"As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestick industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can." Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations.
The more that I look the more that I see that the system is breaking. I have been pulled into the city to work for quite reasonable amount of money. I give most of that money to other people who expect a decent wage to do the things that I don't have the time to do, because I am too busy earning.
I have started to catalogue the time it takes me to earn the money that I need to pay someone to do things that i could do myself. Some months I earn a lot. Four months of the year, (When the schools are closed) I earn nothing. As a salesman I always work on a 100% comission, no salary, basis. That the way that I like to live even though it makes my income unpredictable and very dependent on my own sense of motivation. If I were to limit myself to a 40 hour week I would average about £1600 every month after taxes.
I live in an old victorian house with high ceilings, no roof insulation, and solid brick walls. It cost about £1500 a year to heat using gas. I know that, in the country, I can cut enough wood to heat a house for a year in less than a week. That would also be good for my health, good for the woods which need thinning, and it would be carbon neutral. The old market model in which the time saved by having a miner dig you coal, saved you enough time for you to earn more than the cost of that coal is broken.
I have started brewing beer and wine from kits. The kits take away any need for expertise. The cheap ones cost about about £10.00, and produce beer that is pretty poor. The better kits which, again need no skill, cost more than twice that. Three hours work produces 40 bottles of beer @ about 60p a bottle. It tastes the same as £2.20 beer from the shop up the road. The shop has to pay about 60p tax so the comparison is with £1.60. A pound more, but the brewery, using mass production, should be able to make it more cheaply than I can. Another failure for Adam Smith.
The local allotments are one sixteenth of an acre. The victorians reckoned that this was the amount of land that was needed to feed a family. Given that we in the UK, on average, spend about 10% of our income on food ten sixteenths of an acre should generate an average income. I know a few farmers who have one hundred times that land, about 70 acres, and they struggle to make the average wage. They mostly have to have second jobs. Something, somewhere, is seriously wrong with the "efficiency" of modern farming.
It is not just in this country: http://bit.ly/mJWbBv
I can see people on here and other place like facebook who are making the same observations and coming to the same conclusions maybe without realising it. No "good job" and mortgage, despite the the degree and qualification. Instead they wait tables or work in call centres, rent houses, grow vegetables and keep chickens. That seems a good way to be.
It is time to get on with the next bit of my life.