Dropout economy

Time Magazine says maybe our schools are pointless and if your kid drops out, maybe he has a better idea of what to do. Seriously.

Imagine a future in which millions of families live off the grid, powering their homes and vehicles with dirt-cheap portable fuel cells. As industrial agriculture sputters under the strain of the spiraling costs of water, gasoline and fertilizer, networks of farmers using sophisticated techniques that combine cutting-edge green technologies with ancient Mayan know-how build an alternative food-distribution system. Faced with the burden of financing the decades-long retirement of aging boomers, many of the young embrace a new underground economy

Glendale Stewart is already doing this in Detroit. He bought a vacant lot there, put a fence around it, lives in a trailer. He has bicycle-powered electricity, gets water from rain, do a few odd jobs, doesn’t really need money, and has no bills.

Urbanophile profiles him and his blog, Detroitblog, which is a must-read.


  1. The New Appalachia, into which the educated elite come only to rape whatever resources exist.

    • Only if they’re well armed. A farmer has to know how to dissuade predators.

      But seriously, this sounds like something I’ve already seen: a place called Big City in Torrance, CA, circa 1983– a commune of punk rockers scavenging for a living. They took over a house, used scrap lumber and pallet wood to turn the living room into additional sleeping units that they rented out, stole electricity and water, and never bothered to turn on the gas because who cooks anyway? It was a place to crash, and to reliably find your “medicine” of choice– an off-the-radar community living on an underground economy.

      I don’t know what ever happened to it. I got sober in ’85.

Comments are closed.