Living Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money

Looking to bypass the money economy? By adopting “possum living,” it is possible to get the good things in life without having to go to a boring, meaningless, frustrating job to get the money to buy them.
By Dolly Freed
May 10, 2010

Why “possum living”? Possums can live most anywhere, even in big cities, and nothing you can do will persuade a possum to work in a factory or office.
ISTOCKPHOTO/DIANE DIEDERICH
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The following is an excerpt from Possum Living: Living Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money by Dolly Freed (Tin House Books, 2010). Originally published in the late 1970s when Freed was 18 years old, Possum Living is part philosophical treatise, part down-to-earth how-to, and provides a no-nonsense approach on how to beat the system and be self-sufficient — right in suburbia. The new, updated edition includes fresh reflections, insights and life lessons from an older and wiser Dolly Freed. This excerpt is from Chapter 1, “We Quit the Rat Race,” and Chapter 4, “We Rassle With Our Consciences.” 

Do you remember the story of Diogenes, the ancient Athenian crackpot? He was the one who gave away all his possessions because “People don’t own possessions, their possessions own them.” He had a drinking cup, but when he saw a child scoop up water by hand, he threw the cup away. To beat the housing crunch, he set up an abandoned wine barrel in a public park and lived in that.

The central theme of Diogenes’ philosophy was that “The gods gave man an easy life, but man has complicated it by itching for luxuries.”

Apparently he lived up to his principles. But despite that handicap, he seems to have had the most interesting social life imaginable. He not only lived in the center of the “Big Apple” of his day (fifth-century B.C. Athens), he also had the esteem and company of many of the most respected, rich and influential citizens, including that of the most expensive prostitute in town.

When Alexander of Macedon, the future conqueror of the known world, was traveling through Greece, he honored Diogenes with a visit.

Alexander admired Diogenes’ ideas to the point of offering him any gift within his means. Diogenes, who was working on his tan at the time, asked as his gift that Alexander move aside a bit so as to shop shading him from the sun. This to the richest and most powerful man in the Western world.

Parting, Alexander remarked, “If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes.” Diogenes went back to nodding in the sunshine.

Diogenes was fair and just to all but refused to recognize the validity of man-made laws. He was a good old boy, one of the first back-to-basics freaks in recorded history. He lived to be more than 90 years old. Alexander, The Mighty Conqueror, drank himself to death at age 33.

Well, this “Saint Diogenes” has been my father’s idol for many years. I remember when I was a little girl, Daddy painted a picture of Diogenes sitting in his barrel tossing away his drinking cup. He wrote “Are You a Diogian?” as a caption and hung it on the living room wall to inspire us.

Mom wasn’t inspired.

At the time, Daddy was a working stiff of the garden variety. Sometimes he made good money and felt like a big shot. Other times he was out of work and scared. Our well-being was at the mercy of fluctuations of the economy in those days, same as it is for millions of other people.

Why should this be? What did Diogenes do — besides live in a barrel — that anyone can’t do today? The economy of his society wasn’t as prosperous as ours, yet he didn’t work and he didn’t starve.

It happens that something of a Diogian life is still possible, because Daddy and I are still living it. Here’s what happened:

After Daddy painted the picture of Diogenes, we initiated austerity measures. Daddy hoped we could get some money in the bank and become more secure and independent.

Mom’s hobby, candlemaking, came in for some scrutiny. We had candles from one end of the house to the other, and the equipment and supplies were beginning to be a financial drain. Rather than give up candlemaking, Mom decided to sell her candles to recoup the money she had spent.

To our complete surprise, she started making really good money at it. In less than three months she was netting more than Daddy was bringing home from the factory. We couldn’t believe it! Unsuspected by all of us, including Mom herself, she turned out to have a flair for craftspersonship and an absolute genius for salespersonship. It was a women’s lib fantasy come true — a mother and housewife suddenly discovering she had the ability to make money on her own. In short order Mom rented a store and opened a regular business. Daddy quit his job at the factory to help run it. Being good with numbers and miserly, he took over the bookkeeping and financial chores. Having no previous experience or knowledge of the principles of business or economics, the two of them just bumbled along, not knowing what they were doing, and evolved their methods using ordinary common sense.

They made a bundle. Moreover, they cooked the living bejezus out of the books and so managed to keep most of it. But we weren’t happy, so after three years we sold the business and our home and moved out to this more rural area. The plan was to have a small shop in our home — just enough to pay the bills — and to relax and enjoy life for a change.

Alas, it wasn’t to be. Mom and Daddy started arguing all the time. About money, of course. When they didn’t have any, they didn’t argue about it — when they did, they did. Mom, having gotten a taste for money and wheeling-and-dealing, found she didn’t want to give it up. No Diogian she. So she took little Carl, my brother, and left. Soon thereafter, she obtained a divorce.

Well, that was four years ago. When the dust had all settled from the divorce, Daddy and I found we had no car, no TV, no appliances, no job, no job prospects, and no income. Without Mom, we couldn’t run the candle business, and Daddy is flat not going back to factory work.

What we did have left was this house, free and clear, and a little money in the bank.

For us emotional types, a divorce can be a very trying experience. Making decisions about one’s future is difficult for some time following. So we haven’t made any. The Old Fool likes to go around saying he can’t decide what he wants to be when he grows up. But truthfully, not having to make decisions is one of the great luxuries of life — right up there with not having to go to work.

We just drift along from day to day. We have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, and we eat and drink well. We have and get the good things of life so easily it seems silly to go to some boring, meaningless, frustrating job to get the money to buy them, yet almost everyone does. “Earning their way in life,” they call it. “Slavery,” I call it.

Sometimes Daddy frets and says we are little better than possums living this way. Possums can live most anywhere, even in big cities. They’re the stupidest of animals, but there were possums on Earth millions of years before men appeared, and here they are — still going strong. Who can say whether we or they will outlast the others in our good green world? They’re all fat and sassy and love life (or so I like to believe), and nothing you can do will persuade one to work in a factory or office. Possum living is what we call our life here now.

So we live like possums? Good! Let us do so even more.

We Rassle With Our Consciences

Let me re-emphasize that we aren’t living this way for ideological reasons, as people sometimes suppose. We aren’t a couple of Thoreaus mooning about on Walden Pond here. (Incidentally, the reason Thoreau quit Walden Pond was that he was lonely — I don’t care what he said. You need the support of a loved one.) No, if some Wishing Fairy were to come along and offer to play Alexander to my Diogenes, I’d pretty quickly strain that Wishing Fairy’s financial reserves. We live this way for a very simple reason: It’s easier to learn to do without some of the things that money can buy than to earn the money to buy them.

There actually are people living somewhat similarly for ideological reasons, though. In fact, there’s a growing cult of this sort of thing going on, as you may know. Unfortunately, many of these people tie in all sorts of outlandish religious, mystic and/or nutritional theories with their possum living and give us all a reputation for weirdness. Many back-to-basics types also buy expensive and unnecessary equipment, clothing and health-nut food (and wind up back in the money economy because of it) and so give us all a reputation for phoniness.

So if you’re thinking spiritual or sociological thoughts, don’t waste your time with me, but if you just want to easy-up your life somewhat, why, then, you’re talking my language! We’ll get that Protestant Work Ethic monkey off your back!

We’re incredibly lazy. You wouldn’t believe it! We have an anarchy here wherein neither has to do anything we don’t feel like doing. (Except to feed the creatures. You can’t neglect animals in your care.) Normally I do the housework and the Old Fool does the garden, the heavy work and the care of the creatures. Not because we have sexist roles, but because the housework bugs him more than it bugs me, and vice versa. If I don’t feel like doing the dishes, say, for a couple of days, I just don’t do them. I often feed the animals if Daddy feels like goofing off, and he often does the dishes. The anarchy works for us because we love each other and don’t abuse it. It amazes me that so many people must either dominate or be dominated, like a bunch of monkeys on Monkey Island at the zoo.

Often my conscience tries to nag me when I’m goofing off, but it doesn’t get very far any more. Daddy says it’s just the same with him. Actually, it’s hard to understand how it is that laziness has fallen into such disrepute in our society. Well, I’m tired of being a Closet Sluggard! I’m lazy and proud of it!

We can afford to be lazy because we satisfy our material needs with little effort and little money. Of course, you know that money doesn’t buy only goods and services; it also buys prestige and status. Being somewhat egocentric, we don’t feel the need to buy prestige or status. The neat trick that Diogenes pulled was to turn the tables on those of his contemporaries who believed that “Life is a game and money is how you keep score.” He didn’t keep score. We don’t keep score. You needn’t keep score either if you don’t want to. It’s entirely up to you.

Money per se isn’t the only status thing involved. Some people make a big machismo deal out of employment itself. You know, mighty-hunter-bring-home-the-bacon stuff. Folks old enough to remember the depression of the 1930s tend to take a very solemn attitude about jobs, and unless you like to argue, it pays to sidestep the issue with them. It doesn’t matter that you’re not on welfare or accepting charity but are earning your own way in life (albeit in an unorthodox manner), the mystique lies with that Holding Down a Job concept. Don’t ask me why.

Sometimes people who secretly resent it that they have to work (or think they do), and we don’t, point out that Daddy has no security for his old age. Daddy always knuckles under and mutters something like, “Gee, you’re right, mutter, mutter,” because it makes them feel better and doesn’t cost him anything, so why not?

Once he was fishing and an old gentleman came along and struck up a conversation. Coming to the conclusion that Daddy couldn’t find work, he started commiserating with him about the “hard times.” Then Daddy made a mistake and let it out that he didn’t want a job. The old boy got himself into a state of righteous indignation because he was retired, and had earned the right to go fishing on weekdays, by 50 years of hard work, and here Daddy was just going ahead doing it. Daddy mollified him by pointing out that he’d be up a creek when he got old, and that thought cheered the old gentleman up to the point of giving Daddy a nice catfish he had caught.

However, what he truthfully thinks is:

  • Sure, you have security, but the slaves on the plantation didn’t starve either.
  • The social security system is an obvious pyramid game and can’t be trusted.
  • There’s really nothing I do now as a young man to live that I won’t be able to do as an old man.
  • It’s unmanly to worry so about the future. Did Caesar worry about his old-age pension when he crossed the Rubicon?
  • Jesus clearly and specifically taught against concern for future security (Matthew 6:25-34). Like it or not, it’s un-Christian to plan for the future.
  • I refuse to spend the first 60 years of my life worrying about the last 20.
  • Dolly will take care of me.

These same resentful people might also bring up that “you aren’t doing your share—you aren’t contributing to society.” While it’s impossible to have too much contempt for this beehive mentality, to avoid an argument you can answer:

  • I am being useful! You can always use me as a Bad Example!
  • While I’m not contributing to economic growth, a dubious good, I’m also not contributing to pollution, a definite evil.

A serious consideration is that of family. I definitely plan to have children, although I’m not sure whether I want to get married or not. I don’t know many people who have been married for any length of time and are happy about it. I suspect the description of the average marriage — “Two animals find each other” — may be correct. Daddy says when I find the man I want to be the father of my children I can just invite him to move in. Why get the State of Pennsylvania involved? It’s none of their business. If he doesn’t want to move in, that’s okay, too — he can visit. By the mores of our society, I should leave here and go live with him, of course, but I don’t see any reason why I should. I like the life I have here. Then, too, I don’t want to leave the Old Fool alone as he approaches the downhill side of life. Don’t suppose I’m sacrificing my happiness to my filial duty, because it’s not that at all — I’m happier than most married women of my acquaintance, at least. Also, I want my children to grow up with their grandfather. The idea of the extended family — the generations living together—appeals to me. The notion of kicking the kids out of the old nest and sticking the old folks into some “retirement village” is part and parcel of industrialized economics, which I also dislike on other grounds. Possum economics allows for everybody to be useful and contribute to the well-being of the family, regardless of age. Young and old alike can, say, feed rabbits or run a still. The idea of genetic immortality — the family going on and on forever — appeals to me. It’s the closest thing I have to a religion.

I’m trying to be fair with you and give you the picture of possum living as it really is. The few things I’ve mentioned that others may fault you on are no big deal — most people have enough to do to run their own lives without concerning themselves with what you are doing with yours. The big deal may be what you say to yourself. The Metaphysician-in-Residence — the little tiny unauthorized voice we all carry around in our heads — is going to chip in its two cents worth, too.

“You know you’re going to die eventually and they’re going to throw you in a hole in the ground and shovel dirt in on top, don’t you? Is that all you want to accomplish in life? To become a lousy possum?” it will sneer at you. “Is that the purpose of life? No! You’ve got to Make It Big,” etc.

Not being a guru, I’m not going to go poking about in any purpose-of-life quagmire swamps with you. But really, what purpose can you find in the life of any human, living or dead, rich or poor, drunk or sober, that you can’t read into a possum’s life? Possum philosophy was actually formed more than 2,000 years ago, and I needn’t go into it further. A good example of it is in the Book of Ecclesiastes, in the Bible.

Now that you have the overall idea — is it for you? Possibly not. It depends on the instincts you were born with and your present family circumstances. For example, my Mom wants no part of “this squalor,” as she puts it. Daddy and I are instinctive possums — we break out in hives in elegant surroundings. Also, you have to trust your instincts. “Philosophize with a hammer,” as Nietzsche advocated, “testing idols to see if they ring true.” Does the money economy ring true for you? Does possum living ring true? It isn’t enough that you know a false idol when you see one; your family must agree with you. If your kid gets the shakes when the TV goes on the blink, forget it. If your spouse gives you the fish-eye look when you mention rabbits in the cellar, forget it. If the thought of quitting your job blows your mind, don’t do it. If it makes you feel good, on the other hand, do it! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!


Reprinted with permission from Possum Living: Living Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money, published by Tin House Books, 2010. 


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Post a comment below.

 

Rebecca
3/13/2013 11:35:49 PM
I love the term "possum living." I am approaching possum living and loving it more each day. Every time I size down, I get happier. I now have 14 acres in Texas almost paid for and 5 acres in New Mexico mountains almost paid for. Mostly a matter now of deciding where I plan to stay, I haven't quite completed a full year in the mountains to be sure I prefer the cold over the heat. Leaning toward cold at the moment. I agree about most of our bills, they are made up. Still, a requirement is to get an inexpensive place paid for... and some locales are much more difficult for owner builders than others.

Carol Stoltenburg
3/13/2013 7:46:12 PM
Ironic how they have a roof over their heads, a place to grow food and call a "home" all because the mother worked and paid for it with money. Unless you want to be homeless on the streets and eating at a soup kitchen each night, it's not possible to have your own little homestead without paying for it (unless you inherit it, I suppose). What about paying the taxes on the land? Does she mention that? I suppose at her age, she's happy to boast about being lazy, but being lazy is not a quality trait in a grown person, nor will her kids appreciate that someday. Of course, she seems really immature and selfish saying that they don't help out anybody else and only look out for themselves. There's absolutely nothing wrong with working the land or having a job you like and working hard and just living simply and non-materialistic. She makes it sound like we're all slaves and she's so free. She has no idea what freedom is.

Geri Modell
3/13/2013 3:59:41 PM
I read this book last year. It's a really fun read, but the most memorable part was the afterward, in which the author (who wrote the book at the amazing age of 19 or so) reflects back as a more "in-the-grid" adult. Really worthwhile, even if - like me - you haven't yet achieved full possum-hood.

Ken Atkins
11/17/2011 11:49:15 PM
A very enjoyable idea and one I am truly interested in [again] . Thank you for putting this article on line, i am inspired by it and want to get your updated version of the book and begin to investigate.. Thank you again, one who has longed to become a possum most of my life

Connie Kuramoto_1
1/22/2011 2:53:28 PM
The philisophical part is easy. How do you pay the rent/mortgage? If that was covered the rest is a piece of cake!!! I have to work to pay the mortgage, so I have to have a car, so I have to buy gas and insurance, so I have to have decent clothes to wear, so I am busy and tired at the end of the day and may not have time to always bake my own bread..etc...the only thing keeping me from this possum lifestyle is having to keep a roof over my head!!!

Phil Brzezinski
8/17/2010 12:30:59 PM
I think it could work for me if I lived in a country with decent health care coverage...I've been unemployed for over 2 years now and was thinking about this book (I first read it in high school)...now if only I had the money for a dirt cheap house (a friend of mine bought a formerly $170K house for $80K last year and got the $8K tax refund for it)

Erich_3
7/31/2010 12:19:28 PM
A very enjoyable read and many thought provoking words of wisdom! Deep down, I too wish to be a Possum; however, in America it is very difficult to live without some money since our entire economy revolves around money. Health insurance and real estate taxes are unavoidable, big expenses. I have several 'possum friends' in Germany who are able to comfortably survive on very little money and still have good, affordable health care for less than a few hundred dollars a month. German's pay no annual real estate tax, but have higher value-added taxes (VAT) based on what you purchase. This discourages consumption and encourages savings! It is easy for some readers to willingly shun health insurance until there is an emergency. My wife recently developed cancer; thus good health insurance is needed! Until America has a well functioning health-care and tax system, we will unfortunately have few possums!!!

David A
6/9/2010 1:27:26 PM
I was somewhat forced into a nearly possum lifestyle with the economic downturn. I love me small place in the country with what I can raise and grow. I agree that society places too much emphasis on money and material things. I do quite well and still help feed a friend or two besides myself -- simple and nutritiously.

Aubrey_1
5/24/2010 10:10:07 AM
Dadafone, While the book was originally published in 1978, it has since been reprinted. The excerpt above is from the 2010 edition of the book, which includes an afterword from Dolly discussing the lessons she's learned since she first wrote the book when she was 18. You can find her blog (and contact her) at the website for the book, possumliving.net.

tony deckard
5/22/2010 12:02:50 PM
dadofone, You are quite mistaken. I have been living this life for years. Keep in mind this article is merely an excerpt from an entire book. It truly is impossible to live in this country without money. However, the amount required can be reduced far below what the culture insists is necessary. If a person wishes to live a life dependent upon someone else to grow their food, heat their home, make their clothes, etc, then that person builds a dangerous dependence on money. When a person decides to take personal responsibility for their "needs," the dependence on money can be drastically reduced. I have trouble convincing the IRS that a person really can live (and live well) on less than what SS pays. What needs to change is people's attitudes.

dadofone
5/21/2010 7:57:53 PM
That MENews should have struck the personal spam of Marie Devine immediately and should not have allowed that comment and anyone who has clicked on the book sale info will see that the book was written decades ago and take it all with a grain of salt. The times they have a changed. You are not going to get away with this BS and will likely be thrown into debtor's prison somehow by buying into this line of cr*p. Not even a contact the author of this article on this web site that I can find, to ask any questions about how did that all work out for you anyhow?

Marie Devine_2
5/21/2010 3:51:16 PM
Since 1995 in September in Israel, I felt God called me out of employment. He provided all my needs. When I returned to the United States, my way was still provided and I share God's will that we "come out from among them." My Divine-Way website shows that we are going the wrong way and destroying our planet and bodies and gives some strategies to send to our leaders of religion and government. If we turned back to living off the land, it would quickly solve all our world problems including pollution to air, land, water and food making us diseased, energy crisis, war, immigration, reoccurring financial crises, inequality, and social welfare programs. We would get back to doing what we are supposed to instead of getting enslaved to employment to pay the government to do it.

Teri Kennedy
5/20/2010 9:22:14 PM
Oh - also... It seems like there are a good number of we "possum people" out there, with little work & little money. Wouldn't it be great if we were to all pitch in together? With my little bit o income & other people's little bit o income, we could surely keep any expenses under control, and truly enjoy the possum life. As I said already, I am and can continue to live out of my RV, but need a place to park it that doesn't take a large chunk of my SSI just to park it on a patch of sand & gravel in a trailer park... yuck. I can only barely afford internet service, but can't afford a phone. So - with the economy the way it is, and many of us on limited incomes, maybe one of you out there has enough land for some of us to "park it", pitch in with expenses and still have a few bucks left over to buy a beer now & then. Speaking for myself, my art-forms included everything from basket-making to painting to welded metal sculpture. I can't paint well anymore, but I can still do some light welding. I also know a bit about building chicken coops & rabbit hutches, raising them, and butchering them. In other words, I can pull my own weight, but don't have the resources to buy a place. Oh, I also miss sitting at a firepit at night. The more the merrier, right? Anyway, if you can figure a way to communicate that doesn't get your message auto-deleted, let's try to get a bunch of us like-minded Possum People together. Teri K. TCKennedy1-at-gmail-com

Teri Kennedy
5/20/2010 9:08:00 PM
I had the possum life thrust upon me, quite unwillingly. In May 2006 a so-called professional surgeon botched a simple surgery, & now I have no feeling in 3 fingers and about 1/2 of the palm of my right hand. Naturally, he got away with it because he could afford the best attorneys. Prior to the surgery I was a full time, self-employed professional artist. I was never rich or famous, but I kept my mortgage & other bills paid, even after my artist-husband's death (and no life insurance) in '99. So for the years since the surgery, I went through all my savings to try & keep the mortgage paid, but lost my home to foreclosure last Jan. just the same. Now I'm living in an '77 Dodge RV, and SSI barely covers my space rent, etc. What I really miss about my home is its location 10 miles outside town, with almost an acre next to a perennial creek. I was really getting into gardening & raising chickens & rabbits for food. Naturally when they foreclosed on me, all my critters were taken away to feed raptors at a wildlife rehab. Even though I was possum living since '06 I WAS working in my garden & raising critters. Now I don't even have that to look forward to every day. It's now been 5 months since I lost my home & I have to say that I don't enjoy being THIS much of a possum. I'd love to relocate if someone out there has a place outside of a town, would like the company of a friend, & has the space for me to plant veggies & raise chickens. Write me: TCKennedy1-at-gmail-com

raebeia
5/19/2010 7:45:54 PM
Finally! Someone who understands that shoes don't have to be worn in summer (unless you are working) and nights don't have to be filled with the sound of HBO! BRAVO! For possums and true believers!

MICHAEL BIRCH
5/14/2010 8:50:49 AM
I have been reading Mother Earth since 1977 and other self sustaining books and magizines.Bravo to this article.It has so much truth to it for those who came from an inviroment not far from this.It has been a life long dream of mine to live such a lifestile.And am simi working to that goal.Sometimes I get too lazy and don't anything done,but thats also life.WORKING TOWARD NOT WORRING ABOUT,BUT LOVEING LIFE! Michael

mishelle
5/13/2010 1:58:27 PM
nice! i am impressed. this article and this lifestyle takes balls. i thought i had balls, now i know i have someone to live up to!

Fran_8
5/13/2010 10:02:36 AM
This was a good read! I am amazed though at all the comments from people worrying about health insurance. I guess the programing and propaganda has worked from the insurance companies. Lest you all forget there was a time when there was not health insurance just a community doctor and people lived to ripe old ages! Yes, we had issues with disease and sickness, but that was before we new about proper sanitation. I would even go out on limb and say people were healthier than they are today. We have so much dead food and people are dieing from starvation! Ask yourself what are you really working for? Who's peace of mind? Who are you really supporting? We are programed to believe we need this or that! Is it really necessary to pay for water? Does it not rain? The sun is free for all to use! Do we need to pay for electricity or have we just been sold a bill of goods? Once people realize the lie they are living they would want to be free to!!!!!!

Sandra _1
5/12/2010 10:20:11 PM
Bravo! Well said. Kudos to a very, very intelligent, well-read person. We couldn't have said it better.

Diane_51
5/12/2010 7:01:07 PM
Another valid point that was not mentioned in this article: These two people are not working. This leaves two potential jobs available for others who want or need them. If others embraced this philosophy it could help the economy. Perhaps a family that currently lives on two incomes could get by on one? That leaves one job open for someone else.

CARMEN ORTIZ
5/12/2010 4:06:17 PM
I really enjoyed reading this article. I now have a name for what I do. I haven't work full time since 1999, part-time is streching it. Currently, I don't work unless you call selling some plants and soap at the farmer's market work. I did start SS at 62, it's not a lot but it cover my house, utilities, insurances (car and house) and some extras. I am lazy, except in the garden. It makes me angry that some 'intelligent' person like freedomlover always brings up paying for my health care. Buddy or budette you DO NOT pay for my health care. I've spent a few hundred dollars in the last eleven years, all paid from my savings, because I don't believe in the so-called medical system and I rarely get sick. If I do get really sick, I have no intention of taking poisons to extend my life. My daughter knows it and she agrees. I don't want health insurance just so I end up subsidizing people like you.

Dawn Pfahl
5/12/2010 3:21:25 PM
Who said anything about neighbors paying for my health care? And even if they did, is that somehow corrupting their freedom to choose, or asking more of them than is already asked? They can become possums just as easily, or take my offers of help in return for some cash now and then. Some of them I'm sure wouldn't mind one bit helping out a neighbor. It's the ones that get their britches in a bunch over "civilized" means of doing things that will complain (and they'll always complain about something, because that's their nature), and from those people I wouldn't beg a penny, let alone payment for a medical bill. Besides, I'll gladly share half this year's canned goods for a proper dental cleaning and re-filling of my cavities. For braces, maybe I'd offer assistant secretary work for a few years. I'm not above paying my own bills, if my care provider isn't above accepting alternative payments!

FreedomLover
5/12/2010 1:35:28 PM
Lorna - That's not very compassionate of you to want to be free from slavery by enslaving your neighbors to work to pay for your "free" health care. It seems to me you should hope your neighbors could also free themselves rather than to be your slaves. Indeed, that flies in the face of your professed concern for liberty.

John_182
5/12/2010 12:42:03 PM
I love this idea, I have been preaching this for many years now. Alas I am currently a slave to a big business that does not care about me or the customers I have to constantly apologize to. My goal is to eventually have 20 acres or so to "retire" to. The idea of having a garden to tend and animals to care for touches something deep in my soul. Checked the library for this book and they do not have it, Perhaps a little to seditious for Colorado Springs.

Lorna_1
5/12/2010 11:52:48 AM
To Kathryn: AMEN! If the US had a viable single-payer health care system I'm sure we would be amazed at the number of happy healthy Americans working at (or not working so hard at) jobs that they loved and living a life worth living. But when you have children and no health care you become a slave to some other person who can offer it to you. My husband and I want to work, but doing work we enjoy that allows us to spend time with our children. Right now it just isn't an option. Too bad I was born in America--Canada or Sweden or Finland or France or (you get it) might have made all the difference in the world. (To those pro-Americans: yes, we have it so much better than millions, if not billions, of people around the world, and I'm fortunate that I was born in America and not "there;" however, there are countries who value the life, liberty, happiness AND health of their citizens far more than the US does of its own.) Fingers crossed that meaningful change comes within the near future.

Kathryn_13
5/12/2010 11:27:31 AM
Husband and I are partially possum. Neither work, and neither really care to find a job. We accumulated enough in our earlier life to live off the income of assets EXCEPT for health insurance: even catastrophic is way out of reach. What do possums do for health care? For the most part I don't need doctors' expertise but accidents happen... And don't we all know of someone who does all the right things with regard to health but none-the-less succumbs to cancer or heart failure?. Do possums just have to go to the woods and die? Only I have a 9 and 16 year old. We used to live in England and this just wasn't an issue, but since moving here I find it a worry.

Doug Smith
5/12/2010 10:34:53 AM
Well it seems as though you are referring to the way we once used to live. If you go to Pennsylvania you will find a whole culture that refuses to live the "American" way. I for one do not live the possum life, but I do live on little and still enjoy some luxuries, this appeases everyone and promoted harmony in our family. It is not always easy as my spouse really wants this huge house and large lot (for status reasons I believe). For me I love living out of our travel trailer (1973 Argosy mostly rebuilt). Don't get me wrong I do enjoy our house, but I am not sure the true cost is really worth it. I do love my job and will most likely not stop working, but I am not enslaved to it and would be just as happy not working. I really could go on forever, but you guys are living the "old" way not the wrong way. I would be you even work harder that most folks that have jobs and you are probably a healthy weight too. Funny how when you live right you "live" right huh?

Jack Fisher_1
5/12/2010 10:18:04 AM
I realy enjoy the read. I am currently barely working. A job that I love so it's not really work. Looking forward to being a possum.

Jack Fisher_2
5/12/2010 10:17:38 AM
I realy enjoy the read. I am currently barely working. A job that I love so it's not really work. Looking forward to being a possum.

Sam_34
5/12/2010 9:21:55 AM
I'm 60 years old and I have just enough money to set up my possum heaven. I appreciate this pholosophy Sam








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