Vaccine mandates

Abbott's Vaccine Order Is Just as Oppressive as Biden's

Neither politician is willing to tolerate deviation from the one business policy he thinks is best.

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As recently as late August, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said private businesses in his state were free to require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. His press secretary explained that "private businesses don't need government running their business."

Abbott evidently reassessed that premise, because last week he issued an executive order that says "no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer." For anyone who genuinely cares about overweening government interference with free enterprise, Abbott's order is just as objectionable as the pending federal rule demanding that private companies with 100 or more employees require them to choose between vaccination and weekly coronavirus testing.

Abbott likes to brag about his state's "business-friendly climate." But even before last week's order, he was not prepared to let businesses decide for themselves how best to address COVID-19 hazards.

A state law that Abbott signed on June 16 says "a business in this state may not require a customer to provide any documentation certifying the customer's COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery on entry to, to gain access to, or to receive service from the business." Here is how Abbott explained his support for that law: "Texas is open 100 percent, and we want to make sure that you have the freedom to go where you want without limits."

That position sacrifices property rights and freedom of association on the altar of an unlimited "freedom" that has never been legally recognized: a customer's right to dictate the terms on which businesses offer products or services. By Abbott's logic, any business that proclaims "no shirt, no shoes, no service" or sets other rules for customers is thereby violating their freedom of movement.

The June 16 law still allowed businesses to require that their employees be vaccinated. But now Abbott has eliminated that option as well.

In principle, Abbott's order, which he asked the Texas legislature to codify, is no less outrageous than President Joe Biden's plan to dictate employers' vaccine policies through an "emergency temporary standard" issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While Abbott accused Biden of "bullying" private employers, the governor is equally unwilling to tolerate deviation from the one business policy he thinks is best.

The conflict between the OSHA rule (which has not been published yet) and Abbott's decree puts Texas businesses in an uncomfortable position. Large employers can either listen to him, risking federal fines by defying OSHA, or ignore him, risking state fines by flouting one of the governor's "emergency" orders.

The Houston Chronicle reports that "major corporations based in Texas, including Southwest Airlines and American Airlines," said "they would abide by Biden's rules over Abbott's." What about the owners of smaller companies who have concluded that requiring vaccination makes good business sense? Abbott thinks their opinions don't matter.

"The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced," Abbott tweeted last week. But if someone is "forced" to do something whenever it is a condition of employment, all sorts of business decisions are ripe for second-guessing by politicians who deem them unfair or unreasonable.

"Texas is where liberty lives," Abbott's office says. "That's why the Lone Star State leads the nation in job creation over the last 10 years and in population growth over the last 14. As the 9th largest economy among the nations of the world, Texas offers a business-friendly climate—with no corporate or personal income tax—along with a highly skilled workforce, easy access to global markets, robust infrastructure and predictable regulations."

Those "predictable regulations" apparently include Abbott's unilateral ban on employee vaccination requirements, which came less than two months after he said such policies would be allowed. Despite what you might think, Abbott's idea of "liberty" clearly does not include the freedom to run your own business, unencumbered by arbitrary government edicts.

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Banning second class citizenship is just as oppressive as being a second class citizen, apparently. Way to go, reason.

    1. I will never understand this libertarian belief that saying "You cannot make somebody do this" is NO BETTER than "You must do this"

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      2. I will never understand this libertarian belief that saying “You cannot make somebody do this” is NO BETTER than “You must do this”

        Well, start with the fact that it's NOT a 'libertarian belief'. Once you get that, the rest is obvious.

        Slaver's gotta slaver

        1. +1

          Sullum has a narrow point here but it's so narrow as to be meaningless.

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      3. Because no one is making anyone do anything. No one is going around holding a gun to someone's head and forcing them to get a vaccine. They are merely making a vaccine a condition of employment or of entry. If you don't want to get a vaccine, find another job, or patronize another store.

        1. They are making people do things. Biden wants to make employers require vaccines. Can't go find a different employer because the same rule applies to them.

          But yeah, if you don't want to get a vaccine, that's fine, just don't have a job. If you want to be an employer and refuse to enforce the vaccine requirement, that's fine, just pay fines until you're bankrupt or go to jail. If you don't want to pay taxes, that's fine, just don't have any assets because the government will take them and you might go to jail.

          Everything a government does is backed by the implicit and explicit threat of violence.

    2. Might have to get down to Sesame Street level to explain it to Reason:

      https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/One_of_These_Things

      1. Except one of these things is exactly like the other. They are mirror image intrusions into economic freedom.

        1. Mike I think you are missing their point - they aren't saying it isn't an intrusion it's that this is better to balance off the other intrusion that wasn't decided by freedom...

          1. I know they are saying that, but I disagree. I believe that the perception that one side's government intrusion into economic freedom is better than the other sides is driven by the commenters' partisan and anti-vax prejudices.

            1. "anti-vax prejudices."

              Yup, "confer with your doctor" is quite the anti-vax prejudice.

              I'm fully vaccinated IN SPITE of me having had COVID early last year. But rules had to be followed and it gave my in-laws piece of mind due to their severe immuno compromised status.

            2. Shorter Mike: It is a republican, so I will spend HOURS arguing about why he is as bad as the democrats making vaccine mandates that I can't be bothered to condemn.

              1. It’s always that way with him, and Sarc. No honest debate to be had with either of them.

            3. It's one thing to require a haircut or a uniform to be employed. It's quite another to require a medical intervention of arguable benefit. A line has been crossed.

          2. For example, look at Kungpowderfinger's comment. He makes no argument, and just assumes that the issue is as simply black-and-white as a Sesame Street song. No addressing at all of the rights of business owners and investors.

            1. Republicans telling businesses what they may or may not do is good because Republicans.

              Democrats telling businesses what they can or cannot do is bad because Democrats.

              1. Pretty much.

                Also, it should be memory holed that Trump was the guy who started the CDC eviction moratorium.

                1. That's it! You're confusing the narrative with facts! Gonna have to mute you!

                  /Ken

                  1. If you guys weren’t such douchebag partisans, you’d remember that everyone here has said that Trump was wrong to do that.

                  2. Now that you two idiots found each other, you can go fuck and leave the rest of us alone with your sophistry and histrionics.

              2. You, sarc and other lefties, have now spent longer in the comments 1) arguing that you shouldn't have to criticize vaccine mandates and 2) arguing that mandate-bans are just as bad as mandates than you have actually spent criticizing the mandates.

              3. More like: Anyone telling businesses not to infringe on your rights is better than anyone telling businesses to infringe on your rights.

                And no, you don’t have a right to know my vaccination (or any other medical) status.

        2. They are mirror image intrusions into economic freedom.

          You do know reflections in mirrors aren't actual objects, right? Go around, smash a bunch of mirrors, they'll all break from your side, never the reflection's.

        3. Assuming arguendo that your bullshit argument is, in fact, legitimate, only one of them is an intrusion on health care freedom. So they are in fact not exactly like the other. Of course, given the threats and pressure from the federal government it has jack fucking all to do with economic freedom and everything to do with satisfying diktats from the neofascists currently in power.

    3. So, now Abbott has made second-class citizens of business owners, taking away their right to run their own private businesses as they see fit.

      1. But that was already gone via the impending OSHA so I'm confused on why you are trying to make this point now?

        1. So, now it's doubly gone.

          1. Wasn't it "gone" when we decided they did not have sole discretion of who they hire or serve?

        2. I'm guessing leftist hatred for a GOP gov or the state itself.

          To be clear, Abbott's order is an attempt to restore some of the freedom stripped by the Federal order.

          Yes, it is true, this IS another order but only an idiot can't see the difference.

          1. I'm a libertarian, not a leftist. And I am making a libertarian critique of Abbott's order. He didn't neutralize the OSHA order (which hasn't even happened yet), he over-corrected in the opposite direction.

            By the way, the article mentions that well before the announcement of the OSHA order, Abbott had already issued a mandate to Texas businesses saying they cannot require proof of vaccination from _customers_. That was an ordering around of businesses that wasn't a counter to any Federal action.

        3. It’s been gone since the passage of the CRA, so nearly 60 years.

      2. Ask the wedding cake guy, the flower lady in Richland, Washington--even Lester Maddox--about second-class citizenship for business owners.

        1. What is your point? Do you think I supported someone being forced to make a wedding cake? I didn't.

          1. But they should be forced to vax and wear a mask per President Biden regardless of whether they bake a rainbow cake?

          2. My point: Abbot is far from alone in making second-class citizens of business owners.

            He is attempting to make employees into first-class citizens, which annoys the "muh free markuts say bizness can do whatever it wants to employees". But he is not doing a bad thing, on balance.

            1. But see, while Mike assures you that he doesn't support those other things. He merely finds this Gov Abbot (R)'s order the hill to fight on. No one can be sure why it is that Gov Abbot (R)'s reaction to Biden (D)'s mandate is the is the one that mike will spend post after post attacking. Why doesn't he spend post after post attacking Biden (D)'s mandate?

              It is truly a mystery.

              1. It isn’t a mystery.

            2. So, to be clear, you are saying that government's role is to protect employees from oppressive employer practices. Are you OK that you are taking the same position traditionally held by liberals and progressives?

              1. That's not what this is.

                This is a state government protecting its citizens and businesses from an unconstitutional and overreaching mandate from the federal govt.

                And, what's the big deal? If the vaccines work and the business owners and their employees clearly can get the vaccine if they want, then why does customer vaccine status even matter? The employees all should be protected if they want to be.

                Or do the vaccines not really work?

                1. @Dizzle

                  Your entire argument is premised on the idea that vaccines either work 100% or 0%. If they work somewhere in between it doesn't make any sense, because that means that vaccines are good, but vaccines+safety measures is better.

                  As it happens, the vaccines reduce your odds of infection and death by somewhere around 90%. Requiring everyone else to be vaccinated reduces the odds further. Ditto for masks. I think it is reasonable for most people to want to reduce their odds even more than vaccines do.

                  You're basically equivalent to a driver saying that they should be able to drive drunk, because other people are free to wear seatbelts if they want. Then when people complain that car accidents can still kill them even with a seatbelt, you say that seatbelts don't work.

          3. Funny how you always support the people who do force themselves in everyone.

      3. Seems MT-Man and Homple are both going for the "two wrongs make a right" defense.

        1. Abbott could have simply joined several other Republican governors who are pushing back on the OSHA order, but instead he has made Texas' businesses into pawns in a political game.

          1. One rule says you must restrict others freedom. One says you cannot. Yup, same thing.

            You would've been a hoot in the 1860's. "Yeah, slavery is wrong...but SO is not allowing somebody to own slaves"

            1. ne rule says you must restrict others freedom. One says you cannot. Yup, same thing.

              As long as "others" doesn't mean "business owners."

              1. They don’t count.

                1. Funny how pro-business Republicans are turning into leftists whining about corporate oppressors.

                  1. I'm pro-free enterprise. I want millions of tiny companies and zero remotely large ones. Google can go happily fuck itself and if it is smashed into a billion tiny entities, that'd be terrific.

                    There are very few less pro-capitalism people in the world than corporate CEO's

                    1. I want millions of tiny companies and zero remotely large ones.

                      Is there any logical reason for this? Large companies can do things small ones cannot, because of access to capital and economy of scale.

                      Would you like to abolish corporate farming and go back to family farms everywhere?

                      You should look up Chair Mao. I think you'd like the guy.

          2. He did.

            But instead of waiting around for that ruling, he just went around it.

            Not hard to figure out, except for your dumbass

        2. Some wrong things are worse than others.

      4. So, now Abbott has made second-class citizens of business owners, taking away their right to run their own private businesses as they see fit.

        Nah, the CRA of '64 did that. Since then, it's been a race to total government control of all business.

        Why, it's gotten so bad that the governor of Texas had to exercise some intrusive control in order to end some even more intrusive control

        1. Ohhh, it's ok because someone else did it first. Gotcha.

          1. Shorter sarcasmic: "Well, since the ball started rolling down the hill, makes no sense to do anything to try and slow it down..."

          2. Abbot should do this through the legislature. Doing as opposed to the Sarcasmic argument. “The rules say to only use fists when fighting. The democrats brought guns. But republicans are the real bad guys if they dare bring guns of their own. Both sides! Both sides!”

            If the situation were reversed, Sarc would defend the democrats for their ‘reasonable reaction under the circumstances’.

          3. Ohhh, it’s ok because someone else did it first. Gotcha.
            It's called fighting fire with fire. In politics, the people who stand on ceremony generally don't win anything besides debating (or is that masturbating?) competitions.

          4. Weren't you saying a couple of weeks ago that the government requiring vaccination to attend public school was not that big of a deal because there was already a precedent of that happening?

            BTW I completely agree that using precedent as justification for new government action is horrible and should be rejected, but that should apply in all cases. The path out of tyranny is not through adding more layers of it.

    4. And, as a practical matter, Abbott is now using business owners as pawns in a political game, making them bear the brunt of the Red vs. Blue partisan war by making it impossible for them to take a course of action to comply with both Federal and Texas law. So much for Texas’ widely-touted business friendliness.

      1. Feel free to provide the path that allows freedom and abides by the OSHA proposed regulation.

        1. Color me shocked you did not do so.

      2. "Abbott is now using business owners as pawns in a political game,"

        Never once have I seen Mike make this argument about the one who kicked off this Political Match- that being Biden.

        Biden was losing his ass because of the Afghanistan debacle, and so he changed the subject with a Vaccine Mandate. Did Mike once condemn that political game? No. He just says he doesn't support the mandate. But day after day he will be in here condemning Abbot for playing politics. On principle, right Mike? *snort*

        1. Don’t you know, Mike is the only try libertarian.

      3. Hey, maybe they'll all move back to CA, land of the business paradise run by Democrats!

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    6. Also, given their love of illegals due to ability to underpay them, this stance should not be a surprise.

    7. Well said.

      This just more non libertarian idiocy from Reason.

      Don't they realize that private companies have become proxies for the state??

  2. The conflict between the OSHA rule (which has not been published yet) and Abbott's decree puts Texas businesses in an uncomfortable position. Large employers can either listen to him, risking federal fines by defying OSHA, or ignore him, risking state fines by flouting one of the governor's "emergency" orders.

    One might think that's the whole point, in order to create legal grounds for Texas to sue the Federal government, so that companies don't just cave to the federal mandate. It gives them an out to do something unpopular with their customers by blaming federal regulations so they wouldn't want to bring a suit on their own, but by being trapped between two competing orders there's now grounds for a legal suit.

    It would be perfectly fine if businesses were coming to this decision to require proof of vaccination all on their own. That's a shitty policy for businesses over a certain size because they'll inevitably face lawsuits for wrongful termination or discrimination under the ADA. But if the federal government issues a mandate, suddenly they're in the clear and just abiding by the law, and the unvaccinated no longer have a right to work.

    Of course large businesses would prefer Biden's policy over Abbot's. It's a shield from all kind of lawsuits to enact a policy they'd like without having to face the actual repercussions of enacting it themselves.

    1. My understanding is that an executive function of government can't override a legislative one, like the ADA.

      1. Implementing regulations are made by the executive, purportedly pursuant to statute.

        The conflict here is state vs federal. Federal law is supreme, but that doesn't mean everything the federal government does is law.

        1. Nazi-Law isn't Supreme but rather an act of treason; The feds don't have the authority (i.e. They're not Kings). See Amendment X for a nice reminder.

        2. Tenth Amendment, anyone?

  3. Reason is wrong here.

    1. Reason has been consistently wrong since it was a cheerleader for the Iraq War

  4. I have to agree with the others.

    You cannot equate a mandate that actively prevents people from working if they have not had a certain medical procedure with a ban on such a mandate.

    There are many tyrannies, from the great to the petty, and a multi-billion dollar corporation holding your livelihood over your head has as much (if not more) power than vague threats from Washington. The tyranny is no more tolerable because it comes from a non-governmental office.

    Similarly, this is willfully ignoring the transparent fact that these mandates are being forced upon companies by Washington. Who can fight City Hall? Even in large, multinational corporations, the philosophy is just bend because even if you fight and win, you will still lose, as the inspectors will redouble their efforts and you will be facing enforcement actions over misplaced commas.

    So I don't see how putting your foot down against tyranny is "as oppressive" as imposing a tyranny is. That is, at best, a false equivalence.

    1. ^BINGO --- "putting your foot down against tyranny is 'as oppressive' as imposing a tyranny is".

    2. Of course you can equate them. One is dismissive of workers’ rights and the other is dismissive of business owners’ rights. Or are business owners not people whose rights count?

      1. You are a parody right? No one could be this obtuse.

        1. White Mike’s logic is about as effective as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest.

          1. I've seen acrobats; that's more realistic than White Mike.

            1. I once dated a Filipina contortionist. She was a real Manilla folder.

              1. I once dated a polish ballerina. She couldn’t do the splits, because she would always stick.

        2. Do you believe or not that business owners should have the right to decide if they want all their employees to be vaccinated?

          1. Do they have the right to pay them as little as they see fit?

          2. No, they do not. Nor more than they have right to decide they do not want homosexuals or minorities to work for them.

            1. So someone who runs a nursing home full of old people shouldn't be allowed to tell their employees to vaccinate themselves against a disease that could kill the residents, because that's the same as excluding people based upon traits that are out of their control like race and sexuality.

              1. Someone who runs a nursing home should know the jab doesn't stop transmission so their clients are in danger regardless of how many people are jabbed.

                1. It's not 100% perfect which means it's 0% effective, right?

                  1. Everyone can be vaccinated by now, otherwise it would be highly immoral to take away peoples jobs for not being vaccinated.

                    With that being said, the vaccinated don't need to fear the unvaccinated anymore. And who chooses to be unvaccinated at this point knows what they're doing.

                    Abbott is doing the best one could do in a legal climate that's already very authoritarian. If you can't see the difference between his actions and Biden's, you are a degenerate.

                    1. If you can't blah blah blah then you're a blah blah blah. Nanny nanny boo boo.

                    2. LMFAAAO

                      "If you can’t blah blah blah then you’re a blah blah blah. Nanny nanny boo boo."

                      -The defeated intellect, after his butt's been wiped

                    3. Sarc is a broken drunk who bitterly shills for the democrats and reflexively attacks republicans.

                  2. That’s certainly a retarded talking point that no one is actually saying.

              2. "So someone who runs a nursing home full of old people shouldn’t be allowed to tell their employees to vaccinate themselves against a disease that could kill the residents, because that’s the same as excluding people based upon traits that are out of their control like race and sexuality."

                Yes.

                Next question?

              3. Aslomg as I can ask potential hires if they have aids.

                In which case you're unemployable.

          3. No because we can't ask if they have aids, herpes, hepatitis, or any other blood borne diseases or vaccinations.

          4. No they don't. Just like they do not have the right to make their female employees take birth control so they don't get pregnant and place a burden on their employer.

  5. If Abbot's measure is oppressive, then so is the Civil Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. So let's hear Mr Sullum step up and explain how oppressive it was for the Federal Government to interfere with business's hiring decisions in the past decades.

    I bring this up because, specifically, this argument gets thrown at Libertarians all the time: "Mr Libertarian, wouldn't your views necessitate repealing overwhelmingly popular laws such as the CRA and ADA?"

    And Libertarians have long offered various justifications and prevarications- "Sure, in a purely libertarian society, CRA or ADA wouldn't exist, but..." and from there we get into some pragmatic justification in an attempt to make Libertarians not look like racists.

    Don't get me wrong, I also think businesses should be free to make the decisions they want. But just as the CRA was a federal law to counteract many State laws that encouraged (up to forcing) businesses to discriminate against blacks, Abbot's rules are designed to counteract federal rules that force discrimination against the unvaccinated.

    But until Sullum and others screaming "Let businesses make their own decision!" This strikes me as yet another example of "Just Bake the Cake" where Libertarians can only muster the strength to be principled about the causes their preferred tribe already agrees with. *shrug*

    1. Is it just me or is Sullum intentionally a contrarian on all this shit just to garner more rage-clicks and comments? He's so consistently wrong in rage-inducing ways, I struggle to believe it's not purposeful.

      1. Sullum lives in Dallas, where there is a culture of leftish people who always see themselves as victims of Texas's conservative excess. This generally renders itself out into a "Blame the conservative first" attitude.

        Sullum has now made multiple arguments that the science doesn't necessarily justify mandates for masks or vaccination (good for him, I guess), but he only seems to get principled about mandate-bans. The net effect of this line of argument is that we aren't allowed to talk about mandate-bans (that violates freedoms of association) but we are always returning to the question of whether or not the latest study by a scientist with an axe to grind supports forcing people to wear masks or stick needles in their skin.

      2. He’s not wrong. He’s a libertarian being consistently libertarian, which is going to make him contrary to Republican partisanship on this matter.

        1. And yet another example of Mike claiming to support libertarian values only when it allows him to bash republicans. But he will totally insist that he is center of the road.

          1. More like Republicans getting all pissy when libertarians criticize them based on principle.

            1. Sorry sarc, can't be bothered with you any more. It is enough trouble calling out Mike for his bullshit. I haven't quite flipped the switch on you but neither can I take you seriously any more.

              1. If you can't handle libertarians being critical of Republicans, then that's your problem not mine. Criticism of Republicans is not all leftist in nature. Laying mandates on businesses is not libertarian. Saying "You may not require proof of vaccination by law" is not libertarian. Doesn't matter if it's a Republican or a Democrat who is doing it, at least not from a libertarian's point of view. So if you decide to mute me it will be because you can't handle criticism of Republicans from libertarians. That will make me kinda sad for a few seconds, because I thought you were better than that.

                1. You are really whiny. And I have never seen you oppose Biden's wannabe mandates. It's telling.

                  1. You weren't looking. I've consistently opposed all mandates, regardless of the party doing it.

                    1. Then you are here to troll out of an unnuanced both sides paradigm that equates vastly different mandates as if they were equally oppressive. Sullum actually seems pretty autistic to me. It is no surprise that his simplified, reality-stripped thoughts appeal to you.

                2. Also, you are not a libertarian.

                  1. You're not a NATO caliber.

                  2. I bet you're really just a .223 pretending to be 5.56.

                    1. LOL yeah, because there's so much difference between those in practice.

                      I bet you're really just a democrat pretending to be a libertarian.

                3. "Saying “You may not require proof of vaccination by law” is not libertarian."

                  MUCH closer to libertarian than saying "You have to require proof of vaccination by law". If you stop thinking in binary, idealistic fairytale terms and instead embrace nuance, you won't have to be so bitter about the evil world shitting on your oh-so-libertarian principles anymore. 🙂

                  1. What about "Businesses can decide for themselves if they want employees to be vaccinated or not"?

                    Ever think of that?

                    1. Again, I bet that is the epitome of wisdom and the final answer to everything in binary, nuance-free fairytale land where actual solutions, partial solutions or reality don't carry much weight.

                    2. But they aren't deciding for themselves, are they? They are allowing the Feds to work their mandate through them, and hiding behind "let businesses decide for themselves". Abbott is pulling back the curtain, allowing all to see who is complicit and who is not. Bravo, Gov. Abbott!

            2. Let me know when that happens. Right now we’re talking about you and your pal Mike. Neither of you are libertarians. This is just an excuse for you to attack republicans.

        2. I look forward to future articles defending business owners from the tyranny of all other laws, rules and mandates they suffer under, and how they should be free to do anything they please.

    2. Libertarians can only muster the strength to be principled about the causes their preferred tribe already agrees with. *shrug*

      I think it would be more accurate to say this is more of a "both sides" argument. Sullum is right in that Abbott's order is incompatible with libertopia. I tend to agree with Ken's point below that while that point is true, it certainly doesn't mean that Abbott's overstep is equivalent with Biden's.

      That being said, Abbott's order is preferable only for the majority. You could certainly make the argument that some immuno-compromised business owner out there might feel differently. The neat thing about liberty is that if we let liberty and markets take care of these issues then all sides with a legitimate claim can be met. Don't like that your employer is mandating vaccines or tests, then you can find a new job but only as long as all businesses aren't mandated to behave the same. Don't want to risk your health to run your business, then you can accept the risk of lost business/employees by mandating vaccines, but only if all businesses aren't mandated to behave the same. Either one-size-fits-all approach (Abbott's or Biden's) doesn't allow for individuals to manage their own risks individually.

      1. Sullum is right in that Abbott’s order is incompatible with libertopia.

        This is just plain false. Youre predicting the idea that libertarians only care about liberties sacrificed to government, not to any other collection or group of people. In your world fascism is fine with libertarianism because liberties ar elost under the guise of corporate collusion.

        An order that gives a citizen their own choice is not against liberty. Fill stop. Libertarianism should always maximize freedom at the individual, not the collective.

        1. A corporation's choice to impose restrictions upon their employees is only a violation of the NAP if they have the government's monopoly on power backing them. So if some collective of people want to band together to say they will or won't engage in business with some other individual, that is not a violation of the NAP. (In fact, Banning and shunning, are often considered alternatives to an institutional punishment regime.)

          We should be careful to understand why Fascism is a violation of the NAP. It is NOT because a private collective is choosing to do business in a way that is contrary to an individuals' preferences. In most cases, both would have their own rights. It is that the government has created an environment where we really don't have choice, which makes the company AN AGENT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

          Fascism is insidious in that it hides the Government Force multiple steps away from the actual issue at hand. It isn't that the actual decision to hire is a violation of the NAP, it is that violations of the NAP are directly empowering this company to be the one making the decision.

          As I think of this more, there needs to be a Libertarian analog to the Poisoned Tree principles. Courts have long argued that even if evidence would normally implicate you for a crime, if it was obtained illegally (such as an illegal search), it is "Fruit of a Poisoned Tree". That is, it isn't wrong to offer evidence against you in court, but it is wrong to offer evidence that was obtained in violation of your rights.

          Likewise, at some point, the regulatory atmosphere of big business becomes so coercive that private companies are essentially operating as a government agent. Where is this line? I don't know, it is worth discussion. Would Fannie Mae, as a Government Sponsored Entity, be considered a government agent? Why or why not? What is the guiding principle where the NAP is crossed, creating the poisoned tree?

          1. The worst example for many years was the no-fly list, which for many years the US government wouldn't admit was an actual government thing. Airlines were turning away particular customers but wouldn't say why; I think at one point they were even forbidden to say it was pursuant to government order.

            1. This is why it is important to continuously discuss the principles at play here. We are increasingly seeing our liberties restricted by a cabal of Democrat Authoritarians who have infiltrated schools and corporations and made them thralls to the State. Libertarians need to be able to clearly distinguish between the free actions of a business, and the actions of an agent of the state.

              And let me be clear that this is a vital issue to deep dive into. We are increasingly reaching a point where it is almost impossible to see the actions of large actors as anything but some act of state fealty.

              1. Our erstwhile friends will just mutter “uh uh, that’s not happening”, but it really does bear deeper discussion from a libertarian perspective.

          2. A corporation’s choice to impose restrictions upon their employees is only a violation of the NAP if they have the government’s monopoly on power backing them.

            Wrong.

            Making someone to do something against their will via use of force is just as much of a violation of the NAP whether the perpetrator is a government or an individual.

            The problem is using force to remove liberty.

            1. Fair enough- but the corporations are not using force here.

              The reason I am bringing up "using the government's monopoly on power" is that we are increasingly seeing a situation where as a consumer you can choose from any business- as long as it is a business doing what the government allows. Corporations in a Fascist political system aren't exercising force to make you deal with them- the government exercises the force so that only those corporations are left for you to choose from.

          3. "A corporation’s choice to impose restrictions upon their employees is only a violation of the NAP if they have the government’s monopoly on power backing them."

            Which every major corporation does these days, as the Federal Reserve keeps buying their CORPORATE BONDS and even their STOCKS!!

      2. Absolutely agree with you. The odd thing is that Sullum is constantly talking about the science not necessarily supporting mask/vaccine mandates, but he only gets down to these principles when it comes to mandate-bans.

        If this were 1990 and we were talking about the Americans with Disabilities Act. It would be as if Sullum were writing articles with the following headlines, "The Science Doesn't Support the Notion that Disabled Are Bad Workers" and then, "The Americans with Disabilities Act is Oppressive!"

        And the really odd thing is that I would expect that the stronger case is the exact opposite one. Historically, many people in the US are more likely to bend their principles for a non-discrimination law. That is, while I agree companies should be allowed to make their own hiring decisions, I can understand that some principles get bent when we ban discrimination based on religion, race, political beliefs, disability or other medical history (including your vax status).

        In the end, yes, I would prefer companies get to choose. But since absent Abbot's directive, we have a Mandate, I will not let the perfect be the enemy of good enough.

        1. You are making the same mistake leo makes overt. Freedom and liberties are not bounded by only government. In a massive collusive market your freedoms can also be whittled away. In cases as such government protections of individual rights are indeed a good thing.

          1. "In a massive collusive market your freedoms can also be whittled away."

            Your construction is simple and elegant but, unfortunately it would lead us to a place where an individual claims rights to be hired (or otherwise do business) even if they behave far outside the norms of society. Collusion is a grey line. As a society we do not like people screaming racial epithets at our coworkers or customers. So it is likely that no employer will actually hire you if that is your standard behavior. Have they colluded to exclude you from employment, or is it just a general preference of society?

            As I note above, I think the more productive line of reasoning is determining the point at which corporate actions are de facto actions of government based on 1) direct government fiat, 2) government (or party) infiltration of the company, 3) Government incentives ("if you want to take my taxpayer money, you shall...") or 4) The government so restricting the market that only its preferred conspirators can exist.

          2. Where do you draw the line? Employers have to be able to require some things of their employees as conditions of employment.

            1. Where do you draw the line? Employers have to be able to require some things of their employees as conditions of employment.

              And they do. WHEN you're hired. Was there a clause in your hiring agreement that gave your company the right to mandate your medical treatments? No? That's pretty universal.

              1. Contracts never change?

                1. As far as I understand contracts, they change upon mutual agreement of the contracted parties.

                2. Not unilaterally. And not to the benefit of only one party.

              2. Pretty sure "at will" means employers can do exactly that.

              3. "Was there a clause in your hiring agreement that gave your company the right to mandate your medical treatments?"

                In most states, when you are hired, the "contract" says that it is an At Will agreement. It is similar to a month-to-month lease. At any time the company or you can decide to make new conditions for employment, and if either of you disagrees, you can sever the agreement at that point.

          3. Freedom and liberties are not bounded by only government.

            It comes down to the question of whether or not corporations have rights or not. You can't on one hand say that corporations should be able to use free speech rights to donate to political parties, and on the other hand that they have different property rights than you or I do and should. It's not consistent in any way.

            All of these arguments seem to be under the premise that the individual person somehow has greater rights than a group of individuals that come together for a common purpose. My contention is that your right to work or be a customer at your local store doesn't supersede the property rights of the owner of that local store. What if your contention Jesse?

            1. *What is your contention Jesse?

            2. It comes down to the question of whether or not corporations have rights or not. You can’t on one hand say that corporations should be able to use free speech rights to donate to political parties, and on the other hand that they have different property rights than you or I do and should. It’s not consistent in any way.

              Corporations 'rights' are set forth in their articles of incorporation. Their rights to free speech and property rights are delineated by their incorporators and the laws they must abide by.

              Unlike people, who have them from inception.

    3. Why do people always trot out the CRA as some kind of gold-standard of government overreach gone right? The CRA (and the ADA) are oppressive and unconstitutional and infringe upon the right of free association. Abbott's order is oppressive. Neither of them should be.

      (deep breath) THAT SAID

      Abbott's order is not as oppressive as the federal vaccine mandate. The government has no right to tell people who they can and can't employ, but telling people they can't exclude certain classes is obviously a lesser evil than forcing them to exclude certain classes. That doesn't make it right, just less wrong.

      1. I agree that the CRA and ADA are oppressive. My point is to call out that folks like Sullum are happy to get all principled about "Freedom of Association" when it is a Kulture Warz schism that they side with, but it isn't really because they are principled- it is because they want to stop all further discussion.

      2. That it is more or less wrong is purely a feelz argument. The framing of an employee who refuses to get vaccinated as part of a “class” instead of an individual making a decision about whether to comply with his or her employer’s requirements is conservative’s adopting the framing liberals typically use.

        1. Someday the incredible irony of labeling certain words as "liberal" and trying to make a culture war out of the very language people use, rather than interacting with the meanings of those words, will strike you and you'll realize that in fighting the phantom of your own creation you became the very thing you fought so hard against.

          Not today, apparently, but someday.

          1. The whole defense of Abbot's order is full-on adoption of the typically left argument that government's role is to interfere in business decisions. There is no logical difference between Abbott's order and the CDC order to restrict landlords from evicting tenants who don't pay their rent.

            1. The whole defense of Abbot’s order is full-on adoption of the typically left argument that government’s role is to interfere in business decisions.

              It's not, and it's not a defense. They are both wrong and, simultaneously, their wrongs are not equal. Shooting a man in a heated argument and the holocaust are both wrong, but they are not equally wrong. One is much more wrong than the other. That doesn't mean that doing the lesser wrong is right. It never makes it the right thing to do. Life is never a binary choice between absolute evil and still-pretty-bad-but-lesser-evil, but that doesn't make all evil equal and some evil should be resisted more strongly than other evil (which should still be resisted, but less vehemently).

          2. Someday never comes for many.

        2. It's not just feelz, it's numbers. One order affects a lot more people than the other. How many business owners in Texas would, absent a mandate from above, want to impose such a requirement of their employees, customers, contractors, etc. on their premises? Although we can never know for sure, I suspect that to be a much smaller number than those who'd rather do business without such a requirement.

          1. Agreed Robert - my state doesn't Ban individual business mask mandates here but do ban government mandates of them. I live in very liberal City of MT and I know of two businesses that have them and one is only if you are hanging out for a club meeting (bookstore). I think this vaccine mandate that many would isn't true in many area unless through forced compliance.

          2. Is that how we libertarians decide rights now, by utilitarian considerations?

            1. You're not a libertarian. You've been critical of Republicans and that makes you a leftist. True libertarians fully support Republicans in everything. Haven't you read any of Ken's posts?

              1. Lmao your degree of passive-aggressive, impotent whining is starting to make my day. 😀

                1. Did using the word "impotent" give you an erection? A friend wants to know.

                  1. "Asking for a friend..."

                    Yeah sure, asking for a 'friend'. 😉 The fact of the matter is that defeated, mollycoddled, cranky whiners are highly entertaining to the rest of us, particularly if they are really really desperate for attention.

              2. You two assholes are almost exclusively critical of republicans, and almost exclusive never critical of democrats. So quit lying.

                You just embarrass yourself.

            2. You’re not libertarian.

            3. You’re not a libertarian.

    4. Forbidding public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of race is far less problematic than requiring them to discriminate on the basis of race.

      Same principle applies to vaccination status and if=-you-ever-had-an-abortion status.

  6. Ah, no it isn't. FU Jacob.

    1. And Fuck Joe Biden

      1. Fuck Joe Biden

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  11. By this logic, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is oppressive.

    1. In Sullum’s view, possibly.

    2. Please explain how this applies to an employment agreement between an employer and employee.

    3. Actually the other way around, since it forbade Congress to interfere with state establishments of religion.

  12. Abbot, Newsom, Biden, and whomever, are simply using private businesses as pawns in their efforts to pander to their political bases. A pox on the lot of them.

    1. As weak a both sides cry as Sullums.

  13. "Abbott's order is just as objectionable as the pending federal rule demanding that private companies with 100 or more employees require them to choose between vaccination and weekly coronavirus testing."

    Even if they're both objectionable, that doesn't make "just as objectionable" as each other.

    I see this as like Republican efforts to compel social media to tolerate speech or the Civil Rights Act compelling association. You may have an argument to make that the Civil Rights Act compelling business owners to associate with customers on the basis of race is wrong for principled reasons, but it isn't "just as wrong" as Jim Crow laws that prohibit association with customers because of their race. Likewise, if using the government to compel social media platforms to tolerate speech is wrong, it isn't "just as wrong" as using the government to force social media companies to censor speech. One of those outcomes is clearly superior to the other, from a libertarian perspective, if more toleration for speech is better than less.

    Abbot's mandate may be seen in the same light, and what we're talking about here is the perfect solution fallacy. There is no doubt that the world where the government leaves social media alone is the best solution. Once the Biden administration started using their antitrust leverage with social media to compel them to censor speech, the world where the government leaves social media alone may no longer be possible anymore. And in Biden's world, where government leaving social media alone is no longer possible, we still need to make choices about policy, and the choice where the government compels social media to tolerate speech may be the best option available--even if it isn't the perfect solution.

    This doesn't mean we should stop advocating for the perfect solution or that we should support Abbot's policy without caveats or reluctance. But just because Abbot's policy is like Biden's policy in that Abbot's policy is less than perfect, that doesn't mean it's just as bad as Biden's. Libertarian capitalists may prefer Abbot's policy to Biden's for libertarian and capitalist reasons--just like we may prefer a less than perfect policy that forces us to tolerate customers of any race rather than a horrific government policy that prohibits us from tolerating customers on the basis of race.

    Because those two policies are both imperfect does not make them "just as objectionable" as each other.

    1. One comes from a Republican, who of course is racist, so any policy automatically gets full demerits, making even the most objectionable action more acceptable if it's from a Democrat.

      Because that's how we get no mean tweets!

    2. Shorter Ken: Abbott’s on my Team Red.

      1. Shorter Mike: Sieg Heil.

      2. Hey look everybody, Mike can't be bothered to read the actual opinion from Ken. No he will pretend that he is being witty when his every response appears to support lefty values.

        1. Hey look everybody, any criticism of Republicans based upon principle from libertarians is actually leftist criticism because only leftists criticize Republicans.

          1. So you didn't read Ken's argument either. You are getting broken again, sarc.

            1. I quit reading Ken's post a while ago. They all follow a theme of "Republicans can't do anything wrong, Democrats can't do anything right, and anyone who disagrees shall be ignored for being evil, stupid, or both." I'm just not interested.

    3. It is also noteworthy that Sullum lives in the SAME DAMN CITY where Southwest is Headquartered- where allegedly there is an employee strike being organized to protest Biden's overreach.

      But Sullum, like many other writers, isn't interested in that. Rather than write his 3rd article making this same point, maybe he would give a little publicity to the media blackout that is hiding how deeply unpopular and creepy as fuck these vaccine mandates are.

      1. Saw last night that Southwest apparently capitulated to the needs of their workers.

    4. This, so much. It was even that way with the US Civil Rights Act, in that there were probably a lot more business owners who wanted to serve or employ races without restriction, in jurisdictions where they'd been forbidden to, than there were business owners who wanted to segregate their businesses and were forbidden to by the CRA.

  14. everyone is doing best in their life

  15. This take is idiotic.

    You work for a libertarian outfit, and you cant see how one thing is better? You cant see that saying "you cant force someone to take a medicine/treatment" is objectively better than "take this medicine or youre fired".

    This is basic, basic stuff. Stop with the both sides bullshit. The dems have overstepped way too far, you dont have to try and mental gymnastics your way to a both sides argument. It just looks like you are trying to shill for the statists that the other guys are just as bad.

    1. The two actions are very much alike.

      1. Mike has now spend about 10x as much time criticizing Abbot's mandate-ban as he has merely stating he "doesn't support" the Vaccine Mandate.

        But he really hasn't picked a side. He is totally middle of the road, moderate here.

      2. They are alike in that they are both actions.

        In terms of the morality and consequence, not even close.

        1. There are a lot of consequences. There were a lot of consequences from Biden's announcing he will be issuing an OSHA order (it hasn't happened yet). And, now, there are even more consequences from Abbott's issuing a contradictory order.

          I'm going to assume that the consequence you are focusing in on is the scenario of an employee who doesn't want to get vaccinated, but must do so to keep his or her job, which he or she really needs to keep to pay the bills. There are a couple of likely consequences, assuming the OSHA order is actually implemented (Ken has argued both that it is coming and that Biden's intention is to never actually issue the order, but then Ken regularly talks out of both sides of his mouth):

          - It is already known that OSHA doesn't have anywhere near the personnel to enforce their mandate. So, small companies that can fly under the radar may blow off the whole task of checking on their employees, especially if they are in the conservative, anti-vax mandate camp, which is a lot of small employers in Texas. The employee can probably get by without getting vaccinated.

          - Big corporations will probably go along with the mandate, and use it as cover for what they may have been likely to do anyway. The employee will have to go get vaccinated, which will tromp on his personal choice, but will also not have any serious physical consequences, and will actually give him or her, and his or her community more protection from COVID-19.

          I'm just giving the likely practical consequences, leaving all idealogy aside.

          1. To be clear, I gave an analysis of consequences that leaves ideology aside because if we are considering libertarian ideology Sullum is clearly correct in his analysis.

          2. "I’m just giving the likely practical consequences, leaving all idealogy aside."

            Notice here that Mike's two arguments are:

            1) OSHA probably won't be able to enforce the mandates, so while some people may lose their jobs, others might be ok.

            2) Big corporations probably wanted to do mandates anyway (Mike asserts this) and that isn't really that bad for the employee- in fact it is for their own good.

            So, ideology aside, Mike transparently admits what he has been denying all along. He wants you to get vaccinated and if the government has to force you to do it, he isn't going to be sad about it. In fact, he will claim to not support it, but then jump up and down and cry when anyone else tries to interfere with Biden's mandates.

            1. Just eat the fuckin' bugs, dammit! Why won't you just eat the bugs!!

            2. You’ll eat your soylent and you’ll fucking like it!

      3. The two orders are thinly connected from a logical standpoint based on the theoretical.

        In the real world, where adults live, the two orders are not remotely the same.

        Quit living in fantasyland.

    2. You work for a libertarian outfit...

      Facts not in evidence.
      Reason is consistently pro-corporate freedom.
      They are not consistently libertarian.

    3. +1

      I'm learning to laugh out loud when I see Sullum is the author of a piece, before I begin to read it.

  16. What a revelation.
    Until now, I thought laws protecting individual freedoms were a good thing, and laws dictating that corporations dictate behavior to individuals were fascist bad things.
    Thanks for clearing up my wrongthink.

    1. Until now, I thought laws protecting individual freedoms were a good thing

      They are, but this ain't necessarily that. Sure this law protects some positive associative rights, but libertarians don't believe that positive rights are legitimate. If you compel a business owner to associate with whomever the government tells them to, you have violated their associative and property rights. Full stop.

      1. Again, Leo advocates for fascism as he ignores the fact that companies are being influenced by the feds. Youre living in a fallacy. Golden mean in this case. The two sets of pressure are not equal no matter how badly you think they are.

        1. So now advocating for governments allowing businesses and employers to associate in any way they see fit rather than passing your own authoritarian mandate on businesses is fascism?

          Do words even have meaning any more?

      2. Imagine believing that businesses would be imposing vaccine mandates on employees during a labor shortage absent government prodding.

        1. ^This

        2. If what you're saying is true, then there should be no need for a mandate. Abbott could have just as easily come out and said that his government won't allow enforcement of the federal government mandate within his state. That he'll even protect your rights to ignore the mandate with the full force of his state government. That right there would have been the libertarian solution, instead of making his own authoritarian mandate that directly opposes the authoritarian federal mandate.

          1. How would that work in practice?

            Would anyone expect state troopers to prevent the Feds from knocking down their door? The states aren't even allowed to defend their own borders from a foreign invasion without DC lobbing court cases at them.

            It sounds nice, just like open borders, in theory.

            Once we established the US as a welfare state, the border was just as necessary as Abbott pushing back on Fed mandates.

            1. I don't know. I also don't know how a state mandate that is entirely antithetical to a federal mandate would work in practice, but that didn't seem to bother Abbott. I guess it would have to have the same enforcement, the difference in my scenario would be the gov guns would be pointed at each other. Seems like a winner from the individual liberty standpoint.

              Would anyone expect state troopers to prevent the Feds from knocking down their door?
              Troopers take an oath in the state of Texas to defend the Constitution of the US and of Texas. So I guess, yeah... we should expect them to enforce limits on governments to our rights and liberties. Not that I expect it to happen, but if Abbott seriously considers that businesses have a right to conduct their business without the interference of government, then my proposal would certainly be a better alternative to the one he took.

              1. Fair enough. Agreed that we SHOULD expect that but history shows us otherwise, sadly.

                Abbott's goal was obviously political; a statement about Federal overreach, jazz the base up while, ironically, exercising State overreach. Only the courts will decide how it plays out if a case arises.

      3. "If you compel a business owner to associate with whomever the government tells them to, you have violated their associative and property rights. Full stop."

        Then so much for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities act plus every affirmative action incident in the last 57 years.

        1. Agreed. See my post below.

      4. Reminds me of when Hugh Downs said on TV of John Stossel's opposing laws forbidding businesses to discriminate against employees who smoke off the job as a libertarian view colliding with itself. That is, Downs misunderstood the freedom of employers to terminate employees who are smokers as of the same kind as the freedom to smoke generally, and saw them in conflict paradoxically.

        1. I think (maybe) I should've written "not of the same kind", but you get it, right?

    2. Some Reason writers sullumly swear their allegiance to Reichsführer Biden.

      1. Fuck Joe Biden

  17. I would like to point out that these two mandates are the results of the slippery slope that libertarians like to talk about. Sure, the CRA seems like common-sense, popular legislation. But when we agree that government can compel behavior, even when it's overwhelmingly popular, we are setting up conditions for government to compel behavior when it's less popular. Both Biden's and Abbott's mandates do just that.

    I wouldn't equate the two, and I tend to agree with Ken's position above on this one in particular. My only point is that both of these are somewhere further down that slippery slope created by "overwhelmingly popular" ceding of our rights.

    1. You equated the two twice above. So yes you did actually equate the two.

      1. False. I said they are both authoritarian. I've said multiple times that I don't see them as equally authoritarian.

        So yes you did actually equate the two.
        Then it should be easy to quote me on it, not just make statements with no supporting evidence, right?

    2. If Abbott had done this measure without Federal Mandating going on (which I just don't see happening - especially with the initial take on it ... paragraph one) then you'd have a good point.

      1. Is your contention that one violation of rights by the federal government requires some other violation of rights by the state government? Because if that's your point, maybe you should reconsider your statement.

        1. The point is that Abbott would not have issued the order intending to protect businesses if the Fed order didn't exist.

          True, they are both orders so, there's that.

        2. Is your contention that one violation of rights by the federal government requires some other violation of rights by the state government? Because if that’s your point, maybe you should reconsider your statement.

          The federal government is violating the rights of business owners by forcing them to mandate vaccines.

          Abbot's EO makes that impossible in Texas.

          1. True. But you fail to mention that Abbott's order violates the rights of business owners by not allowing them mandate vaccines.

            We don't have to agree with the reason for exercising a right to recognize that it is a legitimate right for a business to conduct itself as it sees fit on its own property.

            1. True. But you fail to mention that Biden’s order violates the rights of business owners by FORCING them by mandates.

              Businesses are just a pawn in the Fed-State government battle scope of which **BIDEN initiated**. There's no legitimacy in pretending BIDEN didn't mandate; because he is/did.

              Just like it's pathetic for an armed robber to complain their victims defended themselves. "But... But.... The guy I was robbing shot me for trying to rob him..."

              1. No, I agree that Biden's mandate violates everyone's rights. You can be critical of the right without endorsing the left.

                1. I guess the businesses could just arm themselves against the feds.

                  Or Abbott could've nullified the Biden mandates but we all know with the National Gov-Guns breathing down their necks nullification doesn't mean much without the State there to actually 'enforce' that nullification position.

    3. I know, but...we're practically always on a slippery slope. It's not as if anything sets a precedent, let alone a new one, along the lines we would analyze them on. Other people see slippery slopes along lines that are foreign or anathema to our thinking. For instance, they see the abolition of race-based slavery as a slippery slope leading to race quotas, or even to slavery along opposite race lines; give them their freedom, and they'll impose slavery on others. So calling attention to a slippery slope is vapid.

      1. The difference in your analogy is that the abolition of slavery is enforcing a legitimate, negative right. Ie, you have a right to protect you FROM false imprisonment. Imposing associative preferences onto a business is enforcing an illegimate positive right. Ie, you have a right TO use someone else's property against their will. While the CRA has legitimate positive goals for society, allowing that transgression onto property rights for such a goal isn't a legitimate use of government force.

        There are racist, bigotted, horrible people that exist in the world AND they also have property rights. Just like you could argue there are business owners that might have legitimate reasons to either require vaccines or not require vaccines... they also have property rights. Denying the legitimacy of the property rights of the former at least in part leads to the acceptance of denying property rights to the latter.

    4. Not compelling anything it's just a form of 'delegation'. We've all agreed and delegated, that ONLY Congress can declare war. Abbott says nursing home business owners can mandate it or not as they see fit, but no one else. What is the logic behind that? All owners are equal, but some owners are more equal than others?

    5. A fair point and a reasonable position well stated.

      Sullum attempting to say that Abbott reversed course ignores the fact that the Biden admin imposed an onerous mandate in the interim.

      "As recently as late August, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said private businesses in his state were free to require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19"

      I'm guessing most folks Sullum associates with are unaware of the goings-on in the world around them so slant and spin are effective in his tiny circle of associates.

  18. Preventing totalitarian rules is totalitarian? JFC Sullum. Do you at least clean the dogshit off the top men’s boots before you lick them?

    1. That's what the tongue is for, just as soon as Top Personages figure out how the servants can do it with masks on.

  19. Abbotts state order doesnt stop a single person from choosing to get vaxd.

    1. Which, apparantly, is morally reprehensible. We need the freedom to force others.

      1. This will change when progressives decide that government shouldn't mandate something (if that ever happens), because Sullum is nothing but a consistent progressive

      2. Apparently using government to stop government overreach is government overreach.

        1. ^+100000000 Perfectly said.

    2. Yes, but it makes it impossible for business owners to be in compliance with both Federal and state law. It makes them pawns in a game.

      1. The is no federal law mandating vaccination in private industry.

        1. Details, all the time bugging me with details!

  20. Giving people the liberty of choice is just as oppressive as taking away their livelihood for not doing what government says.

    What the actual fuck?

  21. Though I appreciate the thought behind the governor’s order, I believe he (and the other Republican governors) keep going about it the wrong way. The one thing they definitely have power over is being able to threaten these companies pocket books. In the case of social media companies that censor based on political ideologies mandate that all state entities move off of them and onto another (Facebook to MeWe etc.). And in this case lift the Liability caps. Currently the state caps the amounts that can be awarded, both damages and punitive. Amend the law that removes those caps for any company that forces their employees to take any vaccine that has not been completely approved by the FDA if at some later date side effects from the vaccine cause medical issues or death. There fixed, the companies have not been forced to abandon their mandates but they will have to live with the financial consequences.

    While we are on the subject I have a question, SW Airlines says they are a Federal Contractor so they have to abide by the orders….or what? What would happen to a contractor that decides they will not follow every little order the president decrees? Would it be they would be dropped as a contractor? If so for a company like SW where do they make more money? Seems like it would be better to be dropped as a contractor to the government then piss off the other 90% of their customers.

    1. Same result less direct method that allows mandates to exist before prospective public pressure forces it back.

      No. Vaccine mandates are shit. Full stop.

      1. Hah, DeSantis just agreed with me,
        DeSantis Calls On Businesses To Pay For Adverse Reactions To Vaccine If They Mandate It

  22. Fuck off Sullum, you're full of shit and your ActBlue buddies are gonna get hammered unless they fortify the hell out of things.

    Banning the deprivation of personal physical autonomy as a condition of employment in no way is comparable to mandating the deprivation of said freedom.

  23. This article is a perfect example of why Reason is now called "regime libertarians" and "CNN for libertarians." Actual libertarian Dave Smith had a lengthy discussion of this subject on his YouTube channel just yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMyXhMjv6yY

    1. It's "CNN's version of libertarianism", I believe is how Malice described them

      1. That's who I heard it from, I may have misquoted.

  24. What a trash opinion from a pretty consistent white progressive. To put it in terms that the wokesters at ReeCNN might understand: imagine if the government said that everyone who has had an abortion must disclose it to their employer and TX law said you didn't.

    The only value of this publication anymore is that in the debate "Is Koch world cancer?", ReeCNN is exhibit A in the affirmative

    1. The commentariat is the only reason to keep visiting here. And Stossel.

    2. I wonder if Reason would find it oppressive if the federal government mandated that porn stars all have to get that HIV shot or be fired, and TX passed a law that said you can't mandate it.

      1. Didn’t California pass a condom (mask) mandate for porn actors?

        1. They did. And as I recall, Reason was against it.

          1. So in this case, when the rubber met the road, Reason condomed it. But the porn actors went to “no mandate” NV to continue their careers so there was a happy ending.

            1. There was an oral agreement to not make it too hard on themselves .

            2. methinks you set yourself up on that one! 😉

        2. And the industry left California.

          1. …pulled out of California…

    3. > and TX law said you didn’t.

      That's not a good analogy. Rather, imagine if Federal government said people had to wear seatbelts, and Texas government made it against the law to wear seatbelts.

      Texas COULD HAVE said people don't have to wear seatbelts if they don't want to, rather than outlawing seatbelts. That Team Red can't tell the difference just demonstrates that Team Red is no longer conservative.

      Texas COULD HAVE said businesses don't have to obey the Federal rule for large businesses to require vaccinations, but instead chose to forbid any business from requiring vaccinations. That Team Red can't tell the difference just demonstrates that Team Red is no longer conservative. It's only about tribal colors now.

      1. Heeeeeeeey Abbott - so no medical facility can mandate vaccines ?!! for their staff; but then you exempt the nursing home businesses who are still allowed to mandate it? Why exactly are the people who run nursing home 'businesses' any less or more smarter than any other 'business' owner when it comes to making this decision? What makes you so smart that you 'know' for certain, that nursing home businesses, but no other should be exempt? It's not 'oppressive' - it's just stupid.

        1. You presume the vaccines are safe and effective, and that there are no better options.

          These are mistakes.

          1. Name one better option. Just one. Back it up with demonstrable proof that it's better. Show me the peer reviewed medical studies.

            1. Natural immunity.
              Use duckduckgo to find the multiple studies.

      2. People don't have to wear seatbelts.

        1. Yet it's still the law. Even in Texas.

          1. So?
            It's the law to obey the speed limit. The only one who does is the one in the left lane of the interstate.

      3. That’s not a good analogy either. It’s more akin to the federal government telling companies they have to mandate seatbelt usage and Texas saying companies can’t mandate seatbelt usage.

        None of Abbot’s or Desantis’ orders have outright banned masks or vaccines, they’ve only banned the mandates.

  25. Yeah, no.

  26. As was carefully explained to me the last time this topic came up, Abbott is good because Abbott is not Biden. I mean, duh!

    Forcing business NOT to have employment rules is is just as bad as forcing employment rules on them. Excedpt the only thing the commentariat gives a shit about is the tribal colors. Biden is Blue, Abbott is Red, that's all one needs to know.

    Jeepers cripes, Biden could issue a rule that people must get haircuts, then Abbott would issue a counter rule that haircuts were illegal, and everyone would call the latter freedom. Fucking nuts.

    1. That’s not what’s happening here.

      1. Brandy is just reporting the pictures broadcast on the wall.

      2. That IS what is happening here. Biden proposes a mandate that businesses require employees to be vaccinated. Abbott retaliates with a law that mandates business NOT require employees to be vaccinated. The correct decision is to leave it up to the businesses themselves. But both sides (BOTH SIDES!) and to be wielding the big government stick.

        1. The correct decision is to leave it up to the individual.
          Those who fear the unvaccinated can still get vaccinated and wear a couple of masks and stay 6 feet away and use hand sanitizer frequently. In some cases work remotely.

    2. That’s quite a strawman you’ve constructed. Too bad it’s bullshit.

  27. No, it's not.

    Businesses have rights to set their own policies, and Texas is violating that.

    But in Texas employees can still get vaccinated if they want to.
    A vaccine mandate gives them no choice (unless they want to lose their job.)

    1. Businesses have rights to set their own policies, and Texas is violating that.

      And that "right" is proscribed by many state and federal laws and regulations, to where it is not a right at all. The business has to get permission to even exist, so there are no rights.

      Would you feel better if Texas just defined a business issuing a mandate as "creating a hostile work environment for those with natural immunity"?

  28. Biz 1: No rape here
    Biz 2: Rape required here

    Reason: Both are the same amount of badness!

    1. This is “needle rape” you are referring to?

      1. No, it wasn’t.

      2. No, I'm talking about actual forceful rape. If you don't want to get raped by the boss or the biz owner, you can't come in! No coercion at all!

        1. Employment is at will. You don't want to wear shoes in the office, it's your choice to go work somewhere else that allows bums like you in the office. OMG! Beware! There might actually be safety guardrails on the factory floor! Oh all the raping that's going on!

          1. Actually, this is a real concern; OSHA has allowed stupid people to live so long they are breeding.

        2. Except, you know, actual forceful rape is already illegal anywhere, at a workplace or not.

          1. He’s making a point. You’re just willfully obtuse.

    2. Rape is a crime. A vaccine is not.

      But I'm starting to see the real issue here. You nuttards see the voluntary use of vaccines as rape, and thus see any attempt to stop vaccines as being holy and righteous.

      What an evil universe your minds inhabit.

      1. FORCING a vaccine is a crime, you numb nut. And making a medical treatment, a sketchy one at that, a condition of continued employment is breach of contract, good faith, and unethical. It would be akin to my employer requiring me to be on birth control—and get an abortion if I did become pregnant—because my duties as a mom would jeopardize their bottom line.

  29. Abbott's can be viewed through a lens of individual liberty. Biden's is a giant Terry Gilliam thumb on individual liberty.

  30. Dead & Company (i.e. Grateful Dead) just played two concerts in Texas, and everyone was required to present a vaccine ID card or a negative covid test within 48 hours to get into the concerts.
    The beginning of their second set from Woodland, TX on October 15 is at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRbfbNKhDkI

    No Texas Rangers showed up to cancel these shows (or to allow nonvaccinated people into the concerts), where the musicians and their fans mutually agreed to the band's policy.

    1. That's a rock show. Not employment.

      1. Yeah, general rule: if you pay to get in, it's not a job. If they have to pay you to show up, it's a job.

  31. '.....By Abbott's logic, any business that proclaims "no shirt, no shoes, no service, NO BLACKS " or sets other rules for customers is thereby violating their freedom of movement. There, I have corrected your libertarian hogwash so it makes sense. Now substitute COVID Receipt for Blacks and maybe you can understand the Governors thinking and order that allows for no shirt/shoes/service but doesn't ignore basic science and common sense.

    1. Not so fast on that equivalence.

      Being black is something one is born into and can do nothing about.

      Being vaccinated is a health measure, and some businesses are in the business of promoting their customers’ health. Some businesses are owned by people with their own immune system problems.

      1. But the vaccine doesn't stop the spread of the virus. Republican pundits said so. Are you going to believe doctors (who are all leftists because if they weren't they'd oppose the vaccine) or FOX News?

        1. The real world data says so, you shit.

          1. Real world data says it slows the spread, shortens infections, and is otherwise a lot better than nothing.

            But anything less than 100% is 0% right? Just like masks and everything else. If it's not a silver bullet then it's not worth a damn, right?

            1. You’re such a shrill, dishonest piece of shit. You don’t deserve debate.

          2. The fact that you have to call me names only suggests that your maturity level is similar to that of the tu quoque brigade I have on permamute.

            Would you like to join them?

          3. Yet you continue to be unable to provide that data, the best you can do is provide links to conspiracy websites.

            1. If you look it up, the vaccine doesn't stop infections and it doesn't stop transmission.

              It greatly reduces the duration and intensity of the infection, which greatly reduces the duration and chances of transmission, but it's not 100%.

              That's why people say "It doesn't stop transmission" because it is technically true. But they then ignore, dismiss or deny that it greatly reduces risk.

              1. Well, to be fair, sometimes they also cite some statistics from Israel or Sweden without really understanding the implications of the statistics they are citing.

      2. Now do gender.

      3. >>Being black

        isn't a thing at all. where's the line?

      4. i was born without the mRNA code that creates the spike protein ...

        A new study finds coronavirus actually causes long-term changes to an infected patient’s genes.

        Specifically, scientists reveal the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, creates long-lasting changes to human gene expression.

        1. I’m sure the ChiComs engineered that on purpose.

  32. Many large concerns have large investments from public sector pension funds. Even if we disregard that, people with sector jobs invest their pay in the private sector. Therefore, IMO, if you zoom out you realise that a lot of the private sector really isn't private. It's all part of the public/private blob. That's why I don't buy that telling nominally private businesses what to do is always wrong. The economy is now awash in public sector money and many of the large players don't have a realistic claim to be truly private any more.

    There's the other argument that state governments need to fight fire with fire and push back against the federal government with counter-regulations of their own. I agree that this argument has merit.

  33. I'm not from Texas, so maybe I shouldn't be, but I was surprised to find out that Abbott was in a wheel chair. You go brother!

    1. Huh, apparently an oak tree fell on him while he was out for a jog.

      Totally tangential: According to Bob Dylan’s autobiography, he was walking though his yard one day when a tree branch fell on him and damaged his hand. He thought he’d never be able to play guitar again and thought of selling all his music assets and buying an income-producing business from someone. He ended up figuring out a new style of playing guitar that worked around his injuries.

    2. When I saw the wheelchair it made me think of George Wallace.

  34. Democrats telling businesses what to do is bad because Democrats.

    Republicans telling businesses what to do is good because Republicans.

    Principles shminciples. All that matters is TEAM.

    1. And if you criticize Republicans on libertarian principle then you're a leftist, because only leftists are critical of Republicans.

    2. Also, if a Republican is sticking up for the working guy against the big, heartless corporation they are in no way acting just like a Democrat sticking up for the working guy against the big, heartless corporation.

    3. The main problem with a vaccine mandate isn't that it's "telling businesses what to do"

      But that's the ONLY thing wrong with banning (employer) vaccine mandates, like Abbot's order. Go ahead and slot fixing that problem behind getting rid of the 40 hour workweek, child labor laws, and every other iota of government economic regulation.

      1. Good point. It is using businesses to tell individuals what to do.

        However, even if it’s not the main thing wrong with the OSHA mandate it is part of what’s wrong with it.

        1. Which invalidates your both sides bullshit, rife in these comments.

          There's a less-bad imposition and a fascist imposition here. The less-bad option is flawed but given the existence of the fascist one it has its merits in enabling opposition. The same regulated entities can hide behind the Texas ban to avoid complying with the federal mandate.

          1. Both sides.

            1. It really isn’t. The first thing is totalitarian evil. The other thing is a reaction the aforementioned evil, designed to mitigate the damage. These things are not remotely the same.

  35. When the federal government orders companies to do something, it isn't just "private enterprise" making its own decisions.

    1. Also: when a state government orders companies to do something, it isn’t isn’t just “private enterprise” making its own decisions.

      1. Also true of a county, city, township, redevelopment agency, special tax district, etc.

      2. A state government is applying countermeasures to the federal government ordering businesses to do something unconstitutional. But you’re too dishonest and stupid to see and acknowledge the difference.

        1. (Looks for the vaccine employment part of the constitution)

          1. It predates the Constitution with inception at Lexington and Concord. It is known as the shot heard around the world.

          2. General welfare clause.

            In general, the more welfare the better.
            (democratic reading)

  36. Damn, Reason, y'all just need to be bitch slapped at this point if this is going to continue to be your take. Obviously, "reason" doesn't work.

  37. Protecting liberty is about protecting INDIVIDUAL liberty. Medical information, such as whether or not one has taken the vaccine, should be private. As such, I support Abbot's ban on mandates as protecting the individuals right to privacy and bodily choice against powerful entities that want to infringe those rights. I don't care if it's government or a corporation, they have no right to dictate the personal health decisions of an individual.

    1. Umm no.

      HIPPA does not allow a health care provider to release medical information without your consent. You own your medical information. You can do whatever you want with it.

      1. Seems I'm within my rights to deny an employer or a restaurant (for that matter) access to that information.

  38. This article did not convince me of it's title - sorry Jacob. Saying "you must do this", versus, "you must let employees make the choice" seems 100% libertarian.

  39. "That position sacrifices property rights and freedom of association on the altar of an unlimited "freedom" that has never been legally recognized: a customer's right to dictate the terms on which businesses offer products or services."

    Come on, man. This is no different from any other public accomodation law. This one just bans discrimination based on vax status. Pretending that it some sort of unprecedented imposition on business is just disingenuous as hell.

    1. So you were against anti-discrimination law when it applied to black people; suddenly favor it for diseased people.

  40. Libertarians have been actually quite articulate in their pro-property but maximum-liberty-otherwise worldview. It's certainly a mystery how it's become so manhandled and bent beyond recognition by Republicans, who apparently just want to wield power for purposes of petty spite.

    Who knew stupid humans could be so terrible at willingly giving up power for the sake of principle?

  41. Both executive orders are bad, but president joe biden's is much worse. One is what you must do and the other is what you can't do.

    1) We are forcing you to be injected with a substance.
    a) Individual must comply otherwise their life will be severely restricted.
    2) You can't force a person to be injected with a substance.
    a) Individual can decide to be injected or not to be injected.

    I side with individual rights where the individual gets to decide if they want to have a substance injected.

    If we had a true Free-Market without the current Crony Economic Fascism Market where there is State(Government)/Private Corporation cooperation and coordination then I would consider the rights of the Private Corporation. However the current state is there isn't any large Private Corporation that isn't in bed with the State.

    With Covid-19 the State has attempted and was more or less successful to destroy the small mom & pops companies that resisted the State. The remaining small mom & pops companies by and large are not mandating vaccines and leave the decisions up to the individuals.

    1. With Covid-19 the State has attempted and was more or less successful to destroy the small mom & pops companies that resisted the State. The remaining small mom & pops companies by and large are not mandating vaccines and leave the decisions up to the individuals.

      Yes. The trend for federal government has been to leverage businesses to apply the force that they cannot do without severe political consequence. While doing that, they have made it harder to be your own employer, harder to be a small business, and have enabled the devouring of market diversity by a handful of industry behemoths.

      It may be true that corporations of scale can do bigger things more efficiently, but capitalism is about creating capitalists - not a limited collection of capitalists with a labor underclass.

  42. I had a very interesting conversation with my wife about this last night; she views them as-perhaps- equally bad, although she thinks that President Biden's has a more dangerous aim. She made some very thought-provoking points, and now, I have to admit, I am unsure of my position.

    I know that Governor Noem is *persona non grata* on Reason, but I actually really like her response on this one- to question the Constitutionality of Biden's response while declaring it is not within the power of the state to mandate one way or the other. I worry about the end result of such a position, though. I don't trust the Federal government even more than I don't trust state government, and if I can't get full rights for the employer, then perhaps I think that vaccination status for COVID should be treated the same as HIV status and other health things deemed "too private for business."

  43. A dinette in Austin close to the (then unburnt) governor's mansion and UT put exactly that sign on the door back in 1974. Sure enough, a local was denied service for showing up in a dress shirt and tie and shiny dress shoes... but no pants! This was back when The Rag raffled off a pound of weed which the winner collected with a paper bag over his head.

  44. I only read the headline, but this is an absolute joke. Really, it almost seems like goofy intentional trolling on the part of Reason, far beyond just the usual utterly blinkered "libertarian" glibness.

    A single reason is sufficient. Biden's vaccine order is far, far more "oppressive" simply because it is an action of the federal government, which seeks to impose its characteristically unconstitutional dictates upon 330 million people in 50 different states and thousands of localities, which are supposed to be self-governing.

  45. If only the state could stand before the federal government and say “You shall not pass!” And shield both business owners AND employees from draconian federal laws that violate the rights of both business and individual.

    I don’t think they can. But they should be able to.

    1. Respect for the people's law (The Supreme Law - The U.S. Constitution). The State's do actually carry the higher-level of law with them to thwart the feds. Just not the Gun-Force to enforce that supreme law and the Supreme Court has been playing nicely with the Nazi's (National/Fed Socialists) since FDR against The People's law.

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