That’s a John Lennon lyric from his famous song, Imagine.  I hate that song.  I know I’m kind of out of the mainstream on that.  Lot’s of people seem to love the song and sentiment.  Some of it’s OK.  I like peace.  But all the Marxist claptrap about no money and no possessions, well, if you can’t say something nice…

So, why am I trashing a song by a dead Beatle?  Well I saw this article about a woman in Germany who gave up money back in the 90’s.  Hasn’t spent a cent since.  She barters and trades and sleeps on people’s couches.  She likes it, apparently.  Why not?  She’s living off the generosity of others.  Someone made a movie about her and they used that John Lennon lyric to market the video.  Ironic, eh?  Someone making money-making a film about a woman who has given up money.

It all sounds wonderful and I almost wrote a post about the woman.   I mean, talk about frugality!  Then I watched the video.  She lives in Germany where social programs abound.  She travels because people offer her free tickets and places to stay because she is kind of famous.  Then the woman goes on and on about how the system doesn’t work and everyone knows it.

Huh?  The system is the reason that woman can do what she does.  If she wasn’t getting people who work for money buying her way through life, she couldn’t do what she was doing.  Sure she could probably live without using money, bartering for the basics, but who pays when she gets sick?  Who pays when she gets too old to live on her own?  I’m guessing the German tax payers do.

She travels and has a great time by relying on others to pay the bill.  She lives this great life at the expense of the system she says in broken.  She may not use money, but she is far from financially independent.  The system she eschews is allowing millions to work, earn money and become financially independent.  Free from toil, free from bosses and supervisors and free to do what they want when they want.

Oh yeah, that’s horrible.  But not only do millions of us become financially independent at some point during out lives, we support millions of others like that grandma from Germany.  People that occupy Wall Street and complain everything isn’t handed to them on a silver platter.  Sure this system isn’t perfect, but it has created more wealth and prosperity for more people than at any point in human history.

There is no utopia.  There will never be a world without possessions or money.  Mainly because the people who want such a thing don’t understand that if no one works, innovates, dreams and takes risks, no one will have anything.  They want to take, but their utopia means there will be no one to take it from.  I celebrate our system.  It ain’t perfect, but it has allowed me and millions, heck tens or even hundreds of millions, to become financially independent and experience true, unadulterated freedom.  I’ll take that over some utopian version of serfdom any day.

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