On vaccination 

Beryce Nelson writes: Re. “Anti-vaxxers are free riders, not a persecuted minority“. In France a child cannot enter any pre-school or primary school unless their vaccination program has been completed. It’s a much simpler and all-encompassing policy which works. On a separate note: are you aware that the whooping cough vaccine needs to be boosted once you are over 40? Especially important for grandparents and other relatives of small children as a dose of that disease at a later stage in life can be much more life threatening and often leaves permanent side effects such as heart and lung problems. No wonder the Chinese call it “the 300 day sickness”.

Richard Middleton writes: Without going into what I think about many of the constraints placed upon all drivers because of the behaviour of a dumb or dangerous minority, if I disobey certain traffic rules I can be summarily fined or imprisoned.

Anti-vaxxers should be treated exactly the same way. They are anti-science nutjobs who should be held criminally liable for the harm their refusal can cause to befall others. Their refusal can and has put others at risk and actually killed and maimed. There is no doubt about that: in fact the data is far more convincing for this association than that used by the various regulatory authorities to harass motorists.

They can not be allowed to get by justifying their lunacy by spouting lies, personal belief as hard fact or any other such hocus pocus black magic or junk statistics. They should be called out for what they are… Dangerous, ignorant idiots who would not know medical or scientific rigour if it fell on them.

This would be a good test of their philosophy.

Tax policy isn’t that simple

Geoff Heard writes: Re. “A taxing question” (yesterday). Les Heimann proposes a flat tax of (say) 10% off the top. To my surprise, that does sound interesting, albeit a touch simplistic in that Australia (or any country) applying it would have to protect themselves to some extent from external factors such as manufacturing in very low taxing situations (either low taxing countries or multinationals elsewhere exploiting tax laws to avoid taxes) which would give imports an unfair market advantage.

There would also need to be thought given to the bottom end of the socio-economic ladder to avoid disadvantaging those who just get by. One further matter — if the tax is off the top, those with more money could still rort the system by minimizing their earnings with some loss-making activities. Think of something like negative gearing on housing now — under Heimann’s flat tax regime, the housing market could still be distorted by the rich investing in housing then renting at a loss to reduce their total income and reduce the dollar mount of tax paid. They could hold the property until their other income was down, then sell to make the capital gain at a lowered tax dollar cost. Let’s face it, the rich will find a way! So interesting thoughts, not quite utopia, but its not going to happen because big money owns both major sides of politics.

Peter Fray

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