Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 604, January 23, 2011

"Home of Oppositional Defiance Disorder"

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Freedom is risky, it's dangerous. It means making choices and taking chances on the outcomes. Consider vaccines. You have to weigh the chances of whether you will get sick with the infectious disease in question, how sick you are going to get (up to and including death), and the risk that you will spread it to others, against the chances that you will have a bad reaction to the vaccine (everything from mild fever to autism for young children to death from allergic reaction). Frequently, the dangers are misstated out of ignorance and/or malice. On the one hand there have been scares over swine and bird flu, West Nile Virus and so on. On the other hand there is an ongoing debate over whether the evidence that vaccines cause autism was falsified.

Now I have a pretty good resistance to the flu. At least once I didn't realize i was sick until I felt myself getting better. I'm sure this has happened to many of you and more than once. On the other hand i know people that get laid up two three times a year for several days with influenza. So I choose not to get vaccinated, and they'd be damn fools if they didn't choose the opposite. It's up to each of us to research and weigh the risk for ourselves and our children.

Those who control the state feel they have the job to decide for us the risks we will take. They claim the power to decide that we must get vaccinated, educated to their standards, set up retirement accounts (having screwed up Social Security they want the power to force us into mandatory 401 (k)'s. ), and get health insurance. They want to tell us what we may not say, hear or see, why we may or may not hate and who, how we may arm ourselves for self defense. Too often the choices they make are cookie cutter, one size fits all, exceptions denied and granted in inverse proportion to their appropriateness.

If you make a bad choice for yourself you have to pay the price. I don't know about you but this sure inspire me to choose intelligently. In so many cases the lack of having to deal with consequences personally has inspired legislators and regulators to make some really stupid decisions.

It may be that in some cases (for example, most people in the case of childhood vaccines) the government decision makers are right, But I think we should choose for ourselves. The information we need to make those choices id out there, and most of us are smart enough to reach intelligent conclusions if we have to.

We have to.


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