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There Is No Private Sector Version of the Vaccine Passport

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Today, I got into it with the Dispatch’s Jonah Goldberg over a comment he made to Texas Governor Greg Abbott after Abbott had signed a law that prohibits Texas businesses from requiring vaccine passports in order to use their services, whatever those services may be.

Golberg asked Abbott if he would be banning the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” rule while he was at it.

Will you be banning “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” policies too? https://t.co/aKgMYNGdit

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) June 8, 2021

Goldberg’s point is that private businesses should be left to decide whether or not they should require vaccine passports and not be told by a governing body what they can and can’t do within the confines of their own business. To be sure, it’s a sentiment I agree with. As a free-market conservative libertarian, the hair on the back of my neck stands up when the government begins dictating what private citizens can and can’t do with their business.

But here I couldn’t help but draw a line. The vaccine passport never sat well with me, and for a few reasons that I think many people haven’t considered.

Let’s start with the simple fact that we haven’t discussed who issues these “passports.” Do they come from a doctor? Does that doctor have to have a license to issue these official passports or is his word good enough? Is there an organization that hands these passports out? Is it a private organization? Does it have to have a license that says its passport is official?

No matter how you swing it, at some point, a governing body is going to have to get involved and decide whether or not you’re okay to go do something like getting groceries, medicine, or an overpriced latte. Somewhere on this line, the government is involved in telling me how I can go about my daily life.

And Goldberg knows as well as I do that a government entity, once created, hardly ever disappears and only grows in power. Let’s not kid ourselves into believing for even one moment

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