Jobless Benefits for the Unvaccinated Are Basic Justice

Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed providing unemployment benefits and employment help specifically for people who were fired for not being vaccinated. A number of similar bills are making their way through conservative state legislatures.

Most people who were currently being fired because of local vaccine mandates, or Biden's illegal vaccine mandate, are not eligible for aid. New York, among other blue states, specifically singled out unvaccinated people to deny them unemployment benefits.

The media is treating this as some sort of evidence of Republican hypocrisy.

"Republican leaders support jobless benefits — for the unvaccinated," one headline reads.

The thrust of it is that Republicans pushed to end the infinite jobless benefits of the pandemic, but now want to protect the unvaccinated.

But the argument for it is a solid one. 

Biden's vaccine mandate has created a sizable population of people who are unemployed, not because they're not choosing to look for work, but because they've been explicitly banned by government action from working. Even libertarians might see the argument for the government compensating people who have been banned from working by the government.

The argument here applies regardless of the current circumstances.

Workers who have been banned from working because of their race, religion, gender, or any other personal attribute, have the right to be compensated. That would include, potentially, victims of affirmative action, for example.

People have the right to decide whether they want a vaccine or not, or any other personal medical decision. They have the right to look for jobs and employers have the right to decide whether they want to hire them or not. Once the government steps in and effectively bans them from working, compensation is a basic matter of fairness and law.


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