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Vaccination Blues

March 4, 2015

You walk into Publix and purchase a few items, chips, soda a few vegetables. At the counter, the cashier slips an avocado onto the belt.  “That’s not mine,” you say. “It’s good for you,” the cashier says.  “I don’t want it,” you say. “It’s really, really good for you, and besides, it’s mandatory that you buy it. From us.” “I won’t.” “Then we’ll have to take your kids away from you. And you’ll still have to buy the avocado for them. From jail.”

Clearly, vaccinations aren’t avocados. They are good for you, though, and especially with all those kids coming from other countries, carrying disease, vaccinations are important.  But should the government force you to buy them?  Even if the government foots the bill, should you have to vaccinate your kids?


Let me qualify: I am NOT against vaccinations. They are vital. However….

I know with the advent of the ACA that precedence for forcing people to buy something is now in place, and even applauded by the constitutionally-challenged populace. And now the government is dictating what kids may and may not eat at school (this is actually not in the same category, since there is an opt-out option, but it’s still overreach).  So where does it stop? If we force vaccines because dozens of kids are getting horribly sick, then what about cigarettes? They kill and maim hundreds of thousands of people. Should we make that illegal? I hate cigarettes but I don’ t think so, because such things should not be legislated, but educated.

I get that vaccinations are important; that they are a good idea and people should vaccinate their children. It should be a matter of education, PSAs and strong knowledge campaigns that compel people to follow through. But laws are so much quicker!

What about paying for the infrastructure; where does the money come from to ensure everyone complies? And while vaccinations are safe, who is going to pay up when the first kid is adversely affected?  And the class action suit after that? Further, what happens if you refuse to vaccinate your kid? Do mom and dad go to jail? Are the kids taken away? Assuming the parent has real concerns and just aren’t negligent, where’s the justice in that?

In America, we should not be forced to pay for anything (don’t get me started on taxes; an income tax should be illegal, the Fair Tax is voluntary. Don’t want to pay taxes? Don’t buy goods above the poverty line).

At the same time, it’s perfectly okay to make a law that if your kid wants to go to public school, he/she must be vaccinated. If you’re sufficiently steadfast against vaccines, then it’s private schools (though such schools can also make the demand) or homeschool for your unvaccinated kid. Beyond that, it’s a parent education issue, NOT a legal issue.

Ah, but what about people coming into the country? That IS a legal issue; immigrant parents can opt out by not coming into the country (and clearly, ICE shouldn’t be turning their back on illegals, either).

Vaccinations, tried and true, are important, I don’t deny it. Is legislation the answer? I hope not.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. kverdeck permalink
    March 5, 2015 1:09 pm

    While I’m not necessarily opposed to government mandates which are demonstrably in the public interest (as immunization clearly is), I can agree that any such mandate creates a slippery slope and should be considered carefully. I suppose it can be argued that a behavior like smoking primarily affects only the (legal adult) individual who chooses to partake, while immunization has a more broad impact vis-a-vis herd immunity, which helps protect from illness those who are too young or otherwise medically proscribed from being themselves immunized. In that sense mandatory vaccinations do serve the public interest.

    What interests me most about this post is your notion that income taxes should be illegal. Are you suggesting that the Founders made a mistake in authorizing an income tax? Are you further suggesting that the Federal government should have no authority to tax in order to (in the words of the Constitution) “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”? Or are you just suggesting that those funds should come from other sources? And if so, where?

  2. March 5, 2015 7:34 pm

    A most excellent post, thank you! To address a couple of points you raised:

    Smoking does affect others besides the smoker. I spent several years unable to walk due to a bone disease caused by second-hand smoke. While I would not protest too overly much if smoking was outlawed, I won’t advocate for it (I will advocate for jail time to smokers who toss their cigarette butts out the car window, though).

    As for your question about income tax. First, the founding fathers never imposed an income tax, Lincoln was the first. Prior to that, it was sales tax and tariffs. I recommend returning to that with the Fair Tax plan.
    * New products and services are taxed.
    * Second-hand (used) products are not taxed.
    * Everyone gets a tax rebate each month to cover taxes up to the poverty line (so the poor don’t pay taxes).
    * This replaces corporate taxes (cost of goods drops, so product costs drop) and all other Federal taxes except tariffs.
    * The tax collection method is already in place in states with a sales tax and it’s easy to mount for those who don’t (the POS system is ready to go, anyway).

    What this means is that people buying new products above the poverty line are paying the most taxes. That would be the rich and the middle class. There should be an overall drop in costs of goods, so the poor not only don’t pay taxes, they have more spending power for basics. Want to save money? Buy second-hand items. People aren’t penalized for earning, only for spending above the poverty line. IRS goes away, filing goes away, withholding goes away, income tax evasion goes away (fraud would probably escalate, though).

    I am not against regulation; I prefer regulation be focused on transparency, requiring companies to inform their customers of their practices and letting the customer decide.

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