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There is no reason to believe that there is a market flaw in our inability to produce and distribute more vaccine. The problem is caused by “our” “benevolent” government. All manner of companies produce all manner of goods and services that are seasonal and subject to dramatic changes from year over year, and perhaps are even hard to produce. and are low margin businesses Just think of all the Halloween costume shops that are open for 6 weeks per year. Before condemning the “private sector” for not doing a good job with a public health risk, ask what factors are not allowing them to unleash their massively productive and innovative capabilities to getting us vaccines (after all, they are criticized for this very thing when it comes to virtually every other thing they produce).

After all, in a normal market when there seems to be demand (as there is for vaccines), if one company cannot meet the demands fast enough (the pesky virus growing slowly in chicken eggs) that provides an enormous incentive for more companies to produce the good. What is stopping that process when it comes to vaccines? It didn’t cause problems in iPhone production or apple production or anything like that. When you eschew the price and profit and loss system combined with heavy handed regulations (e.g. the FDA), you get shortages, plain and simple. Now, one can argue that some people “want” the vaccine and cannot pay for it … but that should be a bigger reason to support the price system. More vaccine will be available – and there are ways to help the “neediest” get it if that is a public policy goal.

And if we wish to argue that people are not willing to pay for vaccine, then that suggests that we have no problem. That the lines have been very long seems to suggest otherwise. We pay a good deal of money each week to life sustaining things – like food and water and antibacterial cleaning products. Why is it unreasonable to apply the same thinking to vaccines?

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