Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Cost of Living with Technology

Years ago, I was in Missouri and I lived very close to a store run by Mennonites. One day while I was browsing in the store I found an ointment that is very soothing for sore noses and stuffy heads. Having those symptoms today, thanks to my allergies, I began looking for the ointment. When I could not find it I began remembering where I got it which finally led to the topic of this post. (How's that for an introduction?)

Thinking about the Mennonites, and their Amish offshoot, I began to wonder what the cost of living was for them compared to the people who lived near them. The way I figure it, they still have property taxes like the people around them, but they don't pay for telephones, or cable television. On the other hand, they have horses and other animals to feed and care for. They have carriages to maintain. They mostly grow their own food and make most of their own equipment. My best guess is that there are financial benefits and drawbacks to their lifestyle, but overall I would expect that their cost of living was lower than most people in this country.

I'll admit that money is not everything in this life, so the real relevant question is - are they any less happy than those of us who have all of our modern conveniences? I suspect that any pollster who was willing to go door-to-door to ask them that question would discover that they are at least as happy as the rest of us. It's something to consider next time your kid says he'll die if he doesn't get what he wants for his birthday.

No comments: