World's "poorest president" gives 90% of his salary to charities

Dec 18, 2013 12:00 AM

In a world often caught up in brand names and an obsession for luxurious excess, you'd think that a man earning approximately 12,500 U.S. dollars per month would be in his glory. Such a man does exist, yet he's not emerging from imported cars while wearing tailored suits as he talks about his elaborate vacation. Instead, he favors a 1987 Volkswagen, lives in a one-bedroom farmhouse with his wife, owns a three-legged dog and enjoys donating about 90% of his hefty salary to local charities. Rather than live in the three-story palace that is rightfully his, he prefers it to be used as a homeless shelter.

Oh, and he's also the president of Uruguay, where the government establishes set pricing for essentials, such as certain foods, and also gives free education and computers to all children.

About Jose Mujica, president of "an island of refugees in a world of crazy people"

Jose Mujica, dubbed the "world's poorest president" for his significant contributions to the needy, considers himself anything but. "I'm not the poorest president. The poorest is the one who needs a lot to live," he said.

Mujica knows about hard times. He was once a member of a guerrilla "Robin Hood" group, known for its robberies and giving stolen food to the poor. He was shot a half dozen times and has spent almost 15 years behind bars. But since becoming the president of Uruguay in 2010, he's won people over worldwide.

These days, he's applauded for highly sensible thoughts and actions in a world that tends to embrace just the opposite. In fact, he refers to Uruguay as "an island of refugees in a world of crazy people." His low-key lifestyle, environmental efforts and charitable tendencies invigorate him and the people. Adding to his popularity is the fact that, under his leadership, cannabis has been legalized in Uruguay.

A president "opposed to waste - of energy, or resources, or time"

Regarding the environment, he says, "I am trying to expand consumption but to diminish unnecessary consumption" adding that he is "opposed to waste - of energy, or resources, or time. We need to build things that last. That's an ideal, but it may not be realistic because we live in an age of accumulation."

He draws parallels to ways of living, wealth and the environment, saying, "We can almost recycle everything now. If we lived within our means, by being prudent, the 7 billion people in the world could have everything they needed. Global politics should be moving in that direction," he said. "But we think as people and countries, not as a species."

In a world of greed and corruption, he may be on to something big. In other parts of the world, ahem, presidents are known for lavish, lengthy family vacations costing upwards of $8 million, in addition to the cost of reserving nearly 100 rooms (at several hundred dollars a pop) for Secret Service.

After reading stories about Mujica online, Elsa Lopez of Chandler, Arizona, said it best in the "comments" section. "Can we get this guy to rule the U.S.?" Lopez asks. In response, another reader replied more enthusiastically, saying, "Can we get this guy to rule the world?"

Alexander's Commentary

Change of face - change of phase

In the period of July 20 till August 3, 2015, Alexander will be out of the office and the site will not or only irreg

read more ...
« September 2019 »
September
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30

Register to announce Your Event

View All Events