Monday, April 26, 2010

Lawn Care for America Now

This weekend, I witnessed a modern American Tragedy. My neighbor, a single mom with two kids, was forced to send her son across the street to our Hispanic neighbors to borrow their lawn mower. She then spent nearly two hours drudging up and down her front lawn, suffering more each time she had to go into the front ditch to mow.

When all was finally done, dark had fallen. She shutdown the lawnmower, called to her son, and instructed him to return the mower to our Hispanic neighbors.

How, I ask you, do we allow someone of these tragic circumstances be forced to mow her own lawn and to beg the use of a mower from immigrants to our great country?

Clearly the free market is not functioning properly. This woman could not afford to pay for what is fundamentally a basic human right: she was unable to hire a professional lawn service, with their superior lawn care knowledge and equipment, to ease this strain on her existence.

That's why I am founding Lawn Care for America Now. Don't let this overburdened single mother suffer, nor the infirmed, nor the elderly, all for want of a few dollars to hire someone to mow their lawns!

The mission of Lawn Care for America Now is to lobby Congress to recognize the fundamental human right of every person to live with dignity by getting access to quality lawn care. Like the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Congress should pass the Homeowner Protection and Affordable Lawn Care Act (HPALCA).

The HPALCA, like the model PPACA, would provide means-tested subsidies to low-income, disabled, and other disadvantaged citizens so that they can exercise their basic right to quality lawn care.

This bill is very important to the continued vitality of America. Many advantages immediately become obvious:

More Jobs: Lawn care jobs cannot be outsourced. This bill would directly reduce unemployment by increasing the number of lawn care specialists, and increase investment in lawn care capital equipment and durable goods and create related manufacturing jobs (in the U.S.A., naturally).

Improved Health: So many people suffer from lawn-related allergies that the cost of treatment and prevention is measured in the tens of billions. Expensive drugs from profit-seeking drug companies are regularly dispensed to suppress allergic reactions and to thwart asthmatic illness. By reducing the number of people regularly exposed to lawn allergens, this bill would reduce health-related expenditures related to unfortunately allergic people being forced to provide their own lawn care. Further, by shifting the labor to those who are more physically fit for the job, this bill will reduce the incidence rate of heat- and stress-related injuries and illness, which needlessly shorten the lives of those most at risk.

Increased Efficiency: Each year, Americans spend hundreds of millions of hours performing lawn care with inefficiently utilized equipment such as mowers, trimmers, edgers, and more. With low utilization rates, much of the maintenance of this equipment is forgotten, shortening the useful life of these assets. Additionally, ordinary Americans must individually bear the expense of purchasing this equipment, paying a relatively high cost for equipment of minimal effectiveness. Professional lawn care equipment does not suffer from this last penalty, as a little more outlay often brings significant benefits. Sadly these benefits are beyond the means of ordinary Americans. This bill will lower the cost of lawn care by efficiently allocating professional-level equipment to lawn care professionals who will achieve high utilization rates, thereby reducing the risk associated with investment, and will allow lawn care professionals to offer access to more services at more affordable prices.

This bill would necessarily require all homeowners to subscribe to lawn care services provided by licensed lawn care professionals. This requirement would benefit consumers in two ways. First, it would spread the cost of lawn care across a larger subscriber base, making it more affordable to lower income homeowners. Second, it would ensure that the lawn care received by homeowners meets minimal quality standards, providing a form of necessary consumer protection.

The bill would also create new and minor taxes on lawn care equipment and services in order to fund the subsidies for lower income homeowners. These taxes will be borne by the equipment manufacturers and lawn care professionals and their profit-seeking shareholders.

There are some who will say that they enjoy performing their own lawn care. There are others who will say that the subscription requirement will cost them more than their lawn care presently costs. Still more will say that they do not need the level of service anticipated by the bill, being willing to accept a lower standard of lawn care. These are half-truths spread by the opposition, who would leave single mothers like my neighbor to fend for themselves in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Remember my neighbor, your parents and grandparents, the wounded veteran, and those with special needs. Join our cause! Donate generously to our group, so that we can work to influence more with our common cause! Contact your elected officials, and make sure they understand how important the passage of this bill is to the welfare of millions of disadvantaged American homeowners.

Together, we can win!

[EDIT: Added heat- and stress-related injury and illness.]


  1. That's great! :-)

    Libertarians should finance someone who campaigns on a platform of satire. "Lawn care is a basic human right." "No American should have to suffer washing their dishes."

  2. The right to have your dishes washed by someone else... That's fantastic! No more dish hands, less water consumption, more TV time (oops, did I say that out loud?)

  3. My sister writes, "You need to remove the term "Hispanic" and replace it with IWOLS. Millions of Hispanics are NOT illegal aliens. To imply that they are, even satirically, is racist. IWOLS (Immigrants Without Legal Status) would be a better term for your piece. That is satire."

  4. I am not convinced that I should change the ethnic identity my sister mentions. First, I am satirizing the language of identity politics, which emphasizes the need to separate and label everyone by some characteristic (e.g., White, African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Female, Gay/Lesbian/etc.). Second, I use the term "immigrant" loosely (and with an eye for yet another identity category), allowing that they or their ancestors immigrated to this country. Third, I did not claim that they were Immigrants Without Legal Status (AKA "Illegal Immigrants"); I have not asked their immigration status.


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