“Externality” Is No Good Excuse for Mandatory Vaccination

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Donald J Boudreaux

“The most common retort to those of us who oppose state punishment of people who refuse vaccines is to allege that anti-vaccinated persons jeopardize the health, and even the lives, of innocent third parties. … In econspeak, the charge is ‘externality!’ …. An unvaccinated individual, it is alleged, unjustly spreads to other people dangerous pathogens whenever that individual is in public. But shouting ‘externality!’ is not the trump card that many economists (and non-economists) naïvely suppose it to be. In a world in which not every human being lives an isolated existence — that is, in our world — each of us incessantly acts in ways that affect strangers without thereby justifying government-imposed restrictions on the great majority of these actions.” (07/13/21)