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Yes, vaccine mandates work


Dylan, German, and Jerusalem talk about vaccine mandates. They discuss the evidence supporting vaccine requirements, the United States’ history with inoculation campaigns, and the patchwork nature of America’s many public health measures. Plus, a white paper about elite universities. 


This is a good summary of the evidence supporting vaccine mandates

Here is the Homevoter Hypothesis Dylan mentioned

The NIMBY lawsuit against UC Berkeley and the NIMBY war against Georgetown’s expansion

German mentioned two vaccination studies: this one and this one

This week’s white paper about elite universities

Leopold Aschenbrenner on the case for smaller universities


Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox

German Lopez (@germanrlopez), senior correspondent, Vox

Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox


Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer

Libby Nelson, editorial adviser

Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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how low and welcome to another episode of the weeds, I'm Dylan Matthews, I'm joined today by from on Lopez, senior correspondent at Fox and Rousillon dumps policy. Reporter report box, hello Today we are waiting to be politically and ideologically fraught world, a vaccine mandates so present Joe Biden, instituted a vaccine mandate for businesses with a hundred or more employees in September, but states cities workplaces are putting in their own different kinds of mandates both before and after the bite, a move they can differ and very Subtle ways, and over
a couple weeks we ve seen a lot of these announced mandates, take effect for the first time and has led to a bunch of stories about people gain the shots. Sometimes people rely can we get their shots and some stories about people who lose their jobs when they refused to get shots, and all leads to a very big natural question, which is our these vaccine mandates working? Are they actually increasing our vaccination rates, or is this more to make us feel good to get things done so her mind? You ve been reporting this out, but should we think about these first it? I just want to clarify what vaccine mandate is cassettes like a bit of a there? Are differences in how places have been doing so in some situations you have a vaccine passport Polanco, where you have to show proof of vaccination.
Andrew like a bar or restaurant stuff like that and then there's a separate line of mandate were, if you're, a health care worker or of your work, a teacher and a school or just a full time school employ. You have to have proof of vaccination to continue being employed there. Obviously, one of those more harm than the other employment is a bit more important than whether you can step put in your favorite bar, but it's an important distinction. Also. We have just have more better data on these, like employment mandate, Sunday than the ones about people stepping into bars and all that is that largely depends on enforcement. All that said anecdotally. We have good proof that that Bunch of these are working. There have been multiple stories of some of the mandates that, as such, it is vaccine passports in restaurants and bars. People essentially complaining that they couldn't do anything that they previously. Joy and so now they're getting vaccinated. There have been a bunch of news reports along those lines. There have also been reply. Of like conservatives report
cons giving an because their mandate- and one of my favorite of these is representative Ronnie, Jackson and Texas, who, by the way, was trumps doctor in the White House. And I had no idea- he was in Congress as well after he got kicked out of the White House, for there was a scandal for being the White House Doctor not doing a very good job. He was elected in Texas any. What great he said, did you get vaccinated? I got back. The only reason I got vaccinated brown because I knew that I'm not a foreign affairs Committee Underarm Services and I knew that Nancy Policy was not gonna. Let me travel on cocoa. Congratulations delegations, if I didn't get it otherwise, our probably wouldn't gotta, because I'm rather was pretty healthy. I don't think he was thinking of this is like an explanation of how mandates work, but he was in effect same like yeah. This mandate forced me to do some there, wouldn't otherwise do, which is proof that it works. Also Fox NEWS has a mandate, ninety plus per setbacks.
Generate based on the reports we have, but then we have actual data from a bunch of places by this point New York, healthcare workers they saw after their mandate kick in. It went from seventy five to ninety two percent, there's Adventists health and encourage county, which I think is interesting because it's in South central Valley, california- and this is a relatively conservative part of California I went from sixty to ninety percent New York City school employees are now ninety five percent vaccination rate and one of the or interesting facts. Here is obviously not in New York City. Schools have cops and their required to get back, sedated now they're in the school, so the police officers and schools are at eighty, two percent backs nation rate, while the overall police forces that sixty seven percent that offers you a comparison point of like how this is going and that our budget
Other places like Thyssen Foods went from fifty to eighty percent vaccination rate United Airline set its now at near ninety nine percent, vaccination right after its mandate and on and on and on we ve. Listing a bunch of these numbers pop out and it yeah. It seems, like vaccination rates, have gone up in these places that have done mandates their important exceptions. Some places have seen ten percent of more of the workforce not get back to the next the streets like serious problems. I think one important concern is if you're seeing a covid surge and you're requiring your health care workers to get vaccinated, but ten percent or more not getting back Sunday did. Then? What do you do? Write that, like you, might be dealing with a worker shortage at this time, you're seeing a surge in your wasp words and all of that- and that's obviously that's that's important. You got us all for that. Some hospitals are found. I think pretty silly ways to work around this by granting a bunch of people, religious exemptions without any questions ass, but by by large setting those
Outliers aside, we have seen really these. These vaccination rates go up thanks to the mandates, You mentioned that we have. We have good evidence that we have anecdotes, so this is working. Those are not the same thing so likewise One obvious question that the examples you just raise brings up is like if you will get a graph of vaccination rates in the? U S over time, it has been steadily rising. Since April herb, I've had risen from zeros the vaccines were invented by, but its risen pretty suddenly, and so like. The question is, in fact, will more people have been vaccinated? at the end of a mandate being implemented, its did an additional number, people give accede who wouldn't have gotten vaccinated? Otherwise, do we have reason to think that's happening over and above the general trend line, yeah, I think so one way you can do this. Obviously there have not been any big study has done on this, yet that had been peer, reviewed gone through the publishing process. Now that that takes a lot of time, but I think one way you can look at this is based on the way,
numbers about three quarters of adults- eighteen and older. In the U S gone at least one shot Do you remember the numbers I just listed? All of them are ninety plus percent. So that suggest that at least these places are doing something different, something special and some of these again I should emphasise that bad example like healthcare workers in and conservative parts of California, we, The polarization is a big issue here with vaccine rates, like conservatives Republicans particularly trump supporters are much less likely to get backs unaided So if, if these areas are still much higher vaccination raids, then like the national average, why when they happen. Have a mandate in place that to me, as is pretty telling, I think that there is also one of these example That kind of response to Dylan's question so North Carolina hospital system has about thirty five thousand employees and three hundred seventy five employees, which is about one percent of the workforce or put on
probation or suspended for a few new vaccine, and then two hundred them end up complying. So you only have about a hundred and five employees after, like that, you know the pedal to the metal or whatever the best Expression is for that is brought down then they actually getting fired. So I think, there's like clearly some evidence there that, even if you you have allowed him who say they're going to refused get vaccinated and then they end up actually comply when it becomes. When push comes to shove. Everything, but also some interesting about the design of some this mandate, so I know her Manu mention did airlines has like nearly nine percent and what they did. Is it just that you have you have to get the mandate or can we fired and Delta something different where they basically said we have to get them seen or you have to pay two hundred dollars. If you don't want to get vaccinated every month is kind of a insurance premium because of the rest that you're you're adding to that to the system, and so that had of smaller benefit about eighty two percent of people.
Ended up getting the vaccination, so I think it's one of those things too early. I think we're seeing some evidence here where, whereas, like that How much people value not getting vaccinated and teach you a couple hundred dollars for for some people, but it's closed the door. This really matters, and I think that the what's interesting here is that it seems more like a norm setting thing than rather like a convincing thing. It's not about critic situation where you know we're walking a bunch of people through the evidence about why get back stated Not it's more just saying, hey like in general, is to get back stated so say that everyone's gonna do it. When I say of one's gonna, do it and that's gonna incorporate the norm in this population that it is safe to get back, sated, important evacuate and everyone does it, and I think that
normalizing. It is much more important than being like look at a special new vaccine that we haven't so exciting. We didn't you are scared of like special new things getting injected into their bodies. They want it to be a normal thing, but everyone else is doing, and I also think that, like it making it mandatory, I think there are a lot of people when we're talking about anti factors. I think people often think about that. Inhabited distinctly politically thought about it, but, like three years where I haven't gotten, my flew shot at an affair should meet that on. This point has haven't, had my flew shot, and I know it's really bad. I think it's like forget about it is, I think, we're like. Oh, like I don't want to get right, who shot that's a very common for people who do not really think about that happening. But you know when I was in school and it has been a tour that people get their back scenes of time. It would be like a thing you had to schedule, so I think that often these stories are kind of covered and dumb, especially on social media. I'm its covered hey where it's like. You know, there's a bunch of people with really strong opinion.
And on both sides. When really this is a vast water people who don't have strong feelings about this. We just haven't been given on the framework to get the vaccine easy and you dont normalized way. First, everyone should go, get their flew shot there, Elbow right now, it's I got mine this year. Ok, guys, I online. A couple weeks ago was painless, easy everyone, sugar, due to two Jerusalem's point like making this a norm. There have been, like Keyser, pulls going back, showing american attitude towards the covert vaccines since the beginning of a vaccine roll out late last year. They D been pulling on this and when thanks. I was found interesting as there's this category. The we kind of considered like the hard NOS two vaccine uptake and even about a third of them, have always said if its required I'll get it, which is, is it's a very interesting name, but like one way to look at that is Monday
but I just don't get in trouble break the law, lose their jobs all that stuff, but to assist there's probably some building over truisms tie but like once something is required. I think people have this expert that obviously the government or your employers not gonna, make you get something. That's going to hurt you significantly or kill you or anything like that, and I people are saying like yeah I'll get this once it's required. There's a bit of that attitude of like twelve, it's required, I'm going to assume it's, it's pretty safe and it's interesting because I mean we're learning now that those numbers at a third of even the hard knows are saying that they won't get back say even that might be an understatement, because once push comes to shove, obviously say you'll put on a brave face and risk losing their job is a lot easier than like. You know, actually losing your job those who say that we ve had evidence before these management started, that these would at least move some parts of the population and, I think pretty significant parts of population.
So just like zoom out in and talk a bit about the context in which by then adopted this so like very early on in the pandemic. Early on in the vaccination campaign, I should say in February or March, like the: U S was like clobbering other countries. I had friends who would like fly back to the? U S from France, because I couldn't get a vaccine in France in you to get one in the? U S, and now France's ahead of us and vaccination rates kills ahead of us who are countries seem to have laptop, what's going on around like what, but is this just for hesitancy in, and the kind of baseline reluctance that you're talking about Furthermore, like structural reasons, why we ve fallen behind. Yes, I think a bathing is. More of these countries have been willing to do mandates, whether there, I think the softer van date, where they require vaccine passport or harder mandates for they say. Look you need to do this, or else there will be
sequential, like losing your job, I mean that's just more common in european countries and other thing is covert- has just been politicize in the? U S in a big way. That has not necessarily been the case and in some of these other countries, and I think a big issue here too is we're talking about countries that are much more centralized and the? U S is made on a sort of a federal system, which is, I must really want to talk about a bit, but when I look at this year, not just from like the federal Assembly, but the fact that they have a universal health care systems and in some sense fall or a single umbrella, that's just makes it much easier to roll out just about any public health initiative, including vaccines. I should they too, that we do have some studies on vaccine mandates before covered and those those are pretty problem sing as well. I'm in the US, the long history of mandate and vaccines in schools and hospitals. George Washington famously required the troops to get immunized. It was necessarily a vaccine back then, but, like you know,
you, don't want your troops dying in the middle, the Revolutionary WAR from Disease, you want them out their fighting. So the? U S, acts as a law history here, like we have twenty fifteen study, I was an human vaccines and amino therapeutics, and I found a mandate were the most promising out of several options to encourage vaccination and healthcare settings. And then we had another. Twenty fifteen study that found actually manage led to increase vaccination coverage and when you look at this, research Also just is obvious in the numbers of measles months rubella vaccine it's taken more than ninety percent of children. By the time they turned two years old, like that, tells you something that obviously people don't wanna get measles. Some rubella, but at the end of the day I think a lot more people would be resisting if they had an option here. But since early school mandates in place, they will get them. So these mandates veils speeches of another aspect of the: U S, public health system, which is that it's just very
fractured in the. U S were not all functioning under some mandate that was directly at individuals handed down by Biden, he's mandate in that companies do mandates, and so you have different companies in cities and counties and states they're doing a bunch of different things. All train Amanda Vaccines, along with some federal assistance and an incentive and its similar to what we ve seen last year and a half with with covered from social distancing rules to mask mandates, so Jerusalem, Like a lot about Light America's federalism problems and serve housing supply context. What have we learned about american federalism in fracturing of public policy from covered in some of these public health matters? Yeah I mean, I think it's one of those things where there's an optimistic and interested and like fun way to think about it than like, I think, is also very dark and sad. What to think about it and like both are probably correct one
that we ve seen a lot of experimentation around the types of ways that we should be supporting. People on the ground. These types of policies and looking have actually managed to think as one example of this week, seeing. Obviously there is an immediate benefit to you if your workplace is like night, I'm sent vaccinated even if it would be better if, like everywhere, was having that right. It's not like like no individual benefit towards having bad your individual workplace or in your vigil city, or place like that, and this is or thing, though right words like next. Are helpful to the individual, but that there also that there are public health measures right and so it becomes problem when helpful and yes Latorre towards investment partisanship around the vaccine, politics when its brought down from the Biden level too, like your employer level or the state level area or city or county, where you don't have kind of like really strong parson affiliations towards these elected officials or public health.
Dollars, but the same time it like it is important to me as someone in DC that someone, even not even to the United States, that someone in Zimbabwe or someone in Kuwait or whatever gets vaccinated, because we know that these variant sort of spin out of concern, oh, when there are people who are in fact needed and their large communities of people who are vaccinated, and this in his variants, are able to kind of crop up which what we ve seen even over the last year, there's been a you know: a quick uptake of vaccines sitting today You know, there's also benefits the federalism model here, where a lot of lower level actors are able to act more quickly and able to build confidence in the system and in the type of policy approaches to mandated. I think also gave other actors cover that there were smaller people doing at that. There were big business is doing it that we're not coded like Walmart or Thyssen. These are not democratically coated veto variations in any way is not a thing where you like owed, obviously like Thyssen's, or United Airlines, or siding with Biden like and so that there can be helpful to build political support, especially as there needed to be there
a large federal mandate at some point, but you know at the same time it's just kind of like hard, because obviously the quickest way to save lives that everyone needs demanded as quickly as possible. But I think people trying to balance attention of politicizing this even further, with the need to get as many vaccines as quickly as possible. There were to look at the federalism issue. Is federalism seems to work? really well as as an idea when we don't know what to do about a policy issue, but it kind of falls apart when we do know what to do about a policy, as you suggest, I think, covert provided example here? If you look at Germany, for example, it also has a very federal system installed in large part, because they had very good reasons. Do not want a centralized government. That's very powerful day personally have seen how awful that can be, but one of the things you sign. Germany is early on pandemic, Yonah witches small city in southern Germany day in
suited masked men in the world, one of, if not the first western city, to actually do this and it worked, they saw cover cases dropped. It seemed to be going well. People actually where masts, which is something that I think a lot of observers were sceptical of before and yet, as example, caught on, not just in the rest of Germany, but really I mean the rest of the world, I think without Yonah example. We We may not be talking about mass mandates as early on as we did in the: U S and Canada so forth. So that's an example: federalism. Right. This idea, like laboratories of democracy, really taking off that, seem to work with this mask man. Is there On the other hand, you have examples where leg at a certain point. We all know the vaccine there's great evidence for it. We have good historical evidence at mandates. Work by
because it's become a political issue. You have disagreements on the ground between different states, different cities, and so somebody like Biden, who really probably would love to do a broader vaccine mandate, as that has a fine these kind of arcane laws to institute a mandate for employers with one hundred or more workers. Yes to find work around like earlier on, he said he wanted to do a mask mandate on a national level found out way. That's not really possible with federal law, especially Congress, is not going to be willing to pass any big laws about this, and so now he's been resorting to essential asking states and cities to do this, which I made you you can tell that does not work out in the White accesses governor whatever listen, abiding about instituting a mask mandate and- and so you have to succeed- but, like we know these policies woodwork, but because of politics, because a polarisation because of all these other issues, they just don't happen and and
may this kind of shows the were federalism really falls apart is when something is assent, getting in the way of instituting a policy. Federalism exacerbates those problems. It really exposes the flaws with not having a unified approach to public health. In that regard, I was looking into like kind of the legal history in the United States of vaccine mandates. I think that for a lot of folks who were excited to get the vaccine the logic of yeah, I get this job, it has low side effects and Ino the costs are really high. People are dying. It's not just like some small harm that year, incurring other people seems extremely logical, but there's actually relatively like fraught history, and if you really think about the general principles of what a vaccine men it is, I think it becomes a lot more clear why there is such a
kind of fewer round it? You know what is being done as the state is, you know, maybe a medical decision for you or it is saying that you cannot enter a specific public space and here- and there are a lot of like choky comments on social media- about, like you, don't have like that to go until I got a star box or whatever it is my obviously you don't, but I think that, like we care a lie, that the state would be telling people there are restricted from entering public spaces unless they do, acting or private businesses were saying you were not allowed to enter this space unless you do accepting enjoy like the question is whether like texting is good like that you know Jacobson vs Massachusetts in one thousand, nine hundred and four is kind of be first, a Supreme Court case that talks about this issue and I think folks will do Justice Harlan, who writes the app the court he's alone to centre in plenty Ferguson, but any right. This opinion seven to which the majority opinion, where the basically say that, like you, know the right, each individual person and needs to be subsumed
Finally, in order to make sure that there's a massive injured and other people and like that, like a balancing question right about like what the harm being done, and what is the harm being and the liberty to take away from an individual and interesting? like two months after this happens? Right is on the walking her case passes, which for listeners, if you know which locker is locked her first New York, is the case where the Supreme Court basically said that the state laws limiting workers hour sixty hours a week. Is actually unconstitutional because its limiting liberty of an individual- and it's interesting that, like you know in this public health space, like those report, felt very comfortable, saying, like you're, allowed to infringe on the right of an individual, we comes to health, but when it comes to like workers rights all of a sudden, it was this question of like oh, you are actually infringing on liberty to stop the state from protecting workers from really rights violated contracts. But I think that you will be surprised to know that the Jacobson Kay
These ends up actually being one of the cited documents in one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in american history, which is Buckley Bell, which, essentially, when Supreme Court sides with Virginia Miss Eugenics law that allows them to sterilize a bunch of poor women who have intellectual disabilities because of the quote unquote harm society from having those people reproduced. What ended up happening is, I think, sixty thousand Americans anything sterilized by one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight as a result of this kind of precedent and you're. The opinion It's the Jacobs in case I talked about earlier about vaccine mandates and Oliver Wendell HOMES rights. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting of the Philippines tubes. Three generations of imbeciles is enough, so it's early infamous, court decision and the real. I think it's really important here- is that, like the principle that we're talking about here is not
controversial. It's very controversial opinion that we are saying about whether or not a Wednesday can compel you to take on a medical intervention and that there are often times in the state has been wrong here. I think one of the big problems in like the discourse around this stuff is not engaging with IRAN like yeah, like it is a big things, you deal threes, it's a big thing there asked me to do is because, if you don't a bunch of working to die, it is not like this blanket moral calculus that, like the stated allowed to intervene in medical affairs generally, but you ve got all that history was really interesting, welcoming across it. Yeah the promises bruins or of underline the problems with the AIDS or you don't have a right to go into a Starbucks argument. Did you a very silly and endless? Historically, for example, I for a story.
Many years ago I got a small are if I d chip implanted in my hand, so I have like a little spot transistor that they even source of information on exaggerating the story on Bio hackers. If suddenly, like every business, said that to go into their business, you had to have one of those in your hand, like I don't think people would be like. Oh, you don't have a right to go to a Starbucks aware if you like them, it would be invasive because it's it's late violates the right to privacy. Ben importantly, there's no compelling house reason to do it that, like some of these justification, or that the vaccine mandates tiptoe around the obvious justification for the mandate, which is the vaccines work really really well, and they work better. When more people take them- and I think it should lead us to have at least a little empathy for people who are sensitive to serve infringements on their personal medical autonomy, but also should give us more confidence in and just like we're doing this because it works. It's it's not that conflict,
de. I have this chip in your body. I still have this chip in my name. Is it? Do you can still or a little bit of information on it on so right. Now it has the address to an apartment. I don't live in any more insurrection. Update it. I think I think this would make it The first cyborg host of the weeds right there, people who use it to you. This is far away from four vaccine met it by adding The common uses are too like open your door to your part, Manor House, Sir. I know someone who can start as car with his their people, who ve gotten like in plants that try to test for, like enzymes, that suggests you're having a heart attack, then can call nine while one after having a heart attack and in figure it out fast at so cool anyway. I would be against mandating We want it now he's the until we have like a bunch of studies like say, the number of studies we ve had suggesting that defies our Madonna and continent on vaccines are all quite effect
what one thing on on this balancing out point to is that we ve heard a few stories of people essentially getting fired from their workplaces because they refused to get back submitted and some of the numbers. I think our bit misleading. Like earlier. We talked about hundreds of people getting fired from North Carolina healthcare system or something along those lines. But one thing that's important: how much of the super actually make up the workforce so, like hundreds, can actually be one percent of the workforce at somebody it's happened commonly resource another thing, though here is in a lot of these cases. People were on vaccinated, not being allowed to show up in these spaces is actually evidence of the mandates. Working one of the things with mandates working particularly in schools is you wanna, have schools running all the time you don't have to shut them down for months on end so by denying on vaccinated teachers or even students, the ability to actually enter the building.
Are making sure that the doors can't stay open and classrooms can continue doing what they're supposed to be doing Obviously there is a balancing act there in that. If eighty percent of teachers end up not getting- accelerated, and you have to let go of eighty percent of your workforce that extreme really bad, and Maybe you have a persuasion thing, the issue there and you had a like actually persuade people to get the shot. It is to say that I think often, these these stories of like ten percent of people to be suspended from were not being allowed in. This building are framed as the mandates not working when, in fact, that is actually part of the mandate working is that on vaccinated people will no longer put those around them out. SK, I think, is also this. This tension between public health model of medicine and in individual health model of medicine, which I think are
people are people usually uncle the doktor in that kind of way. Right, like you got to the doktor, you like, I have this specific pain, I'm feeling or I'm worried about ex thing. I have family history of why and then the doctor says: ok, let's fix this thing that you have then I think the public way of, it is more dislike. We're doing this massive intervention that isn't about specifically you drew lemon the Dockers office, but it does require you, Jerusalem, to come into doctors, office and one it really brought up for me is just like thinking a lot about how reproductive health has been done in the United States, which I think that like, for instance, are women couple on these online anti backs communities, but women are actually
beating men in terms of taxation rates by a significant amount and like part of what I was thinking report that is obviously like women, make up a greater share of old people. Men are more likely be trump supporters, but, like one thing that I was also hypothesize, inheres ostrich, like women, are more likely to have already kind of engage with the sort of like public health type atmosphere for people who have not tried to get like reproductive care before like if you're trying to get like birth control, or anything like that. When you ask your, doktor, whether she at birth control still seriously downplay any potential side effect. They may like. Don't tell you about it. I mean this is not good, but I'm saying the like. We are used to kind of like having to like engage with that kind of model and framework, and- and I think that this is like something where a bottoms public health officials frame these things, as we can't trust people to do the right thing if we give them the facts, the way that they are, but I think this actually just clearly incorrect, like especially like the number of people were coming in, to asked to get different types of birth control, obviously that they know they that it's bad have unwanted pregnancy, they're asking on top of that, like what
things that should be looking out for it, and I think this is one of the things that he's been big critique of the way tat people have engage with this is that you're trying to melt both this public health and this individualistic thing at the same time, in a way that becomes extremely confusing people, don't believe Yale there. Becomes really weird under playing up like what would happen with breakthrough cases, because people who want to treat everyone out but like just explaining the front end the basics that, like obviously, if everyone is vaccinated, anyone who gets cove it will be a breakthrough I mean either not like complicated ideas to be explaining in incorporating the public and honestly that you should can these things as inoculating people ideologically beforehand again, the sorts of like things that will lead them astray towards becoming anti factors or becoming less trusting in that public health system, and this is really bad feedback loop. I feel like where you have people afraid that people will do the right thing for public health there, like kind of misleading or fund about how everything works, and then people find out something new that we were told by public health officials and that becomes kind of like a spiralling issue
but anyway I another incident. Is it just feels like there are other countries where public health is kind of like a norm? People understand that they're getting this intervention, because it's good for the broader community. That's not what the way we do: health care on the United States. I think they're like pros and cons here at these interesting that, like, despite like a long history of like doing this with a special at lower income, and with women in the healthcare system. We still haven't figured out a way to like treat people as individuals, while explaining them. Why it's important to get a public health intervention looping back into the federalism disk and a lot of what you're talking about is made much worse by the fact that people are getting essentially fifty different messages from each state or thirty. Six hundred from its county right when you, when you start zooming out like that, it is impossible to properly digest information. There's already
too much misinformation out their right and that's obviously a a difficult problem to solve, solve on unethical breaking new ground by saying that. But it is made much worse by the fact that we not really having this discussion about how our systems systems our government structure are playing into this problem and looking forward to the next pandemic. I'm, not confident that we really have any clarity on how our communication has been improved next time around, because, as far as I can tell next time, around will have the same problems. Where will be potentially fifty different governments same fifty different things and people are going to be just a ass and confused and you're, really not gonna. Have that pre built knowledge base that you need to deal with disease outbreaks which take a quick break, but when we get back we're going to talk about another set of people who are thinking individualistic Lee and not about the greater good, and of course I mean elite universities that was a hen out of hand.
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hello and welcome back to the weeds I'm doing Matthews and our white paper this week is about application and enrollment rates at elite. Universities is our Especial Princeton Review addition white Paper, so this way papers from the national. Europe's economic research and the are old, Faves Peter Blair at the hermit at school and Kent's matters at Wharton at you pen, road, at the background for the paper, is a phenomenon that the people perished at my notice- is just that in Roman, at the undergrad level in yours, colleges has more than doubled since the seventies. Women are much more likely college? Now, after the Americans, which he knows whether people color are much more likely to be attending college than they were,
fifty years ago. Also, international students as serve China is opened up to the world and in India, has allowed more immigration and encourage more immigration. You ve seen as reflective of international students as well. So overall, yes, college has more than doubled and you might expect when that happens, that elite schools, Ivy League Stamford MIT. Tell Turkey Ba when Mary Other other its rules would increase air enrollments in turn an end- would grow in and accommodate this increase in students, but they largely haven't there might be one or two exceptions, but overall and daughters document this in the paper, admissions rates have conic lapsed for the idea we again and other elite schools. So, unlike ninety ninety, for instance, Harvard admissions rate was close to two percent. I was down to about ten percent in the two thousands its closer to like five or six percent. Now so just criterion admissions rates and the paper is trying to use
serve game theory in an atomic modeling. To tell me why this would be the case since the the puzzle like when you have a surge in demand for your product. You should like produce more of your product in in normal market late. If all of a sudden, the number of people who wanted iphones doubled overnight apple would make more iphones, they would not just like set up a weird admissions process to determine who gets they have iphones. But instead Institutions just made themselves much more selective and the basic arguing The paper, as I understand it, is that this only makes sense if they view low emissions rates as a good in itself that signals prestige, and that then
actively. All these schools are engaged in, something that is isn't net negative for society and that it is reducing the number of people who have very resourceintensive elite education's so that they can show off to each other and and be the school with the lowest admissions rate and the most prestigious serve culture. It. It seems pretty bad yeah. I think, really raises this kind of question of like what are these elite colleges for embarking on a very small slice at universities here, but I mean like often we think about these events- conversations about who deserves to go to harbour, who deserves to go to Yale of these places about like this, like ultra meritocratic sort of system that we have set up that it's just like you know, you have to have this year, five point three GPA and like a perfect score NOS eighteen and you ve, taken by twelve as it he twos and AP task, and you ve done the ivy tests as well and on top of that year,
president of like a stay at our notice, something but you're like you. Have all these amazing accolades on top of everything that you ve done, and the idea is that the people who do get it like they earn it. Even our conversations around like a form of action are all these other things are kind of predicated on this assumption that, like the way that only college should be working is that they should make sure that think the very best students are getting in. Putting aside the question of whether its even pass, the kind of judge people in that way, especially when you have a lot of people who have very similar test scores very similar academic achievements. Very simple, extracurricular achievements that often these emissions officers even talk about it like a lottery once you ve, passed a certain threshold and that you know their choosing between very similar students at that point,
that couldn't like just sidesteps the question of like. Is that really the most optimal way that these universities should be allocating these type of education? These universal pig, very little taxes on their endowments? There are getting essentially a giant tax break from the public and, of course, the Oda bunch of land on a bunch of like property. In these. We, as these are institutions and of shaping and themselves say they want to shape. The quote future leaders of America and the question is is like: is a society optimal that this is to be done, is kind of like really crazy, meritocratic rat race or is important in that, like more people are able to benefit from this institutional benefits? I come going these places and I think the bike, regardless of whether your model for higher education, is just that it's like a signalling tool or that it provides some sort of value in either situation. Earnest beggar acting a bigger rethinking of like the role of these institutions. What is beneficial society liefer them? Who should be going to them? I think often the kind of refrain- and I know the authors of this paper- sort of pre empt- this is it like there. Some other cause it's gotta be incurred-
by doing this like there's, no room in these institutions are enough. Educators, institutions, there's like this. It's just. I think you certainly are not really very good arguments like these institutions, usually holding a ton of land in very extensive areas. They could totally build more housing refer to house people. And these places and they could totally you know higher more adjunct faculty. I mean that the paper sites, research that shows that undergraduate students fairly are experienced difference in teaching quality between having attic professor having tenure professor, and so I mean the kind of the camp here- that these universities do in confer some sort of like educational benefit, some sort of benefit you get from having a giant peer group. That's really interested in and learning in this way, and it feels important to me that if these institutions are claiming to be, you know, training future leaders of America that what they should be doing is thinking about who is important to bring into that fold and that maybe like it's more important for people who are more artists,
they couldn't have very good grades to get in its clear to me that everyone who has like a perfect scorn there ass, he tease is actually the best metric by which we should judge who should be the future leader, America. But that's my that's my little higher and ran So to be clear, I agree that this is bad and I am by no means an elite college defender. Here I went to the Uk a city of Cincinnati which the great school, but by no means very difficult to get into it, just to say that to me this paper was completely unsurprising in finding. Because if you spend like ten minutes talking to parents who really want their kids again at these, rules and maybe are doing some bribery as a result of that, usually what I will talk about. Is things like well, I want the social capital and networking for my kid, though, almost never even talk about the quality of education, which I find I personally find a very money, but it is also just speaks to there's this idea
that you get a bunch of social capital by going to these places, and one reason you get a bunch of social capital is because they are so hard to get into said the idea is generally belt and that these are the elite that the most prestigious places in the country to get our higher education. That just makes an incentive for the universities so obvious. It also, I think, makes it clear that these universities are not going to change on their own, because if they have such a big incentives and change on their own, then why what I mean if Harvard suddenly starting letting in ten times the people and the public found out about that Clearly, like all maybe Harvard isn't that procedures anymore, I mean just about anybody, can get it now. So I understand why universities are doing this even if die, don't agree with it and to since I
stand that it's probably would be warranted if, if we took some serious policy action about this, for did something to change this, I'm not totally sure what that would look like. The paper mentions that some european countries actually set admission, enrollment re tire for their elite universe. It is. I have a hard time, imagining the? U S, doing anything like that with a lot of these places, but I don't know it a systematic. We really should be doing something about this will prettiest in various other countries. Is that were unusual in that most of our elite schools are pride at so, like our public institutions. Ten, quite large Cowper Glee Ashley over twenty thousand under grads beauty, Ostiense about fifty thousand
In most other countries, the wheat schools are also public in some form, like even Oxford, in Cambridge, our cause, I public and have some serve government affiliation, but he will give my Canada universe. Toronto, Mcgill, British Columbia, you BC are public schools that have tens of thousands of students Youtube, maybe the most prestigious Canadian. University and has like fifty thousand it's very, very, very large, and you see that in a lot of other countries as well and currently like the Pope policy, we have been requested this in the u dot. S is encouraging them to be more selective Jerusalem alluded to this bit, but they're often these kind of nimby fights that happen with the local community when they fritz to expand the school so about ten years ago, Georgetown yearn DC, tried to expand and got like now the town by the local, absurd Advisory Neighbourhood Commission, which, like the lowest level of DC government and Light
some noble exceptions, just a collection of the busiest busy bodies, heads is it just like didn't want first and to expand, and so it didn't currently a bunch of neighbours of. Clean you see, Berkeley are pursuing, you see Berkeley for wine to expand because they think it endangers their property values in such the idea. Suing. You see Berkeley when you live in Berkeley and your city would be like not worth anything if it didn't have his kind of astonishing to me because they have shape unease in whatever, but do you have a lot of like on the ground opposition to this I I grew up very close to link couple blocks from Dormice Campus in New Hampshire, which is about the booney and the city like ivy, we campus living like maybe Ithaca, has us beat, but but it's not like big cities owning problems by it, the home voter hypothesis, the famous book on NIMBY, isn't that deserve helped start alive. Not like analyses of of Nan Bees is about Hanover is about health,
I like Hanover Homeowners well like go to war, to stop people from building apartments and end. I can imagine nothing that would unite people as quickly as Dartmouth trying to buy up a bunch of property to try to expand their their student and so I, like the low hanging fruit year, seems like just prevent cities from trying to resist expansion. I dont know if that alone would do enough. This paper suggested wooden boat like we dont, be pushing against expansion at the very least, and I will note that Dylan brought up housing policy on this package,
let me first time but Herod had at first. I did. I did I alluded, but I think there are two interesting things that are in touch on here, like one on solutions is that they make clear the paper that there is this: it's what what there is not an absolute advantage there going for its both absolute and a positional advantage of their going for relative to other universities and the way that you kind of make sure that there's an ability for them to accept more students with out losing that positional advantage is by a kind of allowing elite institutions to collude or requiring all of them to have a certain baseline level. And I know I know her mind. You mentioned this earlier on and you know don't mention earth. These aren't public institutions, but but I think that, like a log intrusion does Dylan's I'd like actually do kind of want to expand like a like it's more money and be like they already recognised at some level. This is kind of like a random lottery where their picking people in into come in and there are more people that are equally, if not more called
that their missing, because the admissions process is not perfect, but I think the secondary question here. Just like you know. I think it's really reflection of what prestige looks like in american society, because, like a procedure that is socially constructed, right will be just as easy. It would be better for our society to decide at the most prestigious thing to do is Farley institutions to prove that they could take people who were not given the same educational advantages as higher income american to winter, in a private schools in the North EAST and were able to still create the kind of educational and income and life outcomes. That could actually NEO show that our social and educational mobility in the power of education to do that and to expose you propose ideas, because you here you into likes it while friends, and then you think it into Harvard than you and are going to do like your life is finally nothing.
Ok, so I can only mean like the next thing down is like going to be the same sort of life outcome. Don't have happened regardless, but you know showing that places at Harvard or do could actually take individuals who would not have those education opportunities constricting precision. That way, I think, is as logical as what we set up today and actually a lot more subtly beneficial. I mean all these ideas are ones that I mean could examine. If people listen to the Friday episode of me in Dylan on page hardens new book, you know there's a lot of critics of meritocracy that are really coming out and they circulate around a lot of easily institutions and how we decided that how they should function, who they should serve and dislike part that brought our conversation. I agree with what you said, but this assumes that such a huge cultural problem and I'm really not sure how to solve it. I mean we ve been in this place for literally centuries where people are making associations of what is leave what does it mean to be an elite college and
linking that to raise well a bunch of different factors and what essentially talking about here, is asking them to stop doing that, and I don't think it should work this way. I don't think that is how we should be deciding Whether something is an elite institution or not. I feel like I've got a great education at the university Cincinnati because it was diverse because it allowed people from all sorts of backgrounds and because I could interact with all these people, not despite all that, working at box, which is a pretty you know, big national news outlets, I'm surrounded by people from Ivy League schools. Yes, Dillon, but it, but it is just to say like if public perception is war another way, and if people are going to make a based on the look of a school who go, there and how many people are allowed in these colleges which at the end of the day
I have to make money somehow are going to work within that reality and I think its tragic, but I just really dont, know how you solve for that yeah. But the thing with big researching receives like these is that their researching arrest, that they have an educational function, and then they have simultaneously connected research, production function and eyeing. America in the world would be much poorer places without some other for science and social science coming out of of these institutions, and so it might be benefit on some level. First, students to stay small, so there you have more. Resources have concentrate on fewer people on there's. A young professionals a person I kind of follow named. We uphold Ashen Brenner, who is was recently valedictorian Colombia and had some idea of like creating a micro Colombia. There was just a few hundred
people deserve, and even more selective institution in arguing that if you had served even more filtering like that, you might get some more productive communities. The form- and that may be true. But I dont think that would like that schools, research output would not be great like it would not have enough to wish and and and other resources coming in with the students to subsidize large for research institutions and part of why places like you see, Berkeley and utopian can have huge research budgets is that they have tons the students coming through, and I think one way you might make the case for expansion to a place like Harvard or Princeton is you want your molecular bio people to be the best in the world. You want them to be winning the Nobel prizes and in medicine you want to be the ones who in the next time or vaccine a back seen in this. Here to do that. If you have more students, pain, more tuition, funding more faculty,
birds and and research, labs and general. These were flashing out the research side of the research university equation, but also wish attacks is down to tat that I think these schools are just be scared there. In good talent. I mean Jerusalem got at this earlier, but if you talk to these admissions offices, there often dealing with a bunch of people who have near perfect as eighteen scores or actually perfect, as eighty scores perfect JP is all that great stuff and the judgments their maker To actually see does this student fit for our body or that this person fit for our body is so arbitrary that there's no way they're getting this right. I would guess even a majority of the time right, so I think Harvard should look at someone who apply to their cool am then get in and went on to win a Nobel Prize as an embarrassment that left something that they could have. Using to brag about and recruit before, but now they're, not so even from just like of completely selfish perspective of nothing else. These
also just be worrying way way more about the talent they're giving up by being so selective to the point that if they doubled like the that mission X rates. I don't even know that what impact the actual academic standards that the other people they're allowing and because our already getting so many applicants at thirty nine who have top notch academic credentials and are just being rejected because of this arbitrary admissions rate that sat people at these institutions often like remark about how many brilliant They turn away William Fitzsimons, who ran missions for a very long time at Harvard, would often say you know. If we could several freshmen classes, but valedictorian is perfect lcd scores, and so that's not all we're. Looking for but like that's us, he and his there's all these brilliant people who would benefit from registration education years
Turning away for like no reason why. I think that also to the big issue that your creating here, as is in a bunch of like resentment in like this I mean I'm not trying to say that, like you know, the idea that the children of the elite in the United States are like the object of pity or anything like that, but like when you have this sort of like rat race and people are being picked for arbitrary reasons. And then you know you have a lot of its either going to Harvard and going to Yale going these kinds of precision institutions like afford you, the sort of social matters that will better you on later. Life and that decision has been an arbitrary basis like that. Has a lot of like labour market implications later on, equates lot of elite resentment amongst people who should be relatively equivalent and we mark would make out of school, and I think that's like something where you know. That's not good. It seems bad too, like just randomly inculcate alot of resentment amongst your peers and to the north. At least ratify them, based on, like honestly, like almost random decision from an admissions officer when there are eighteen years old, like that, how we won
structure, society and the leaders of America like seems bad about it. I believe we should probably and every weeds with seems bad yeah. What that seems bad Thank you for joining us today for three things too. Taxes or mine Lopez in Jerusalem downstairs for China, some things but seem bad our pretty serious socio along Libby Nelson has our editorial adviser Amber halls. The deputy editorial director fur talk podcast, I'm your hosts, Dylan Matthews You can get even more weeds content by signing up for newsletter, good, a fox dot com, slash reads: Dash letter, we'll be back in your feeds this Friday, with the first of these three serious guest, hosted VOX senior correspondent in no Heizer use going to walk you through some of them is cases on springboard stock at this term, including their big abortion rights case, going explain how we got here and what we call ramifications of of those cases might be so
on Friday, we ll see about the weeds as part of the box media pot, gas network. This is advertiser content. Over the last five years, Facebook has invested thirteen billion dollars in teams and technology to enhance safety. In the past few months, they ve taken down. Thirty million violent and graphic posts learn more about ongoing work at about that F B. Dot com, slash safety
Transcript generated on 2021-10-08.