Our latest foray into the wilds of the Interwebs has resulted in a bountiful harvest, all praise be to the Gods of the Hyperspace. We found two interesting articles that use psychology to explain why we’re so fucked. In order to do both articles justice, though, we’ll have to cover them separately so as avoid the dreaded TL;DR effect. So, bear with and read both.
The first is from MSNBC on the correlation between #COVID19 vaccination rates and presidential voting in 2020. You guessed it, the vaccination rates almost to the percentage reflect the presidential vote for Biden. In some states, it correlates at the county level. And, you’ve easily guessed why this means we’re so fucked, but read the details anyway because interesting.
The other article comes to us from friend of Ye Olde Blogge, Bob of Of Cabbages and Kings fame. It is in Wired about a game theory study using the Intergenerational Goods Game to determine how likely we are to pass on our bountiful non-renewable resources to the next generation. Spoiler: We aren’t, at least not as a group. And, now you know why that article results in the we’re so fucked conclusion, but read it anyway because of the interesting details.
Vaccination Rates and Political Polarization
MSNBC Opinion Columnist, Michael Cohen, had a closer look at several health-related metrics and the presidential vote by state and published his depressing findings. He based much of his information on this Seth Masket article in the Denver Post. As Masket noted, vaccination rates correlate with presidential voting at a .85 rate better than education, income, race, gender, or voting history. It is an obscenely high correlation.
Cohen looked at the following things: (1) who the state voted for in the 2020 presidential election, (2) #COVID19 vaccination rates, (3) life expectacy, (4) insurance rates, and (5) Medicaid expansion under the ACA. The outcome of the comparison was as predictable as it was depressing. Spoiler: if you live in a Red State, you’re prospects for a healthy long life are considerably less than those of us who are living in Blue States. Consider the following (I’ve independently verfied some of these numbers and linked to their sources):
- The Biden administration had set its sites on having 70% of the adult population vaccinated by 4 July. According to the CDC #COVID19 Data Tracker:
- That would be 182 million (54.9% of the population) with one dose and 157 million (47.4%) fully vaccinated.
- In terms of those 12 years of age and older, though, we have 182 million or 64.3% of that population partially vaccinated and 157 million (55.4%). Note it is a lower total number by a couple hundred thousand than that for the overall population.
- Of the adult population, Biden came close to his goal with 67.1% or 173 million with one dose, and 58.2% or 150 million fully vaccinated. Close but no cigar.
- It’s the distribution of those vaccinated that tells the real story according to Cohen.
- Remember, a single dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is approximately 80% effective, so that’s pretty good.
- By the presidential vote:
- #BidenHarris won 25 whole states plus DC.
- Of the 25 that voted for Biden, 18 states that have reached 70% partially vaccinated or with 80% protection. Herd immunity, y’all.
- Of the seven that missed the 70%, Georgia is lowest at 54.4% and the rest are 60% or above.
- The former guy won 25.
- None of those have reached herd immunity
- Three are below 50%.
- Five are just over 50%.
- Eight remain below 60%.
- #BidenHarris won 25 whole states plus DC.
- Given that few people who are even partially vaccinated will get very sick should the become infected, fewer still will require hospitalization, and only a very few will actually die of #COVID19, you can guess where the majority of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths will occur as infections spike due to the Delta variant. If this situation doesn’t improve, you know what’s going to come in the late fall and winter when infections surge again. God help us if these yahoos allow a variant to develop that the vaccine doesn’t protect from.
This correlation extends to the county level where it has been tested:
- Masket looked at Colorado counties and found a .835 correlation between the presidential vote and vaccination rate.
- Cohen looked at Missouri and found that two of the three counties that voted for #BidenHarris have the highest vaccination rates.
If you thought that was bad, just consider the other ways that these GQP run states not only hurt the health of their populations but cause them to die young:
- Life expectancy is not evenly distributed with states that generally vote more Democratic in the NorthEastern and West Coast states having dramatically longer lives than the generally more Republican voting states in the South and Appalachia.
- The gap between the state with the longest life expecantcy (Hawaii) and that of the lowest (Mississippi) is seven years.
- Under the ACA, the US government will pay for 90% of expanded Medicaid coverage, with the American Rescue Plan, it is now covers up to 95% of the expansion! Expanding Medicaid is practically free. It is a no brainer to sign on for it. It will cover the hard to cover working poor who make too much to qualify for any relief but not quite enough to cover themselves through the ACA. Who the fuck in their right mind would turn that deal down?
- Twelve states have not taken the feds up on it, and those they are all GQP led.
- The good voters of Missouri voted by referrendum to expand their Medicaid coverage in 2020. Last April, the GQP dominated Missouri legislature declined to fund the expansion in the budget! Thanks gerrymandering!
- Four million real live Americans are without healthcare insurance because of partisan pig-headed stubborness to take anything from a Black president. What the actual fuck. And these people keep getting elected.
Seriously, I used to think myself so clever for having come up with the snarky phrasing describing GQP dystopia as being for single-party pseudo-democratic minority rule authoritarianism in which the nation’s wealth was transferred to the 1% as quickly as possible while the rest of us live in Cancer Alley, drinking Flint water, paying for Texas utilities, and dying as quickly and quietly as possible when we start costing more than we contribute, but it ain’t nothing more than the truth.
Say it with me, we’re so fucked! The GQP is determined to so cook our democracy that they will never lose and our rights and freedoms will just be what they tell us they are.
If you’re not too depressed by this good old fashioned screwing by the GQP go on and read the second artilce in the series, We’re So Fucked: The Greedy “Defectors,” edition.
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