Give Them The Stick, Not The Carrot

Persuasion comes in many forms. Those who hold positions of power change minds by dangling the proverbial carrot or wielding a stinging stick.

President Biden chose the carrot in his latest COVID-19 speech. That’s the wrong choice.

In encouraging a fresh round of vaccinations, the president pulled out a juicy carrot: give the newly vaccinated a $100 reward with their Fauci Ouchie. This plea coincides with the team sports-bipartisan please-play pretty strategy of Mr. Nice Guy. It will not work. 

When faced with a “Give me a carrot or give me death” dynamic, the hardcore, intractable, anti-vax population will choose – and have already chosen – the latter. They will follow their leader into the valley of death. They will deny the virus and refuse a vaccine to the moment that tube goes into their lungs. They choose death.

While they’re still breathing, what may produce better results, and what is downright sensible, is the persuasive stick. 

That stick is a withdrawal rather than a welt. Those who prolong the virus and refuse to join the country in recovery efforts do not get to share the benefits of the recovery effort. 

The American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion package passed during Biden’s first months in office, directs money to nearly every layer of the country. Money is funneled through states and municipalities, through grants and directly into personal bank accounts. The rationale for this mega shot of money ranges from boosting virus eradication to stimulating the economy to helping out Americans who are suffering through no fault of their own – and there’s the rub. 

Americans who refuse to get vaccinated are actively and knowingly prolonging the suffering of their fellow citizens. They are actively and knowingly harming the economy. Thus, these people are no longer eligible for benefits.

It’s just like any other federal program: if you don’t qualify, then you are not eligible. 

How does ineligibility translate? Every benefit offered under the American Rescue Plan would be revoked for those who refused a vaccine (except for legitimate medical and religious reasons).

That means:

  • No eviction waivers
  • No foreclosure waivers
  • No extended unemployment benefits
  • No emergency SNAP benefits
  • No childcare benefits
  • No future stimulus checks

Businesses that deliberately ignore CDC guidance for mitigation and deliberately put employees and customers at risk will not be eligible for PPP money. Likewise, restaurants and bars flaunting recommended safety measures lose the Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants. 

Finally, schools that deliberately ignore CDC guidance for school children, teachers and staff will not qualify for the hunk of funds allocated for that purpose. 

It’s simple. It’s fair. Get the jab or get the stick. One or the other. Freedom of choice.

I believe it will be effective. If a person or entity covered under the American Rescue Plan refuses to help the country recover from COVID-19, then they do not get to partake in the federal monies set aside for recovery. 

1 Comment

  1. RIGHT ON. I’m fed up with the friends, colleagues and others who think their vegan diet protects them from the virus, or their political tribe insulates them. It’s crazy and if we can’t mandate the vaccine, give them the stick.


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