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Effective Communication

I think this gets the point across in about as clear a terms as you can get. He’s parading that sign in front of flu shot clinic run by the state.

35 Responses to “Effective Communication”

  1. Ian Argent says:

    Saw that and giggled like a school-girl

  2. Ronnie says:

    Nothing will ever compel me to get that swine flu shot.

    There is simply no compelling reason to inject anybody with a mercuric compound, one which can be found in all of these flu vaccines these days, which research has already shown has a harmful effect on the neurology of the human brain, all for an “emergency” that has only been so far fatal to less than a fraction of even 1% of the entire population of these United States.

    If and when the time comes that Obama and the powers that be say to the entire citizenry, “Get vaccinated, or else,” that is when the rounds will start getting chambered by the citizenry, the safeties will be getting set the “Off” position, and the citizenry will collectively reply with, “Back off, jack off!”

    After that, some bullets might start being sent down range just a bit if the backing off part fails to occur.

  3. Sebastian says:

    There’s no evidence that thiomersal, which is the mercuric preservative used in some vaccines, is harmful in the doses administered during vaccination.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    I’m not going to get the hampox vaccine because there’s a shortage and I don’t believe I’m in an at-risk group. I did get the regular flu shot, however, and if there wasn’t a shortage I’d consider the hampox shot.

  5. pdb says:

    Ronnie, don’t be a moron. You’ll ingest more mercury eating a can of tuna than you’ll get from the flu vaccine.

  6. Guav says:

    I additionto the points raised by Sebastian & PDB, single-dose syringes of the H1N1 vaccine will be thimerosal-free and the inhaler sprayer vaccines also will be thimerosal-free.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I should also point out that the contamination that the thimerosal is meant to prevent is a hell of a lot more deadly than the very small amount of mercury that you get in a vaccination.

  8. Weer'd Beard says:

    My company is holding a flu clinic where the shots will be covered. Because of all the H1N1 foolishness the prices have doubled and the supply diminished.

    I’m young and healthy, and I did the right thing and took my name off the list.

    Welcome to government helthcare, where all the healthcare you don’t get is free!!

  9. Guav says:

    I don’t understand this “Welcome to government healthcare” meme.

    It is not the government’s fault that the vaccine is in short supply—the government does not manufacture vaccine, private industry does. And it’s not their fault either.

    And waiting in line? So what? When I go to the non-socialized doctor or dentist with my private insurance, I have to sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes to an hour and a half, even though I have an appointment for a certain time. Since when does private insurance guarantee immediate service?

    Weer’d Beard, how is your anecdote a reflection of “government healthcare”?

  10. Sebastian says:

    Why isn’t it? The government has chosen to meet the demand for the H1N1 vaccine through rationing rather than using the price system. That’s created a shortage and long lines. That’s what folks argue government run health care will do, use rationing to allocate health care resources, resulting in shortages and lines.

  11. Guav says:

    The shortage exists because vaccine needs to be grown in chicken eggs—manufacturing hundreds of millions of doses of cultured vaccine is not like manufacturing a hundred million plastic bottle tops. The government is not a manufacturer of vaccine. The government has not “created a shortage”—the shortage exists, and would exist if there was absolutely zero government involvement in it whatsoever.

    Since the vaccine demand far outstrips supply, then it doesn’t much matter if the government says that those most at risk should get it first, or if it was a free market free-for-all—you would have long lines either way, because there simply is not enough vaccine for everybody yet.

    Considering there are limited doses right now, do you really not think that those most at risk of DYING from H1N1 should be vaccinated first? You find that to be an immoral position?

  12. Sebastian says:

    If you let the price system ration the vaccine, you don’t get long lines, because there’s some price where the number of people who want the vaccine at that price equals the amount that can be produced.

    And yes, this is a case where you want rationing by fiat, but that has consequences. One of them is waiting lines.

  13. Ian Argent says:

    Shortages do not always result in lines. Shortages result in lines when prices cannot be increased to reduce demand.

    In this case, of course, the people who can pay for higher prices aren’t necessarily the ones who most need the vaccine. But the people standing in those lines aren’t necessarily the ones who need the vaccine the most either – they’re just the people who have or can make time to stand in line. Instead of raising prices directly, we’ve increased the cost in an indirect fashion. TANSTAAFL.

    In this case, though, the us.gov vastly overpromised and underdelivered. We were told there would be plenty of vaccine for all. Come der tag, there’s shortages.

    In this case, I think we have the worst of both worlds – which is what the current health-care/insurance fiasco looks like. In order to please both sides, we’re getting sold a mess with the worst features of both.

  14. Guav says:

    Ok Sebastian, of course you don’t ALWAYS get long lines when demand outstrips supply—if the vaccine was prices so exorbitantly that only the wealthy could afford it, you’re right—you might not have the same lines. But that has consequences as well, especially with an epidemic/pandemic where people’s lives are actually at stake. You may not have lines, but you might have riots and civil unrest. I’d rather have lines.

    Ian, in this case, the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture the vaccine vastly overpromised and underdelivered. The us.gov told us how many doses we could expect to have available, and when, based on what the manufacturers told them.

  15. Ian Argent says:

    Got evidence that the pharmas overpromised? If the producers didn’t have a pretty good idea of what their series production rate of a product was, they’d be out of business. (My off-the-cuff: the producers gave a range of availability and the .gov cherrypicked the rosiest numbers).

    I also want to make it clear; I *don’t* think rationing vaccines by price point is a good idea. I just don’t know if rationing by available time is a good idea either.

    At any rate, the effectiveness of a message is only distantly related to its accuracy. My wife just had to debunk a co-worker who had been taken in by the Kellerman study, for example. Or how about the nonsense about Palin seeing Russia from her house?

    Play to tropes, and your message is more believable. The sign-holder (and photographer – it’s the sign juxtaposed with the line that really sells the message) is selling the message that government-provided services cost time. Which anyone who has had to deal with the government will believe. Witness complaints about the DMV.

  16. Guav says:

    Sebastian:

    But the people standing in those lines aren’t necessarily the ones who need the vaccine the most either – they’re just the people who have or can make time to stand in line.


    Well if only people in the most at-risk groups are allowed to get the vaccine, then if there are people not in those groups waiting in that line, they are probably wasting their time, as they won’t be vaccinated.

    Ian:

    Got evidence that the pharmas overpromised?


    No, it appears that I may have been talking completely out of my ass. I could have sworn I just read that yesterday, but I cannot locate the article saying that. I’ll assume I am wrong on that point.

    My wife just had to debunk a co-worker who had been taken in by the Kellerman study, for example.


    I know what you mean … I have to address the Kellerman study at least twice a month. It has such an easy-to-remember “statistic.” People love that one.

    Or how about the nonsense about Palin seeing Russia from her house?


    The nonsense was that Palin herself, John McCain and other campaign officials said you can see Russia from Alaska! Holy shit it’s right fucking there! as “proof” of her foreign policy credentials. It was a joke before Tina Fey ever touched on it. Yes, Palin never said she could see Russia from her house, but her actual statements were just as absurd and irrelevant. Not quite the same as the Kellerman study :)

  17. Ian Argent says:

    But everyone “remembers” Palin thinks you can see Russia from her house. Likewise Kellerman, etc.

    If this goes viral everyone will “remember” that government-provided health-care leads to line. I’m pretty sure in this case that’s literally true, as that sure does appear to be a school in the background – implying that the rubber-meets-the-road provider is the .gov

    Never mind that it took almost 30 minutes for me to get my regular flu shot from my employer, and they ran out as well – a notable change this year from last; and one that I attribute to the H1N1 flap.

  18. Bitter says:

    And to top off this line of comments, it would be well advised to read this account of a pregnant woman (the top priority group for getting the H1N1 vaccine given their insanely high death rate from this flu) who couldn’t get one because it was free and more than 4,000 people turned up at just one location to get the shots even though they didn’t qualify. Instead of finding those priority folks, staff just walked the line and turned her away because it was so long and they were trusting the front of the line folks weren’t lying about working with kids because of the honor system. She would have been willing to pay upwards of $200 for the vaccine, but she doesn’t have the option because the government workers believe free shots are best distributed by the honor system.

  19. Guav says:

    couldn’t get one because it was free and more than 4,000 people turned up at just one location to get the shots even though they didn’t qualify.

    Emphasis mine. Sorry, but you completely invented that last part. You made it up. The link does not say that, and you certainly have no way of knowing who in that line did or did not qualify.

    • Bitter says:

      When more than 50,000 people show up (4,000 at her location, 45,000 at another, and two other locations in addition), with the staff admitting they were running on the honor system for a free product for a flu that has been hyped beyond reason all year, you’re going to vouch that every single person in those lines was absolutely a priority patron? You have an awful lot of faith in people, Guav. You must be disappointed or disillusioned a lot.

      So I’ll clarify: “more than 4,000 people turned up at just one location to get the shots even though they were not asked to prove they qualified for the program and only the most optimistic person would believe that all 4,000 (plus more than 45,000 at other locations) actually fell into the targeted groups.”

      I might also add that the city has just a hair over 180,000, how does a city that size have around 1/3 of its population in the designated groups? I would love to see that math.

  20. Guav says:

    Bitter:

    You’re going to vouch that every single person in those lines was absolutely a priority patron?


    Where did I say that? I merely pointed out that you changed a situation where someone said that they don’t know who qualified and who didn’t to “4,000 people turned up even though they didn’t qualify.” You changed a possibility into a certainty; you essentially claimed that every single person in those lines was a liar even though we don’t know—and have no way of knowing—who qualified and who didn’t.

    And as far as Milli Pritchett goes, she said

    It seems to me that had they charged at least 20 dollars a person, half those people maybe would not have even been there.

    Probably true. But that doesn’t automatically weed out people who aren’t in high risk groups, it just weeds out people to whom money is tight. Furthermore, even with half the people there, she still wouldn’t have gotten her shot, so what’s her point? She also says:

    There are people that aren’t in the high risk groups getting the shots, just because they are free.

    How does she know that? What does a person not in a high-risk group look like? I’m a 37 year old man in perfect health, she probably would have thought I shouldn’t be there if I was in line in front of her in line. But I also have a 10 week-old infant at home and a wife who stays home with him—the only way they are getting H1N1 is if I bring it home with me from the bus or subway that I ride every day. How can she tell just by looking at the people in line if they belonged to one of the high-risk groups or not? She can’t. Neither can you and neither can I.

    It’s nice that she’s willing to pay $200 for the shot, but if the shot cost $200 instead of being free, that would in no way ensure that only the most at-risk groups got it first either. She’s basically just pissed that wealth can’t buy her better treatment than the peasants.

    I might also add that the city has just a hair over 180,000, how does a city that size have around 1/3 of its population in the designated groups? I would love to see that math.


    Yes, Salt Lake City has a population of just a hair over 180,000. However, the vaccination clinics were for Salt Lake County, which contains not just the city but also many of it’s suburbs including West Valley City and Sandy, where two of the four vaccination clinics were located. Salt Lake County has a population of just a hair over 1 million people. So the people who showed up were about 5% of the total population of the area serviced—which is, I assume, far less than the portion of the population actually in the high-risk groups.

    Sure, in theory, it could have been 49,999 people weren’t in one of the high risk groups, plus our pregnant friend Milli Pritchett. Or it could have been 49,999 people in actually in those high-risk groups and Milli Pritchett could have made her anecdote up. I’m not suggesting she did, but the honor system applies to everything, not just these vaccinations—we generally assume that people are telling the truth about things unless we have reason to think otherwise, right?

    My inclination is that people should have to provide some evidence that they qualify, but that opens up a host of problems as well. If Milli had shown up, waited in line, and then when her turn came was told that they couldn’t give it to her because she didn’t bring notarized paperwork from her ObGyn stating that she was pregnant, she’d be complaining about that instead.

    The problem is not, as she says, that the shot was free. The problem is simply that there’s not enough of it yet.

  21. Ian Argent says:

    Among other things, I’m a tabletop gamer, both wargames and RPGs. The highlight of hte gaming year is (and has almost always been) the Gen-Con convention, late of milwaukee and now in Indy.

    The organizers of the convention charge an an admission fee; but in addition, they charge a couple of bucks per event via a ticket system. Each timeslot costs a certain number of “tickets” with the tickets being, roughly, 2 bucks or so the last time I looked – IE, a marginal cost over admission, hotel, airfare, etc. The point of the ticket system is not to gouge another picaynue amount (though I imagine it does add up); but to allow for signalling and allocation of scare resources.

    Studies have shown that even a nominal fee causes people to assess need, whereas “free is free”… For a clinic like this, I would charge a nominal fee ($5 strikes me as about right) to cause people to assess their needs rather than gather for the free stuff.

  22. Guav says:

    The base problem, however, is supply, not cost. If there were enough doses for everyone who wants it, whether or not it’s free or $5 is a moot issue.

  23. Ian Argent says:

    May as well wish for unicorns to commute with. Last I checked, we still had to deal with scarcity.

    Which is the other scary thing about .gov-provided health care. The .gov is LOUSY at managing scarcity. (PRetty good about creating it though).

  24. Guav says:

    There’s a difference between government-provided healthcare and government-provided insurance. None of the healthcare reform bills under discussion introduce UK or Cuban-style government-provided healthcare, so what are you scared of?

  25. Ian Argent says:

    I’m scared of an organization that doesn’t have to make a profit; and therefore doesn’t have to listen to it’s consumers at all. As it is, because the current system has the customer being the employer and the consumer being the employee there isn’t enough messaging, IMHO.

    And if you think .gov-provided insurance won’t end up with .gov-provided care, we’re back to the unicorn.

  26. Guav says:

    Ian:

    And if you think .gov-provided insurance won’t end up with .gov-provided care, we’re back to the unicorn.

    No we’re not. Most countries that have some form of government-provided insurance are very happy not moving in any way towards government-provided healthcare. I don’t want a UK or Cuban-style system either. Luckily, that’s not what’s being proposed and claiming that it’s the logical conclusion (and nefarious, secret plan) is a straw man.

    If government-provided insurance is a such a nightmare, then why won’t the 50+ Republican congresspeople opposing the public option who are on Medicare give up the free government health insurance they are currently enrolled in? Who that opposes the public option is going to turn down Medicare when they become eligible?

    Probably about as many people who actually “went Galt” after threatening to do so. Like zero.

  27. Ian Argent says:

    You;re asking Congress to give up one of their employer-provided benefits? Get real; on several levels. That’s like asking me to give up my employer-provided benefits, actually.

    And people won’t have to give up medicare – the docs will just stop taking it. For that matter, I know of a couple docs who take no insurance whatsoever. My wife went to one for a number of years.

    For that matter – I don’t want the .gov setting medical priorities. My current health-care provider can charge me extra for smoking (technically I get a discount for not smoking). The .gov can pass a law against it. That’s a pretty big difference right there.

  28. Ian Argent says:

    Incidentally – I have no problem with congress-critters being fairly well-compensated, both directly (pay) and indirectly via benefits. It’s a tight rope to walk – too much money and the pay becomes the object of getting elected. Too little and the money you make by baksheeh (mordida, whatever) is more important than the pay.

    Basically, compensate them enough that it’s not cost-effective to buy them.

  29. Guav says:

    You’re asking Congress to give up one of their employer-provided benefits? Get real; on several levels. That’s like asking me to give up my employer-provided benefits, actually.

    No I’m not. Fifty-five Republicans who are steadfastly opposed to other Americans getting the public option currently receive government-funded, government-administered single-payer health care—Medicare.

    But as far as their “employer provided benefits” go, those special health perks and private .gov clinics they have … I don’t expect them to give those up. Nobody in their right mind would. So I guess even government-provided healthcare isn’t such a nightmare for them either.

  30. Ian Argent says:

    For congress-critters, that’s employer-provided. I’m pretty sure there are other people with equivalent coverage. I’d be shocked if the CEOs of the fortune 500 don’t have at least as good coverage; probably the Fortune 1000.

  31. Guav says:

    Not talking about the special government-provided healthcare benefits and perks they receive as members of Congress, I’m talking about Medicare.

  32. Ian Argent says:

    Medicare was supposed to have been a safety net – much as Social Security (and is subject to all the same problems as Social Security, plus it’s own problems).

    Medicare is a good example of what will happen in the market – the government-provided service has squeezed the private options and distorts the market for innovation – Medicare delays adding new treatments to its schedule and underpays once it does – effectively shifting costs to those of us not covered.

  33. Guav says:

    Then Republicans should immediately withdraw from the Medicare system themselves and publicly advocate getting rid of Medicare for everyone. I wonder why they don’t.

  34. Ian Argent says:

    Because the Republicans are a coalition (just as the democrats are)? You’re looking for the Libertarians – they’re over there someplace, concerning themselves with ideological purity…

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