Issues & Insights

Will Biden’s Vaccine Mandates Tank The Economy?

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President Joe Biden’s command that private businesses require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a shocking abuse of presidential power. Just as bad, by discouraging workers from staying on the job, it might tank the economy, which is already reeling from COVID-related shortages and soaring inflation.

On Sept. 9, Biden announced that businesses with 100 or more employees would have to require them to be vaccinated or take weekly COVID tests to prove they don’t have the Wuhan bug. This edict will affect as many as 100 million American workers.

One big problem: Cities, states and counties have in the past had authority to mandate things such as vaccines, not the federal government. Biden is literally creating a new authority for the presidency out of thin air, the kind of thing that authoritarian dictators do.

What’s more, Biden’s “order” is nothing of the sort. He announced it in early September, but has never released written rules for the government to enforce. So as of today, there is no “rule” or “order” to follow. Just a statement to the media.

The problem is, businesses, local and state government agencies, health providers, hospitals and others are forging ahead with their own plans to force workers to take one of the vaccines. And they’re using Biden’s phony “order” for cover.

The city of Boston, for instance, just suspended 812 workers for non-compliance. Boeing says it will require its workers to get vaccinated, or be suspended.

All the way back in August, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown was well ahead of the curve, mandating that all state employees and health care workers be vaccinated by Oct. 18 or lose their jobs. Well, Oct. 18 is drawing nigh, and many workers, especially in health care, have simply said no. This is adding to what Brown has already called “catastrophic shortages” of nursing talent.

Neighboring Washington, too, has its own vaccine mandates. This week, the state’s fire marshal with 33 years of experience quit rather than submit to the vaccine, while 600 state workers are suing the state over the mandates.

And in recent weeks, large health care systems, such as Kaiser Permanente and Legacy Health, have put thousands of staff members across the country on leave because they don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In New York, Mayor Bill deBlasio’s vaccine mandates have led to an exodus from the city, with 32,000 New Yorkers relocating to Florida as of March of this year, tired of the endless restrictions imposed.

But cracks are starting to appear in the mandate facade.

This last weekend, Southwest Airlines had to cancel thousands of flights, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded – a blow to that company’s reputation and future business.

At first, Southwest blamed the weather for the flight cancellations, but the truth emerged this week: It was really a “sick out,” following Southwest’s announcement on Oct. 4 that all 56,000 of its employees would have to get vaccinated or be fired.

Many of Southwest’s pilots, flight crews and ground personnel walked off the job or called in sick. And underscoring their anger, Southwest’s pilots union sued in federal court, arguing that by following Biden’s order, the airline “unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, 2021.”

This week, when it became clear that Southwest workers, including its pilots, wouldn’t comply, the carrier had to back down.

Others so far aren’t backing off the mandates. Days before Southwest’s announcement, other airlines, including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways, announced they would obey Biden’s order. United has already fired 232 workers for not complying with the mandate.

And many health care agencies and companies refuse to back down.

All of which raises a big question: What will happen to a U.S. economy already desperate for workers and beset by major shortages of goods and services if more people walk off? We’re already feeling the impact of labor outages and soaring government spending in inflation, which jumped 5.4% in September, its biggest rise since 2008.

Data for August show that a stunning 4.3 million workers simply walked off their jobs, including half a million health care workers, the most since 2000.

Some of that is no doubt confidence in being able to get jobs elsewhere at a time when there are 10.4 million job vacancies to be filled. But how much of it is people saying they’re fed up with the continued imposition of nonsensical masking and vaccination rules that have made jobs so unbearable for many? Not to mention that many do not trust the vaccines themselves?

One thing is certain: An economy can’t run without workers. Economic growth and stable prices depend on talented, well-trained workers staying on the job, not disgruntled and at home.

The Biden administration’s policies have been not only among the most worker-unfriendly in history, they’ve openly encouraged people not to work. The labor force breakdown could have a disastrous impact on U.S. economic growth for years to come, triggering another recession. If so, it would be yet another unforced error by the worst American president in recent history.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

11 comments

  • 18 months ago our healthcare workers were regarded as heroes for going to work and caring for COVID patients when little was known about the virus and treatment options were limited. Now we threaten their livelihoods if they won’t submit to a mandate. How quickly we discard our heroes if they don’t fully conform to the political narrative. Reliable, transparent data and persuasion are much better tools to use to achieve high vaccination rates than threats and coercion.

  • Tanking the economy is the plan. Once you can’t feed yourself the government can make you agree to ANYTING in order to get your rations. And it doesn’t stop with food. I’m old enough to remember seeing news stories of Soviet “citizens” standing in lines for hours and hours just to buy toilet paper. Not like we did for a few months because of the fake pandemic…but ALL THE TIME. It was just the life that was forced on them by their tyrannical rulers. Oh, and the political elites lived like kings. I bet they even had $20,000 ice cream freezers…

  • Of course it will tank the economy. That is the plan. To “fundamentally change America” the country will have to be brought to its knees, and this is succeeding. Destroy what is there, replace it with totalitarianism, and what we were promised in 2008 is accomplished.

  • Joe Biden’s Employee Vaccine Rule Means 98 Percent of Companies Unaffected.

    Biden said the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an emergency temporary standard directed at private-sector businesses with 100 or more employees

    But 98 percent of companies have LESS than 100 which leaves out 2/3rds of the workforce. Also exempts are state and federal workers. OSHA’s forthcoming new mandatory co-vax standards is an embarrassment

  • The only effective weapon people have is non-compliance. It has already begun.

  • The Dem/communists have been saying for years that the government will take care of everyone why are they so worried now everyone knows that Old Traitor Joe is gona take care of every one.No one needs to work come on man.

  • “This week, when it became clear that Southwest workers, including its pilots, wouldn’t comply, the carrier had to back down.” I work for SWA. They haven’t backed down. It’s still mandatory.

  • Could be wrong but I think Boeing is operating under the “federal contractor mandate” which is issued I think and not the “100 employee” rule, which is not.

  • A joke going around is that Biden’s equivalent of Trump’s boat rallies are the tanker ships offshore.
    Biden’s and Fauci’s master plans have been marked by great losses in blood and resources. They epitomize both Murphy’s and Moore’s law in that things went wrong in doubletime.
    Inflation, poor inventories, higher energy costs, and mandating ineffective, leaky, adverse reaction “vaccines” are their “best in class” solutions to the mounting problems facing us. The problem is that the nation is depending on two fellows that are beset with uber conflicts of interest, will tell any lie, and have convinced their groupies and sycophants that the foundations of science, regulations, and “best in class” practices should be discarded. The vaccine mandates ignore OSHA standards and take us back in time to relive Upton Sinclair’s “Jungle”.
    In March 2020, MIT reported that autopsies on Covid 19/SARS2 victims showed hypercoagulation occurred whereever ACE2 receptors were expressed. GW University just published a study on the effectiveness of aspirin in treating Covid 19/SARS2 infection. Maybe our medical gurus, nearly 18 months later, will finally start using effective therapeutic treatments (including Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Budesonide, etc.) that have been unprofessionally mischaracterized, but demonstrated effectiveness Worldwide in treating Covid 19/SARS2 infection and a number of other autoimmune ailments and parasitic infections for decades. Remdesivir and the Covid 19/SARS2 “vaccines” are no better than snake oil and are proven to be deadly for too many patients.
    Biden and Fauci have made things worse for America and trying to maintain their lies or image as effective problems solvers will only exacerbate our nation’s loss of blood, toil, and resources as the Delta variant, loss of standing in science and ethics, international failures, and disastrous economic policies have demonstrated.

  • What utter depravity. Maybe you don’t care if you catch CoVid from a nurse but most people do. They are supposed to protect patients, not kill them.

    Biden is doing what he MUST do, it is the moral, scientific and correct thing to do. If the economy suffers it will be because negligent irrational people like this columnist refuse to get vaccinated.

    I find you anti vaxxers to be utterly contemptible – irrational, without a conscience or any sense of right and wrong. If you have a death wish – that’s your business – but you have no “freedom” to make other people sick.

    You are also a dire threat to the health of every person you come across,

    This pandemic would be OVER if not for you – (no masks!) and as fare as I am concerned you have other people’s illness and death on your conscience (assuming you have one) forever.

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