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Old 11-13-2012, 12:23   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 540
Originally Posted by mac66 View Post
On paper I mean.

I ran across an old high school friend (I've been out of high school for 40 years BTW). We got talking about people we knew. He said one of the guys we hung around with had completely dropped out of society. His younger sister was friends with the guy's sister. The dropouts sister was telling her that she visited her brother recently. Apparently after getting out of college and working for about 10 years, he said "screw this" and dropped out.

The guys lives on a small piece of land that he doesn't own in the SW, basically a squater. He has no driver's license or any type of government ID. He tore up his social security card, pays no income tax, gets no government assistance at all, has a wife and child (who is now grown). Doesn't have a phone, computer, or bank account. He trades, barters, sells crops and/or pays cash for everything. He has a degree in engineering but besides growing and selling crops he does odd jobs for case. As far as his sister knows, he doesn't abuse substances and has never been arrested. If local agencies start coming around offering assistance or help he leaves and goes somewhere else. She said he actually lives quite comfortably off the grid and off the books. Apparently he has been doing this for 25 years or so.

I wonder if (besides being a homeless bum or the Amish) could anyone actually do this? I know some fugitives get false identities and live that way but I'm not talking about living on a false identity, I am talking about living completely anonymously and below the radar. (no I am not ready to drop out yet)
I realize you don't have all the details, but a few things don't really make sense. I don't disagree that it can be done, but it must require some interesting workarounds.

What type of transportation does he use to get from place to place to perform odd jobs?

If he has some motorized transportation, what happens if he gets stopped and asked for his license?

How does he learn of the odd jobs?

What local agencies come around and offer assistance?

Are his spouse and child living the same way?

Does he farm by manual labor and hand tools only or does he use any machinery?

Purchasing serious quantities of farming products usually involves providing information to the seller, i.e. name, residential/business address, farm address, etc.

Does he have electricity/gas/water? I guess not since he's OTG, but that paints an interesting picture. Solar? Well? ? ? ?

I'm not directly asking you for the answers. These are just some things I thought. I'm sure we could all think of something that might seem difficult to do without "existing on paper".
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