Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Meet David--the king of Frugality
He and his faithful coc-a-too live in this vehicle.
 The bird is as free as the man---allowed to fly wherever it wishes---but comes back often to its favorite perch.
 I strike up an acquaintance and we begin walking and talking daily.
 Leaving day and I ask for a formal interview.  He agrees.  Here's what I learned:
He is a college graduate---age 54---an engineer---worked a number of years as a draftsman.  Job expired---couldn't find another---began living in his car to avoid rent---has lived this way for several years---has come to like it.
Enjoys the game of frugality---says he could live on $150 a month if necessary.  He gets $200 a month from the government for food---that is more than enough---he could feed himself and bird on $100 if spent well.  Visits food co-ops and other organizations selling damaged and expired goods at bargain prices. 
Spends about $100 a month for gas---has now saved up $700 for emergencies.
Is happy and healthy (says about 7 on a scale of 10)---has a tiny internet business selling one of his inventions on e-bay----nets about $150 a month.
Feels passionately about freedom, efficiency, invention---takes Mcguiver as a role model----hopes to upgrade his living arrangements to a van---leans politically right--is biblically religious---describes himself as eccentric without being weird.
I enjoyed his company on long walks---was often startled when his avian companion
would whoosh upon us---settling on his shoulder.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Here is a man quietly and efficiently making his way in the world.  He has shaped a life for himself---enjoys freedom and does not suffer anxiety about tomorrow.   He travels the LOW ROAD with easy grace.
AND YOU COULD TOO!! This very day millions of you could be free---on the low road---wake up when you wish and fill your day with adventures.  The Low Road awaits all with the courage to travel it.  (as Walt Whitman says) "it is not far---it is within reach---perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know---perhaps it is everywhere--on water and on land.   Shoulder your duds and I will mine and let us hasten forth----wonderful cities and free nations shall we fetch as we go---for after we start, we never lie by again" (Song of the Open Road)


Anonymous said...

Wow! Beautiful, Randy.

Just what I needed.

Thanks for the inspriation.

Keep up the good work.

I hope to meet you in person one day.


dr.dave said...

Good post, I am not sure where he sleeps in that Geo Tracker though...on a related note:

Interesting article in the NY times today about a proposal in Switzerland give everyone, rich, poor, whatever, a minimum income, say 10k a year. Do away with welfare, HUD, all of it. Some on the left and right believe this would end poverty, free people up to be creative, and force business like Wal Mart and McDonalds to pay a living wage, as workers would be like, f-you, I'm gonna go work somewhere else. Some no doubt would slack off. I think its a very interesting concept.


Nancy1340 said...

He's 54 and healthy?
Why does he get $200 a month from us?

I didn't finish the 10 grade. My own fault.
I bartended for 15 years then cleaned houses for 28 years and not one time in all those years did I get a check from Uncle Sugar.

dr.dave said...

@ Nancy1340 The 300 wealthiest Americans control the same amount of money as the poorest 85 million Americans. And those 300 people are the largest recipients of government "welfare", in the form of massive agricultural subsidies, wall street bailouts, war financing and debt servicing etc.

Let that thought detonate in your brain, then direct any anger you may have at them, not at a dude who lives in a Geo tracker with a cute bird.

Randy said...

Well said Dr. Dave--both times.
Re: sleeping in the Tracker--he apparently has engineered a full length bed---it can be done if you remove the unnecessary seats.

Nancy: I urge you to google Mondragon and read how this 4th largest industry in Spain is dealing a deathblow to conventional Capitalism---taking the greed out of it.
As national wealth increases we can increasingly afford a dole---a living allotment for just being alive---removing the stress and desperation so rampant in America.
It need not be so extravagant as to disincentivize--let's say 4 to 600 dollars a month. This is a reasonable response to a shortage of jobs.

Edd Ernest said...

dr. dave
Two wrongs don't make a right.

Anonymous said...

@ Nancy1340
you can not have a reasoned discussion with "progressives" [read marxists] like dr.dave. They like any stupid gubbermint nanny handouts, redistribution, cops, etc as long as they are mandatory and they control the mandate. As soon as they run out of other peoples money ™, it's over. The fat lady is taking a deep breath as we read.

Obamacare implodes now, hee, the liar in chief is unmasked, as proceeds as predicted. Next we get the army in Best Buy to enforce "fairness"....

Anonymous said...

I wonder where this money we are going to give to everybody is coming from..... My guess is it will come from people that actually work and contribute something..... Just saying

Anonymous said...

The money ? Right now they are printing 40-45 cents of every dollar of it. Then they buy the debt with more printed money to keep the interest rate low enough so they don't go broke.

Simple answer equals a ponzi scheme appropriate for a liar-in-chief.

If dr.dave were really concerned about the 'fat=cats', he would notice that most are crony-capitalist with their snouts so far up obama's butt they are covered in & smell like crap.

dr.dave said...

@Anonymous- While I have no desire to turn Randy's excellent and vital blog into a flame war I should point out that the very POINT of this blog is becoming anti-consumerist, anti-wage slave, anti-house slave, anti-wife slave. Nothing in my years of reading it suggests Randy encourages people to bartend for 15 years, then clean houses for 28 so they can THEN retire and only complain about the government full time before they die in a medicare funded nursing home. I am sure those blogs exist, and perhaps you would be happier there.

For the record I am no Marxist, having grown up in a hippie commune in the seventies that might as well have been a small communist state. I will however admit to being something of a progressive, as in: I accept that the central idea of human progress is a decent life for all, not just the 300 wealthiest Americans,Canadians,Russians,

The economic realities of 2013, not to mention the very existence of this blog destroy your argument (unspoken but assumed) that unrestrained free market capitalism is the solution to all mankinds woes. To this end take McDonalds, which has 5.5 billion dollars in profit this year but also refuses pay its employees a living wage. Instead its "McResources" department pushes them to the very government handouts you so despise. Or take Boeing, who employ an army of lobbyists and lawyers to squeeze every last penny it can out of both the State of Washington and the very workers who slave away to build their products. In any Universe, this is simply not right. Unrestrained captialism is the very strange idea that the nastiest of people, for the nastiest of reasons will somehow find a way to benefit society, to paraphrase Keynes.

Part of the reason social conservatives ALSO like the idea of a minimum income is they can then abolish the hated bureaucracy of the beast. To answer your question since you obviously did not read the nytimes article, some of the money needed to fund such a program could be found by ending welfare completely, abolishing HUD, DEA and EPA, and slashing the defense budget. After all the Department of Defense is in many ways just a large taxpayer funded jobs program for the non college bound youth of America, with socialized healthcare/family welfare thrown in too.14 aircraft carrier battle groups? How about one for every ocean, one in reserve and call it good. 100,000 Marines? How about 25,000 lean mean killing machines and give them equipment that actually works. Just some ideas from the liberal fringe.

Marxism (and my parents hippie commune) were rightly thrown on the ash heap of history at the end of the cold war.History however shows again and again (the Peasants revolt of 1390, the French revolution, 1917) you can only keep the people down for so long before they WILL rise up and chop some heads off. And despite your Fox News/Rush Limbaugh inspired doublespeak we all know which party the 300 own, and its not the Democrats, who are spineless, bastards in my opinion. America desperately needs a third party, or maybe even a fourth party, one that will actually stand up to the plutocrats, before its too late and the heads are rolling.

Anonymous said...


You might want to check on the definition of Marxism again. You are a marxist who doesn't even know it. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

Discussion with marxist is futile, so signing off now.

Call me John Galt, a Jacksonian Libertarian The truth is your worst nightmare.

Randy said...

Nancy/John Galt: Please consider that there is a workable middle ground between unrestrained capitalism and Marxism. Click here and read about this imaginative/progressive alternative---that is succeeding in the real world---without destroying it: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/alternative-capitalism-mondragon

Anonymous said...

The guy with the parrot is a low level mooch. He's taking the low road all right. The loser road.

Let's call a spade a spade. Just because he costs us taxpayers less than the typical phony social security disability person doesn't make what he is doing okay. At least fast food workers are doing something useful. This guy just sits around with a parrot, contributes nothing to no one, and feels more or less happy about his situation.

Signed , Jackson

sail4free said...

I've long been puzzled how those who have the biggest issue with anyone who is getting "something for nothing" are invariably those who are just barely above them socially/economically. It's as if they intuitively fear "there but for the grace of Cod go I".
Our government spends money on a thousand things I take more issue with than food stamps. Any country which can afford three billion dollars a day on death and destruction, Homeland Security, etc. can e-a-s-i-l-y afford to give any citizen who needs it or wants it $200 bucks a month. This guy ain't hurtin' nobody -- has already paid more than his fair share of taxes -- and I'm inspired to the extent he proves ANYONE can do this withOUT working themselves to an early grave.

Anonymous said...

"some of the money needed to fund such a program could be found by ending welfare completely, abolishing HUD, DEA and EPA, and slashing the defense budget."

You do not create money to give away by ending programs. Government must take wealth from someone in order to give it away..... Just saying

jonthebru said...

Wow, this is the first time I have witnessed this blog and I really appreciate the discussion. I am with dr dave on this one. The guy being given $200 a month and succeeding on living within that amount should be applauded. Never forget that we, the taxpayers of America, gave "bailout" money to "to big to fail" banks who then gave that money as bonuses to their higher management. As a long standing taxpayer I approve of this guy getting $200 a month and in fact would approve of single payer medical for all and a guaranteed wage for all!

Anonymous said...


You really have to understand the guy Dave is really Randy's long lost son. Randys religion is telling folks that they only need to work 5 years & then win their freedom from work for the next 75 years, like he claims he did. Randy believes people should spend their life in leisure boon docking in the dessert , I'm not sure who builds the roads, schools & infrastructure , pays the taxes - maybe factory robots. Randy does not explain that ? In our world people work till 70 and most are dead brok living on SS

Really there is a perfect island where all are equal, no one works, pays taxes, it's Randy dream land, it has everything he wants - its called CUBA :-)