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The World’s ‘Poorest’ President, Jose Mujica, Lives In A Shack With $1,800 To His Name

Meet Jose Mujica, the world's poorest president

Time for your morning dose of perspective: Do you think that every nation’s leader takes a great paycheck home to a swanky mansion? Meet Jose Mujica, the world’s “poorest” president who lives in a shack and has just under $2,000 to his name.

Mujica, the president of Uruguay, lives a life that is dramatically different from other politicians across the world, even those world leaders who didn’t build a kingdom on the backs of their citizens are often criticized for lifestyles far loftier than that of their electorates, but Mujica stands in stark contrast from what we’d associate with the title of “President.”

A vegetarian, the 77-year-old Mujica lives on his wife’s tiny farm where the water comes from a well and the laundry hangs outside, reports MSN. Further, he only owns old furniture and drives a 1987 VW Beetle. His farm is guarded by two police officers and Manuela, a three-legged dog.

As stated above, Mujica only has about $1,800 to his name, earning him the title of “world’s poorest president,” but it’s not because Uruguay is in such bad shape. Even Mujica himself isn’t in such bad shape, actually.

You see, the world’s poorest president is just that by choice. BBC reports that Mujica actually turned down the chance to stay at the Uruguayan presidential residence, and donates 90% of his monthly salary (about $12,000) to charity.

To put this in perspective, imagine President Obama turning down residency at the White House in favor of a 1-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Chicago, willingly choosing to “scrape by” just like everyone else.

“I’ve lived like this most of my life,” the world’s poorest president says. “I can live well with what I have.”

Living the way he does by choice helps Mujica keep himself humble, he says.

“I’m called ‘the poorest president’, but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more,” he says. “This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself,” he says.

“I may appear to be an eccentric old man … But this is a free choice.”

What do you think of Jose Mujica, the world’s poorest president?

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23 Responses to “The World’s ‘Poorest’ President, Jose Mujica, Lives In A Shack With $1,800 To His Name”

  1. Jadzia Korzep Shabo

    God Blesses the ones that help the poor and he will be blessed 10 times over.

  2. Denise Lott

    Would any American politician do this, no matter what party? Not likely.

  3. Idania Fraginals

    That is what a leader of a countre should be, conscient of the need of the people and humble enough to live like the ones that elected him. God Bless Mr. Mujica.

  4. Dee Fox

    Approximately three months ago, Frank Taaffe was arrested in Lake Mary, Florida and was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Taaffe has been involved in previous incidents, including several that found their way to court. He faced misdemeanor battery and domestic violence charges in 1997 and 1999, respectively, in incidents involving his ex-wife, Susan.

    Taaffe also faced two separate requests for protective orders, in cases of “repeat violence.” Both were filed in Orange County court in 2008. One of the cases involved Joseph Andrew Amon, who Taaffe said was an acquaintance with whom he got into a “verbal altercation” while “out.” He would not specify where the incident took place, or the details of the encounter. In the second, Taaffe said he got into a verbal altercation “on the phone” with a co-worker, Wesley A. Marsh, who he said then filed a request for a protective order.

    Zimmerman beat his wife and so did Taaffe. They say you are who you hang out with…hmmmmm.