Some decades back I read a pretty good book that advocated for a “guaranteed job” for anyone who wanted one as a better solution to poverty than a “citizen wage” (or any sort of welfare assistance). I don’t remember all the details in the book, but the advantages primarily had to do with preserving the existing social structures around employment.

One question I always struggled with had to do with the strength of the guarantee. Suppose a few percent of the people with such jobs have (as I do) seasonal depression such that they cannot be productive during the winter months. Would the job guarantee permit them to simply show up and get paid, even though they can’t get any work done until spring?

This particular for-instance matters to me, as one who suffers from SAD, but it’s a broader problem—lots of people have some sort of condition, medical or otherwise, that makes them unproductive for long stretches of time. Do they get to keep their guaranteed job? How can you tell them from malingerers? Does it matter? How do you deal with workplace tensions when many perceive their coworkers as not doing their fair share of the work?

These sorts of issues are why I’ve always come down on the side of a universal basic income as a better way to reduce both poverty and the abuses that come along with having a few rich people and a vast class of precarious workers. But I’m willing to give alternatives serious consideration, as long as they work for people like me.

When climate-change deniers want to spend more and more on border security, it’s a clear sign that they know perfectly well that climate change is happening.

“The debt pearl-clutchers are right: We are saddling our children and grandchildren with a bill they won’t be able to pay. But that bill doesn’t come from minting the money we need to save our species and civilization from the emergency on its doorstep – it comes from the false economy of skimping on climate and buying guard labor instead.”

Source: Pluralistic: 26 Oct 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

After more than a year in which essentially every payment I made was via a credit card, I’m about ready to switch back to cash—for reasons closely associated with the points made in this article:

“How soon before paywalls go up around the public spaces we are used to crossing unhindered, before services that once seemed available to all on equal terms become subject to priority tiers?”

Source: Subscriber City — Real Life

Edward Snowden came up with a great title for his blog: “Continuing Ed.” It follows on very nicely from his book “Permanent Record.”

“What is wrong with you people? All you want is intrigue, but an honest-to-God, globe-spanning apparatus of omnipresent surveillance riding in your pocket is not enough? You have to sauce that up?”

Source: Conspiracy: Theory and Practice – Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden

A fascinating article! For a movement geek like me, a veritable rabbit warren of links to follow.

“the origins of today’s self-care industry are deeply embedded in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and ’70s, in underserved communities across the country.”

Source: The Radical History of Self-Care | Teen Vogue

On one of my top-two issues when it comes to means-testing benefits, @interfluidity gets it just right:

“Requiring demonstration of inadequate means up-front, rather than on the back-end, creates at best a delay between when a shock is experienced and when it can be ameliorated. “Delay” can mean your kid skips meals, you start rationing your insulin, or your family is evicted from its home. It’s a big deal.”