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Why are conservatives demanding that the government “do something” about inflation? Have they abandoned their philosophy that the free market can take care of itself? That is just one of the many questions presently plaguing inquiring minds. Others follow.

With the holidays arriving, Mr. COVID is giving the gift of himself to those who believe that his lethality is a fiction. Will irony ever pay a visit to the vaccine refuser who, with furrowed brow and flinty eye, voices his concern about what he puts into his body, as he sits in the drive-thru at McDonald’s?

If smokers aren’t permitted to exhale their toxic fumes into indoor spaces, such as theaters, elevators, planes and restaurants, why should the unvaccinated get a pass when it comes to sending their potentially toxic breath into those spaces? George Washington required the troops to be vaccinated against smallpox. So, why in the name of Benedict Arnold are some of our politicians and media talkers telling us that government vaccine mandates are un-American? If the vaccine mandate was a life-saving godsend to the Father of our Country, why do some of our flag-waving “patriots” oppose one now?

Shifting our attention to other questions, do Republican legislators understand that, by banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project, they are upping the likelihood that students will exhaust every devious means to learn about those topics, even if they aren’t taught in school? I am put in mind of a long-ago mayor of Charleston who banned the sexy novel “Peyton Place.” If it had been that mayor’s purpose to guarantee the sale of more copies of the books, he couldn’t have done a better job of it.

Elsewhere, pillow guy Mike Lindell of nutty “Trump won” fame, now is aghast that Fox News is gradually moving away from the Big Lie that the 2020 vote was rigged against Donald Trump. Is Lindell too dense to understand that he is shouting at the great falls of Niagara to reverse their course? To Lindell’s credit, there is at least some transfer of skills from pillow salesman to paranoia purveyor.

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What might be learned by the folks who yowl that the Biden administration is a flop, if they paused to take a thoughtful look at the state of our economy? It’s nonsense that they blame inflation on Biden, given that it’s a global phenomenon (one that probably will dissipate as the supply chain issues fade).

A fellow who, in earlier responses to my columns, has termed Joe Biden a liar and a crook, recently asked what I think of Biden’s presidency, to date. An overview will be the topic of another column. But to briefly address just one facet of Biden’s presidency, the economy, things are steadily improving. Since Biden became president, we are experiencing the lowest weekly jobless claims in 50 years, down from 20 million at Thanksgiving 2020 to 2 million last week. Typical middle-class family income is up 2%, even after accounting for higher prices.

Although the GDP was down a bit in the third quarter, to 2.1%, it was up in the year’s first two quarters, to 6.3% and 6.7%, respectively. Thus, for the year, our GDP is at a relatively rosy 5.5%, and economists are predicting a strong fourth quarter. Wages are up and employees are having more say-so in the marketplace. Our economy has some distance to go but is headed in the right direction.

Those questions aside, I have a personal plea. Please do not play Russian roulette with your health and the health of others. Instead, get vaccinated, or boosted. And boost the economy, and warm your heart, by getting on with your Christmas shopping.

Joseph Wyatt is a Gazette-Mail contributing columnist and emeritus professor at Marshall University. Reach him at wyatt@marshall.edu.

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