Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money

I followed a fortunate link a couple of days back and found myself at a hypertext version of the book Possum Living: How to live well without a job and with (almost) no money. Dolly Freed was 19 when she wrote the book, based on her and her father’s experiences living on the cheap. It’s some unusually wise reasoning on the front-end, and some good practical advice on ways to make ends meet on the other.

We can afford to be lazy because we satisfy our material needs with little effort and little money. Of course, you know that money doesn’t buy only goods and services, it also buys prestige and status. Being somewhat egocentric, we don’t feel the need to buy prestige or status. The neat trick that Diogenes pulled was to turn the tables on those of his contemporaries who believed that “Life is a game and money is how you keep score.” He didn’t keep score. We don’t keep score. You needn’t keep score either if you don’t want to. It’s entirely up to you.

’s tax resistance history lesson:

English Authoress Takes This Method of Promoting the Cause.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

Miss Beatrice Harraden, the author of “Ships that Pass in the Night,” has refused to pay her income tax, on the ground that “taxation without representation is tyranny.” After receiving the usual demands for payment, Miss Harraden was finally called on by a bailiff, who seized a clock to be sold to recover the money. The sale took place on , at a public auction room. Many suffragettes were present, and banners with the motto “No Vote, No Tax” were prominently displayed. Miss Harraden made a speech in the auction room, stating her reasons as follows:

“I have refused to pay my income tax (1) because it is obviously unfair that a woman who earns her livelihood by the direct use of her brain should be called upon to pay the tax on her earnings and yet be denied any voice in the choice of representatives to Parliament, whose salaries she helps to pay by the direct use of her brain.

“(2) Because I consider that women should now use every opportunity in their power to protest against a Government which has persistently ignored, deceived, and tricked the constitutional suffragists working quietly for the enfranchisement of women, and has goaded the militant suffragists into crimes and deeds of disorder which would never have been committed but for the coercion of seven years of mismanagement and injustice.

“(3) Because I wish to protest against forcible feeding — now universally pronounced to be torture — and against the new ‘cat and mouse’ bill for dealing with hunger strikers. I protest against it as an emanation from a cruel brain and as an ignoble piece of legislation which is a dishonor to England.”

Treasurer Women’s Tax Resistance League
London, England, .

Here’s another picture showing more of the posters promoting war tax resistance that have been appearing around town in San Francisco.