“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, who is poor.” — a quote from Roman court-philosopher Seneca, and passed along in a 1.4 N.Y. Times article by 77 year-old Uruguyan president Jose Mujica, who has shunned the trappings of power to live an austere, bare-bones life in a run-down home in the outskirts of Montevideo.
Mujica’s net worth upon taking office in 2010 amounted to about $1,800 — the value of the 1987 Volkswagen Beetle parked in his garage,” writes Times correspondent Simon Romero. “He never wears a tie and donates about 90 percent of his salary, largely to a program for expanding housing for the poor.
“His current brand of low-key radicalism — a marked shift from his days wielding weapons in an effort to overthrow the government — exemplifies Uruguay’s emergence as arguably Latin America’s most socially liberal country.
“Under Mr. Mujica, who took office in 2010, Uruguay has drawn attention for seeking to legalize marijuana and same-sex marriage, while also enacting one of the region’s most sweeping abortion rights laws and sharply boosting the use of renewable energy sources like wind and biomass.”