Tuesday, 2 September 2008
ENGAGING A TRUCK DWELLER
Don't knock it; It's more comfortable than you'd suppose.
This is my friend Bob who owns a travel trailer but prefers to live in this truck. Here's the interior--mostly self explanatory, but notice the battery, forward right, that powers his lights, radio, TV and vent. The solar panel and truck engine keep it charged. His potty is rear left. He wanders the West camping almost anywhere he chooses. The "lightweight lifestyle" is free and easy compared with the complications of trailer living.
Bob is permanently disabled and receives $620 a month from California. He could not manage if he had to pay rent. He told me a little known "secret" about Ca. compensation: it pays an additional $300 a month if the recipient has no stove.
Some are outraged that taxpayers should give a free livelihood to the mentally and physically disabled. But I think that if we're going to take care of them, this is the cheapest option--give them enough to live on their own. Think what it would cost to institutionalize them: (minimum $2500 a month) Some rage at the Reagan policy of deinstitutionalizing thousands of marginally functional people but I think, with some exceptions, it was a great idea. It's a better life out here in the forest. Institutions treat people as infants and they grow infantile. The forest challenges them and they respond adaptively.