We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Amish are one of the most rapidly spreading groups in the US, and are now found from Pennsylvania to Iowa. Holmes Co., OH, next to Knox Co.( and Kenyon College) is the center of Amish country in Ohio, and the most rapidly growing rural county in Ohio.
Amish farms are more profitable than conventional farms despite lower crop yields because: no debt, no powered machinery, no fertilizer (other than manure), no pesticides, family farms and family labor (including children), extended families and mutually helping communities (the barn above), no wasted time or money on advanced education (like high school).
The Amish also specialize in a variety of manual trades like carpentry, cabinetry, masonry, carriage making, furniture making, wood stoves, iron mongering and blacksmithing, lumbering and wood products, and horse training.
Amish homes are almost always built with electrical, telephone and cable wiring, although they use none of these (at least the orthodox), and always to all codes. The houses are built with a view to resale to the English. The Amish are ultimate business people.
They are pacifist (except for beard-cutting) and quiet. Their churches move from house to house each week (or maybe it's barn to barn), and they bring their own pews with them.
They speak a dialect of German at home. They pity us both for our sin and for the wasted, lonely lives we live. Amish women especially pity educated, professional English women, especially their barreness.
They live the way everyone lived 200 years ago. They probably have it right.
Point taken, but you might like the discussion over at West Hunter, where there is interest in whether there is now some genetic element to their personality characteristics. It is a very secular group there, and few indeed would be interested in taking up their lifestyle or beliefs. Yet they note that the continued increase of a group that works hard, uses few services, and commits few crimes is something to be encouraged.
I read that ("Amish Paradise" if its the same), I wish it had been better sourced. The blog speculates on whether there's an evolutionary preference for fecundity and a certain personality type among Amish. The former seems to be religious based (compare, the Irish, for a preference for big families) or cultural (any agricultural society that's not Big Farma has a need for large families). As for the latter, sounds like Lamarckism.
I'm in the building trades here in Central Illinois (excavation and concrete construction) and work alongside many Amish carpenters and cabinet makers from the Tuscola area. They are all transported to and from our construction jobsites in modern motor vehicles and they use modern tools. They all communicate with our General Contractors via cell phone and e-mail. The only old traditions they cling to are homemade clothes, bowl haircuts and beards.
The one thing that did strike me about this video is the massive non-compliance with OSHA safety standards. This is a commercial jobsite after all, and the OSHA fines for having 30 men on a roof with no fall protection gear would start at about $100K.
We have a lot of Amish customers (we service their trucks and trailers and the DOT rules don't apply to them, and when caught they plead ignorance) and surrounded by them as neighbors. When DEP shows up for their burning plastic, or dumping oil in the creeks or the engine oil running out of their small engine rooms in their barns they plead ignorance. Oh, and we're just sitting around waiting for them to call to service their stuff immediately. Like Yesterday. And I don't mean some of them do this. ALL of them have this attitude. We're also supposed to have everything in stock just for them.
My local Amish worship the Almighty $ just like everyone else does.
The milk truck drivers used to have to wait til 12:01 am Monday to pick up the milk (because they don't do financial transactions on Sunday) but this is no longer happening. The Dairies probably told them to let them pick up or they get dropped. Don't get me started on the dead cows sitting in the field for 4-7 days til they get around to removing them. Or driving the tractors and skid loaders thru the bank drive-thru.
Recently widowed people get harassed by the Amish over buying their properties (esp. subdividable ones).
and debt? The local bank gives them 100 yr mortgages because their kids will pay. Not that I care that they are paying 90yrs of interest payments. They've raised the prices of all desirable farmland properties in our area because they moved out of Lancaster County with $$$ and the elders will front them the cash to outbid everyone else at auctions.
Maybe some of the more conservative ordnungs who keep to themselves aren't this way, but from what I've heard from the drivers of local Amish in Central PA, the younger generation only keeps 'Amish' enough to get work.
My husband frequently says they Have to go to church on Sunday, to beg forgiveness for all the sins they commit during the week.
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