Pay People to Get Vaccinated

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What’s the best way to get the economy back on track after the Covid-19 recession? Simple: Achieve herd immunity. And what’s the best way to achieve herd immunity? Again, simple: Once a vaccine is approved, pay people to take it.That bold proposal comes from Robert Litan, an economist at the Brookings Institution. Congress should enact it as quickly as possible.President Trump has blamed the nation’s economic malaise on the unwillingness of local officials to allow businesses to open. Back in April, he tweeted, “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!”; “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”; “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!” He seems to think that governors and mayors hold the economy’s fate in their hands.They don’t. Recent research by the University of Chicago economists Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson has found that the government-mandated shutdowns account for just a small part of the decline in economic activity. The main reason people aren’t spending is that they are afraid to leave their homes and contract the virus. That hypothesis explains my own behavior. I have not stepped foot on an airplane or inside a restaurant for six months.The hypothesis is also consistent with the broader pattern of spending changes. According to data …

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