Next Avenue: Want to save time and money, and enjoy a richer life without sacrifice? Here’s a simple answer.

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from In 1967, I wrote a letter to then-President Lyndon B. Johnson. I was excited about his “War on Poverty” program — but some goings-on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue didn’t sit well with me.

His wife, known by her nickname “Lady Bird,” was in the process of buying china for the White House — to the tune of $80,000 (equivalent to more than $700,000 today). How could the country take LBJ’s poverty reduction rhetoric seriously when he was spending that kind of money on, you know, dishes? I asked the president to rethink the purchase of the Tiffany table settings — but I didn’t stop there. (I was 13 and bursting with hubris.) I encouraged him to drive a (fuel-efficient, low-cost) Volkswagen Beetle and suggested that the first lady could sew and mend his clothing (where was my budding feminism?). I think I also mentioned renting out the Lincoln Bedroom. Fast forward more than half a century. I am still, at heart, that young girl who believed a simple lifestyle can make a difference. Along the way, I discovered that this practice — “living simply that others may simply live,” according to Gandhi — had a name. It’s called voluntary simplicity.What is voluntary simplicity? The social philosopher Richard Gregg coined the term “voluntary …

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