Posted On: Tuesday - July 11th 2017 4:40PM MST
In Topics:   Music  Curmudgeonry  Economics  Liberty/Libertarianism
A week ago in a post about 3 minor doses of stupidity the 1st paragraph was about the unnecessary complete remodeling of the local library branch. Yeah, We, well not me, but WE - the generous of us taxpayers - passed by vote a bond issue for $82,000,000 for the libraries. The money's got to be spent now. Voting was the easy part; spending the money takes more time and effort.
Since I had to go to the big new main library now, I remembered upon arriving that this one had just finished a year or more long renovation too. Now, I say "new" main library, as this building was only finished 20 years back to replace the older one that was all crowded with books and shit.
I didn't have a beef with the building of a new library, as the old one was definitely packed and cramped. It was truly made for books and I think the shelves went right up to the low ceilings, and I don't think more books would have fit in the place. This new one is a beautiful modern 1/2 block big glass building with 5 stories, escalators, and the works. Yeah, I get that it's not all about books anymore. Homeless people need a place to hang out, other people too need computers to log into (wait, even the homeless have got their iPhones - more computing power than a new-library-building full of IBM clones probably!).
At this point in the post, one could argue as a libertarian* with the whole damn idea of this library thing. After all, they are letting you borrow movies and music for free, which interferes with the market, meaning it screws the little guy. Going back to books, one could say the same thing. They do still have some books, and that interferes with any private market in both selling and lending. Hey, I really couldn't argue against this point. However, I know they've been around quite a while, whether they are really necessary at all anymore.
So, we've got the (to me) new place with big wide open areas - not too efficient, but hey, it's not their money, and high ceilings, with lots of volume to heat and cool. Great!:
Back to the short story, I walk in to this big new 20-year old library because the local branch is undergoing major renovations to its new brick building and nice interior. I noticed that this whole new main branch was completely rearranged and remembered that it had been a multi-year project with lots of inconvenience and moving around of books and computers. Nothing was in the same place. I asked one of the librarians
"Hey, I see they spent a lot of time and money here - tell me what's new."
"Everything's new." he said, pointing at the new walls and the lack of the old walls, I guess.
"No, I mean what's new that we didn't have before - some new things, I mean."
"All of it - see all the new stuff." He pointed to the walls again. "The video room is over there now. Things are all different."
"Yeah, I see the escalators are the only things in the same place. Why'd stuff just get moved around? Is this just a way to spend the 82 Million dollars that the idiot taxpayers voted for?"
"No, it was a bond.", the PBS-broadcaster-looking guy explained to me.
"Yeah, so it's 82 Million plus interest!"
The guy was getting pissed. I was getting pissed.
"A friend of mine was going to get a new truck, but the property tax was gonna be too high. He's gonna buy used just because of all this money you people are spending."
The guys and ladies (a lady was next to him listening and once in a while saying, in some odd accent, something about "this is all new.") who work in these local government jobs cannot relate this blowing of our tax dollars to anything bad. It's just government money. I had tried to explain, to no avail, and now I don't even want to see that guy again, but the local branch is closed.
Before the reader thinks "see, you use the library, so you should pay", I will say "the money is not spent wisely, that's my problem". The original new library was beautiful with plenty of space and should stay like that for 50 years. There were always plenty of people to help - they were not working their butts off as in a private industry job.
Now, why is it that all these public spending guys tend to look like Alex Keaton's dad in Family Ties, who is supposed to be manager of a Public TV station? This guy at the library was not smiling like Mr. Keaton, though, even from the beginning, but much less later on.
Great. Now, the pic has got my mind on Alex's (the conservative one's) kid sister Mallory. Boy, was she cute. However, the Mom, Elise Keaton (actually called Meridith Baxter Burney - don't know how in the hell I recalled that!) was fairly hot herself. This leads to our music for today - speaking of hot Moms - this one is "Stacy's Mom" by a band called Fountains of Wayne:
How'd I miss this one from back in aught-three? This was when these bands still put lots of effort into the videos, as it matches the song nicely! (Oh, yeah, we do know the intro. sounds like The Cars' "Just what I Needed")
* NOTE: I can't even imagine being a Libertarian Librarian. The cognitive dissonance going on would be enough to send one away for a while until a new mindset or a new job, or both, could be found.