Just Sayin'. . . | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
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Posted 8/11/21

He is one of the world’s leading economists, but perhaps Paul Krugman (now 68) is best known in modern times as an op-ed syndicated columnist for the New York Times, writing on all manner of …

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Just Sayin'. . . | Tom Camfield

Posted

He is one of the world’s leading economists, but perhaps Paul Krugman (now 68) is best known in modern times as an op-ed syndicated columnist for the New York Times, writing on all manner of political matters.

People truly interested in individuals gifted in the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge should turn their attention to the likes of Krugman, who is all over the Internet. A good place to start might be his biography on Wikipedia. His major awards in brief form alone fill a couple of pages — references to his books and other writings fill many more.

The Seattle Times chose to use him on the editorial page Aug. 4 (“‘Freedom,’ Florida and the delta-variant disaster”) and Aug. 7 (“How COVID-19 became a red-state crisis”). I commented briefly (see remarks following the foregoing blog here) on his comparison to COVID-19 and drunk driving.

His observations on inconveniences to the well-to-do noted in his Aug. 4 column also included “Why are conservatives so insistent on the right of businesses to make their own decisions — but quick to stop them from denying service to customers who refuse to wear masks or show vaccination? Why is the autonomy of local school districts a fundamental principle — unless they want to require to wear masks or teach racial history?,”

A few days later President Joe Biden was telling “red states” such as Florida and Texas and their followers to “help or get out of the way.” Krugman was pointing out “COVID is now a crisis for the unvaccinated . . . is now a crisis largely for red states.”

In The Seattle Times Aug. 7, Krugman again wrote at considerable length about the political lack of logic involved from a conservative standpoint in dealing with the COVID pandemic, the overwhelming of hospital facilities, etc. And again I suggest reading the entire column on line to get the true gist of his comments.

For instance, as Krugman reiterated: “Do we think people should be free to drive drunk? No, not just because in so doing they endanger themselves but even more because they endanger others. The same was true for refusing to wear masks last year — and for refusing to get vaccinated now . . .

"There are regions in America where large numbers of people have refused vaccination. Those regions appear to be approaching the point we feared in the early stages of the pandemic, with hospitalizations overwhelming the health care system. And the divide between places that are in crisis and those that aren’t is starkly political . . . “

Krugman was quoted Aug. 8 in the Palm Beach Post: “Florida is in the grip of a COVID surge worse than it experienced before the vaccines. More than 10,000 Floridians are hospitalized, around 10 times the number in New York, which has about as many residents; an average of 58 Florida residents are dying each day, compared with six in New York. And the Florida hospital system is under extreme stress.” Google “Krugman: ‘Freedom,’ Florida and the delta variant disaster” for the long version.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently barred business from requiring that their patrons show proof of vaccination.

“So will COVID's resurgence stop America’s much-awaited return to normalcy? In much of the country, no.”

COVID deaths in the U.S. since about the beginning of spring in 2020 have added up to more than 615,000. Florida alone added 134,500 cases of coronavirus and 660 deaths in just the past week. As cases rise, so does the death toll from the disease that has taken nearly 39,700 lives in the single state of Florida. Another 232 people died from COVID-19 there in the last two days, it was reported Monday.

Krugman cited as another example Missouri, which is experiencing one of the worst COVID outbreaks. The St. Louis County Council last week voted to end a mask mandate introduced by the county executive.

The government told me to put my body in possible harm’s way back in 1950 when our country became involved in a “police action” in Korea. Just sayin’. However, the military “draft” was much more extensive in the cost of human life during World War II and the Vietnam conflict.

Comments

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Justin Hale

"“Do we think people should be free to drive drunk? No, not just because in so doing they endanger themselves but even more because they endanger others. The same was true for refusing to wear masks last year — and for refusing to get vaccinated now . ..... And yet the government does not outlaw drinking and then driving, millions do it every day.

Wednesday, August 11
Dage Corvish

Well, there's the problem: People of a certain intellect think driving after drinking alcohol is legal. Probably antivaxxers. Low and behold, there's millions of them, too.

Thursday, August 12
Justin Hale

Look up the law Dage.

Thursday, August 12
Tom Camfield

Yes, there IS one related problem. It IS against the law to drive a car or other motor vehicle with a body blood alcohol content of 0.08 (grams per deciliter). And as is usual with he-who-will-not-exHale, he is prone to detouring when convenient. Drunk driving in the original blog here is not the main topic but is used only as a social comparison. According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were an annual national total of 10,874 fatalities in motor vehicles involving drunk drivers during a recent typical year.

Such drivers, penalized by law, accounted for 29% of all traffic fatalities for the year with an average of one such fatality every 48 minutes. Meanwhile, in less than a year and a half, some 615,000 deaths associated with CORVID-19 have been recorded in the U.S. And that is the number with which we are concerned right now.

I’m more interested for the moment in the correlation between “red states” and the re-explosion of the pandemic. In anti-vaxxers.

Thursday, August 12
Justin Hale

You are correct Tom, it is illegal to drive impaired, it is not illegal for adults to enjoy a adult beverage and then drive.

I think that the comparison of impaired driving being akin to making a decision to not take the vaccine misses the mark by a long shot. I don't think you would find many people who think that driving impaired is a good idea, probably the majority understand the danger. I can't imagine a valid argument for anyone to drive impaired, but I can think of many valid reasons why some choose to not take the vaccine.

Thursday, August 12
Marge Samuelson

Ask your doctor about vaccination for COVID-19, don't listen to me or Just In Hale.

Thursday, August 12
Justin Hale

Right Marge, talk to your Dr. about the vaccine, AND do some research if you have questions, educate yourself and then follow your conscience.

Friday, August 13
Thomas Camfield

This entire conversation began with Krugman’s statement: “Do we think people should be free to drive drunk? No, not just because in so doing they endanger themselves but even more because they endanger others. The same was true for refusing to wear masks last year — and for refusing to get vaccinated now . . . “

And Mr. Hale immediately dragged us from the subject of Covid-19 , which has effected about 615,000 known U. S. deaths.in 16 or 18 months , to the subject of alcoholic impairment.

I believe the comparison here by Krugman was intended to illustrate non-use of the law in controlling fatal behavior by the American public . On average over the 10-year period from 2010-2019, a few more than 10,000 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes—with an 0.08 alcoholic impairment law. But we seem to be utilizing the law weakly and erratically at best in connection with 500,000 or so deaths a year associated with Covid-19.

Incidentally, Americans who say they will definitely not get vaccinated against COVID-19 are overwhelmingly white and Republican, according to polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Only 14% of Americans say they will definitely not get vaccinated. But even this lesser group is 69% white, compared with 7% Black and 12% Hispanic. Republicans make up 58% of this group, while Democrats account for 18%.

Friday, August 13
Marge Samuelson

One more thing, It's not just you, there are others you should think about.

The COVID-19 Variant is more dangerous, spreads faster, and makes people sicker and more are dying. " 83% of the cases are from the variant" [Stephanie Soucheray, CIDRAP News, July 20, 2021

90% of new cases in Jefferson County are in people not vaccinated.

Friday, August 13
Justin Hale

"And Mr. Hale immediately dragged us from the subject of Covid-19 , which has effected about 615,000 known U. S. deaths.in 16 or 18 months , to the subject of alcoholic impairment."..... Actually Tom it was you who decided to use drunk driving as a "social comparison", I disagreed with the comparison.

Bottom line is I believe we have the right to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine, obviously, some here don't believe we have that right.

Saturday, August 14
Marge Samuelson

What does The Law Actually Say about Vaccine Mandates?

Law professor explains What’s Currently Allowed and How Those Laws Might Change

By Elizabeth Dohms-Harter, July 22, 2021, Wisconsin Public Radio.

Can government forcibly require you to get vaccinated in the U.S.?

The reality is, legally, no, you can't be forced to take a vaccine. You're not going to be physically restrained and given a vaccine by any legitimate public health authority in the U.S. at the federal, state, tribal and local levels.

But that's not the same as a vaccine mandate.

A vaccine mandate means we're setting a condition on you returning to society or participating in a particular activity. And that condition is you're vaccinated.

States are setting vaccine mandates and private employers are doing the same because they can, legally. That's very distinct from a compelled vaccine. So you want to return to work. You want to go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You want to attend your school (if you're eligible for a vaccine). States are setting vaccine mandates and private employers are doing the same because they can, legally. That's very distinct from a compelled vaccine.

Now, how far can we go with that? Very far. The U.S. Supreme Court has even affirmed that we can set vaccine mandates at the state or local level. So right now, we have Supreme Court precedents allowing that to occur.

Saturday, August 14
Justin Hale

The government should not have a mandate over my body, does "my body, my choice" only apply to abortion?

Sunday, August 15
Marge Samuelson

The Supreme Court settled that question. Pay attention if your going to be a troll.

Monday, August 16
Justin Hale

Just another example of how screwed-up our country is. The government will allow you to choose to take the life of a child but will not allow you to choose to not take the vaccine. By the way I am not against abortion or the vaccine, I think both should be the decision of the individual, not mandated by the government.

Monday, August 16
Marge Samuelson

Mandating is a choice. Believe me, masking up again is not pleasant, especially for those working with a public that doesn't care about others, the old me, me, me line. If you won't get a vaccine, you should start getting use to living alone, those who care about others don't want you around.

Monday, August 16
Justin Hale

Mandate: an authoritative command

: to officially require (something) : make (something) mandatory : order

You say it's a choice??

Those who choose to not take the vaccine can always wear a mask, I see the sign all over "If you haven't been vaccinated wear a mask".

You believe that citizens should be forced to take the CV-19 vaccine by government edict, Yes or No?

Tuesday, August 17
Dage Corvish

Mandate: two men meeting for lunch . . . ordering . . . from the menu.

"So many choices," said Rubber Chicken. "I object."

In the world war against Covid-19, the war which has cost the U.S. more than 620,000 citizens, the war which Donald t**** claimed many times for many months, 'we're turning the corner on this,' the war which now is still taking 5000 more lives per week and jamming hospitals across the country, in this war, Rubber Chicken is proclaiming itself a conscientious objector, protesting for the right of anyone to become an agent for the enemy, to pass on the virus to others, to bankrupt more small businesses, to disrupt the education of every child in America, to disable health systems across the country, to deny the United States the opportunity to become a world leader once again.

But fear not. The racist inhale virus still believes itself to be the flag-waving, patriotic American hero it has always believed itself to be, stalwart defender of freedom, unaware that protecting freedom sometimes requires responsible citizens to take a stand, to sacrifice for the greater good. Don't try to change its mind, its got a dictionary.

And to answer its question: Citizens should not have to be forced, and no one, yet, is forcing them. Perhaps there is some lack in understanding 'citizenship.'

Nothing will be decided here, but its fun to troll the Russian rubber chicken troll.

Tuesday, August 17
Marge Samuelson

That would be against the law. I think mandates, which are supported by the Supreme Court, is the only choice businesses, hospitals, schools etc. have.

Tuesday, August 17
Justin Hale

Another fine example of how wack-a-doodle this whole Covid-19 story is. One can get a "religious" exemption from the mandate if they truly believe that some mythical being says not to take the vaccine. But if one says they are convinced that the vaccine could do them harm, no exemption.

Saturday, August 21
Dage Corvish

And yet, no major religion has dictates against vaccinations.

Saturday, August 21