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Telling Our Children of Economies That Were Free June 24, 2021

Posted by geoff in News.
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(Apologies to the memory of Ronald Reagan) The Heritage Foundation released its annual Economic Freedom Index three months ago. Here’s how the US is doing:

You could argue that the blue curve should be shifted 6 months to the left to correspond to real-world events, since the 2021 report actually reflects freedom in 2020. But even so I think you can correlate certain events. Nancy Pelosi’s assumption of control of the House in 2007 and 2019 also come to mind.

The bottom line is that economic freedom has never been lower, due to the COVID-19 crisis and the government’s overreaction thereto. The question is if it will bounce back and continue on the post-Obama upward trend.

Not likely.

Crazy Like a Science-Following Fox June 17, 2021

Posted by geoff in News.
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It’s now a matter of happy history that Governors DeSantis and Abbott did not cause widespread death and suffering by opening up their states before the Biden administration thought it was prudent. But you may not appreciate how ballsy the calls were at the time – more so for DeSantis than Abbott, but still . . .

Yup, DeSantis made his decision when daily deaths were near their all-time highs, and Abbott made his when they were still fairly high.

Seems like the Biden administration owes someone an abject apology, because some people’s reading of the science was far better than others’.

[The plot comes from the CDC, and I added the annotations (with a marked lack of success in matching the CDC’s green).]

RIP, COVID-19 June 17, 2021

Posted by geoff in News.
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At least for now. Here are the latest plots from the CDC (with their awful formatting):

Both data series seem to be on a continuing downward trend, so hopefully we’ll continue to enjoy good news for the next month.

Biden’s Malignant Malignation June 12, 2021

Posted by geoff in News.
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The Biden administration was (is) fond of criticizing Trump’s vaccine distribution efforts. Recalling the always-to-be-asterisked President’s March 2 press conference:

“When I came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America,” said Biden. “We rectified that.”

So let’s see just how badly Trump missed it. Remember, all of Trump’s initial contracts were issued in July 2020, with no real data on efficacy or safety. Here’s how they did:

Doses Administered
(6/11/2021)
Doses Purchased
(July 2020)
Doses Purchased
(Dec 2020)
Option for Doses
(July 2020)
Pfizer167 million100 million100 million400 million (12/20)
Moderna128 million100 million100 million400 million (12/20)
J & J11.4 million100 million200 million
AstraZeneca 0100 million200 million
Novavax0100 million
Sanofi0100 million500 million

There are 259 million adults in America, and Trump ordered enough vaccine for 300 million people (400 million double doses and 100 million single doses). So Biden’s statement was ridiculous on its face.

But it gets worse. Three months later we still haven’t used all of the 400 million approved doses purchased by the Trump administration, and even if we had, there were options in place to easily order more.

Options which Biden took advantage of, without giving any credit to his predecessor.

Suppressing Employment, the Biden Way June 4, 2021

Posted by geoff in News.
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The news is abuzz with the tidings of the miss on employment (pundits were expecting 650K new jobs, but only 559K were added), but I thought this other little factoid was interesting. Look at the % of people who are employed (chart generated by the BLS site):

Nice steady increase in the % of the population that’s employed until COVID hit, when employment plummeted. But let’s zoom in on that period from January 2020 (just before COVID-19 blew up the economy) through last month:

Yeah, we were rebounding nicely until the election, upon which the curve goes essentially flat. This, despite the huge progress in vaccination and the reopening of many states.

The suppression of the recovery in employment suggests, if not trumpets, that the current administration’s policies are somewhat misguided.