PATRICIA SMITH: Stolen From the Internet
Below is an unsigned letter to President Obama from a horse owner that I ran across on the Internet. I thought it would be something readers would enjoy, and horse owners would be able to relate to.
Mr. President, it has come to my attention that you're having some challenges with the economy. If I understand things correctly, we're in a recession, consumer confidence and spending is down, credit is tight, investors are spooked, we need renewable energy, and health-care costs are through the roof. Trillions of dollars, not to mention our future, are at stake.
I'm just a regular citizen, but I think I have a solution: give every American a horse.
My proposal may not make sense to you at first, but let me give you a little background. First of all, horses in the U.S. are a multi-billion dollar industry, and that is just at my house. I suggest you have your economic advisers do a little research on the spending around horse ownership. You'd be surprised, Mr. President.
Start by visiting the tack and clothing retailers like State Line or Dover. Look at the variety of goods available there. Now take into account that every horse owner, especially if it's a woman, is buying not just one or two, but tons of these items.
If you give every American a horse, starting when they reach the horse-receptive age of 10, you're going to do two things: boost consumer confidence and boost spending immediately.
Horses make us feel good, and once Americans all own horses (at the government's expense, of course), they will all logically fall into the pattern that every horse owner succumbs to: accessorizing. For starters, we need horse-care implements like buckets and muck rakes, hoof picks and curry combs. And we need at least basic tack, halter, leadline, saddle, saddle pad, bridle and bit. But then the fun begins.
Fashinistas need Zebra print leg wraps, neon bright fly masks and an assortment of sheets and blankets for all seasons; a cooler, a lightweight blanket, a medium blanket, a heavy blanket. Then there's your stable sheet and your pasture sheet. Also your hoodie, and tail wrap items. And that's just the clothing for the horse.
Since most Americans don't have a basic riding wardrobe, the stores would be swamped for jeans, boots, breeches, T-shirts, dozens of pairs of cute boot socks, and the ubiquitous ball cap. Tell the retailers to get ready. It'll be Christmas all year long.
Now let's talk about support industries. In addition to the usual veterinarian and farrier expenditures, people also give their horses chiropractic, massage and acupuncture, not to mention buying more beauty products for their horses than they do for themselves. All those professions and industries will benefit. And of course there will be a big spike in hay and grain demand.
That's the secret to jump-starting consumer spending through my stimulus package. People will spend money on their horses when they won't spend money on anything else.
Finally, because you, Mrs. O, and the girls are such role models, you can encourage us all by getting a pony for Sasha and Malia. It will teach them responsibility, help the First Lady plow the garden, and as a bonus: free fertilizer for the Rose Garden.
If you don't believe me that horse ownership stimulates spending, go ahead, Mr. President. Buy that pony for your girls. You'll see.
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