Monday, October 4, 2010

The Winds Of Wisconsin

I spent this past weekend up north, doing the usual fall activities: The last grass cutting of the year (I hope), making sure the snow blower was in working condition, turning off and covering the air conditioner, blowing out the hose line, and, of course, blowing leaves. Always blowing leaves.

The western side of our property is a woods. The backyard has about a dozen trees, and just beyond that is the marsh with scores of trees as well. Needless to say, we get lots and lots of leaves.

When you have that many leaves to clean up, it becomes something more than an afternoon project. To make the task a little less daunting, I have a couple of different leaf blowers. One is a big old 5-horsepower blower mounted on rollers, and looks a lot like this one. The other leaf blower is your standard run of the mill hand held electric blower.

Which blower I decide to use on any particular day, depends on a number of things, such as how many leaves are there and if they are wet or dry. One of the most important factors, of course, is the wind. Since we blow the leaves back into the woods to the woods, and into the marsh to the south, it is always preferable to have a wind coming from the north or the east. A wind from the south can be workable, especially in the front yard. A wind out of the west makes it a real pain.

The big blower is excellent if there aren't too many leaves, or if there is a strong wind going in the right direction. When the conditions are ideal, I can clear the whole front yard in about an hour and a half, instead of the usual six or eight hours. But if there are a lot of leaves, the leaves pile up in a wall that the blower has a hard time moving, and the leaves go up in the air and come back at you. If the wind is coming from the wrong direction, y0u can actually end up losing ground.

The hand held blower, while not as powerful as the other one, has many advantages. It allows more control over the direction of the leaves, as well as the ability to move larger sized piles more effectively, although it might take a little while. The little one is also more efficient when the wind is coming from the wrong direction because of its maneuverability and control.

While I was doing the job of blowing leaves, my mind was busy thinking about the upcoming elections (hey, come on, blowing leaves isn't the most intellectually stimulating job).

The difference in leave blowers reminded me of the difference in the two gubernatorial candidates approach to the economy, jobs and taxes.

Walker's plan on the economy is much like the big blower. Walker, when not making a fool out of himself with adolescent stunts, wants to slash taxes, albeit aimed at the rich, thinking that this will get the economy moving along. However, despite it's mighty appearance, it is of only small use, especially if the different variables aren't just right. If the economy starts to tank again, things could get much worse since all he would have done is concentrated the money to a few people who have already shown they're not apt to spend it if things go bad. And with the still high level of unemployment, Walker is basically at a stand still when it comes to actually doing anything productive.

Tom Barrett has put forth his plan on how to get things rolling again. It's like the hand held blower in the sense that it is more flexible and more precise. It takes into account all the different variables that can and do effect any recovery, and holds the promise of being able to get much more done than Walker's plan to just bully the economy into getting better. Instead of building a wall that it can't overcome, like Walker's plan, Barrett's agenda deals with many different aspects, with the overall effect of getting the whole thing moving in the direction he wants it to.

No one can accurately predict what the winds are going to be like or how many leaves will be on the ground when I next go back up there for the next round of leaf blowing. Things might be in my favor, and I'll be able to use the big blower to get things done. However, if things are less than optimal, I know that I can still use the hand held one and get the job done.

Likewise, no one can accurately predict what the economy will be like next year. There are many variables that can change things in real short order. Wouldn't it make more sense to go with the candidate with the proven record of bringing jobs to Milwaukee, and a reasoned and reasonable plan to get the state's economy moving in the right direction, regardless of conditions out of our control.

1 comment:

  1. How can you hate this time of the year?? Relax...leave the leaves be and enjoy Fall.