Refusing Vaccination Puts Others At Risk

A pragmatic argument for coercive vaccination

VaccinationCandybox Images: dreamstimeA significant proportion of Americans believe it is perfectly all right to put other people at risk of the costs and misery of preventable infectious diseases. These people are your friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens who refuse to have themselves or their children vaccinated against contagious diseases.

There would be no argument against allowing people to refuse vaccination if they and their families would suffer alone the consequences of their foolhardiness. It would be their right to forego misery-reducing and life-preserving treatments. But that is not the case in the real world.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Project Tycho database, launched last week, quantifies the prevalence of infectious disease since 1888 in the United States. Drawing on Project Tycho data, a November 28 New England Journal of Medicine article concluded that vaccinations since 1924 until now prevented 103 million cases of polio, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, diphtheria, and pertussis. While the NEJM article did not calculate the number of deaths avoided as a result of vaccination, one of the study’s authors estimates that number is between three and four million.

People who don’t wish to take responsibility for their contagious microbes will often try to justify their position by noting the fact that the mortality rates of many infectious diseases had declined significantly before vaccines came along. And it is certainly true that a lot of that decline in infectious disease mortality occurred as a result of improved sanitation and water chlorination. A 2004 study by the Harvard University economist David Cutler and the National Bureau of Economic Research economist Grant Miller estimated that the provision of clean water “was responsible for nearly half of the total mortality reduction in major cities, three-quarters of the infant mortality reduction, and nearly two-thirds of the child mortality reduction.” Improved nutrition also reduced mortality rates, enabling infants, children, and adults to fight off diseases that would have more likely killed their malnourished ancestors.

But vaccines have played a substantial role in reducing death rates too. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the annual average number of cases and resulting deaths of various diseases before the advent of vaccines to those occurring in 2006. Before an effective diphtheria vaccine was developed, for example, there were about 21,000 cases of the disease each year, 1,800 of them leading to death. No cases or deaths from the disease were recorded in 2006. Measles averaged 530,000 cases and 440 deaths per year before the vaccine. In 2006, there were 55 cases and no deaths. Whooping cough saw around 200,000 cases and 4,000 deaths annually. In 2006, there were nearly 16,000 cases and 27 deaths. Polio once averaged around 16,000 cases and 1,900 deaths. No cases were recorded in 2006. The number of Rubella cases dropped from 48,000 to 17, and the number of deaths dropped from 17 to zero. 

With the latter disease, the more important measure is the number of babies, born to rubella-infected mothers, who suffered from disease-induced birth defects, such as deafness, cloudy corneas, damaged hearts, and stunted intellects. Some 2,160 infants were afflicted with congenital rubella syndrome as late as 1965. In 2006 it was one.

The risk that infectious diseases will kill innocent bystanders is not the only issue. Sheer misery counts too. The fevers, the sweats, the incessant coughs, the runny noses, the itchy rashes, and the lost days at work must be taken into account, too. And, of course, many people end up in the hospital as a result of infectious disease.

Before a chicken pox vaccine became available, upwards of four million kids got the disease every year, of which 11,000 were hospitalized and 105 died. In 2004, the estimated number cases had dropped to 600,000, resulting in 1,276 hospitalizations and 19 deaths. Before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1962, some 48,000 were hospitalized and 450 died of that infection each year. So far this year there have been 175 cases and three hospitalizations. A 1985 study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist in the journal Pediatrics estimated that the first 20 years of measles vaccination in the U.S. had prevented 52 million cases, 5,200 deaths, and 17,400 cases of mental retardation.

In rich countries, few children die of rotavirus diarrheal disease, but it does kill some 500,000 kids living in poor countries annually. Prior to 2006, when vaccines against rotavirus became available, about one in five kids under the age of five in the United States annually came down with it, of which 57,000 were hospitalized. Subsequent to widespread vaccination, hospitalization rates have dropped by 90 percent. Interestingly, rotavirus hospitalizations among older children and young adults who are not immunized have also fallen by around 10,000 annually. Why? Because they are no longer are exposed to the disease in infants who would otherwise have infected them.

Vaccines do not produce immunity in some people, so a percentage of those who took the responsibility to be vaccinated remain vulnerable. This brings us to the important issue of herd immunity. Herd immunity works when most people are immunized against an illness, greatly reducing the chances that an infected person can pass his microbes along to other susceptible people, such as infants who cannot yet be vaccinated, immunocompromised individuals, or folks who have refused the protection of vaccination.

People who refuse vaccination for themselves and their children are free-riding off herd immunity. Anti-vaccination folks are taking advantage of the fact that most people around them have chosen the minimal risk of vaccination, thus acting as a firewall protecting them from disease. But if enough refuse, the firewall comes down and other people get hurt.

Oliver Wendell Holmes articulated a good libertarian principle when he said, "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Holmes’ observation is particularly salient in the case of whooping cough shots.

Infants cannot be vaccinated against whooping cough, so their protection against this dangerous disease depends upon the fact that most of the rest of us are immunized against it. Unfortunately, whooping cough incidence rates have been increasing along with the number of people refusing immunization for their kids. The annual number of pertussis cases fell to a low of 1,010 in 1976. Last year, the number of reported cases rose to 48,277, the highest number since 1955. Eighteen infants died of the disease in 2012, and half of the infants who got it were hospitalized. 

In 2005, an intentionally unvaccinated 17-year-old girl brought measles back with her from a visit to Romania and ended up infecting 34 people. Most of them were also intentionally unvaccinated, but a medical technician who had been vaccinated caught the disease as well and was hospitalized. Despite the medical technician’s bad luck, the good news is that the measles vaccine is thought to protect 99.8 percent of who get the shot. Similarly, in 2008 an intentionally unvaccinated seven-year-old boy sparked an outbreak of measles in San Diego. The boy, who caught the disease in Switzerland, ended up spreading his illness to 11 other children, all of whom were also unvaccinated, putting one infant in the hospital. Forty-eight other kids who were too young to be vaccinated were quarantined.

To borrow Holmes’ metaphor, people who refuse vaccination are asserting that they have a right to “swing” their microbes at other people. There is no principled libertarian case for their free-riding refusal to take responsibility for their own microbes.

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  • albo||

    Excellent article. Vaccinate your kids

  • The_Dan||

    If you being vaccinated works why are you worried if I am vaccinated ?

  • IceTrey||

    Did you not read the article? Babies are too young to be vaccinated against some diseases. If you infect my kid I'm not going to be happy.

  • Sally_Oh||

    Your baby is vaccinated against Hep B before s/he leaves the hospital. And receives 100+ vaccines by the age of 6. Relax. Your kid is protected against any diseases for which there is a vaccine, regardless of how remote the chance of infection.

    Your kid is not safe from auto-immune disease or autism or any number of other quality of life threatening illnesses brought about by a weak immune system.

    Doesn't sound like you are interested in researching any of this -- if the gov says good, you go with that. And why not? They've done so well at keeping us healthy...

  • IceTrey||

    What part of the word "some" do you not understand?

    "Infants cannot be vaccinated against whooping cough, so their protection against this dangerous disease depends upon the fact that most of the rest of us are immunized against it. Unfortunately, whooping cough incidence rates have been increasing along with the number of people refusing immunization for their kids. The annual number of pertussis cases fell to a low of 1,010 in 1976. Last year, the number of reported cases rose to 48,277, the highest number since 1955. Eighteen infants died of the disease in 2012, and half of the infants who got it were hospitalized."

  • cia||

    85% of the 42,000 people diagnosed with pertussis last year (many more undiagnosed, as it isn't a serious disease in those older than four or five months) had bee appropriately vaxed but got it anyway. Infants should be kept at home for their protection, treated with Dr. Suzanne Humphries high-dose vitamin C protocol if they get it anyway. Everyone else would be wise to go ahead and get the disease and permanent (30-70 years) immunity. Why should we risk our lives and health to try to prevent a not very serious disease?

  • cia||

    Also, pertussis peaks around the world every 44 months (average), regardless of vaccination rates. Last year was a peak year, this year no longer is. That's why there were 42,000 diagnosed cases last year, but nothing like that this year.

  • cia||

    The reason so many people are refusing vaccinations is because so many millions of families have seen severe or fatal vaccine damage in our families. I reacted to a tetanus booster with both arms being paralyzed the same day, brachial plexus neuropathy, and went on to develop MS. My baby reacted to the hep-B vaccine at birth, given without permission and even though I had said I didn't want her to get it, with four days and nights of endless, inconsolable screaming, vaccine-induced encephalitis. I let her get the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months (a practice that more than doubles risk of asthma at seven, see Manitoba study), but she got pertussis anyway at 8 months, because the vaccine is ineffective and worthless. And the booster at 18 months instantly erased her only two words, and she was diagnosed with autism two months later. My father was paralyzed by a flu shot for the last three years of his life. This damage is very common now: peanut allergies from the peanut oil vaccine adjuvant, especially in the Hib, bowel disease and autism from the MMR, asthma from the pertussis vaccine, seizure disorders and learning disabilities from vaccine encephalitis, diabetes, and many other neurological and autoimmune conditions.

  • Young CC Prof||

    Encephalitis in a newborn? Really? Is that what the doctors said? Was she on a ventilator, poor thing?

    (Yes, I don't believe you.)

  • N. O. Nymus||

    And how will you know a given person has infected your "kid" (I raise goats - I surely hope your children don't look anything like kids)?

  • bsmith||

    FLAG. 15 yards on the defense for using a strawman argument. First and goal, IceTrey.

  • bsmith||

    Although technically I'm not sure you could have a defensive 15 yd penalty result in a first and goal, since a first and goal implies being within 10 yds of the goal line, which means you couldn't have gotten there with a 15 yd penalty. So , "Half the distance to the goal. First and goal IceTrey."

    But I get off topic.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    Let's assume the penalty was committed in the endzone. Then its at the 1yd line - 1st and goal.

    Of course, this isn't the case if you are New England and trying to score at the end of the game. In that case, Carolina LB's and Miami DB's can flat out rape your receivers without getting a flag.

  • cia||

    I assume you're referring to the DTaP. My baby got it at 2, 4, and 6 months, but caught pertussis anyway at 8 months, because the vaccine is extremely ineffective. Last year 42,000 Americans were diagnosed with pertussis, 85% of them appropriately vaccinated, but got it anyway. It has evolved into being a tiring and long-lasting, but not dangerous disease for anyone but some of the youngest newborns. The new acellular vaccine still causes a lot of asthma, allergies, seizure disorders, SIDS, and autism. The DTaP booster my daughter got at 18 months wiped out her only two words, and she was diagnosed with autism two months later (delayed in language anyway from the vaccine encephalitis after the hep-B at birth dose). The vaccine is much more dangerous than the disease, is ineffective and even when it works, wears off in about 3 years. Better to just get the disease and get permanent immunity.

  • cia||

    This was in response to Ice Trey, but it didn't get posted underneath.

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    If you have so much faith in the vaccines with their soup of viruses mixed with mercury and adjuvants that are KNOWN to be toxic, why are you worried that you might get infected from me, who refuses injections of poison and relies on naturally acquired immunity and healthy lifestyle?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah, because being in the military you NEVER received vaccinations of any kind.

    Tell us another one, squid.

  • IceTrey||

    +1

  • Freedomshift||

    Yes and many soldiers are now realizing that the military industrial complex was using them as virtual guinea pigs. Anthrax...Gulf war syndrome. Use your head for more than growing hair.

    http://scholarship.law.duke.ed.....ontext=dlj

  • IceTrey||

    That's an entirely different argument.

  • cia||

    There was an article in Vaccine Epidemic by a military officer about how many in the Army had been seriously damaged or killed by vaccines, including many cases that he saw personally. He saw one young woman held down screaming as they forced the shots on her, and she died from them. Where's the liberty there?

  • Tomblvd||

    Yea, because "naturally acquired immunity and healthy lifestyle(s)" worked so well for the native americans.....

  • cia||

    The Native Americans had no contagious diseases before the Europeans arrived except for syphilis (see Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel). They did so badly after the Europeans arrived because they did not share the Europeans' advantage of having been exposed to many disease pathogens all their lives, and thereby developing strong immune systems to protect them. Malnutrition was and is behind the inability of many people's immune systems to protect them efficiently. The best strategy for lifetime good health is to be breastfed for as long as possible, get the common diseases like measles, mumps, chickenpox, pertussis, and rubella, in childhood, eat a healthy diet, and avoid drugs and vaccines to the greatest extent possible.

  • daveInAustin||

    This soup of viruses and mercury is one of mankind greatest achievements. It is why our children are no longer dying polio or smallpox or a dozen other nasty diseases. Stop listening to Alex Jones. The only worthwhile things he covers, you can read on reason.com.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Correlation is not causation. Polio and smallpox were already on the decline when vaccination was introduced.

  • daveInAustin||

    Thanks for letting me know that correlation is not the same as causation, then lying and saying that vaccines aren't actually correlated with disease reduction. The U.S. had an average of 20,000 polio cases a year before the vaccine with more than 60,000 in 1952. The vaccine was first released in 1955, and by 1961, the cases dropped to 161, and is now 0. Nothing like that happened before the vaccine, and there certainly wasn't a downward trend.
    The efficacy of the polio vaccine has been proven by numerous controlled clinical trials in multiple countries.
    We also understand very well the causal relationship between vaccines and disease.

  • N. O. Nymus||

    Hooboy... in case you were unaware, polio epidemics were virtually unknown prior to the 1880s or 90s. The phenomenon of the polio epidemic was almost certainly the result of some environmental condition that rose to prevalence at that time. By the 1950s the trend was abating of its own accord. The vaccine MAY have helped, but it is not well established - at least no to my standard.

    BTW, Pasteur's work was plagiarized from Antoine Bechamp. Furthermore, it was seriously bastardized. Bechamp's work was original and correct. Pasteur has not idea what in hell he was talking about but apparently he liked rubbing elbows with the aristocracy and used the products of his theft to ingratiate himself there. Pasteur was awash in controversy, especially in his early career. He was known to be an incompetent fop, but he was also a world-class peddler of bullshit and in the end that is what won out.

    The vaccine industry is based on a mostly rotten body of work. Were they to take up the correct work of Bechamp they would put themselves out of business. But not to worry - no conflict of interest there at all. Nothing to see folks - move along.

  • daveInAustin||

    N.O., you are a lier about vaccines, Pastuer and Bechamp. People have been dying from polio for as long as we have a history. The polio vaccine has been tested numerous times in multiple countries and shown to be save and effective.

  • cia||

    N.O. is correct in saying that polio was not common until the 1890s, when use of agricultural chemicals became common, and polio epidemics didn't become large and widespread until the use of pesticides began in the 1940s. Again, look up the Cutter incident, in which many children were killed by the polio vaccine. In India in 2011, over 45,000 vaccinated children developed flaccid paralysis, which several doctors there believed to be from polio itself. In India it's common to have Pulse vaccine programs in which they vax millions of children as quickly as possible, and many children are revaxed in every campaign, so that many five-year olds in India have received the polio vaccine as many as ten times, probably eventually causing them to become paralyzed.

  • Young CC Prof||

    Actually, that's not the reason at all.

    Prior to the mid 19th century, most people caught polio during infancy. Most recovered, some died or were paralyzed, but because it was one here and one there, it never made the news. (Babies died all the time back in the day, it was really terrible.)

    Then along came sanitation, and many people managed to live several years or even into adulthood without being exposed, which allowed for large attention-grabbing epidemics.

  • cia||

    But it should be remembered how many were killed or disabled by both the polio vaccines. Look up the Cutter incident, which killed many children. Areas which avoided eating sugar in response to a doctor's radio broadcast about sugar contributing to cases of polio saw their polio incidence drop over 90% compared to surrounding areas. Over 90% of those who contract polio have no symptoms, just develop permanent immunity. Almost 10% have flu symptoms, then get well. Due to anatomical susceptibility, less than 1% develop paralysis, and a tiny fraction of that number is permanently crippled. Countries that did not vaccinate saw polio disappear at the same time countries that vaccinated did. The polio vaccine at this time appears to be the least dangerous vaccine, but parents should still independently research each and every vaccine before permitting their child to get it, or taking it themselves. The stakes are much too high to have any excuse for coercing unwilling people to get them.

  • N. O. Nymus||

    No causal connection between vaccines and diesase rates has ever been established convincingly.

    Advances in sanitation and water quality can as easily be said to have been the cause.

  • Ed Ucation||

    No, horrible article. Completely anti-libertarian. You can't punish potentiality. Should we restrict people with genes shown to increase the predisposition for violence? What about those that drive less safe cars? It's one thing for an insurance company to charge more for a higher risk client, it's quite another for government to violate rights based on someone posing a higher risk. That's the road to Minority Report totalitarianism.

  • Swifty||

    Yes!

    After all, if your kids do suffer from one of the many possible adverse effects caused by invasive vaccination injection, you can now MAKE A CLAIM for compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pu.....cp-def.pdf

    That way you can be compensated should your child become a victim of vaccine-related injury or death.

    So, if you are FORCED to allow the Medical Industrial Complex to pump toxins into your child, STOP COMPLAINING!

    They have got that covered.

    If your kid should drop dead or suffer neurological disorders or so on... All you have to do is meet the criteria and have a physician appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services allow you to proceed to court.

    Ok, you may lose your kid, but if it does happen, think how much they might allow you to claim (should you meet the requirements)!

    What's the problem!

    If you can't trust politicians and their friends in the Medical Industrial Complex, you are a kook!

    Forced medication is the future, roll up your kids sleeve and SHUT UP!

    We know best.

    ;)

  • cia||

    And it must be remembered that, for obvious reasons, Vaccine Court is rigged against the vaccine-injured. Designed to be a no-fault program, it recently pruned its list of compensable injuries: even though it has compensated some of those who got autism from vaccines millions, autism is not a compensable injury: you have to call it encephalopathy to have even a small chance of prevailing. The State pays lawyers to work to discredit and dismiss the cases of the vaccine-damaged, and is successful in throwing out 80% of the cases brought before it. Darryl Issa had scheduled a hearing into the abuses of Vaccine Court, but Big Pharma used its instruments to get the hearing cancelled. Big Pharma has no wish at all to let knowledge of how common and how devastating vaccine damage is become widely known.

  • Penis Carrot||

    Obey, citizen! Obey!

  • Warty||

    I've never gotten a flu shot. WHATEVA I DO WHAT I WAUNT

  • ||

    I didn't either until I turned 40. And it's really just to protect me from all the shit I'm sure my kid is bringing home with her now that she's in school.

  • albo||

    Elementary kids are snot machines. My wife is a nursery school teacher and always gets two colds a year from her kids.

  • OneOut||

    My wife is a ballet instructor and every year that she has some younger classes she gets sick several times that class year.

    No kids classes no problem.

  • cia||

    You'd better research it. The Cochrane Collaboration has done studies which show the flu vaccine to be ineffective in all age groups. Most flu vaccines, like Fluzone, have the full 25 mcg of mercury in every dose, even now, when most people mistakently think that mercury has been taken out of all vaccines (except for "trace" amounts which are still twenty times higher than the toxic waste level and two hundred times higher than the permitted level for drinking water).

  • cia||

    Kaylee Madsen was a healthy first-grader when she got the flu vaccine in December two years ago, and had a high fever one day later, was dead three days later. There have been many cases of death and paralysis from the flu vaccine: my father was paralyzed by it for the last three years of his life. Lisa Marks Smith recovered in Vaccine Court for her being paralyzed for four years by a flu shot. I have never taken the flu vaccine and never will. I have Randall Neustaedter's The Flu Guide, and have found that oscillococcinum and homeopathic bryonia have relieved my flu symptoms miraculously well, without any risk.

  • Young CC Prof||

    350 children and 10,000 working-age adults died of the flu in 2009. But those are just statistics, right? No one cares about them.

  • ||

    Just as long as you didn't digitally insert Jabba the Hutt into the first Star Wars movie.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I've never had a flu shot either. But unlike Warty, I don't compensate for it by injecting steroids into my scrotum.

  • ||

    I had my first one this season because I happened to have to go to the dr a few weeks ago, and the spirit somehow took me. This was a huge mistake as I was left with a ginormous bruise for like a week afterward. Then again I did get the flu really horribly last winter...meh. Still don't think that bruise will have been worth it.

  • Warty||

    I started getting allergy shots (fuck you, dust mites), and I'm mildly surprised they haven't tried to give me a flu shot while I'm there. I'd cave, because the main reasons I haven't gotten a flu shot are that I hate going to doctors' and I hate getting stuck with needles.

    Plus, chicks dig bruises, right?

  • ||

    Yeah, those are my two reasons too, so it didn't take too much bullying. But I'm not sure bruises work quite like scars in this respect.

  • playa manhattan||

    I get allergy shots (not sure exactly what specifically I'm allergic to) and they give me the flu shot at the same time. It doesn't seem to do any good because I still get the flu every year.

  • Zeb||

    There's my main reason for not getting flu shot. It doesn't seem to be terribly effective and I never get the flu (bad enough to really notice anyway).

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Take 15000 IUs of vitamin D daily. Flu inversely correlates with sun exposure.

  • cia||

    Vaccines are the major cause of allergies. See The Peanut Allergy Epidemic. Scientists have known for over a century that any injection is the perfect way to create an allergy.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I've given bruises to a couple of women. They didn't seem too impressed.

  • ||

    They didn't seem too impressed.

    Really? I'll have to change a few things in my monograph:
    Ayn Rand's Guide to Dating Women

    She assures me chicks dig that.

  • The Last American Hero||

    +50, Shades of Grey

  • ||

    50 Shades of Purple.

  • Tman||

    I'd rather have a bad bruise for a week than the flu. The flu sucks.

  • Freedomshift||

    How about a bruise and the symptoms of the flu. That's what I get from the shot.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Symptoms of the flu? Isn't that the flu?

    "Scientists have discovered a disease that has no symptoms." - George Carlin.

  • cia||

    Or how about being paralyzed for the rest of your life by the flu vaccine, like my father? Or for four years, like Lisa Marks Smith? Or having to only run backwards like Désirée Jennings, and unable to walk otherwise with convulsions, after the flu vaccine?

  • Mando||

    you're complaining about a bruise?

  • Zeb||

    Nor have I. And I have never had a bad flu infection despite not being particularly careful about exposure or particularly anal about hand washing or anything. So I'm sticking with what works for now.

  • entropy_factor||

    here's my thing. This whole thing about "herd immunity" is a progressive notion that if we *just* vaccinate everyone, all disease will be eradicated. And that's simply delusional. I say: vaccinate against things that you want to, but no one can force you. And the fearmongering of "walking disease bombs" is BS because, well, the diseases exist already regardless.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think that is a very good interpretation of what herd immunity is. The idea is not that if everyone cooperates then disease will disappear. There are few diseases that we are likely to be able to really eliminate (smallpox being the most significant example) because most have non-human vectors.
    The idea with herd immunity is that if enough people are immune, then the disease won't be transferred as often, infections will be more isolated and overall incidence will go down. And the history of vaccination against a good number of diseases supports this notion quite well. There is nothing progressive about it. It is just a fact about complex biological systems. Libertarian principle can't get rid of the fact that humans are social creatures who tend to live in large groups where individuals interact a lot.

  • shamalam||

    Thanks for that, Zeb. Excellent post.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    But again, correlation is not causality. The incidence of these diseases was already declining when vaccination came into being.

  • cia||

    But the new acellular pertussis vaccine is so ineffective at preventing pertussis, albeit still very reactive and dangerous, that a huge percentage of the vaccinated get pertussis anyway. Last year 42,000 Americans diagnosed with pertussis (many more undiagnosed), and 85% of them had been appropriately vaccinated. 18 deaths, all in newborns, who need to be kept at home away from sources of contagion. Australia discontinued their free Tdap vaccines last year, because studies showed it to be ineffective at preventing pertussis.
    Trying to build herd immunity to mild diseases like pertussis, mumps, chickenpox, and measles is silly and irresponsible. It is better for the majority to get the diseases and get permanent immunity, and not get autism, bowel disease, allergies, seizure disoders, SIDS, and asthma from the vaccines.

  • Freedomshift||

    What I think actually happens is nature hates a vacuum and like any other natural process new diseases rise to fill the vaccum. Hospitals are seeing a rise in deadly bacterias and I think this the reason.

  • Muzzle of Bees||

    Just had my first but my son was just born a month ago and I work at a high school and apparently influenza kills 500,000 people a year.

    Got the TDAP too. About a month before my son was born two of my students come down with whooping cough. Thanks a lot guys.

  • Freedomshift||

    Is that the best you can do?

  • CE||

    How about this libertarian principle: don't jab things in my arm or my childrens' arms.

    Or are libertarians okay with the government deciding what drugs you need to be given?

    Or as Michael Badnarik said it better: "you bring your syringe and I'll bring my .45 and we'll see who makes a bigger hole."

  • Warty||

    What?

  • albo||

    You can stay unvaccinated if you don't go to public school or you can claim a religious exemption. The government isn't knocking down your door to vaccinate you.

  • fish_remote||

    You can stay unvaccinated if you don't go to public school or you can claim a religious exemption. The government isn't knocking down your door to vaccinate you.

    Startin to feel the presence of the holy spirit.....

  • jcalton||

    "The government isn't knocking down your door to vaccinate you."

    This article is specifically making the argument for COERCIVE VACCINATION. It's right there in the subtitle.
    Also in the article, although it's a bit diluted and you have to hunt for it against a wall of text of numbers that have nothing to do with the morality of forcing someone to do something at gunpoint.

  • CE||

    It's a slippery slope of the slipperiest sort.

    First your kids need a vaccine for a contagious disease to go to school (perfectly reasonable). I would never send my kids to a government run institution anyway.

    Then you need a flu shot to travel. Then your kids need Ritalin to go school. Then you need Equilibrium to get a job.

    Jabbing someone with a sharp instrument is aggression, unless it is agreed to ahead of time.

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    How about the nasal spray for flu or the old sugar cube for polio?

  • cia||

    The nasal spray is a live virus vaccine which can and does cause flu in many of the people around the vaxed person. It is also very dangerous, in a slightly different way to the dangers of the killed-virus vaccine. The oral sugar cube was also for a live vaccine, which has been taken off the market in First World countries because it sometimes caused polio and paralysis. They still use it in Third World countries where it still causes a lot of paralysis.

  • ||

    You can stay unvaccinated if you don't go to public school...

    ...which is compulsory. You have to have your kid in an approved learning institution. Or else homeschool them, to the extent it is legal to do so in whatever jurisdiction you live.

  • robc||

    So they give you a refund on your school tax, right?

    Yeah, didnt think so.

  • ||

    Funny thing about living in a community...everybody pays and everybody gets the benefits of living in a community.

    You didn't pay for 100% of the benefits you consume, nobody does. If you don't feel like paying a penny for anyone else, you shouldn't consume anything you didn't pay 100% for.

    Hope you can get home without driving on public roads...

  • OneOut||

    "You didn't build that".. yeah we get it.

    A cousin of mine owns several semi upscale and very successful restaurants in Houston. His contention is, " I didn't build THAT road. But I've generated enough taxes for the city to build several more".

    I believe he's right.

  • Freedomshift||

    Even European socialist see the benefits of private roads.

  • Freedomshift||

    They aren't knocking down your door yet. Don't be foolish.

  • DontShootMe||

    As long as you're willing to be liable for any economic harm caused by your unvaccinated body, fine. Including medical costs, wrongful death benefits, etc.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I think you have "libertarian" confused with "anarchist"

  • ||

    There are quite a few LINOs around -- Libertarians In Name Only.

    They heard about this wonderful political group that says you shouldn't be forced to do anything you don't want to do, and signed up on the spot. The actual philosophy and enlightened self-interest parts went right over their heads.

    You called it correctly, they're anarchists who don't want to think of themselves that way or be viewed that way.

  • OneOut||

    I'm a certified NeoLiber...and you can too! Not sure what a NeoLiber is yet, as we haven't fleshed out our/my platform (other than plagiarizing our motto)

    I think it's inevitable that the term arises in political debate and I wanted to be the first kid on the block.

    I'm a NeoLiber...and you can too!

  • Freedomshift||

    Or maybe they believe that their body is their property and being forcefully penetrated by government needles is not acceptable. Not unreasonable.

  • ||

    How about this libertarian principle? If your kid infects mine, I'll not stop my fist just because your nose began.

    After all, your anti-social decision caused me and mine real harm. It's just self-defense to make sure you won't do it again.

  • Freedomshift||

    Too late, your gun enforced needle already invaded someone's body. The violence has been committed.

    In California, AB 499 has become law (Governor Brown Signed AB 499 into Law on August 27, 2013). This bill takes away parental informed consent for a dangerous & potentially deadly vaccine.

  • Young CC Prof||

    Actually, no. Parents who want to refuse have to go to the doctor and fill out a form stating that they understand the risks of refusal. That's all, no forced needles.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Sometimes you just need to read the first few words to start shaking your head.

  • SomeCallMeJohn||

    Thread winner right here

  • Ron Bailey||

    CE: So the libertarian thing to do is to put other people's health and even their lives at risk because of your irresponsibility? Really?

  • Nazdrakke||

    Are you having a progtarded moment? What part of NAP is eluding you ATM? So it's cool to use force but only when it's cool with Ron?

  • Nazdrakke||

    BTW my two kids are vaccinated because I'd rather they bury me than the other way around, but I don't get to make that choice for other free people.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    ^^This.

    BTW Ron, if the bar for being libertarian is not irresponsibly "putting other people's health and even their lives at risk" we are not on a slope, but more of a cliff.

    And another thing: your verbiage is eerily similar to drug war propaganda, and could potentially provide the petri dish that nanny-stateism needs to become as malignant as our present drug war environment if taken to its logical conclusion: Every choice you make which could affect others' health is subject to governmental control.

    Utilitarianism disguised as libertarianism. Shameful.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Sorry - I don't want to go all "true-scotsman" or anything, but if libertarians believe no one should initiate force - how is refusing a shot, and by doing so, putting other people at risk, not considered "force" against those others?

    Or, is it the fault of the guy who got vaccinated, but still got seriously ill for an all but eradicated disease, because some ignorant parent refused to vaccinate their children?

    & before you go there - I'm not saying, nor believe Ron is, that there should be a law to force vaccinations.

    Only that not doing so is not libertarian. & I think using NAP, a clear argument can be made that the women not vaccinating her child "coerced" against all others who fell ill due to her daughter.

    The risk is obvious, extremely well known, and been documented over several decades.

    Yet Oprah spoke - Jenny laughed - Jim Carey made a face - so they decided it was cool to not get shots.

    Their right? Absolutely. Is it libertarian behavior? Absolutely not.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Sorry... but furthermore - if libertarianism is now being defined, at least partially, by some nebulous requirement to not see parents refusing vaccinations as putting others in direct risk - then it's a philosophy at direct odds with well known, decades old documented reality.

    & if it is that, why not go with socialism?

    As once you've embraced any philosophy which has setup part of its core beliefs to be completely at odds with reality, then what's the difference between this or that one?

    & with socialism you get to believe utopia can exist on earth with the right people and the right controls.

    Additionally, socialism is more Teflon® than that Don guy ever was - tens of millions of deaths in the last century alone, yet still tons of world leaders and some US leaders openly proclaim themselves socialists.

    Conversely, libertarianism however makes no such promises, only that things will be more ethical, freer, more market oriented, for any given individual things may well be more difficult.

    As they admit that life isn't fair - however allowing a free people through voluntary actions decide how society is always preferred over any force, including government force.

    Yet without killing anyone in the past century through any government anywhere, libertarians are routinely attacked as being the most vile, evil creatures alive.

    Socialism - Now that's a brand!

  • Lucius Clay||

    If the others are vaccinated how did they fall ill? Why is simple logic lost in this argument. I personally had my children vaccinated...but do they need all of them? Do we need to force the flue shot?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Bailey supported mandatory health insurance :)

    It's a fairly standard tenet of libertarian thought that government has a handful of appropriate functions and that fatal communicable disease awareness is one of them.

    If people aren't getting vaccinated, then the "force" of which you speak isn't all that strong anyway.

  • Ron Bailey||

    IF: Yes I did. On the basis of assuming that if the bastards are going to do something it should be the least freedom-damaging something that can be devised. For more details see my proposal for a totally private BaileyCare plan.

  • Cdr Lytton||

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Bad assumption, given how bureaucracies work and all. We're seeing the bitter fruit of that effort unfolding even as we argue about the imaginary efficacy of the next one.

  • N. O. Nymus||

    Oh yeah, that's the solution - choose the least among intolerable evils, lay down, and spread your legs.

    Brilliant.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    According to CE, apparently being a walking vector for entirely preventable contagious diseases and putting populations at risk is a libertarian principle.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Philosophically, it is difficult to characterize a disease-carrying agent's walking around as "aggression", for a whole raft of reasons. Per libertarian NAP, aggression is the only action for which force against a human can be used, ergo any actions which are not aggressive (including the potential carrying of a disease) cannot be responded to with force.

    To me, such suggest that extreme adherence to ideology is a foolish consistency in this case -- and is why I self-categorize as a classical liberal rather than as a libertarian.

  • Free Society||

    Philosophically, it is difficult to characterize a disease-carrying agent's walking around as "aggression", for a whole raft of reasons. Per libertarian NAP, aggression is the only action for which force against a human can be used, ergo any actions which are not aggressive (including the potential carrying of a disease) cannot be responded to with force.

    To me, such suggest that extreme adherence to ideology is a foolish consistency in this case -- and is why I self-categorize as a classical liberal rather than as a libertarian.

    Exactly. Negligence is not aggression.

  • trshmnstr||

    Philosophically, it is difficult to characterize a disease-carrying agent's walking around as "aggression", for a whole raft of reasons

    The most compelling reason that I can think of is that if I want to be protected from these germ buckets that are walking around, I can just go get vaccinated myself.

    Now, if this were like those HIV infected folks who get off on infecting others, sure, that's aggression, but that's really not what this article is about.

  • Free Society||

    +1

  • Another David||

    If you're too fucking stupid to understand how vaccines work, is that meaningfully different from being too stupid to understand that shooting people in the head might cause them to die?

    Evidence for "no": Free Society.

  • Free Society||

    Where did I say vaccines don't work. Please repost anything that I said drawing doubt about the credibility of of vaccines. Good luck.

  • Another David||

    Sorry, I got you confused with Libertymike and his "herd immunity is junk science" fucktardery. Please replace all aspersions on your name with offers of beer, if so inclined.

  • Free Society||

    Duly noted. Offers of beer accepted.

  • Freedomshift||

    Unfortunately the article is not about whether they work or not. "A pragmatic argument for coercive vaccination" It's about forced vaccination. But maybe you're too fucking stupid to understand that.

  • Ron Bailey||

    TIM: Just posted this in response to another commenter, but thought it might be apropos here.

    I am not endorsing any particular formulation of the non-aggression principle, but perhaps this cite from the wikipedia article on the topic will spur discussion about who should bear the burden of responsibility with regard to vaccination:

    "...any unsolicited actions of others that physically affect an individual’s property or person, no matter if the result of those actions is damaging, beneficial, or neutral to the owner, are considered violent or aggressive when they are against the owner's free will and interfere with his right to self-determination and the principle of self-ownership."

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "actions of others"

    Sticking point.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Haven't you heard? Actions of others are really inactions of others, and thus they can be held responsible and fined/taxed/whatever. Justice Roberts told me so.

  • OneOut||

    You could join us NeoLibers.

  • robc||

    Seems like a potential tort against the vector.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Especially if actual deaths and/or medical hardship result.

  • Freedomshift||

    Which would have to be proven imn a court beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Jquip||

    Ah, you know? Go fuck yourself. I though I walked into a den of libertines and tax-evaders this morning.

    Little did I know that I would be faced with the fierce moral imperative that every possible externality and risk that occurs in life justifies compssionate Libertarian Authoritarianism.

    Which is so completely undifferent from the normal Left kind, I'm forced to start calling the pot what it is: The Democrat party. And this site, The Democratic Underground.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    And this site, The Democratic Underground.

    Now that's harsh.

  • ||

    He didn't accuse them of liking deep dish pizza though, so the hyperbole genie is still in the bottle.

  • Free Society||

    Ah, you know? Go fuck yourself. I though I walked into a den of libertines and tax-evaders this morning.

    What's wrong with libertines and tax evaders?

    Ron Bailey, for all the folly of this article, is a solid lightyear ahead of Matthew Feeney and Steve Chapman on their grasp of libertarian principles.

  • ||

    I think he wanted libertines and tax evaders.

  • Jquip||

    I accept, without remark, that Bailey is a deep thinker with a solid grasp of Libertarianism.

    But all that means is that Libertarian deep thinkers on this site can't sort out the difference between 'personal responsibility' and 'crush my neighbors so I feel safe from risk.'

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: I am not endorsing any particular formulation of the non-aggression principle, but perhaps this cite from the wikipedia article on the topic will spur discussion about who should bear the burden of responsibility with regard to vaccination:

    "...any unsolicited actions of others that physically affect an individual’s property or person, no matter if the result of those actions is damaging, beneficial, or neutral to the owner, are considered violent or aggressive when they are against the owner's free will and interfere with his right to self-determination and the principle of self-ownership."

  • ||

    In a world where vaccines have not been invented, is there a moral imperative to vaccinate?

  • Free Society||

    zing

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    At the risk of being repetitive:

    "actions of others"

    Sticking point.

  • Ron Bailey||

    D: Sticking point? Don't think so. Definition of "action":

    an act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity

    Choosing not be vaccinated seems just that sort of thing.

  • Free Society||

    If inaction can be construed as action, then your Washington DC overlords have a legitimate reason to compel you to buy insurance. Maybe you should support taxing people who act by not acting on vaccinations, Ron.

  • ||

    An organism invading my body and leaving when it pleases, both against my will, aren't "actions" on my part.

  • Overt||

    From a libertarian perspective, should the government be allowed to force people to clear dry brush and tinder from their property in order to prevent the spread of forest fires? Does the libertarian position change just because the property is in a high fire risk area? Does it change if the required actions go from forced clearing to installing expensive fire suppression irrigation?

    Most libertarians I have talked to would say there is a bright line- you don't get to force people to make these changes- whether it is a lot of risk mitigation or just a little personal cost. The Bright Line (TM) has been crossed the second you compel them to change their property.

    I have trouble seeing how vaccinations are different. Certainly, private agreements and contracts (conditions of private schooling or work) could be amended to require this. But the government forcing this as a condition to use other mandated services? Hmmm.

    Disease is a natural occurrence- just as are forest fires. It seems to me that compelling people to lower risk for others is against the Libertarian philosophy in both cases. That said, I think Libertarians would agree that a person who knowingly performs risky activity (starting fires or performing actions that would transmit a known sickness) should probably be held accountable for resulting damage if possible.

  • ||

    That said, I think Libertarians would agree that a person who knowingly performs risky activity (starting fires or performing actions that would transmit a known sickness) should probably be held accountable for resulting damage if possible.

    Yes, the idea of negligence. I'm curious what opinions people here have about that.

  • Free Society||

    But not being vaccinated is not the same thing as intentionally or carelessly spreading a disease that you know you have. Don't submit to the equivocation fallacy.

  • ||

    He's not talking about intentional attempts to infect other people here. I'm pretty sure that would be aggression. The conversation has been (mostly) limited to unintentional infection here.

  • ||

    "a person who knowingly performs risky activity (starting fires or performing actions that would transmit a known sickness) should probably be held accountable for resulting damage if possible."

    Sure, if it can be proven that the damages are a direct result of said activity. E.g. someone throws out a lit cigarette, which causes a fire to spread to someone's home and burns it down. If it can be proven the fire started from the cigarette, I think the person who threw the cigarette should be liable for the damages.

  • Overt||

    "Yes, the idea of negligence. I'm curious what opinions people here have about that."

    I think there is pretty good legal tradition around negligence or- in this case- criminal negligence that should result in liability assigned to the individual.

    If I live in Colorado and do not make my building earthquake-proof, and it falls on someone in a once-in-a-1000-years earthquake, should I be held accountable? Even if I purposely disregarded an option to harden my building against massive earthquakes?

    You could make a case that there was some negligence (I allowed people into my building despite it not being rated to withstand a very rare catastrophic event), but that negligence doesn't get anywhere NEAR the level of criminal negligence wherein we would expect liability to be assigned.

  • Mando||

    In desert areas in CA you are required to clean the dry brush from your property or you are fined. Go unvaccinated but keep yourself and your germ ridden children away from the immunodeficient, infants, and the like. This entire vaccination scare is the direct result of a lying physician form the UK who has since recanted his "theory" and has lost his medical license for good.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "an act"

    New sticking point.

  • Freedomshift||

    So not being vaccinated is action? That's the ultimate is Orwellian distortion. Forced vaccination is the action.

  • Lord at War||

    Ron- I have a "fragrance" allergy.

    I will agree that non-vaccination is a "tort" the day I can sue anyone wearing Axe cologne or Chanel no. 5.

    Or, anyone who farts in the elevator I'm riding...

  • ||

    "I will agree that non-vaccination is a 'tort' the day I can sue anyone wearing Axe cologne or Chanel no. 5."

    That's the sticking point.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Ah, you know? Go fuck yourself.

    Go jump in front of a speeding truck.

    Little did I know that I would be faced with the fierce moral imperative that every possible externality and risk that occurs in life justifies compssionate Libertarian Authoritarianism.

    The fact that you have to resort to hyperbole shows you have jack shit as far as a point is concerned.

  • Jquip||

    Hyperbole? Nay, good sir. It was an avoidable negative externality that *you are responsible* for inducing through your negligence in thinking. Therefore, there is no principled Libertarian case for having opened your gob in such an idiotic manner.

    This is the same exact rationale as that lackwit Bailey vomited upon Reason. Reject one, reject both. Accept one, and you're required to shut the fuck up since you accept both.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Apparently "I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CARRY HIGHLY INFECTIOUS DISEASES A BLOO BLOO BLOO FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY" is a libertarian principle now.

    Also, fuckin' LOL at a rejoinder that I'm "required to shut the fuck up" when you crying like a bitch about getting a Scary Pin Prick

  • ||

    I have a right not to be coerced simply because of the unaccepted presence of a creature in my body, yes. An organism invading my body and leaving when it pleases, both against my will, isn't an "action" my part.

  • Free Society||

    It's libertarian neutral. What moral law is violated when you get eaten by a tiger? Libertarian principles discuss the relationships between people, not tigers and people and not microbes and people.

  • Feanor78||

    What about when you get eaten by someone's pet tiger?

  • Free Society||

    Under the right circumstances, the owner of the tiger would be somewhat liable yes.

    But do you own the microbes that have invaded your body? Do you assume liability for acts of nature?

  • Feanor78||

    I think that's what's at the heart of this argument - are you responsible for the microbes that you carry with you and transfer to other people? A deer has no agency so there's no moral fault in carrying deer ticks, but a person can know if they're sick.

    I'm talking about not getting vaccinated, getting sick, and then getting other people sick, not just refusing to be vaccinated.

  • ||

    Yes, this is the sticking point, and I think if you're focusing on "actions" then the carrier isn't violating principles of aggression against others. Since the whole "libertarian" part of this hinges on aggression, I can only conclude that that being sick, or more to the point the possibility of BECOMING sick, isn't sufficient cause to coerce someone.

  • Free Society||

    Leaving yourself more vulnerable than you might otherwise be is not the same thing as spreading your Hepatitis laden poop on your enemy's door knob.

  • ||

    I'm not including intentional attempts to infect other people here. I'm pretty sure that would be aggression. I'm think the conversation has been (mostly) limited to unintentional infection.

  • Free Society||

    Pick any thread here with more than 5 posts, I think you'll find at least one equivocation per.

  • fish_remote||

    So the libertarian thing to do is to put other people's health and even their lives at risk because of your irresponsibility? Really?

    Presumably you are protected if you choose to vaccinate. I roll the dice if I don't. What's not to like?

  • Another David||

    Unless I have kids who are too young to get the vaccine, or I'm too old, or I'm on immunosuppressants, or I'm allergic. Then I guess I'm the one rolling the dice.

  • fish_remote||

    Unless I have kids who are too young to get the vaccine, or I'm too old, or I'm on immunosuppressants, or I'm allergic. Then I guess I'm the one rolling the dice.

    That they are too young isn't my problem...I don't impose myself on others when I feel the onset of illness...I've had the flu shot and shortly thereafter contracted the flu so I'm not convinced that my taking the needle is going to benefit you. Could never arrange to test the theory with the Measles, Mumps or anything comparable! Again if you are too old perhaps staying indoors and away from people is something you should consider. My apologies that you have allergies or have to rely on immunosuppressants....I'm less than thrilled about trusting dodgy vaccination science to accommodate you.

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    "I'm less than thrilled about trusting dodgy vaccination science to accommodate you."

    Dodgy vaccination science? What?

  • amagi1776||

    Jenny McCarthy?

  • Zeb||

    What's not to like?

    The risk of infecting other people, especially young children and other people who can't be vaccinated.

  • fish_remote||

    What aren't they vaccinating kids with these days...you ever try to take a newborn out of the hospital?

  • Zeb||

    I do feel like it gets a bit carried away. I really don't know what they do now as I don't have kids. I'm still kind of amazed that chicken pox vaccine is a thing now. I thought it was just part of growing up to get that. I think the benefit is clear on things like MMR and pertussis vaccines (and polio where that is still a problem). But if I had kids, I'd want to know more about the demonstrated benefits of some of the other things that are becoming more standard. It is not a priori obvious that every vaccine anyone comes up with is good or necessary.

  • Jquip||

    Vaccines are not perfectly effective. So the risk exists if you simply interact with other people. Indeed, Bailey's example of pertussis (Whooping Cough) is first order idiocy. As the pertussis vaccine loses effectiveness so rapidly that there is no immunity after about the 2nd grade of primary schooling. That is: None of the older kids or any of the adults can produce the herd immunity he uses as his exemplar.

    But the problem is more significant that that. If you assume there are no vaccines, then what's the moral imperative of vaccination? None, it's a technilogical fantasy up there with flying cars and immortality.

    But assume that every vaccine is perfectly effective for life. Then what's the moral imperative? None. If you get vaccinated, so you do.

    It is only in the case of a product *that does not work consistently* that we open the door for crushing our neighbors. Because the technology is promising, to us, but unfulfilling of perfection.

    Which is exactly the same idea as insurance. It may occur, and the insurance may make you whole. But since it's a crap shot, we just need to nationalize it. Like Obamacare and mandatory car insurance. Hell, we ought nationalize every possible risk pool -- including investment funds -- that have less than perfection as part of them.

    Which is otherwise known as: Everything in life.

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: Interesting. I completely agree with you that no guns means no moral imperative not to shoot them at innocent people.

  • ||

    That's not what he said though. He's speaking about whether people have an obligation to DO something (vaccinate), while your example here is about REFRAINING from doing something (shooting someone).

  • Free Society||

    Ron has already equivocated 'inaction' to being a type of 'action' in this thread.

  • ||

    Yes, and he's wrong.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Vaccinations provide herd immunity, not individual.

  • robc||

    No, vaccinations provide individual immunity and may or may not provide herd immunity.

    Also, humans arent herd animals.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Sorry to say, just because you're vaccinated doesn't guarantee immunity.

    The concept of herd immunity is such that if an outbreak occurs, the relative resistance of the herd to the pathogen will hinder or stop the spread to the entire population. It provides no guarantees to the individual.

  • robc||

    just because you're vaccinated doesn't guarantee immunity

    Of course not, but the odds are good. Much better than not being vaccinated.

    Herd immunity depends on the actions of many others. If only some or a few vaccinate, herd immunity is unlikely to exist. Hence, me getting vaccinated doesnt provide herd immunity.

    Which is why I said "may or may not".

  • Free Society||

    Yep. The hydrochloric acid I used to melt the flesh off my bones in order to cleanse myself still only killed 99.9% of those damned germs on my hands. Fucking biology, how does it work?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Fucking biology, how does it work?

    There is a reason why smallpox has been eradicated, but measles has not. Smallpox had a relatively weak infection vector, while measles is quite high. Also, measles has a higher rate of mutation than smallpox did, so the resistance provided by vaccines is lessened accordingly.

    Fucking statistics, how do they work?

  • Free Society||

    Fucking communicability, how does it work?

  • Jquip||

    Vaccinations don't 'provide' herd immunity. Herds do. And if we're after the sake of Herd Justice and Herd Equality, then lets acknowledge the herd as the supreme moral entity.

    All we need now is the proper swine to play the role of Alpha Male, and dictate to the rest of the herd what to do, be, and who is allowed to exist.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Some vaccines are more equal than others.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It's not just you rolling the dice, and it's rather solipsistic to assume otherwise.

    This is the kind of crap that makes the Tonys of the world go, "This is why we say libertarians don't give a shit about society at large." Because asserting that not getting vaccinated for things like MMR or polio only affects you is, to be quite frank, biologically false.

  • fish_remote||

    This is the kind of crap that makes the Tonys of the world go, "This is why we say libertarians don't give a shit about society at large." Because asserting that not getting vaccinated for things like MMR or polio only affects you is, to be quite frank, biologically false.

    First off...when has anyone here given two shits what little Peter Puffer thinks or says? I will discuss the matter with you and others here who are non- Tony or Shreeky like because I think a reasonable and productive discussion can be had.

    Second....I have had a child who seemed to have very poor reactions to his early innoculations....the effects last to this day and are fairly profound. You may say that the injections had nothing to do with that...you may be right...you also might be wrong! I've elected not to go down a similar road with his younger brother....so far so good!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You should read this information is you're concerned about your first son. There is a reason for vaccine intolerance and there are ways to ameliorate the damage/effects.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Helps to provide the link

  • fish_remote||

    Oh I have...mainly because I/he runs the risk that the philosophical exemptions will be done away with where we live.

    I didn't start out against vaccination. My older sons changes were so profound and occurred in such close association to his receiving the shots that I have to consider the similar probabilities associated with his brother receiving the full spectrum of shots that the state says are vital!

    I can't even pick and choose.....If I want to get him a tetanus shot I blow the exemption if they choose to pursue the matter.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Megson is interesting in that she defines the mechanism by which these effects occur and provides treatment(s) to counteract them. She is not anti-vaccination, but she does recognize the problems that they can cause and is researching ways to treat them.

  • fish_remote||

    See....this is why I can discuss these things with most of the Reason posters and yet can dismiss the pleas and whining surrounding T o n y s and shreekys arguments with no difficulty at all!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    First off...when has anyone here given two shits what little Peter Puffer thinks or says?

    Within this little corner of the internet--no one really. But you're kidding yourself if you think this isn't a common perception in the real world. It's a lot harder to convince people that libertarian philosophy is also socially responsible when they're making arguments that boil down to, "If it doesn't affect me, then why should I give a shit?"

    Second....I have had a child who seemed to have very poor reactions to his early innoculations....the effects last to this day and are fairly profound.

    And there's millions of other children, over the last 40-50 years or so, who had no reactions to innoculations at all.

  • fish_remote||

    And there's millions of other children, over the last 40-50 years or so, who had no reactions to innoculations at all.

    And good on em!

  • Invisible Finger||

    Within this little corner of the internet--no one really. But you're kidding yourself if you think this isn't a common perception in the real world.

    Exactly. The ones who seem to be against vaccination (in some form or another) are a significant percentage of progtards and the handful of libertarian purists.

    I'd question my puritanism if it ever lumped me in with progtards.

  • sasob||

    A significant percentage of progtards are in favor of forced vaccination (as well as other forced things.) Perhaps you should question your advocacy if it lumps you in with progtards.

  • Freedomshift||

    Actually it's forced vaccination. And yes if you like that you are a progtard.

  • robc||

    False.

    Its like voting.

    Whether I get vaccinated or not has negligible effect on herd immunity. It really only matters to me. Same for voting, my one vote will NEVER affect anything but the most local of elections, and probably not even then.

    Im not a collective, I neither vote as a group nor get vaccinated as a group.

  • Overt||

    Vaccinations have varying degrees of effectiveness (80% - 99%). Thus it is possible that a person vaccinates and does not get the immunity and then can contract the disease.

    This does not (IMHO) change the fact that compelling someone to vaccinate is immoral. But I do want to point out that this is an inaccurate formulation: "Presumably you are protected if you choose to vaccinate. I roll the dice if I don't"

    You are implying that we can have it both ways- protect ourselves and let others live with the consequences of not vaccinating. My only point is that it is not that cut and dry, and many people who try to protect themselves don't actually get protected.

  • CE||

    The libertarian thing to do is to make up your own mind about what goes into your body. Getting vaccinated against major diseases is reasonable, and most people will do it. Give the government the power to inject you with what a majority says you need is not a libertarian position.

    It's sort of like going to war. If it's a truly necessary war, you don't need a draft.

  • Free Society||

    Exactly. Bailey is channeling his nascent authoritarian nanny logic to make this argument.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    While I am pro-vaccination, there are legitimate concerns regarding the schedule of vaccines and the stress it can induce on children who have sensitive systems. In my own family's case, my wife is metal-sensitive (mildly allergic) and the effect that vaccines have on my children is pronounced. The metal sensitivity is a genetic marker for a particular biochemical defect (along with poor night vision).

    More specifically, vaccines do not cause autism, however they can aggravate a system that is already bio-chemically deficient. In particular, thimerosal, which is not used in pediatric vaccines anymore but is still in flu vaccines, is damaging to these kids. I didn't believe it, but I have witnessed the effect myself and am now beginning to understand why.

    A genetic trait of these children is the reduced ability to eliminate heavy metals from their system. As for my own son, I did not realize this until we found out he was seriously zinc deficient and went to see a pediatrician who specializes in biochemistry. Zinc is used in heavy metal elimination and is consumed by the body when the primary elimination methods are hindered.

    Vaccines are needed, however there are risks associated with them for a subset of the population and this information should be readily available to the public.

  • ||

    Excuse my ignorance Ron, but aren't you supposed to be protected from these diseases if you choose to vaccinate? I don't see the act of aggression here. Is it the libertarian thing to inject people with something against their will, just because we think it's good for them? That seems to me to be the act of aggression.

  • Ron Bailey||

    a: Infants are too young for some vaccines, e.g., pertussis. Some people fail to be immunized by some vaccines. Some people are immuno-compromised, e.g., organ transplantees, HIV infected, and older folks and so forth.

    See this paragraph from article:
    Vaccines do not produce immunity in some people, so a percentage of those who took the responsibility to be vaccinated remain vulnerable. This brings us to the important issue of herd immunity. Herd immunity works when most people are immunized against an illness, greatly reducing the chances that an infected person can pass his microbes along to other susceptible people, such as infants who cannot yet be vaccinated, immunocompromised individuals, or folks who have refused the protection of vaccination.

  • ||

    Is it libertarian to force restaurants to cook without peanut oil because some people might have peanut allergies? I think it's the responsibility of the person with the peanut allergy to take the necessary precautions to ensure his own health, tragic as that is.

  • Free Society||

    So the libertarian thing to do is to put other people's health and even their lives at risk because of your irresponsibility? Really?


    1) Not every affirmative action is subject to a libertarian purity test.
    2)The validity and efficacy of vaccination science is irrelevant. It may be practical, wise and expediate to vaccinate your kids but you don't owe any affirmative action to rest of society and you are not liable for the transmission of disease even if you could have prevented it. But if I don't want to be vaccinated and if I don't want my kid to be vaccinated, that's my right and that's pretty god damned libertarian don't ya think?

    There is no libertarian principle reflected in your argument, Ron.

  • Libertymike||

    There is an abundance of cognitive dissonance in his argument. Gotta give him that.

  • Free Society||

    Well it's like he's so fed up with the pseudo-scientific bullshit of the anti-vaccination crowd he's willing to pretend that pragmatic concerns override the moral underpinnings of libertarian philosophy.

    Negligence=/=aggression

  • Libertymike||

    Perhaps he should be fed up with the pseudo-scientific "evidence" produced by Big Pharma, the state's health commissariats, the "medical" gatekeepers and the allopathic jihadis.

  • Lucius Clay||

    WELL SAID

  • ||

    Some negligence is aggression.

  • CE||

    Walking around in public when you know you're sick with a contagious serious disease is aggression. Not getting a shot because you might get sick from some rare dangerous malady is not aggression of any form.

  • Free Society||

    Exactly right. They are committing the equivocation fallacy here by ignoring that distinction.

  • General Butt Naked||

    So the libertarian thing to do is to put other people's health and even their lives at risk because of your irresponsibility? Really?

    Isn't that the argument for the Obamacare mandate?

  • Free Society||

    Pragmatism trumps morality don't ya know.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    O U C H

  • Marianna||

    What is the limiting principle here?

    As the house Christian Scientist, I'm just curious.

  • ||

    There is no principled libertarian case for their free-riding refusal to take responsibility for their own microbes.

    What a steaming pile of horse shit. Microbes aren't property. I don't own them. They aren't mine because they infest me. I am in no way responsible for them.

  • shamalam||

    I don't get it either, RB. It's just plain dumb to refuse vaccination against infectious diseases. I am a libertarian, but I am not dumb.

    Forget the "help my neighbors stay healthy" aspect of it, I don't want to suffer the flu if it can be avoided.

  • ||

    No, that would be the retarded anarchist thing to do. And I have concerns about people's mental competence if they read the article and got THAT out of it.

  • Lucius Clay||

    Again if your vaccinated how are you put at risk? Maybe illegal immigration puts others at risk but you Reason EDITORS SEEM ALL UP FOR OPEN BORDERS

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I knew it. Libertarians all suffer from autism.

  • ||

    I thought we were all Aspys.

  • fish_remote||

    I thought that was that award show?!

  • Nazdrakke||

    Your thinking of the Hubris Awards maybe. They're on every day at E!

  • ||

    Didn't you get the memo? Aspergers is no FUCK longer a thing. It's all Autism COCKLICKER now, baby.

  • ||

    Autism with a dash of Tourette's?

  • Nazdrakke||

    Had a roommate with full on punching yourself in the head Tourette's once. Interesting disorder as long as you aren't the one having it. Plus he got bonus points for being in his church choir.

  • ||

    Plus he got bonus points for being in his church choir.

    And people say Christians are intolerant.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm assuming his Tourette's suspended while singing. Those types of behavior usually do when music is involved.

  • ||

    I met a guy once who whistled, quietly, all the time. ALL the time. I've always wondered if he had Tourette's and that was his method to stave off the swearing and smacking.

  • ||

    Singing and speaking engage different parts of the brain. Even some extremely severe speech impediments can be routed around by singing your words instead of speaking them.

  • OneOut||

    There was/is a country and western singer who was celebrated because he stuttered badly when speaking but never once when singing.

    I think his name was Mel Tillis.

  • sasob||

    Yes, it was Mel Tillis.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I'm all for vaccinations, but there's no principled libertarian case for injecting people with things against their will, either.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agreed. Shockingly, there are some areas of life that libertarian philosophy is not well-equipped to handle.

    Which of course means that we should all become communists, instead.

    /Prog derp

  • robc||

    Actually, I disagree, it handles this just fine.

    You cant be forced to vaccinate, I can sue your ass if you infect me.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I'm sure the millions who perished in the flu epidemic of 1918 will be relieved to hear that, following lengthy, costly arbitration and trial, their families might stand to be compensated! Maybe.

    Bad solution when others are available which have less of a human toll.

  • robc||

    It sucks to be killed by someone else's accidental behavior, but thats life.

    Bad solution when others are available which have less of a human toll.

    The toll on liberty, however, is high.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The toll on liberty, however, is high.

    Not really. Getting an injection takes what, 5 minutes? And what does it deprive one of, again -- in terms of either future life choices or material resources? As far as I can tell, the freedom impacted is quite narrow -- the freedom to not get vaccinated. That is a toll on liberty, but not a high one -- not conceptually and certainly not historically.

  • robc||

    That is a toll on liberty, but not a high one

    Any toll on liberty is a high one.

    But, yeah, when ranking the injustices in the world, its not in the top 100. Its above copyright however.

  • CE||

    You had to bring intellectual property into a perfectly good vaccination argument... where does it rank compared to waging aggressive war on a slaveholding population who votes to secede?

  • robc||

    aggressive war

    I think you just answered that one.

  • sasob||

    ...where does it rank compared to waging aggressive war on a slaveholding population who votes to secede?

    Especially when it was done by enslaving a goodly portion of the male citizens to go wage that war on the slaveholding population that voted to secede. If the American war between the states was fought to end slavery, then the Union was comprised of a bunch of hypocrites.

  • OneOut||

    I don't remember them being coerced to fight. I thought the Union paid bonus' to those who signed up ?

  • sasob||

    During the Civil War, the U.S. Congress passes a conscription act that produces the first wartime draft of U.S. citizens in American history.

    I would have thought this was generally known. Both sides used a draft and on the Union side, at least, one could pay someone else to take one's place - thus allowing the northern wealthy to avoid putting their asses on the line for their holier-than-thou moral stance. The draft caused riots in New York City at the time, particularly among the poor and lower classes.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "And what does it deprive one of, again -- in terms of either future life choices or material resources?"

    See Scruffy's post above, wherein he relates that it is entirely likely that a genetic trait that both of his sons have will cause the second son (whom he understandably does not want to vaccinate) to be damaged in much the same way as the first (too late for him, already happened).

    See the deprivation now?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's an outside case, which I would agree should be treated differently from the normal given the exceeding rarity of that circumstance.

  • Libertymike||

    No, the toll has been quite high for many, namely, poorer health and death.

  • ||

    It sucks to be killed by someone else's accidental behavior, but thats life.

    With the corollary: It sucks to be ___ed by someone else's accidental behavior, but that's life.

    This is why I don't really "get" the idea that there's not a libertarian answer to this. There is; it's just one of the ones that involves saying, "Yeah, that's life, noticed yet that it's pretty fucking imperfect?"

  • trshmnstr||

    Bad solution when others are available which have less of a human toll.

    This argument falls apart when you apply it to any other part of the nanny state

  • Free Society||

    You cant be forced to vaccinate, I can sue your ass if you infect me.

    No you can't. You have to prove malicious intent to sue for being infected. People are not liable for the mutation and transmission of disease that they themselves don't necessarily consent to carry or transmit.

    Negligence isn't aggression. And negligence does not necessarily assume civil liability.

    Imagine the mountains of litigation that would arise from a plague outbreak? The family of Patient 0 would be ruined if the legal system worked as you describe.

  • Overt||

    "Negligence isn't aggression. And negligence does not necessarily assume civil liability."

    Right, that is the difference between negligence and criminal negligence. If a person knowingly engages in behavior that will likely infect others, they should certainly be held liable. But just going through your daily routine and inadvertently passing along a critter that has spent millions of years evolving to that one function doesn't strike me as liability inducing.

  • Free Society||

    @Overt That's a good way to put it. You shouldn't be punishing people for the evolutionary ability of microbes to infect.

  • FYTW||

    No.

    Simple negligence is conduct that falls below a standard of care -- generally, failure to act with reasonable care under the circumstances -- that actually and proximately results in damage. A plaintiff's objective knowledge of risk is not a required element of negligence torts.

    Criminal or gross negligence, on the other hand, requires a conscious disregard of risk. It has more in common with civil recklessness than with civil negligence.

    Arguably, failing to get vaccinated could constitute simple negligence. But anybody trying to sue is going to have a hell of a time proving causation, and if Ron imagines otherwise he's a fool.

  • FYTW||

    Also: my "arguably" is doing a lot of heavy lifting, there, because tort law does not generally recognize an affirmative duty to act to protect or rescue others from harm. The law imposes affirmative obligations in a few circumstances, but not on the public vis-a-vis the public.

  • Overt||

    FYTW: I think that is my point.

    Most libertarians would (IMHO) argue that simple negligence is not enough. You may be negligent in not getting a vaccination. But not being vaccinated is not causing the problem- getting sick and then transmitting it is the problem.

    So a person who is sick, knows it, and then still goes out and performs activities LIKELY to infect- these are the people who have reached a level of negligence that should require them to assume some liability.

  • sasob||

    And negligence does not necessarily assume civil liability.

    The cynic in me leads me to believe that given the kind of society we live in today, the truth of that statement is going to depend on how much money you have. If the jury thinks you have too much, you're fucked.

  • Free Society||

    A jury, picked by both parties, shouldn't even be made aware of relative wealth when merely determining liability. But who knows...

  • Freedomshift||

    and prove it was them and due to their actions beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

  • Libertymike||

    bailey cherry picks as do all pro-vaccination folks.

    Bailey and the pro-syringe crowd ape the global warming thugs by declaring that the evidence is overwhelming or that there is no evidence to support the proposition that vaccinations cause harm or that there is no doubt that without vaccinations we would all suffer horrible and miserable lives.

    Any "evidence" gathered from any study funded, even in part, by any company or institution which stands to gain from vaccination, should just be discarded and dismissed.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Any "evidence" gathered from any study funded, even in part, by any company or institution which stands to gain from vaccination, should just be discarded and dismissed.

    This is quite possibly one of the worst tests for veracity ever conceived of by a human being. Discarding a test or evidence whose results can be duplicated or verified by another party on the grounds of the original party's stake in the matter is a foolish way to approach truth claims.

  • Ron Bailey||

    TIM: Correct. Next thing you know somebody might suggest that libertarian magazines can't be trusted because some capitalists donate to them.

  • Libertymike||

    Analogy fail.

    You do understand that the capitalists are not seeking to gain by coercion whereas Big Pharma, the state's health commissars and allopathic jihaddis are?

    Inherently, those who do not seek to confiscate wealth or control others are far more reliable and trustworthy than those who do.

  • Libertymike||

    No, it is not.

    Let me elaborate. Put in context of what one should trust, my point stands as most of humanity simply does not have the time or resources to personally review each and every "study" purportedly conducted and / or financed by the state and its crony capitalist comrades.

    Your post ignores the universal truth, which has been duplicated throughout history, namely, statists and crony capitalists are thieves and thugs who cannot be trusted.

  • Ron Bailey||

    L: Weighing risks v. benefits is not cherrypicking.

  • Free Society||

    You're saying that pragmatic concerns about human health override moral concerns about human interaction. They don't. However beneficial vaccines may be, not getting one is perfectly within bounds of libertarian moral philosophy. It is your argument that lacks any relevance to to libertarianism.

  • Ron Bailey||

    FS: Nothing of the sort. I am merely pointing out that data on risks and benefits is relevant to the discussion of moral issues.

  • Free Society||

    So which principle do the non-vaccinated violate? Where is the immorality?

  • robc||

    data on risks and benefits is relevant to the discussion of moral issues.

    That sounds very ends-justify-the-meansy to me. Ive already used Fuck Utilitarianism once in this thread.

    Speaking of which, Ive used 2 of my 3 catchphrases in this thread. If you think you own my body and can me a shot against my will, you are a slaver.

    Fuck off, slaver.

    There, 3 for 3. That feels good.

  • Free Society||

    FS: Nothing of the sort. I am merely pointing out that data on risks and benefits is relevant to the discussion of moral issues.

    Please tell me exactly how it is relevant to the discussion of morals. I will genuinely change my mind if you can reasonably link the two. But morals don't work that way. I don't owe anyone anything, except non-aggression.

  • Free Society||

    I agree, you're not cherry picking. You're just wholly misrepresenting libertarian principles. Liberty is about relationships between people. Not people and microbial parasites.

  • FYTW||

    This.

  • ||

    There is also no principled Libertarian case for allowing Typhoid Mary to live with civilized people.

  • Freedomshift||

    False argument, this is about the forced vaccination to possibly prevent a disease.

    Not an article about forced quarantine.

  • ||

    I'm a little confused. People don't not-vaccinate to free ride off of group immunity, they do it 'cause they don't want vaccinations. Granted their (passive) aggression against others by spewing out microbes is probably a violation of NAP, but if they lived on a Libertopian offshore miniarchist artifical island it'd be ok, right?

    (And obviously not vaccinating [with vaccines whose efficacy / side effects / specificity have been well-established scientifically] is dumb).

  • Libertymike||

    No, the aggression lies with those who would force the vaccination and not those who know that herd immunity is junk science.

  • Ron Bailey||

    L: May I suggest that you try using Google Scholar to find and read a couple of scientific articles on herd immunity?

  • Libertymike||

    Common sense and reality militate in favor of rejecting "evidence" derived from "studies" sponsored by the state or any crony capitalist entity which stands to gain from continued and / or expanded vaccination.

  • ||

    Libertymike is not very smart, Ron. You're wasting your time.

  • Libertymike||

    Warty, there is very little doubt that you are far more anti-intellectual than I am. Face it.

    Look at the types of posts I make and compare them to your "Epi sucks my mother's tits" types of posts.

    Check and mate.

  • ||

    You don't realize that you're retarded, do you? That's sad. I'd feel sorry for you if it weren't so embarrassing to have you on this site.

  • Libertymike||

    Sheesh, that hurt because I can not recall you ever telling Joe from Lowell, Tony, shriek or Tulpa that it was embarrassing to have them on this site.

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    Lighten up, Francis.

  • Jquip||

    Mr. Bailey, may I suggest that *you* read a couple of scientific articles on herd immunity. Specifically, as to pertussis. Which confers no herd immunity relevant for your example due to the lack of efficacy of the vaccination over time. Couple that with the major transmission vector being adults, and the rampant pre-anti-vax-movement misdiagnosis as bronchitits, and?

    Your sole argument of example -- your witness proof -- is counterfactual. That's a fancy word for 'false' and any individual that head read the relevant scientific literature would already be aware of these things.

    Perhaps you ought try writing a second article without 'your own facts.'

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Show us on the doll where the vaccinator touched you.

  • Freedomshift||

    Good point, sometimes they are molesters as well.

  • Ron Bailey||

    J: With regard to pertussis you might find my short 2012 item "Big Whoop" of interest:

    ...The epidemic seems to be fueled by two causes: parents who refuse to get their kids vaccinated because of bogus concerns about autism and other alleged bad reactions, and a switch to a less potent vaccine more than a decade ago. The disease has hit particularly hard in states with relatively low childhood vaccination rates, such as Iowa, Vermont, and Washington.

    Worse, kids who have been vaccinated are coming down with the illness. Why? Because the diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell pertussis vaccine combo was altered in the late 1990s after some parents insisted that the vaccine had triggered side effects such as fever, irritability, and even brain damage. But the additional precaution also causes side effects: The immunity conferred by the new vaccine wears off faster, leaving kids vulnerable to the disease in their early adolescence.

    Now, thanks to the irrational fears of some parents, the population’s immunity has weakened to the point that physicians are recommending adults get booster shots since it is likely their immunity also has weakened over time.

  • ||

    Holy fuck that's stupid.

  • ||

    ^^This^^

    In a world where everybody is free to swing their fist as violently as desired, noses better be few and far between or every once in a while one will be hit through no fault of the fist(s)' owner(s).

    In addition to diffusive immunity, it should be mentioned, that the most deadly flu epidemic was deadly not because of the virus directly but because the infection triggered a cytokine storm that caused the victim to cook and/or liquidate their internal organs. Rather than the usual flu where the very young and elderly died, the very young and elderly were of a diminished state such that they didn't react as violently to the infection. From a legal standpoint, carriers were truly passive.

    Libertarians being sold (and some cases buying in hard and reselling) communism, IMO.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    No flu shot.

    Sue me. Be sure to bring proof.

  • sarcasmic||

    Can't force common sense onto people.

  • Freedomshift||

    But people here seem to think they can force what's currently accepted as common sense into someone's body to possibly prevent what the "scientific community" preaches. I guess after their vaccine they will be buying some carbon credits.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So the libertarian thing to do is to put other people's health and even their lives at risk because of your irresponsibility?

    It's like being drunk on a whirling merry-go-round, shooting your full auto AK-47 while blindfolded in the middle of the Fourth of July celebration!

  • Enough About Palin||

    Go on...

  • fish_remote||

    I'll get a flu shot if you produce a video of yourself doing that!

  • JWatts||

    I've gotten a flu shot, but I'd still like to see the video.

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    Seconded.

  • CE||

    No flu shot in 10 years. Haven't missed a day of work since then.

  • Libertymike||

    As an adult, no flu shot for me, evah.

    I have missed a day or two of work because of hangovers / late night partying / burning the candle at both ends, but never due to the flu.

    In Warty's world, that makes me full blown retard.

  • sasob||

    I'm over sixty and I haven't had the flu but maybe once in the last forty years, if that. I don't think I've ever had a flu shot unless it was when I was in the military as a young man.

  • Another David||

    Except a lot less fun.

  • entropy||

    Vaccine refusals are libertarian. Idiot libertarian, but libertarian all the same.

    Vaccines are good, and the claims against them (causing autism) is grade A pure snake oil bullshit.

    But forced medical treatment is tantamount to torture. It is cruel and unusual. People have the right to make their own health decisions.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Isn't the NAP violated if an individual knowingly exposes others to his personal microbial load?

  • sarcasmic||

    Can negligence be aggression?

  • Ron Bailey||

    s: But it sure can be a tort.

  • Free Society||

    Malicious intent would need to be proved. Or as far as negligence is concerned, you'd have to prove they knew of infection and communicability, and demonstrate their willful disregard. Like haphazardly spreading you Hepatitis laden poo on the toilet seat.

    Which you can't do by saying that someone didn't take sufficient preventative action against infection in the first place.

  • FYTW||

    Sure, Ron. And I look forward to you making a complete ass of yourself in a court of law trying to argue a but-for causal link between J. Random Stranger's refusal to vaccinate himself and you coming down with the flu.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Then be sure to stay in your house the next time you get a cold or it's off to the clink for you.

  • prolefeed||

    Not quite. Try this: how exactly do you forcibly jab a needle in your neighbor against their will without violating the NAP?

    Germs happen. Vaccinate yourself, and their germs won't affect you.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Vaccinate yourself, and their germs won't affect you.

    The counter-argument is that not everyone can be safely vaccinated (infants) and/or not all vaccinations work. I think Ron is reaching here (see my comment below) but it isn't as cut and dry as you make it seem.

  • sasob||

    Germs happen. Vaccinate yourself, and their germs won't affect you.

    Alternatively one could simply avoid those suspected to be infected. Though I suppose that might be considered politically incorrect in some cases.

  • entropy||

    Everyone you interact with personally exposes you to their personal microbial load dude.

    Mostly, it isn't harmful. If you're knowingly infecting people with lethal pathogens (say, unprotected sex with AIDs) I think that probably is or should be criminal aggression, but it's quite different with accidental infection. Were the spanish criminally liable for giving all the indians smallpox? You gonna start suing the person who you think gave you the flu?

    'Public health and safety' is the justification for every single piece of legislation ever. You really think someone who isn't vaccinated against measles poses a clear and present danger to the public at large wherever he goes?? Really?

    I think not. They're not actually that dangerous. Most of the people who claim they are are the ones who are insisting their own safety requires the rest of society to develop for them herd immunity and eradicate various diseases. It's questionable whether that would be possible even if everyone did play along. Blaming failure on the wreckers is another common tactic.

    If you're vaccinated, you're vaccinated. If someone else isn't vaccinated, and they get the disease, that doesn't mean they can give it to you, you're still vaccinated. I don't think there's a real and quantifiable threat posed by an unvaccinated person but to the extent there is it would be targeted at other people who also didn't get vaccinated either.

  • entropy||

    Personally I got all my childhood vaccines against the real nasty shit, but I don't get flu shots and I'm not going to get them. Where does this logic lead? You going to start mandating flu shots? Mandating medicated cholesterol levels? Serotonin levels?

    It's not rhetorical. The answer is Yes, we will. Because we're already there if you're claiming some kid who's not vaccinated against measles is a dire and actionable public health threat to everyone around him.

    As opposed to real quantifiable damage, we've entered the world of hypothetical damage. The kid doesn't even have measles, he's just not vaccinated. He might get measles. And then he might transmit it to someone else, maybe if they weren't vaccinated either.

    In the same fashion we can say the guy who's depressed needs to be forced to take SRI's because if he doesn't, he might flip out and shoot up a school.

  • entropy_factor||

    +1 for the man with a similar name

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Vaccine supplies are limited. Look, I'm not saying that you can sue somebody for sneezes on you and giving you the cold. But as far as exotic pathogens that we don't normal have an individual immunity to, are we obliged by the NAP to intervene at the community level with vaccination?

  • entropy||

    I think not.

    If they are test-positive for a communicable pathogen that poses a lethal risk to others, then a solution is quarantine. I still think no forced medical treatment to those who don't consent.

    But that's if we're talking about airborn ebola here. And we're really not. This is going to be about shit like HPV virus, which might slightly increase your statistical odds of developing cancer depending on which study you cite.

    Quantifying the risk is very important. Let me see casualty statistics if you want to make these claims. It has to be REAL. Mostly, the government uses these excuses and the roots are fictional. You have to be able to ballpark assess the real, direct and quantifiable public threat if you want to claim public threat.

    Otherwise, intellectually, how far off are you saying HPV is a public health risk because it might increase odds of cancer for select individuals, from saying - because homosexual anal intercourse does greatly increase your statistical likelihood of getting or transmitting AIDs - for public safety gay sex must be banned.

  • ||

    This

    Ron is a pretty weak libertarian anyway, but holy shit.

  • Freedomshift||

    Some vaccines, stop with the blanket statements. They are introducing vaccines against burping these days

  • playa manhattan||

    I have been referring people to this anecdote lately:
    http://shotbyshot.org/pertussis/bradys-story/

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    I think that story is more compelling than any government thug. Next time I go to a doc I'll get a booster.

  • Freedomshift||

    From that statement I can tell that you're not the real Jesus.

  • Freedomshift||

  • prolefeed||

    OK, Ron, let's see how it plays out ensuring that one's neighbors are vaccinated when they don't want to, in Libertopia:

    Ron (showing up at neighbor's door): "I insist that your kids be vaccinated."

    (Rude) neighbor: Fuck off. * Slams door *

    Ron: * dials his NAP-compliant private protective service * : "I want my neighbor's kids to be vaccinated. He told me to fuck off."

    Protective service: "How exactly do you wish me to do this without violating the NAP clause in our service contract?"

    Ron: "Ummmm .... I guess you can't?"

    Protective service: "Anything else I can help you with, sir?"

  • sarcasmic||

    What if Ron's newborn dies as a result of the neighbor's sick kids exposing the newborn to a disease that the kids are old enough to be vaccinated for, but are not?

    That's not technically aggression. More like negligence. But there's still a dead kid. What do you call that?

  • robc||

    A tort.

  • Libertymike||

    No, it is called a fantasy hypothetical.

  • Ron Bailey||

    L: 18 babies dead from pertussis last year says it's not a fantasy. RTFA and check some of the links.

  • robc||

    Did the parents sue the people who gave their babies the infection?

  • Nazdrakke||

    18

    Out of a population of?

  • entropy_factor||

    a hypothetical?

    So what? If the kid was going to die of disease, do you think the neighbors were the only ones that could possibly give the newborn that disease?

  • Andrew S.||

  • Overt||

    "That's not technically aggression. More like negligence. But there's still a dead kid. What do you call that?"

    I call it Tough Shit. You don't have the right to force others to reduce your risk of completely natural phenomena.

    Should every single building be designed and built to withstand Richter-10 earthquakes, Cat 5 hurricanes, meteor strikes and tornadoes? If not, then why not? If your argument is somewhere along the lines of "Well we should balance risk against cost before deciding to compel people to do something" then you are not following libertarian principles.

    This isn't to say that polite society, private schools/companies or various other voluntary schemes can't encourage- even vehemently with social stigma and ostracizing - people to vaccinate. And we certainly can hold people responsible for willful negligence.

    But holding people responsible for not recognizing some natural threat and holding them accountable is not in keeping with the NAP

  • OneOut||

    Life

  • ||

    There is no principled libertarian case for vaccine refusal.

    So Bailey doesn't understand libertarianism or principles.

  • ||

    Ron,

    I think the issue here is that it's not really clear what you mean by this:

    There is no principled libertarian case for their free-riding refusal to take responsibility for their own microbes.

    .

    I certainly believe that there's no rationale based on libertarianism for not getting vaccinated / not vaccinating your children. But that's not quite what you're saying. "refusal to take responsibility" means that you believe that they need to take responsibility...yet you don't specify how. You're statement can clearly be interpreted as an advocate of forced vaccinations, as some above are doing.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I certainly interpreted this article as a case for forced vaccinations.

  • ||

    I think it was an advocation of forced vaccination.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Wait, are we supposed to get flu shots? That will save the planet? I just thought that was to keep from getting full fledged flu symptoms. I thought it was just for personal protection.

    Anyway, I never got a flu shot. I get flu symptoms about once a year and they last about 12-24 hours. Then again, I have a rather sizeable accessory spleen which makes me super human and immune to all disease (after, um, about a day). Don't bother looking it up. It's science.

  • ||

    Fist is like the libertarian version of Wolverine!

  • ||

    Wolverine was a product of GOVERNMENT-FUNDED RESEARCH. Just like roads and shit. Stupid Libertarians.

  • ||

    So THAT'S why Somalia has no superheroes.

  • Zeb||

    I must have that spleen thing too. I really never get sick anymore. Occasionally I feel mildly crappy for a day or two and then it goes away. (Watch, now I'll probably get sick tomorrow).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh, you definitely will, if I have anything to say about it. There can be only one.

  • sasob||

    Anyway, I never got a flu shot. I get flu symptoms about once a year and they last about 12-24 hours.

    And they could just as easily be caused by salmonella or any number of other illnesses that have symptoms similar to the flu.

  • Seneca||

  • Tak Kak||

    "There is no principled libertarian case for their free-riding refusal to take responsibility for their own microbes."

    If you can prove that it was my vaccine-negligence that harmed you physically, you've got a lawsuit. No free-riding here. Here, in libertopia, anyways.

  • parkerbce586||

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  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Yeah but is she vaccinated?

  • Warty||

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION

    What we’re looking at is a depopulation agenda that has been in place for 90 years or more. Prescott Bush and John D. Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld have all been involved to one extent or another over the decades. The 1918 “flu pandemic” was a start in using vaccines to kill millions while making piles of money. The people who died in 1918 had been vaccinated, and it’s going to happen again in the fall. The CDC and the WHO, even the Army and the states are getting ramped up for it. The first Gulf War, when all the soldiers were vaccinated and came back crippled and disabled was a dry run of the crippling effects of squalene “adjuvants” in vaccines.
  • WTF||

    The first Gulf War, when all the soldiers were vaccinated and came back crippled and disabled was a dry run of the crippling effects of squalene “adjuvants” in vaccines.

    Wow, I never realized that flu vaccines caused you to get blown up and shot.
    That really was IMPORTANT INFORMATION!
    Thanks Warty!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Did Herc finally lose his shit? Not enough caps.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Your argument is not libertarian, Ron. A diseased individual's interaction with society cannot be considered aggression unless one chooses to define the word in a counter-intuitive way -- in which case, why not go full monty and characterize it as progs do, by considering poverty and such to be forms of "aggression"?

    OTOH, vaccination/herd immunity is clearly a public good which is sharply reduced by an unwillingness of people to vaccinate. It is difficult to believe, but at one time disease wiped out whole societies, killed millions, and completely destroyed prosperity. The Colombian Exchange was calamitous for the American side of that particular exchange -- for that matter, syphilis was not all that fun for the Euros, either. The last influenza epidemic in 1918 killed more people than the Holocaust and the Holodomor combined. I bet that given the choice of adhering perfectly to libertarian ideology or saving those lives and societies, the vast majority of those impacted would have chosen the latter option -- just as most people will not find Holocaust or Holodomor-level extinctions an acceptable wage for either the 1000-year Reich or "real existing socialism".

    This is quite simply one of those areas of life that isn't well-resolved by libertarian ideology. Oh, well.

  • Libertymike||

    Herd immunity is junk science.

  • Ron Bailey||

    L: Repeating incorrect information doesn't make it so.

  • Restoras||

    Yeah, my BiL is an infectious disease specialist and he would agree with you, RB. Any other actual physicians here with experience in the field?

  • Libertymike||

    Dr. Joseph Mercola says otherwise.

  • Restoras||

    Is he friends with Dr. Andrew Wakefield?

  • Libertymike||

    He's a lot smarter than Bailey or Warty.

    Why not check him out or Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych?

  • Ron Bailey||

    L: With due respect, Mercola is a total quack.

  • Libertymike||

    So, your assertion that Mercola is a total quack rejects the entirety of what he has advised, concluded, found and written?

  • Libertymike||

    How about Dr. Sherry Tenpenny?

    Is she a total quack as well?

  • Libertymike||

    How about Dr. Russel Blaylock?

    Is he a total hack as well?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Even if Ron is doing that how is it any worse than your refusal to consider any study coming from the medical industry to be outside the bounds of debate?

  • Libertymike||

    The point is that there is no evidence to support the proposition that there is some kind of absolute truth that vaccinations are an unalloyed good and refusal to accept one-size fits all vaccination regimes is, in the words of that great intellect, WARTY, "retarded".

    Perhaps you should read what Dr. Marcia Angell has said about the point:

    It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely upon the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top 9 US based drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars in North America alone.......

  • Libertymike||

    ...By such means, the pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous CONTROL OVER HOW DOCTORS EVALUATE AND USE ITS OWN PRODUCTS. ITS ESTENSIVE TIES TO PHYSICIANS, PARTICULARLY AT PRESTIGIOUS MEDICAL SCHOOLS, AFFECT THE RESULTS OF RESEARCH, THE WAY MEDICINE IS PRACTICED, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease." (Emphasis added).

  • Libertymike||

    If the study is backed by Big Pharma and the state, one should ask questions about the study.

    Who funded the study?

    Who conducted the study?

    Were there folks adverse to the state, Big Pharma and allopathy there to observe the study?

    Were there folks adverse to the state, Big Pharma et al who were permitted to test any and all compounds administered / used during the study?

  • LynchPin1477||

    The biggest question I have in any scientific study is: are the results independently reproducible? That doesn't always get answered as well as it should, but that is really the key question. I'm not a medical doctor, but I'll go ahead and trust that if the answer was "no" when it comes to the general safety and efficacy of vaccines, that the medical community would largely not support their use.

  • Libertymike||

    What does a typical medical doctor know about the subject?

    If you rely upon a medical doctor just because the state conferred a license upon him, what does that say about you?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I expect a medical doctor worth their salt to be up-to-date on medical research relevant to their field of practice.

    What does it say about you that you assume I only rely upon medical professionals because they have a state license?

  • Freedomshift||

    "A diseased individual's interaction with society"

    That's quarantine. You're commenting on the wrong article. There is absolutely no grounds to believe that I am certain to get polio if I don't get injected.

  • ||

    For all the derpy anti-vaccine folks on this thread: I actually read the article, and at no point does Ron advocate for forced vaccination, he is simply saying you are stupid and irresponsible. Call me crazy, but that seems to stay consistent with the NAP. In my opinion, not getting vaccinated is the equivalent to fucking everyone in sight without using protection, and never getting tested.

  • LynchPin1477||

    There would no argument against allowing people to refuse vaccination if they and their families would suffer alone the consequences of their foolhardiness. It would be their right to forego misery-reducing and life-preserving treatments. But that is not the case in the real world.

    I interpreted that as making a case for forced vaccination.

  • ||

    Someone used the wrong "forego/forgo".

  • ||

    How did I not know that "forgo" is a word??? Fucking shitty public school.

  • ||

    Hey, I'm not using that as an excuse!

  • ||

    Yeah, well, I am. Hey, check out this sweet bruise .

  • sarcasmic||

    aye

  • robc||

    There are anti-vaccine folks on this thread?

    I havent seen a single one.

  • robc||

    Okay, Libertymike, but yeah, Im not sure why I even see his posts.

  • Libertymike||

    Going Ad hominem does not make the point very well.

  • Warty||

    That's not an ad hominem, you slobbering mongoloid.

  • Libertymike||

    Go suck a syringe.

  • Libertymike||

    Full of Tony's drool.

  • Warty||

    Nice insult, moron. Polio is making a comeback because of scum like you, dipshit. How do you like being on the side of the Taliban, you chimp? Do you jack your micropenis at night thinking of all the children who are paralyzed because of the stupid anti-vaccine nonsense you've bought into, you shitheel? Fuck you. Idiot.

  • Freedomshift||

    Polio? What about the millions who have died due to the collectivism you're selling? Forced vaccination is no different that any other violence.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Full of Tony's drool

    I don't think even Tulpa would deserve that..

  • Libertymike||

    Well Tulpa would not argue that "polio is making a comeback because of scum like you, dipshit."

    There are none as blind as those who will not see.

    Why any person who claims to be libertarian would accept the "findings" of Big Pharma, the state health Nazis and allopathic jihadis, is beyond me.

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    BIG PHARMA - KKKORPORASHUNZ!!!!!!

  • Libertymike||

    You like crony capitalists I see.

    Do they give you a big boner?

  • ||

    Damn dude, you're reaching shrike levels of derp.

  • robc||

    In my opinion, not getting vaccinated is the equivalent to fucking everyone in sight without using protection, and never getting tested.

    That is a fine analogy.

    And what is anti-libertarian about fucking everyone is sight without using protection?

    Nothing, that is what.

  • ||

    Because you may be directly responsible for putting others at risk of contracting serious diseases, some incurable? So contracting HIV and then giving it to countless others because you are too irresponsible to get tested is just a-OK in your book? Strawman, I know, but fuck dude, use some goddamn common sense.

  • robc||

    Strawman

    At least you called it on yourself. Its a rare trait.

  • ||

    If someone can prove you knowingly gave them AIDS or another STI, they should be entitled to sue you. You could even make certain incurable diseases criminal (as is already the case in many jurisdictions with HIV/AIDS). But, uh, yeah, not getting tested is your own thing, and it's not anti-libertarian to behave stupidly or irresponsibly. You aren't actually free unless you are free to be stupid.

  • Alice Bowie||

    But what about TORT reform?

  • Nazdrakke||

    CAPS make it SO much more COMPELLING, nu?

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    +1 SHIFT KEY

  • Freedomshift||

    Big pharma cannot be sued under new laws.

  • prolefeed||

    Because you may be directly responsible for putting others at risk of contracting serious diseases, some incurable?

    The only ones at risk would be the ones who didn't bother to ask you some really basic questions:

    "Are you DDF (drug and disease free)? Have you been tested? No? Call me when you do it and get your results back, then."

  • ||

    Excellent point.

  • Overt||

    Also: Hey could you please use a condom? No? Oh, talk to you later.

  • OneOut||

    Consensual sex vs. rape has to be factored in here.

    If those countless others are careless enough to fuck someone else without protection ( knowledge of the person or a condom) then the ball is in their court.

    Pun intended.

  • ||

    Sorry, I should clarify, nothing wrong with fucking everyone in sight without protection, it's the not getting tested part that is the problem.

  • robc||

    Its responsible to get tested, but that isnt some libertarian requirement.

    If you pass on aids, you might get sued, but if you didnt know you have it, that isnt even remotely criminal or anything.

  • ||

    Deliberate negligence and blatant disregard for the safety of others which results in measurable harm, all because you decide to remain willfully ignorant in regard to getting tested would, in my opinion, violate the NAP. Not saying it should be illegal, but you can be damn sure I would seek restitution in civil court. And me being an anarchist, in a world without the state you would be damn lucky if I didn't decide to just bypass the court system altogether.

  • ||

    Prolefeed made a very good point above which I hadn't considered. The burden would really be on me to ask the right questions or request proof of my partner before engaging in risky behavior.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    " would, in my opinion, violate the NAP."

    "And me being an anarchist, in a world without the state you would be damn lucky if I didn't decide to just bypass the court system altogether."

    A wannabe aggressor opines on the NAP.

    Irony, how does that work?

  • LynchPin1477||

    It seems to me that this is all about when, if ever, prior restraint is justified. You are basically arguing that the risks are too high and the imposition sufficiently low that it is OK to force someone to do something against their will before they have actually harmed someone else.

    In practice, I think there are certain situations where you have to say that. But let's not pretend it's libertarian. It's just an example of when super-strict libertarianism leads to real-world outcomes that most people don't want to live with.

  • Nazdrakke||

    This.

  • robc||

    Fuck utilitarianism.

  • ||

    Hear, hear.

  • Alice Bowie||

    That sounds pretty REASONable to me.

  • LynchPin1477||

    You agree? Shit, now I am rethinking my entire position.

  • Alice Bowie||

    :

    I agree.

    You'd be surprised. I agree on many libertarian principles and not all.

    This is my favorate site on the web.

  • ||

    There is one libertarian principle: non-aggression. If you don't agree on that, then you don't agree on libertarian principles.

  • Restoras||

    Does non-aggression apply always? So, if a non-libertarian person attempted to deprive me of my life, liberty, or property, and I acted in an aggressive manner to prevent that deprivation, then I am not a libertarian?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Once someone initiates aggression against you, you are justified in defending yourself and your rights

  • Restoras||

    But isn't that aggression? And if it is then the NAP does not apply in all cases? And if that is true then what else does it not apply to?

  • Free Society||

    But isn't that aggression? And if it is then the NAP does not apply in all cases? And if that is true then what else does it not apply to?

    Defense is not aggression. That's why it's called the Non-Agression Principle instead of the Non-Coercion Principle or Non-Violence Principle.

  • robc||

    It really should be called the "Non-initiation of agression principle"

    But NIOAP is stupid.

  • entropy||

    Nah. Like Free Society said, it is not the "Non-Violence Principle". If aggression and violence were completely synonymous, it'd just be called 'pacifism'.

  • Free Society||

    It really should be called the "Non-initiation of agression principle"

    That would be redundant. An aggressor is by definition, the initiator.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yup.

  • gaijin||

    It seems that all vaccines are not the same. Failing to get a flu shot seems like less of an issue than failing to get smallpox vaccine based on the ability to prevent deaths. Yet, something like chickenpox has such a low mortality rate and yet we require kids to vaccinate against it. Does the data in the article include the rate of death/hospitalization of those who got vaccinated? For something like chickenpox, I'd be curious whether the rate of adverse reaction approaches the benefit of reduced incidence.

  • ||

    It seems that all vaccines are not the same.

    Understatement.

    You have to be pretty deliberate/negligent to get tetanus and the vaccine is near perfectly effective. The flu happens to everyone and 10 people have to get vaccinated to prevent one person from getting the flu.

  • Alice Bowie||

    My libertarian friends will say

    - I don't need the government telling me what to do
    - The government is more dangerous the the Polio Vaccine
    - What's it your business that I vaccined my kid ? Mind your business
    - You don't need to worry about my kid if your kid is vaccinated

    As far as this Article is all about, this is just libertarians bending it into their favor. We all do that.

  • WTF||

  • Free Society||

    As far as this Article is all about, this is just libertarians bending it into their favor. We all do that.

    There is no libertarian content in the argument made by this article.

    We all do

    IF by 'we all' you mean power worshiping progressives like yourself

  • Zeb||

    I agree with the people saying that this is a problem for which libertarian principle does not offer a solution. People should get their kids vaccinated against the diseases that have been demonstrated to be controllable with widespread vaccination. But I can't justify any law forcing people to be vaccinated. But I don't think Ron is really proposing that.

    In Libertopia, institutional and economic pressure would probably push most people toward getting vaccinated anyway. Insurers, schools and employers could certainly require it as a contractual condition and I see no problem there.

    The biggest problem is all the misinformation about vaccines and overemotional parents. And I don't see any libertarian solution to that either.

  • Alice Bowie||

    But I can't justify any law forcing people to be vaccinated.

    I think it is statements like this that make me wish of a USA that is sliced in three: One for conservatives, one for Liberals, and one for libertarians.

    You guys can live in the slice in which people are not required, by law, to be vaccinated against small pox and poilio.
    Call me a Pinko, but I'd rather not be around the people that will make me (BY LAW or ommisson of a LAW) subjected to other people being personally responsible for obtainin polio and small pox vaccinations.

  • Libertymike||

    Big Pharma Patsy!

  • sarcasmic||

    Because if something is not required by law, no one will do it. Right?

  • Alice Bowie||

    I don't think it's the same as SAFE-SEX, per se.

    I can chose not to have sex.

    I can't reasonabley chose not to leave my house.

    I work with people that have fought NJ Board of ED to try to remove the policies that children need to get vaccinated in order to attend public schools. And, practically no private school would take his kids. So, he home-schools. And, I don't come to birthday parties.

  • prolefeed||

    I think it is statements like this that make me wish of a USA that is sliced in three: One for conservatives, one for Liberals, and one for libertarians.

    I'd rather have a US that is not sliced at all, you get to live wherever you want and subscribe to the government services provider of your choice. You want the high tax prog option, be my guest, and I'll prolly not shop at your stores.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I've made this suggestion.

    Just eliminate the US Constitution and let the states have their own.

  • entropy||

    You could functionally achieve the same thing with originalist interpretation.

    Most everything the government does is actually prohibited by the constitution, via the 10th amendment.

    If you eliminated the constitution altogether, you'd have what we have now. Basically ad-hoc rule by elite fiat.

    The whole point of the constitution was to give rigid structure to a scheme where every state ran itself.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Precisely.

  • Free Society||

    Just eliminate the US Constitution and let the states have their own.

    You think eliminating the Constitution would lead to regional autonomy from centralized power?

    Who taught you how to think?

  • ||

    You guys can live in the slice in which people are not required, by law, to be vaccinated against small pox and poilio.

    Personally, I think this is how it should be.

    Presumably the people in these areas voluntarily chose to be vaccinated, are naturally immune, or are dying/dead.

    Just like no vaccine is 100% effective, neither is any infectious disease 100% lethal.

  • Free Society||

    I agree with the people saying that this is a problem for which libertarian principle does not offer a solution.

    Hows that? This is a libertarian neutral issue if you're not talking about the subject of compulsory vaccination. Whether or not a disease is transmitted is not the liability of the disease carrier unless there malicious intent, or gross negligence with full knowledge infection and communicability.

  • The DerpRider||

    What is NAP?

  • ||

    Non-Aggression Principle

  • The DerpRider||

    How does it account for negligence? Keep the state out and handle as a tort?

  • The DerpRider||

    And at what point does 'I don't give a fuck' turn into aggression?

  • prolefeed||

    It doesn't "account" for negligence, it just says that you get to do whatever the hell you want so long as you don't harm everyone else also doing whatever they want.

    It's a statement of principles, not a detailed how-to guide.

  • ||

    I'm not the expert on this one, but I don't think the NAP considers negligence to be aggression.

  • The DerpRider||

    Thanks. Learning every day.

  • Nazdrakke||

    What is NAP?

    Seriously? That's like going to HuffPo and not knowing what Fascism is.

  • prolefeed||

    Noobs gotta start somewhere. Be nice to them. I'm assuming this is a noob and not some troll.

  • The DerpRider||

    Meh. I'm sorta new to the libertarian thing. Have had the thoughts most of my life, but have never done any serious research into the philosophy. I mostly live to piss off the rest of the zoning board by voting to approve everything.

  • Nazdrakke||

    I wasn't trying to slam you and this: Have had the thoughts most of my life, but have never done any serious research into the philosophy. sounds like how a lot of libertarians get started.

  • Restoras||

    I don't think DerpRider is remotely a noobie here. That doesn't mean that we all don't have a lot to learn, or hash out what actual libertarian principles are.

  • Free Society||

    Seriously? That's like going to HuffPo and not knowing what Fascism is.

    To be fair, none of the progressives over at the HuffPo know what fascism is. If they did, they'd recognize one in the mirror every morning.

  • OneOut||

    Were you born with an innate knowledge of the definition of NAP ?

    Jeez. give the guy a break.

  • Free Society||

    Everyone but sociopaths and psychopaths are, I would argue.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarianism gets kind of fuzzy when it comes to environmentalism. I mean, there is a case to be made that lawsuits just wouldn't be sufficient to keep polluters from doing damage.
    Isn't refusing vaccinations similar to polluting in a way? I mean, the person without vaccinations is potentially polluting their environment with germs, as well as the environment of everyone they come into contact with.
    Just a thought.

  • robc||

    hmmmm.....

    COASE COASE COASE...etc

    Yep, that works. You cant get vaccinated for whatever reason and want herd immunity? Pay the fucking herd to get vaccinated.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I haven't read Coase in detail, but what I have read didn't convince me. I'm not in favor of assign rights based on social cost. If I have his ideas wrong, please correct me.

  • robc||

    Well, I dont think property is a natural law "right", so its not assigning rights. At least, I havent heard a decent natural law argument in favor of property rights that holds up to serious hole-poking.

    Property "rights" is my one little bit of contradiction, in which I tend to be utilitarian. They are a good idea. And I do think stealing is immoral, so it still seems to fit my overall approach.

    But the idea is in low transaction cost situations, it doesnt matter which way the "rights" are assigned by law.

    This is a situation that I say assign the rights/responsibilities to the individual. Its your responsibility to protect yourself from infectious diseases. Short of intentional infection, you just have to deal with what other people spread around.

    If you want herd immunity, pay for it. Otherwise, hope it develops. Your suasion to convince people to vaccinate.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Coase, reduced:

    Many problems associated with economic commons, public goods, and externalities are more properly characterized as failures to privatize ownership (and therefore costs) of the goods in question. Therefore, the efficient solution is to give one party or other enforceable property rights to the good in question, so that they have the incentive to maintain and efficiently allocate resources to the maintenance and use of that good.

    The problem with Coase comes in when either 1) costs are highly dispersed among a large population which does not include proprietors and their interests, and/or 2) there is no reasonable way to privatize the good in question. IMO, those two criterion apply to general public health of environs, of which % of vaccinated pop is a subset.

  • Ron Bailey||

    TIM: Entirely correct.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Thanks. Wouldn't mind getting my hands on your reading list...

  • robc||

  • robc||

    #2 doesnt apply at all. It is very easy to privatize. Each person owns themselves and is responsible for protecting their "property rights (IE health)" from airborne critters.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Good grief Rob -- you are really not understanding that the "property" being discussed is not your *body* and bodily health, it is the milieu in which your body is located. Put another way, there is a difference between the milieu in which your body finds itself in, say, Zaire as opposed to Utah. This milieu is not affected much by one person's hygiene; it is a publicly-owned property to a large degree.

    Do you now see why it is difficult to privatize this good, which affects (but is not equivalent to) bodily health?

  • robc||

    I understand perfectly.

    Im saying its your responsibility to protect your milieu.

  • robc||

    If you dont like the mix of germs, live your life in a fucking bubble.

  • Libertymike||

    Not one of your best thoughts.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I think this is pretty much the problems. The environment (and the level of publicly-transmitted disease in an area) is to some extent a commons; those generally don't resolve themselves well in private interactions.

    And before someone says COASE, I'd like to hear a reasonable way in which public health in an environment could be abstracted successfully and efficiently as private property -- a precondition for Coase-style torts to work.

  • robc||

    before someone says COASE

    I beat you by 2 minutes.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Got the caps right too. Well done.

  • robc||

    Its like he knew who would be replying with the COASE argument.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Since I've got you on the spot, rob, how would you privatize public health environs, such that the owner of a public health environs "property" has both the incentive and the authority to keep his environs healthy?

  • robc||

    See below, already answered.

  • robc||

    And I thought I made it pretty clear, if you understand COASE, up above.

    Property rights can go in either direction. In doesnt make a difference if transaction costs are zero (or very low).

  • Sidd Finch||

    Never go predictable capstard.

  • robc||

    Its surprising the percentage of Bailey columns I end up typing COASE in vs other writers.

    Its rare outside a Bailey column.

    Of course, he used to be full-bore Pigovian.

  • robc||

    I'd like to hear a reasonable way in which public health in an environment could be abstracted successfully and efficiently as private property

    The easier way to handle it is to put the property rights in the other direction. Its your responsibility to protect yourself. If you want, you can pay for others to be immunized.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That is not a Coasean solution, since the externality remains poorly-defined as a property -- it is an insistence on status quo.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Think about it this way: the cost function of a vaccination has a "public" (X) and private (Y) component.

    Z = X + Y

    You (correctly) note that Y is accounted for under your system. X, however, is not (or at least not very well). Therefore, if X is the more dominant component of Z (and it is, in the case of herd immunity), then any solution which doesn't account for it runs headlong into problems. A Coasean solution would privatize X.

  • robc||

    X is by no means dominant.

    The personal vaccine, Y, is the dominant protection, by far.

    If I am the only person to receive a vaccine for measles, Im probably not going to get measles. X protects me in those cases where the vaccine doesnt work for whatever reason.

    Y takes care of 95% or something, X bumps up another 4.9%.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The personal vaccine, Y, is the dominant protection, by far.

    That is only true for some vaccines. Many (if not most) operate in the way I described.

  • robc||

    For them to work as herd immunity, the individual immunity has to be reasonably high.

    For Y to be less than 50% seems unlikely for any reasonable successful vaccine.

    If it only protects the individual 20% of the time, thats exactly the same as with a vaccine that works 100% of time but only 20% of the people get it. That is gonna be crappy for herd immunity. X is still gonna suck.

  • robc||

    No, you dont understand Coase properly.

    Using the pollution analogy, one way to define the rights is "pollute away" and the downwind property owners are responsible for either:

    1. Keeping the pollution off their property if they dont want it there.

    2. Paying the upwind factory to not pollute.

    That is exactly analogous to the disease scenario.

  • sarcasmic||

    So if some factory moves in next door and renders my home uninhabitable, it's my responsibility to pay them to stop spewing poison onto my property?

  • robc||

    **IF** the property rights are defined that way, yes.

    Fortunately, they arent.

    In that case though, it really makes no difference. As its 1 on 1, the transaction costs are as close to zero as possible, so it really makes no difference whether you are paying them to not pollute, or they are paying you to pollute, or you are paying them to avoid polluting or they are choosing to avoid polluting in order to not pay you.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That would be true if we were talking about bodily health without respect to general conditions. The general conditions of health in a given area (otherwise known as "public health") is the property I am describing, not bodily health extracted from such conditions.

    The fact that you are describing this as a two-party interaction makes it clear that you are confused wrt the property being discussed.

  • robc||

    I dont give a fuck about "public health", whatever the fuck that means.

    I am talking about individual health.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I dont give a fuck about "public health"

    Clearly.

    People who have lived somewhere outside the Western world have a different view on that subject.

  • robc||

    People who have lived somewhere outside the Western world have a different view on that subject.

    Switzerland is East of the prime meridian. :)

  • OneOut||

    But he did not create the germs.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Good trolling Ronald.

    Government wants my 10 year old a Hep B vaccination. I think the danger the vaccine presents is larger than the risk of 10 year old contracting Hep B. If you give the me the FYTW here, you aren't being libertarian.

    QEDMF: just because you can make a Utilitarian-ly correct argument about some vaccines, doesn't mean you've shown shit about the libertarian-ness of vaccines in general.

  • Ron Bailey||

    EB: You're entirely positive that your kid, when he or she grows up, will never have sex with someone who is infected? After all, some 360 million people on the planet are currently infected.

  • fish_remote||

    How bout when his ten year old grows up and is contemplating sex she looks into the vaccination....or does it require a full ten years to reach peak effectiveness?

  • Free Society||

    You're entirely positive that your kid, when he or she grows up, will never have sex with someone who is infected? After all, some 360 million people on the planet are currently infected.

    Do you require certainty in order for your inaction to be moral?

  • BladdyK||

    That's not the point, is it? The point is that he can make his own decision based on his evaluation of the facts, risks, and rewards.

  • Ron Bailey||

    B: My hope is that the data I supplied will help do just that.

  • Free Society||

    My hope is that the data I supplied will help do just that.

    The vast vast majority of people who can get vaccinated against major diseases, do so. There's no need for misapplied moral philosophizing to make it a reality.

    The only thing you need to do, is make the point that the anti-vaccination folks have no intellectual leg to stand on.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Just to be clear: Not getting a flu shot is akin to infanticide? Or old-person-icide? Because I have all the other immunizations and vaccinations. I didn't know flu shots were included with that.

    Personally, I find the whole thing unnatural. Being purposely injected with diseases. I know it sounds harsh, but if I die from the flu maybe God does not want me to live.

  • Ron Bailey||

    FoE: Have you not heard that "God helps those who help themselves" to among other things, flu shots?

  • Restoras||

    I don't think God gives a crap.

  • Ron Bailey||

    R: FoE was the one who brought HIM into the conversation.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    My question is whether flu shots are part of the scope of this article. Unless I missed it, I didn't see flu shots specifically mentioned until the comments. (And between you, me and the Taboola lampost everyone who writes comments here is an idiot.)

  • ||

    True.

    Polio vaccines for kids are one thing. Flu shots are a different story.

    Lots of people have a strong flu immunity already, so forcing them to get flu shots is a burden. I have had the flu maybe once in 25 years.

  • Ron Bailey||

    HM: And yet flu kills about 50,000 Americans every year.

  • Libertymike||

    You assert that as if it were an absolute, undeniable truth.

  • ||

    That actually says 41,000.

    And that's "influenza-related".

    According to this:
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/previe.....5933a1.htm

    Among persons aged

  • ||

    damn it.

    Among persons aged (less than) 19 years, an estimated annual average of 97 (range: 41 in 1981--82 to 234 in 1977--78) influenza-associated deaths with underlying pneumonia and influenza causes occurred (Table 1). The average annual rate of influenza-associated deaths for this age group was 0.1 deaths per 100,000 persons (range: 0.1--0.3). Among adults aged 19--64 years, an estimated annual average of 666 (range: 173 in 1981--82 to 1,459 in 2004--05) influenza-associated deaths with underlying pneumonia and influenza causes occurred. The average annual rate of influenza-associated deaths for this age group was 0.4 deaths per 100,000 persons (range: 0.1--0.8). Among adults aged (greater than) 65 years, an estimated annual average of 5,546 (range: 673 in 1978--79 to 13,245 in 2003--04) influenza-associated deaths with underlying pneumonia and influenza causes occurred. The average annual rate of influenza-associated deaths for this age group was 17.0 deaths per 100,000 (range: 2.4--36.7). Deaths among persons aged (greater than) 65 years accounted for 87.9% of the overall estimated average annual influenza-associated deaths with underlying pneumonia and influenza causes.

  • ||

    Plus, there are antiviral medications available for the flu now you can take as soon as you start showing symptoms.

  • OneOut||

    The gubmint should make some areas of the country flu free zones.

  • foodscientist||

    Unfortunately, this article overlooks some very important issues. First, medical decisions are among the most critical choices for any individual. Secondly, while many vaccines have a relatively long history of efficacy and safety, other options pose significant risks. Third, the number of "new" vaccines mandated by states has grown significantly without ANY evidence of necessity for widespread/forced use (and often terrible consequences - Swine Flu vaccine anyone?).

    I completely agree that vaccines are a technical breakthrough and have saved countless lives, but any mandated medical procedure (including vaccination) should require an extremely high burden of proof regarding need, efficacy, and safety prior to implementation. Currently, we have state legislators arbitrarily making these decisions!

  • ||

    You know who else thought involuntary medical treatment for the good of the race was a good idea?

  • SIV||

    Ilsa She Wolf of the SS?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Lance Armstrong?

  • labdad||

    ^^THIS. As a many year lurker of reason comments, this will be my debut. I do believe you have won the internet today.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Welcome, labdad!

  • sasob||

    The same dude who wanted to fluoridate the public water supplies and corrupt all our precious bodily fluids? :-)

  • BladdyK||

    I don't know. This sounds like a rationalization, trying to counter arguments that libertarian thought leads people to not get vaccinations. I still don't see how someone not getting a vaccination is a danger to someone else. They are only dangers to people who don't have vaccinations, of which the majority are people who choose not to get them.

  • Andrew S.||

    SLD, but:

    1. Like anything in medicine or in life, vaccines are not 100% effective in causing immunity.

    2. There are people that, for various medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated.

    That's where the herd immunity comes in, and that's why the "Unvaccinated people are no danger to vaccinated people" argument fails.

  • Libertymike||

    No, the retarded are the people too stupid to read and understand that herd immunity is junk.

  • BladdyK||

    Except that you can make that argument on almost any principle. I want to smoke, but second hand smoke may hurt others. I want to not wear a seat belt, but if I don't, I may die and cost everyone money. I want to carry a gun, but then someone might get shot. You get sick and go to work instead of staying home and others get sick. Where does it end?

  • Libertymike||

    You be right for asking those questions.

  • Andrew S.||

    Two non-opposing thoughts:

    1. The government should not be forcing people to vaccinate.

    2. If you do not get your children vaccinated, you are an idiot of the highest order, and I'd be surprised if you're capable of dressing yourself in the morning.

  • ||

    This.

  • ||

    The clash comes from having compulsory government schooling and then requiring vaccines for attendance.

    If we remove the former then there is nothing wrong with the latter.

    I have no problem with people's decision to deny service or accommodation to the unvaccinated.

  • shamalam||

    Amen!

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    On the one hand...

    Nobody is naturally entitled to other people taking any particular action to eliminate natural risks.

    On the other hand...

    If you reject vaccinations for any reason other than a direct medical danger, you are retarded. Getting autism or whatever won't make any difference.

  • robc||

    On the gripping hand:

    Forcing people to do the smart thing is still force.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    That was already covered by my one hand.

  • ||

    Yeah, I think anti-vaxers are dangerous retards, and everyone should get vaccinated, but I don't think this sort of thing needs to be made mandatory or forced by the government.

    This is exactly the kind of thing that should be enforced by brutal social ostracism of people who don't do it. Anti-vaxers should be scorned and humiliated, but not physically forced to get vaccinated.

  • Libertymike||

    Perhaps those who suggest that anti-vax folks should be subject to brutal social ostracism should be given the same treatment.

    Educate yourself.

  • ||

    People are entitled to socially ostracize anyone they damn well please, for any reason they want.

  • Free Society||

    Perhaps those who suggest that anti-vax folks should be subject to brutal social ostracism should be given the same treatment.

    Being anti-vax is like being anti-pill. You are discounting the efficacy of a wide range of preventative medicine, the only common thing between those treatments is their delivery by injection. It's illogical. "Oxycontin has killed people; therefore I declare that the science behind all painkillers is junk science."

  • Libertymike||

    Is being pro-vax like being pro-pill?

    Do you discount the health destructive efficacy of a wide range of vaccines?

    Its the real world. People get sick from vaccines; some even die.

  • Free Society||

    Vaccinations have made a demonstrable difference to the prevalence of many diseases.
    What percentage of patients get sick and die from vaccines?
    Is it similar to the number of car owners who die in car accidents?
    Is it similar to the number of airline passengers who die in aviation accidents?
    Is it at all honest to say that "vaccines are bad m'kay" when demonstrable success far outweighs the inherent risks? At best, you're argument is only as legitimate as the "if it only saves one life...", as if other costs aren't worth considering.

  • Free Society||

    your* damn grammar

  • Libertymike||

    First, there is plenty of evidence to substantiate the claim that vaccines have and do cause great harms.

    Second, the issue is not whether, as a whole, vaccine positives outweigh vaccine negatives. Can you point me to a post in which I asseverated that the real issue is whether vaccines are a net positive?

    Third, how do you conflate my position with the "if it saves just one life...its worth it" justification frequently invoked by safety Nazis?

  • Free Society||

    First, there is plenty of evidence to substantiate the claim that vaccines have and do cause great harms.

    Something more substantial than anecdotes? Independently studied and published in peer-reviewed journal, I trust.

    Second, the issue is not whether, as a whole, vaccine positives outweigh vaccine negatives. Can you point me to a post in which I asseverated that the real issue is whether vaccines are a net positive?

    I never thought I was arguing a guy who thought vaccines were totally a win for humanity. The opposite actually.

    The benefits so far outweigh the high unlikelihood that a person has a bad reaction. Not all vaccines are the same. They address different diseases that transmit and infect differently. To say something like "Vaccines cause (insert health problem)" is to make a grand assumption.

  • Free Society||

    how do you conflate my position with[...]justification frequently invoked by safety Nazis?

    You want to argue that vaccines kill people and you point to a vastly small proportion of patients that are harmed by any one of the many many vaccines in use. While you ignore those deaths from various diseases that have literally plagued humanity for all time, that no longer occur with any regularity thanks to the practice of vaccination. So unless you really are completely unaware of how overwhelmingly better off we are to have vaccination as a part of our medical practices, then you must certainly be clinging to the small amount of people who were inadvertently harmed by receiving some specific vaccination. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you're using the safety Nazi argument. Or are you actually that far gone in your own narrative?

  • ||

    Yes, and most people don't. I think unless there's a good reason to believe there will be an adverse reaction (my mother wasn't vaccinated for smallpox for this reason) then they should probably get vaccinated.

    Of course, if technologies could be developed that would help us narrow down who's at risk and who isn't, a lot of the risk could be ameliorated. I'm not sure what, if any, progress has been made though.

  • ||

    I was of doing this might be if (say) people who have been vaccinated had the option to wear a bracelet showing that they we're vaccinated. You could give your kids these vaccination bracelets and instruct them that they aren't allowed to socialize with any kids who aren't wearing a similar bracelet. Effectively, have your kids ostracize other kids who haven't been vaccinated.

    I know this sounds evil, but seriously, it's better than forcibly vaccinating them. And the kids will them be so unhappy that they will pressure their parents to allow them to be vaccinated.

  • ||

    I know this sounds evil

    Is that disclaimer really necessary here?

  • ||

    I'm emphasizing my credentials as an evil genius.

  • ||

    Oh, well that's entirely reasonable then. Please, carry on.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hi HazelMeade, hi jesse.in.mb , Y’all made my day, that was pretty funny! Hazel’s point about the effectiveness of social pressures rather than coercive legal measures (point of Government Almighty’s gun, as all libertarians know the drill) is well taken, I know of what she speaks. Social pressures can be “evil”, sure. They have a LOT less potential evil in them, than Government Almighty’s self-righteous guns, billy clubs, and jails! … Anyway, practical analogy I have used for many years to persuade pepples to look at things w/the libertarian perspective: Waiter or waitress in foreign town in foreign nation, even; You & your beloved (& optionally also your rug-rats) eat there. You will never be seen there again; your reputation is NOT at stake. But you tip your server anyway!!! Totally optionally!!! Why? Because of Government Almighty coercion? No! Totally not needed! Because of social pressures? For a VERY few of us, maybe! They DO worry about word getting back to their home town! The rest of us, 98% of us? We tip the server, because we want to regard ourselves as decent humanoids! Done deal; Government Almighty & coercive laws are WAY over-rated in how necessary they really are! Even social pressures are not all that much needed! Can we TRUST each other as much as we trust ourselves?!?! We SHOULD! We’d all be better off!

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Or better yet, make the non-vaccinated wear the bracelet, that way we can be sure that anyone who doesn't have one is ok.

    Or maybe we could make it more noticeable with a yellow badge or something that they'd have to wear whenever they were in public, that would probably protect everybody.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_badge

  • ||

    So, in your mind, we should positively BAN people from voluntarily wearing a bracelet that says "I got vaccinated" because it would be JUST LIKE forcing Jews to wear yellow stars.

    Just EXACTLY the same thing.

  • entropy_factor||

    ostracize and parade like a jackass on a high horse--- or you could mind your business.

  • ||

    If your children haven't been vaccinated, is IS my business. You kids are a potential health threat. I don't want my kids transmitting diseases carried by your kids.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It's as if some people don't realize that society is made up of more than just themselves and their families.

  • robc||

    This is exactly the kind of thing that should be enforced by brutal social ostracism of people who don't do it.

    Bailey wouldnt get as many hits on his articles if he was that sensible.

  • ||

    A while back one of the commenters here tried to argue that firing a machine gun in a crowded area should not be a crime as long as no one was injured. *headsmack*

    Putting other people's persons at risk without their consent is a clear violation of other's right of self ownership.

    However, this case differs from that in that it involves putting vaccines into people's bodies, which involves some risk, and forcing them to do so would be the same violation of self ownership as in the case I mentioned before.

    Choosing not to be vaccinated, as foolish as it might be, is putting others at risk passively, and does not justify forced vaccination.

  • FYTW||

    Yeah, there's a pretty big moral difference between firing a machine gun into a crowd and choosing not to get vaccinated. I hope Ron's only blurring the distinction rhetorically; otherwise, I'll have to revise my estimation of his intelligence pretty far down.

  • ammayhem||

    This article ignores the fact that vaccinations help diseases evolve into stronger forms which are more resistant to vaccines. Sure, some instances, like small pox, the disease didn't mutate fast enough and has basically rendered moot. However, a virus like the common cold mutate too fast for a vaccination to work.

    Let's look at the anti-bacterial example. Many antibiotics aren't as effective as they used to be because they've been over used. It can be argued the "herd" is making it more dangerous to not get "immunizations."

    As long as we stick with Libertarian principles. If you want to get immunized, be my guest. Just don't force me or others to.

  • ||

    That really hasn't been an issue for vaccines in the way it has been for antibiotics. Can you give me a list of vaccines that were previously highly effective before the disease mutated and made them obsolete? If you can't, then you are complaining about a problem that has never manifested.

  • SIV||

    Every flu vaccine ever?

  • Free Society||

    Flu vaccines are bullshit. I don't agree that all vaccines are bullshit of course, but some of them are about as effective as injecting wishful thinking straight into your bloodstream.

  • MrsPickle||

    But they have to try to get the Libertarians on board with forced vaccination. The rest of the sheep will go along with the supreme loss of liberty. But the Libertarians will be the last hold outs. That's why dudes like Baily have infiltrated the ranks. Get the Libertarians, the only people that will actually speak up against tyranny , and it's a done deal.

  • Beezard||

    I think there is a much higher chance of government abusing power with compulsory injections than there is of government wiping out diseases with compulsory injections.

    And Bailey's logic seems a very quick way to go from "freedom to own my genome or make designer babies" to "mandatory genetic engineering".

  • steve baker||

    Civil Engineers have saved way more lives than Doctors.

    We just don't make a big deal out of it.

  • ||

    Ronald Bailey's December 6 article, "Refusing Vaccination Puts Others At Risk There is no principled libertarian case for vaccine refusal."
    is seriously flawed.
    Saying there is no principled libertarian case concedes far too much. There are routinely rare and minor exceptions to just about all libertarian principles, few of which come close to justifying government action. Vaccination is little different.
    Any mandatory vaccination programs have the standard government flaws, spending our money to pay for what somebody else says is a good thing. Often enough they define good as pocketing our money in their wallets. Other times they are simply mistaken about it being good for anybody. This happens in vaccinations as in everything else.
    While herd immunity clearly exists, the main beneficiary of vaccination is the one who gets the shot. The benefit to others is routinely small. Herd immunity pretty much requires the great majority of the herd to be immune in the first place, and thus only protects a small minority. Anything that makes the vaccination expensive or dangerous to the patient is apt to swamp any benefits to the unvaccinated.
    Bailey gives us only a few horror stories. A law requiring vaccinations for those visiting "dangerous" countries would bother far less of us for the same effect.
    So no, vaccinations are not an exception to libertarian principles.

  • ejpoleii||

    This is one of those borderline cases where someone's failure to act causes harm to another. Vaccination, while very safe, is not absolutely safe. I addition it requires an overt act and the invasion of someone's body. In most cases, the person receiving the vaccination is not able to make the decision due to her age. Due to these reasons, I do not believe that merely refusing vaccination is an act of "aggression."

    On the other hand, the subsequent acts of placing oneself or one's children in proximity with others IS an act of aggression. Non-vaccinated person's should not be allowed to force proximity to others. They should either avoid proximity or clearly identify themselves as non-vaccinated. They should not be allowed in public places such as schools, restaurants, theaters, churches, and so forth. If they do aggress and cause harm to another, they should be liable for damages.

    This is, of course, assuming that we are living in a libertarian society but I don't see why some sort of legislation could not be developed to get close to this solution.

  • shamalam||

    I got my flu vaccine and my zoster vaccine (shingles) about a month ago.

    I am completely mystified by the resistance to vaccines exhibited here. I make allowances for the guy upstream whose first son was adversely impacted, but the rest of you guys are a puzzle to me. Is Jenny McCarthy in attendance here?

  • ||

    The problem is, every vaccine has been advertised by drug companies and the medical community to the same degree that Jenny McCarthy falsely railed against them.

    There are plenty of vaccines that work very well at preventing diseases. In this sense, the author is somewhat, there is little sense in refusing these vaccinations. However, even at this a case can be made for romantic, religious, or other 'senseless' situations. I'd rather die of HIV in a monogamous relationship with my wife than either of us be compelled to get a vaccine.

    Regarding vaccine hype, Guardasil and the flu shot are two such examples. These vaccines merely reduce the individual's chances of contracting a disease rather than offering a high degree of immunity. Also, the diseases they address are themselves trivial or trivially avoided. Guardasil in particular is scary in light of the author's claims because the virus is known to cause lots of other cancers from relatively benign behaviors (more than three oral sexual partners lifetime increases an individual's risk of esophageal cancer by 30%.) I'm not saying women (or men) shouldn't get vaccinated against HPV (the vaccination is actually a good idea), I'm saying that they shouldn't have their options to be abstinent from sex or vaccination removed from them by anyone unwillingly.

  • ||

    Additionally, as was pointed out, herd immunity is an inversion of natural state of affairs that can easily be used to dismiss individual liberty. The very reason some of the most deadly known diseases don't kill en masse is because the places they originated were 'herd sparse' when they were discovered. IMO, the idea that the herd must be vaccinated pretty clearly indicates the mentality that the herd is too big to fail. The notion of someone who's sick being an aggressor is an absurd notion. Nature, since the origin of multicellularity, has been the greatest and clearest aggressor.

  • N. O. Nymus||

    But... but...

    Global warming...

    Corporations...

    The greater good...

  • EmilyRay||

    I don't have a problem with vaccine per say, I would not follow the schedule that is recommended by Drs and I know Dr's who agree that the sheer number of vaccines given to babies has grown to unsafe levels. But, I don't think you can say I am being un Libertarian in my actions. Liberty is about freedom! Period! Life carries risk, to assert criminal or civil liability for inaction based on sincerely held belief is anti-human rights! Police don't have a legal obligation to protect you from crime, I also don't have a legal obligation to protect you from disease!

  • robyn||

    How about this...it's my right to determine for myself and my family what we will put into our bodies and it is not the business of anyone else. Period. There is so much hooey in this article. People really need to do more research. Try looking into Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Russell Blaylock, Dr. Suzanne Humphries, Dr. Joe Mercola, and NVIC.org. Look into VAERS and the $1.5 billion in payouts to the families of injured and deceased children. There is so much more to it than this silly article. For those that think bypassing the defenses of the human body to inject foreign substance including documented neurotoxins (aluminum), documented carcinogens (formaldehyde), unknown bacterial/viral contaminates often found (or not found. see SV40) in the animal tissues used to make the vaccines and DNA of other humans/other species...does not defy common sense...please, use them. I support your right to do so. I wish you the best of luck with the immune system you are left with. And Reason, please stop publishing this guys crap. He's an idiot. You're better than this.

  • robyn||

    By the way, research shows that vaccinated children can spread a disease they've recently been vaccinated for without showing any symptoms of the illness themselves. In that case, I guess your vaccinated kid is putting my non-vaccinated kid at risk. So...

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Polio went from about 20,000 cases a year in the US to being almost completely eradicated here by 1979 after the vaccine was developed--and I'm supposed to believe that vaccines are evil?

    Fuck off--you and your vector spawn.

  • ||

    Almost no one on here is saying that vaccines are evil. Just that forced vaccination is immoral.

  • N. O. Nymus||

    My.... what a well, rem... REASONED response.

    You must be so very proud.

  • robyn||

    if you'd do a little more research you would learn that we can credit eradication of polio in this country to education, hygiene and closed sewers. it still exists in india. why is that. open sewers, kids walking around in shit, poor living conditions, unsanitary hospitals, lack of education, poor hygiene. you would also learn that less than 1% of polio cases resulted in paralysis. most people experienced flu-like symptoms and recovered just fine. you'd also learn that polio cases where drastically declining and almost non-existent WELL before the vaccine was introduced. you'd also learn that cases of polio actually increased after the vaccine was introduced before continuing to decline as it had been before the vaccine. so...in your face and you fuck off.

  • steve baker||

    Overeating, smoking and drinking, and getting little exercise put "others" at a lot more risk than my not being vaccinated, which is their right, and mine.

    BUTT OUT!

  • Response||

    What about simply requiring vaccinations to leave/enter the country? I thought most countries already require this?

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I'm with Response. Don't most other countries require vaccination prior to entry? Also, if someone (whether citizen or not) cannot show proof of sufficiently recent vaccination upon (re-)entering the US, then what is wrong with quarantine pending favorable test results for the diseases against which vaccinations are effective? Most of the horror stories I read about the reappearance of diseases once thought conquered involve US citizens traveling to other countries, or people from other countries coming here. So it seems to me that our efforts and attention are best concentrated on making sure that foreigners don't bring diseases to us, travelers don't bring diseases back with them, and medical science continues to pursue the development of effective vaccines & inoculations that entail fewer risks, side-effects, and toxins (not to mention actual cures for diseases which do not rely upon resistance mounted by a previously vaccinated immune system).

  • Tyrin Price||

    The very first statement following the headline is an error, it reads, "There is no principled libertarian case for vaccine refusal."

    A primary foundational principle of libertarianism is that each individual owns their body. It is up to them to decide what goes into it... or what does not go into it.

  • Mickey Rat||

    And while the risks associated with vaccination may often be wildly overblown, there are risks involved. To say that there is no liberty issue at stake is just absurd.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I don't know about anyone else, but to me, Bailey's evidence and arguments in favor of vaccination sound very much like the arguments offered in support of no-fault, mandatory, universal auto insurance here in California in the mid-1980s. Was there no principled libertarian argument against embracing mandatory auto-insurance? I think there was, and I think those arguments could be adapted and re-purposed to counter the calls for universal vaccination.

  • ammayhem||

    Driving puts people at risk as well. Tires can go flat, or road conditions can be hazardous. Lives could be saved if we go back to riding horses.

    Another way to stop the spread of diseases: quarantine. Let's lock ourselves inside our homes and have Amazon deliver everything to us via drone. That way we won't interact with others and risk spreading diseases. Lives could be saved.

    OR, how about we acknowledge the fact that no one gets out of life alive. Bad things can and will happen in life. Let's just live life while we have it.

  • Choose_Freedom||

    I guess the debate whether vaccines are safe and whether they are administered too early and too intensively to young children possibly causing Autism is now over. No one told me. I did not know.

  • Szumny||

    many of you sound like a bunch of slave-herders to me. Probably believe in progressive tax reform and sensible regulation.

  • Mark22||

    The case for coercive vaccinations is pretty weak: almost everybody who wants to be protected against a disease for which we have a vaccine can get vaccinated themselves. Furthermore, people who are susceptible to transmission of diseases we can vaccinate against are also susceptible to numerous serious diseases we can't vaccinate against and best take precautions anyway.

    The individual case for vaccinations would be much stronger if people actually had to bear the significant financial risk of getting sick (loss of income, medical care, etc.), but in the era of socialized medical costs, that is not a major concern anymore.

    Finally, we shouldn't kid ourselves: the extensive medical intervention pre-birth and during childhood is going to radically change our species; individuals are surviving and reproducing now who would never have survived a century ago. In the long run, humans will become dependent on medicine in order to reproduce and survive in the long run.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Same could be said about any social cause or concern. Clearly what other people do is the concern of other people no matter what other people do.

  • Sally_Oh||

    Seriously? This is on reason.com? Not only is this an outrageously un-liberty position, it is stupid. If vaccines worked, only your child would need one.

  • SQRLSY One||

    See http://www.thedailysheeple.com.....ink_062013 for example, some say that the Amish, who mostly do not vaccinate, have way-low rates of autism. I have read that a very good and thorough medical - epidemiological survey to clarify this, one way or the other, would cost a mere $1 million… WHO would ever pay for such a thing? Government Almighty? No way, Government Almighty is NOT interested at ALL in the possibility of undermining belief in the medical system, which is pretty much a wing of Government Almighty now in the first place… Maybe we could get TRIAL LAWYERS to pony up the money for this study; just IMAGINE the “field day” they could have afterwards, if vaccinations really ARE behind autism! I have also read that it is possible that it is not the vaccinations “per se”, it is the “ten zillions different vaccinations at the same time” that is the problem. Maybe, for very young children, the risks would be reduced if they got ONE shot at a time, for ONE disease, then wait a month, then the next, and so on… Not one “sudden smash” to the immune system… Of course, the one-at-a-time method would cost more. How much does all this autism cost? For fear of the trial lawyers, NO ONE will pony up the $1 million to study the Amish… So the problem, if it is real, will never get fixed… Because TRUTH is TOO DANGEROUS!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hey y’all, I tried to have an open mind (imagine that!) and did some more research; good search combo is “Amish vaccinate autism epidemiological”… I found: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co......the-amish/ says many Amish DO vaccinate… http://leftbrainrightbrain.co......ted-study/ is the best one. In summary... And I might add in passing, I am more familiar with Amish-type persons that most who frequently visit here… The $1 million might be mis-spent money, because we STILL would not have a good and firm answer! Why? The Amish have inter-bred amongst themselves, they have become genetically in-bred island populations over hundreds of years… They have more developmental problems that we outsiders (with more genetic diversity) do. Aside from the other issues raised (see the links) by trying to do the study, it simply would not be an “apples to apples” comparison. … So I am not saying the money spent for such a study would be a TOTAL waste, but we’d be fools to completely trust the results…

  • OneOut||

    For only a 1 million dollar study if there was a pot of gold at the end of the lawsuit rainbow some lawyers would have already funded the study.

  • MTDagny||

    I think the author confuses a good libertarian with a good person. Getting your immunizations is the ethical thing to do (particularly in whooping cough and other high mortality diseases) thus helping those that can't (because of age, allergies,...). However, in my opinion it is not good for libertarians to condone forced action (coercion). The lack of action is generally not seen as the initiation of violence/force (fist to face). If harm comes to a starving person cause I don't feed them... If harm comes to someone in the commission of a crime for which I don't call 911.... These are all bad things and have ethical questions involved but the libertarian would have to say that was personal choice and not something that should be compelled. The slippery slope once you do is pretty fast to government control of all aspects of our lives and wallet.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hi MTDagny, “I think the author confuses a good libertarian with a good person.” … Best post I have seen here on this one so far! Amen! Not getting bare-min essential vaccines for yourself and your family is probably bad or un-ethical… You become a potential disease carrier… Endangering children and babies who are too young to be vaccinated, for example, which is a point many seem to have missed. But… As soon as we outlaw all that we think is bad, and mandate all that we think is good, then there is no human freedom left. Suicide, divorce, drug addiction, being miserly, having too many kids, being ugly, having poor fashion taste… They are all bad, but fortunately, to various degrees, most of us (even non-libertarians) can see that some items in the “bad list” need to stay legal. Vaccination belongs in this list… Matter of opinion, yes, of course…

  • SQRLSY One||

    PS, if libertarians want to be listened too and not be regarded as silly libertardians… Libertarians / practical people ALSO need to ask about the efficiency, practicality, and effectiveness of, HOW do we actually ENFORCE the laws that get passed? Example: We outlaw WAR; everyone is against WAR, right? What do we do to punish or restrain offending nations? Anything we can do, besides conduct war against them? Ergo, anti-war law is silly… Unless we have a Universal Government Almighty? Anyone in favor of THAT?!?!

  • Freedomshift||

    The issue is whether or not you should be getting every vaccination under the sun to the point of eugenics. This EXTREMELY dangerous when forced on people by the collective. Cannot "reason" understand this? Am I on the Huffpost or something? What is going on here?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Making decisions based on your personal evaluation of the risks to yourself free of coercion is not libertarian? Who knew?

  • C.H.E. Sadaphal, MD||

    I fail to understand how Mr. Bailey, who often writes such intelligent articles, has resorted to advocating coercion and using shame and guilt in order to push free-minded individuals into what a supreme authority deems appropriate. This is the most anti-libertarian, pro-central planning rhetoric I have ever read on an allegedly "free market" site.

    The fact of the matter is many diseases were already in decline (e.g. pertussis) before the institution of widespread vaccinations, and there have been numerous studies (e.g. flu) that have demonstrated me being vaccinated does not protect them from contracting the disease. There is an already low chance that anyone will contract many of the described pathogens, and an even lower chance of developing serious sequelae for a majority of the population (older than a child, less than 65).

    If we carry out the irrevocably flawed idea that my behavior must be forcibly changed because what I choose not to do can harm others, we will create a world that Orwell would have nightmares about.

    After all, if I don't buy an electric car, I harm everyone else by destroying mother earth. Big Brother puts a gun to my head. If I don't give up my civil liberties, then the terrorists win. Big Brother puts a gun to my head. If I don't give up more of my income via taxes, then I won't be paying my fair share and society will crumble. Big Brother puts a gun to my head.

    http://www.chesadaphal.com/fear-vs-reality/

  • Notmykidsyouwont||

    Mr.Bailey is a "science correspondent"... ?
    Bailey, it'd be best if you left the scientists, to THEIR jobs. This is just laughable.

  • thevaccinemachine||

    You are quite confused, Ronald. I'm surprised someone who is not able to reason is working for Reason Magazine. You cannot put others at risk by not vaccinating. When you vaccinate you are protecting yourself against something that exists. If there were not an extant risk there would be no reason to vaccinate. Since the risk already exists not vaccinating (which is a non-action) cannot create a risk and therefore cannot put others at risk. It is simple logic

  • N. O. Nymus||

    Well stated. If I am vaccinated, the ONLY person protected is ME, assuming the vaccine actually works and that is not conclusively proven - certainly not in all cases.

    If, as a vaccinated person, I come into contact with, say, pertusis I am as able to spread that contagion as anyone who has not been vaccinated. I touch a surface with the bug on it, pick up a few thosand of the little darlings, touch a baby's pacifier, transferring the bug to it and before you know it, baby is infected.

    So much for the standing theory.

  • thevaccinemachine||

    I'd expect drivel like this in a leftist rag like Slate or Salon. Not a magazine that purports to support individual liberty. Very sad.

  • Richard Cox||

    Stupid to reject free medicine.

  • NL_||

    I totally agree with the practical judgment that vaccines work and are good. I'm not sure I can agree that going unvaccinated, which raises the risk to people you casually interact with (and their direct and indirect contacts), is necessarily such a risk that we can equate it to punching people (like Holmes did).

    Certain actions we take will increase the risk of unintentional injury or death to others, including driving a car (if it causes an accident) or possessing a gun (if stolen or mishandled) and so forth. The fact that you might do something that casually raises risks to others cannot be a reason to use force. Lots of innocent and even positive acts could raise the risk level to others, if only a little.

    It's plausible that this risk is so great to infants or others unable to ever be vaccinated that refuseniks must be forcibly vaccinated. Plausible. But my sense is that it's not nearly likely enough to cause damage to compare it to a punch. I imagine far more infants are killed by poor drivers than by the unvaccinated, but we wouldn't accept dramatic restrictions on driving based on that rationale.

  • NL_||

    It's worth noting that if the health and safety of infants can justify restrictions on people who are otherwise doing nothing wrong, then we would probably get more results from forcing people to wear masks and gloves in public, banning doorknobs, and mandating all citizens carry hand sanitizer and use it once per hour. That's never going to happen and it shouldn't, but it would fight the spread of simple communicable diseases like the cold. It would also be a prophylactic against a pandemic.

    The fact that babies are vulnerable and that science offers some solutions does not mean we can enlist everybody's participation - even when the ideas are proven safe and effective.

  • janiferavc088||

    my classmate's aunt makes 85/hour Dollars on the laptop. She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was 18264 Dollars just working on the laptop for a few hours. go now
    =====================
    http://www.Fb49.com
    =====================

  • thorax232||

    Well this won't go over well in the comments.

  • Ralph Fucetola JD||

    Forced vaccination raises important issues regarding self-ownership and the role of govt. It stands against Liberty's core values.

    Supreme Court, in 1903, held that the courts could intervene to prevent vaccine harm to individuals; Congress usurped that right to redress with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a tax created to hide the market fact that vaccination is an uninsurable risk.

    See my essay: http://vitaminlawyerhealthfree.....legal.html

    And if you believe in Liberty you should really become a Vaccine Refuser with me: http://tinyurl.com/VaccineRefuser

  • N. O. Nymus||

    Nice job Ralph. On the money.

  • N. O. Nymus||

    This article is a monumental failure in.... ....

    REASON.

    Ironic, no?

    By the author's "logic", I can compel him to install a $100K sprinkler and halon system in his house because if his house goes up in flames and my house is next door, it may also burn down.

    The article is reflective of a grievous failure in reasoning. It is pure emotionalism with nothing in terms of solid logic and evidence to back up the assertions. This is supposed to be "Reason". Does the name mean anything or did it just sound cool to the founders? I'm serious. If you are going to name your endeavor "reason", ought you not be on the most perpetual and reddest alert for articles coming across your desks that reek of grotesque failures in that which is your namesake?

    If this was some satire or if someone was asleep at the switch in the editor's chair, that can be remedied easily enough. But if this is indicative of the general quality of the fare here, then all I can say is you have lost your way in some terrible fashion, if ever you had it to begin.

    I'd be calling this author on the carpet for an explanation of the tripe he belched forth on the presumption of being properly reasoned. I would call the responsible editor on the carpet for the same thing. If you do not, may I suggest that it behooves you to alter your moniker because this article has nothing in common with actual, correct reason.

  • Olaler||

    As with antibiotics, germs can build a resistance to vaccines. Our bodies need to develop a natural resistance to germs, that comes from many other things, such as nutrition and alternative natural treatments. With our powerful drug companies and oppressive laws, doctors are discouraged or not allowed to even prescribe many of these treatments. US citizens have to go to the border of Mexico to get them. I think Dr. Rand Paul could really help us to get these treatments legalized..

  • Lucky13||

    This is failed logic, if the other people are taking the vaccine, then you not taking the vaccine poses no risk to them.
    It is against natural law, that anybody can force, or coerce, another person to put something into their body.

  • Jeff Harding||

    This article is very disappointing and completely against the ideals for which Reason was founded. The road to hell is paved with ...

  • SteveKman||

    As soon as a libertarian starts using the word "pragmatic" to define their argument, they are no longer libertarians. Pragmatic implies a compromise with one's self principles by definition. From then on you are just like anyone else who argues the use of coercion and force is justified because the ends are noble and any libertarian should automatically know the fallacy of the ends justifying the means.

    Listen, there are risks in life and there is a price to being free. Yes, in certain very narrow slivers of where gov force can actually do a little of what most people would agree is good like in the case of vaccinations, the problem is that force never EVER ends there. You have just guaranteed yourself the leviathan the crushes every other belief you hold. In other words, you sold out your freedom for the illusion of safety you know the end of that quote.

    This is the logical problem with minarchists in that they still hold onto the very seed of what will eventually grow into tyranny and downfall. At the end of the day we can't keep continuing the let the enemy in the gates voluntarily.

    You know the difference between a minarchist and an anarchist?

    Six months.

  • Seeker451||

    Kudos Steve!

  • antiacus||

    This article is unbelievable. I can't believe "reason" would permit this drivel.

    With pertussis (often referred to as “whooping cough”), the number of vaccine-related deaths dwarfs the number of disease deaths, which have been about 10 annually for many years according to the CDC, and only 8 in 1993, one of the last peak-incidence years (pertussis runs in 3-4 year cycles; no none knows why, but vaccination rates have no such cycles).

    When you factor in under-reporting, the vaccine may be 100 times more deadly than the disease. Some argue that this is a necessary cost to prevent the return of a disease that would be more deadly than the vaccine.

    But when you consider the fact that the vast majority of disease decline this century preceded the widespread use of vaccinations (pertussis mortality declined 79% prior to vaccines), and the fact that rates of disease declines remained virtually unchanged following the introduction of mass immunization, present day vaccine casualties cannot reasonably be explained away as a necessary sacrifice for the benefit of a disease-free society.

  • Seeker451||

    A commentor here suggested that those who don't vaccinate should pay those who contract illness from them. Mmm I don't know how this could be proven.

    Many who take a vaccine get the very illness it is to protect them from, and this has always been true. This happens every year. Moreover, remember a few years ago when there was an all out hysteria over the "swine flu"? We were told many tens of thousand of additional people would die, in every major city, if we were not all vaccinated. (!) It was being compared to the flu pandemic of 1918. This is when many heard of the "herd effect" for the first time. We were all drilled daily with the risks of not vaccinating, in every type of media. Problem was, doctors and pharmacies never received enough in a timely manner (not by half). It came late, and well into the normal flu season they had just enough for a portion of the elderly and the very young, and this was in Jan and Feb, finally receiving ample amounts in late March when almost no one actually got any thinking the threat was mostly over. Result? Reported lower than normal number of deaths from flu that year. That's right, lower. Mmm. If they had gotten the vaccine out in November as planned, and millions did receive the shot, the media would be trumpeting this as a confirmation for vaccination. Instead, silence. Mmmm.

  • Rich M||

    There's already a number of comments here that point out how unscientific Mr. Bailey's argument is here. Here's another one from one of his favorite sources: http://news.sciencemag.org/hea.....ab-animals

    Besides that, this argument really makes libertarians seem like hypocrites. We should be allowed to choose what substances we can put into our own bodies when it comes to recreational drugs, but not when it comes to vaccines? Pu-lease! Mr. Bailey proves once again that he is nothing but a shill for the biotech/pharmaceutical industry.

  • Rach||

    So anti-libertarian.

    The "harm to others" argument can be used to justify anything; Gun Control, euthanasia, higher taxes, etc.

    What ever happened to "live and let live"; if vaccinations work and you choose to get them why worry about someone who doesn't? The child argument ("for the kids") aside it is a self correcting issue, no vaccine you die early; same with abortion -- those who believe in it kill the children they would have raised to believe the same thing.

  • Steve Bumgardner||

    You tell 'em Ron. Not all that many children have adverse reactions to vaccinations, and only a few of them die, so there really isn't all that much of an excuse not to march in lock step. And besides, they're only kids. Break one, you can always whip up another.

    This all makes perfect sense, considering that a donation to Reason is tax deductible. Boom, there goes another unprotected irony meter.

  • Lucius Clay||

    This is another straw that makes me wonder exactly which side is Reason on. I used to be a big fan but they seem cracked on several issues and this is defiantly a statist progressive argument for vaccinations. If a government can force a vac for the public good it is not such a far fetched idea to force sterilization, abortion, Statin drugs, hypertension drugs, mood altering anti-depressants all in the name of the public good.If Vaccinations are effective...which I believe most are then you should not worry about someone else. However the number of Vacs' have proliferated at an alarming rate. Some seem less than critical. Reason you have let me down again.

  • Michael Patton||

    Reason Magazine. All over your webpage your post "Free Markets, Free Minds". This article seems to go against that. While I welcome opposing viewpoints, and enjoy reading them, I would like to point out that if Ronald Bailey is a Reason staff member, as such, would then be in a position to speak for the organization. If we take coercive ANYTHING, then how can we have a free market or free minds? Coercion implies a consequence for failure to comply; some type of punishment. This does not sound very free to me.

    I believe the article would have represented what I believed Reason Magazine to stand for better if coercion were not used, rather, a case for vaccination with an attempt to persuade individuals to get vaccinated.

  • Lucius Clay||

    The rise in Whopping cough is directly related to the increase in Illegal immigration. Of course Reason is pushing open borders so that makes the "aggression" of the Illegal Immigrant superior to that of the citizen who refuse the vaccination???

  • jcalton||

    Coercive force means that if you refuse to do something enough times or in a truculuent enough manner, we can shoot your or beat you and throw you in a rape cage. We can *initiate* deadly force against you, when you have initiated nothing against us.

    So if you are going to use deadly force to coerce people into getting vaccinations, it better be for diseases that are deadly or crippling themselves, right? That only makes sense.

    Basically what good ol' Ron Bailey is saying is that you have the right to vaccinate someone IN SELF-DEFENSE because their resistance to going along with the herd could kill him.

    Because you *MIGHT* get that disease.

    So then, if we are going to use deadly force on people that *MIGHT* get a fatal (contagious) disease, we certainly *MUST* use it on people that ALREADY HAVE that disease.
    It's the logical conclusion to the logical/moral/ethical argument he is making.

    Someone with the disease is easily 10,000x more of a risk with their germs than someone without it.

    "KILL EVERYONE WITH AIDS, POLIO, and WHOOPING COUGH"
    --Ron Bailey
    --Dec 6, 2014

  • jcalton||

    I should also note that Ron Bailey believes we can kill people who refuse to get Chicken Pox, Rotavirus, and Measles vaccines.

    Which probably means we should be killing anyone who is sick.

  • jcalton||

    Ron has convinced me so utterly that I just realized guns are lethal and there are MILLIONS of people out there with guns RIGHT NOW.

    Any one of those people could be at risk to kill someone with a gun.

    The only way for society to be safe from the spread of bullets is coerced gun removal by the state.

  • spyle||

    so what if it is anti libertarian? it's not like libertarians are known for holding each other accountable. it's interesting the strongest proponents for self governance has one of the worst self policing policies of all political communities, almost begging for the other side to impose external force.

    here's the obama controversy where he wants to force buy everyone their own health insurance for their own good, while denying that claim you have LP guys stating it is for people's own good to force vaccinate every single person.. certainly helps making the argument in the libertarian perspective

  • jcalton||

    Self-policing? External force?
    WTF are you talking about?

  • cia||

    I had measles, rubella, and chickenpox as a child, pertussis from my daughter (alarming in both of us, long-lasting, but not dangerous), hep A, rotavirus, flu: they were all typical cases, meaning not dangerous. The vaccines are MUCH more dangerous than the vaccine-preventable diseases, and libertarians should not be promoting Big Pharma's coercive agenda designed to prolong its gravy train until it goes right over the cliff, which it will do soon. Read the comments on Katie Couric's blog regarding her program last week on Gardasil by literally hundreds of parents describing in painful detail their daughters' severe or fatal reactions to Gardasil: they say that if only they had known how dangerous it was (if only the media had been free to inform them), they would NEVER have let their daughters get it. The scheduled congressional hearing into the abuses of Vaccine Court was cancelled through the efforts of pharma reps determined to keep this scandalous situation from public knowledge and avoid taking responsability for it. Katie Couric has been reprimanded by Big Pharma and forced to apologize for allowing the truth to escape to the American public last week. Where is the liberty here? Why are pharma profits held above the interests of the American people?

  • Bryce||

    It has been the advances in sanitation, and the elimination of poverty, which have been the reasons why diseases have been virtually eradicated. Vaccinations are a big scam.

  • MrsPickle||

    You are absolutely right Bryce. There is a very good book out called
    Dissolving Illusions ~ Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History
    by Suzanne Humphries, MD &
    Roman Bystrianyk
    It is filled with a tremendous amount of the historical documents that track disease, sanitation, working conditions and vaccine programs.
    It is clear that vaccine proponents stole credit for the improvements in health that were brought by advancements in sanitation, better nutrition and better working conditions.

  • MrsPickle||

    Forced vaccination is a liberal Democrat mantra. How can anyone who loves liberty, support THAT?

    You want a Measles vaccine for your kid? Fine, go get one. Don't want it? Fine, don't. Any product that lists the possible side effects of disability or death, should not EVER be mandated. That is medical tyranny. The biggest abuse of your most basic human rights imaginable.

    Mr. Bailey must have other masters that he is not disclosing.

  • Johnimo||

    And here I foolishly thought this site was populated mostly by Libertarian leaning writers. Send out the vaccination gestapo from house to house to check your passport with its vaccination stamps!

  • JayTe||

    Ronald, Thank you for your article. It was very informative. May I suggest that to really drive home the point of how safe vaccines are that you put yourself on the vaccine scheduled for children and write a blog about how your health has continually improved over that period? Please include information on the label for each vaccine so that we will all know what's in the vaccines as well as what are the indicated side effects. You would be doing all of us a great service! All the best.

  • bonesteelwarren||

    A libertarian making an argument for big government???

    So...er...the whole world has gone nuts, then.

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