Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Our Lost Leisure: A Mortgage-Free Solution to Regaining Our Lives

The following is an excerpt from The Mortgage-Free Home: Innovative Strategies for Debt-free Home Ownership by Rob Roy. It has been adapted for the web. In 1991, Harvard economist Juliet Schor wrote a fascinating treatise on our entrapment in a voluntary (or involuntary) work ethic that turned us into a nation of workaholics, The Overworked American: the Unexpected Decline in Leisure (Basic Books, 1991). Some of her observations are startling:
  • Since 1948, the level of productivity of the U.S. worker has more than doubled. In other words, we could now produce our 1948 standard of living in less than half the time. Every time productivity increases, we are presented with the possibility of either more free time or more money. We could have chosen the four-hour day. Or a working year of six months. Or every worker in the United States could now be taking every other year off from work—with pay. (p. 2)
  • Half of this country’s population now say they have little time for their families. (p. 11)
  • Nearly two-thirds of adult women are now employed. (p. 20)
At regular paying jobs. And weigh the previous fact against this:
  • For women, gaining a husband adds about five hours of domestic work per week. (p. 38)
  • Before capitalism, most people did not work very long hours at all. The tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the pace of work relaxed. (p. 44)
  • A Harris poll finds that since 1973 free time has fallen nearly 40 percent—from a median figure of 26 hours a week to slightly under 17. (p. 22)
All this is very interesting, but what does it have to do with a mortgage-free home? Simply this: Released from the need of having to come up with the monthly mortgage payment, less money needs to be earned. Less taxes need to be paid. This can translate into more leisure time. Or not. It’s up to you. If you’re interested in slowing life to a manageable pace, check out Mortgage-Free! by Rob Roy. Related Posts:


Tips on No-Till Farming and Cover Crops

In the below Q&A, author and permaculture designer Shawn Jadrnicek answers questions about no-till farming and the use of cover crops from two readers (one from North Carolina, and the other from Nova Scotia). In his groundbreaking book, The Bio-Integrated Farm, Jadrnicek provides in-depth information on water flow management along with projects that use the free forces of nature—gravity, […] Read More

Not Level? No Problem. How to Build a Greenhouse on a Slope

Have you ever considered building a greenhouse on sloped terrain? It may not seem like the “perfect spot,” but as permaculture designer and farmer Shawn Jadrnicek points out, a sloped site for a greenhouse offers a bonus that a level site does not—the ability to use gravity to harvest rainwater.In his groundbreaking new book, The Bio-Integrated Farm, Jadrnicek offers in-depth information […] Read More

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation – Review in Small Farm Canada Magazine

This review was originally published in Small Farm Canada, Volume 12, Issue 5, September/October 2015If you could have only one book on mushroom production…Review by Janet WallaceTradd Cotter‘s book, Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, is a masterpiece. I have long been interested in growing mushrooms and have read several books on the topic. This book, […] Read More

Hands-On Learning: School of The New American Farmstead

This summer, twelve of our authors (plus Chelsea Green’s own President and Publisher) will be leading hands-on intensive courses at Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont. These workshops, classes, and certifications will inspire you, equip you with marketable skills, and provide you with new perspectives on integrated, community-centered farming and food production. Engage your Senses The […] Read More

Authors Shawn Jadrnicek and Stephanie Jadrnicek: The Bio-Integrated Farm

Q: Let’s start with the title: What is a “bio-integrated farm?” A: When a component in a farm or landscape—which could be a water garden, greenhouse, or chicken coop—performs seven functions, the component becomes alive, and I call this bio-integration. The concept is derived from Bill Mollison’s definition of permaculture design “…assembling conceptual, material and […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com