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The Key to Understanding and Improvement Is Family, Not Race or Government

The folks at the Family Prosperity Initiative have a warning of sorts for anybody who wants to understand the Trump phenomenon and is striving to turn it into a racial issue:

The word “stunning” has appeared in countless media reports since Donald Trump’s presidential election victory this week. Almost no one among the mainstream press, pollsters, or other political prognosticators saw it coming, and now all of them are scrambling to understand how it happened. They’ve belatedly trained their microscopes on white working-class voters in the Rust Belt for clues they missed in the months – and years – leading up to Tuesday night. What they don’t realize is that a trove of evidence was right of front of them all along in the pages of the Family Prosperity Index.

This is about the well-being of families, even if many of the people who constitute the movement wouldn’t know to articulate the issue in those terms if asked.  In a way, it’s an American version of France’s “zombie Catholics“:

To understand his success in a country where numbers of churchgoers have plummeted, experts point to the cultural Catholics of France – geniously dubbed les zombies catholiques (the zombie Catholics) by sociologists Emmanuel Todd and Hervé Le Bras. In their book Le mystère français, Todd and Le Bras explain that “Catholicism seems to have attained a kind of life after death. But since it is a question of a this-worldly life, we will define it as ‘zombie Catholicism.’” …

… there are still pockets in France where the social values of Catholicism have remained strong despite waning church numbers – explaining, at least in part, the success of [François] Fillon.

Progressives’ trick is to define the culture on which our country and Western civilization were built as “white supremacy.”  We shouldn’t accept that premise.

By the way, Rhode Island is at the back of the Family Prosperity ranking, yet our backlash languishes.  Perhaps we’re an indication of what happens when a region goes beyond the point of no hope, although there is evidence that we’re following two separate paths, just letting the one built on government dependency dominate.


Hopping the Trump, Then Walking Home

Joel Kotkin was ahead of the leftist curve on this, starting to make statements in line with some conservative ideas a number of months ago, but here he articulates something we’re hearing more and more from progressives as the reality of an impending President Trump sinks in:

What Americans across the political spectrum need to recognize is that centralizing power does not promote national unity, but ever harsher division. Enforced central control, from left or right, polarizes politics in dangerous ways. The rather hysterical reaction to Trump’s election on the left is a case in point, with some in alt-blue California calling for secession from the union. Had Clinton and the Democrats won, we would have heard other secessionist sentiment, notably in Texas.

It seems a bit like Donald Trump is, for the Left, the curb that the drunk driver hops, thereby realizing how bad a decision trying to drive the entire nation was.  If they follow the increasing calls to accept diversity at the level of local and state government, it’ll be like deciding to get out of the car and walk home or call a cab.

Of course, we’ll have to be vigilant that they don’t simply make localism an excuse to keep drinking until they’re back in power and therefore confident about starting up the automobile again, because that’s the predictable move.


Corporations Making a Preference Against Boycotts More Difficult

While I’m not one for formal boycotts, during the Obama Era I’ve been increasingly likely to consider corporations’ politicization when shopping.  Examples:

  • I was a fan of GM cars (with the point-generating Visa card and all), but after the company became Government Motors under Obama, I’ve switched allegiances, having bought a Nissan a few years ago and looking at Honda for another upgrade in the near future.
  • AAA still sends me letters asking me to renew after I let my membership expire over the company’s support for tolls in Rhode Island; my insurance has an adequate replacement.
  • After Cardi’s directly endorsed Democrat Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, we’re looking at the offerings of different furniture stores for a replacement dining room set.

Similarly, I’m with Mark Steyn on this, after Kellogg’s announced it would demand its online advertising algorithms stop placing adds on Brietbart:

I hate boycotts, too. I want to be free to reject Kellogg’s cereals because they suck rather than because buying them is a political act. But John Hinderaker’s right: This is a one-way street that leads to a de facto one-party state, or at any rate a one-party culture. The left wants a world in which a discount furniture warehouse is free to advertise with Rachel Maddow but not Rush Limbaugh. And in pushing further and further down that path they make everything political, and render normal civic life all but impossible – to the point where the CEO of something as universal and unobjectionable as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes finds it easier to side with the losing side in a free election, and against half of his fellow citizens. So, if Kellogg’s wants to shrink the market for Frosted Flakes by 50 per cent, fine: let’s frost ’em out, until they understand that, in politicizing everything, they’re the flakes.

It’s a good reminder, too, that everything is not only political, but situational for progressives.  They believe Christians must not let their beliefs interplay with their businesses, but they’ll demand that corporations prove their rejection of conservative sites.


The Learning Community’s Divisive Propaganda

Charter schools are still public schools, correct?  They’re still supposed to inculcate values that are truly shared among all of those who have no choice but to fund them, right?

I ask in reaction to an outrageous and divisive op-ed that three leaders of The Learning Community in Central Falls published in yesterday’s Providence Journal, apparently in their official capacity.  These educators are stoking dangerous fear and distrust among their very young students — implicitly accusing the Rhode Islanders who pay their high salaries of exhibiting “emboldened white supremacist, sexist and xenophobic attitudes and actions, escalating locally and nationally.”  They assert that Vice President–elect Mike Pence is “anti-gay.”

I emailed the codirectors, Sarah Friedman and Meg O’Leary for elaboration on that point, but they have not responded.  Had they done so, I would have asked whether their students participate in Governor Gina Raimondo’s sexist girls-only contest.

Their op-ed appeals to fellow educators, “if there is no neutral stance on bullying, there is no neutral stance on bigotry.”  Well, isn’t excluding boys discriminatory?  Isn’t it bigotry to dismiss Mike Pence as “anti-gay” because he understands our rights of free expression and free association to include the right to determine what events one will service occupationally?  Isn’t it bigotry to tell people that they “must reject their whiteness”?  “No neutral stance on bigotry” is nothing but an excuse for them to indulge in what they know is inappropriate behavior.

If the leaders of a public charter school took to the pages of the state’s major daily to slander their fellow Rhode Islanders and make clear that they were propagandizing students with Republican messaging, there would most certainly be consequences.  What consequences will there be for the heads of The Learning Community and the division that they’re using taxpayer funds to sow?  None, because their indoctrination serves the progressive ideology and Rhode Island’s insider system, even as it harms their students by failing to prepare them to live in a pluralistic society that respects the rights of others.


Early Successes of the Trump Presidency

Earlier today, I was thrilled to discover that the partisans at Politico had developed a reinvigorated concern for the national debt.  It was a reminder that, just walking in the door as a Republican, Donald Trump brings a whole series of improvements to the national civic environment.

In that vein, a lunchtime Facebook post by progressive Phil Eil is the stuff of pure glee:

PSA: Amazon sells pocket copies of the Constitution for $1. I bought a bunch and handed out copies to my students yesterday.

I don’t know how many copies of that very printing I have tucked in corners and forgotten in bags, having collected them at rallies and the like over recent years, and here we have a progressive (journalist and college professor instructor) handing them out as if he were a Tea Party type.  And Trump hasn’t even been sworn in, yet!

How can one not be optimistic about that turn of events — especially in contrast to the persecution of the “sexist” and assault on the civil rights of conservatives (without progressive or media objection) that was surely in store for us had Hillary Clinton won?  As I commented to Phil’s post, the next thing you know, progressives will be organizing public readings of the Declaration on Independence Day.

To be sure, Donald Trump can squander even that initial benefit, but should that day come, progressives can expect that (unlike them, when roles were reversed) conservatives will work to stop the pendulum from swinging to the point that they’ll have to laugh scornfully when they get to the parts about “he has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good” and “has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us” as we have had to do under King Obama.


The Story of Rhode Island in the Trump-Clinton Divide

The other day, the Providence Journal published an interesting map showing that, much like the country as a whole, Rhode Island’s presidential votes were split by region, with the coastal municipalities’ going to Hillary Clinton and the interior going to Donald Trump.  The image oversimplifies, of course; several cities and towns in the northeast of the state don’t touch the coast, and Charlestown and Tiverton went to Clinton without her winning even half of the vote.

Reporter Paul Edward Parker touch on some of the nuance in the numbers:

Four of the five communities with the highest median household incomes voted for Clinton, as did seven of the eight communities with the lowest incomes.

Essentially, Clinton drew her support from the wealthiest and poorest places, while Trump drew his from the middle.

Laying this out in more detail arguably tells the story of Rhode Island’s current condition in a single chart:


In that red U, we see both the story of the “productive class” and the workings of the “company state.”

Refer back to this 2009 post on Anchor Rising, and you’ll see that the bottom of the U is almost exactly in line with the population that has been leaving Rhode Island throughout this millennium.  As those Rhode Islanders flee the state, those who remain are increasingly part of the “company state” or “government plantations” model, wherein highly paid service providers in and around government have incentive to increase the number of clients requiring subsidized services as a pretense for taking money away from those above the line for subsidies.

This model harms the economy and drives people away because it reduces the incentive and opportunity to work.  The “productive class” is characterized by the economic role of the people who tend to be within it.  It’s the broad class of people whose main function in the economy is to turn their effort and ingenuity into money that they can use to support and advance their families.

This trend is terrible for a state for a multitude of reasons, but two stand out as particularly profound and overarching.  The first is that the “productive class” is the group whose activities are the foundation of a thriving and advancing society.  They are the dynamism and hope for the future.

The second is that the erosion of this tier of the economy as a source of balance eliminates political competition. A loss of political competition will inevitably lead to a political monolith that is not only incapable of correcting itself, but also susceptible to simple, wasteful, and demoralizing corruption.

Those who sympathize with the high points of the U really need to reevaluate the long-term good of their policies.  The rest of us need to redouble our efforts to turn the tide.


We Took the Leap, Now for the Grab and Scramble

Last night, when even liberal outlets like the New York Times started putting Donald Trump’s odds of winning the election at better than 75%, my stomach started to ache.  I’ve made strides in overcoming stress since my very-stressful twenties, so it was a strange experience.  Making it worse was that my agita would have been worse if the results had been going the other way.

We’re now like the hero in an action movie who has made an unavoidable but frighteningly risky and dangerous decision, like diving for a falling rope bridge. We’re still going to have to leap for a handhold on the rocks as the bridge comes near the bottom, and then there’s all that climbing to do. But the alternative was slow torture by the Bad Guy followed by painful, ignominious, and isolated death, with our final thoughts devoted to the fate awaiting those whom we were trying to save.

The plans of those who would enslave us have been disrupted. Now we’ve got to work even harder to seize the opportunity, because the chaos around us may be even more immediately dangerous than the slow burn we were fighting before.

In that vein, I hope Trump’s ardent supporters (particularly the alt-right) see that they’ll need those of us who were more circumspect as ballast, so as to actually lead — to govern rather than crash and burn.  For one thing, that will mean some magnanimity and some practical concessions, like moving quickly to work with Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House.  For another, it will mean spending some time on practical steps that will unite use, such as erasing Obama’s imperial legacy by reversing his unilateral moves and wiping away policy lunacy like ObamaCare, as well as ensuring that a fair and thorough investigation and prosecution of the corrupt Clinton Inc. replaces the Obama administration’s cover-up and cleaning house in now-corrupt agencies like the IRS and the Dept. of Justice.

More than anything, though, I hope the shock of yesterday gives progressives and the media a wakeup call. But for their contempt for the American people, and especially those who don’t agree with the forward lunge into radical transformation, the country would not be in this place. But for Obama’s unilateral action, scorn for half the country, and then the sheer audacity of nominating a person like Hillary Clinton, we wouldn’t be here.  Identity politics have to be recognized for the poison that they are.

Those who aren’t thoroughly converted to the left-wing cult must rethink their political philosophies.  We can be absolutely sure that the lesson the zealots will take from the election results will be that they have to be even more calculating and ruthless.  Let’s just say that would be a mistake.


CVS and the Governor as Feudal Lord

This raises questions of political philosophy:

The governor said she’s committed to helping displaced CVS employees find new jobs through the state’s job-training and job-placement programs. She said they’ll all be employed or paid through the end of the year. …

“CVS is a large, growing, strong company,” Raimondo said in an interview. And although CVS is eliminating some jobs as part of its annual strategic planning, Raimondo said the company is adding in other areas: “They’re still hiring.”

Why do we expect our governor to provide us information about the corporate decisions of CVS and to have a “commitment” to individual employees’ job searches?  That is, why does the governor have any role in this story at all, let alone a headline?  Why do we need her intercession and reports on matters that we, private citizens and journalists, can approach the leaders of our fellow private citizens and business leaders to discuss?

The questions become deeper with other news in the same article, after a few paragraphs about the governor’s quest to bring PayPal offices to the state:

Raimondo said she doesn’t know when GE Digital may sign a lease for permanent space in Providence for its promised information technology center. GE Digital spokeswoman Amy Sarosiek said Friday the company hasn’t yet signed a lease.

But, Raimondo said, she dined with GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt earlier this week at the New England Council’s award dinner in Boston, when Raimondo and Immelt were among three winners of the business organization’s “New Englander of the Year” awards.

Why is it the governor’s responsibility to be targeting specific companies for special attention (and special breaks)?

Unfortunately, all of these activities have become only natural, because these rich insiders have built a system in which they’re interconnected as a ruling class and in which the important deals and decisions happen not in our communities, with each advance and innovation of a Rhode Island business owner or worker, but while our elite feudal lord”dines” at bogus insider award ceremonies with other elites.

This is the progressive vision, and it’s only going to become more pronounced as we give government more control over our lives and more responsibility for making sure we never have any difficulty.


This Is What Fundamental Transformation Looks Like

With an extended quotation from Peggy Noonan’s most-recent Wall Street Journal column, Glenn Reynolds gets right to the heart of what we’re experience.  Here’s a bit from Noonan:

What struck me about the [focus] group wasn’t its new insights, which were few. What was powerful was its averageness, its confirmation of what you’ve already observed. The members weren’t sad, precisely, but they were unillusioned. They were seeing things with clean eyes and they were disappointed. They wanted a candidate they could trust and believe in.

We don’t trust or like either candidate for president.  We don’t think our children will be better off than we are.  We don’t like that we’re forbidden from setting up our own safe-spaces (if they conflict with beliefs we’re told are beyond dispute).  We don’t like the level of anxiety we’re forced to live under (often so that politicians can claim they have a problem to solve with new laws).

Here’s Reynolds:

We’ve been fundamentally transformed.

Many of these trends were underway well before Obama stepped into the Oval Office, but as for the government-driven redefinition of marriage after the institution had been somewhat undermined by the culture and no-fault divorce, the point isn’t that the new thing is entirely new.  It’s that it locks it in.  Progressives’ project during the Obama Era has been to make it more difficult to go back and fix some of the errors that they’ve pushed us to make.

Sometimes I think what we’re seeing in 2016 is like the howl of a cartoon cat who was badly injured but couldn’t immediately vocalize the pain.  We haven’t been permitted to really be honest about the harm that Obama’s been doing — partly because of his race, partly because the media gatekeepers haven’t allowed it, and partly because his corrupt administration has suppressed our ability to organize.  So now that we’re almost away from the thing that was keeping us from shouting (whether it was a sleeping dog or a precarious rock that we didn’t want to disturb with our echoes), our scream has awakened Clinton and Trump.

And if these are the choices our system produces at such a time, the prospect of actually healing our society seems like an impossible undertaking.


The Left’s Intimidation Game

As usual, the content on this Prager University video — featuring Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel — won’t be new to readers of the Ocean State Current, but it’s well done and worth the reminder:

Progressives are in the intimidation game for the long haul; indeed, Strassel points out that Southern Democrats used the tactics progressives now focus on conservatives (or any non-progressives) to suppress blacks.  The strategies are:

  1. Harass, as with the IRS targeting Tea Party groups
  2. Investigate & prosecute, as with Wisconsin prosecutors raiding the homes of conservatives, or our own U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s attempts to criminalize opposing views and activities
  3. Blackmail, for which Strassel provides the example of threats made against corporate sponsors of ALEC
  4. Expose, by which progressive seek access to lists of donors and other supporters in order to apply the first three techniques

On the last count, Democrat Tiverton/Portsmouth Representative John “Jay” Edwards had a coup this latest legislative session with his legislation to harass with regulations any citizen who attempts to have a public say on any local ballot question and to open such local activists and their supporters to harassment by vicious groups like Tiverton 1st, which not only succeeded in making public office seem like a costly volunteerism, but also in driving some of its opponents clear out of the town and the state.


Putting Government in Charge of Everything, Consumer Financial Division

We hear complaints when government is slow and inefficient, with Congress receiving the greatest volume of such complaints, but that’s a key point.  When an organization is empowered to confiscate people’s property, change the rules of the economy and society, put people in jail, and even kill them, we should want it to be structured such that it is difficult to abuse and that it doesn’t make sense to use it to undertake too many activities within our society.

This morning’s post on HealthSource fits into this category, as does Iain Murray’s observations of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in the case, PHH Corp. v. CFPB, that the Bureau’s structure was unconstitutional and ordered that Cordray should report to the President. Under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which created the CFPB, the President has no power to remove the CFPB Director except for malfeasance, and Congress has no power to restrict the Bureau’s operations through the appropriations process, as the Bureau draws its budget from the Federal Reserve, itself an independent agency. The Court deems the CFPB’s unaccountable structure unconstitutional, saying that it posed a “risk of arbitrary decisionmaking [sic] and abuse of power” and “a threat to individual liberty.”

Sounds momentous. But you will find no mention of the judgment on the CFPB’s website, and so far the Bureau’s only action has been to file a brief in an unrelated case saying that the ruling “has no basis in the text of the Constitution or in Supreme Court case law,” and that, “The panel decision was wrongly decided and is not likely to withstand further review.”

Read the rest if you haven’t been following the antics of the CFPB.  The lawless agency has been imposing fees retroactively in what can only be described as extortion.

Next, move such boards — including all quasi-publics, government-aligned non-profits, and corporation-like entities like HealthSource — up on your list of things about which to be concerned and by which to judge the people whom you elect.


The Price of Being Victimized

John DePetro has continued his attention to the most critical story of the day: letters to the editor and yoga pants in Barrington.  Saturday, he spoke with the letter writer, Alan Sorrentino, who said that he’d received death threats and was reminded of intimidation he felt in the past as a homosexual man.  This morning, DePetro tweeted Sorrentino’s claim that the Barrington police wanted him to pay for the detail they dispatched to his house the day of the parade.

As I suggested when I wrote about this story on Friday, the whole thing has the feeling of a TV comedy show (see, e.g.), but that doesn’t mean the lessons aren’t real and important.  As much as the people involved may be comedic — Sorrentino now insists he wrote his letter in the persona of somebody who would actually disgust him and the yoga fascists, well, they’re comedic outright — death threats are simply not acceptable.

If Sorrentino correctly understood the Barrington police, that request is unacceptable, too.  Grievance mobs simply cannot be permitted to impose government costs on their victims.

Whether people laugh at this turn of events or not, the effect on public dialogue cannot be doubted.  Anybody thinking of expressing opinions that aren’t perfectly in line with the politically correct, self righteous mobs will think again, and we’ll all be poorer for it.


More of the Vicious Progressive Playbook Becomes Evident

Writing about James O’Keefe’s latest videos and one of its central characters, Democrat operative Robert Creamer, Stanley Kurtz notes that he’s a long-time ally of Barack Obama’s.  Kurtz’s essay ends with a quote from a book that Creamer wrote while in jail for financial crimes, and it casts light not only on the behavior of our current president and the amped up gaslighting many have observed in recent months and years, but also the strategies of progressive activists all the way down to the local level:

In general our strategic goal with people who have become conservative activists is not to convert them—that isn’t going to happen. It is to demoralize them—to ‘deactivate’ them. We need to deflate their enthusiasm, to make them lose their ardor and above all their self-confidence…[A] way to demoralize conservative activists is to surround them with the echo chamber of our positions and assumptions. We need to make them feel that they are not mainstream, to make them feel isolated… We must isolate them ideologically…[and] use the progressive echo chamber…By defeating them and isolating them ideologically, we demoralize conservative activists directly. Then they begin to quarrel among themselves or blame each other for defeat in isolation, and that demoralizes them further.

It would go too far to assume that Creamer’s book is a hidden guide that progressives prominent and unknown have memorized, but the above does indicate that such notions are in the air among them, and the standard rhetoric of progressives across the board proves that Creamer isn’t on his own in promoting these sentiments.

Most disconcerting is his emphasis on demoralization.  This is war to progressives.  The first assumption that non-progressives should make is that they are not really interested in dialogue, consensus, and harmonious living.  They want power and “the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless,” as Orwell put it.

Adding this tidbit to the running list of revelations about how the Clinton camp, the Democrat Party, and progressives generally think and operate, perhaps the most critical lesson for conservatives is that it is a strategic ruse.  Knowing what it is should help us to avoid feeling demoralized, as they desire.  Take their insults and their insistence that we’re alone as fuel, as reason to persist.

As for the advisable counter strategy, at this level of spiritual warfare (which is ultimately what this is) fighting fire with fire will not work, particularly where they have the advantage, which they do in popular culture.  Rather, we have to fight fire with water, which means upholding standards, adhering to a principle that everybody has value and deserves our attention and patience, and simply being better people than they are.  Judging from Creamer’s writings and O’Keefe’s videos, that shouldn’t be difficult to do.

People are generally good, and few can keep up a strategy that requires them to be unjust if their victims don’t reinforce the bullies’ hatred with a sense that it’s kill or be killed.


Unsightly Yoga Pants, Unsightly Politics

Rhode Islanders’ first reaction to the Providence Journal’s front page, today, might be, “What? A local yoga-pants letter-to-the-editor controversy on the front page?”  With some meta-analysis, though, the story’s a bit too perfect.

The most obvious observation is that the story is another contribution to the Hillary Clinton campaign, in the long line of stories to build up her woman-power narrative.  In this regard, the Providence Journal is just playing its role fomenting division and separating people from each other so politicians in the Democrat Party can capitalize on people’s aggravation and feelings of disconnect and powerlessness.

The story could also be seen as an upscale community’s sit-com take on current events, as a commentary on liberals’ fascist urge to escalate every issue to the point of personal confrontation and violence for the express purpose of forcing others to back down.  In Orwell’s 1984 the Party lured citizens into violations in order to crack down on them and make them suffer.  That was the point.  Party boss O’Brien tells our hero, Winston, the following.  (I quote the most relevant part, but readers should find the long paragraph in the middle of the page and read it for its astonishing relevance to our time)

There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.

Some women (and men) are planning a parade in yoga pants down the street of a man who did nothing but express an opinion about appropriate clothing (published in a forum that only a portion of even his town’s residents encounter on a regular basis).  If it happens, the event will be mainly than an opportunity for some people to live out the fantasy of valor on a Sunday afternoon by reveling in somebody else’s powerlessness.

As with their attempt to stop the newspaper from allowing such views to be published, the parade’s effect — its intended effect — will be to warn others away from expressing views to which fascist agitators like Erin Johnson of Barrington might object.  In matters of disagreement with the self-righteous, only those willing to depart from the challenges of their daily lives in order to escalate the fight will push back, isolating the great majority of people who just want to go about life in harmony and forcing them to choose between extremes.  (Nevermind that one of the extremes is largely fictional.)

Our society once strove to encourage discussion of differing points of view to foster understanding and to resolve those differences in a way that we used to call “civil.” Guess those days are done.


The Problem When Government’s an Economic Player

This should be an uncontroversial story offering the latest in medical thinking on a vaccine:

Since the HPV vaccine went on sale a decade ago, three doses have been needed. The panel decided Wednesday that two doses are enough.  

“It will be simpler now for parents to get their kids the HPV vaccine series, and protect their kids from HPV cancers,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As readers of the Current know, Rhode Island responded (arguably) more strongly than any state in the country to the nationwide push to mandate that all students receive this vaccine — which is produced by a single company — as a condition of attending school.  That nationwide push makes one think it awfully convenient that the government would recommend 50% more shots than it now says is necessary.

On the other hand, with ObamaCare, government is increasingly (and disastrously) involved in handling payments for health care, and excess vaccines may not make the cut as it balances its desire to make people pay for other people’s services with the voting-and-campaign-donating payers’ willingness to sit idly by as their wallets are raided.  With premiums continuing to rise, and the government positioned to take the blame, spending isn’t all fun and games.

Obviously, these two dynamics are not mutually exclusive.  The government may have loved the idea of prodding consumers toward excessive utilization of a monopoly drug while it wasn’t so directly visible in the funding stream, but is now reevaluating the corporate cronyism in light of its own accountability.

So if we take away the government’s incentive to meddle, what would be the recommended dosage of this vaccine?  Unfortunately, the question points to the most profound reason to resist society-by-government.  Who knows?  The same entity we’re supposed to trust to give us an analysis of the data is in bed with those who profit from higher recommendations and on the hook if the prices get too high.

Somewhere in this great muddle of health care policy, there’s the intention that government agencies could be objective voices coming to conclusions on the basis of medical science and leaving the market to work out the consequences and individuals to make decisions about resulting priorities.  Trust in that intention has now reached the point of naiveté, and we’ll all be poorer and less healthy for it as long as we allow it to continue.