What If, and Maybe Jul 2022


Lawn Care

What if each able-bodied homeowner mowed his/her own lawn, maybe also mowed the lawn of their neighbor who wasn’t able-bodied?

Reducing reliance on yard crews and their big riding mowers, we would see less trucks and trailers in the neighborhood. Maybe walking and riding the streets would be pleasant again.

The homeowner might not need to walk or jog, for exercise. With fewer yard workers needed, the price per yard might go down or the yard workers might move to other work.

Maybe the homeowners would see their neighbors out working; they might visit with each other.

In time, maybe most neighbors would know what’s going on with each other. When one of the families needed a little help, the other neighbors might step up.

With less demand for ‘canned’ exercise, fewer exercise facilities and equipment would be needed. Less workers would be needed and various utilities (air conditioning, electricity, telephone, computer) also wouldn’t be needed. Fewer trips to the gym implies less gasoline usage. Probably little savings would be noticed with respect to clothing, we would still need decent work clothing for our around-the-house chores.

And then it happened:

The neighbors are saving money, taking care of their own business. The kids are better off too, helping around the house, working as a family.

And now, the cars are vacuumed, washed, and waxed at home; the kids (adults too) take better care of the cars now that they are responsible for cleanup. Of course, fewer big city style car washes are needed, saving on land use, construction, utilities, payroll, and fuel.

Without the ZTR mower (with mounted rider), the yard is no longer rutted. The family still mows every week but since it’s not a professional yard, they have cut back on the trimming and blowing, and there’s less pollen in the air. People are breathing easier; they walk a little taller too with their new feelings of confidence and accomplishment.

Some of the money saved now goes into the kid’s allowances. Wonder if they’ll save some of their money?


Food Preparation

What if the family avoided the restaurants and, day to day, ate at home? Consider the savings: money, fuel, wear and tear on the car.

A town with fewer restaurants is better off.

Sure, the cheerleaders promote more and more businesses but only because they are business people who aim to profit directly or indirectly.

For the family, less fast food means better health, more money, fewer buildings, fewer employees, less real estate use, less construction, less utility use, less traffic congestion.

Is it logical to have restaurants with large staffs all waiting for the few remaining residents to be served?

Doesn’t the current situation really boil down to having servants — they may not be in our houses — but the workers at restaurants are generally low paid servants.


Profits

In each case above, we are eliminating low paid jobs. This might seem ill advised but remember that the businesses rely on their underpaid workers to secure their profits. And consider how much of the profit goes out of town, out of state, and out of the country.

Ask the question, if the businesses make profits, aren’t we paying extra?

Then ask, why shouldn’t we earn the profit?


Displacement

Guessing at this point, someone would be asking where will the displaced workers go?

The answer is simple: they might return to building and repairing the things we all need.

We’re hiring foreign workers to build most everything we buy. Shouldn’t we be able to do something ourselves? Shouldn’t we want to be in control of what we need and how it’s made?

When it comes to cost, we pay more for cheap items that don’t last, that can’t be repaired, that are made out of inferior materials. I want to buy goods that can be used for many years. I want to buy goods that can be easily repaired. I want to buy goods that my neighbor designed and manufactured. I don’t want to empty my pocket just to fill up the landfill with junk.

Many products are deliberately designed to become useless, unfashionable, or obsolete. Surely, we all can improve the situation by manufacturing locally and sensibly.

The pros: better goods, money saved, less waste. The cons: Hmm, can’t think of any.


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