I appreciate the criticism even if the outrage is a little excessive. I want to start out by saying that I am not dependent on family for any expenses and contribute my fair share in any ongoing bills/rent.
If you could expand on the point where you state that living without emergency funds being totally valid if you are already financially independent, it would be a great conversation starter. I don't understand why you are suddenly changing your mind for people who are financially independent. This seems hypocritical.
Sure Mr. Money Mustache can use a HELOC to cover emergency expenses but many homeowners who are not financially independent could do the exact same. Younger people might have less home equity but they might also have less expenses.
Another point you make is that withdrawing your from your investments to cover an emergency could decimate your returns. This is true regardless if you have $1 or $10 million invested. Do you think that being financially free makes you invulnerable to volatility? The point I was hoping to make is that everyone has a different risk tolerance. Emergency funds are great for a lot of people to help them destress and not worry 24/7. Some others might value seeking greater returns over having an emergency fund.
You also make a big point of the S&P returning anywhere between 29.6% and -38.49%. I make no argument as there's always a lot of volatility in the equities market. The irrefutable fact is that the average returns are still between 6-15%. I don't believe stating facts is disingenuous nor irresponsible. I believe individuals that do not understand the risks of volatility should not be invested at all.
It's ok to be a more defensive investor and in your case, it seems that it might help keep your fears at bay.
As you stated, it might be common for people to spend 18 months or more searching for work but I have made the concious choice to keep my money in the market rather than have 18+ months of expenses lying around in a high interest savings account.