You Kids Shovel Our Lawn


1199982726The cost of living in Massachusetts is notoriously high. Housing is expensive and the cost of heating oil is causing us to rethink our domestic vs. imported beer choices, so residents are looking for a way to cut corners where they can. The town of Brookline has a way for its citizens to save on their snow removal costs by tapping into a group of low-wage laborers. And we don’t mean illegal immigrants. We mean kids.

The town has a program called “Shovel Our Snow,” which pairs homeowners who don’t want to clear their own stairs and sidewalks with kids who are looking to make some money. Though the kids interviewed by the Brookline Tab say it’s not about the pay.

“I love having jobs, but mostly jobs helping people,” he said. “I like jobs that help people because the world would be more peaceful, and everyone would be more happy instead of sad or depressed.”

What? Doesn’t that kind of talk belong in Cambridge? Kid, you are being taken advantage of, both by cheap homeowners and the town itself.

[W]hy not bail on the pint-size shovelers for professionals?

“Because it’s cheaper,” [resident Jeffery] Jampel said simply.

[Marjorie] Hewitt, a former Recreation Department employee, also said it was “offensive” the service should even be necessary — nostalgic for the days public works employees could take care of sidewalks.

Maybe you kids should start a union. Nothing scares local officials like a labor group that’s unionized. You could probably negotiate yourself a later bedtime and a college scholarship. But if you insist on your anti-capitalist ways, you could at least have your parents drive you over to Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner’s house to save him from his own laziness.