Extreme Lifestyles (Back to the Land Edition)

Thursday at dinner a friend told me about a person he knows who was once an electrical engineer working at one of the government research labs. At some point in the 1980s, this person realized that the US government was supplying the military technology that he was developing to both sides of the Iran/Iraq war. This profiteering from both sides of a war was unconscionable — it was pretty far from “defense” — and he quit his job to live in the country. Today, he lives on $5,000 per year. He has a very large vegetable garden, a root cellar, an old car, and a small shack of a house, with lots of library books to read. This highly-educated engineer, happier than he’s ever been in his life, is not choosing whether to shop at JC Penny’s or Neiman Marcus — he’s choosing not to shop at all.
Not necessarily a trend, but something to consider. Along the lines of “The best things in life aren’t things;” or “More fun, less stuff.” Slogans that have a ring of truth, even if we can’t personally “afford” take such an extreme position.