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The Poor President


There's an article in today's BBC News Magazine about Jose Mujica, President of Uruguay. Apparently his is a lifestyle not often found among politicians. He lives on a ramshackle farm off a dirt road outside the capital, Montevideo, and gives away most of his money. Laundry is strung outside the house, the water comes from a well in a yard, and he and his wife work the land themselves, growing flowers. He drives a 1987 VW Beetle. Only two police officers keep watch outside.

"I can live well with what I have," he says,  "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." 

"Does this planet have enough resources so seven or eight billion can have the same level of consumption and waste that today is seen in rich societies? It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet."

"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." 
But this does not stop him from being criticised for how the government is doing!


If you’re reading this, the highest probability is that you are living in the western world, above the poverty line, in a democratic environment.
Your heart may be broken, you may not have enough money to get to the end of the week, you may be fighting for your life.
But by many accounts – you are extremely fortunate.
By many accounts, you and I have every advantage to be happy, healthy, and deeply fulfilled.
Thank you for your contribution. I wish you well.
My pleasure:)
He sounds admirable, and I wish more leaders would take this attitude, but that doesn't mean he can't be criticised.

His personal character and attitudes don't mean that everything he does in every sphere of influence is right.
Exactly. To his constituents, his personal life really ought not to be as important as the manner in which he governs.
I've been doing a bit of an adfest today! Do you mind if I add you?
Add away!
I guess even with the admirable lifestyle and philosophy a politician is still a politician! :o)