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How I Survive Without a Car in These Tough Times

in Life

It’s not getting easier to follow the American Dream. Everything costs more money and money is more scarce. The national gas average is $3.85 a gallon right now, 50 cents more than it was last year. These gas prices eat into our budgets for personal things – mainly things that entertain us and make life worth living. We’re losing our identities as we struggle to live in strange economic times…times brought on by an artificial economic boom that was based largely on bullshit.

What can you do but shake your head and say, “whatever.” These are indeed cynical times. Everything is bad, and we have no choice but to carry forth with a stiff upper lip. The economy sucks, the housing market sucks, you can’t afford a nice new car, and you can’t afford the maintenance on the shitbox you have right now. There aren’t jobs, people are upside-down on houses that were appraised for way more than they’re worth; houses on which they were loaned money based on that appraisal, and the banks that hired these shitty appraisers are being bailed out by the government for billions of tax payer dollars…

Then these banks loaned that money back to the government, and on and on and on…

On top of all this, you’re supposed to stay in shape. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a 2008 study that 68.3 percent of Americans over the age of 20 years old are overweight or obese.  In your efforts to fight this, are you paying for a gym membership every month in case you happen to have the motivation to get some exercise on the way to or from work?

Western Civilization is crumbling. We’re doomed, unless we learn to survive. Sure, you can go occupy something. Or, you can fight by taking charge of your own personal economy, and not relying on banks or the government to give us artificial means to live luxurious lives. There are ways to be minimalist in this society, and still live a good life through this “Great Recession,” in which consumer spending has decreased by $7,300 per person.

“In 2007, a statistically average household, with an annual pretax family income of $63,091 and 1.9 vehicles, spent more on transportation than it did on clothing, health care and entertainment combined ($7,432),” said Jim Motavalli in the New York Times Wheels blog. $7,432 is a lot of money.

Get yourself a bicycle.

Speaking from my own personal experience, in a typical year, you aren’t going to spend more than $432 on a bicycle. Get a bike, learn to mix that with mass transit and carpooling, and voila! You’re saving yourself thousands of dollars every year. That’s a raise. That’s your money, money you earn that you don’t have to give to some uptight oil baron somewhere for him to spend on expensive safaris, or whatever those oil barons do with our gas money. I haven’t had a car for several years, and I’ve saved a lot of money with my bike. I don’t know how I would’ve survived otherwise.

You also get yourself in shape. It’s not that hard to ride a bike. Even if you have to go uphill, that means at some point you’ll go downhill. Commit yourself. Not only are you getting exercise, you’re getting to work. Two birds with one stone. It’s better for your personal economy, and you’ll also be in better shape to survive the approaching decline of civilization.

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” — Albert Einstein

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