Dude, Where Are My Consumer Rights?
People are being forced to inject a privately-made produce into their bodies by the government — where are the consumer rights advocates?
—— Mat: Have you heard this exciting news; a number of vaccines against COVID have hit the market!?
—— Pat: Oh great! Now consumers will have a choice whether to try a preventive medical intervention against COVID and which one!
—— Mat: Uhm…choice?
—— Pat: Yeah, I always say: the more choice the better! Actually, I’m a little upset consumers were not allowed to purchase and consume the vaccines as soon as they were invented and made, and had to wait for bureaucrats to allow them to be offered first.
—— Mat: Uhm…actually there won’t be any “choice” to speak of, not really.
—— Pat: What do you mean?
—— Mat: You’re not necessarily going to be able to pick which vaccine you want, and it’s basically mandatory you take it, but on the bright side it’s free-of-charge, the bill is covered by the government.
—— Pat: Oh wow. I can’t say I’m too crazy about the taxpayer footing the bill for people’s consumption of vaccines, and it can easily prevent the market from bringing the price down rapidly, but I guess that’s not such a huge issue. But what do you mean it’s “mandatory”?
—— Mat: Well if you don’t get one then the government-backing media will demonize you whole day long as an imbecile-bioterrorist who doesn’t know what’s best for him and others, and in some countries prevent you from traveling, shopping, or having a beer.
—— Pat: Oh wow?! Just because I don’t want to consume a certain type of preventive medical intervention?? That’s crazy!
—— Mat: I don’t think it’s so bad really…
—— Pat: What do you mean? So what’s next? Let’s make it so people have to purchase and wear good, tasteful clothes or have the government completely ruin their lives!
—— Mat: Wow, dude, that’s like super radical. Don’t say that. There is a public good to everyone being vaccinated. We learned it in our civics class.
—— Pat: And there isn’t one to people wearing decent clothes?!? You do know we live in Portland, right? HAVE YOU BEEN OUTSIDE AT ALL LATELY?? Have you seen what “fashions” my eyes are subjected to every time the breaks between riots and lockdowns allow me to step outside??
—— Mat: Bro, you can’t possibly be serious, it’s for a deadly virus…
—— Pat: Sure I can be! Some care more about worse-than-average respiratory viruses, and some care more about their eyes being assaulted by people who think looking like you’re fresh from shooting heroin in your mother’s attic is a sought-after outwardly appearance.
—— Mat: Yeah, but still…
—— Pat: Besides, the wider point is this. There is no end to actions that result in a public good. When your neighbor tidies his garden that improves the view for everyone in the neighborhood. When everyone in a city has a measure of taste all our eyes are better off for it. When few are overweight, our entire health system is better off for it. As soon as you start down the road that potential for public good warrants placing positive obligations on people then nobody has any freedom left. If you proceed logically then everyone must be made to always tend to their lawn, exercise, eat healthily, dress with style, know first aid, never have unprotected sex (or at all), be a NASCAR-level driver, use abflex, and always carry a gun so they can stop a mass shooting in progress.
—— Mat: Yeah, but common bro, surely they’ll only actually do it for a deadly virus…
—— Pat: They are already talking about taxing salt! SALT!
—— Mat: Hmmm, I do like my salt…
—— Pat: And tell me anyways, where are all the consumption rights advocates on this? The fact we don’t even really get a choice on whether we consume these pharmaceutical products would seem to be like a job for them. Where is Elizabeth Warren? Didn’t she build her political career on consumer advocacy?
—— Mat: Uhm, actually she’s totally in the “let’s have the government fuck with you until you consume the vaccine” camp.
—— Pat [sarcastically]: Encouraging