"I'm called 'the poorest president', but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more," he says."This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself," he says."I may appear to be an eccentric old man... But this is a free choice."That was the President of Uruguay, "who lives on a ramshackle farm and gives away most of his pay."
I took an international group of visitors to the Bank of Canada's Currency Museum this morning, and we had guided, hour-long tours. The tour guide for my group paused at the exhibition of early Canadian currency to explain that the native people of Canada didn't consider the accumulation of wealth (i.e. capitalism) a very good idea. What was better, in their view, was to give their possessions away to the representatives of neighbouring tribes, typically at potlatch ceremonies. In that way they may have lacked a few necessities for a while, but they became immensely rich in friends.