovative project by Living Future Foundation, integrating food, energy, and building systems with exceptional build quality, all within the pristine Camels Hump watershed (near Burlington Vermont). Joined by Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design and Earth Asset Partnership.

Sources of Happiness

I find myself pretty lucky in terms of what makes me happy. Really, I enjoy the simple things in life quite a lot. Hiking, companionship, gardening, and creating art are some of my favorite things. 

I’m going to make a list of some of the most important things to me in terms of happiness. 

Happiness List

  1. Personal Relationships
  • Romantic – I should not put my happiness into another person’s hands, but I can’t help it sometimes. Love is blind and fun while it lasts; then it shatters your heart. Hopefully, I will find my soul mate.
  • Family – It’s important to have time set aside to spend with your immediate relatives, once a month or less may do.
  • Friends – It’s important to have at least one great friend you can count on.

 

  1. Growing plants – This gives me satisfaction. Its hard work but also rewarding. Horticulture is also extremely interesting.

3. Homesteading – This encourages freedom and creativity.

4. Being Positive – It’s almost impossible to have a positive life while having a negative mindset.

 

Off Grid Income Ideas

Really, almost nothing matters more than money when you are talking about maintaining an off the grid property. At the very least, if you can’t pay property taxes the government will steal your property and sell it to someone else without batting an eye. Thankfully property taxes usually aren’t too expensive.

When we are talking about basic living expenses I think I can live very simply on $8,000. That is the bare bones amount of money I would need to survive on for a year if all the property was paid off and I had no debt. $665 a month is a conservative estimate.

It’s also important to note that having a reliable partner in this affair would relieve quite a bit of financial stress. We will see if that happens…

Cost breakdown:

Average American healthcare: $320 per month — mine–$200 per month

Car insurance: $100 per month

Cell phone bill: $50 per month

Gas: $100 per month

Food (until self sufficient): $200 per month

Internet: May need to use cell phone internet

Total = $650

Need to work 81 hours or roughly 2 weeks at a job that pays $10 an hour to make $650 (when considering taxes). 

3,750 hours at $10 an hour to make $30,000

1,875 hours at $10 an hour to make $15,000 (Roughly 33 hours a week with no vacation for one year)

 

63 Businesses to Start for Under $10,000- https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/272229

Ideas:

  1. https://www.airbnb.com/
  2. Build raised beds for people (drip irrigation and compost delivery)
  3. Landscape for people
  4. Permaculture consultation (design and implementation)- large or small projects 
  5. Sell things on ebay and etsy
  6. Start a woodworking or artistry business
  7. Sell produce and value added products
  8. Teaching
  9. Part time job- Work in the winter full time
  10. Sell nursery stock – fruit trees, and shrubs
  11. Write internet or magazine articles
  12. Make meals for the elderly
  13. Hosting weddings, reunions, and parties
  14. Write a book
  15. Sell MEDICINAL herbs like mint (herbalism)
  16. Selling livestock like chickens, goats, and sheep
  17. having a boarding kennel (DOGS)
  18. Sell flowers and floral design
  19. Sell mushrooms
  20. Ginseng
  21. Meditation/yoga retreat
  22. Digital art/Graphic design
  23. Photography (Weddings)
  24. Bed and breakfast
  25. Hosting weddings
  26. Handyman service 
  27. Life coach 
  28. Handyman service
  29. Sell seeds (organic)
  30. CSA
  31. Ecological design consulting and conservation planning/easements
  32. Land design
  33. Yardwork
  34. Public education (general)
  35. Children day camp
  36. Glamping
  37. Blogging – adds
  38. Social gathering area/Farm dinners
  39. Survivor school 
  40. Grazing lease (not likely)
  41. Woodworking
  42. Sell wood/boulders
  43. Woodworking – Custom knife maker
  44. Sell compost bins and chicken tractors/houses
  45. Sell art
  46. Sell soaps 
  47. Sell honey and syrups 
  48. How to ferment food class
  49. Nutrition class
  50. Sell pestos and james
  51. Natural building class
  52. Fishing guide
  53. Sell tilapia
  54. Sell eggs 
  55. Sell honey
  56. Meditation classes/healing classes- art, yoga, meditation
  57. tutor.com
  58. elance/guru
  59. Developing a homestead dvd
  60. Lifecoach dvd
  61. Podcasts – Good idea for personal use atleast
  62. Wildcrafting
  63. College paper editing
  64. Computer services
  65. Country or Permaculture or Sustainable life store
  66. Woodworking classes
  67. Sell cheese and soap
  68. Host dances
  69. Sell turkeys ($100) or goats ($300)
  70. Lawn care (cut grass)
  71. Kids day camp

 

Quotes:

“As Mark cautions, if you’re in this game, you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket – you put multiple eggs in multiple baskets.”

“If we look at Mark’s example in the early years (and when I say early I mean the first eight years) he was growing row crops, annuals, cattle, hogs, he had part-time jobs and has done a lot of miscellaneous things.”

http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/01/14/frugal-homestead-series-part-2-heres-the-budget/

BUDGET EXAMPLE (holy crap they bring in a lot of money for not very much pain or suffering on their end)

mountain-budget-updated-1024x501frugalwoods-yurt-budget-1024x595mountain-budget-expenses-293x300mountain-budget-revenue-297x300

 

 

http://homestead-honey.com/creating-your-off-grid-homestead/

http://www.pepperpotfarms.com/press/top-10-best-off-grid-income-ideas-for-2016

http://www.naturallivingideas.com/21-tips-for-living-off-grid/

http://permacultureapprentice.com/mark-shepard-new-forest-farm/

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/NATL-ACA-328-Average-Monthly-Health-Insurance-Cost-Under-the-Affordable-Care-Act–225324422.html

https://www.offgridworld.com/25-inspiring-reasons-to-live-off-grid/

https://www.offgridworld.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-location-for-your-off-grid-homestead-or-community/

https://www.offgridworld.com/5-best-reasons-to-live-off-the-grid/

http://www.naturallivingideas.com/15-must-see-diys-to-get-your-garden-ready-for-spring/

http://www.naturallivingideas.com/tips-recipes-for-homemade-organic-fertilizer/

http://seasonedcitizenprepper.com/off-grid-part-1-the-start-of-an-adventure/

https://www.offgridworld.com/whats-stopping-you-from-going-off-grid-now/

Lessons From Amish Society, The Power of Community, Hard Work, and Simplicity

Introduction

Yes the Amish are a group of people with plain clothes, simple lives, and old fashioned values. Their society is far from perfect, but I think modern society could stand to learn a lot from the Amish way of life. By the way, I am not an expert on the Amish; some of this information may not be accurate. Most of what I’m writing is very simplified.

They Value Community

For starters, it’d be hard to find a more closely knit community than the Amish. To achieve such stability, extreme homogeneity in personality and priorities are present throughout the community. Everyone dresses the same, learns the same, lives the same, follows the same rules, and believes in the same God. Having a close knit community means that they have massive amounts of manpower/womanpower when the time calls for it. Whether it is barn raising or a healthcare crisis, the Amish community is supposed to look after their own.

Less Consumed By Technology and Materialism

The second interesting aspect of the Amish is that they use very little modern technology (if any) and are very non materialistic. The Amish do not spend hours on facebook or the Internet. They do not drive gas guzzling cars that cost thousands of dollars to maintain. The Amish way of life is much slower and less hectic due to valuing peace over material possessions. 

 I would argue that our society has become so consumed by materialism and technology that it has eroded away at core values. Money is the God that controls modern society and everyday life. People work their lives away for material goods as well as for food. The Amish work their lives away for basic needs (mostly). But the Amish “claim” to take pride in their work and often enjoy it. Only 30% of Americans enjoy their jobs and bosses. 

Value Hard and Meaningful Work

It’d be safe to say that the Amish work physically harder than the average American. Their physical work produces physical results. It can be gratifying to see all your hard work manifest into some physical object, such as when you plant a seed and harvest the fruits of your labor. Many modern jobs are much more abstract and less gratifying in my opinion. Working at a shopping mall for instance seems like a pointless waste of time. Selling people useless items that will likely end up in a landfill would leave me feeling empty inside to say the least. That is one example. Most jobs today seem more destructive than constructive in the long term. The Amish seem to value sustainably based work much more than modern society. 

Simplicity 

Finally the Amish don’t have all the complications of modern life. They keep their lives simple through following a set of rules and valuing relationships over materialistic goods. They have set routines and follow them religiously. They work, eat, sleep, pray, socialize, and reproduce. That is what they do with the majority of their time.

Would you live with the Amish?

I would live with the Amish for several months to see what it was like. However, there are many drawbacks that I would not be able to tolerate long term. See the list of cons.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Amish society is probably “almost” as fucked up as modern society if you don’t include warfare. However, we should learn to value simplicity, hard meaningful work, and community more, while valuing material objects less.  Then we could reach a happy medium between modern society and the days of old. 

Pros:

  1. They value nature
  2. “Overall” seem to be less violent than modern society
  3. Have the power of community
  4. Lower environmental impact per person
  5. Less materialistic = buying less crap that was made in sweatshops (exploitation of poor people)
  6. Value others more
  7. Don’t worship money
  8. Value kindness and helping others
  9. Value forgiveness
  10. Value hard work that is actually meaningful 

Cons:

  1. Extremely religious
  2. Not as much personal freedom (freedom of thought, expression, etc)
  3. Reproduce far too much, too many children on an already crowded planet
  4. Shunning (a way to exiling a person who doesn’t follow the rules)
  5. Closed minded and entirely based on tradition
  6. Sexist. Think of women as inferior/submissive to the man. See what happens when you live your life based on a 2,000 year old book modified by King James?
  7. Incomplete education
  8. Clothing represents their idea that sexual thoughts are evil except for within marriage
  9. Don’t like gay people

 

Favorite Permaculture Websites

  1. http://permacultureapprentice.com/

http://permacultureapprentice.com/here-is-how-you-make-a-living-from-a-4-acre-permaculture-orchard/

“This blog is all about making a financial and ecological difference by starting a permaculture farm.

A farm that supports the local community; cares for the environment and enables a lifestyle that is meaningful for YOU.”Logo-01-2-e1423223504518-1024x386.png

 

 

 

        2. http://beaconofhopeecovillage.tumblr.com/ 

        A Tumblr blog dedicated to all things permaculture. 406006_1280x720.jpg

 

 

 

     3. http://geofflawton.com/free-videos/

     50+ free permaculture videos

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       4. http://www.permies.com/t/21994/farm-income/money-permaculture

           http://www.permies.com/t/21994/farm-income/money-permaculture

          http://www.permies.com/t/27725/natural-building/Photos-growing-eco-buildings

“Permaculture and homesteading community with forums, videos, podcasts, articles, and other resources. Come and join the discussion!”

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4. http://aniceplantparadise.blogspot.com/2015/12/beacon-of-hope-ecovillage-inspirational.html

http://aniceplantparadise.blogspot.com/2015/12/beacon-of-hope-homes-will-be-fusion.html

http://aniceplantparadise.blogspot.com/2016/02/homesteadtools-list-see-page166-of.html

My other website that has all my natural building plans.

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5. Youtube

See off grid elite playlist

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQYgv1NvNB_c4y1CELy5cDg/playlists

https://www.youtube.com/user/scottpictures/videos?flow=grid&view=0&sort=p

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6. Going Slowly

 http://journal.goingslowly.com/2014/08/for-better-for-worse-plastering-begins

http://journal.goingslowly.com/2011/07/dreaming-of-our-new-life

http://journal.goingslowly.com/2011/09/land-hunting-part-fourteen-we-did-it

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tylerkellen/albums

http://inspirationalvillage.me/tag/earthen-floor/ (very similair)

 

We are currently documenting the experience of buying a small piece of land, building a timber framed straw bale house, living off the grid, and growing our own food.

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BONUS:

Frugal Woods blog- detailed homestead blog, complete with budgeting!

http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/01/14/frugal-homestead-series-part-2-heres-the-budget/

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Physical and Monetary Websites

http://www.helpx.net/

wwoof.net

craigslist.com

airbnb.com

etsy.com

ebay.com

 

 

Honorable Mentions

http://earthasset.com/land-superfoods-permaculture/

http://homestead.org/NewIndexes/Directory.htm

https://www.facebook.com/wholesystemsdesign/photos_stream

http://www.yourhome.gov.au/materials/straw-bale

http://www.paleotechnics.com/cottagefoundation.html

http://buildnaturally.blogspot.com/2014/01/adobe-floor-basics-how-to-build-dirt.html

http://tcpermaculture.com/site/plant-index/

http://www.permaculture.co.uk/

http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/10-most-profitable-vegetables-to-develop-to-turn-your-planting-abilities-in-cash

http://velacreations.com/blog/category/blog-house/

http://www.permaculturevoices.com/starting-a-farm-and-living-the-happy-farm-life-a-conversation-with-farmer-shannon-jones-pvp043/

http://www.waldeneffect.org/archives/2008/12/

http://www.permies.com/t/32099/rocket-stoves/doubling-power-RMH-cooling-feed

http://geofflawton.com/videos/500-house/

http://www.hobbyfarms.com/

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Sunspace/LowMassSunspace/TestsLowMassSunspace.htm#Cost

http://velacreations.com/howto/cistern-howto/

http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built/better-barns-cabin/

https://feastyoureyesonmyveg.wordpress.com/category/gardening/

https://abundantminigardens.com/how-much-money-can-you-save/

http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/how-to-build-and-plant-a-square-foot-garden/

 

 

Property Checklist and Personal Needs/Wants

Property Checklist NECESSITIES/WANTS:

1. I NEED A WOMAN WITH ME, TO KEEP ME COMPANY AND MAKE ME HAPPY (Sometime in the future)
2. Lax building codes
3. Land is not next to significant sources of pollution
4. Safe neighborhood
5. Reasonable neighbors
6. Adequate rainfall
7. Able to grow 2 to 3 acres of produce
8. Few slopes
9. Able to have an access road that is NOT EXPENSIVE to build or maintain. Must think of road access COST
10. Not in a flood plane
11. Good southern exposure
12. Good building site
13. Decent soil
14. Decent surrounding area
15. Logical shape (E.G. not a skinny rectangle)
16. How much wind does it have? CAN’T BE TOO WINDY.
17. Rain shadow or dry area?
18. Fire history?
19. Flood history?

Watch out for:
1. Slopes over 20% are unusable for food production without serious modification
2. Monocrop fields, coal plants, meth heads, “bad” type of rednecks/fanatics
3. Flood planes
4. Easements/unpaid taxes
5. High wind areas
6. Temperature of the area
7. Any existing structures

Prefer:
1. Mature trees
2. A lot of privacy
3. 20 acres

How to Exit the Rat Race

Disclaimer: I am still in the process of exiting the rat race. I have not successfully exited the rat race yet.

So you’ve decided you want to exit the rat race?

You may be able to exit the rat race through a different technique but these are the general requirements for my technique.

Well first you need a very, very, well thought out plan. Then you need considerable amounts of money and a willingness to live a simple life. Then you need to be willing to live out in the countryside. Then you need to have not many expensive medical costs.

Still on board?

Good, I’m tired of typing sentences here’s a list.

Requirements:

  1. Willing to live in the countryside
  2. Money and the ability to manage it VERY well
  3. Hard work 
  4. Ability to plan
  5. Ability to grow food
  6. Ability to learn how to build infrastructure
  7. No colossal health costs
  8. Not super materialistic
  9. Able to adapt
  10. Able to bring in an income, cottage business? 
  11. Able to appease or avoid government bureaucrats 

I’m sure there are thousands of ways to exit the rat race but I am going to present to you the one that I have chosen.

Steps:

  1. Learn everything possible about sustainable food production
  2. Learn everything possible about building a sustainable, cheap, off the grid house. Build the house yourself to save massive amounts of money.
  3. Save the required amount of money. We’re talking about starting the project with around $45,000 dollars in the bank if you are doing this fairly cheaply. You can take out a loan if you want.                                                                                                                           I don’t recommend being more than $20,000 in debt. Really, taking any debt is not advisable. But I think these are desperate and unstable times and that it is better to get land sooner rather than later. —–Land = $20,000 (including a road)—-House=$25,000—-Raised beds and other infrastructure=$10,000——(TIP —Build a cheap house (later to be repurposed as a work shed) and infrastructure then improve when you save more money. Build your homestead fairly gradually.)
  4.  Build your infrastructure. I predict it will take 6 months of steady labor to build a gravel road, small house (200 square feet), small bath house (200 square feet), and 10 raised beds. (TIP—-used recycled materials/cheap materials off craigslist) (Ask for help but don’t count on it)
  5. Continue to improve your property. Get involved in growing organic food for CSAs and Farmer’s Markets. 
  6. There is a good chance you will still have to have a regular job at least for 6 months out of the year for several years until you are able to save enough money. That’s not ideal but at least we are not talking about working a 40 hours a week for 45 years at a job you don’t like.
  7. Find a partner. This will alleviate financial requirements considerably if done correctly. Do not get legally married as this can cause financial ruin if you become divorced.
  8. Do not have children. Children cost $250,000 to raise from 0 to 18 years old on average. If you do you WILL have to work MUCH harder. Plus the world’s already overpopulated and the future isn’t looking so bright for future generations at the moment.
  9. Let your business or income grow. You will likely need $8,000 a year to pay for basic living expenses. That is the expense per person. A realistic and ideal income would be $16,000 per person, after taxes. This would allow you to save $8,000 a year for retirement. 
  10. Meditate, read, eat good food, make love to your soul mate.
  11. Enjoy the rest of your life. You no longer have to be a wage slave. You are free from the shackles of a 30 year mortgage. You have all the fresh and healthy food you could ever want. You get enough exercise everyday. You get fresh, unpolluted air every day. You are the master of your own destiny. You are doing something meaningful. You are not destroying the environment. You are not in debt. You are as free as anyone who ever walked the planet.

Namaste. 

 

Alternative routes:

  1. Join an ecovillage or intentional community (Easiest) 
  2. Find a homesteader and marry them
  3. Move to a different country with low cost of living (I.E. Costa Rica)
  4. Start an intentional community or ecovillage (90% of them fail within the first year)
  5. Live in your parent’s basement

 

Why Exit the Rat Race?

Negative.

WARNING: Strong language, heavy truths that some may find offensive

Look at my post, “How to Exit the Rat Race” if you don’t want to read about the problem, just the solution. 

Do you find beauty in the American dream, a mortgaged home, three kids, and working 40 hours a week until you are 65 (or older)?

If you do then carry on with your day. For the rest of us, I am here to tell why you should exit the rat race.

 Why exit?

The main reason I want to exit is because our current society/rat race is unhealthy. It’s unhealthy financially, psychologically, environmentally, ethically, spiritually, philosophically, and physically. Basically, society is just really fucked up!

Why is it fucked up?

I am not 100% sure; it probably has something to do with money being worshiped as a god and ruling/controlling our entire lives. Money is the main reason people sign up to go to modern war, justify destroying the environment, exploit people unfairly, and take away basic human rights (I.E. the war on drugs). This is the essence of REAL WORLD capitalism.

Society is probably also fucked up because humans are instinctively violent creatures (at times). Our species has a long and well documented history of murdering and enslaving one another. Our chimp relatives also have some violent characteristics as well. 

We must transcend some of our violent and less desirable instincts and find and value love above all else. Compassion, love, and mindfulness are what is necessary for the highest quality life. 

In summary, the rat race does not promote happiness or physical or mental health for many people. I am one of those people. There is a better way to live life that doesn’t require working 40 hours a week for 45 years. Look at my post, “How to Exit the Rat Race” to learn more. 

 

 

  1. “Of over 150,000 people surveyed only 30 percent admitted they honestly enjoy their job and their bosses.”
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  9. $177,000 down the drain for a 30 year mortgage. Isn’t that the definition of a fucking scam?
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  11. young-wage-high-school-earners
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  14. “Medical care is up over 70 percent.  Housing is up over 40 percent even with the crash in the housing market.  Basically the only items that held steady where apparel and recreation. “
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Sources:

http://www.ryot.org/gallup-poll-70-americans-disengaged-jobs/376177

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2012/12/30/2012-the-year-in-healthcare-charts/#461e7de4458f

http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-credit-card-debt-vs-median-household-income-2009-5

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/03/20/the-average-american-household-carries-this-much-i.aspx

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/3353342/Bonobos-not-all-peace-and-free-love.html

https://www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/worldpopgraph.php

Comparing the inflated cost of living today from 1938 to 2015: US Dollar losing an enormous amount of purchasing power since 1938.

Why are so many young Americans living at home? Record number of Americans living at home while student debt reaches another record.