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All his company's profits go to the poor
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Pocono Record/Associated Press

Pocono Record/Associated Press, November 26, 2007
Posted: December 17th, 2007

Travel company operator Hal Taussig buys his clothes from thrift shops, resoles his shoes and reads magazines for free at the public library. The 83-year-old founder of Untours also gives away all of his company's profits to help the poor more than $5 million since 1999. He is content to live on Social Security. Taussig takes a salary of $6,000 a year from his firm, but doesn't keep it. It goes to a foundation that channels his company's profits to worthy causes in the form of low-interest loans. (About seven years ago, the IRS forced him to take a paycheck, he said, because they thought he was trying to avoid paying taxes by working for free.) If he has money left at the end of the month in his personal bank account, he donates it. At a time of the year when many people are asked to give to the poor, Taussig provides a model for year-round giving. "I could live a very rich life on very little money. My life is richer than most rich people's lives," Taussig said. "I can really do something for humanity." His decision to give away his wealth stems from a moment of clarity and freedom he felt when he wrote a $20,000 check all of his money back in the 1980s to a former landlord to buy the house they were renting. It didn't work out, but the exhilaration of not being encumbered by money stuck with him. "It was kind of an epiphany," he said. "This is where my destiny is. This is what I was meant to be." Taussig has his bike for transportation, which he faithfully rides to and from work every day, three miles round trip. He calls consumerism a "social evil" and "corrupting to our humanity" because of what he said is the false notion that having more things leads to a richer life. "Quality of life is not the same as standard of living," he said. "I couldn't afford (to buy) a car but I learned it's more fun and better for your health to ride a bike. I felt I was raising my quality of life while lowering my standard of living."

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