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Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

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MattHanson1990
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Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by MattHanson1990 » December 10th, 2017, 7:16 am

With living costs continuing to increase and wages remaining stagnant (especially in the years following the financial crisis of 2008), more and more Americans have been choosing to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, aka “off the grid”. But this was also sparked by environmental concerns, particularly regarding climate change. Many people have been using solar panels, collecting rainwater, and even growing their own food by means of having farm animals and gardens. By living this lifestyle, you don’t have to be stressed out over paying a lot of bills and being a debt slave.

The last couple of years, however, municipal and county and even state governments have been cracking down on living off the grid and told people “you have to be connected to ‘public’ utilities or
you’ll be kicked off your property/fined/arrested”. Mainly this crackdown has been occurring in cities but sometimes in rural areas. For instance, back in 2014, a Florida woman was living off the grid, but the municipal courts ruled her home illegal as it wasn’t hooked to municipal/corporate utilities. And then a similar crackdown occurred in a sparsely populated county in Colorado. A community of 800 people lived off the grid, until county officials began imposing new regulations 2 years ago. And then the list can go on.

Throughout most of human history, people have lived self sufficient lifestyles. But because everything in modern-day America is privatized, that’s considered a no-no, which is totally backwards. Why depend on corporations and the daddygov for survival and be a debt slave?

As a person living abroad, this is another recent observation I’m making about what has been going on in America. And this particular issue is one of many reasons I love being away from the U.S. and never going back. :D

Contrarian Expatriate
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Re: Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by Contrarian Expatriate » December 10th, 2017, 8:06 am

There are ways around those laws such as a tiny house or mobile home, and moving to a state or county where it is not a requirement.

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Cornfed
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Re: Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by Cornfed » December 10th, 2017, 8:27 am

It is really a matter of knowing the area where you are buying property. In this area, prohibiting people from catching rainwater etc. would piss off rich people and require the government to provide additional services, thus violating the last taboos of government arrogance, so it is unlikely to happen. Then again, they are making it more and more expensive to establish new off-grid housing.

OutWest
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Re: Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by OutWest » December 10th, 2017, 9:59 am

Contrarian Expatriate wrote:
December 10th, 2017, 8:06 am
There are ways around those laws such as a tiny house or mobile home, and moving to a state or county where it is not a requirement.
We have a sailboat that we can live on as we wish...off grid and very mobile. A lot more people are doing this. Ours is 48 ft overall. An expensive toy but a cheap house.

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Yohan
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Re: Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by Yohan » December 10th, 2017, 3:28 pm

Nowadays in industrial countries it is difficult to live totally independent - there are too many regulations, some are crazy, some others are however not so bad. If you really want to be independent, and all into 'Do it yourself!' you should follow the rules of the state first, and after - additionally - step by step - create some devices within your own land which makes you more independent from public suppliers.

It is important that you own the land/house and your name is in the land title.

I see nothing wrong however if you are connected to a public water supply/sewage service. Why not?

You still can drill for a well to have your own water if you prefer that.

I also see no reason why not to accept public electric power supply. Solar panels often fail, generators make noise but nowadays without electricity life is difficult.

Of course, there is no problem after being connected to the public networks to create additionally your own solar panel (or otherwise electric power supplying) or drilling for a well.

I never heard about a regulation prohibiting to collect rain-water, but I know about a regulation that this tank must be covered as standing water is a breeding place for insects.

Finally you might reach a level, where public suppliers are only a backup in case your own system fails and you pay only the minimum connection fee.

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Adama
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Re: Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by Adama » December 10th, 2017, 5:03 pm

I wonder how these people who lived off the grid afford to go back on it. They must have to start out all over again. They'll have to buy a car, register it, get car insurance, and get a job, just to pay the utilities when they don't really want them. Probably one of the major reasons that some people go off the grid is because they are minimalists, and I guess others may want to get away from people and the rat race. Basically it's like saying you don't have the option to opt out, because we need your money, which really means, we need you to slave away.
A good man is above pettiness. He is better than that.

MrMan
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Re: Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by MrMan » December 10th, 2017, 6:11 pm

The "prepper" trend seems similar. I have a relative I visited several years ago who is a prepper. He was building a bunker under his porch. I think he was storing up food. He thought the Obama adminsitration would end in a violent revolution. I don't know if he's prepping under Trump, though. I suspect some of these off-the-grid folks may be preppers as well. On the left end of the spectrum, some of them may be uber environmentalist types as well.

Out west, with water shortages, the county or city governments may estimate rainfall runoff to include the water that runs off your house. If you catch water, they think they own that, too.

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Yohan
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Re: Living off the grid is now apparently illegal in America

Post by Yohan » December 10th, 2017, 6:47 pm

Adama wrote:
December 10th, 2017, 5:03 pm
I wonder how these people who lived off the grid afford to go back on it. They must have to start out all over again.
Very true. Living off the grid is not without risk.

To go back, yes it can be done anytime, however it is not easy. Only possible as long as you are still rather young and healthy and with a good job over the coming few years. If you are still free of drugs and alcoholism and willing to do any job you might be successful. Your medical condition at that time is surely a serious point which has to be taken into consideration.

If you fail living off the grid AND fail to go back in countries like the States, you will end up badly, in the streets, homeless, living of benefits.
If you fail as a foreigner in the 3rd world, you might end up as a 'foreign beggar' asking for money to be sent home...

I met such people from Western countries in Asia and who failed in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Philippines... it's not funny at all.
Some were ending up as 'foreign beggars', others were deported as they slipped into drugs, alcoholism or even into criminality, others preferred to drink a bottle of whisky and opened the door to a balcony in a high-rise building to end their life.

You cannot easily isolate yourself from the rest of the world and do what you like - yes you can try, but you should always consider an escape route, what to do if you fail and how you can go back to 'normal life'.

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