Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Changes His Mind on Mandatory Childhood Vaccinations

Good for him.


Jim Thompson/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has apparently had a change of heart with regard to requiring childhood vaccinations. In my earlier evaluation of Johnson's stands on various science policy issues, I reported that I could "find no statements from Johnson suggesting that he thinks that vaccination might cause autism. In 2015, Our America Initiative, a non-profit co-founded by Gary Johnson, announced that it supported a Mississippi advocacy group's effort to place "childhood vaccination decisions into the hands of parents and doctors." I gave Johnson a "PASS" based on the fact that he hadn't fallen for the scientifically false claim that vaccination causes autism.

Now, according to Vermont Public Radio, Johnson has rethought his views on mandatory vaccination. Johnson says in the interview:

I've come to find out that without mandatory vaccines, the vaccines that would in fact be issued would not be effective," he said. "So … it's dependent that you have mandatory vaccines so that every child is immune. Otherwise, not all children will be immune even though they receive a vaccine."

Johnson said he believes vaccination policy should be handled at the local level.

"In my opinion, this is a local issue. If it ends up to be a federal issue, I would come down on the side of science and I would probably require that vaccine," he said.

Johnson said his position changed recently.

"It's an evolution actually just in the last few months, just in the last month or so," he said. "I was under the belief that … 'Why require a vaccine? If I don't want my child to have a vaccine and you want yours to, let yours have the vaccine and they'll be immune.' Well, it turns out that that's not the case, and it may sound terribly uninformed on my part, but I didn't realize that."

Good for him. Johnson clearly recognizes that vaccinations safely protect people from diseases. In addition, he has now come to recognize the importance of herd immunity for protecting vulnerable people who are too young to be vaccinated, whose vaccinations have failed to take, and those whose immune systems are compromised.

For more background, see my article, "Refusing Vaccination Puts Others Risk," in which I explain that there is no principled libertarian case for free-riders to refuse to take responsibility for their own microbes.

For a broader debate, see "Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?"

NEXT: Non-Religious Fundamentalists

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Oh great…I suppose you are just soooo happy, Mr. Bailey, to start one these shitstorm threads.

    *clambers down into shitstorm cellar*

    1. I think Trump articles are starting to hit diminishing returns, so it’s time for old reliables to come back and help out.

      1. I’m making $96 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $120 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I’m my own boss. Try it out on following website, Start here this website….

    2. I think, for shitstorms, the proper direction to clamber is up.

    3. Wait until they get the ‘Illegal immigrants sporting genetically modified circumcisions are fighting for the right to mandatory abortions at state expense, Trump may or may not have said’ article.

    4. I basically profit close to $10k-$15k every month doing an online job. For those of you who are prepared to do easy at homee jobs for 2h-5h each day at your house and earn valuable paycheck while doing it… Then this work opportunity is. Go To Web….

  2. So a parent (let’s say ‘he’) decides he doesn’t want his child vaccinated, for whatever reason.
    Now, his local department of health pays him a visit and states that if he doesn’t submit his child to vaccination, then what? I don’t see any resolution that doesn’t entail the threat of deadly force by deputized agents of the state upon a peaceful person.

    1. Yes, for all these people demanding mandatory vaccinations, please describe in detail what punishments and acts of violence you will perform on those who don’t comply.

      1. If it is anything beyond, “they cant attend a state school”, then it goes too far.

        1. I should also qualify that I’m cool with private entities and institutions refusing non-vaccinated children as well.

          1. Well, yeah, of course.

        2. That or work on a public building.

          It also should be legal for employees to require vaccination in the workplace, especially as so many subsidize health insurance.

        3. I’d add public parks as well.

          Of course, if someone wanted to maintain libertarian ideals while trying a wider ban, they could always ban unvaccinated children from any public property(including, for example, sidewalks).

      2. HM & JT: Why don’t we begin with holding them legally responsible for any damages that their kids’ vaccine-preventable disease microbes cause other people? You know, pay for hospital bills, missed work, pain and suffering, wrongful death, etc.

        1. That is fine, the parents of the sick people can sue.

          That is what the courts are for.

          But they have to prove damages.

          1. Parents or actual sick people, depending on case, this is usually about children so I went there.

          2. r: You do realize that courts, even civil courts, involve state enforcement, right?

            1. Yes. You realize I am not an anarchist?

              Courts are one of the handful of required functions for a successful minarchy.

            2. state enforcement of restitution for a wrong that has happened is quite different from state enforcement of compliance for a potential wrong that has not yet happened.

              1. ^This. It’s not a hard concept.

              2. ^This and That!!

                Seriously, this is coming very close to, “Well, sometimes, the mob wins because…’the needs of the many’, or, something.”

              3. Yeah, the latter is often much more efficient and results in fewer dead people.

                1. But notably the former would require much more government bureaucracy.

              4. Prove my child got that child sick.

        2. A person is only morally liable for damages another person suffers through their actions not their inaction. Standing by as a person jumps off a bridge is not quite the same as shouting “JUMP!”

          1. Standing by as a person jumps off a bridge is not quite the same as shouting “JUMP!”

            This isn’t the same thing. If you don’t get vaccinated you aren’t just “standing by”. If you become infected and you go out in public then you are actively spreading those germs around, increasing the risk of harm to other people. It’s like going to a park and throwing rocks randomly up in the air. Maybe you won’t hit anyone. But if you do, you are responsible for the damages caused by your reckless actions (ie. going around other people while carrying an infectious disease.)

            1. Maybe when a person who is not vaccinated gets ill they should avoid other people. Or you know, get medical attention since these horrible diseases kill people. If someone infected, through negligence, infects other people they should be held responsible. But that does not change whether a person is vaccinated or not.

                1. Typhoid Mary was told she was infected. She refused to believe it since she didn’t get sick.

                  1. That’s not quite true. She was told it was possible she was infected, which she refused to believe. They didn’t have proof until the police took her in custody and took urine and stool samples from her while she was in prison.

            2. Maybe when a person who is not vaccinated gets ill they should avoid other people. Or you know, get medical attention since these horrible diseases kill people. If someone infected, through negligence, infects other people they should be held responsible. But that does not change whether a person is vaccinated or not.

          2. C#, let me try another analogy.

            If I don’t maintain my septic system (inaction) and it starts to pollute my neighborhood, am I liable? I realize that this is imperfect but I think your thought experiment is as well.

            A definition of freedom is the opportunity to be responsible for ones actions. I think this whole action/inaction things is splitting hairs a little too close.

            1. Your action placed and filled the septic tank. You did not, presumably, lick a petri dish to get mumps.

              1. No, but your failure to get vaccinated, and then getting mumps and then going out into public with it got other people sick and/or killed.

            2. Your action placed and filled the septic tank. You did not, presumably, lick a petri dish to get mumps.

            3. Your action placed and filled the septic tank. You did not, presumably, lick a petri dish to get mumps.

            4. Mr Drew-

              A definition of freedom is the opportunity to be responsible for ones actions. I like that one. I first saw that in a David Gerrold “War Against the Cthorr” book. (been waiting 25 yrs for the next…)

              But, I have seriously negative physical reactions to Axe Body Spray, Uggs, any 40+ that wears a leather jacket… and Kim Kardashian. I vomit uncontrollably.

              Can I mandate Gov’t involvement?

          3. There is no such thing as inaction.

            1. Tony – the brilliantly stupid gift which keeps on giving.

              1. Just when I think he can’t chime in with anything more insidious he comes up with that.

        3. And how are you going to conclusively prove that it was that particular child that led to the harm?

          Or will it be a class action suit, but in reverse?

          Not against tort in theory, but I find it hard to see how one would apply it in this situation.

          1. And how are you going to conclusively prove that it was that particular child that led to the harm?

            Standard for torts isnt reasonable doubt but preponderance of the evidence.

            If kid A has chicken pox and kid B sits next to him in school and gets chicken pox, its a damn good start. Showing that B wasnt around anyone else with chicken pox would probably help too. That should be enough for a tort.

            1. But the only way Kid B could get chicken pox is if Kid B wasn’t vaxed, no? Or is Kid A responsible for mutation as well?

              1. Or what if Kid A was vaxxed, and never got sick, but was a carrier for a mutated version that the vax didnt prevent?

                Its why you can’t just have a mandatory law, you can’t cover everything.

                Torts for obvious damaging situations would be one thing, but honestly, I think the general principle should be protect yourself and hope for the best.

                Get a flu shot and hope it works this winter.

                1. Indeed. As I pointed out during the dark days of Ebola, epidemiology matters. Even taking Bailey’s concerns into account, herd immunity doesn’t require every single individual in the population to be vaccinated for the disease to cease to be endemic. Even if one doesn’t take a deontological view and looks at the cold equations of cost-benefit analysis, the question remains if it is worth it to threaten the small number of anti-vaxxers with violence to achieve total eradication of a particular disease.

                  1. The free riding section makes for interesting game theory.

                    I am now thinking of how to design a board game around the concept.

                    Small costs to buying X. But if too many players dont buy X, some of those who dont get chance at large costs, up to elimination from the game.


                    1. The free riding section makes for interesting game theory.

                      It does. Perhaps kickstart an add-on to this game?

                    2. Pandemic isnt my favorite. Not into the cooperatives.

                      I was thinking of a game involving multiple different types of free rider situations. Combined with some prisoner delimna too.

                2. Flu shots are moronic, anything you’re likely to catch is either a different strain or mutated by the time the shot is available.

                  Further the majority of the time when people think they have the flu, it’s really food poisoning.

                  Want to avoid seasonal viruses, eat well, sleep, wash your hands.

                  1. Want to avoid seasonal viruses, eat well, sleep, wash your hands.

                    And avoid the little “germ buckets” known as “children”.

                3. Get a flu shot and hope it works this winter.

                  Never had a flu shot- haven’t had the flu since I was 12. Who should I have sued that year?

              2. Vaccines don’t work 100% of the time and can’t be used by 100% of people. They only work often enough to prevent outbreaks. It’s a very interesting statistical problem.

                1. They only usually work often enough to prevent outbreaks

                  1. “They only usually work often enough to prevent outbreaks”

                    All those diseases have plummeted, some nearly eliminated, on their own?
                    Per your own link, regarding measles

            2. And the parents of kid B of course have absolutely no responsibility to ensure the safety of their own child.

          2. It’s a dumb approach and that’s why mandatory vaccines are necessary.

            1. Oh Tony. You tough guy beta male progs and your love of violence.

            2. It is very evident that homosexuals are some of the dumbest people on the planet.

              I mean, when they fought to keep the bathhouses in SanFran open in 1981-83, they at least had ignorance as an excuse.

              In 2016—We know what it is. We know how it is transmitted. We know how to suppress it.

              Still, MSM (men who have sex w/ men) are about 4% of the population and are still 63% of all new HIV infections every year.

              So, that means they are even dumber than IV drug junkies and street prostitutes.

        4. Alright, and why don’t we actually be consistent and hold everyone responsible for the avoidable diseases they spread? Ever came into work sick Bailey?

        5. Ron, what would your enforcement mechanism be for mandatory vaccination?

          I think most people here are fine with not allowing kids in public schools who aren’t vaccinated, and similar measures. Do you think anything more coercive than that would be acceptable?

          It may be hard to make a libertarian case for the “free riders” not getting vaccinated. But it’s also really hard to make a libertarian case for seizing someone’s children and forcing needles into them, which is what “mandatory” sort of implies.

        6. If we’re going to do that then *they* should be responsible for paying the costs for these vaccinations.

          They can get insurance (or assurance) to cover these costs. They should also arrange their affairs to keep out of contact with the unvaccinated and to reasonable notify people of the danger to them.

          Your kid has peanut allergies – you don’t use the power of the state to ban peanuts. But here you’re willing to have people killed if they refuse to be vaccinated?

          1. I paid $600 out of pocket for one series of shots for a 4 year old.

        7. Bailey, you want people to go around sueing each other for giving each other colds? And how would you prove a direct link from one sick person to another in a court of law? I don’t see how this logic doesn’t lead to mandatory flu vaccines for everyone. You really want to go down this path of increased risk entails some kind of automatic tort? That is progtard heaven.

          Mandatory vaccinations are not libertarian. Bailey continues to be the least libertarian writer at Reason.

          1. Ron recently took the track that ‘carbon taxes’ are sensible which somewhat disappointed me. I saw his point but it just didn’t jive with me.

        8. So, if someone is vaccinated and they spread the disease anyway because the vaccine fails they remain responsible for “their kids’ vaccine-preventable disease microbes”, right? You are not responsible for spreading the disease as long as you have genuflected to “the science”?

          You favor thought crime, Ron. No surprise here.

          1. If such a claim were actionable, then no, they would not be, because they would not have been negligent.

        9. Why don’t we begin with holding them legally responsible for any damages that their kids’ vaccine-preventable disease microbes cause other people?

          The mechanics of this are not easy. You can’t prove this exact kid made that exact kid sick, so its hard to do as a straight one-to-one hold harmless.

          Or, you can collectivize! Everyone who doesn’t get vaccinated gets taxed to fund care for others. regardless of whether they get sick, or make someone sick, etc.

        10. RB: This is beginning to sound a lot like Rothbard’s writing on environmental policy, particularly vis a vis air pollution. If you can’t prove that sick person A infected healthy person B, how can you hold person A legally responsible? Failing that, you would have to treat something like this as a “commons” issue, and I think in that sense it would be unique for the very good reason that such issues typically results from positive action and are resolved by curtailing that action.

          For the record, I’m vaccinated and I’ve had my daughter vaccinated. I’m just not comfortable with using the state to compel medical procedures.

        11. So, just how many other people are there? You know – the ones who were vaccinated but ended up being damaged by Billy’s microbes after all?

          20,000? 2 million? How many?

        12. Really? Which ones? Just kids of citizens? Or will immigrants and refugees also be held accountable for bills, missed work, suffering…?

        13. Vaccines have risks. It’s why we have government funds to pay the victims.

          Why is it ok to force me to assume this risk on behalf of someone else? However compelling the math might be.

    2. Very simple and in effect in many states. No vaccination no school. If you want to endanger your child go for it, you don’t however have the right to endanger my child’s health. AKA, do what you want as long as it doesn’t endanger others. In New Mexico we had a huge outbreak of whooping cough of all things a year ago. We have a huge amount of old hippies where we live and they go to Mexico all the time. Well they have brought back such wonderful things as whooping cough and TB. The local hospital was inundated by home schooled and hippie schooled kids. The public schools that require vaccinations only had a few cases.

    3. The best option is a quarantine of the potential disease vector. Basically anytime there is a risk the child would basically become the(let’s stick with he) boy in the bubble of his home. The idea is that if there in no contact transmission can’t happen. That is a lonely life to force on a child but the parent could pick that option.

  3. Bailey you are wrong on vaccinations.

    As is Johnson, now, as his previous position was the correct one.

    And before you even think of using the term: humans arent herd animals.

    1. Bailey self identifies as a transhumanist, i.e. an atheist desperate for a technological heaven to save him from the icy nihilism of death. He’ll drop libertarian principles the instinct they conflict with his idea of a technological enhancement to utopia.

      1. It’s just another “top men” ideology

        1. How so?

          As far as Bailey’s transhumanist stuff goes (I don’t really think this is part of that), he’s pretty consistently saying that people should be able to modify themselves and make use of new technologies as they see fit, despite what supposed “top men” want to tell you.

          1. In the case of vaccines, it’s ‘top men’ in the sense that Bailey, upon recognizing the scientific validity of vaccines and their success, has decreed that they should be broadly applied for a greater good. And he’s willing to twist and manipulate libertarian philosophy in order to do that. It’s less about listening to top men and more about being one.

            Transhumanism as a whole, however, is less about ‘top men’ and more about atheist insecurity about death and a desire to elevate science and technological progress to the level of ‘Ahura Mazda/Gnostic Saviour/God/Nirvana who will save us from the suffering of material existence’. So really it’s only ‘top men’ in the sense that it’s crying out to constructed higher authority for salvation.

            1. I can see it in the vaccine thing. I only meant regarding the transhuman thing.

              So really it’s only ‘top men’ in the sense that it’s crying out to constructed higher authority for salvation.

              Isn’t that the same thing religion does (if you don’t start with the assumption that religion is valid)?

              Do you think it is really such an atheist thing? Why wouldn’t God want people to figure out how to to all these amazing things?

              I can only speak for myself, but the notion of salvation has always seemed ridiculous to me and is a big part of why I rejected religion and theism. Is it really a search for salvation in the absence of some other salvation narrative provided by religion, or is it just the same insecurity and angst about death that afflict almost everyone and which many religious people have allayed with stories of salvation in the afterlife?

              1. No, that was my point, transhumanism uses a religious (and largely Judeo-Christian, I might add) faith in a technological context. I argue it’s basically religion for atheists, a belief in the coming utopia that will save us from the nihilistic end that awaits us all. Hence why I ran down that list of various saviour figures, it’s all about a rejection of the material world and its inherent suffering for some kind of salvation. For Christians, it’s the potential of heaven, for transhumanists, it’s the potential of being an immortal machine god.

      2. Exactly, John Titor. For Bailey, libertarianism is a means to an end. If the means conflict with the end, he will drop the means. In this, he is no different from insular yokels, who will drop libertarian principles when they realize they can’t help them keep out other cultures.

        1. Isn’t all of this a means to end? Ethical systems and political systems are all means by which we reach the ends of some type of society/civilization. Libertarianism simply for its own sake seems more like religion than a system of organizing a society.

          1. Libertarianism is a moral/ethical system.

            There are many different political systems that could be used to support it, I think constitutional federalism is among the better ones for a large country.

            If libertopia is a small island, there might be a better choice.

            1. I’ll show my philosophical ignorance:

              The base concepts of L. as a moral system would be self-ownership and NAP? Are there others? Are there ‘positive’ obligations that it entails (eg maximizing good in a utilitarian framework)?

            2. Ethical system, I could be persuaded on.

              Moral system? Eh, not really. Libertarianism at best tells me when I shouldn’t interfere with others, or when I should have a reasonable expectation of not being interfered with. It doesn’t say a thing about what the things me or others are doing are good or evil.

              To put it simply, you can have two devout libertarians who adhere 100% to libertarian principles and philosophy and both think the other is Satan himself.

              1. Yes. Which explains a lot of the kids these days and our pizza discussions.

      3. Beautiful!

    2. humans arent herd animals

      Sometimes the same word has different meanings in different contexts. I don’t think that the concept of “herd immunity” only applies to what would properly be described as “herd animals”. Call it “group immunity” if it makes you feel better.

      I agree with you entirely about what would be appropriate vaccination policy.

  4. I think what we really need to know is what Johnson’s opinion of deep dish pizza is.

    1. I am a big tent pizzaist.

      Except for chicken bacon ranch. Ranch dressing makes it not pizza.

      1. Where do you stand on pizzas with barbecue sauce?

        1. Only on thin crust!

        2. Borderline. At least its a tomato based sauce, so I will allow it. But its definately a PINO.

        3. Are you people sick in the head?

          BBQ sauce and ranch? On pizza?

          I have to rethink giving to Reason this year.

    2. He orders online.

  5. At least now I get to stay home on election day since there is no one to vote for.

    1. C: If you’re a one-issue vaccine voter, you could always vote Trump or Stein.

      1. Wow… I have no scientific problem with vaccines, but a moral problem with coercion. But thanks for the back-handed ad-hom. Are you sure you didn’t study journalism at Columbia?

        1. Not worth staying home over this. This is a process not a sudden coronation of received Libertarian orthodoxy.

          1. Protected classes, carbon taxes, forced vaccination… We advocate for others not to vote for the lesser of two evils. Maybe we could follow our own advice.

            1. We advocate for others not to vote for the lesser of two evils…when there is a 3rd choice available.

              If there was a better choice this fall, I would vote for it.

              I vote. If you want to stay at home, no problem, I get it. But I vote.

              1. I may vote on local issues and offices, but I am beginning to feel like I am voting against the other guy instead of for a candidate i support. I’ve been justifying Johnson being “good enough” since he was nominated, but every day that passes I see less of a reason to vote “for” him.

                1. Then don’t vote for president. That’s a perfectly good decision.

                  Or write in Almanian!

              2. I am staying home.

      2. Look, Ron – sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to teach people a lesson. Namely, leave the anti-vaxxers alone and let the latest outbreak “thin their herd”. As a negative example.

        Now, just how many anti-vaxxers get converted when confronted with the reality of seeing their fellow anti-vaxxer’s child die?

        I say you want to stop anti-vaxxers, give them a plague or two.

  6. Are there any ways in which Johnson is actually trying to be a libertarian, any more?

    1. Pot legalization?
      Balanced budget?

      1. Pot legalization?

        Yeah, of the “tax and regulate” variety.

        Balanced budget?

        While desirable from a fiscal sanity perspective, it’s not exactly a libertarian concern per se. Although I will give credit that he generally seems inclined towards the “reduce spending” form of balancing the budget and not the “raise taxes” form.

        1. Both are steps in the right direction, unlike his ACA or vaccination views.

          1. I’m not saying Johnson isn’t a good moderate Republican, I’m complaining about his libertarian bona fides.

            1. Yeah, Im just saying he has a few issues that are steps in the right direction. He is a squish libertarian at best.

              But my ballot this fall wont contain a real one.

          2. Wait, what are his views on the ACA? Health care isn’t one of the issue topics on his site, and I don’t remember hearing any of his comments on the matter.

            1. What I can dig up on Google looks very promising (he has, or had, a very negative view of the ACA) but it’s all 4+ years old. The LP platform is solid on the matter, but when have party platforms ever mattered much to any party’s candidates?

              1. That is what I expect. I could see him trying to “fix it” in a way towards a more freeish market rather than killing it.

                But then again, I dont see him vetoing a repeal bill that passed the House and Senate either.

                1. But then again, I dont see him vetoing a repeal bill that passed the House and Senate either.

                  Putting on a Madisonian hat, Johnson is by far the best of the 4 “major or semi-major” candidates running. Let the Congress sort out the big issues. Put him in front of a right-wing Congress and he will generally not interfere.

                  Putting on a Jacksonian hat, Johnson is only marginally better than the other 3. His veto record is prodigious, but put him in front of a left-wing Congress and I could see several disconcerting “compromise” opportunities.

                  1. Except when it comes to the Bank of the United States, I prefer the Madisonian hat to the Jacksonian hat.

                  2. That seems accurate.

  7. So Johnson changes his position to the unlibertarian position on vaccination, and R. Bailey applauds this?


    1. p: Maybe read some of the links?

      1. Those links don’t change the underlying principle any.

        1. r: So you’re not responsible for keeping your vermin off of other people’s property and bodies?

          1. Vaccination is a preemptive measure, no? Consequence follows harm, not failure to prevent the possibility of harm.

            1. k: What about negligence? That is failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the circumstances, or taking action which such a reasonable person would not. … If the injury is caused by something owned or controlled by the supposedly negligent party, but how the accident actually occurred is not known (like a ton of bricks falls from a construction job), negligence can be found based on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor (Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”)

              1. Its possible.

                Negligence already exists, no need for any new laws.

                Common law can work it out.

              2. First of all, I neither own nor control a communicable disease that infects me. I could wield it maliciously, of course, but it remains an independent natural agent.

                Second, you still have to suffer some injury. Me not getting vaccinated is not an injury to you unless and until you get a communicable disease from me. And there are other ways of preventing the spread of disease besides vaccination; do I also owe you a duty of care to wash my hands?

                1. kbolino

                  Hopefully I never have a chance to eat a meal you prepare.

                  1. Hopefully I never have a chance to eat a meal you prepare.

                    Whether or not the state forces me at gunpoint to cater to you is an entirely different matter from whether or not I choose to. Maybe some further consideration of your fellow human beings as individuals and not your servants will give you some insight into this distinction.

                    1. If you are the cook in the restaurant I am eating at I expect you to follow common sense food safety guidelines. My most important concern is that your food doesn’t make me sick. Since people are unable to understand why they should wash their hands it follows that businesses which don’t mandate hand washing should be banned to prevent harm to the public.

                      There are other option than a ban but I can’t think of one that doesn’t require intrusion to prevent harm.

                    2. I should add that hand washing is a local, not federal issue. In most cases vaccines are local as well. If the Florida communities can contain Zika then there is no reason for the federal government to mandate national vaccines. Of course this assumes that we have a Zika vaccines and local government ensure the anti-vaxxers don’t create a vector allowing the disease to spread.

              3. Ron, how on Earth can it be determined that Child A’s “vermin” caused Child B’s sickness?

                You do realize that the whole scheme is unenforceable, right?

                1. I’ve noticed Bailey likes to dip out of here when the questions get hard…

                  1. But at least he makes an appearance.

                  2. SoT: Or when his editors are incessantly demanding that he finish up other articles. Editors, can’t live with them; can’t live without them!

              4. What about negligence?

                Tort law 101 – Required elements for a negligence tort:
                1) Duty of Care
                2) Breach of Duty
                3) Harm
                4) Causation of Harm

                1. Idk where my link went:

                  Info on the elements of negligence

                2. 5) Proof of Causation of Harm – Impossible, since you’d have to prove that the bugs which sickened Child B came from Child A.

                  Keep in mind that this involves proving a negative, namely that these bugs did not come from another child that Child B came into contact with. Anywhere, at any time, by any other vector.

                  The whole scheme is unenforceable.

                  1. Keep in mind that this involves proving a negative, namely that these bugs did not come from another child that Child B came into contact with. Anywhere, at any time, by any other vector.

                    I just had a PTSD flashback to Torts 1, where this isn’t entirely true in our legal system. *vomits in mouth*

                    market share liability
                    causation in toxic torts

              5. Negligence requires proof that the negligent act of A caused provable harm to B. You cannot prove such a thing WRT to vaccine-preventable diseases outside of controlled environments designed for the purpose.

              6. You can’t force people to inject themselves or their kids. You can nudge them by making it a requirement to attend public school. You can’t enforce this law so it can’t be mandatory. Are you going to take the children away from the parents who refuse?

                There isn’t a principled argument for mandatory vaccination anymore than their is principled argument for invading countries in the name of democracy. Remember when you wrote this gem?…..-one-state

          2. Mandatory hand washing? maybe…showers?…you know who else liked showers?

              1. For whatever reason, I thought that was going to be Ms. Jackson.

                1. Sorry.

            1. R. Kelly?

          3. If someone’s dog bites me, I sue them, I dont lobby for mandatory euthanasia of all dogs.

          4. r: So you’re not responsible for keeping your vermin off of other people’s property and bodies?

            My daughter brought home a cold from the YMCA. I caught this cold and missed 2 days of work so far. If I sue, are you willing to help me out with an amicus curiae?

            1. There is no vaccine against the cold.

              1. That doesnt change anything. The offender shouldnt have gone to the Y.

                1. And who’s the offender? Your kid – that’s who!

              2. There is no vaccine against the cold.

                Ron’s argument is that we have a duty to “keep vermin” off of other people’s property and bodies. Again, can I sue whomever infected my daughter with head lice in 3rd Grade?

                1. can I sue whomever infected my daughter with head lice in 3rd Grade?

                  This is America, you can sue anyone you want!

                  /FUCK YEAH!

                2. Again, can I sue whomever infected my daughter with head lice in 3rd Grade?

                  Furthermore, can we sue whomever has made head lice resistant to common treatments, thus creating a greater potential for transmission? How about antibiotic resistant bacteria? Bailey’s only willing to apply his libertarian argument to the non-vaccinated, and absolutely refuses to actually apply it consistently.

                  1. On, great argument. If you took antibiotics and a strain evolved in your body that became resistant to that antibiotic, you are responsible for everyone that gets sick because of that new resistant strain.

                3. Negligence requires that you act with reasonable care. It would be unreasonable to tell people that they had to be completely free of all pathogens. We are all covered in them almost all of the time and they are completely invisible. Telling someone to stay home while they were actively sneezing, coughing, vomiting — well you could make a case for it.

                  1. Telling someone to stay home while they were actively sneezing, coughing, vomiting — well you could make a case for it.

                    And the entire point of the rebuke to Ron is to say that such decisions are the YMCA’s to make (in this case) and not the government’s, excepting, perhaps, where government facilities are concerned.

          5. Personal autonomy is a fundamental principle of liberty.

          6. My vermin might not make me sick enough to seriously harm me. So – I’m responsible for hurting you because you responded in a weaker way?

          7. Wait, if those “other people” are vaccinated, then what’s the problem?

            1. Because vaccines are not perfect. 97% perfect, 95% perfect, but not perfect.

              And Ron Bailey wants a risk-less, perfect world.

      2. I tried, but you lost me right with the title:

        “Refusing Vaccination Puts Others At Risk
        A pragmatic argument for coercive vaccination”

        What’s next? A pragmatic argument for sensible gun control via coercive confiscation?

        1. What’s next? A pragmatic argument for sensible gun control via coercive confiscation?

          Followed by an argument that prohibition is needed to keep the herd safe

        2. I’m afraid this might be terribly unenlightened of me, but I just can’t see where the NAP, individual liberty, and forcing people to have injections because you’re afraid you might get sick all coexist peacefully.

        3. The slipper slope of letting the camel into the tent

      3. Why are you still here? You must be a masochist.

        1. We should ban camels! : )

    2. Not so much WTF for Johnson acting less libertarian, since politicians who think they have a chance of winning tend to disappoint hard, but for Bailey cheering on this development.

      1. Why? Bailey is well known for liking coercion when it serves his utilitarian purposes.

        1. He’s doubling down! And trying to tell us he’s still libertarian.

  8. I’ve come to find out that without mandatory…

    Aaaand, fuck off.

    1. I’ve vaccinated my kids. But I have a big problem thinking other parents should be mandated.

      Darwinism has its benefits . . . .

      1. As would I, if I had kids.

        But it’s just one of the lines I draw — not temporarily abducting people’s kids in order to jab them with needles.

        1. Maybe, as a compromise, we can require (suggest, mandate, nicely ask) the unvaccinated to wear big SCARLET “U”s on the foreheads as a warning to the rest of us.

  9. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,


  10. there is no principled libertarian case for free-riders to refuse to take responsibility for their own microbes

    Yes, there is. Neither you or any scientist has any right to tell another person they have to inject something in their body

      1. I agree the gov’t can’t go around forcibly injecting people. But they can well say, “if you refuse to take this prudent precaution, you are not welcome in many of our private and public spaces.” You can’t respect your own autonomy and reject everyone else’s.

        1. I dont think anyone is arguing against that.

        2. Maybe check for vaccination papers at the entrances?

          1. They sure as hell check them at our public schools and I am ok with that. If some employer said: you can’t work here unless you have been vaccinated for x, y and z (which is very common in medical establishments), I am ok with that too. I think that’s all that people are talking about with talk of mandatory vaccination, but maybe I’ve missed something.

            1. Nobody is forced by law to work for that employer.

            2. At least my employer pays for my mandatory vaccines.

              1. You mean you pay for mandatory vaccines through less wages.

            3. The do not check them at public schools in any meaningful sense. I think even California allows contentious objectors.

        3. Not necessarily. HIPAA would factor in…

    1. there is no principled libertarian case for free-riders to refuse to take responsibility for their own microbes

      I’m having a little problem with “my own microbes”. In what sense are they mine, so that I am responsible for what they do? I didn’t acquire them intentionally, I don’t want them, I can’t control them, hell, I don’t even know that any given microbe even exists. So I should be “responsible” for them?

      If I own a 1,000 acre ranch, am I “responsible” for every groundhog, so that if my neighbor’s horse steps in a groundhog hole on his side of the fence I have to buy him a new horse?

    2. We’ve already told Ron this. He’s still intransigent.

      The Bailey Rule: When persuasion fails, call out the Mounties.

  11. Seems like your problem is with pathogens and not vaccinations. Just eliminate them all and there’s no problem. Pretty sure that’s considered pat logic around here these days.

    1. And we can’t even effectively kill the mosquitoes in Florida or elsewhere. Bring back the DDT!!

      1. DDT? You mean the chemical that saved millions of human lives? Environmentalists hate DDT.

        1. I proved that on NPR just before they took down the comments section. For some reason on one wanted to even start a debate on why they felt DDT was bad. The responses were no, it is the worst chemical ever with nary a reason.

    2. A neutron bomb would fix this problem. Stat.

      1. Ok, then. Fire up the neutron bombs! Live free or die!

      2. As would SMOD.

        So why the hell would I vote Johnson/Weld?

      3. Messes up the landscaping. A nice gamma ray burst would work though.

  12. DON’T VOTE 2016!

    1. Can’t even feel good about throwing away a vote this year. Thank a fucking lot GJ.

    2. I am with you.

    3. Vote Calvin Coolidge because the dead won’t hurt you.

  13. I understand your position on this, Ron. I agree with you that vaccination is effective. I actually even agree with you that failing to vaccinate when you can is immoral.

    I just don’t accept that government should be the arbiter of morals on vaccines, any more than I agree that types of dogs that have been known to bite strangers should be banned, or that the rare cases of someone immorally leaving a gun in reach of a child calls for guns to be purged from society.

    My rights to my life, body, and property do not compel everyone to act in the best interests of my life and property at all times.

    Johnson is wrong. He’s definitely outing himself bit by bit as a true believer in the “greater good” who fortunately happens to think liberty is often for the greater good.

    1. Clearly is more consequentialist than deontologist.

  14. *sigh*

    Never admit you’re wrong! It shows weakness! Damnit, GJ!

  15. “I’ve come to find out that without mandatory vaccines, the vaccines that would in fact be issued would not be effective,” he said. “So ? it’s dependent that you have mandatory vaccines so that every child is immune. Otherwise, not all children will be immune even though they receive a vaccine.”

    No one should be proud of that bumbling statement.

    1) Vaccines are ineffective unless everyone gets them?

    2) Or vaccines are less effective at protecting those for whom they were ineffective unless everyone gets them?

    The first statement will ring false to a lot of people depending on how they read it.

    The second statement is true.

    There’s also an open question about what is meant by “mandatory”.

    1) Vaccinations should be mandatory for kids in public schools unless they have a medical condition that counterindicates vaccination.

    2) Vaccines should be mandatory (with the same counterindication caveat) for all children–even if they’re home-schooled.

    The first statement is a pass.

    The second is a fail.

    Depending on what Johnson meant by “mandatory”, he may have gone from pass to fail on my scorecard.

    1. Jeez, it took you long enough

      1. It wasn’t that long.

        Someday, one of you will accuse me of making things too long and complicated and another will accuse me of being prone to oversimplifying–both in the same thread.

        . . . and I’ll laugh.


  16. . . . refuse to take responsibility for their own microbes.

    They’re not *my* microbes. I didn’t ask them to be there, didn’t invite them there, didn’t put them there, and – even if vaccinated – can’t get rid of them. Yeah, I know, its a rhetorical flourish. Doesn’t work though.

    . . . protecting vulnerable people who are too young to be vaccinated, whose vaccinations have failed to take, and those whose immune systems are compromised.

    If you were lying passed out, face down in a puddle, I would have no *legal* duty (even under our ‘forced communitarian’ legal code) to save you. Could, in fact, be facing legal repercussions if I were to intervene and you were injured during that intervention – repercussions that I would not face if I simply walked away. Yet you’re going to tell me I have a duty under *libertarian* principles to coerce others to act when it comes to vaccinations?

    Are you saying that libertarian philosophy requires me to help everyone in need? If not, then how do we derive where the cut-off should be? Who’s worthy of state violence to protect and who is not?

  17. Johnson is wrong on this – requiring vaccines will only increase the resistance to them. (Not to mention convince stupid people that ‘autism’ is a thing.) Nevertheless, I will vote for him, even though I am still shilling for Jill (which is not to say that Hillary isn’t perfect – she’s like a god in my eyes.)

    1. Aren’t vaccines just a gateway to IV drug use? Today the MMR, tomorrow heroin.

  18. Precautionary Principle libertarians- my favorite kind.

    1. Nothing an executive order can’t enhance.

    2. I don’t even know why Johnson went down this rat-hole. He admits – it’s pretty much a local issue. So why even go there, Gary?

    3. I don’t even know why Johnson went down this rat-hole. He admits – it’s pretty much a local issue. So why even go there, Gary?

  19. Another hill not worth dying on. Even less worth dying on than the gay cake hill.

    Only scientifically illiterate nutjobs don’t vaccinate their kids, so it’s not even a religious conscience issue. it’s just an “i’m a retard and I want to endanger my child’s health” issue.

    1. Tell that to my cousin, Chris and his wife, Robin. She breast fed her two kids until they were six and therefore, do not need to be vaccinated.

      And they are not nutjobs – they believe vaccines are bad. He’s a software engineer in Seattle. She’s a teacher (home schooler).

      1. The first paragraph is not consistent with the statement “they are not nutjobs.”

        1. They are former Marin County/current Seattle residents.

          But they aren’t nut jobs in the religious sense. They just believe vaccines are misogynistic and a scam perpetrated by the greedy medical industry.

          So , okay – maybe they are nut jobs.

      2. Just to be clear, it’s not true that breastfeeding is a substitute for vaccinations. Not sure if you actually believed it, or that was just Robin.

        1. Sorry, but all of that post screams nutjobs.

          1. They believe vaccines are bad – they aren’t. They’re pretty damn good. Everyone should get them. But no one should be *forced* to.

          2. Breastfeeding will provide some limited protection – for a limited time and only to those diseases the mother has been exposed to (including through vaccination). Breastfeeding does not prime the child’s immune system like a vaccine does and will not provide protection when withdrawn. This isn’t arcana, its widely available information.

          3. Six? That’s pretty old. I would have thought that it was best practice to cut it off when the child can safely eat solid food. It is, functionally, the same as a bottle and no six year old should be on a bottle.

          1. I’ve got a toddler (1 year, 3 months) so while not a medical expert by any means I’ve been swimming in this topic very recently. Yeah, they’re nutjobs.

            Breastfeeding until your kid is 6 is bizarre. Most pediatricians recommend that kids move to solid food gradually as they’re able to consume it, generally starting with cereals (thin gruel, really, as disgusting as that sounds) and moving to thicker consistencies as they get older. Soft, solid food in small portions as they get teeth. At 1 year, they should move from breast milk or formula in bottles to cow’s milk from sippy cups, eliminating bottles and formula entirely. There’s no medical risk to keeping them on formula/breast milk, it’s just that by the 1 year mark they’re not getting enough calories or nutrients without including regular food, and it’s a good idea to get them used to eating regularly before it becomes a problem.

            Breastfeeding does convey some immune boost, but only for the first month or two.

            And vaccines are right up there with germ theory as the most important medical development in human history.

        2. Me? I vaccinated my kids. And I don’t advocate for Robin’s position, just reporting it.

        3. Me? I vaccinated my kids. And I don’t advocate for Robin’s position, just reporting it.

  20. So Ron once again conflates the beneficial side effects of vaccination with the primary purpose in order to come up with the Statist position (or an approximation thereof). Using this logic, I can get “libertarian” positions FOR the war on drugs, sex work prohibitions, and virtually any other position if there exists any externality possible and coercive force can be used to ensure compliance from all of humanity.

    1. I disagree with Bailey on this issue, but I think that’s more an approximation for our objections than an accurate approximation of his position.

      Bailey is not one to suffer fools gladly. If you’re putting him and others at risk unnecessarily and for stupid reasons, then he’s going to you doing that.

      We should all be free to do anything so long as it doesn’t harm other people, but if refusing to have your child vaccinated results in some third party suffering and dying, then what you’re doing has harmed someone.

      I think that’s a correct approximation of Bailey’s position. It is not my position.

      1. And if you have religious objections to vaccination – what then? Screw your religion, the state is supreme?

        Bailey’s problem is that he too easily resorts to force and coercion when his efforts at persuasion fail.

        Bailey – the scientific evidence of vaccination is clear.
        Anti-vax – not to me

        Bailey – what are you, nutz? The evidence is clear!
        Anti-vax – God said no, so no.

        Bailey – You’re not allowed to say no!

      2. Bailey has a choice, get himself (or his children) vaccinated or not. How is my identical choice creating risk for him?

        If he’s vaccinated he’s not at risk, if he’s not vaccinated he’s chosen to assume the risk just like I did. My choice did not create his risk, his did.

        To go from there to my having an affirmative duty to mitigate his risks as well as my own cannot be done on libertarian principles. You must deny both of us autonomy and condone the pre-emptive use of force over possible scenarios however unlikely or costly.

        1. “If he’s vaccinated he’s not at risk, if he’s not vaccinated he’s chosen to assume the risk just like I did.”

          We’re getting into the science now.

          Vaccines are not 100% effective. Their effectiveness varies by vaccine, but some of the common ones for really bad diseases are only 90% effective.

          That means being vaccinated does not protect those children. They’re still subject to the disease if they’re exposed to it–even if they’re vaccinated. In order to not get the disease, they’re depending on herd immunity. That means that if anyone in the herd gets it, the chances of it spreading to someone who has been vaccinated but for which the vaccination was ineffective is very low–because the vector has been cut off by the immunity of the rest of the herd around them. The spread of the disease to the vaccinated but still vulnerable, in other words, is severely inhibited by the fact that everyone around them has been vaccinated and 90% of them are immune.

          In some parts of the country where there are large groups of people who don’t vaccinate their children, the effect can be devastating to children who were vaccinated but for which the vaccine was ineffective.

          Not that it’s acceptable for unvaccinated children to die of easily preventable diseases, but the fact is that by refusing to have your own children vaccinated, you really are putting other people’s vaccinated children at much greater risk of infection–without their consent or input.

          1. If you look hard enough, you will eventually find that everything we do or don’t do has a negative impact on other people in some way.

            Concentrate on why Wickard v. Filburn is wrong.

            The Court ruled that a man cannot grow wheat on his own property for his own consumption because by growing his own wheat, that meant he was buying less of it on the interstate market. Therefore, the government was justified in prohibiting him from growing wheat on his own property for his own consumption because what he was doing was harming other people.

            It may seem unnatural to argue that we have a right to harm other people, but that’s what it boils down to.

            The solution is not to deny that growing our own wheat on our own property doesn’t harm anyone else. It does! That’s the way markets work. Everything we buy or don’t buy has an impact on the market. Every time we buy from one competitor rather than the other, we’re hurting the company we rejected.

            And that’s okay.

          2. Try to weave that into your vaccine narrative. Don’t try to claim that what you do is okay because it doesn’t have any impact on other people like Bailey. Everything you do or don’t do has a negative impact on somebody like Bailey. The point is that you have a right to make choices for yourself–even if your choices negatively impact other people–be they wheat farmers or children who were vaccinated but for whom the vaccine was ineffective. Nobody likes to be the guy that champions something that makes babies get sick and die, but if that’s what’s right, I’ll stand up for that.

            I’m also in favor of respecting the Fifth Amendment in cases of arson. I’ll own that.

        2. Some vaccines can’t be given to very young children.

          If the “herd” isn’t vaccinated, those children are at risk of harm, even if their parents want to vaccinate them.

          To me, this is the most compelling argument. These children are at arguably unnecessary risk that their parents can’t reasonably mitigate.

          That said, the Baileys fail to acknowledge that vaccination has both monetary and biological costs. Vaccines are actually pretty expensive, and they do contain a finite risk of serious harm.

          So, even if the “correct” answer is for everyone to assume the small risk to mitigate the large harm, how is it possibly libertarian to force me to accept the significant cost and the small but real risk of harm for the benefit of someone else?

          1. There’s also the question of how vaccines will affect children with a genetic proclivity to develop hyperactive auto-immune diseases.

            The true cause of Crohn’s disease, for instance, is mysterious. There are contributing factors like the Hygiene Hypothesis, but there are also indications that there are genetic proclivities involved.

            For whatever reason, the victim’s autoimmune system starts targeting their small intestine as if it were an invading virus. It often doesn’t show up until people in their 30s.

            Why do their white blood cells attack their own body? It’s like your immune system is attacking something that isn’t there–and it’s really counterintuitive for people who have the disease to get vaccinated for anything. For one, even when patients get a cold or the flu, it triggers their immune system to go hyperactive and their Crohn’s symptoms typically flare up.

            Even apart from that, beefing up an immune system that’s already hyperactive and fighting something that isn’t there by way of a vaccine–to fight something that isn’t there–is really counterintuitive by itself.

            And what about people who have children with a genetic proclivity for an autoimmune disease like that? Just because no symptoms have shown up yet, shouldn’t their parents be given the discretion to choose whether to beef up their child’s immune system to fight a virus that isn’t there?

          2. To me, this is the most compelling argument. These children are at arguably unnecessary risk that their parents can’t reasonably mitigate.

            However – the *parents* chose for them to assume that risk. Its not incumbent upon me to change my behavior just because you’ve made a decision that increases your chance of harm from behavior I’ve already been doing.

    2. I think Bailey is making the same mistake as Mill. The formulation that we should all be free to do anything so long as it doesn’t harm someone almost gets it right. Scientific progress and misapplication of the commerce clause have shown us that everything we do (or don’t do) harms someone in some way. The correct formulation is that we should be free to do anything so long as we don’t violate someone’s rights.

      There’s an important difference there. A right is the right to make a choice. We should be free to act so long as we account for other people’s right to make a choice–for themselves.

      But we can, do, and should be free to harm other people by our choices. I should be free to start a pizza business next to your and drive you out of business with better quality, better service, and lower prices so that you go out of business, the bank forecloses on your house, and your wife leaves you and takes the kids, and you eventually kill yourself.

      I should be free to do anything–even if it harms you–so long as I don’t violate your right to make choices for yourself.

      It’s my right to make choices for myself that should be paramount, too. Bailey should be free to do as he pleases so long as it doesn’t violate my right to choose whether I’m vaccinated, too.

      1. It seems like a “lose-lose” with vaccinations. I doubt anti-vaccers are deliberately going out to harm others. They may be ignorant but they’re not malicious.

        And there are religions who are against vaccination. Is Bailey against freedom of conscience?

        1. “Is Bailey against freedom of conscience?”

          No. Bailey isn’t against freedom of conscience, and if you tell him you want to be free to do something that infects children with debilitating diseases and kills them, he’ll probably inquire about your conscience.

          I think Bailey might argue that people don’t have a right to hurt and kill children because of the First Amendment any more than they have a right to shoot children because of the Second Amendment.

          . . . but at some point, I think I’ll have to let Bailey explain himself. I don’t agree with Bailey on this issue, but I understand him well enough. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that just because we disagree with someone doesn’t mean we can’t understand their position.

          Also, sometimes just because they disagree with a lot of libertarians doesn’t mean their position is unlibertarian, too. Whenever I think what Bailey or Sullum are saying is unlibertarian, it’s usually a good sign that I misunderstood what they were saying.

          The great thing about being a libertarian is that once we agree that we should all be free to make our own choices, we don’t have to agree on much else in order to be a libertarian.

          1. The problem is that Bailey doesn’t believe in his own science. Or he believes in a riskless society.

            And honestly, how can you saw those are “your microprobes”. My cat has fleas – they’re not his fleas.

            Bailey might as well blame God for creating the microprobes, because that is who the owner is. But Bailey doesn’t believe in God.

            1. When my cat gets fleas can I sue you for not using frontline?

              1. Frontline? That stuff will kill your cat.

              2. Frontline? That stuff will kill your cat.

          2. If memory serves, I saw a statistic that said more people die of complications from measles vaccines than die of measles. If true, you forcing vaccination more risky for them dying then for them to cause someone to die. Therefore the policy Baile wants will cause more deaths than not.

            1. If more people die from the measles vaccine than die from the measles, it’s probably because so many people have been vaccinated against it that the disease doesn’t appear very often or spread much anymore.

              The suggestion that we should stop doing something because its been so effective is problematic.

      2. I like this answer. It’s not a very warm and fuzzy one, but it gets to the point that we do in fact harm each other on a regular basis. It’s called “competition.”

  21. I don’t understand why Johnson is taking a stand unnecessarily on controversial issues.

    Why divide your support over controversial issues?

    Dividing your tent into smaller pieces is no way to play the big tent game.

    Taking a stand on issues that divide your support is no way to maximize yourself as a protest candidate either.

    Next time somebody asks him about childhood vaccination, take a bold stand against infant mortality and in support of suffering parents.

    1. You consider being pro-mandatory-vaccination controversial?

      Exactly what percentage of the population do you think are anti-vaxxers?

      1. You consider being pro-mandatory-vaccination controversial?

        Around here, a larger percentage.

        Exactly what percentage of the population do you think are anti-vaxxers?

        There is a 3rd category that is both pro-vax and anti-mandatory-vax.

        1. Weird. It’s like we want to legalize drugs and not do them all.

      2. anti-vaxxer =/= those against the government forcing people to vax

      3. This will cost Johnson votes. Watch.

        1. This and just about everything else he says. Where’s the 2012 Gary Johnson? I voted for THAT guy!

      4. You consider being pro-mandatory-vaccination controversial?

        Oh, yes it is. Texas was forced to abandon its mandate for HPV vaccination by popular demand.…..story.html

        He just lost votes in Texas, I guarantee it.

        1. That wasn’t about vaccines, per se. That was about the state encouraging girls to have sex.

          Or something like that.

          Key words: “sexually transmitted virus”

      5. Do you understand the idea that women should be free to make choices about their own bodies in terms of abortion?

        I’m not asking whether you agree with that argument, only whether you understand it.

        If so, then you should also understand the argument that women should be free to make choices about what is injected into their bodies–regardless of whether it has an impact on third parties.

        Also, as others have suggested, just because I’m not an anti-vaxer doesn’t mean I don’t care about the issue. Plenty of women wouldn’t care about the abortion issue much–if no one were threatening to take their right to an abortion away.

        There are plenty of people who only start caring about their right to refuse vaccinations as soon as someone decides they want to start making them mandatory.

      6. Isn’t it a local issue? Why go down this rat-hole?

    2. Assuming this is calculated, this is a way to distinguish himself from the Greens for any waivering democrats. She is a wacky anti-vaxxer, while GJ is for science… Or he was just responding honestly to a question. Hard to tell with him.

  22. As far as free-riders go – who’s the free rider? The person who doesn’t get vaccinated or the person relying on herd-immunity to boost the effectiveness of their vaccination?

  23. Anti-vaxxers are not dumb. They tend to be upper-middle class, well educated snobs. It’s the same appeal as bitcoin: you get a kick out of showing off that you’re smart enough to know you’re an idiot.

    1. I believe in vaccinations and yes, anti-vaxxers are Luddites. But, I am also a firm believer in Darwinism.

    2. upper-middle class and well educated in no way rules out dumb…

      1. My cousin and his wife . . . . Home schoolers (cuz, anti-vax), Democrats, Seattle residents.

  24. Deep dish pizza… abortion… circumcisions…

    1. That is the most disgusting pizza ever made.

      1. That is the most disgusting pizza ever made.

        Sounds tasty to me. Deep dish with a “innard sausage” made with some fresh fennel and coriander, and some well cured spiced foreskins that crisp up like a tiny little pepperoni…

        Maybe with a nice Chianti. Yums!

  25. I can think of nothing more ‘libertarian’ than forcing parents to inject their children with needles. Why should they have any say in how they raise their children?

    Now, some crazies would say that people can choose to inoculate their children or not, but that doesn’t prevent government from saying they cannot attend public school unless they do (you know, they way it works already in most states). That’s CRAZY! Who are they do decide? The state knows best.

    Seriously, I’m starting to think Reason is just trolling libertarians.

  26. As ever, an Iron Law is apropos:

    You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

    1. Yeah that one fails laughably here. It couldn’t be more perfect a platitude to illustrate the stupidity of your beliefs in this context. Your freedom to be wrong here means the illness and death of children. Be wrong with your own health.

      1. My cousin & his wife and as liberal as you are. Moved to Seattle. Software engineer. Progressives. Vote Democrat. And anti-vaxxers because vaccines are medical conspiracy perpetrated by a racist, misogynistic society.

      2. Witness the most free person in existence under that Iron Law.

        Thanks for the demonstration Tony

      3. Yet your freedom to be wrong has already killed tens of millions in multiple nations around the world.

  27. Obviously it’s such an intrusion for government to require you to submit your child to being stabbed with a needle! The visual is outrageous!

    But of course everyone’s just fine with all of society being subjected to norms of property rights and the enforcement apparatus that secures them. What if I want to be an anti-propertarian? I think property is a demon concept. Oh, but you’re going to use the full force of United States law and order to enforce herd acceptance of the legitimacy of property? To solve the problem of, what? People not having that good American feeling of owning shit?

    If you’re okay with government guns enforcing anything, then employing them to prevent the spread of deadly pathogens shouldn’t be a problem.

    1. That’s the most inane logic I’ve ever heard. You need a better comparison. No one is forcing you to own property through the barrel of a gun

      1. No one is forcing you to own property through the barrel of a gun


      2. Indecent exposure. There is a bare (ha!) minimum of property that must be owned.

    2. And of course Tony has to jump on here and bellow out an emotional, rambling screech of incoherence that is largely unrelated to the subject at hand.

      We prefer to use the force of law to defend property, because (and you can throw as much of a tantrum as you want about the government enforcing the notion of property) the opposite of that is not no property. It’s me defending what I consider my property by martial means, and taking what I wish from others via martial means. And somehow I doubt you have the means to prevent that.

      However, the beauty of a society that enforces property rights is that, if you really wanted Tony (which is why I actually think you’re full of shit and just emoting like a pathetic child) you can purchase land and enact a weird communalist society of your own. Communes have been set up throughout American history Tony, and the only people who would prevent you now is the people who you love, the regulators and the taxmen. So have fun with that.

    3. You’re completely free to reject property at any time. Just walk away. I am perfectly free to protect my property.

      1. I find that most people who bemoan the injustice of property as a concept never envision a world where they have less of it themselves. It’s more the property of other people they have a problem with, i.e. that other people should give it to them.

  28. Remember when Reason was a libertarian site? I am seriously asking. It has been a while. Reason’s new name should be Reasonbart. These defenses of Gary Johnson are getting just as ridiculous as Breitbart’s shilling for Trump.

    I guess the Gestapo will now be taking Amish kids away from their parents. Carbon tax? Mandatory Vaccinations? Bake the cake? WTF?

    1. Pithy, in a good way

  29. This guy makes Bob Barr look like a principled libertarian by comparison. Voting for the least of three evils is no better than voting for the least of two. The LP is just as lost as the Republicans and Dems.

    1. The difference is that there is no risk of GJ actually becoming president.

      A vote for Johnson is a vote for better ballot access for the Libertarian Party. And maybe an invitation to future debates.

      Those are good things and well worth a vote for GJ.

      1. That’s why I’ve always voted LP in the past. But what good is being invited to the debates, if we send someone who can’t even argue our position? I’d pay good money to keep him out, at this point.

        1. Have a brownie, you’ll feel better.

          He baked them himself, you know.

    2. I vote for the platform, not the politician. Platforms allow minor parties to change the laws. This is a good thing because the Solomon Asch experiment proved that 3 of 4 educated citizens will lie about facts to fit in with the crowd. Only outliers exercise independent judgment. We are in a sense like the sheepdogs whose spoiler vote yapping keeps herds of idiot sheep from doing something truly stupid–like stampeding over a cliff or helping the wolves kill the dogs. This is ordinary self preservation.

  30. If this turns out to be true and not another misrepresentation of the question and answer. Johnson will have destroyed ballot access in NC for future Libertarians. When California passed their mandatory vaccine law a similar one was attempted in NC and it went down in defeat. The people who fought so hard against that bill have a network of supporters through out NC. Supporters who could have been mobilized to do the ground work to support the LP ticket. Well Johnson and the LP can kiss that vital support good bye unless there is a clarification or a retraction.

  31. The more I think about this topic the more disturbing I find the concept of mandatory vaccination in a free society. Forced vaccination is not compatible with the concept of nonaggression. There is simply no place in a society that respects the rights of the individual for compelling medical procedures in order to prevent possible harms to theoretical victims. You cannot believe in liberty and also believe that the state has a right to violate every individual’s most fundamental human right–the ownership of their own bodies–in anticipation of potential harm to society as a collective whole.

    I’m not a fan of No True Scotsman libertarianism, but this is one of those issues that really do act as a litmus test.

    1. Once you’re dead from riding the wrong bus or plane, I’ll gladly drop a piece of litmus paper on your sealed coffin.

  32. Ok, maybe he won’t meet Harry Browne’s goal of 5% of the vote.

    Whine about polls and ballot access laws all you want. Snipe at Republicans even when they’re not nominating goofballs like Trump. The LP is still its own worst enemy.

  33. At this point I barely give a s*** whether climate change is real or mass immigration is beneficial or catastrophic to the future of the country. But I do care if politicians pander to the idiots who won’t vaccinate their children.

    1. At this point I barely give a s*** whether climate change is real or mass immigration is beneficial or catastrophic to the future of the country. But I do care if politicians pander to the idiots who won’t vaccinate their children or want to smoke pot. or abort their children, or deny me the right to “open burn” on my property, or even buy heroin from the vending machine if front of Target, etc.

      If I go to work tomorrow and someone has a “summer cold”, can I just shoot him? Or, do I have to call the Gov’t to do it for me? He is deliberately infecting me with his virus!

  34. I wonder why I don’t see this talked about more: When you are able to fight off an illness, your immune system becomes stronger, and better able to fight off the next illness.

    Some vaccines might/are probably necessary. Some aren’t that effective (Flu).

    Doesn’t that mean that picking and choosing vaccinations carefully (not going for every vaccination that comes out) would keep our immune systems stronger?

    Personally, for the past five years, I have been paying attention to the people around me who have received a flu vaccination, and the ones that get vaccinated get the flu. I haven’t had the flu in about 12 years since I stopped getting the flu vaccination. I haven’t been sick with much else since then, except for mild sore throats and one case of whooping cough (which I treated easily).

    Instead of arguing whether or not vaccinations cause autism, I would like to see an argument about whether or not vaccinations lower our immunity?

    If anyone has ever pondered this, please comment!

    1. Purely anecdotal, but after about four years of not getting the flu I got it again last winter–the first season I’d ever gotten a flu shot. So, was it just a particularly potent virus? Did the developers of the vaccine miss the right flu strain? Did the vaccine itself weaken my immune system? No idea. And I have no scientific evidence or even nonscientific causal chain to explain what happened. All I know is that I’ll probably not bother with it this year, or next, or the one after that.

    2. I have not arrived at serious conclusions, but ration out vitamins and other crutches in an effort to gauge a minimax solution between atrophy and deficiency diseases without access to any equations or reliable data. For the past couple of centuries swarms of flimflam artists and officious prohibitionists, both wrong, have vied in a tug of war. I am sympathetic toward epidemic avoidance on grounds of individual rights but skeptical of coercive meddling to make the world a better, holier or more altruistic place. Yellow fever vaccinations, mandatory when I was a youth, impress one with a healthy respect for that particular epidemic. The real pity is that in this mixed economy one cannot trust the advice of venal physicians.

  35. I think the amount of sugar in our diet is also a big national health crisis. So lets all come together and make it illegal to eat more than some number our best scientists can come up with as the allowable amount of sugar. Some states have already started with banning big gulp sodas. Oh wait I believe in freedom so lets not. Same thing with vaccines. Leave people alone to make their own choices.

  36. Call me a rube or whatever but are the people at greatest risk the ones who don’t vaccinate? They can carry whatever infection but it shouldn’t impact those who are vaccinated, no?

    So why the need to make it ‘mandatory’ if we accept the ‘public at large menace’ is questionable? If a person chooses not to do so (however irrational it is – and it is) it’s their peaceful right to do so. Just like a baker refusing to bake a cake for gay couples or Catholic institutions refusing to give out free contraception – even after being bullied by Obama (God bless those Nuns) – are free to make such decisions.

    Why must we demand the government to step in and exact punitive measures against people? Sometimes ruining lives and businesses.

    This is justice?


  37. Article needs update. As of Thursday night, Johnson says “f the zombie apocalypse happens, as president I will mandate vaccination. Until then it’s a matter of choice.”

    1. Just googled and verified. That’s good. So it’s just Mr. Bailey who is wrong on this one…

  38. In addition, he has now come to recognize the importance of herd immunity for protecting vulnerable people who are too young to be vaccinated, whose vaccinations have failed to take, and those whose immune systems are compromised.

    Those whose immune systems are compromised are at risk from thousands of viruses, most of which we don’t have vaccines against; they can’t live a normal life no matter how completely the population is vaccinate. Those too young to be vaccinated are too young because they still carry antibodies from their mother and are protected by it.

    For more background, see my article, “Refusing Vaccination Puts Others Risk,” in which I explain that there is no principled libertarian case for free-riders to refuse to take responsibility for their own microbes.

    Mostly, that article proves your scientific illiteracy. The primary reason for the common childhood vaccines is paternalistic: those childhood diseases are generally fairly benign, but occasionally cause birth defects or serious disease.

  39. Welp, Gary just lost MY vote. Guess I will be writing in Ron Paul.

  40. How in Gods name is forced vaccination a good, or libertarian thing? This is one more BAD change in opinion he has had. If there were bubonic plague version 2.0 ravaging the world killing off half the planet I could see a temporary forced vaccination thing in a super emergency type situation… Sometimes authoritarian shit has to go down in the real world… But not for the flu, or 99% of the other useless crap they vaccinate you for.

    Not to mention that vaccines DO have side effects, even if autism isn’t one of them. I would rather take my chances getting some illness, that I’m probably unlikely to get in the first place, that usually isn’t fatal vs getting stuck with 20 more needles in my lifetime, PLUS added risk of some side effects from getting stuck all those times.

    It should be my right to do so, and I don’t see where it’s an entirely illogical choice either. Vaccine efficacy for many of them is greatly exaggerated, while the negative side effects are often under reported. AND to add insult to injury you can’t even sue the bastards thanks to crony capitalism.

    No thanks. Unvaccinated for the last 20 or so years and just fine with being so.

    1. Fine, but try getting a visa to cross a border.

  41. We again see a stand-off between our pro-liberty and anti-government factions. Among anti-vax libertarians, that begs the question, how many of them are also fighting to demand that ant-vax parents be held liable for any damages caused by their decision? That’s not the case today, and it’s an obvious libertarian resolution here. How many?

    Or how many dismiss any concerns for my son’s health with some versions of the low probability of damage to my son. There’s also a low probability of murder and rape, Should they be legalized? And the risk to my son is mathematically identical to the risk facing everyone susceptible to the disease in question?

    If a meteor was heading toward earth, large enough to cause immense damage, with many scientists believing it could even knock us out of orbit … how many would argue that government cannot have any role in blocking or diverting this threat, because that would be another power grab by big government?

    1. I’ve read and reread your comment and no matter how I try to look at it I can’t see past the straw men and muddled reasoning. In fact, combined with your handle, I’m going to assume you’re trolling. The alternative is too depressing to contemplate.

      1. So you’re saying we should let a meteor destroy earth rather than prove yourself wrong about evil big government…?

        Eh, pretty typical. Your philosophy is so fucking dumb the only way it persists is through impenetrable layers of delusional narcissism.

        1. Little early to start sniffing glue, don’t you think? But who am I to judge? Live and let live, I say.

      2. I can’t see past the straw men and muddled reasoning.

        You reject the principle that people should be legally liable for the consequences of their actions, So my comment now has a working example.

    2. It’s pretty hard to prove – that damage thingy. After all, chicken pox may have killed the Native Americans, but it was just a rash for William Bradford. How was Bradford supposed to know the Natives were so weak?

      1. “It’s pretty hard to prove – that damage thingy.

        Only if it’s inconvenient to one’s narrative

        “After all, chicken pox may have killed the Native Americans, but it was just a rash for William Bradford. How was Bradford supposed to know the Natives were so weak?”

        Bradford refused the vaccine? Do you have a source for that assertion?.
        Do you reject that the parents should be liable for the consequences of their own actions?

  42. The context of all the comments seems to be, “Vaccines are all good ? with the exception of some rare, 1-in-a-million events.”

    But what if that’s untrue? How would that change the conversation?

    Aluminum nanoparticles: we are discovering that these are not fully excreted but instead are engulfed by macrophages and moved around the body including to the bone and brain. See Gherardi’s work at the University of Paris Est.

    Immune activation: an activated immune system will overwhelm the immunotolerance mechanisms and cause the body to attack itself (Ken mentioned Crohn’s disease). See Kanduc’s work at the University of Bologna showing that humans share peptide sequences with all viral pathogens, which is why the immunotolerance mechanisms developed in the first place. It is due to the similarity between human peptide and viral peptide sequences that vaccines cause autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s.

    So what if a large part of the tremendous increase in autoimmune diseases in developed nations is actually due to repeated immune stimulation by the vaccines?

    Given what we are learning about the damage vaccines can do, at some point the risk/reward calculation for most people is going to reverse. The anti-vaxxers are just the first to learn all this and refuse to risk themselves or their child.

    1. The context of all the comments seems to be, “Vaccines are all good ? with the exception of some rare, 1-in-a-million events.”

      Uh, no. The context of most of the comments is, whether or not I get vaccinated is my choice (with consequences) and not the government’s.

      The anti-vaxxers are just the first to learn all this and refuse to risk themselves or their child.

      And so it seems that the context of your comment is that vaccines don’t actually prevent the spread of communicable diseases, which is patently false. The risk of a vaccine doing you harm, which is extremely low for most vaccines, has to be weighed against the risk of contracting the disease that it prevents and the harm that it would do to you.

      You have the right to refuse to vaccinate, a right that enjoys widespread support in these comments. But you also have the responsibility to accept the consequences, which vary from being denied admission to public and private facilities to suffering harm and even dying from the disease the vaccine would have prevented you from contracting.

      1. Yes, that is another context.

        What is conspicuously missing is much conversation about the known damage that vaccines can cause. It’s all about the damage spreading a disease.

        Ken raised the point about Crohn’s disease being vaccine-induced. The science is actually much further along and we are understanding how vaccines cause other autoimmune diseases ? and we have figured out the general mechanism (which I described above; peptide sharing).

        See the recent medical textbook by Shoenfeld:
        Vaccines and Autoimmunity, Wiley, 2015…..-MD17.html

        My point is that there are rights not to take the risk of a vaccine due to the damage they can cause and that’s almost nowhere in the comments. Most of the comments talk about those not wanting to get these generally benign disease (in developed countries; different story in under developed countries).

  43. Ronald needs to look up the definition of a health hazard. He would discover that my sneezing ebola mist into his face does indeed produce neighborhood effects. The subject is distorted by organized superstition pressure groups banding together to have politicians force girls to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. A glance at the population growth graph tells any population biologist there is a health hazard to be had there, not so different in effect from the presence of plague-ridden classmates. Gary has made a good call for whatever reason. The initiation of force through stupidity or superstition is still the initiation of harmful or deadly force.

  44. Gary Johnson changes his mind.

    Now if only Ron Bailey could change his . . . .

  45. No one ever bothered to find out what question was asked in the first place. Bailey was so thrilled it appeared that Johnson supported mandatory vaccinations. That he couldn’t be bothered with a detail like why the question asked wasn’t presented and only the disjointed reply. Why say, “that vaccine,” if he was talking about an entire schedule of vaccines? Seems he was asked about a pandemic national emergency situation and gave a reasonable response. But that got twisted by political enemies as well as those so who desperately wanted the spin to be true to run with a false narrative. Clarification isn’t a change of mind it is clarification of intent. Really liked it much better when Reason Magazine was actually a Libertarian Magazine.

  46. Mandatory vaccination is troubling for numerous reasons. But a few:

    * Science is by its very nature epistemologically provisional and interpretive. It is not an oracle that hands down unassailable truth. Appeals to consensus or authority cannot change this. Scientific “truths” should have no more basis for justifying coercion than any set of religious tenets.

    * The scientific truths of yesteryear have an tendency to become the abhorrences of today. (E.g. SC case “Buck v Bell” which upheld the then-scientifically-supported right of governments to force sterilize). Only hubris can contend a priori that we won’t be wrong this time.

    * Are many of the rabidly pro-vax here aware that vaccines are liability-free products? The NVICA has eliminated these rights of consumers with regard to vaccines. Mandatory vaccination is coerced subjugation to state-enforced moral hazard.

    * Many, including myself, disagree on fundamentally scientific grounds with the commonly (and uncritically) held view of vaccines as safe and effective. Have we a right to think and reason freely and act accordingly? Or must we not only subject our bodies to the state but our minds as well, to its sanctioned interpretations and preferred “science du jour”? We have modernized the orthodoxy-enforcing Inquisition, having simply shuffled the priesthood to comprise scientific technocrats and replaced appeals to God with appeals to some mystical all-knowing voice of “science.”

  47. Gary Johnson is for mandatory vaccine? Oh geez if so I can’t vote for that non sense. Considering that we all grew up healthy with no vaccines, we are all healthy and since herd immunity is just an unproven theory that in reality really applies to a Mother passing on her natural antibodies to her children and through breast milk, cause even if you were vaccinated, immunity is only temporary at best and wears off so really injecting heavy metals and that stuff into your blood is going to give you chronic inflammation which leads to chronic disease. So enjoy, and also common sense, you can’t pass a disease vector that you don;t have. If you really just think about it, you probably come into people every day, at the buffet, super market, wherever, disease rates have dropped because we live in a clean country, good hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition. Your immune system fights off invaders on its own and that allows your immune system to adapt and grow stronger. So best not to tinker with Mother Nature, She has already done a great job at creating your powerful immune system.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.