I paid off my car this month. After six years, it is finally mine. At last, I own it.
And I don’t just mean “I have physical possession of the vehicle.” I mean that it’s mine.
It is a debt that has been completely, fully paid off.
Which got me thinking about how little any of us actually own.
America prides itself on being a land where you can have your own piece of the pie. In fact, homeownership itself at some point became synonymous with “The American Dream.”
As one who went from house to apartment and is again looking for a house, I can tell you that being a “homeowner” is a misnomer. You really “own” nothing.
Your bank owns the house until you pay off the mortgage some thirty years later. And even then, if you don’t pay your property taxes, the State can do all sorts of fun legal things to make you pay…including putting a lien on your house.
I suppose if you’re a homesteader, you can perhaps get around some of this. But there are so few ways to be truly left alone.
Social contract, you say? I didn’t agree to any contract. Neither did my parents or grandparents. What right does anyone, including the state, have to my stuff?
I’m not saying you should go full sovereign citizen, but…are they really that crazy?
How about your education? Do you “own” that until the loan is paid off? The stuff you purchased with a credit card? Hell, even your furniture!
Everything in life has a price. All of us with a functioning brain and a grasp of reality and basic economics know this. And the “credit revolution” opened up the floodgates to ownership of big ticket items like cars and houses.
The drawback, of course, is that money becomes an abstract concept, just numbers on a screen. You rarely get the cash from your paycheck in-hand. Easy come, easy go. And it’s all just fiat currency, anyway.
So while I’m excited to have my car paid off, freeing up that money for other things, there’s still a long way to go before I can ever–if I can ever–really own the stuff that surrounds me.
And check out my Instagram here.