Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You Quit Money, but Not Technology

The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen

Summary: In 2000, Daniel Suelo left his life savings—all thirty dollars of it—in a phone booth. He has been living without money—and with a newfound sense of freedom and security—ever since.

The Man Who Quit Money is an account of how one man learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a single cent. Suelo doesn't pay taxes, or accept food stamps or welfare. He lives in caves in the Utah canyonlands, forages wild foods and gourmet discards. He no longer even carries an I.D. Yet he manages to amply fulfill not only the basic human needs-for shelter, food, and warmth-but, to an enviable degree, the universal desires for companionship, purpose, and spiritual engagement. In retracing the surprising path and guiding philosophy that led Suelo into this way of life, Sundeen raises provocative and riveting questions about our relationships with money and the decisions we all make, by default or by design—about how we live and how we might live better.

Review: An interesting story of a man who quit money along the adventures of his life marred by the narrator. 

Quitting money is certainly a great idea and I bet some of us wish they could quit money or at least not have to worry about it so much. Unfortunately, the way our society is set up does not allow people to quit money. People have debt, people spend beyond their means, people live paycheck to paycheck, people need to dip into their savings to pay for emergencies, and so forth. I honestly don't have a problem with money although I do agree that a lot about our current system of capitalism needs to be changed. 

I am sure Daniel is a fine person, but the narrator made him seem like a holier than thou man. I didn't agree with some of Daniel's views. An example is that he won't barter with other people yet will accept charity. Daniel has to accept a lot of charity to get by. I don't see how he is any better or worse than a person that depends on paid charity (Medicare, Medicad, Welfare, food stamps, etc). Perhaps it's an ideal, but I feel that someone who quits money should be able to self sufficient to provide for themselves and barter for what they need and don't have. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy biographies about people trying to live a different way of life than most Americans. 

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