Marshall Sahlins in a famous essay called The Original Affluent Society. Sahlins showed that most hunters and gatherers did not in fact work long hours at all, for example in comparison with agricultural peoples. They were able to ensure the food supply needed for the band by working on average no more than a few hours daily, leaving themselves abundant time for leisure activities. Sahlins did not claim that such people were wealthy in terms of a modern economist, who measures income in dollars per capita. The typical hunter gatherer band placed a premium on mobility and had no wish to accumulate items of property. If calorific needs could be met with ease in relatively secure environments, then from a 'Zen' point of view, argued Sahlins, such people were affluent; they were wealthy in relation to their low material wants.
- Christopher Hann