Are people less self-sufficient than they were 200 years ago?
I was talking with someone about the economic downturn recently, and the topic of buying land and going off the grid came up. →
[More:]It occurred to us that perhaps 200 years ago it was more realistic for someone to buy land and build a home by hand, and be relatively self-sufficient.
Nowadays, I hear lots of people talking about their economic woes and never do they seem to contemplate doing something radical like being self- sufficient, working very little and living off the land.
Is this because modern people don't have the skills to be self-sufficient? Or because a life less-than-fully-equipped with modern conveniences is anathema? Are there too many things (health insurance, cars, cell phones, utilities) we can't do without that we need to be part of "the system" to have?
Or maybe people 200 years ago weren't that much more self sufficient than us?