Sunday, July 19, 2009

Giving up income for personal freedom -- Tyler Cowen

There is a wonderful jolt of recognition in reading something that echoes and validates our own thinking, and does so far more eloquently than we ever could.

How is it that someone like me, coming from a strictly middle-class background, with no inheritance, after working in middle management for just a dozen years can even consider myself as possibly financially independent? I have often wondered this in the last year.

Several clues to the answer come from Tyler Cowen, whose thinking and pointers I respect enormously. He's recently written a book called "Create Your Own Economy" (great reviews) and says the following in Newsweek Q&A about his book:

The wealthier we get, the more we are seeing people give up income for personal freedom or for a more interesting job.
Human welfare is becoming less attached to wealth than it used to be. It’s quite plausible, for instance, that an upper-middle-class person can be happier than Bill Gates or some other billionaire. You wouldn’t have said the same back in the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller.
The widespread presence of free fun on the Internet has made it very easy for a lot of consumers to limit or postpone their spending. Just stay at home and cruise the Web.


Vicky said...

Hi Ram,
I have just found your blog by way of expanding from frugality and personal finance blogs to ones about early retirement.
I am allowing myself to dream! I am glad I found you.

Ram said...


Very glad to hear that you are dreaming. Work towards it, set a deadline and all the very best to you.