The coming heatwave means that I had to push my SNAP benefits in order to get hot-weather food (read: salad fixings), but fortunately I’ve more easily been able to create funds buffers during stay-at-home social distancing. Still, I hate tapping out the EBT card before the end of the cycle.

Annie Lowrey for The Atlantic reports that cash payments as economic security during the pandemic have worked, with recipients being able to pay bills, get out from under debt, and have greater choice during job searches; in essence, says Lowrey, offering people not just some sense of financial stability but thereby psychological security as well. As noted for The New York Times by Jamelle Bouie (via Robin Rendle), keeping workers “on edge — and willing to accept whatever wage is on offer […] is a feature and not a bug of our economic system”. A feature, says Lowrey, that denies Americans the “ability not to worry” day after day, week after week, that they aren’t going to make it.

That fear when you see you have mail from the Department of Human Services but it turns out to be notice that your SNAP benefits for the second half of the year remain the same as for the first half of the year.

I’m being flippant in that last post but also I’m not actually being flippant at all. Literally just hours after I’ve read the part in Nikole Hannah-Jones’ call for racial economic justice where she discusses how it’s not like any of the United States’ civil rights laws made up for the past of racist economic deprivation which held Blacks back even as Whites were given both hands-up and hand-outs, I read that thing about Jenny Slate. So, I really do want to know: is she giving any of that money back, since for four whole seasons those wages could have gone to increase the financial stability and well-being of a Black actress?

After four seasons of work, she suddenly notices the character she voices is black when she herself isn’t? I mean, better late than never, for sure, but she cashed those checks. Is she giving any of them back?

A thin safety net, an expansive security state: This is the American way. At all levels of government, the country spends roughly double on police, prisons, and courts what it spends on food stamps, welfare, and income supplements. At the federal level, it spends twice as much on the Pentagon as on assistance programs, and eight times as much on defense as on education. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost something like $6 trillion and policing costs $100 billion a year. But proposals to end homelessness ($20 billion a year), create a universal prekindergarten program ($26 billion a year), reduce the racial wealth gap through baby bonds ($60 billion a year), and eliminate poverty among families with children ($70 billion a year) somehow never get financed. All told, taxpayers spend $31,286 a year on each incarcerated person, and $12,201 a year on every primary- and secondary-school student.

From Defund the Police by Annie Lowry (via Paul Bausch)

Finally today I got to finish up a side project I’ve been itching to get done: restoring my old MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011) to a clean High Sierra (the most recent macOS it can use) and listing it for sale on eBay, where this model seems to sell for as much as $320. The goal here is to get within spitting distance of an iPad Mini so that all my damned devices just naturally work together (excepting my Kobo, because Apple won’t make an E Ink e-reader) — part of my increasing midlife need for Things That Just Work.

Unlike the existing economic relief payments which excluded any relief for adult dependents (or, rather, for those upon whom they are dependent) the new proposal from Senators Harris, Sanders, and Markey — for $2,000 monthly payments retroactive to March and lasting until three months after the public health crisis ends — includes them. Of course, the White House literally just said they won’t consider any additional relief packages this month.

I keep checking my old OnPoint account hoping the IRS made a mistake and sent me stimulus money, which means I am needlessly contributing to their online banking technical problems.