We Need To Find These People A Hobby

On August 9th, The New York Times posted an article with the following headline, “The Great American Lawn: How the Dream Was Manufactured.”

The article states:

America’s manicured front lawns represent the pride of homeownership, and the cultivation of community. But the ways we maintain them risk hurting the environment and contributing to climate change.

What? The article then goes on to provide a list of sources you can consult to show how evil your lawn is. Good grief.

The article concludes:

More Lawn Coverage from the Times

    • The Times’ “Climate Fwd:” newsletter published some tips on how to lessen your lawn care’s environmental impact.

    • Our Real Estate columnist Ronda Kaysen explained why she’s done mowing her lawn.

    • If you do mow your lawn, here’s a way to practice meditation as you go.

    • Finally, as mentioned in the video, here’s The Times’ coverage of former President Theodore Roosevelt mowing his lawn in 1914.

The implication here is that mowing your lawn is the problem. I suspect that the article also cites some of the lawn products people use to control weeds that are considered a problem.

Let’s talk about the good things a lawn provides–a place for the family to play. A well-maintained lawn is less likely to be a home for animals that are harmful to people. In the 1970’s there was a lot of concern about the ‘greenhouse effect.’ The basic theory was that because we have paved so many areas of the world, we were overheating the planet. The suggested cure for that was planting more grass and trees.

I wish these people would make up their minds.

How Bureaucracies Begin

On Saturday, The Haymaker posted an article that clearly illustrates how bureaucracies are born. The article was about a recent Farm Bill passed in North Carolina. The agricultural interests in the State of North Carolina supported the bill. The bill itself was going to pass. So what happened? The legislature added the beginning of a bureaucracy to the bill, the bill passed, and a new bureaucracy is born.

The article reports:

“It was a requirement for landscapers to get licensed.  Yes, that’s right.  A licensing board, regulations, fees,  and licenses for people who cut grass for a living. Apparently, someone heard a landscaper expressing frustration about not being able to bid on state work because a license was required.  Instead of killing off all licensing requirements for landscaping, the requirements have been expanded to everybody.”

So what difference does it make? The small business that cuts your lawn now has to go through a licensing process. This costs the small business owner time and money. As a result of the extra cost, he has to charge you more to mow your lawn. As a result of that, you may buy a lawn mower and mow your own lawn. If enough people do that, the small landscape business owner will go out of business. Meanwhile, the  money paid to get the license will be used to set up a new bureaucracy. There will be more state workers to pay for and fund pensions for. There will be more office space and office equipment needed for the bureaucracy created. And like all bureaucracies in the past, every year the budget for this bureaucracy will increase.

This is how it begins. Even colonies of rabbits don’t grow as fast as bureaucracies.