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Vaccine delivery is politically “warped”
Governor Tim Walz is appalled. The Minnesota Democrat characterized the Trump administration’s vaccine plan as botched, according to Daily Kos. “It is not debatable that the United States did this more poorly than any nation on earth,” Walz declared.
The Trump promise of speedy delivery was labeled Operation Warp Speed.
“Warp speed” comes from the TV show Star Trek. It’s faster than light speed.
Thanks to slower than promised delivery, it appears the Trump administration may have warped the word warp.
Conflict Machine Noise
Frankly, it’s too easy to just blame Trump. Since when does the government have proven expertise at vaccine delivery, no matter who runs it?
Once we turn a medical problem over to the State, it’s no longer a medical matter. Instead, it’s a political problem.
Governor Walz is a Democrat. Trump is a Republican. They’re supposed to blame each other. That’s the rule for the Conflict Machine.
The Conflict Machine explains our politics; problems are addressed by fighting for power and control because we must be sure our rivals don’t get their plan implemented.
Compare the rival plans…
The Trump Warp Speed plan: U.S. Army logistics rapidly delivers the vaccine doses to state governments.
The Biden Even More Warp Speed plan: Expend billions of dollars more, get the National Guard to help, and have the federal government give out some of the shots.
What a difference! [sarcasm intended]
Daily Kos and other media outlets are thrilled to report that governors think Trump screwed up. Think of all the clicks — people opening their articles — due to the controversy. Of course they’re pushing you to pick a side in this blame game:
A. You must support the Trump plan, acting as if there was something special about Pentagon logistics.
B. Or, you must — you really, really must — insist that Trump didn’t do enough. More federal government control and more money must be applied to this challenge.
But neither A or B works for you because the Pentagon is just the Post Office in fatigues.
Do you want to escape this Conflict Machine? Ask yourself…
A Human Respect question
Which is more important, getting the vaccine distributed fast or prioritizing who gets it first?
Speed is a question of logistics
Prioritizing who gets it first, second, and third is a question of politics
Because the politicians insisted that this was a government problem to solve — and worse, because a majority of Americans assume the same thing — vaccine distribution became a political decision, influenced by who had the most power.
The politicized approach created drag. It slowed delivery. (See: Covid-19 Vaccine Leaders Waited Months to Approve Distribution Plans.) See our ENDNOTE too.
Worse, the strict protocols for who gets it first, meant thousands of unused doses had to be thrown in the garbage!
Complex political plans imposed from the top-down are disrespectful. Millions of Americans were already planning their own prioritization. Some Americans want to get the vaccine early. Some want to wait. Some don’t want it at all. The top-down planners don’t care.
A Respectful Solution
Max Borders, author of the forthcoming, “After Collapse: The End of America and the Rebirth of Her Ideals,” suggests a real warp speed approach. Vaccines could be distributed via auction.
An auction means that distributors, with networks already in place, would buy loads of the heavily demanded vaccine and deliver it to their customers. Distributions networks and demand already exist. The government isn’t needed.
Borders explains, “There are so many ways to do it. You could have distributors, like Walgreens or Target, buy batches from producers, like Pfizer. Auctions are great because they are a mechanism of price discovery. And the capital raised, from each auction round, ensures each subsequent production run of more vaccines.”
The objection to this kind of thinking is that retail auctions would assure that only the rich get it first, while the poor have to wait until last.
Assuming this is true, the poor would still get it sooner than they have with the government’s so-called “warp speed” plan.
On top of that, the poor aren’t prioritized now! The politicians selected high-clout classes to get shots right after frontline medical professionals, such as senior citizens and school teachers. This is just what you’d expect out of a political program.
But Borders envisions an even better response to this objection: “I bet Walmart would offer it for free.”
Free? Recall that Walmart led the $4 prescription revolution. CVS, Kroger, Walgreens, and others followed with similar programs.
Local vaccine dispensers don’t even know what amounts they’re going to get each week. It’s hard to know how many appointments to schedule. Meanwhile, millions of businesses maintain just-in-time inventories and keep their shelves stocked every day.
Corporate giants, like CVS, are saying they can do better, if given the chance. Even California’s health and human services secretary, Mark Ghaly, indicated that the state’s complex rollout and “really thoughtful” guidelines “led to some delays in getting vaccine out into our communities.”
Choosing Human Respect over the Conflict Machine
Human Respect is a philosophy. It’s based on a natural law — applying force always reduces happiness, harmony, and prosperity of real people.
Think about this vaccine situation. Is there force at work?
The government’s primary tool is coercive force. It can commandeer resources.
The politicians are literally laying the law on who gets the vaccine and when.
The Army, men and women with guns, are the distribution network.
There’s even talk of various vaccine mandates!
Like always, the media here has exploited the obvious lack of harmony. Indeed, they’ve insisted that there are only two sides and you need to pick a side in this Conflict Machine. But we’ve shown you a third way.
This third way, a retailer auction, requires no force. It also avoids creating a system of privilege. Instead, a vaccine auction would deliver vaccine doses so fast, we’d lack time and interest in debates over who should go first.
NOTE: Just as we went to publish this piece, The New York Times released an article indicating that, “A common problem seems to be a focus on process rather than on getting shots into arms.” The piece notes one of the big problems has been “…intricate rules about who qualifies for a vaccine and then (making) a big effort to keep anybody else from getting a shot.”
Jim Babka is the host of The Exit Network. Joanna Blaine provided research. Our website is Coming Soon!