Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Cost of Living is No Paradise

"Paradise" should not cost more -- but less.  Implied in that, is that in paradise is where the best things in life are free -- or so inexpensive as to be virtually free -- and not that only the very wealthy can afford them.  That is no paradise, as it certainly is no bargain.

In the coming years, many of the last age of affluence, will be retiring, and a few will be looking for new places to retire to -- with virtually the whole world available to them -- but of course at a price.  If money were no object, then anyplace would be the best place to live -- but for most, money is a paramount consideration, and one cannot make that decision on the wrong premise that cost does not matter, for surely, it determines what one will even consider being affordable and practical.  Otherwise, it just doesn't exist -- for all practical purposes and considerations.

There's just not enough "unlimited, free money" to go around -- so there has to be some way of distributing it on some basis other than just who "wants" it more, and can think of the many ways they can spend it -- on travel, fine dining, amusements and entertainment, "political and other contributions," etc.

Underlying all those considerations, is what those in that society consider "fair exchange," which some consider to be everything they can get -- with no regard to what they should give in return, if anything.    In some lawless and desperate societies, everything one has, is what the other desires to get -- which makes it very dangerous to be the richest person in that society -- so necessarily, they have to hire an entourage of bodyguards and build walls to ensure their safety, to enjoy their "paradise" behind those walls.

But for most, that will not be enough -- if they fear to venture beyond it -- for still, most of the world lies beyond the boundaries one can erect and defend, and that is the world one lives in.  If one has it all, while those around them have nothing -- then one's life and well-being is in constant jeopardy and peril -- especially from those who also covet that life.  Thus the best and safest society/community to be in, is that where there is no exclusive enclave of wealth and privilege beyond what every other citizen also has.

And while those sentiments are often expressed, the realities of their execution and institutions, often belie that egality -- in favor of greater entitlements only for a few -- often as their birthright, or nobility -- in this time or another.  That has come down in modern times to be the culture of celebrity and popularity -- even over merit.  That has been the corrupting force throughout civilization and history -- even if called seniority -- over merit.

As long as those forces are at work, the wrong values are enshrined -- to perpetuate the status quo -- just because it's always been done that way, and that is all one needs to make it right for all time.  That unfortunately, is the greatest handicap of any modern society -- the caste system -- implied or institutionalized, and the barriers to overcome it, usually represented by money, or the lack of it.

Rarely in the world, does one find a community in which the newcomer is just as equal as its most senior (entitled) citizen -- and that is the paradise, that makes the cost of living low for all -- and not just the privileged and self-selected few.  It is not about money -- but values.


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