Nick Gillespie wants to outsource public libraries to private companies. Anything to save a few dollars, I guess. Apparently “everyone from Marxists to libertarians” will tell you that a library is a hugely regressive institution, subsidizing people who like to read with the hard-earned tax dollars of the illiterate. This is also, apparently, a new front in the private/public sector class war (a war Gillespie seems only too eager to cheerlead, with lines like “ask yourself whether you want to have enough disposable income to fund your own health care and retirement or do you want to pay more in taxes to make sure that public sector workers who make more than you can retire younger and in Cadillac style?”)
Interestingly enough, I’ve written two posts recently that touch on these very subjects:
- First, my defense of the public library.
- Second, my discussion of this new class war, and why it’s so bloody wrong-headed to begin with (alas, we will likely be suckered into it anyways).
Full disclosure: I have never been an advocate of privatizing libraries. I think it’s an abominably stupid (and regressive) idea. But I have written critically of public sector unions before. My post is an attempt to point out where I’ve gone wrong, and where the thinking on this tends to be entirely upside down.
I never answered DougJ’s questions.
1) Yes I believe in evolution. Even my conservative Catholic grandma believes in evolution. I recall days in college anthropology classes arguing with creationists and trying to explain why I thought evolution and God were compatible. I always thought science made religion more meaningful, not less. The beauty of biology does nothing to diminish God – quite the opposite. No dice. The lines are drawn in the sand for some people.
2) I also believe in global warming and think that we are responsible for the recent uptick in global temperatures. We should pass a carbon tax. I’m not at all swayed by cap and trade, however. Seems like a corporate giveaway waiting to happen at the public’s expense. Don’t we have enough trading schemes already? I am more sympathetic to critics of global warming than critics of evolution, just because global warming is a comparatively new phenomenon in the public consciousness. Still, the implications of global warming are dire, and the way politicians and pundits on the right exploit the issue for political gain is a real problem.