Middle Class Lifeboat – Careers and Life Choices for Staying Afloat (127)

pm127_580Paul and Sarah Edwards are authors of a timely book Middle-Class Lifeboat: Careers and Life Choices for Navigating a Changing Economy. In a world of decreasing resources, they ask, how do we financially support ourselves while moving towards sustainable lives? Emphasizing independent income sources, they consider dozens of possible careers from basic services to local-scale technologies. Life choices include lowering costs through simplifying, getting out of debt, and demonetizing (e.g., bartering). Or one can consider an “off-the-map” lifestyle like living abroad, off-grid, or an intentional community. This downturn is not just a cycle, they emphasize: it heralds a sea change. Episode 127. [middleclasslifeboat.com]

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  1. Things are moving very quickly! The verdict isn’t in on this new federal bailout. Several European countries have already slid into official recessions and Germany and France are expected to join them, reporting two consecutive quarters of negative growth. As Americans watched decades of 401k investments go up in smoke on September 18, it is hard to see how consumers will not restrict their spending, thus inducing a recession here too. Recessions bring with them loss of jobs, company failures, big tax shortfalls and increased spending for the government. Seeking higher returns and “safety”, investors might dive into commodity speculation again, thus driving up inflation. The next president will find himself in a difficult position with regards to starting a national health care system.

    There are some good suggestions for navigating this new economy in this conversation. I long ago in 1997 had the idea of getting out of the ratrace in America and living overseas. By and large I don’t regret the decision. I have had much more free time to travel and get to know foreign cultures. Teaching English is a good way to support this lifestyle, although I suspect the demand for Chinese lessons will some day exceed the demand for English! I have learned not to take my investment income for granted!

  2. Well done. This is a wonderful piece full of useful information. This will surely help a lot of people. You truly understand major lifestyle trends in this country.

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