Head Pimp and Drug Dealer in Chief

Cartoon from: http://www.polyp.org.uk/cartoons/consumerism/polyp_cartoon_Corporate_Rule.jpg

Cartoon from: http://www.polyp.org.uk/cartoons/consumerism/polyp_cartoon_Corporate_Rule.jpg

The corporations have gotten us addicted to consumerism, and use it to control us. They are our drug dealers and pimps. Go cold-turkey by moving into a van and becoming a vandweller

Today I want to continue on with the idea that because this is a very abusive society, we need to make every effort to run away from it as fast as we can. As I said before society becomes our abuser in the guise of pretending to take control over our lives for our own good to save and protect us. Their primary methods of doing that are:

  • Education: From the age of 6 (and anymore  it starts as early as age 3 or 4) society takes control of our minds and what we think and how we think it. The education establishment (whether private or public) is devoted to making us “good productive citizens.” In other words, slaves and robots to promote the good of the government and corporations. We gladly and willingly go along with that idea because we’ve been brainwashed into believing whatever is good for the government and corporations, must be good for us in the long run–we can’t live without them.
  • The Media: In the same way, from the moment our eyes open and we learn to speak, we are inundated with extremely well designed and crafted messages of all kinds to convince us to obey and conform to societies rules and to work hard and buy more stuff. A need to buy and own more, newer, bigger and better things is instilled deep into our hearts and souls. Of course  we gladly go along and buy all that stuff on credit–making the corporations rich selling it to us and the banks rich loaning the money.  Then, we have to pay back that debt so we are forced to work harder, longer and for less to keep feeding our addiction to consuming.

we are both the tools of production and  slavish consumer of the things we produce to feed their addiction for more money and riches.

Essentially we’re turned into wage-slaves, ants that are working in a colony or drone bees in a hive. Everyday we  go through the motions of lusting for more things and working to make someone else rich in order to get them. We are nothing but living, breathing machines, tools to make the corporations rich and give the government more power to control us. We are both the tools of production and  slavish consumer of the things we produce to feed their addiction for more money and riches.

First they create our addiction for buying more and more things, then they use that addiction to control and enslave us! All for the purpose of giving them power over us and to use as work-horses and tools to get rich and powerful.

Of course being addicted to buying more things is not satisfying so we buy more and that doesn’t make us happy so we buy even more and that is equally hollow and empty! Then the emptiness of it all makes us even more miserable–so being good addicts, we do what all addicts do, we buy even more, going into even more debt and are even more unhappy than ever!!

And the downward spiral continues.

Having gotten us addicted to buying things, they use our basic unhappiness to create a hunger for more, bigger and better things to relieve some of our pain. But like all addictions it never does and when we run out of money to buy more they offer it to us on easy credit. They convince us that credit/debt is wonderful and for our own good so we embrace it with our whole heart, running up astronomical debt.

Government and corporations  become our Drug Dealer and Pimp, using our addiction to buying more things on debt to control every tiny aspect of our lives and forcing us to put up with their abuse.

We’ll do anything for our next fix of an iPhone or a new car. Hate your job and your boss? Doesn’t matter, you’ll stay and put up with it anyway because you bought all that crap on credit–and so you can buy even more junk on credit! You are a slave to your master, that huge debt!

Buying things is much more addictive to the masses than heroin, meth or crack could ever be! Ultimately, we all wake up to the horror of those addictions and try to break free of them, but buying stuff rarely loses its allure and fascination to us–we’ll just keep selling ourselves to get more. No amount of abuse is too much to get that new thing!!!

We’ve become prostitutes working for our pimp, but instead of selling our bodies for sex, we sell our time and life-energy–the most important things in our life and the only thing that we truly own in this whole world–and they’ve wrestled it away from us!! And made us grateful to them for doing it!! Worse of all, because of the Stockholm Syndrome, most of us try to stop anyone else who wants to escape!!

Sure, they give us an amazing amount of freedom in exchange, but they’ve managed to get the most important thing in our lives, our time and life-energy–they own those!! Since we belong to them, they can sell us to their Corporate buddies to make them rich as their slaves.

 The Federal Government and the Federal Reserve is the Head Pimp and Dealer in Chief!! The Corporations are their dealers standing on the corners.

What are we going to do about this horrible mess? There’s only one thing to do, and that’s to run far, far away as fast as you can!!

Just go cold turkey and drop out of that stinking sewer of greed and corruption!!

How? The best and only way I know is to spend a brief period of time working in the system but stop buying any more of their “heroin” of things–go cold turkey on buying “stuff.” Then buy a van or RV and the few new things you’ll need for your new life. Finally, build up as much of an emergency fund as you can then move into the van and hit the road.

For the rest of your life, buy and own as little as possible so that you can work as little as possible and be free.  Your goal is to regain the most valuable things that you have ever had or ever will have, your time and life-energy.

Time + Life-Energy = Freedom

Insist on being free!

I’m making Videos on my good friends James YouTube Channel. See them here:


Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.



I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

181 comments on “Head Pimp and Drug Dealer in Chief
  1. Avatar Laura says:

    Bob, thank you so much for this post. It is helpful whether we are living in a house or a van. People spend way to much money on stuff, and they become slaves to it. So true.

    To change the subject slightly and bring out a topic that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, the DONATE button on many blogs. I applaud you for not succumbing to the lure of the button! I know you have your Amazon store, but that is not the same as people giving you a hand-out in the form of the donate button. When you accept money from people, even if they give it to you out of the kindness of their hearts, you then owe them something in return, whether it is just more blog posts, or maybe friendship, or something. You owe them back. Nothing is free. You also open yourself to scrutiny and possibly disapproval of what you are doing and how you are spending your money. There’s a guy on youtube that has been living this way for years and then he wonders why people are accusing him of fraud. It’s best to not take money from people. Make your money honestly and you will have more self-respect and be an honorable person.

    • Avatar Vagabound says:

      I agree only that your “Donate” topic might be worth discussing, Laura, but in my opinion, a topic for another time, another day, and another blog article.

      The topic that Bob has chosen in this article is part of a series, is very important, and really deserves a lot of attention I think. What are your thoughts on the article topic?

      • Avatar Laura says:

        Vagabond, you might be right that the “Donate” topic is one for another time, but I will try to explain why I think it’s pertinent to the discussion.

        I do believe that Bob’s article is important also, and at it’s heart it speaks of freedom from all of the pressure that society puts on us, to be “successful” financially or otherwise. Vandwelling is one way to be free from all of that consumerism. I wish more people would wake up and consider this an option, not just because they are so poor that they have no choice but to live in their car, but as an active decision because they wish to live happier and more fulfilling lives. I’ve seen more and more people online using donations to supplement their income in an effort to live more fulfilling lives. It may be innocent, but to quote Bob’s previous article “Let me tell you the only debt you really OWE–You owe it to yourself to live a happy life!!” Is that true if you use donated money?

        • Avatar Rob says:

          I have to go along with Vagabond, I don’t see what a talk on begging has to do with this topic.

          • Avatar Vagabound says:

            Rob, good to know you agree. Laura, not being dismissive. I sincerely meant it might be a good topic for another time.

            But, Vagabound, dude! Like a clever combination of “vagabond” and “bound” as in headed for, destiny, fate, exploration, yada, yada.

            I think I’m starting to relate to the people who have names like “Rheetah” (Rita). 😉

    • Avatar Ed Helvey says:

      I also concur with Vagabond’s point and Rob’s point. I donate clothes and other things – and money if I have it, not because I expect anything in return or because I’m trying to create some feeling of debt on someone else. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business on this topic except the people involved. So, maybe another time we can discuss and debate this.

  2. Avatar Patrise says:

    I’m in total agreement that we are addicted to consumerism, as we’ve been fed it from the nipple. I’m certainly a classic example of taking well into my 50s to wake up and smell the freedom, even though I was taught some of the seeds of liberation by my small-business parents. They escaped part of the rat-race by leaving corporate america in the ’70s for a family business.

    But still we all wanted Nice Things and hustled to get into debt buying them, re-enslaving ourselves to the status quo.

    As a career marketing professional I’d say that I’ve contributed to the problem – I know how they make the sausage, so to speak, how advertising and PR use every tool they have to convince you of their ‘truth.’

    Ultimately we have to learn to listen to the inside Truth, the voice of our heart and spirit, especially when it is contradicting the ‘powers that be’

    Keep on truckin’!

    • Avatar brattydog says:

      “As a career marketing professional I’d say that I’ve contributed to the problem – I know how they make the sausage, so to speak, how advertising and PR use every tool they have to convince you of their ‘truth.’”

      I respect you for acknowledging you are (were?) part of the problem. I wish more people would hold themselves accountable. When we work in the industries, and for people, who abuse others, we are personally responsible as well. To disagree would be the equivalent of saying the Nazi guards who carried out Hitler’s orders weren’t responsible.

      Not only do people need to stop the mass consumption and the debt which in large part funds it, they need to stop working for the companies which are responsible for the rot in this country, and that also includes the public sector (local, state and federal govts).

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        brattydog said, “I respect you [Patrise] for acknowledging you are (were?) part of the problem. I wish more people would hold themselves accountable.”

        I agree with both parts of that. One of the best examples that I’ve ever seen was Wendell Potter from CIGNA on healthcare gouging.


      • Bob Bob says:

        I don’t really agree. We’ve all been so totally brainwashed that very few of us have eyes open to see what’s going on.

        Is it really their fault because they can’t overcome their brainwashing? Are they the guilty ones? I don’t know?

        Here’s what I do know, anyone whose eyes have been opened but does nothing about it are in fact guilty.

        The question we ask should NEVER be, “What are they doing to cause it or cure it?” The question MUST always be, WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT IT?

        • Avatar brattydog says:

          “The question MUST always be, WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT IT?”

          This is the very accountability I speak of and I do hold myself to these standards, but I believe in holding others accountable, too.

          The corporations which you have contempt for and rail against are not an entity in and of themselves, they are made up of people who intentionally and deliberately- willfully- act in a manner which brings the harm you speak of.

          I cannot loathe Goldman Sachs and not have absolute disdain for Lloyd Blankfein. He is like a scourge upon this earth. There are many more, he’s just front and center.

          To blast the system but not point out the players who orchestrate the demise of this once great country is folly, in my humble opinion.

          • Bob Bob says:

            I would disagree, all the big oil companies just had their annual shareholder meetings. The shareholders in group have the power to greatly influence the direction of the companies–they choose not to. They read the same papers you and I do but they make their decisions on profit and so keep the Lloyd Blankfein of the world in power. It’s their choice. If they wanted a more ethical company, they could force changes toward it.

            But none of that is important–it’s a trivial debate and you can have it about a million small parts of the system. The system is so bad the whole thing needs to come down.

            My advice, Drop out and do as little as you can to contribute to it.

          • Avatar brattydog says:

            “I would disagree, all the big oil companies just had their annual shareholder meetings. The shareholders in group have the power to greatly influence the direction of the companies–they choose not to. They read the same papers you and I do but they make their decisions on profit and so keep the Lloyd Blankfein of the world in power. It’s their choice. If they wanted a more ethical company, they could force changes toward it.”

            It’s not that easy, Bob. It’s the Board of Directors who hold the real power to affect change, not the shareholders themselves. Shareholders don’t even get to nominate prospective board members, that’s up to the CEO. Shareholders simply get a “yes” or “no” vote as to whether or not a board member is elected, sort of like this corrupt political system we have where we end up with candidates who nobody wants with the exception of the special interest groups who fund them.

            Majority shareholders do have influence on the Board of Directors, and can put pressure on them. But who are these majority shareholders? In the case of Goldman Sachs, the largest shareholder is Lloyd Blankfein himself! Talk about absolute power.

            What’s worse is when you start digging around, you find that all of these fat cats sit on each others’ Boards in an incestuous manner, and that’s how they are able to award each other disgustingly high salaries and bonuses at the expense of employees, shareholders and society as a whole while they live a life of opulence with $50M mansions and brand new yachts.

            I have much more to say on this subject, and the degradation of our system and country as a whole, but I will end it by saying that I want to expose the PEOPLE responsible, not just blame the system itself and scream that corporations are bad, because nothing will ever change without holding the corrupt individuals accountable for their actions.

            As for myself, I HAVE opted out as much as possible, and continue to take steps forward to retreat from the system even moreso. This has been many years in the making. I am not comfortable sharing personal details about myself online, but hope to say hi to you someday at one of your retreats. We have more in common than we do differences.

            Have a great day.

          • Bob Bob says:

            I oppose the system of industrial civilization. The WHOLE thing has to be abandoned before it’s too late. Just walk away from it and have as little to do with it as possible. Bob

        • Avatar Vagabound says:

          I agree with brattydog and Bob … but not just to be agreeable. My experiences to date suggest they are both right, in the essence of what they’re saying.

          On Bob’s view: The societal brainwashing is extremely powerful and nearly all-inclusive. Not talking about Manchurian Candidate stuff here. More banal, and so, more insidious. We grow up, not just surrounded by, but totally immersed in, a stew of ideas and attitudes. Most of those are presented to us as facts, either because the adults around us tell us so, or they behave (at least openly) as if it is so.

          I think Bob’s point is exactly right that a person indoctrinated that way bears no immediate responsibility to do otherwise. Think of it mechanically — how could they? They have no mental foundation on which to arrive as such a conclusion, much less from which to act differently. They can never act differently, until they begin to think differently, and that requires exposure to information and people who do so. It took __(fill in your favorite historical figure)__ to suggest the world was, in fact, round before anyone even considered that it wasn’t flat. A paradigm shift has to start somewhere if it is to exist at all.

          From firsthand experience, I know that it takes a long time and lots of effort to climb out of such conditioning, all the while overcoming many powerful obstacles to doing so.


          On brattydog’s view: Somewhere on the path of many epiphanies on this stuff, I remember thinking about what exactly constitutes a “company”, as in corporation. Summarized, although there are chairs and computers and whatnot in the building, none of those individual items ever harmed anyone, or conversely, ever did anything good for anyone, or made any decisions about anything at all. So, as obvious as it sounds, when we say “corporation”, we understand that is synonymous with the people who work there. Were it not for the people, you’d just have a big box of office equipment.

          At least in theory, we’re all either born with, or develop, a sense of right and wrong. We use it to navigate life. I believe that most adults who are contributing to the wrong done by corporations know, on some level, that what they’re doing is wrong. They choose to turn a blind eye because it is easier, because it prevents waves, that often turn into the tsunamis that wipe out livelihoods. The reasons that they do what they do, and avoid what they don’t, are pretty well understood. Self-preservation, plain and simple.

          The harder nut to crack is finding a solution that leads to sufficient awareness for most to act differently. On this point, I am not optimistic.


          • Avatar rodney boggs says:

            This is all rather silly. If I am to build a better mousetrap- or van camping device, am I a corporate scum fit only to be ostracized in this forum?

            Look at the beginnings of most if not all corporations. Most were mom and pop, perhaps van dwellers. Clarke county NV. has it’s name from a man who had among other ventures, a miners hut. It was a portable living hut which he provided and by many accounts saved many miners lives. Who told the miners to dig for gold? A need to eat or a need to conquer? I’m sure someone here will assume the latter.

            Was Steve Jobs seeking to destroy a generation and have them hooked on iphones? No. He was plying his trade, putting into action a desire to create and build something. No less does the artist, a musician, or van dwelling tribe builder. Was the Grateful Dead pimps hoping to hook another ticket or record buyer? Those evil musicians and there complicated shoes. It’s all a scam to entice us all…

            My ramble complete. I feel better. All of course jmho.

            peace out.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Rodney, if you do some research on how Apple allows it Chinese employees to be treated, your opinion of Steve Jobs may change.

            Speaking only for myself, I’ve always been pro-capitalism and pro-corporations. That all changed for me when my eyes were opened to how terrible the whole SYSTEM is for both the planet and all it’s inhabitants. Now I’m pro-Earth ad Pro-Life on Earth.

            That requires me to be opposed to Industrial Civilization, a large part of which is corporations. Bob

          • Avatar Vagabound says:

            Hi Rodney,

            I guess the blog software will only let us reply down to a certain number of levels, so I could not reply directly to your comment. Hope you see this.

            In any case, good to hear your viewpoint.

            You asked, “If I am to build a better mousetrap- or van camping device, am I a corporate scum fit only to be ostracized in this forum?

            I can only speak for myself, but I’d say “no, not automatically”. Judgment based on titles (entrepreneur, capitalist, businessman) is always folly. Judgment based on behavior is a much better yardstick. So, in short, it would depend on how you behaved in that activity.

            Like me, I imagine few people on this blog and in the forums would be plainly against the basic rights of a person to pursue a non-destructive livelihood to support himself and family, pursue creative passions, dreams, goals, etc. Where there is overlap between that and capitalism, I can accept capitalism as one tool for getting there.

            On the other hand, you’ll likely find a lot, like me, who are against greed, and more so, against exploitation and staggering income inequality. There are different figures, but the last time I checked, the average difference between CEO pay and worker pay in the U.S. was a ratio of 700:1, and I’ve found examples as high as 1,200:1. I could accept 3:1, or maybe 10:1. But 700:1 ?!?. Is any one’s time really that much more valuable? And that aside, what about need? Is there really a reason to maintain a system that keeps billions in servitude — often in desperate need — and another small group in repugnant opulence? I have an MBA. Been there, done that business thing and mindset. Ended up spitting it out like sour milk. Simply put, I cannot morally, or in any other way, justify it.

            Communism, despite being the perennial boogeyman in the U.S. over the last century, isn’t such a horrible idea at its foundation. And what about its real world implementations? Horrible. You might not see it, but both of those facets are shared by communism and capitalism. Not bad in theory; horrible in implementation … as we’ve done it so far.

            Our current forms of capitalism are mostly greed and exploitation, and so, something to be reformed vs. held up as a sacred cow that can never be criticized if you’re a “true American”. Some wise person once said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism“.

            Please take a look at the documentary “The Corporation” that I mentioned in this thread. After that, I’d be interested to know if your viewpoint is still the same, and if so, why.


  3. Avatar JohnBoston says:

    Very nice Bob. You and Randy should do a series about this topic. Your so right and I just love the way he put it in Without Bound. Like a drug addict people don’t believe they have a problem. You need to expand the idea to expose the problem, an intervention of such. How should you live in the machine ? Good job, make and save lots of money and have an exit plan. Live and help family, like the old days on the farm. Move and live off grid but not enriching a property owner with a half a million dollars, then realizing you can’t make enough to pay the bills and your working dawn to dusk, 24 / 7 just to hang on.

    How do we help to break these people free. Expose them to the life style. Show them how they are owned by the corporations. Make them realize they are a slave to the Tax man. Only opening their eyes and living in a different way can give them back a life. Working a few hours a day helping a homesteader with a project in exchange for food and cash. Making a nice pay day helping at the beet harvest so you can travel to other opportunities. Having a base camp near a major city that allows stealth camping and helps the land lord.

    Show how are community can be the better life or be the bridge to a better life.

    • Bob Bob says:

      The goal of this site had always been to inspire and educate. I try to inspire by offering a far better life and educate about practical ways to get it. But, I also want to try to open people’s eyes about what they need to try to run away from and make every effort to support a little as possible.

      • Avatar Matthijs says:

        Hello Bob,

        Love this website! Because of you I am planning and preparing for vanlife. I also like your outlook on the worlds problems and how to do something about them. I wonder if you have ever heard of Jacque Fresco? He is from Florida and he turned 100 years old this year, He proposes a resource based economy without the need for money, politics and war. If you never heard about it, I strongly recommend you to visit https://www.thevenusproject.com and read about it. I really am curious what you think about his idea’s. If you have 42 minuten to spare you Can get a great amount of info via this YouTube video called the greatest talk of Jacque Fresco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35yOvrqga0M

        Please let me know what you think. IT really changed my views. I hope it will contribute to your Outlook as Well. Greetings from the Netherlands!


  4. Avatar Gunther says:

    Great Article. However, I always thought that the corporations and wealthy people were the Head Pimp and Dealer in Chief while the government acted like a crooked judge, crooked DA, and crooked police department to provide protection for them. For example, until the early 20th century, the decision of who became a US Senator was left up to the state governors and legislature (who were controlled by corporations and wealthy people).

    • Avatar Vagabound says:

      Agree. Made a long comment in here supporting that same idea.

    • Bob Bob says:

      They’re just names, it’s the system that is the problem. Bob

      • I believe that study can lead us to the central issue in the tangled mess in which we live. I see that issue as the under-regulated limited liability corporation. “Limited liability corporation” is defined as a legal device, an “entity” invented for the sole and express purpose of limiting the legal liability of a group of owners as they make money. The occasion was the plundering of the recently discovered New World and other colonies, beginning roughly in 1600 A.D. This includes the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Dutch East India Company and other similar “entities.” Had those conquerors been held liable for their actions as an individual or partnership would be, life would surely be very different in the Americas today. The removal of personal responsibility and subsequent laws insisting that for-profit corporations have a primary or even sole purpose of making money have led, more than any other factor, to the mess we’re discussing.

        In the course of making money, the people behind corporations have bought our government, invented marketing, and brought about a host of evils for which nobody can be held liable/accountable beyond the amount of their investment. Even that will not happen any time soon because of our privately financed elections.

        • Avatar Vagabound says:

          Hey Calvin,

          Interesting take.

          You lost me on the LLC angle. LLC’s are a very recent legal/business invention (1970s-1990s), and they are mainly for small-potato businesses that have the smallest impact, not for the larger corporations causing most of the havoc. However, today, LLCs do likely exacerbate a lack of accountability within the business community at large as they are a very popular tool for limiting business risk.

          On your overall point about businesses historically not being held accountable, I agree. What we have today is an extension of what started long ago and has since been reinforced by those with the money to protect themselves and their pursuits.

          For anyone really interested in exploring this, check out, for example, war profiteering and the use of our military to enable and to protect U.S. businesses overseas. And that is a really nice way of putting it. If not familiar with it, the story of Major General Smedley Butler, U.S. Marines, early in the 1900s, is a real eye-opener. He wrote a very short, compelling book – War Is A Racket (1935). I have a paperback copy, available via Amazon, etc, but I think this online version might work also, though I have not verified it:


          As for making money, it is hard for people today to imagine a corporation existing for any other reason. However, corporations were originally not for that purpose at all. They were ways to organize public projects, like building a bridge. They have been modified into to something altogether different over the years.

          In terms of accountability, corporations are mostly in danger of being held liable for only one thing — not making money. Fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, etc. That is what has driven the quarterly financial obsession and the bad crap that stems from it.



          The rules only applied to people who couldn’t afford different rules.
          — Cameron Stracher, author, “The Water Wars”

          • What we in the US today call an LLC is a recent invention. However, liability for damage done has been limited to the amount invested since the Mercantile Age. The term LLC is new but the concept of limiting liability goes back to the time when “explorers” might be exterminating large numbers of people, allowing employees (sailors and others) to die or be crippled, and removing any and all property belonging to native peoples. The current LLC is just a way of extending that lack of responsibility to doctors, lawyers, and others who used to be liable for their mistakes and malicious actions.

    • Avatar Rebecca says:

      I lean more in this direction, and have tried to help fix the system for years, but some time back decided opting out is more powerful, in part because it opens other people’s eyes so they can opt out in their own way. I had opted out enough by the 2008 crash that I survived it better than most people I knew in huge debt, but it hurt bad just the same. Made me more anxious to shift out. I now have a modest mobile and five acres, but put it up for sale. I found 9 acres with an excellent well, and hope to transition, we will see. Plan to live in a small cabin. Still, I am also attracted to your vagabond life! Gardening is my passion and walking woods. Nature, but how to live without a garden? Even as a kid camping, I collected seeds to bring home and grow. Anyone else with the garden/nature bug?

      • Bob Bob says:

        I agree Rebecca, I’ve decided the only thing that works for me is dropping out and NOT supporting a system I don’t believe in. I don’t have a green thumb so I live on wheels, but i appreciate your need to have your hands in the soil.

  5. Avatar Tom says:

    We can’t all live a van free on government land. Someone needs to stay behind and build vans. ;c{)>

    • Avatar Rob says:

      Maintain the roads too… we live in a very complex world with a lot of labor intensive parts that HAVE to work together.

      This society has been built on a strong foundation, it’s going to be the rare individual who can really step away from the training on what’s “normal” that was started since they were a baby.

      Living in a van today and for the last few years my BIGGEST problem is (STILL) too much stuff.

    • Avatar Vagabound says:

      True enough. But vandwellers are never really totally detached anyway. Actually a lot of frequent interaction with “the system” still. “Reduced” is probably the best we can hope for.

      Regarding the van factories: If they were innovative, and turned the jobs into something seasonal like workcamping, beet harvest, or Amazon, I bet lots of vandwellers would help make vans!

    • Avatar Canine says:

      Tom, there will always be people who are content to work the days away to have lots of stuff. I met a man who had worked so long and hard in his younger days that his kids didn’t know him as “Dad”. They called him “Mom” because that’s all they knew. The industry he works in has quite a demand. His roots are firmly planted. He went on to say he doesn’t regret it and continues to work as much as he ever did. He has lots of stuff (houses, cars, snowmobiles, four wheelers, boats, guns, etc., etc.) Who am I to say he is wrong? He says he is happy, so I respect that. It takes all kinds to run the world and there will always be people to fill the niches.

      Would I knowingly and happily choose his path? No way! It’s not that I’m choosing the “right” path and he is choosing the “wrong” path. I see it as more different than wrong in many ways. Many people are servile- that’s the way they are. Too many allow themselves to be taken advantage of because of their nature, but that is their choice.

      While I strongly disagree with most of society’s choices to slave away for stuff, I respect their choices, because they have the freedom to do so. I’ll still continue to be a role model for those that decide they want to choose what I think is a more healthy, responsible lifestyle.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Thanks Canine. But I’m not sure they ever got to make a free choice.

        • Avatar Vagabound says:

          For nearly all people, starting out, that is exactly right — never had a real choice. However, as time goes by, they have less and less excuse for not seeing and choosing better.

          On my best days, I’m somewhat sympathetic. After all, what is the alternative, really? What alternative exists that is both obvious enough and feasible enough for great numbers of people to choose it? At present, none.

          As essential and enjoyable as it is to talk about this stuff (for some of us), at the same time I think we need to be honest enough to admit something. If the collective light bulb of awareness suddenly came on, and everyone rushed out of their homes to take up the cause and become vandwellers, there would be huge chaos, much worse than now. A transformation on that scale is in no way feasible.

          For better or worse, maybe something will force a new hunter-gather mode on the world. However, short of that, no matter how meaningful this lifestyle is, it can never be more than a fringe occurrence. But that’s not a bad thing, in my opinion.

        • Avatar Canine says:

          Bob, that is largely an accurate statement. Several years ago I didn’t realize the choices a really had. 99% because of you and the people who gather in your forums, I quickly realized I did have other choices.

          Due to ignorance, too many people don’t have the variety of choices we have and that is sad. You have done great things to remedy that. I personally can’t thank you enough.

          • Avatar Canine says:

            Bob, I would also like to add that I’m OK with people’s choices as long as they aren’t hurting anyone or at least keep the impact on others and the environment to a minimum. We all have some negative impact as any living thing does, but when we knowingly and severely pollute the environment and grievously hurt others just so we can have a bit more convenience, then I’m not OK with that choice. I’m a bit of a hypocrite here, but I’m trying to do better.

          • Bob Bob says:

            You could say just being alive is negative to the environment, but that’s not the point. All anyone can ask is to do as little harm as reasonable. It just so happens that vandelling accomplishes that.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Thanks Canine, I really appreciate that! Bob

      • Avatar Gunther says:

        You wonder how often that man is able to use his stuff that he has accumulated if he is working so much?

      • Avatar kaz says:

        geeze I am pretty late to respond, firstly am not yet a van dweller but giving it my most earnest attention, body and soul, how can I leave my Garden, well maybe start in stages.. anyhow I too believe it takes all sorts where as I may not say I respect their choices, I would say, living on the land can be might fine too, but Ive been a gypsy for much of my life, with a long interval of raising a handicapped son.. whos been one of my best teachers.. I am loving that I found you Bob, reading your stories are so inspiring, I travelled with my parents in the seventies and lived in spain and Europe in a caravan, you meet a different sort of human, its so many things, and never boring, happy travels hope I meet some of you soon, if you see an rv or a van with a few flower pots..ha that`ll be me chow kaz

    • Bob Bob says:

      Tom, we need a whole new system. I don’t now what it will be but whether we like it or not it will happen because of the environmental damage we are doing. We can either make changes now in a controlled fashion, or wait until catastrophe befalls us and changes are forced on us.

  6. Avatar Vagabound says:

    It is really hard for me to not write a gazillion words on these topics. Maybe it will finally be the trigger to start a blog of my own. I’ll control myself for now. 😉

    Just a few comments here, painfully limited to just a million words or so:

    * While I agree with much of this blog article, I think one fundamental part is reversed. The corporations are not the dealers working for the pimp government. It is the opposite. The corporations, and actually those who own them, are calling the shots. The government does their bidding. Any appearance to the contrary is smoke and mirrors for general consumption. The evidence for this is nearly endless and constant. Otherwise, everything else rings true to me.

    Although the topic is given a lot of shallow lip-service by people in general, the extent to which corporate control is true, and why, is actually not very well known.

    Likewise, the extent to which advertising is a deliberately designed project, not just to make money, but to control society overall, is known to even fewer people. And ironically, that includes people who specialize in marketing.

    Neither of those statements is wild-eyed conspiracy theory. Both of those topics are well-documented, historical facts. However, the information was scattered and beyond the time and patience of the majority of people to dig out, until a few documentary crews did the hard work. Fortunately, below I’ll give you the easiest and most condensed way to get rapidly up to speed (sounds like an infomercial):

    * Essential Viewing: The good news is that there are two documentaries that rise above the rest in terms of explaining these topics in a logical way that makes them fascinating and pretty easy to grasp, if still astonishing. And they have the added benefit of saving you the trouble of finding and reading about 50 different books over a course of years:

    1. “The Century of the Self” (2002)
    2. “The Corporation” (2003)

    It isn’t crucial, but I’d watch them in that order for logical flow.

    The first might still be available on YouTube. It was a four-part TV mini-series, as I recall, and from BBC — the best documentary filmmakers on the planet.

    The second will have to be rented or otherwise obtained. It is Canadian-made, and so it offers an objective look that we might not give the topic from inside the U.S., for the reasons mentioned in Bob’s blog article. If all else fails, both documentaries are well worth purchasing and adding to your personal library.

    One of Bob’s sub-topics was education. If education was truly doing a service to the people, both of those documentaries (and many others) would be required viewing in order to graduate from high school.

    If you haven’t seen both of these, you really owe it to yourself to watch them and to do so as soon as possible. And watch them carefully, as if you’re taking a class, as if your life depended on it … because it sort of does.

    Don’t expect entertainment. Expect rare, stunning, life education.


    • Avatar Rob says:

      In 1960 President Eisenhower warned of the “military-industrial complex”. I think corporations have run things since Johnson was President.

      The best example (there is no proof) I can make is the fact that nothing major has changed in the last 16 years no matter which political party sat in the Oval office. Minor changes, yes. Things to argue about, yes. Where the big bucks are going, no.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Rob, the main things that has changed is the rich are much richer, the middle class is in n the endngered species list, pensions have disappeared and nearly all of us are living check to check and even the slightest problem will put us on the streets.

        Now that’s progress!

    • Avatar Gunther says:

      I saw the movie The Corporation. I also highly recommend. Did not hear of that other movie.

    • I’m not sure why you’d say “advertising” rather than “marketing” for your conspiracy. Marketing encompasses a great deal more than advertising. Much of what we see on “news” programs is written by marketers, as is all of the entertainment “news” and a great deal more. Consider how TV series, including “reality” TV shows, promote or degrade specific ways of life also. Advertising is one sector of a much larger operation.

      I learned this by earning a degree in “communication,” which in corporate terms is internal marketing. That means writing and saying deceptions, distortions, and bullshit to keep the peons producing money for the owners. By the time I graduated, I was horrified at all this, and I never worked in the field.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Calvin, I’m sure your right, I guess I’m just speaking from the ignorance of the average layperson who doesn’t recognize the distinction of marketing and advertising. Either way the principles are the same. Bob

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        Hey Calvin,

        I think you were probably responding to me, regarding advertising vs. marketing, so I’ll chime in. Bob’s reply summed it up — for the average person, the distinction is meaningless. Their “point of contact” with this is advertising. For those of us who want to analyze this, the distinction is worth knowing. I appreciate you pointing that out.

        Again, the BBC documentary series that I mentioned in this thread — The Century of the Self — is outstanding on this larger issue. Even well-informed people will shake their heads and say “I had no idea”.

        I have no doubt that even a crusty old marketing guy can learn something from it! 🙂


  7. Avatar Greg says:

    Bob, I believe that this post, and to a lesser extent the previous one, will be a real litmus test for your followers and readers as to whether or not they are “with you” in the most meaningful sense. I, for one, am with you. America is a corporation run by and for the profit of other corporations and I no longer choose to willingly participate in their lies and exploitation. Each of us must resist, must become as sand in the gears, as we are able, even to the point of using the system they have created to our own benefit while seeking to obstruct it.

  8. Avatar Rob says:

    Bob you wrote:
    “We’ve become prostitutes working for our pimp, but instead of selling our bodies for sex, we sell our time and life-energy–the most important things in our life and the only thing that we truly own in this whole world–and they’ve wrestled it away from us!! And made us grateful to them for doing it!!”

    True enough…. and we are grateful… that’s one heck of deal for someone!

  9. Avatar Ed Helvey says:

    Bob, I have only met you once, so far, at the summer 2016 RTR for the short time I could stay. But, I’ve been reading and following you for years. After the “Without Bound” YouTube documentary, I contacted Michael Tubb to let him know how much I appreciated his work and talent on that video. (I’ve been in the audio and video production business for 50 years, so I understand the “art.”) He then contacted me about featuring me in one of his documentaries he titled “Ed & the Aberts.” In that I had the opportunity to express a lot of my philosophies and views. Your back story and mine are pretty different, but somehow, we ended up in a very similar place. Maybe we can call that place “reality” or “truth.”

    I’ve been an entrepreneur since age 12. I’ve never worked IN the corporate world for anyone else other than a few part-time jobs while in high school and college and they were small businesses for the most part. I did work in a government situation when I served in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam. I found my own job in Washington, DC before enlisting (to avoid being drafted). I spent most of my almost four years working under the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, DC. I learned a LOT about how the government worked and I didn’t like it. The military complex in DC is more like govt and less like military when in the kind of position I was in.

    I spent all of my life self-employed in my own businesses. I went through the educational system you spoke of. I earned bachelors and masters degrees, I was fully indoctrinated into the “system.” I studied, learned from and practiced all I could from the marketing “gurus.” I never became rich & famous (but worked with many who were). I probably failed more than I succeeded. But, I still lived “the good life” with nice homes, luxury cars, staying in nice hotels, way too much stuff, etc. I created jobs and had many people working for me.

    The end result? I never attained freedom, happiness or fulfillment. It wasn’t until a little over 8 years ago that I finally realized I had betrayed myself and been betrayed by the society we have all lived in and been used and abused by. You nailed my 2 live freely philosophy pretty much on the head. We do live slightly different lifestyles, you and me, yet we are more alike than not. And, being an individual whether in a van/RV or tiny house, or living free doing whatever it is that is an individual’s passion is all that matters in life. When the time comes for all of us to eventually stop breathing – nothing matters except our memories and if we lived the personally free life we were born to live. The money. The stuff. The status. The awards and accolades. They all fall to the wayside at the end and are meaningless. Only living free to enjoy whatever our passion is and being happy and fulfilled is important.

    As others have said, we live in a very complex society. We, in the U.S., are considerably less free than we are made to believe we are. Yes! We need someone to design and build our vans & RV’s. Yes! We need someone to build and maintain roads and bridges. But, having been an integral part (though only in a very tiny way with my small businesses) of the corporate complex and having to deal with the govt all the time, I can say I’m glad to have finally found THE better life. And, frankly, I’m thankful there are all those who keep taking the Soma and drinking the Kool-ade so we, who choose to, can be as free and happy as we choose to be. I will spend the rest of my life informing and even helping/coaching others to free themselves from the corporate/govt chains, but in my heart, I know it’s only a tiny fraction of the population who can break the hold consumerism/stuff/greed, etc. hold over them. Great post! I hope it helps lots of people.

    • Avatar Vagabound says:

      Super post, Ed. I think that more people than we might realize have taken very different paths to arrive at this similar destination. Now that I recall, I enjoyed listening to your thoughts in that documentary you mentioned.

      Your comment about Soma made me laugh. In a slightly modified way, I think Aldous Huxley’s prediction has come true. Soma is real and it’s here to stay. Except we’ve renamed it “social media and Pokemon Go on a smartphone”. If you think I’m exaggerating, pull back sometime in a crowded place and watch. Pretty unsettling.

      Some “Soma” quotations just for fun:


      • Avatar Ed Helvey says:

        Thanks, Vagabond! I spent some time reading over and remembering those soma quotes. I also believe that legalizing pot is our current form of soma (or at least one of them) in our over drugged society. Glad you enjoyed my thoughts in the Ed & The Aberts documentary.

  10. Avatar JIM PETERSON says:

    My comments don’t seem to be posting. This is a test.

  11. Avatar JIM PETERSON says:

    I remember reading about an experiment with monkeys where a hand of bananas was suspended above a step ladder. If any of the monkeys approached the ladder, they would spray the whole group with ice cold water! Once all the monkeys were trained, they would remove one of the trained monkeys and install a newbie. If the new guy approached the ladder, the others would attack him because they didn’t want to get sprayed. As the newbies were trained (by their fellows) to conform, the initial group was gradually removed so that only newbies remained. They kept each other in line even though NONE of them had ever been sprayed with cold water. Sadly, many of us humans work our entire lives for reasons we never fully understand either.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Jim, this is exactly what I believe is going on. The universal thinking in civilized countries is “This is the way it is, always has been and always will be. And it’s good.” I’m not much of a believer in conspiracy theories, but I am a huge believer in cultural conditioning.

      • Psychology, not logic, is the powerful tool of the owners, used to sell us things even if we know they will harm us. Some of us have found defenses against marketing psychology. We can learn to turn it against them.

  12. Avatar Cae says:

    I’m glad we still have the freedom to choose. And that many people still work every day so that things get done. We all need parts for our rig, roads maintained, food, gas, etc….all things that still require some human effort.

    But, we can all choose what roll we want to play in society. I’m just glad there’s a majority that’s willing to trade their time for money.

    • Bob Bob says:

      That is wonderful for the 300 million Americans who get to live in luxury, But what about the other 7 billion people on the planet who have to suffer from our horrendous environmental damage? What about all future generations who are going to live on a planet whose environment has been made miserable for humans?

      Fuck em!!! Most of them aren’t even really human. And even if they are, why should we care? Why should we make even a tiny sacrifice for them? Apparently none of us can think of any reasons. Bob

  13. Avatar Cindy says:

    I have totally bought into buying and going into debt. It’s so freeing to be debt free. I was debt free and then I tried to buy my escape vehicle, bought wrong one and it went down from there. Hoping to rectify this soon.
    Thanks Bob.

  14. Avatar Eric says:

    Well, That what I like to see this blog article among think alike folks. Yes, I have seen those movies on youtubes. I’m sure some of you know this, Federal Reserve is a private owned bank. That What JFK was trying to take control of money/U.S. Notes/greenback back in system by executive order #111100 to print money with red color ink to separation from Federal reserve’s notes. At one time, I did have a five dollar of U.S. notes on it, but I spend it at the time around late ’70/early ’80.
    I like an author Ellen Brown and she have a website https://ellenbrown.com/. Check it out!

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
    ~ Woodrow Wilson, 1919, after signed Federal reserve act ,1913
    Peace !

    • Avatar Gunther says:

      Abraham Lincoln foresaw the rise of corporations power and Thomas Jefferson foresaw the power of the banks. It is too bad the presidents who came after those two men did not take their advice to heart. Thanks for the quote from President Wilson.

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        Not trying to spark a political debate. Just a lament.

        320 million people in our country, at least 100 million between 35 and 65 years old (eligible) and look who we’re going to get to choose from. It seems that no one is truly happy with this, but here we are. Someone on CNN today mentioned seeing a bumper sticker: “I hate my guy, but your guy is worse.” What a mess.

        I would sincerely like to know: What happened to people like Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson (thanks, Eric!), FDR, Eisenhower? Or what happened to us such that we now eliminate them before they can rise, like the never-sprayed monkeys from the story that blog commenter Jim Peterson mentioned?

        Again, no intention to sidetrack or start a fire. Just feel exasperated by this stuff.

        • Bob Bob says:

          It’s quite a mess alright. My solution is to drop and and contribute a little as I can to any of it.

        • Avatar Larry Stone says:

          At CRVL only Bobs political thoughts apply, any descent will be curtailed in Kim Jong-un style.

          • Avatar Vagabound says:

            Hi Larry,

            As I make this comment, I’m aware that I have no idea what your experience here has been.

            On one hand, I have already mentioned to one mod on the forums that I’ve noticed a lot of sensitivity there, bordering on excessive.

            On the other hand, two thoughts:

            * The forums seem much more civil and productive than the average on the Internet. Vandwellers can’t be that unique, so that outcome isn’t an accident. What happened? I imagine that a number of people put a lot of work into making and keeping it that way. That said, without careful vigilance, it can become Singapore:


            * Although I haven’t heard anyone say it directly, there seems to be a firewall of sorts between the forums and this blog. The forums seem to have stricter rules, whereas much of the content on the blog — and much of that from Bob — is political in nature. Also, I haven’t noticed Bob or anyone else speak against political comments here on the blog. But, I haven’t been around very long.

            So, all in all, I’d guess that political conversation is OK here, as long as it’s on-topic, civil, and not just that tired ole “he said, she said.”

            Just my 2 cents worth,


          • Bob Bob says:

            Yes, this is a completely different environment with different rules.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Thanks Larry. Bob

        • Avatar Monica says:

          I agree I am very discouraged and don’t know what to do. I’m at the very beginning stage of wanting to sell my house and everything in it to live a cheaper, cleaner life.

    • Avatar Shelly Scott says:

      AMEN Eric!! You said it! The only thing I seen missing was the media. These few men control them as well, so we get nothing but lies instead of truth! I know I’ll be hitting the road with “some kind” of rig when I retire, but still have 5 years to go.
      I dread going to work every day, but I’m to close to quit now. Thank you to “Everybody”
      that makes these videos and blogs…I am learning alot from them! XXOX

      • Bob Bob says:

        It’s our pleasure Shelly! Bob

      • Avatar Rob says:

        “still have 5 years to go”.
        When we got rid of the house, took to an RV on the road & started workcamping my biggest surprise was the number of people workcamping who were not retired.
        Workcamping is what they did.

        I was not aware of any options besides a regular job, welfare or being retired. Obviously that lack of vision was a personal problem…

        Good luck on the next 5 years!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Now what are you going to do with that knowledge? Bob

    • Avatar Vagabound says:

      Quotations are a passive hobby of mine, and the more I learn, the more I discover that so many are attributed to the wrong people or simply made up from thin air. Lots of people end up getting fooled. Once they get passed around on the Internet, they get a life of their own, with assumed accuracy.

      As compelling as that “unhappy man” quotation was, unfortunately, seems like it didn’t come from Woodrow Wilson:

      (see “Misattributed” section)

      Don’t feel singled out. My favorite quotation from Thomas Jefferson turned out to be bogus as well. :/


      • Avatar Gunther says:

        John Oliver on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had a 5 minute thing about quotes or how people were twisting the quotes or stating quotes from people who actually never said them.

      • Bob Bob says:

        That’s very true, many that I love are likely not from who they are claimed. I just say “Attributed to …” in it to suggest it is debatable.

        The core idea is still there, it just doesn’t have the authority of the name.

        • Avatar Vagabound says:

          I arrived at the roughly the same conclusion and method.


        • Avatar Martin Litster says:

          Sometimes it helps to know the origin of a quotation because it tells something of its context and the social or other environment of the person quoted. On the other hand, my feeling is that most quotations are actually attributed to the first person who was heard or recorded in print or on film or whatever – really good ideas travel around a while before many people start saying them out loud.

          I also think that really good quotations don’t really need attribution. And you can quote me on that.

  15. Avatar Francisco says:

    Here is the real truth. Right now this whole planet can be running on hydrogen using a technology called nano-tubes. The tubes store the hydro in its liquid form at regular atmospheric pressure, can then be used in liquid form just like gas. No need for a new infrastructure.

    Solar panel that produce very high levels of power. Yet they are not to be found on the market yet. I even saw a breakthrough where a solar panel actually can produce cold air for cooling needs. Question is where are all these invention, where did they go, plus many many more inventions including in the health care industries.

    Another invention that was band, patent and license not allowed for production. Plus many many other inventions up to over 10,000 seized so as to not bankrupt the economy or people in power.

    This invention is an electric motor that spins by repelling rare-earth magnets and can produce electrical current to power a whole house. But where is it?

    These are inventions that would reduce cost for consumers help keep them out of dept. Most of all help reduce consumption of resources that pollute the planet. Lower health care cost and improve the quality of life.

    Invent a transporter or replicator right now like on Star-Trek and the scientist might have a hit-man with a bullet in his name.

    So the human race will continue to consume in it’s good-old-fashion way. All I want is a pair of jeans made from hemp, they last so much much longer than cotton jeans. Forgot pot is illegal, may have to go to Canada for jeans like that, not to mention how it can be used for many products like paper and medicine.

    • Avatar Lucy says:

      Have you read the book ” The Emperator Wore No clothes ” ?? Very interesting material there!

    • Avatar Gunther says:

      You have the big corporations buying up the inventions and you have the Koch Brothers and their utility allies such as coal, electric, and water companies trying to get laws passed in all 50 states to prevent the rise of American solar and wind industries because it would put them out of business. All this talk of a free market, competition and enterprise is a bunch of bunk for a long time.

      • Bob Bob says:

        The facts say something very different. Renewable sources of electricity accounted for 13% of all production in the USA in 2015, and has continued to drastically increase this year. Sales of coal has plummeted and will continue to plummet. In Germany, renewables were 28% of all electricity in 2014, and on a good day can hit up to 75% of all electric use. China’s stated goal is 15% by 2020 and 40% by 2030–and we know for a fact they are taking the steps to make it happen. In Scotland, 58% of all electricity came from renewables in 2015 (off-shore wind farms). The first off-shore wind farm is being built in the USA right now. As they come on line, look for the percentage of electricity from renewable to skyrocket.

        The era of fossil fuels is rapidly ending and the Koch Brothers can’t stop it.

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        I think that the corporate interests that Gunther mentioned have historically done everything in their power to drag their feet and obstruct meaningful renewable progress or other wise energy progress. Greed. Control. Status quo.

        But to Bob’s point, it seems they finally figured out that change by degree — away from fossil fuels — is inevitable, so they switched tactics. Now, they’re putting a lot of effort and resources into trying to take control of and monopolize renewable energy, like they do with anything else they touch. Including a full-on marketing campaign (hats off to Calvin here).

        Like the Borg said, “You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

        In the end, we’ll have more renewable energy, but we’ll also have the fox guarding the hen house again. :/


        • Bob Bob says:

          I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I follow environmental news closely, including renewable issues, and I don’t see any evidence for that. Do you have evidence for it, or is it just an assumption?

          Of course the oil companies are fighting against change toward renewables with all their might and power–but that is mainly through spreading lies about climate change. THEY ARE EXPERTS AT CREATED LIES THE MASSES BELIEVE. Of course it helps that the masses desperately want to believe the lies.

          I think they are afraid of the appearance, but they really have done very little to move into renewables. BP plays around with it but not very seriously. Bob

          • Avatar Vagabound says:

            What I know (or think I know 😉 comes from years of reading, monitoring the media, and some formal study. Hard to extract one piece of evidence from that huge hairball of information. However, if you can tell me what specifically you think might be wrong in my description, maybe I can produce something objective to talk about.

            Of the top of my head, though, I had BP in mind as one example as well.


        • Avatar Gunther says:

          “In the end, we’ll have more renewable energy, but we’ll also have the fox guarding the hen house again.”

          I agreed with you Vagabound. Many corporations are trying to get into the marker of selling marijuana when states like Colorado are legalizing it; therefore, the small businesses will be driven out of business because the corporations will do everything to undercut them unless the state legislators stop them from doing so.

          • Avatar Vagabound says:


            And the “2016 Get The Other Guy’s Name Right Award” goes to … Gunther! Thank you, sir! 😉

            Good example about the marijuana. I thought to mention it before, but had already reached my “reasonable word limit”.

            I’ll say more about the involvement of corporations in another reply to Bob’s comment on renewable energy.


    • Avatar Shelly Scott says:

      Yeah it’s funny how the inventors mysteriously commit suicide or go missing when they come up with something to help society for free! And then all their documents go missing as well?!

    • Bob Bob says:

      The truth is that Republicans are the obstacle to switching to renewable energy, they hate it and fight against it every step of the way.

      • Avatar S. Jordan says:

        Well, Bob, my mother had a saying,”Moderation in all things,” something I used to find annoying at the time. But, have come to realize there was actually quite a bit of truth in it. As someone who has always been concerned about the environment, I can no longer support the Liberal mind-set. There is nothing wrong in working hard to earn a living. Why should those of us who have/do? Whilst some folk truly need a ‘leg-up’ to get back in ‘the saddle’, many would just as soon opt out, if the opportunity presents itself. I voted Republican, because I do not want to live under Sharia Law. I came to this country legally, and believe we should not make it easy for others to break the law, by being Illegal Aliens. On the one hand you stress the dangers of Capitalism, whilst on the on the other, ask readers to support your site, so that you can make a ‘few dollars’, so which it Bob, you cannot have your cake and eat it too! I do not agree with pipelines going through environmentally sensitive areas, but, most of us run our RVs on petrol, or diesel, do we not? Surely a true ‘Purist’ would have a horse-drawn caravan, which would also come with its own challenges. It seems, we are all forced to compromise one way or another. There are no perfect answers, or perfect political points of view. We mortals are all responsible for doing our best, one way or another.

    • Hemp is legal. Marijuana is not in most states. You can find hemp made clothing if you look for it. Hemp clothing wears like iron. One can also find other hemp products in most health food stores. I also use a CBD hemp oil for my aches, pains and other health issues. Regular hem oil has a lot of good uses. Want to clean up your cast iron use hemp oil! I could go on but I don’t know if y’all want to hear it so I will stop here and wish everyone great days!

  16. Avatar Whitey says:

    It’s a complicated topic Bob, as your pension(s), my future pension and everyone else’s rely upon this very system to sustain us. While I tend to agree with what you’ve said, I’m also reluctant to bite the hand that currently feeds me and hopefully will continue to do so into my dotage,at least until a viable alternative is presented. Yes, I’m the comfortable slave you referred to in past posts but I’m also pining for my freedom.

    The fact is that the ‘man’ isn’t going to need us for much longer. Automation and off shoring/free trade are fast eliminating the choice we have whether to participate in the current system at all. When that choice is eliminated we will have either our progressive moment (think ‘Star Trek’) or the alternative (“Mad Max”).

    I’m currently counseling a bright, frugal teenaged girl to follow some of your advice and not get sucked into the system but rather to use it to her advantage. She sees the hypocrisy at school and has made the mistake of calling some of her teachers on their BS. One piece of advice I gave her is to never confront that kind of authority head on because they love to make an example of a heretic. I think you’re safe for now as many of us who follow this blog aren’t affluent or influential. If you succeed in changing the thinking of people who contribute to the machine at a higher level though, watch out.

    Bob, have you read “The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude” by Boetie? You might be a reincarnation of a French thinker!

    Thanks for putting this subject, and yourself, out there. It takes guts to stand up against the machine.

  17. Avatar Francisco says:

    In what Whitey said, The machine will come. The computer brain right now is only lineal, but very soon it will be a quantum computer brain that will be able to think in all directions. Welcome to the Artificial Intelligent Droid.

    When this happens they will have to offer society a Guarantied Cost Of Living Paycheck. This will have to be done in order to prevent the country from an economic break down. This is already being experimented with in other countries like Switzerland. Problem is the amounts per month may only be about $1,200.00 Those who want to work can do so, but it will most likely be a tecno job. With such a small amount there will have to be people that are willing to be roommates or there may be a much greater number of van dwellers. Houses, condos, and RVs, will be only for the rich people.

    • Avatar Vagabound says:

      Francisco said, “This is already being experimented with in other countries like Switzerland. Problem is the amounts per month may only be about $1,200.00”.

      In fact, Switzerland voted that down just recently in a country-wide referendum.

      Too bad, really. I was hoping to watch it work at least somewhere. You’re right, though, that they were contemplating it and got the closest that I’ve heard of so far.




    • Bob Bob says:

      Fransisco, I don’t know what the world will look like in 50 years, but I’m certain it will be very, very differnt than it is now. Bob

    • Avatar Gunther says:

      Francisco. If people were paid good wages, free/affordable medical care, and had a generous pension, we wouldn’t have a need for Social Security, Basic Minimum Income that is being discussed and a whole bunch of other government assistance programs. The trouble is that corporations and wealthy people don’t want people to have a decent lifestyle whether a person keeping on working or wants to retire permanently from work.

      • Avatar S. Jordan says:

        Here we go again, “If people were paid good wages, given free/affordable medical care, and a generous pension.” First of all, ‘Medical Care’ usually refers to ‘Conventional drug infested medicine.’ Unless one has a broken bone, or other accident, generally it would seem that living a simple life, free of GMOs, pesticides, or feasting on the bodies of factory farmed drug-laden animals kept in inhumane unnatural conditions, or eating wild or farmed fish from polluted oceans would be a good idea. Refusing to eat processed food, treating food as though it is our medicine would promote health, and lessen the need for drugs, especially if our air and water wasn’t contaminated with chemicals. Conventional Medicine, is all about making money for Big Pharma, period! Ask a laboratory animal if there is such a thing as free/affordable medical care, and you may get a different answer. They pay for it with their lives, and usually very short ones at that! What about the horses raised to produce hormone replacements? Does anyone think about the quality of their lives, or the fact that thousands of innocent foals are slaughtered every year? And, that is just one example. What right do humans have to cause such suffering, just to harvest the mares’ urine? I know I need to exercise and get proper sleep,to maintain my weight, and reap other health benefits. Surely, living a simple balanced life is the key. Population Control, and living a mindful sustainable existence would solve many problems.

        How many of us offer to pay a person more than a required amount, if we can have the job done for less? I know I don’t! Do you? Reality is that, whilst I may live on a small pension, if I had lived more frugally, educated myself more on Financial Freedom, and planned better for the future, my situation would be different. My parent’s strong work-ethic taught me to be independent. We need to stop expecting the Government to baby-sit us, from cradle to grave, and take responsibility for our own lives. The UK is known as ‘The Nanny State’, it seems the US is similar. Believe it or not, some folk actually became wealthy from working hard, and making good decisions. It is not reasonable to complain, and blame others for our poor choices. In hind-sight most of us made the best decisions we could with the information available at the time. We could have chosen to live beneath our means, and credit free in order to plan for the future. What gives us the right to expect corporations, and the wealthy to fund a decent lifestyle, whether a person retires, or continues to work? After, being robbed by drug-addicts, I would say we have more than sufficient folk, who delight in living off the hard work of others, and will continue to do so, as long as they are rewarded for it.

        Don’t agree with all of Bob’s ideas, but am grateful to him for giving so much of himself in offering many life-changing and helpful suggestions on how to live a joyful life in spite of difficult challenges. I really like his interviews with full-time RVers, learning their tips, hearing their stories, and seeing their houses on wheels.

  18. Avatar Andy says:

    I personally have a different reason for moving into an RV or a van. I agree with what Bob has said, but I believe there is now a darker, deeper motivation to remove oneself from the masses. The Head Pimp and Drug dealer in Chief along with the drug companies and money grabbing bigots have created for us, a very unsettling landscape in any populated area, whereby the average citizen next to us could become a raving lunatic and do unthinkable things with no rational explanation why they just did what they did. I personally witnessed a balloon popping in a mall and a stampede of people saying there was an active shooter and pushing and shoving for the exits, leaving their kids and elderly to fend for themselves. It was both amazing and extremely unsettling. I do believe one can get PTSD symptoms just reading the news now days it’s so bad. We can control our spending and we are not slaves to that. But this new “crazy person” in our midst is very hard to deal with and it seems to be getting worse rather than better.
    When you read “Man kills elderly couple and then tries to eat mans face” or Mother and cousin kill, rape, dismember and burn 10 year old on her birthday”..I sincerely think its time to get the hell out of dodge. Never mind credit or stuff..it’s the crazy people to worry about now.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Andy, that’s an interesting idea, thanks for sharing it. Bob

    • The issue here is that 24-hour news cycle. Violent crime is less than it was 20 years ago and far less than a century or two back. We just hear about it over and over if we watch TV.

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        One memorable statistic from Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” was similar. As I recall, when talking about media coverage, they said that during some given period, while media coverage went up by 600%, the murder rate actually dropped by 20%. That would lead to significant misconceptions and over-reactions.

      • Bob Bob says:

        … thus creating an atmosphere of fear that keeps us calm an controllable.


  19. Avatar Steve says:

    Just one question. Are all corporations bad? And if so, are you saying to not buy from the just the bad ones or all corporations in general?

    • Bob Bob says:

      I’m not saying any of that, I’m saying forget the whole mess and drop out, doing as little as you can to contribute to any of it.

      I’m saying industrial civilization is bad in all it’s flavors and details. Don’t judge it, don’t try to fix it, drop out.

  20. Avatar Francisco says:

    Bob, you said 50-years, no in about 4-years the layoffs will start. The machines will be taking over that soon.

    Also more tech-jobs are going to be taken over by people from India with work visa, it will save companies and corporation lots of money.

    • Avatar Lucy says:

      It doesn’t look that promising, Francisco, does it ?

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        I’m not Francisco, but I play one on TV. 😉

        Lucy, I agree that it doesn’t look promising. However, the challenge for us seems to be to simultaneously 1) learn as much truth as possible; 2) make and execute a plan to live in accordance with those facts; and 3) not succumb to the “Chicken Little Syndrome” by seeing monsters behind every tree and over-reacting.

        How to do that exactly? Still working on it myself.

    • Francisco, you missed a step in the process. Many of those jobs can stay in India, at about $4 to $5 an hour.

      • Avatar Gunther says:

        “Francisco, you missed a step in the process. Many of those jobs can stay in India, at about $4 to $5 an hour.”

        Which is wny we need to raise wages aboard and enact tariff barriers so American industries wouldn’t be undercut by foreign companies and other American countries.

        • This will become a non-issue anyhow. Already driverless trucks are being developed, self-checkouts abound where cashiers used to work, and at least one human-free fast food place has opened. Automation has replaced most coal miners and many auto workers. This goes on and on.

    • Avatar Bob B. says:

      Francisco, I’m interested why in four years? Is it because of a new president coming into office? I for one wander why the Republican Party has shown so little interest in the election. They have had eight years to groom a candidate for the office and they don’t back trump. Do they know the end is near? Do they want to emerge from the ashes and claim they had nothing to do with the collapse? I’m not taking a Stand for either party, they are all guilty. Does anyone else question why they done have a candidate running?

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        Bob B. asked, “Does anyone else question why they done have a candidate running?”

        If you mean, how did they screw up their candidate process so completely this time around – “yes”. I had to stop watching the debates because it was just too embarrassing.

        If you mean, why do the Republican have no candidate – “no”. Why not? Because they had 15 of them and they all lost.

      • Avatar Francisco says:

        The machine will come. The computer brain right now is only lineal, but very soon it will be a quantum computer brain that will be able to think in all directions. Welcome to the Artificial Intelligent Droid.

        Also more tech-jobs are going to be taken over by people from India with work visa, it will save companies and corporation lots of money.

    • Avatar Gunther says:

      “Also more tech-jobs are going to be taken over by people from India with work visa, it will save companies and corporation lots of money.”

      It has cause a backlash in this country. Of course guys like Trump and Gates could care less if as long as the backlash is not directed at them since they were the ones that created the immigration mess because they don’t want to hire their fellow Americans and pay them good wages and benefits.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Francisco, I don’t care about economic issues, they are unimportant. In 50 years the environment will hit critical mass and NO ONE is going to be thinking about jobs and the economy, except worrying about what to do with all the environmental refugees flooding industrial societies. We are destroying the environment so they will come flooding to us for help.

      • Avatar Lucy says:

        Something like is going on NOW in Europe, with the refugees ? If 50 years from now that is going to happen the only way to escape will be getting on a spaceship & leaving planet earth behind…

        • Bob Bob says:

          We are the source of the problem. We could be part of the source of the solution–but we won’t. It’s a 1000 times easier to stick our head in the sand and delude ourselves that it isn’t happening or it will be a good thing. Bob

          • Avatar Lucy says:

            Bob, by the way you’re talking it seems to me that you make US the sole responsable bunch of earth ill-fate, as I see it we only are a drop in the bucket, Billions of earthlings share the planet & pollute IT as much as we do, why in heavens shall we take ALL THE BLAME ?? Let’s make others responsable for their own behavior.

            My humble opinion: Lucy.

          • Bob Bob says:

            I’m sorry, I can’t agree, we are the main consuming nation on the earth–no one comes close.

            Only the industrialized countries bear any responsibility. It’s our industry and consumerism on a massive, incomprehensible scale that has caused the problem. Of all the industrialized countries, we are by far the worse.

            China has surpassed us as the worlds leader of causing climate change, but they are doing it by producing products for us and the other industrialized countries. We are still to blame. If we stopped buying it, they would stop making it.

      • Avatar Francisco says:

        The problem is economic issues is what creates Corporate Pensions, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and much much more. There will be a good chance that technology will help cleanup pollution, fix the ozone layer. Biodegradable Styrofoam and plastic, tire eating enzyme, garbage landfills turned into biofuel, and so forth.

        But a retirement paycheck at the mercy of the corporate manager, or even the government say they have a problem. One time the govt. was giving IOU’S to recipients of California State. I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. Even military vets have had their benefits with problems.

        The planet is going to be just fine Bob.

        I just don’t want to go back to work when I’m using a walker or a diaper. Or both.-Joke.

        As the old saying goes- Money Makes The World Go Around.

        • Bob Bob says:

          So when it comes to the lives of billions of future people on the planet, you’re willing to bet their lives on a magic technology that isn’t even a glimmer in anyone’s mind. Just so long as business goes on as usual for you and your future is secure.

          We think differently. Bob

          • Avatar Francisco says:

            That is right Bob, there must be a future for everyone. If technology can save the planet while business and govt. can secure justice, freedom, and security for all, while helping other countries do the same, then this world will be a much better place to live.

            But earth will not last forever, that is why the human race must find other earth like planets. That Bob is where technology comes in.

            Remeber Tech. is what can heal sickness and it can solve problems, also it created solar panels, water pumps, electric motors, lights, cameras, computers, and it help win wars like defeating Hitler and now terrorist.

            We must have hope for the future.

          • Bob Bob says:

            So, we should depend on technology to save us from the unintended consequences of technology? I don’t think that is wise.

            What will save us from the unintended consequences of the technology that tries (and fails) to save us from the first unintended consequences?

        • Avatar Liz says:

          The planet is not going to “be just fine” at this rate. Look at any post-apocalyptic book or film and envision that as the new reality. Technology won’t save anyone once it gets that bad. Overpopulation, consumerism, wars, and reckless use of fossil fuels are going to kill the earth, or us first. Yes, we do have SOME protection from wanton pollution in some countries, but it’s all too little, too late. But that isn’t to say we shouldn’t still take personal responsibility, which is what Bob is constantly promoting.

    • Avatar Liz says:

      Your comment reminds me, I just saw that Uber is launching self-driving cars.

  21. Avatar Vagabound says:

    Reply – Part 2:

    Bob said, “Do you have evidence for it, or is it just an assumption?

    After re-reading your comment, I think I understand that you’re questioning whether the fossil fuel companies are really putting effort into renewables. If I’m wrong about that, please tell me.

    Well, some evidence and some assumption as it turns out. After updating my mental database, it seems that the story of renewable energy investment by fossil fuel companies is more complex and convoluted, as with most things. In short, not linear.

    Overall, it seems that I’m right in saying that, compared to 20 years ago for example, their investment in renewables is significantly more. And companies like BP pushed hard into marketing campaigns.

    On the other hand, I think Bob is right, if I understand him, that their efforts might be considered less than substantial. However, that varies by company.

    After doing a quick search, a few quotations (of course) stuck out:

    The one megatrend really driving the [energy] sector is the transformation from black to green.” Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Danish Oil and Natural Gas (2016 Financial Times article)

    but then …

    BP has reiterated its support for the Paris [climate] agreement, but much of the [BP’s]’Beyond Petroleum’ [renewable energy] strategy outlined in the previous decade has been abandoned.” Bob Dudley, BP CEO (same source as above)

    Other than learning that more than a few of the large oil companies have cooled their jets on renewable investment, I learned an interesting perspective — they should be trying to do that anyway. The guy who wrote the article immediately below makes an interesting case for that:

    “The Very Odd Idea That Exxon Should Become A Renewable Energy Company” (2016)

    I’m left wondering what the real reason is for the reduction in investment in renewables by many major oil companies. I suspect it is related to shale gas, fracking, U.S. natural gas reserves, etc. Somewhat understandable, but shortsighted. Interesting.


    A sample of related articles:

    * Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables (2015)

    * How Traditional Energy Companies Are Building a Viable Future for Renewables (2016)

    * Big Oil: From Black to Green (Financial Times) (2016)

    * Green really is the new black as Big Oil gets a taste for renewables (2016)

    * (only if you’re terribly interested in this topic) http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/oil-and-gas/our-insights/lower-oil-prices-but-more-renewables-whats-going-on

  22. Avatar Ed Helvey says:

    Whew! I’ve been following along here. I’m ever impressed with the people I meet (in person or online) either living the “lifestyle” or aspiring to it. You are my tribe. The traditional “mainstreamers” seem to think because we “choose” to live outside their box that we’re probably a bunch of deadbeats. Au contraire mon frere. Some tell me they envy me (you’ve probably heard that, too). I tell them they don’t really envy me because if they did, they’d be going out of their way to join me. They won’t. I was recently visiting a long time friend in Thousand Oaks, CA while I was in that region. He was telling my how he and his wife had downsized and didn’t pay as much for their current home as the one they sold for $1.3 Million to move to this new place. I’m old enough to remember when Cadillacs cust less than $10,000 – because I drove them, then, but $1.3 million for a place to eat and sleep?

    I normally am very vocal in discussions like this. But, to be honest, this has covered so much territory, well, it’s given me lots of fuel for future blog posts on my 2livefreely blog. There is just so much to say about all the areas that have been covered here. But, here are a few thoughts I’ve had reading all the comments on Bob’s post.

    As someone involved in media all my life – we are under a 24/7 barrage for control of our minds. The news cycle is mind numbing and addictive. Currently, the average person in the U.S. is inundated with an average of 5,000 marketing/advertising messages a day. Is there any wonder there is an addiction to consumerism?

    Here are some numbers to think about. In 1950 the U.S. population was approximately 150 million. Only 66 years later we’re pushing 325 million – that’s more than doubled. It took about 300 years to reach to reach that first 150 million. But, wrap your heads around this. The world population in 1928 was approximately 2 billion (+/- a few million) and it took about 50,000 years from the time modern homo sapiens stood up and stopped dragging their knuckles until 1928 to reach that population. The current population of the planet is 7.4 billion, an increase of 5.4 billion in only 88 years. we reached 7 billion in 2011. So, at current projections, we’re going to reach 8 billion by 2024 and 10 billion by 2056. Someone mentioned bringing Eastern Indian people here or outsourcing more to them in India. There are currently more college graduates in India than the entire population of the U.S. and, yes, even with advanced degrees, they are happy to make $6 to $7 per hour. So the concerns mentioned here are serious concerns. And I haven’t even brought China into the equation. There WILL NOT be enough jobs or even professions to keep the majority of the population employed, especially when accounting for more computerization, automation and artificial intelligence.

    Climate change is a natural process and the Earth goes through it cyclically. The last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago. Naturally, there is a warming cycle after an ice age. So, in reality, global warming is going to happen regardless of what we do. That’s scientific fact. However, the difference is that 12,000 years ago there were very few humans on the planet (or even animals for that matter) and certainly no industrialization with man made air, water and atmospheric pollution (not to mention landfills and nuclear waste storage), most of which began only during the last couple hundred years. We can’t stop global warming or another ice age, but as Bob suggests, as humans creating this pollution, we can certainly do our part to slow the process, maybe a little bit. But, I think we give ourselves too much credit. Even with nearly 7.5 billion people, we only occupy a tiny percentage of the land surface of the planet and most of that is centered around the 100 or so largest cities. So, yes, we are contributing to a slight acceleration of the process. But, I contend that the issue is really not about stopping or controlling global warming, but about POLITICS, pure and simple. As good stewards of this Garden of Eden we’re blessed with, we still all need to do our best to preserve our environment and resources, though.

    My last comment, then I’ll go quiet again. Huxley, Orwell, Roddenberry, H.G. Wells, and a few others seemed to be pretty accurate prognosticators of what to expect in the future and that future is here and continuing to unfold – “1984,” “Animal Farm,” “Brave New World,” “Soylent Green,” “Stat Trek” among others and some of the other books and films mentioned in these comments really have projected us to where we are and where we’re headed. Big Brother, for instance, is everywhere. We are being surveilled or can be surveilled at virtually anytime anywhere. Cameras are everywhere including the sky. Our phones. The Internet. We have no expectation of privacy. If Big Brother wants to find us, he will. But, the book that really set me back on my heals was “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. The idea that I would read an 800 or so page book was beyond my thinking. I read it 24 years ago though. My wife from my very short-lived 2nd marriage put that book in my hands and told me to read it. I couldn’t put it down. It opened my eyes. Where is John Galt? Well, for those of you have read it, a part of the vandweller/RV community we belong to may very well be full of John (and Jane) Galts. If you know about that hidden valley and the new society that was being created in the book, you may see some parallels with our philosophies and lifestyles.

    Bravo! Carry on! I’m loving this discourse. You are some really deep thinkers.

  23. Avatar Lucy says:

    Bob said: ” Rodney, if you do some research on how Apple allows it Chinese employees to be treated, your opinion of Steve Jobs may change.’ It seems to me that WE in the USA are been the ONLY guilty ones, WE & our corporations are the bad guys, but if Steve Jobs’ Co. is guilty of mistreating it’s chinese employees, the chinese government seems to go along with the abuse. Shouldn’t they have something to say about all this situation ?? Appears to me that here there are at least 2 parties involved, the company & the heads of chinese government looking the other way…
    Am I defending ‘ the corporations ‘, heck NO, but it appears to be practical & productive to analyze the situation a little bit deeper.
    My humble opinion. Lucy.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Lucy, China has little or no impact on my life, so I just left them out of the discussion. I dom’t think anyone debates that they are very harmful to their people. But many people are unaware of the great harm our corporations are doing. Lot’s of people love Apple and I think they should consider all their business practices. I don’t know anyone who loves China’s practices.

      • Avatar Lucy says:

        Bob, you may dislike China, I may hate China, we ALL could give a rat’s about China, but with ALL the power this country has acquired it’s not realistic to say it has NO impact on our lives. They are Billion and a Half strong how can WE ignore them, besides ignoring them will NOT make them to go away, they are on earth to stay & M U L T I P L Y !!

        My regards, Lucy.

        PS: Love your blog ( & you know it )

        • Bob Bob says:

          Lucy, I’m doing a poor job of communicating, I apologize. I don’t hate China, they are just people doing their best to live the best they can–just like all of us are. I said they don’t have an impact on MY life.

          What I’m trying to say, in a very poor way, is none of that stuff is important. They are all trivial and unimportant compared to climate change. And they all contribute to climate change so everything we think now has to be thrown out and start over fresh with the planet as our FIRST consideration. Bob

    • Avatar Vagabound says:

      Hi Lucy,

      You said, “Am I defending ‘ the corporations ‘, heck NO, but it appears to be practical & productive to analyze the situation a little bit deeper.”

      I agree. See below for a good description, from an extremely reputable source, of what is only the tip of the iceberg:


      I’d be interested to know what you think after reading it.


      • Avatar Lucy says:

        Vagabond, perhaps I didn’t expressed myself correctly, what i meant by ‘ appears practical & productive to analyze the situation a little bit deeper ‘ was:

        YES, apple may take advantage of their chinese labor force, but the chinese government having spies everywhere is aware of the situation, but does NOTHING about it. So in in this case- like in many – IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO…Apple + enabling chinese government .

        Thanks for the links.
        My regards, Lucy.

      • Avatar Lucy says:


        I read the material on the link… the info. in the article is worrisome, our living style is scary to say the least, but I believe- may be wrong perhaps – that impacted by the 2008 recession we have been forced to re-consider our out-of-control consumerism. I don’t see people going bananas buying items as I used to see in the past. Other thing that’s significant is the fact that more & more shops, businesses, are closing, seems like ‘ clientele is shrinking ‘. Less jobs…more people to unemployment..less money on the internal market… I feel one way or another we can’t win for lose.
        I tried to find a date the literature on the link, but i was unable to, it would be interesting to know how up-to-date is the presented information, the initial picture seems from the 70-80’s, those are OLD TV sets.
        Thank you for the link. Lucy.

        • Avatar Vagabound says:

          Hi Lucy,

          Thanks for noticing that my username contains “boUnd”. Turns out there is another member here who is the normally spelled “Vagabond”, so getting it right is more than just being persnickety. Plus, it’s like that thing where Dan keeps getting called Don. 😉 But at the end of the day, the important thing is that we’re talking.

          Generally speaking, the consumption info is still applicable, and it applies beyond consumption as well to pollution, etc. While certain articles might be newer or older, the basic relationship stays roughly the same. We in the U.S. use and pollute at roughly 5 times the size of our population. Different category, different multiple. And if our numbers drop, it is mostly an illusion, because it’s caused by the consumption rising in other countries, rather than a meaningful change on our part.

          As I see it, two important points:

          1) Our collective behavior violates basic ideas about fairness and sharing and cleaning up after ourselves that we all learned back in grade school or before.

          2) Despite all the hoopla about the American way of life, and our attempts to export it everywhere, if the entire world actually lived like we do, we would literally need 4-5 planets worth of resources.

          In the strictest dictionary sense, our way of life is not sustainable. It isn’t politics or ideology. It’s just math. And, by the way, this is why “jumping on a spaceship” isn’t a real solution. We’d take our dysfunction with us to the new planet.

          I’m no fan of China, and their negative impact is growing, but that is largely because they’re racing to copy us. While we certainly have done and do good things, we have also inadvertently created a template for other cultures to copy that is, in fact, impossible.

          It’s a complex situation, but I’m sure that if we only continue chanting “USA, USA” with our head in the sand, it won’t get better.


  24. Avatar Mike says:

    Good one Bob.
    The system is set up to self perpetuate. Participate, or drop out, no other options. Wall street demands you participate, the government has the police (20 kinds) on the payroll and a prison state in place to put you to work for $.17 cents an hour if you choose wrongly. China has huge cities with no one living there…so lets sell it off to those idiots. Its rich or poor now, pretty soon only the wealthy will have money to consume and the whole things gonna melt.
    I always said, having more money than one can reasonably spend in a lifetime is to live like a solitary insect…those big black stink bugs in the desert are a good anology, they wander around forever alone, looking for dung, once they find it they feed it to their offspring.. haaa. Hey, try this escape…use drugs, participate in the War on citizens, nope that won’t work either, just do like Bob says, Run.
    The road provides, not abundance but sustenance, so if your hypnotized by consumption and your convinced the only assurance of survival is abundance, get a job at the dung pile. Thanks Bob.

    • Avatar Lucy says:

      HA HA, your entry is good no doubts about it, like it a lot, but FYI:

      1) In prison the inmates chose to work for whatever they get paid, nobody forces them to work, is their choice.
      2)inmates have better life than MANY, very many free americans, they receive 3 meals a day for sure, a clean bed, air-conditioning in summer & heater in winter, TV in their rooms, medical attention for FREE 24/7/365. Dental & vision insurance also for FREE ( I pay for all those services on a monthly bases + co-payments ). They also get medications for free + referrals to outside doctors PRN.
      3) And this is a BIGGY: many people would love ‘ to drop out ‘ just our bodies do NOT cooperate.

      So, all this said I’ll say good bye & add that, I TOO, like Bob’s blog.

      My regards, Lucy.

  25. Avatar Joey says:

    Lucy, your argument is mute.

    • Avatar Lucy says:

      Joey, please your ears checked perhaps your hearing is faulty & that’s the problem.

      My regards, Lucy.

      • Avatar Joey says:

        It’s completely off the topic now, but saying prisoners live the good life is absurd. Try living cooped up in a cell most of the day, and then when you’re let out for a few hours, you’re always looking over your back for the next psycho ready to stab you for your watch or smokes. Most prisoners come out worse psychologically than before they went in. It is NOT a good life.

        • Avatar Lucy says:

          Dear Joey,
          1) if you read Mike’s last entry you’ll notice he talks about ‘ the system ‘ putting people in prison due been NON-compliant, he adds that inmates get paid $0.17 cents an hour for working in the prison. Most of the info. I wrote was in response to his entry to which I basically answered ‘ inmates are in better shape than many FREE americans.

          2) my last paragraph states: ” Many people would love to DROP OUT, but our body don’t cooperate ‘

          3) Joey, read it again it’s NOT off topic…

          4) If you still are unable to ” see it ‘, perhaps a ‘ reading & comprehension’ class could help.

          Respectfully. Lucy.

          • Bob Bob says:

            I think disrespect for each others point of views is by far the single greatest danger in American politics. If we can’t talk to each other, how can we ever move forward? Bob

          • Avatar Joey says:

            My apologies Lucy. In response to Bob’s comment, I respect your point of view. Regards, Joey.

      • Avatar Vagabound says:

        Didn’t you say something, somewhere, about humble? 😉


      • Bob Bob says:

        We’ll be polite or we’ll end political discussions here.

  26. Avatar Vagabound says:

    Hi Ed,

    Man, I could fall in there and get lost. I’ll resist. As I was reading it, lots of head-nodding.

    Two thoughts:

    * Read both of Ayn Rand’s main books years ago. Details are fuzzy now, but I remember that getting through Atlas Shrugged was quite a bit of work. I liked the other better — The Fountainhead. Rand had good skills at getting people to identify with her protagonists. And how tough should that be? Per Wikipedia, “it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, capitalism, and the failures of governmental coercion” among other noble things.

    Where I part ways with all of Rand’s stuff is how it gets interpreted and applied by modern-day followers. In a nutshell, their mindset is something like “if you’re poor, it can only be your own fault for being a despicable, shiftless scumbag.” Incredible tunnel vision, and not at all what inspired me while reading her books.


    The second point is related to climate change. It isn’t the topic of this article, so I’ll be much briefer than it deserves. I guess this is where some people are really going to dislike what I have to say.

    It stuns me almost beyond words that, on one hand, billions of people will base their lives on mythical creatures with no evidence whatsoever, but on the other hand, when it comes to climate change, which has tons of rock-solid evidence from all over the world, they refuse to accept it. Now, they want proof. But not the proof that already exists and is easily accessible. Some “other” proof. Some kind of 100% certainty that they demand no where else in their lives.

    I’ll end by saying that the following NASA website gives very good summaries of the main issues — evidence, causes, effects, scientific consensus, vital signs, and FAQ. It should be more than enough to remove any doubt that climate change is not only real, but largely caused by humans. More than enough if a person is striving to be objective and fact-based. This doesn’t require belief. It just requires an acceptance of reality.




    P.S. – And just in case that wasn’t enough … Humans — which deniers say can’t possibly cause this kind of harm — are actually, collectively, responsible for the most recent, currently on-going, global extinction event. This is an impact so large that it is only the 6th such planet-wide event in over 4 billion years, with likely causes of previous ones being asteroid/comet impacts or global-scale volcanic eruptions. See below:



    • Avatar Liz says:

      Thanks for posting that, Vagabond. The accelerated rate of climate change and its correlation to the industrial age is a fact, but the few oil-industry-supported fake scientists who spin their widely-distributed false information is all it takes to make the average Joe at the DMV scoff and say there is no such thing as climate change. Let’s face it, the problem is that until people are uncomfortable enough to do something different, most won’t. Most won’t go out of their way to be more uncomfortable, as in …… moving into a vehicle. That is why those who make this lifestyle change by choice are considered lunatics by some. (Not by me, I am scheming to join you).

  27. Avatar joe says:

    i may be late on this but i feel the same as you bob the system is tearing us down and you are correct with these issues i do own a van but it is getting tired just like myself i want to get out of the crap that i see i a daily basis for now i just turn my head away from it, money is needed in this crazy world just to be in it i hate to even tell you where i ended up living i had to turn to low income housing it sucks but they pay my rent if i have no income sorta helps but living there is very sour i can leave at any time if i break the lease i can not return for three years but what ever for now i do have a little nest of cash to move on but i feel i would only end off worse than i am i will have to work at some point as you say just to eat and get gas ,maybe you can point me to some ideas to work in az or other spots any way i,m with you

  28. Avatar Kelly D says:

    Thank you for this post. Well said. I’m about to purchase my solar components and registered here just so I can use your affiliate links for purchases as a thank you for all the information your provide. The only thing I haven’t figured out is what size inverter I need- I’ve heard too large is not good. (Purchasing: Renogy 100 watt suitcase solar panel plus battery isolator, 135 AH sealed AGM battery, and right now I just need an inverter for a laptop computer. Dometic CF-23 fridge and O2 Cool fan on 12 volt.) I’ll do more research on inverters. Can’t afford more solar. My story in short- Incurred a traumatic brain injury from being hit by a speeding car, sent back to work by doctors WITH head injury, it worsened over the years until I could no longer work or even remember how to make breakfast some days. Lost my dog walking business of 16 years, put on disability (because of said doctors!), and now must leave my apartment and live in a van. Though I’ve dreamt of this lifestyle for years so looking at this as a blessing in disguise. Thank you.

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