Business Magazine

10 Reasons Why Financial Independence is Good for Society

By The Contender @The__Contender

10 Reasons Why Financial Independence is Good for Society

A Road to Freedom

Our little TRiBe is trying out the financially independent, idle life in France. Here are a couple of background posts: in  Happiness in France : finally landed in France and plan for the next 4 years & in French Living – Quelle Difference? : this was a look at our expenditure in France compared to the UK.
In this post here is a reflection on our current arrangement of living off investments and savings. We are now business owners instead of the wage slaves and 10 reasons why this is a GOOD thing.
Wage Slave Exploitation
We were wage slaves to big business. We were the ones being exploited....
THE.PaST: "Hold on there you were were doing it willingly and being paid for it right?"
Willingly not so sure on that one and were we paid enough. Admittedly that is a matter of opinion. WILLING SLAVE BOOK? What can be said about it was that the companies that we worked for made large profits off our backs. Fine when you are the owner of the business receiving part of the profit (most likely through dividends) but what if the company is not listed and you are not a managing partner or the private equity firm.
Sure wage slave is a harsh word it was not real slavery was it, chained to the desk and all that. Let's consider that further. We there are other ways of chaining on to his/her desk. Check out the book Willing Slaves: How the Overwork Culture is Ruling Our Lives on this topic.
We really had to do exactly as we were told, do what the boss wanted and make him/her look good. We had to follow the company line and bend over backwards when needed or else there is the door! OR We are not making enough profits so there is the door anyway. The sword of Damocles was there and you sure knew about it.
We were brought up to believe work is good for us. Sure there is some truth in it (a little). It can provide an identity - what do you do (engineer loafer!). It gives you a purpose (damn alarm clock). You get to learn new stuff (invoice processing, making toilet holders) and meet new people in places you would normally not go (or want to go).
In the West we dedicate a large part of our prime years to work. To make matters worse we start work really late after getting the pass to work - University Debt. All of those years that could have been spent actually doing something productive and being paid for it - gaining financial independence could be so much earlier.
I digress - back to the point, we allow ourselves to be exploited as a wage slaves to a business and we have been brainwashed into thinking it should be this way until retirement age at 70.  Now let's flip this on its head and become the business owners.
Financial Independence is Good for Society
#Financialindependence generally means you have a source of income from investments or business ownership you are benefiting from something or someones work. 
Incidentally private #pensions (another short digression) are the same premise as living off a passive income and savings. Most pensions take the form of an an annuity - give your investments to a company who pay you a fixed income for life. A great scam this one. They say they assume the risk of you living a VERY long time and in exchange they get to keep the original capital and investments when you finally kick the bucket. On top of that  you may receive a state pension these are just paid out of taxes paid by the wage slaves.
In both cases the shoe is on the other foot you are benefiting at someone else's expense? Are you the exploiter or just the provider of capital to a business providing real needs.

Income from investments can come from many different sources. Bonds, stocks, rental properties REITS etc. I am not going to debate the ethics of the choice of investment here this has been covered in previous posts.....Maintaining Wealth I - Bitcoins and Real Estate & Maintaining Wealth II - We are all Investors Now.   

What I do want to consider is how the financial independent person is actually less financially exploitative....
  1. An extreme financial independence seeker does not over consume the planets resources as they live on less (less food, transport, clothes, holidays, electronics etc.).
  2. They most likely continue to consume less because of the frugal habits they have developed.
  3. Children are brought up in a frugal, loving and supportive environment. We would like to think our children will be less of a financial burden on society by following our can live in hope.
  4. The exploitative passive income is being used to support the basic needs of that Financially Independent person(s). If they did not take it would it go to someone wasteful instead?
  5. Investments can be tailored towards ethical companies (assuming such things exist;)
  6. If they own high rental property they have the time to keep it well maintained
  7. They have time to help other people, for instance helping neighbours and friends to cut up wood for the winter benefiting both parties without the need for money changing hands or free child care for a friend who is unwell.
  8. Part time work / paying hobby can be a way to share knowledge and help in the local community as the pressure to have a high salary is gone. Your own business could end up providing an income for an employee.
  9. Hopefully the financial independent person will be less of a liability on the health system / support systems of the society as they will be less prone to stress related diseases and have more time to be outside and active.
  10. There are loads of blogs on financial independence with lots of ideas shared across the world. Is that butterfly in the garden causing a storm on the other side of the world?
So there you have it, we are exploiting our investments to pay for our modest living arrangements. At the same time we have very modest living arrangements now compared to our consumerist years.
We continue to reduce our footprint even more. As a result we will be even less reliant on an income.
Downshift Instead
Perhaps if everyone took small steps towards frugality and simple living we will leave something extra behind for future generations.
By reducing our need to work 9-5 five days a week, more time would be used for the welfare of society, pursuit of happiness.
Work could then change from the exploitative human remains resources departments making sure we churn out human entertainment to just plain, simple and rewarding human progress. Just a thought.
Peace, prosperity and #happiness
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