Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Don't knock it; It's more comfortable than you'd suppose.

This is my friend Bob who owns a travel trailer but prefers to live in this truck. Here's the interior--mostly self explanatory, but notice the battery, forward right, that powers his lights, radio, TV and vent. The solar panel and truck engine keep it charged. His potty is rear left. He wanders the West camping almost anywhere he chooses. The "lightweight lifestyle" is free and easy compared with the complications of trailer living.

Bob is permanently disabled and receives $620 a month from California. He could not manage if he had to pay rent. He told me a little known "secret" about Ca. compensation: it pays an additional $300 a month if the recipient has no stove.

Some are outraged that taxpayers should give a free livelihood to the mentally and physically disabled. But I think that if we're going to take care of them, this is the cheapest option--give them enough to live on their own. Think what it would cost to institutionalize them: (minimum $2500 a month) Some rage at the Reagan policy of deinstitutionalizing thousands of marginally functional people but I think, with some exceptions, it was a great idea. It's a better life out here in the forest. Institutions treat people as infants and they grow infantile. The forest challenges them and they respond adaptively.


Anonymous said...

I don't envy him "living" in a vehicle where he can't even stand up. His rig would only be a weekend camper for me. Glad it works for him.

bushrod said...

Explorer, If you ever spent a night under the bridge, or in a foxhole, that truck space would look pretty good.
It is a "sufficiency".
The curious part to me, is how much people resent a disabled, or a retiree (what's the difference?), getting public money.
We need to see wealth is created en masse. By that, I mean somebody that has a couple of acres of land, not much as land holdings go, but which just happens to be in downtown Dallas...makes him/her very wealthy.
The location, the people around the location, make it valuable and some of us say, we have some rights to the profits.
So money, and who earns it, is a very "up in the air" concept; and nobody doubts money is important.

Randy said...

Randy responds:
Thanks Bushrod--I feel instructed on two counts.
1. SUFFICIENCY what a beautiful word. Worthy of becoming the green movement rallying cry.
2. WEALTH IS CREATED EN MASSE. (and therefore should--to some extent--be redistributed) Just how much is what separates Democrats and Republicans.

Is there a Republican on earth who agrees with 1 and 2?

Anonymous said...

Randy, glad to see you're still codgering. Life seems to be treating you well.

Paul said...

At your urging, I am reading Walden and love the simplicity he achieved. The use of autos and trucks for a place to live when there are no other available space makes a lot of sense.

There is still mobility and a place to be out of the wind and rain. Reminds me of "Hobo's Lullaby" by Woody Guthrie.