Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Silver Long-term Trend Analysis - 28th Nov 21
Silver Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 28th Nov 21
Crude Oil Didn’t Like Thanksgiving Turkey This Year - 28th Nov 21
Sheffield First Snow Winter 2021 - Snowballs and Snowmen Fun - 28th Nov 21
Stock Market Investing LESSON - Buying Value - 27th Nov 21
Corsair MP600 NVME M.2 SSD 66% Performance Loss After 6 Months of Use - Benchmark Tests - 27th Nov 21
Stock Maket Trading Lesson - How to REALLY Trade Markets - 26th Nov 21
SILVER Price Trend Analysis - 26th Nov 21
Federal Reserve Asks Americans to Eat Soy “Meat” for Thanksgiving - 26th Nov 21
Is the S&P 500 Topping or Just Consolidating? - 26th Nov 21
Is a Bigger Drop in Gold Price Just Around the Corner? - 26th Nov 21
Financial Stocks ETF Sector XLF Pullback Sets Up A New $43.60 Upside Target - 26th Nov 21
A Couple of Things to Think About Before Buying Shares - 25th Nov 21
UK Best Fixed Rate Tariff Deal is to NOT FIX Gas and Electric Energy Tariffs During Winter 2021-22 - 25th Nov 21
Stock Market Begins it's Year End Seasonal Santa Rally - 24th Nov 21
How Silver Can Conquer $50+ in 2022 - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Betting on Hawkish Fed - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Elliott Wave Trend Forecast - 24th Nov 21
Your once-a-year All-Access Financial Markets Analysis Pass - 24th Nov 21
Did Zillow’s $300 million flop prove me wrong? - 24th Nov 21
Now Malaysian Drivers Renew Their Kurnia Car Insurance Online With Fincrew.my - 24th Nov 21
Gold / Silver Ratio - 23rd Nov 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Can We Get To 5500SPX In 2022? But 4440SPX Comes First - 23rd Nov 21
A Month-to-month breakdown of how Much Money Individuals are Spending on Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
S&P 500: Rallying Tech Stocks vs. Plummeting Oil Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
Like the Latest Bond Flick, the US Dollar Has No Time to Die - 23rd Nov 21
Why BITCOIN NEW ALL TIME HIGH Changes EVERYTHING! - 22nd Nov 21
Cannabis ETF MJ Basing & Volatility Patterns - 22nd Nov 21
The Most Important Lesson Learned from this COVID Pandemic - 22nd Nov 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis - 22nd Nov 21
UK Covid-19 Booster Jabs Moderna, Pfizer Are They Worth the Risk of Side effects, Illness? - 22nd Nov 21
US Dollar vs Yields vs Stock Market Trends - 20th Nov 21
Inflation Risk: Milton Friedman Would Buy Gold Right Now - 20th Nov 21
How to Determine if It’s Time for You to Outsource Your Packaging Requirements to a Contract Packer - 20th Nov 21
2 easy ways to play Facebook’s Metaverse Spending Spree - 20th Nov 21
Stock Market Margin Debt WARNING! - 19th Nov 21
Gold Mid-Tier Stocks Q3’21 Fundamentals - 19th Nov 21
Protect Your Wealth From PERMANENT Transitory Inflation - 19th Nov 21
Investors Expect High Inflation. Golden Inquisition Ahead? - 19th Nov 21
Will the Senate Confirm a Marxist to Oversee the U.S. Currency System? - 19th Nov 21
When Even Stock Market Bears Act Bullishly (What It May Mean) - 19th Nov 21
Chinese People do NOT Eat Dogs Newspeak - 18th Nov 21
CHINOBLE! Evergrande Reality Exposes China Fiction! - 18th Nov 21
Kondratieff Full-Season Stock Market Sector Rotation - 18th Nov 21
What Stock Market Trends Will Drive Through To 2022? - 18th Nov 21
How to Jump Start Your Motherboard Without a Power Button With Just a Screwdriver - 18th Nov 21
Bitcoin & Ethereum 2021 Trend - 18th Nov 21
FREE TRADE How to Get 2 FREE SHARES Fractional Investing Platform and ISA Specs - 18th Nov 21
Inflation Ain’t Transitory – But the Fed’s Credibility Is - 18th Nov 21
The real reason Facebook just went “all in” on the metaverse - 18th Nov 21
Biden Signs a Bill to Revive Infrastructure… and Gold! - 18th Nov 21
Silver vs US Dollar - 17th Nov 21
Silver Supply and Demand Balance - 17th Nov 21
Sentiment Speaks: This Stock Market Makes Absolutely No Sense - 17th Nov 21
Biden Spending to Build Back Stagflation - 17th Nov 21
Meshing Cryptocurrency Wealth Generation With Global Fiat Money Demise - 17th Nov 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Into Mid 2022 - 16th Nov 21
Stock Market Minor Cycle Correcting - 16th Nov 21
The INFLATION MEGA-TREND - Ripples of Deflation on an Ocean of Inflation! - 16th Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Economics Is Why Vaccination Is So Hard

Economics / Coronavirus 2021 Feb 22, 2021 - 01:25 PM GMT

By: Patrick_Watson

Economics

When a house burns down, it affects more than just the owner, occupants, and even the neighbors.

Quick, efficient firefighting is a public good. Stopping contagious diseases is another public good. The public interest demands all fires—in all forms—be extinguished before they spread.

Now we have COVID-19 vaccines that, while imperfect, are generally safe and effective. We should deliver them with the same urgency with which we send fire trucks to every blaze.


Economics explains why we aren’t… and it’s not just the cost.

Bewildering Array

Last month, I explained why the vaccination progress map would determine economic progress. At that point, it wasn’t looking good. The pace has since improved a bit.

Nationally, as of Feb. 7, some 9.1 million people had received both of the two necessary doses. Another 22.4 million had received the first dose. That’s great. But “herd immunity” requires vaccinating at least 70% of 330 million Americans. We have a long way to go.

If you or a family member received the vaccine, you know it wasn’t easy. Some states are doing better than others, but horror stories abound.

My friend David Brockman described the experience of helping his elderly parents. The first hurdle is simply knowing where to go. Then there's the problem of more demand than supply. And then there's the waiting for what is available… and all the challenges that can bring.

"When my parents, Joe and Zelma Brockman, arrived at a Grand Prairie clinic for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, they were expecting a wait. They’d driven by a couple days earlier and seen a long line out front. So on January 4, they went to Purple Hearts Primary Care Services first thing in the morning, trying to beat the rush. But when they arrived just after it opened at 9 a.m., a line already stretched from the entrance, past neighboring businesses in the strip shopping center, and around to the back of the building. Some people had been there since 6:30 a.m.

"The wait dragged on for two hours, then three. It was a chilly morning, and my folks were bundled in coats and gloves as they stood in the building’s shadow. Around noon, standing in the direct sun, they had to shed their coats. They hadn’t brought anything to drink or snack on. There were no available restrooms. At one point, a nurse told people to stop using those in neighboring businesses, as the owners had complained to the shopping center landlord.

"Eventually, the heat and all that standing got to my mom, who is 86. She passed out.

"Dad, 93, managed to break her fall as she crumpled. The nurse rushed over. Fortunately, Mom came away with only a bruise. When she was able to stand again, the nurse had my parents wait in their car with the air conditioning on; she would get them when it was their turn. Finally, around 3 p.m., they were admitted inside. Six hours after they arrived, my parents received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine and a card telling them to return to do this all again for the second dose in early February. Purple Hearts couldn’t be reached for comment. Mom, though rattled by the experience, says she doesn’t blame the clinic: 'We just weren’t prepared.'" 

You would be rightly upset if your house were burning and the fire department ran that way. COVID-19 is way more common than house fires. So why is this happening?

The reasons vary. In Texas, the state decided to decentralize vaccine delivery to a patchwork of local providers, letting eligible people choose where to go.

The problem with that: More choice isn’t always good. It’s particularly bad in a time-sensitive emergency.

You don’t ask your neighbors which fire department to call. You already know.

I think Texas officials did this because they misunderstand economics.

They think of the public as consumers and vaccines as consumer goods. That’s true, in a sense. But in this situation, normal market processes don’t apply.

  • The vaccines are free to all. So there’s no price competition.
  • A particularly efficient provider isn’t rewarded with higher profits. Nor do others have financial incentive to adopt its methods.
  • Vague, non-market forces determine supply. Meanwhile, demand is high everywhere.

This is neither a free market nor central planning. It’s the worst of both. The resulting mess was entirely predictable.

Time Running Out

To be clear, many dedicated professionals are making heroic efforts to vaccinate people, doing all they can with what they have. They aren’t the problem.

This is systemic. It’s not a small problem, either.

While COVID-19 cases are slowing, the CDC reports that the “B117” variant is spreading rapidly in the US. It is more contagious and possibly deadlier. It will become predominant here within a few weeks.

Right now, some people worry pandemic relief spending will spark inflation. That will happen only if the economy grows faster because we stopped the virus.

And that will happen only if vaccination progress accelerates even more, and everyone continues all the other precautions.

Getting a shot wouldn’t be so hard if state officials understood we don’t have time to let the market work.

The Great Reset: The Collapse of the Biggest Bubble in History

 New York Times best-seller and renowned financial expert John Mauldin predicts an unprecedented financial crisis that could trigger in the next five years. Most investors seem completely unaware of the relentless pressure that’s building right now. Learn more here.

By Patrick Watson

The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in