One of the great things in Illinois is the libraries are structured as taxing districts. With voter permission they can levy a property tax, and then receive the funds from that tax. So there’s no danger that the city, township, or county will decide that it needs the money more. Or, as in this case, that the library is doing something wrong, and therefore shouldn’t get any money until they toe the line.

https://literaryactivism.substack.com/p/a-pennsylvania-public-library-had

(I normally don’t link to substack posts, but this one seemed important.)

Every time I go to read an article at @TheNewEuropean, instead of showing me the article, they accuse me of running an ad blocker. This is false, and a little insulting. And it’s a bit annoying that I can’t read their articles. But, oh well. I’ll make do as best I can without reading the latest from @paulmasonnews.

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.