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Ryan McMaken

Employer Vaccine Mandates: When the Feds Pay the Piper, they Call the Tune

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Advocates for vaccine mandates—led by the Biden Administration—are apparently unconcerned that the mandates are likely to drive down total employment and reduce access to government services. In many cases these are the same services that mandate-pushing politicians have always insisted are utterly “critical” and must be expanded. Instead, the party is taking the position that the drive for vaccination must be placed before all other values in society, including public safety and employment for working class Americans.

The whole affair helps illustrate, yet again, the problem of allowing the state to have a monopoly on services like fire protection. These are services that can be (and have been) canceled or reduced for political purposes. Mandates also show the danger of governments that maintain lucrative contracts and financial ties with countless ostensibly private firms and local-government employers. This has made many private sector firms reliant on federal dollars. All combined, these factors have made it easier for governments to demand compliance with vaccine mandates. Even if the regulatory power of the federal government can be curtailed when it comes to vaccine mandates, the enormous federal financial footprint in the private sector will continue to provide a means for federal regulators to get what they want by threatening to cut off the gravy train.
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Without Lockdowns, Sweden Had Fewer Excess Deaths Than Most of Europe

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It’s now been more than eighteen months since governments began the new social experiment now known as “lockdowns.” Prior to 2020, forced “social distancing” was generally considered to be too costly in societal terms to justify such a risky experiment.

Yet in 2020, led by health technocrats at the World Health Organization, nearly all national governments in the world suddenly and without precedent embraced the idea of lockdowns.

On the other hand, the Swedish regime rejected the idea.

For this act of iconoclasm, the Swedish government was pilloried by media organizations and non-Swedish government officials worldwide. The predictions of doom and of a widespread Swedish bloodbath were ubiquitous. Months later, even when it became clear Sweden was not the death-addled outlier many assumed it would be, it was common to see articles declaring Swedish covid policy to be a “disaster.”
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Biden's Vaccine Mandates: It's about Power

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The Biden administration on Thursday announced sweeping new mandates. The new mandates require that all employers with more than one hundred workers require workers to be vaccinated or to test for the virus weekly. The mandates also require covid vaccinations for the 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid. Moreover, vaccines are mandated for all employees of the federal government’s executive branch, and for all contractors who do business with the federal government. There is no option to test out in these cases.

The new mandates extend an earlier mandate from this summer which required vaccinations for nursing home staff to other healthcare settings, including hospitals, home health agencies, and dialysis centers.

Employees who don’t conform face termination. Employers who don’t play ball face the wrath of federal regulators.

Clearly, this represents yet another dangerous frontier in using a perceived or real crisis to justify an immense expansion in state power and state control over the population.
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Yet Again, the Media's Covid Narrative Doesn't Add Up

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If one were to go only on what one reads or sees in the media, one would think it’s the spring of 2020 all over again. The headlines are filled with stories of overcrowded hospitals, overwhelmed medical personnel, and predictions of people dying in parking lots waiting for medical care. The news articles generally quote a staffer of some kind at various hospitals and then leave it at that.
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Why Big Business Is Helping the Regime

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Policymakers know they hold immense power to regulate and punish firms that don’t play ball. Industry leaders know this too. So it’s likely both sides will indeed end up “playing ball." 

The Democrats in Congress want comprehensive regulation of social media which will ultimately allow regime regulators to decide what is and what is not “disinformation.” This has become very clear as Congress has held a series of Congressional hearings designed to pressure tech leaders into doing even more to silence critics of the regime and its preferred center-left narratives.

Back in February, for instance, Glen Greenwald reported:
For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms.

House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.
(The February hearing wasn’t even the end of it. Big Tech was summoned yet again on March 25.)
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Vaccine Passports Are Just a Way for the Regime to Expand Its Power

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Earlier this month, the conservative magazine known as The Spectator published an article with the absurd title “The Libertarian Case for Vaccine Passports.” The online version now bears the title “Vaccine Passports Are a Ticket to Freedom,” but the physical print version is perhaps more descriptive of what the author is trying to do.

The author, a former Conservative politician named Matthew Parris, apparently believes that the forever lockdowns are an inescapable feature of reality, and that the only way around them is for the regime to enact a vaccine passport scheme. For Parris, covid lockdowns are just a force of nature, like gravity. Now, if only we could find a way to get around these nature-imposed lockdowns!

By now the flaw in Parris’s logic should be clear. There is nothing natural or inescapable about lockdowns. They are an invention of the state. They are so unnatural, in fact, that they require the use of the state’s police powers to enforce them. They require policemen, handcuffs, courts, prisons, and fines to ensure they are followed. Those who ignore this supposed “force of nature”—and these scofflaws are many—must be punished.

All of this escapes Parris’s notice, however.
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Texas Ended Lockdowns and Mask Mandates. Now Locked-Down States Are Where Covid Is Growing Most

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Early last month, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced he would end the state’s mask mandate and allow most businesses to function at 100 percent capacity. The response from the corporate media and the Left was predictable. California governor Gavin Newsom declared the move “absolutely reckless.” Beto O’Rourke called the GOP a “cult of death.” Joe Biden called the move “Neanderthal thinking.”
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State Legislatures Are Finally Limiting Governors' Emergency Powers

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Last week, Indiana governor Eric Holcomb vetoed a bill that would limit gubernatorial authority in declaring emergencies. The bill would allow the General Assembly to call itself into an emergency session, with the idea that the legislature could then vote to end, or otherwise limit, a governor’s emergency powers. Although both the legislature and the governor’s office are controlled by Republicans, the legislature has apparently wearied of the governor’s repeated renewals of the state’s emergency status in the name of managing the effects of the covid-19 virus.

The legislature could still override the veto. In Indiana, an override requires only a majority vote.

If the legislature does so, it won’t be the first state to override a governor’s veto on this front. Last month, the Republican-led Ohio legislature voted to override Republican Mike DeWine’s veto of Senate Bill 22, which gives lawmakers the authority to cancel any gubernatorial health orders that last longer than thirty days. The bill also creates a legislative oversight panel.

These two states, however, offer only a small sampling of what state legislators have planned during 2021’s legislative session. In fact, lawmakers in forty-five states have proposed more than three hundred measures this year designed to expand legislative oversight over governors’ emergency powers.
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