Historically, the best vaccines have taken years to eliminate the problem

The world’s most successful vaccine has been against smallpox, which is the only human disease that has been eradicated by a vaccine.  This process took several decades (!!!).  Because the multi-decade roll-out of vaccines is unlikely to be repeated today, we can skip to the next example.

See Out World in Data for some statistics.

The measles vaccine was first available in the USA in 1963.  It took roughly four years for the rate of measles to plummet.

See Our World in Data for some historical figures.

Polio is a similar story for the United States.

See Our World in Data for some historical figures.  (Chart.)

Currently, it is unclear if the mRNA vaccines will ultimately eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in developed countries.  Supposing that it does, the process would likely take years.

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There are signs that the coronavirus won’t be solved with vaccines

While the mRNA vaccines are a miracle, it is starting to look like the vaccines are only partially effective against new mutated versions of the coronavirus that are emerging.  Despite high rates of vaccinations (with non-mRNA vaccines) in Seychelles, authorities are implementing social restrictions because coronavirus infections are growing among vaccinated citizens.

It is possible that countries may see better results with mRNA vaccines since those vaccines are more effective.  However, the United Kingdom is a country with high rates of mRNA vaccinations.  Authorities there have labelled the Indian “double mutant” b.1.617.2 variant as a ‘variant of concern’ because it is rapidly spreading despite vaccination.

While there is a possibility that multiple vaccines will eradicate the coronavirus, the more likely outcome is that new vaccine-resistant strains will emerge.  Vaccines will likely offer limited cross-protection against future variants, causing mortality to be lower than what we’ve experienced.  While COVID-19 has been far less problematic than past diseases that ravaged humanity, the pandemic has been a massive economic problem because every Western society has a breaking point.  Even if authorities do not impose lockdowns (e.g. Sweden), citizens will impose social restrictions on themselves when the coronavirus surges in their country.

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The culture wars part 5: Understanding woke ideology and why it is so effective at spreading

What woke activists actually want is a world where people get ahead through politics rather than merit.  To get there, they band together and evangelize others into a woke version of progressive liberalism.  The woke activists then hijack progressives into attacking non-racists for being racist, allowing woke activists to eliminate their political enemies.  These tactics almost always work because Western culture favours those making accusations of racism.  Progressives want to be seen as virtuously fighting racism and siding with the oppressed, so they are quick to join the side accusing others of racism.  When they eventually figure out the fraud, they usually avoid standing up to social justice bullies because they understand that the bullies will try to destroy their life for doing so.

Fighting back against woke activists is difficult because most victims have values and don’t call for their accusers to face consequences for their actions.  The woke fight dirty and their victims don’t.  This creates a situation where the woke rarely face consequences for pushing their agenda while anti-woke activists can lose their jobs and reputation.  People who see what’s happening will often join the side where their lives won’t be destroyed.

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The culture wars part 4: The persecution of talent and profits

When woke takeovers occur, the woke activists will push for politics-based hiring over merit-based hiring so that they can bring more allies into the company.  Woke employees want business decisions to be driven by “social justice” rather than profits because a meritocracy would disadvantage them.  They will fight against sensible business decisions like putting the most talented people in charge.  These dynamics have played out in the American comic book industry, which started going woke around 2016 (or arguably in 2015).  The hiring of inexperienced and less talented comics creators has led to financial losses for the comic book publisher IDW, a major business segment of IDW Media Holdings (PINK:IDWM).

Unethical journalists play an important role in this process as they are part of mutually beneficial alliances with woke employees.  The journalists use their platforms to try to cancel the woke employees’ political enemies, helping the woke employees gain political power within their companies.

Health At Every Size probably won’t sell young adult comics.  This is DC Comics in 2021.

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The culture wars part 3: Understanding the backlash against masks, lockdowns, and vaccines

Right-wing (as well as non-woke) news sources commonly run stories about liberal hypocrisy because it resonates strongly with that audience.  Because of this, certain segments of the Western world are well aware of hypocritical liberals who break mask or lockdown rules: Nancy Pelosi, CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, BLM protestors, etc. etc.  Conservatives view mask shaming as partisan because woke media outlets limit their attacks to their ideological enemies.  So, some conservatives believe that mask mandates are a liberal ploy designed to shame and control conservatives.  Some conservatives push back by not wearing a mask.

I would point out that many conservatives and Trump supporters are not anti-maskers.  If you watch footage of a Trump rally on Youtube, you will see that many in the audience do wear masks.

There is also a segment of the Western world that believes in a globalist conspiracy.  According to that worldview, globalists would love to use mask mandates, lockdowns, and mandatory vaccination as a way of controlling the population.

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The culture wars part 2: Cloud service providers are destroying their franchises (AMZN, TWLO, ZEN, GDDY, NET)

If you follow mainstream media, you might get the wrong idea and believe that the Big Tech companies will only deplatform conservatives or far right / white supremacist / neo-Nazi / extremist content.  This is a dangerous misconception.  Part 1 in this series gave the example of Ravelry, whose founder was attacked with lies despite following woke ideology.  If a woke transwoman can be cancelled, nobody is safe from cancel culture.

This phenomenon is extremely problematic for Amazon Web Services (and other companies providing cloud services) because the company forced Parler offline (and damaged Parler’s reputation).  Smart AWS customers will eventually figure out that they should avoid using AWS for mission-critical infrastructure.  AWS could lose most of its customer base unless it dramatically changes course.

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The culture wars are going to explode (part 1)

Back in August, I wrote about how the explosion in woke politics is something to pay attention to.  It has since taken over major media institutions and tech companies.  America is becoming a surreal place as these corporations are passing up on profits so that they can persecute their customers for wrongthink.  There is also a growing cultural movement that views the destruction of Trump supporters’ lives as virtuous; the politician AOC openly calls for the suppression of political views on Twitter.  What’s happening isn’t normal and will get a lot uglier.  Most investors don’t understand the cultural shifts because most mainstream media outlets spread false propaganda and are participants in the culture wars.

The culture wars will likely lead to:

  • A continuing boom in gun demand (RGR VSTO SWBI).d
  • Potential catastrophe for journalistic institutions like the New York Times (NYSE:NYT) and Thomson Reuters (TSE:TRI).
  • Splitting of the economy into a woke and anti-woke economy.  Many corporations with dominant market share will see their earnings take a hit when they jettison their customers for having non-woke political views.

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Vaccines look promising

I previously said that there is a very good chance that a coronavirus vaccine won’t save the economy.  With the interim vaccine results from Pfizer and Moderna, it seems likely that a silver bullet vaccine is on the horizon.  The issue of mucosal immunity (more specifically- whether or not the vaccine will slow down the spread of the coronavirus) is not important if the vaccine will be highly effective (e.g. 90%) in preventing serious complications from the coronavirus.  There is still a small chance that the first vaccines won’t save the economy:

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Don’t bet on a coronavirus vaccine saving the economy

While there is a lot of talk about a vaccine saving us, much of that talk isn’t supported by scientific evidence.  Some key points:

  • Most vaccine candidates are not designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  The virus would still spread even if it causes less serious disease.
  • There are mixed indications about whether or not a highly-effective vaccine for the coronavirus will emerge.
  • There are now highly credible reports of re-infection cases.  It is unlikely that herd immunity is possible.  As far as a vaccine goes, it is likely that a vaccine would need to be frequently re-applied so that immunity does not fade.

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Woke culture is a pandemic that we need to talk about

Woke = being pretentious when pretending to care about a social issue.  Or, a way of seeing the world as oppressors and victims based on race, class, gender, etc.

More than ever, social media has allowed outrage to spread quickly in a way that makes it easy for people to be cancelled.  This has given birth to what I call ‘Woke activists’- charlatans who exploit others’ fear of being cancelled.  They use physical violence, bullying, doxxing, and cancellation campaigns to get what they want.  Many are afraid of standing up against Woke politics because they are afraid of being bullied themselves.  The ‘civil unrest’ in the United States is actually the work of Woke activists pushing their different agendas.  Some of these Woke activists intentionally agitate police with violence so that the Woke activists might end up in a viral video showcasing police brutality.

Many journalists have chosen to actively embrace and enable Woke politics through misleading journalism.  Such journalists talk about ‘mostly peaceful’ protests while standing in front of a burning building.

The rise of this fraudulent political movement is one of the most important events of 2020.  It has completely hijacked major mainstream media outlets.  Free speech and press freedom have been undermined, making it hard to find insightful news with a diversity of viewpoints.  Emboldened liberals are actively discriminating against Trump supporters, creating a persecuted group that will eventually push back hard.  Democracy is under attack as Woke corporations are censoring opposing viewpoints and Wokes are punishing critics for their political beliefs.  Journalists are afraid of talking about these issues… so let’s talk about them.

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