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Yard work, golf courses and collective capitalism

Home ownership is both the pinnacle of freedom and the most tyrannical aspect of a relatively successful life.

The signature on a home contract is also a pledge to mow the yard, prune bushes whose species you may or may not know, move giant piles of leaves, and identify and destroy weeds. That means you have put down a huge down payment and promised 30 years of bank drafts for the right to do more work in your spare time left over from the job you’ve taken to pay for the house in the first place. (Or you could put down even MORE money and have someone else do it for you.)

Environmentalists, many of them arguing from a utilitarian point of view, would say single-family homes are just fine. It’s the golf courses, guzzling up so many lawn-maintenance resources, that they don’t like.

But in a utilitarian spirit, wouldn’t it make more sense for us all to give up our lawns and live around golf courses, where we can turn over the landscaping to people who know what they’re doing?

Or am I just trying to rationalize being lazy?

Update: The “pocket neighborhood” idea sounds terrific to me. Naturally, some of USA TODAY’s commenters think it sounds like Communism. No one’s forcing them to live there, of course, but it upsets their notion that life is nothing more than a competition and their big house is proof that they “won.”

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