Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Rachelle's Modest Proposal

It is sad when people travel in our nation. The roads are overflowing with traffic and it takes 45 minutes to get somewhere that usually would only take ten. A fender-bender closes off one lane leaving two open with an onramp merging on to the road less than half a mile down. All you can do is sit and wait and inch forward every once in a while. You look over at the car next to you and the driver is suffering major road rage and is yelling and hitting their steering wheel in frustration. And all this time that you are sitting in traffic, the gas in your car is being burned up; wasted away because you’re not going anywhere. That fifty dollar tank of gas you paid for this morning is over half way gone by the time you get into your car the next morning. And that next morning, gas is five cents more expensive than it was the day before.

I think it is agreed by all peoples of our nation that the massive amount of gasoline cars use when they overflow the roads, streets, and driveways, is another addition to our never-ending list of down-falls. America is leading the world in gas consumption with an average of over 400 million gallons of gas per day. If someone could figure out a cheap and easy solution to make all that gasoline consumption decrease dramatically or even disappear, would be worthy of giant statue of him or herself placed near our nation’s capital showing what an impact they made as a preserver of the nation.

My intention includes the use of all automobiles in the USA, even those that are old and beat up. However, I will not need the assistance of gas or ethanol-based gas. I have though about this problem for many years and about how I can help our nation solve our gas guzzling situation. Millions and millions of gallons of gas have been burned up and those gallons cost money. America’s current population is 301,139,947 with the average household owning two cars, trucks or sport utility vehicles -- and one in four owns three or more. So what are we going to do?
There are various advantages to my idea which include no more gas. People will save thousands of dollars by not purchasing gas which currently costs an average $3.08 a gallon. My idea will also provide new job opportunities that anyone could become a professional at. Everyone will feel like they are doing the environment a favor because my solution will help our fight against global warming and over polluting our air.

89% of American households own one or more cars. The 2007 Honda Accord Sedan is a popular car in our country so I did some research and found that this car (depending on the version) can get anywhere from 20 to 34 mpg. 34 mpg is pretty good, but remember that all of these tests are performed on a smooth runway without twists or turns, and no stop lights, signs, or deer to jump out at you. So in real life, you’re probably getting around 23 to 28. 28 is still pretty good, but it’s never consistent. With my proposal, you will be getting a steady “mpg” so to speak.

As stated before, there is over 3 hundred million people living in this country and among these people who own a vehicle, 90 percent of them say they usually drive an average of 87 minutes a day behind the wheel. These 87 minutes are not only spent behind the wheel, but in traffic jams as well. About half of Americans say traffic in their area is worse now that it was five years ago, and about half expect it to be worse still five years from now, which only means more time is wasted, which means more gas is wasted, which means more money is wasted.

I shall now tell you dear reader, my proposition, which I hope you will see the good it can do.

I have been assured by a very knowledgeable man from a country near Tibet that horses of any breed can be ridden by a full grown adult as long as they are not of the “miniature” breed. Children I’m sure can ride them (miniatures) up till they (the children) reach sixty or so pounds.

My reason is that cars consume so much gas and the price per gallon seems to increase daily. It’s terrorist activities that cause the futures market to in a way, “freak out” making it more expensive for refiners to acquire crude oil and by the time it’s refined to gas, the price has already increased. But it doesn’t stop there. Then gas stations increase their prices as they see their competitors prices rise as well. The price of gas today is ridiculous so this is why I give the modest proposal of putting into effect, a law that all cars be traded in for money and that the people use horses for a means of transportation. Horses helped our ancestors in the past and can assist us today. These animals do not consume gas like cars, but hay and grain and oats -- all of which are at reasonable prices today. Hay costs around five dollars a bale and you can get a lot farther with one bale of hay than you can with five dollars of gas. Eight dollars can get you an eighty pound bag of oats. Now this feed can be only for the winter because during the summer, grass is available and in abundance for your horse(s) to eat. You can save a massive amount of money because the only time you will really be spending money to “fuel” your “vehicle” will mainly be in the summer.

Yes, horses do not travel as quickly as cars but some sacrifices must be made to save money. Horses cost less than a car and if you have children, when they turn sixteen, you won’t be buying them a new car, but your horse might be pregnant, therefore, you don’t have to buy a new horse. Some people who I’ve talked to are appalled by this idea because they do not want to ride a horse everywhere and one is allergic to them. I have thought these obstacles over and have some solutions. First off, you don’t have to ride a horse. You can build or buy yourself a carriage and either drive it yourself or pay someone to. Padding and shocks can be applied to make the ride smoother, and these days, fortunately, we have asphalt. If you are allergic to horses there is always the option of cows, alpacas, donkeys, etc… But if you are one to be opposed to all this, remember that if Mary rode a donkey all the way to Bethlehem, you can ride one to work and back.

Another question that one of my colleagues asked me was, “What are you going to do with the waste on the roads?” Here is where job opportunities come in. Anyone can become a professional pooper-scooper. In fact, when I was younger, that was my first job. I became very quick cleaning the fields of an alpaca farm and the best part was, I got paid for it. The DOT will hire people to clean certain areas of roads and the waste will be sold to fertilizer farms who will in turn, make it into fertilizer, and turn right back around and sell it to gardeners whose business will increase with the demand for carrots and other such plants for the owners’ horses. As for the cars, the dealers can sell the car parts to people who can take those parts and use them for other purposes, such as contributing to making carriages.

It has also come to my attention that fire trucks and ambulances must get to those in need very quickly. Thoroughbred horses were made to race, run, and do so rapidly. This way, officers and medical officials can be quick. If one is found to be mistreating their horse, animal cruelty will be on patrol, increasing the amount of jobs needed in that field too. Another field in which more jobs will be needed is the veterinary field. More horses mean more patients, bring in more profit. This will also affect the medical field in which new vaccines and medicines will be produced.

In the city and suburban areas, citizens tend to have small yards that will not be sufficient to support a horse. This is why localized horse pastures will be built so that you can board your horse and go get them when you please. You’ll be charged on either a weekly or monthly basis most likely, depending on the pasture you go to for business. Prices will also vary.

As for the poorer people of our nation, wild horses can most certainly be found in the desolate areas of Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming along with other states that I did not mention. But for those that do not live in those areas, cities will become more localized anyway with the commute people will have to make to town. Speaking of the commute, because of the time it takes to get from one place to another will increase, workers will have to communicate and negotiate with their bosses about there work times.

I’m sorry to say that the sport of Nascar will have to end. I am a fan of it, but it’s apparent that so many gallons of gas are wasted just for the entertainment of the American society. We are literally watching gas disappear just like it disappears in our own cars right now. Perhaps horse racing will become more popular and so will other sports.

As soon as other countries see that we can get along without gasoline powered cars, they will want to follow in our footsteps. We will become an example country and others will look up at us for our knowledgeable ways of saving money. We’re also helping the rest of the world by decreasing the amount of pollution we send into the air, contributing to the fight against global warming. America can do it.


Carolyn Ranten said...

WOW! Rachelle, that was really good. You could totally convince me to buy a horse. Very persuasive and well written. I really like all the facts about our country and gas consumption, it makes your point really strong. Good Job!

Nicole said...

I needed no convincing that riding horses would be a good idea. You really thought through all of the problems that could arise and came up with very good solutions. Your inventive ideas and all the facts you supplied really made me think that this would be a very good idea.

Kyla said...

Like Carolyn and Nicole, I too was persuaded by your "Modest Proposal". Your points were very believable and I find really no problem in riding horses instead of driving cars. You really thought this idea through and it was quite interesting to read!

michellek said...

Rachelle, I was really impressed by your appeal to logos! It really convinced me of your point, because initially I felt it was absurd. Good use of facts!

Brandon Rogers said...

I wouldn't mind riding a horse as long as i could find a way to hook a stereo and some speakers on it. All in all a very well thought out and researched topic, well done

burritowallace said...


crazyrunner said...

you did Johnathan Swift some justice! Very well written.