Doughnuts for public health
We don't need for everyone's motivations to be as pure as the driven snow...just, on balance, more good than not
A free Krispy Kreme doughnut every day if you get a Covid-19 vaccine: This has some people worked up over comorbidity issues, but it's silly to get overheated about it. If a doughnut is the incentive necessary to get more people to vaccinate, then so be it.
■ The beauty of liberal democratic capitalism is that we don't need for everyone's motivations to be as pure as the driven snow...just, on balance, more good than not. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
■ We are extremely close to having a surplus of vaccines available and not enough willing patients to vaccinate. That crossover moment could be just a few weeks away. Whatever it takes to get the reluctant over their hesitancy and into the clinics to get the shot is a victory for herd immunity.
■ Almost nobody is going to take such frequent advantage of the Krispy Kreme offer that it will change their BMI, and even if they did, then the slow expansion of a few waistlines is better than sending thousands of additional patients to the hospital with a deadly respiratory virus. The person who will go to get a free Krispy Kreme doughnut every morning wasn't going to have a bowl of Wheaties and go for a 5-mile run instead.
■ As Greg Mankiw puts it in his authoritative textbook on economics, "People respond to incentives". If a free-doughnut offer is enough incentive to push even a few hundred people over the line, then Krispy Kreme is doing a giant public service while also earning a lot of publicity. Pure? No. But definitely good enough.