The one-month anniversary of Dr. Joe Biden, M.D.’s vaccination order for Head Start workers

From the US Department of HHS:

Vaccination of Head Start staff is essential as we work together to build back out of the COVID-19 pandemic and move toward fully in-person services. On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced a plan requiring all Head Start program staff and certain contractors to be vaccinated. This action will help more programs and early childhood centers safely remain open and provide comfort to the many parents and guardians that rely on them every day to keep their children safe.

Beginning January 2022, all Head Start teachers and program staff will be required to be vaccinated to help ensure the health and safety of children, families, and their communities.

COVID-19 is an emergency requiring unprecedented suspensions of what had been considered Americans’ rights. At the same time, it is not such a serious emergency that people need to be vaccinated sooner than four months after the President/Physician-in-Chief’s order.

Related:

  • “Head Start: A Tragic Waste of Money” (CATO, 2010): Created in 1965, the comprehensive preschool program for 3- and 4‐​year olds and their parents is meant to narrow the education gap between low‐​income students and their middle‐ and upper‐​income peers. Forty‐​five years and $166 billion later, it has been proven a failure. The bad news came in the [Obama administration] study released this month: It found that, by the end of the first grade, children who attended Head Start are essentially indistinguishable from a control group of students who didn’t. … In fact, not a single one of the 114 tests administered to first graders — of academics, socio‐​emotional development, health care/​health status and parenting practice — showed a reliable, statistically significant effect from participating in Head Start.
  • “The Head Start CARES Demonstration: Another Failed Federal Early Childhood Education Program” (Heritage, 2015): The two small-scale studies—of the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project begun in 1962 and the Carolina Abecedarian Project begun in 1972—that were used to demonstrate the effectiveness of such interventions are now outdated. Their results have never been replicated.
  • coming to the opposite conclusion (i.e., give them more money) … “The Never-Ending Struggle to Improve Head Start” (Atlantic, 2016): The federal government has invested billions in preschool, but there’s still lots of room to grow. No rigorous research project followed the children Johnson was talking about to determine whether now, in their mid-50s, the 1965 Head Start graduates are living the productive and rewarding lives predicted for them. Critics charge that Head Start is a big federal program spending billions of tax dollars on a pipe dream: that the effects of being born into poverty can be averted for a lifetime with a few hours a day spent in a classroom at age 4. On the other hand, its champions argue that everything Johnson predicted is still possible, if only the country gives the program the resources it needs to succeed. … Despite its evidently strong program, there is scant empirical evidence supporting Portland’s success at improving the academic futures of its graduates beyond that first year of kindergarten entry. The same is true of Head Start as a whole.
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Why are we deporting anyone to Haiti?

On May 22, 2021, the Biden Administration decided that nobody could be sent back to Haiti (DHS.gov):

Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This new TPS designation enables Haitian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti) currently residing in the United States as of May 21, 2021 to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.”

When did this temporary government program start?

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano initially designated Haiti for TPS in January 2010 based on extraordinary and temporary conditions within the country, specifically the effects of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. In 2011, Haiti’s designation was extended, and the country was also redesignated for TPS at the same time. Haiti’s designation was subsequently extended again for 18 months in 2013 and 2015, and for an additional six months in 2017.

In January 2018, a Federal Register notice announced termination of Haiti’s TPS designation effective July 22, 2019. Four separate lawsuits challenged that termination. Due to court injunctions and other rulings, TPS for Haiti remains in effect pending case outcomes.

(Proof of the adage that “nothing is more permanent than a temporary government program”?)

The New York Times tells us that Haitians who arrived last week are being deported. Haiti is safe for them. But Haitians who arrived prior to July 29 will find that Haiti is unsafe. Thus, they can stay and enjoy a lifetime of means-tested housing, Medicaid, SNAP/EBT, and Obamaphone (none of which is “welfare” because these are non-cash benefits):

Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said on Monday that while the United States has extended protection for Haitians who had arrived in the country before July 29, those who arrive now are not covered.

Once [Aminadel Glezil] was on an airport shuttle, heading to a plane, he realized he was being deported, he said, and began to protest that he had never seen an immigration official and had no deportation order. He said he was beaten by officers and handcuffed for the flight.

“I couldn’t believe a powerful country like the U.S. would treat us that way,” he said.

Many of the migrants said they spent their life’s savings on the arduous trip, on foot and by bus, to the United States.

Some described the long march across a stretch of jungle along the border between Panama and Colombia called the Darien Gap, saying they stumbled past the cadavers of fellow travelers.

Despite receiving billions of dollars in reconstruction aid after a devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti is a dangerous and politically turbulent country.

Armed gangs control many areas. Poverty and hunger are rising. The country’s few institutions are so underfunded as to seem meaningless, and its Parliament, with only eleven elected officials still in office, was stunned this summer by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

If it is our moral duty to accept Haitians who arrived prior to July 29, and provide them with 3 or 4 generations of what was formerly called “welfare”, why don’t we have any duty to provide residence and citizenship to those who arrived after July 29? If we don’t have a moral duty to Haitians who walked into Texas after July 29, why do we have any duty to continue to house, feed, and provide health care to those who arrived before July 29?

Separately, how are any Haitians being deported? If they say that they’re being attacked at home, they can apply for asylum as domestic violence survivors. If they say that they identify as LGBQTIA+, they can apply for asylum on the grounds that their neighbors back home in Haiti are anti-LGBTQIA+ (“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Haiti may face social and legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents … Public opinion tends to be opposed to LGBT rights, which is why LGBT people are not protected from discrimination, are not included in hate crimes laws and households headed by same-sex couples do not have any of the legal rights given to married couples.” — Wikipedia). They can claim that gangs back in Haiti will kill them if they show up. At a minimum, they should be entitled to a multi-year process of hearings, etc. Assuming that Haitians do any research at all into U.S. asylum procedure, how are we able to just round people up and put them on a chartered airliner without hearing their asylum tale?

(A friend of a friend has been extracting people from Afghanistan and delivering them into the U.S. refugee/asylum system. He advises all of the asylum-seekers to claim LGBTQIA+ orientation as the reason that they can’t live among fellow devout Muslims. Note that this doesn’t always work. My friend who observed the drama of Au pair to green card later employed a Ukrainian au pair who tried the asylum gambit by claiming that she was being targeted by the police for going to a Pride rally and that she was herself LGBTQIA+. This was ultimately unsuccessful due to Ukraine not having any laws against LGBTQIA+ sexual activity.)

Finally, if Biden is deporting Haitians into a society that his own administration says is “experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic”, how does that make him better than Donald Trump? Is the argument that Trump deported migrants in economy seats while Biden is deporting migrants in First Class?

So many questions! I hope readers can enlighten me.

Related:

  • “U.S. expulsions of Haitians may violate international law – UN refugee boss” (Reuters): The mass expulsion of Haitians from the United States without screening for their protection needs may contravene international law and constitute forced returns, the United Nations’ top refugee official Filippo Grandi said on Tuesday. He urged the United States to lift its Title 42 health-related restrictions in place since March 2020, saying they “deny most people arriving at the southwest U.S. land border any opportunity to request asylum”. “The summary, mass expulsions of individuals currently under way under the Title 42 authority, without screening for protection needs, is inconsistent with international norms and may constitute refoulement,” Grandi said in the Geneva-based agency’s strongest statement since the crisis began. … “We are disturbed by the images that we have seen and by the fact that we have seen all these migrants and refugees and asylum-seekers in transport to Port-au-Prince,” U.N. human rights spokesperson Marta Hurtado told a briefing in Geneva. “We are seriously concerned by the fact that it appears there have not been any individual assessments of the cases … and that therefore maybe some of these people have not received the protection that they needed.” … “While some people arriving at the border may not be refugees, anyone who … claims to have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in their country of origin – they should have access to asylum and to have their claim assessed before being subjected to expulsion or deportation,” U.N. refugee agency spokesperson Shabia Mantoo told the briefing.
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Taking away guns from people who work in health care and/or for larger employers

Dr. Joe Biden, M.D., Ph.D., has read all of the papers and looked at the data and made a science-informed decision to order anyone who wants to keep working in a Medicare/Medicaid-funded health care business (i.e., everyone in American health care) to get vaccinated against the coronavirus version that existed in December 2019. Unless they want to transition to the disability lifestyle (“my long COVID is acting up”), employees at companies with at least 100 employees will also have to get vaccinated against this two-year-old virus under OSHA emergency rules.

Via this order, COVID-19 will be in full retreat. What’s next for this selfless hero of public health? How about bold action against gun ownership? “‘Something has to be done’: After decades of near-silence from the CDC, the agency’s director is speaking up about gun violence” (CNN, August 28, 2021):

For the first time in decades, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the nation’s top public health agency — is speaking out forcefully about gun violence in America, calling it a “serious public health threat.”

“Something has to be done about this,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “Now is the time — it’s pedal to the metal time.”

This summer alone has seen a spree of gun injuries and deaths, and the weekends have been especially violent, with an average of 200 people killed and 472 injured by guns each weekend in the United States, not including suicides, according to an analysis done by the Gun Violence Archive for CNN. That’s nearly 3.4 people shot every hour every weekend.

In April, President Joe Biden said the country was facing “a gun violence public health epidemic,” but the CDC hasn’t said how it plans to address the epidemic until now.

(I trust and expect that the aforementioned weekend shooters were following all local mask mandates when on their sprees.)

If vaccines can be ordered by the President/Physician-in-Chief as a condition of employment, why not giving up gun ownership? If nobody with a job has a gun, then by definition there can’t be any workplace gun violence (examples: San Bernardino 2015 attack, in which 14 were killed and 22 injured; 2009 Fort Hood shooting, in which 13 were killed and 30 injured).

Just as President Biden’s order on vaccines won’t reach every American (since many of us wisely decided to choose disability or unwisely decided to work for a small company) and therefore won’t end the pandemic overnight, the above-proposed order from President Biden on gun violence won’t end all gun violence, but I hope that everyone can agree that it would be a positive step forward for our nation or, at least, that if President Biden has the authority to end anti-vax violence in the workplace then he has the authority to end gun violence in the workplace.

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Disability lifestyle getting more attractive under Biden?

I’m wondering if we should expect a massive increase in the number of Americans who transition to the disability lifestyle during the Biden administration.

Let’s consider today’s world of work. Unless remote, the worker will be exposed to variant coronavirus that laughs at our feeble vaccines. The worker may need to wear a mask for 8 hours per day. The worker will be forced to accept whatever injections Dr. Joe Biden, M.D., Ph.D. orders, according to “Sweeping new vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans” (AP):

In his most forceful pandemic actions and words, President Joe Biden on Thursday ordered sweeping new federal vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans — private-sector employees as well as health care workers and federal contractors — in an all-out effort to curb the surging COVID-19 delta variant.

Speaking at the White House, Biden sharply criticized the tens of millions of Americans who are not yet vaccinated, despite months of availability and incentives.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said, all but biting off his words. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”

The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.

Biden is also requiring vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.

Biden announced the new requirements in a Thursday afternoon address from the White House as part of a new “action plan” to address the latest rise in coronavirus cases and the stagnating pace of COVID-19 shots.

See also

What is there to like about any of the above?

Let’s consider disability lifestyle enhancements during the Biden administration.

First, it should be much easier to qualify: “Biden says ‘long Covid’ could qualify as a disability under federal law” (NBC). Here’s a list of long COVID symptoms from Mayo:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Memory, concentration or sleep problems
  • Muscle pain or headache
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Dizziness when you stand
  • Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities

I.e., a pretty good summary of how I feel every morning while attempting to get out of bed. Is there anyone over age 40 who wouldn’t qualify as a long COVID sufferer?

Once your claim for disability due to long COVID is accepted, you don’t have to pay back those student loans that have been overwhelming your finances (NYT: “$10 Billion in Student Debt Erased Under Biden, but Calls Grow for More”).

Need to fatten up so that COVID-19 can get a good grip on your body? “Biden Administration Prompts Largest Permanent Increase in Food Stamps” (NYT): “Under rules to be announced on Monday and put in place in October, average benefits will rise more than 25 percent from prepandemic levels.” (See also “Swipe Yo EBT”) Most folks on disability should also qualify for SNAP/EBT, right?

(Separately, have we noticed COVID Karens displaying thinner/fitter bodies compared to 1.5 years ago and compared to their COVID-ignoring Deplorable counterparts? If people are more worried about COVID, shouldn’t they have been exercising a lot more over the past 1.5 years compared to people who weren’t afraid to resume their lives?)

What if you want to move into a $1 million apartment in Cambridge or San Francisco and pay a means-tested $200/month including utilities (set as a fraction of whatever you get from SSDI)? In the bad old days there was a long waiting list for taxpayer-subsidized housing. Maybe not anymore, though! “Biden Administration Proposes $318 Billion for Affordable Housing in American Jobs Plan” (June 1, 2021)

Other than qualifying for disability, how could a working age American escape being hassled by all of these new requirements and simultaneously avoid the risks of contracting COVID-19? A purely remote job sounds like a possible solution, but the government and employer can presumably still impose requirements as a condition of continued employment (anti-racism training, sexual harassment training, vaccine requirements, etc.), just as Rutgers constructively expelled an unvaccinated student who was taking classes from home.

Related:

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Now that we have real leadership from the White House, are Americans better at fighting the COVID War?

We were informed by the media that a principal reason the U.S. was unequal to the task of fighting the COVID War was poor leadership from the White House. Donald Trump was anti-science and refused to believe that shutdowns and masks for the general public would have a significant impact on the coronavirus. See “Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus” (NYT, July 2020), for example.

The roots of the nation’s current inability to control the pandemic can be traced to mid-April, when the White House embraced overly rosy projections to proclaim victory and move on.

Donald Trump has been gone for 7 months now. President Biden is providing fantastic science-guided leadership from the White House. Are Americans responding to this improvement by behaving better? The CDC recommends indoor masking, for example. Have you seen more people wearing masks indoors this month compared to in early January 2021? More people washing hands and using sanitizer? Fewer gatherings? In your direct experience, are more people or fewer people traveling (and therefore spreading variant COVID!) compared to when the hated dictator was in power? (data point: our hotel in Niagara Falls said that they’d been 100 percent full for months)

One place that was following the science, in our recent travels, was the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Masks are required in an outdoor garden/zoo, in order to protect the animals from contracting plague. Masks are, of course, required indoors, so that child visitors are protected.

The scientists at the museum want to remind you that when non-natives move into a country, the natives will have a tough time affording “food or other resources”, that the non-natives may bring disease, and that, once the non-natives arrive, the natives may stop reproducing.

What about at the art museum next door, where the median age of a visitor is probably 40 years older than at the natural history museum? Masks are optional, indoors and out.

Overall, our experience has been that, despite great leadership from the White House, Americans are not #FollowingTheLeader. Unless the vaccination rate is near 100 percent, mask usage indoors doesn’t match the old CDC’s recommendation that only the vaccinated can shed the hijab. Signs and practices certainly do not line up with the CDC’s latest guidance that everyone, including the vaccinated, should wear a mask indoors. From a McDonald’s near the Syracuse, NY airport, August 3:

The sign regarding the “newly released” science was already out of date and none of the customers inside was wearing a mask.

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What will rural American taxpayers get in return for spending on infrastructure?

In my view, the biggest financial implication of the Biden/Harris victory is the transfer of funds from rural Americans to urban Americans. Big Government spends nearly all of its money in cities so a bigger government accelerates the process of looting from rural Americans to enrich those who live in cities, e.g., with free public housing, improved transportation systems, fancier hospitals, etc.

“Over budget and behind schedule: Why the Bay Area can’t get big transportation projects right” (San Jose Mercury News, June 27, 2021) has some interesting data:

In 1998, Caltrans estimated that a new eastern span of the Bay Bridge would cost $1.4 billion and take four years to build. The actual cost was $6.4 billion; plagued by design controversies, brittle steel rods and more, the project lasted 11 years.

The Transbay Transit Center in downtown San Francisco cost nearly twice as much as its initial budget and opened two years behind schedule — then had to close for another nine months to repair cracked steel beams that were not built to code.

Construction has not yet begun on the project extending BART service through downtown San Jose, but its price tag has risen twice over the last three years, to $6.9 billion, while its projected opening date has slipped by three to four years.

Now, with lawmakers in Washington announcing a deal for a huge increase in federal infrastructure spending, and officials in the Bay Area eyeing the next big round of “mega-projects” — including a second transbay BART tube, the extension of Caltrain service into downtown San Francisco and a long list of other plans that by one estimate could total $100 billion — there is mounting pressure to get our act together.

The high cost of transportation projects is not unique to the Bay Area. It’s a nationwide problem, with the United States frequently spending far more per mile of new subway construction, for instance, than other countries around the world.

Take the six-mile, four-station South Bay BART extension, for instance. The design for its 4.7-mile tunnel beneath downtown San Jose is based on a construction method pioneered in Barcelona that was meant to lower costs and minimize disruptions at street level during construction.

The Spanish project cost less than $250 million per mile, according to SPUR. The BART extension is set to cost well over $1 billion per mile.

The rest of the article isn’t so interesting. After decades of failure, it is obvious that Americans can reorganize government so that we will do everything efficiently going forward. (If it is that easy, why not reorganize ourselves to be able to build integrated circuits with competitive quality and price compared to what the Taiwanese are able to do? Then we wouldn’t have a chip shortage shutting down our car factories.)

I find it fascinating that so many Americans are still so enthusiastic about infrastructure spending when building infrastructure is one of the things that we are worst at. Even when urban dwellers can stick rural Americans with the bill, one would think that they’d prefer instead to loot out the rural Americans in some other way that would deliver greater benefits to city residents.

Related:

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Coronavirus became 12X more deadly after just one month of the Biden administration

The CDC, early morning on January 20, 2021 (i.e., the last few hours of the Trump Dictatorship; via archive.org):

From an epidemiologist’s point of view, the best “reference group” for a disease that kills 82-year-olds is 18-29-year-olds. If you’re old, you have a 63,000% chance of dying (“630x higher”).

From February 18, 2021:

After just one month scientific government by President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, M.D., and President Harris, an old person has a 790,000% chance of dying (“7900x”). Get the great-grandkids to dig 7,900 graves in the backyard.

(Of course, the frightening 12.5X increase in the deadliness of COVID-19 is a result of changing the comparison group for this killer of the elderly to 5-17-year-olds.)

The latest version of the page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/investigations-discovery/hospitalization-death-by-age.html

(Thanks to a reader, whose identity I must protect from the virtue police, for pointing me to this page.)

See also “With Vaccination Goal in Doubt, Biden Warns of Variant’s Threat” (NYT, June 18):

State health officials are trying to persuade the hesitant. In West Virginia, where just over a third of the population is fully vaccinated, Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s coronavirus czar, said young people were proving especially difficult to win over.

“There was a narrative earlier in the pandemic that is really haunting us, which is that young people are really protected,” he said. “There’s a false belief that for many young people who are otherwise healthy that they still have a relatively free ride with this, and if they get infected, they’ll be fine.”

Dr. Joe Biden, M.D., Ph.D., to the rescue:

“The best way to protect yourself against these variants is to get vaccinated,” the president declared.

That should persuade healthy 16-year-olds that they need to take a few days off to get two injections, recover from the flu-style symptoms, etc.! Certainly they won’t continue to hold the “false belief” that they are roughly 1/8,000th as likely to die from COVID-19 as an old person.

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Joe Biden’s mask order meets Florida

The Florida Free State ends at the border with federally-owned land, e.g., Everglades National Park. See “Biden’s first executive order will require masks on federal property” (CNN). The order isn’t quite as stringent as what we have in Maskachusetts. It is legal to be in the middle of federally-owned woods without a mask on, for example, but you’re supposed to wear one if you can’t maintain a 6′ social distance.

How much difference in individual behavior occurs when there is effective leadership in Washington, D.C.? Last month both Floridians and out-of-towners mingled on the Anhinga Trail boardwalk, politely sharing information regarding alligator and bird sightings. Although a few folks sported chin diapers, nobody actually wore a mask, despite this being the most crowded part of the park, even when coming close to another person (every few minutes).

The #Science-informed Federales want you to stay healthy by drinking nothing but Coke. At the trailhead:

(#Science says protect yourself against an airborne virus by washing your soda can, a behavior that would previously have earned you a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. See also Does disinfectant theater contribute to coronaplague?)

Government experts remind us that immigrants from Africa, Central America, and South America are “unwelcome” and “crowd out their native neighbors”:

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Can billionaires marry their children to avoid Joe Biden’s new estate taxes?

“Biden’s Capital-Gains Tax Plan Would Upend Estate Planning by the Wealthy” (Wall Street Journal, April 29):

President Biden’s American Families Plan would raise capital-gains taxes and end a rule that has been a cornerstone of estate planning for generations of wealthy Americans.

The change—increasing the top capital-gains rate to 43.4% from 23.8% and taxing assets as if sold when someone dies—would upend the tax strategies of the very richest households.

Let’s consider Jack and Jill Billionaire. Jill was the first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion manager hired by a successful Silicon Valley startup. Her shares in the company, purchased for $1, are now worth $1 billion. Jack and Jill have two children, Morgan and Parker. Jack and Morgan currently identify as male. Jill and Parker currently identify as female.

If Jack and Jill were to die from triple-mutant coronavirus during President Harris’s reign, their children would inherit only around $430 million ($1 billion minus 43.4 percent federal tax minus 13.3 percent California state tax).

The U.S. offers no-fault divorce and same-sex marriage (by Supreme Court ruling). There shouldn’t be any obstacle to Jack and Jill cooperating on a divorce then Jack marrying Morgan and Jill marrying Parker. South Carolina law, for example (from Wikipedia):

(1) A man with his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother, sister, grandfather’s wife, son’s wife, grandson’s wife, wife’s mother, wife’s grandmother, wife’s daughter, wife’s granddaughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s sister or mother’s sister; (2) A woman with her father, grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, brother, grandmother’s husband, daughter’s husband, granddaughter’s husband, husband’s father, husband’s grandfather, husband’s son, husband’s grandson, brother’s son, sister’s son, father’s brother or mother’s brother.

Jack and Jill might each be able to marry either child if both children identify as some gender that takes them out of the “son” and “daughter” categories.

Now, when the Grim Mutant COVID-19 Reaper comes for Jack and Jill, the kids inherit $1 billion rather than $430 billion.

[What if Jack and Jill have four children rather than two? There is no limit to the number of no-fault divorce lawsuits that an American can file. Jack and Jill can marry and divorce their children in succession, with a tax-free agreed-upon property division after each divorce.]

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A 7-year-old contemplates the government’s $1.9 trillion gift to the American People

A bedtime scene:

  • 7-year-old: Joe Biden is going to send us money.
  • Mom: No. Joe Biden is going to take money from us and send it to other people. Our income is too high to qualify for the money that Joe Biden is sending out.
  • 7-year-old: You and Dad should stop working then, so that you can get the money instead of paying the money.

Which reminds me… what is actually in this bill? It is supposedly about $1,400 checks for most Americans (do children, retirees, and those already on welfare get checks?)? But if we divide $1.9 trillion by 308 million (Census-estimated population of 330 million minus the 22 million undocumented who presumably won’t qualify for a federal program organized by Social Security number), we get $6,169 per documented American. Plainly, the majority of this $1.9 trillion is going somewhere other than into average Americans’ pockets.

(Does it make sense to pay the same amount to a government worker who has been paid in full to stay home and work a few hours per day as it does to a self-employed Uber driver whose income has been reduced and whose job requires leaving the house and being exposed to COVID-19?)

From the New York Times:

It would inject vast amounts of federal resources into the economy, including one-time direct payments of up to $1,400 for hundreds of millions of Americans, jobless aid of $300 a week to last through the summer, money for distributing coronavirus vaccines and relief for states, cities, schools and small businesses struggling during the pandemic.

Beyond the immediate aid, the bill, titled the American Rescue Plan, is estimated to cut poverty by a third this year and would plant the seeds for what Democrats hope will become an income guarantee for children. It would potentially cut child poverty in half, through a generous expansion of tax credits for Americans with children — which Democrats hope to make permanent — increases in subsidies for child care, a broadening of eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, and an expansion of food stamps and rental assistance.

The last part sounds like a continuation of the trend discussed in When and why did it become necessary to pay Americans to have children? (2015). Going forward, the childless will be mined out even more thoroughly and made to work even longer hours to take over what would have been the costs of rearing children. I also wonder if this will make being a family court entrepreneur more lucrative relative to working. State child support formulae won’t change. Having sex with a dentist, for example, should still yield $1-2 million in Massachusetts. But the plaintiff who collects child support and works a few hours per week will now also be entitled to additional tax credits and taxpayer-funded child care. Instead of building the spending power of a dentist by having sex with three dentists, it might be possible to obtain the spending power of a dentist by having sex with two dentists (especially if income tax rates also go up; remember that child support is not taxable). Going to dental school may not look so smart anymore.

How does this spending compare to the Collapse of 2008?

Its eye-popping cost is just shy of the $2.2 trillion stimulus measure that became law last March … Even with changes, the bill remained more than than double the size of the roughly $800 billion stimulus package that Congress approved in 2009, when Mr. Biden was vice president, to counter the toll of the Great Recession.

So Americans are spending more than 4X at the federal level on coronapanic compared to what we spent cleaning up after our unwise enthusiasm for subprime mortgages.

What about the only enterprise in the U.S. that couldn’t figure out how to reopen?

$130 billion to primary and secondary schools

Rewarding public schools’ lack of effort with $130 billion will certainly not encourage them to repeat their performance during the next wave of coronavariants! (Alternatively, why not give the $130 billion to the schools that actually reopened no later than, say, September 1, 2020?)

Fair to say that this $1.9 trillion spending package will address every bumper sticker on the back of this car? (from January 2020)

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