Own your car? You still have to pay for it every year, AND you have to pay to drive it. Own your house? I have to pay for that twice a year. Miss two payments and they'll sell it. Have kids and no electricity? You had better have religious reasons your your kids are going to foster care. Don't have money for clothes? You still have to wear clothes.
Theoretically I should be able to work my entire life, acquire the things I will need to live out my golden years and then swear off money for good. Own my own land, grow my own food, collect rain water and live off the land I own. But once I haven't made a payment on any major piece of my own property for a year it is no longer mine to use. My house gets sold for a couple lousy grand in back taxes and I can't take my car on the streets any more. I'm out on the street.
Maybe a bit off topic, or maybe not, but yesterday, NPR did a piece on people moving off the grid. This isn't quite the same as poverty, as it usually involves property, farming, and a more self sustaining life style. People are moving off grid for various reasons: to create a smaller environmental footprint, freedom from corporate control, and a closer connection with the land which makes life more meaningful.
The last reason is something I relate to, but I won't ever go without my internet connection and electricity. But one of my observations about myself, and not necessarily recommending it as a good thing, is that working for a living doesn't have a lot of meaning for me. Sure I put in the hours, receive a paycheck, and with the money, I sustain my life. It's what most people do, and it works fine, but I find a special meaning, in doing things like harvesting fire wood to heat my house. There's a direct connection with the activity that is necessary to survive. I could pay the power company for heat, and it comes out the same, except there is additional expense, but when I do things that more directly relate to my survival, life just has more meaning (for me).
Sometimes, I think I should get with the program and just give into capitalism, make more than I need, and enjoy the good life, except I lose a bit of meaning. Sometimes I wonder if I'm making a mistake, which is why I don't recommend it for others, but that sense of meaning makes me feel better about what I do. That's something I don't want to give up, at least entirely. So I live a kind of compromise, and do a few things that keep me more directly connected to my survival.
Those that go full throttle, give up electricity, cars, and get closer to nature, or whatever you call it, get a tip of my hat. I understand it. I won't go that far, but I get it. I have no idea how many of them give up the project and return to modern life. Some keep up with it. I've known a few who have, but they are rare.