Amish Articles
An Amish Letter to President Obama

Tales from Loren Beachy

Plummeting gas prices! Lower taxes! Increased physical fitness! Yes, we can. More benefits later, keep reading...

President Obama, I present to you a very frugal stimulus plan. Imagine the vast improvements, the splendid benefits we’ll enjoy if we take action on this.

Have everyone in America use bicycles as their sole mode of transportation. Even if we do it for only one month, the gains would be enormous. Oil refineries would choke on the overflow of gas that people aren’t using anymore. Consequently, fuel prices would drop to rock bottom.

A bicycle is lightweight. Using only bicycles on this country’s highways would result in substantially less wear and tear on the roads. Think of all the money you would save on repairing highways. All this excess cash enables you to slash taxes or apply it towards that gigantic national debt which, by the way, won’t seem so big by the time I’m done here.

Oh, and your little headache about healthcare, Mr. President - allow me to make a suggestion: What’s the number one health problem in this splendid country? Is it not obesity and the effects of it? Let’s take a sledgehammer to that problem! Make all of us fat Americans pedal bikes for a nice while. The pounds will melt away, cholesterol and blood pressure will nose-dive, muscles will bulge, and everyone will feel better about themselves. Diabetes won’t know what hit it!

Amish Bicyclists

An Amish family enjoys a day of bicycle riding

The environment, President Obama, can you see it? Greenhouse emissions slashed. America climbing up the list of environmentally-friendly countries in a hurry.

Republicans will be thrilled that you’re spending less money. Democrats will fawn over the difference you make to the environment.

Let’s replace “Cash for Clunkers” with a much more effective plan. Spend less money and gain much more in fuel mileage. How about “Pennies for Pedals”?

Let’s examine how this would work: The average American family of four trades in their old gas guzzling SUV. Instead of selling them a new vehicle and giving about four thousand dollars credit on it, give them each a brand new bicycle. It could cost as little as half as much as your four thousand dollar credit. More money towards that national debt. Additionally the family would be debt-free on their mode of transportation.

Now to quickly address a few of your concerns, Mr. President. What about all the cargo hauled across the country by semi trucks? This can be done by a group of bicyclists pulling lightweight trailers loaded with cargo. Yes, it can. Consider this.

My uneducated guess on the cost of a semi tractor and trailer would be somewhere around 100 thousand dollars for the entire rig. For that money, a shipping company could buy 100 bicycle and trailer outfits. Will these 100 cyclists be able to haul the same amount of cargo as a semi? I’ll leave that question up to the shipping experts. Money spent on fuel in days past could now be paid to cyclists to haul the cargo across the country. Seems like this practice would make a nice dent in the unemployment rolls as well.

Companies will, of course, howl that you’re slowing them down because of longer transportation time. Ignore them. Their competitors will be operating under the same circumstances.

For heavy pieces of cargo like coils of steel, special permits might be issued to use a fuel-guzzling tractor-trailer. Another possibility is to simply hook groups of cyclists to these large loads. I can see them now, a row a bicyclists, two by two, building a spirit of teamwork and riding off into the sunset. Mush!

All those auto-making jobs lost because autos aren’t needed? These laborers could manufacture bicycles because demand for them will skyrocket. The exciting thing about this is, if you make sure we have a plan in place to produce bicycles, we can make them right here in America instead of importing foreign autos. Talk about reducing the trade deficit.

Yes, some people will be physically unable to pedal everywhere. You might consider allowing public transportation systems to remain in place. This would keep fuel consumption low. Only people certified physically unable will be allowed.

Of course, in some parts of this country it becomes a bit chilly in the winter. I tell you from experience that bicycles can be ridden in more frigid weather than many people probably think, but here are a few alternatives.

Public transportation could come into play here again. Another thing you might consider is implementing the bicycling plan only during the summer. This would still produce monumental benefits.

This is what you tell some of your balky citizens. “Your family lives 2000 miles across the country, you say? This provides you with a splendid opportunity to lose that extra 20 pounds you’ve been carrying. Can you imagine your family’s reaction when you arrive? ‘Wow Sister, you look terrific! You’ve lost weight! Tell me, how did you do it?’ At that point you simply invite them to come visit you next summer. Then it will be your turn to gush over them.”

President Obama, I warn you. The general public will protest at first, before they realize the tremendous gains they’ll make. They might imagine you’re making them become Amish. Not at all. Joining the Amish should be a choice. Let them keep their television if they must, though they’d probably be happier without it. After this plan is in place though, the American people will feel so healthy and energetic they might not be able to tolerate loafing in front of the TV anymore.

Bicycling is pleasurable as well. People will enjoy cruising along, breeze in their face, legs pumping rhythmically, pavement whipping by underneath the wheels. Satisfaction can be taken from the knowledge that they are improving their health, saving money, sparing the roads, and conserving the environment. Not only that, they’re lowering the trade deficit, yanking down fuel prices, dropping the national debt and maybe even lowering unemployment.

America bless God. God bless America. Let’s ride.

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