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Editorial: It’s the owner’s choice, not yours

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is very proud of the state’s laissez-faire attitude when it comes to business.

‘Hands off and get to work’ seems to be his idea about what businesses need to thrive. And that is true, to some extent. Small private business owners need the freedom to make choices that works best. They know their own market, and they know their own employees.

After all, the very definition of laissez-faire, as far as economics, is the absence of government interference in the workings of the free market.

But the governor on Monday did just the opposite when he issued an executive order banning all state entities from enforcing vaccine mandates.

The mandates were put in effect by President Joe Biden, who required that federal workers, large employers and health care staff require their employees to be vaccinated in an attept to stem the  latest surge in COVID-19 and its variants.

There are several problems with Abbott’s orders.

First, federal law – and executive orders – trump state orders. So, until there is a lawsuit against Biden’s orders, they would probably stand.

Second, is that Abbott is banning even private employers from enforcing any kind of mandates against anyone in the state who objects “for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”

Whoa, Nellie. You just stepped into the front door of a lot of small businesses, telling us what we can’t do.

Governor, are you saying that I cannot mandate that everyone in my office be vaccinated against measles? Against polio? What about the Tdap which includes protection against whooping cough?

Hmmm … if the governor no longer wants the Td vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria), then he is welcome to rub against some barbed wire fences around here and prove to us that a tetanus shot is no longer needed. Ever heard of lockjaw? Yeah, it’s real and it comes from cuts and wounds that become contaminated with, wait for it … the tetanus bacteria.

If employers can require employees to get shots, to take a bath so that they don’t smell, to wear shoes and appropriate clothing, to keep hair pulled back and covered when working around whirling machinery, then why, oh why, can employers not require employees who they pay to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

The executive order says that no entity in Texas can enforce the mandates.

Excuse me, Governor Abbott. Until you start paying the bills around here, until you make sure that payroll is covered, until you start paying property taxes for private businesses, then you have no right to step through my front door and make such a statement.

I don’t want to be paying for employees who get incredibly sick with the COVID virus. I don’t want to be on the hook for their pay if they end up in the hospital because they were not vaccinated.

The COVID vaccine will not stop you from getting sick, but it sure as hell helps you not end up in the hospital.

Governor, check out the stats sent out by your own department of health regarding how well vaccines work.

And stay out of my business.

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