Over-insured America

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I wish more people would stop to think about what making any product mandatory will necessarily do its cost – as well as to the “service” provided. If you can’t say no, there’s little, if any, incentive for the manufacturer/provider to keep costs in line, or please its “customers” – a term that’s sickeningly inappropriate when coercion is involved (as is the case today with mandatory car insurance and soon-to-be-mandatory health insurance).

More globally, this is also the simple truth behind the debacle that is government itself. Consider the current dog-and-pony show about federal spending – and taxing:

Why should government spend less – or operate more efficiently? What’s the incentive?

In fact, the incentive is – spend more. Be less efficient. Why not? If you can legally force people to hand over their money, why would you voluntarily (leaving moral considerations aside) ask for less? The more inefficient you are, the more money you need.

Government worker ants, too.

The only way we’ll ever see “efficient” or “responsible” government is when we are finally free to decline its “services.”

This lesson not lost on insurance companies. And it’s the reason why insurance, like government, is rapidly becoming inescapable; a legal requirement that must be dealt with – and paid for – want it or not, like it or not. They’ll force you to be their “customer” regardless.

And that, in turn, is the reason why insurance underwriting is one of the few big profit centers (other than Internet porno – and, of course, government itself) left in this country.

It all began with mandatory car insurance.

There was a time when people were free to choose to have it – or not. Many people chose not to, because they did the math, evaluated their own potential risks and decided it wasn’t a good buy for them. Then the Clovers mewled that no one should be permitted to drive around without having purchased insurance coverage first. This has a superficial appeal, but think on it some more.

The need for car insurance – that is, it’s value – varies considerably from person to person. If, for example, you are a good driver (not just skilled but possess good judgment) the chances of your being involved in a wreck caused by lack of skill/poor judgment are very, very low. Note I did not use the term, “accident.” This is an important distinction. Most wrecks are in fact caused by poor driving – or poor judgment. They are not accidents – because for the most part, they could have been avoided.

An accident, properly defined, is something unavoidable. For example, a deer suddenly darting into the road and startling the driver, resulting in loss of control.

Most accidents (so-called) are the result of actions (or non-actions) such as failure to pay attention, excessive speed for conditions (or ability), following too closely, misjudging the closing speed of other traffic as when merging or changing lanes – etc. In other words, driver error. Not deliberate, perhaps. But certainly avoidable.

My point being, a good driver – someone competent in terms of skill and who also has (and exercises) good judgment – can avoid most of the situations that lead to bent metal and personal injury. He is a very low risk, as far as being the cause of a motor vehicle wreck. And, to a great extent, liability insurance is only a wise purchase if you are someone who is likely to be the cause of a motor vehicle wreck, and so financially responsible for damages caused.

If you are not such a person, then buying insurance is money out the window. Money you’d probably have been better off putting into your savings account.

If you could.

We all know people who go decades, a lifetime, without having caused an accident. Ipso facto, they did not need insurance. (The other driver – the one who caused the accident – is financially and legally responsible.) Yet they’re forced – in most states – to buy insurance anyway, thanks to the Clovers. If you own several vehicles, you have to buy coverage for each one – even though you can’t drive more than one at a time. If you own motorcycles, and live in an area that has winter weather, the bikes may not even leave your garage for months at a time. But the law says you still have to buy coverage, and maintain it, year round.

Over several decades, this can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Money that could have been put to productive purposes such as long-term investments toward retirement.

Example: I’m a “good driver” according to insurance industry standards. Not one wreck (or claim) in 25 years; no traffic tickets on my DMV rap sheet (thanks, Mike Valentine) ; in my 40s, married, good credit, etc. I qualify for every discount my insurer offers. None of my vehicles are high-dollar (two compact pick-ups with four-cylinder engines) so I have the bare minimum liability-only coverages. Yet because I have multiple vehicles, I end up paying close to $800 annually to the insurance Mafia. This may not seem exorbitant – and relative to what many others are being forced to pay, it isn’t. But multiply that $800 annually over 25 years. That’s $20,000 – gone forever.

For nothing.

The Clovers will screech about all the What Ifs: What if you’d had an accident? What if you’d hurt someone? But what if I did not have an accident? That never occurs to the Cloverian mind. It also never occurs to the Clovers that it’s not the responsible people who need insurance – it’s the irresponsible ones. And of course, it’s the irresponsible ones who very often drive without insurance, the law be damned (just as “gun control” is of little concern to criminals, etc.). Another thing never occurs to the Clovers, too: Had I not been compelled to hand over the $20k to the insurance arm-breakers, if I’d had that money to invest in something productive, I’d probably now have a lot more than $20,000. Just like Social Security “contributions” – had I been allowed to keep/invest my own money rather than surrender it to the government in return for, well, nothing. (Many people don’t realize they’re not even legally entitled to receive SS “benefits,” notwithstanding a working lifetime of “contributing” to the scam.) The money would still exist. It would be available to draw upon if I ever needed to pay for damages to my property or someone else’s property. And if no damages occur, then I’d still have the money – instead of the insurance Mafia.

I’ve been arguing for years that insurance – mandatory insurance – is a major contributing factor in the bankrupting of the American middle and working class.

The typical person has:

Car insurance
Home insurance
Health insurance
Life insurance

Combined, the annual cost of the premiums for all this “coverage” can easily be $5,000-$10,00 a year. Over twenty or thirty years, this adds up to a very large sum – as much as $100,000 or more. That’s without taking into account the potential growth of that principle, had it been devoted to actual productive purposes.

How many working/middle class people can afford to devote such a large percentage of their income to insurance?

It’s a con. A Bamboozlement.

And it’s about to get much worse with ObamaCare – yet more mandatory insurance.

Does anyone really believe we’ll be paying less as a result?

Unfortunately, the answer sure seems to be – yes.

See you at the soup kitchen, I guess. But the good news is we’ll be “covered.”

Right?

Throw it in the Woods?

 

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  45 comments for “Over-insured America

  1. SojournerMoon
    July 18, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Consider also that, at least theoretically, one would be more cautious and alert if one knew that one were to be held totally accountable for the damages if they did not have insurance. Those who are good drivers but are still uncomfortable with that gamble (being the whims of donut chasers what they are) would be free to purchase discount rate insurance with their good record and wreckless, I mean dangerous, drivers would pay much higher prices or be forced to clean up their driving record.

    Your analogy with the radar detector is apropos. People with radar detectors, from what I’ve read, are involved in fewer wrecks and are better drivers despite their tendency to drive faster. Similarly, people with concealed carry licenses for handguns are the most law abiding citizen group as a whole.

    If law and punishment were what it should be, the result would be restitution, not incarceration. What good does it do me when an uninsured motorist hits me and loses their license and goes to jail? I get to pay to fix my car AND to pay for the offender’s room, board, and court fees. I lose twice.

    • dom
      July 18, 2011 at 2:27 am

      I agree 100%.

      P.S. I carry four things everywhere I go (V1,.45, leatherman, and a flashlight).

    • July 18, 2011 at 10:51 am

      This is an excellent point! I should have included it in the original article. The analogy is heaf-cayuh insurance. Nowadays, people are much less healthy than they used to be – obese, rampantly diabetic, prematurely aged, etc. They have little incentive to take care of themselves. Because, after all, they’re covered!

      Also on restitution. Amen.

      • clover
        July 20, 2011 at 12:51 am

        Give us one example where insurance companies are making huge profits because of mandatory insurance? Just one example. There is HUGE competition amoung auto insurance companies. I just read the other day where the number 2 auto insurance company was having major problems with lack of any profits. The number one insurance company had an underwriting loss. Where do you get your information that there are huge profits? Any less profits and they will all go under. Mandatory insurance brings down the price with more competition. Those are the facts boys.

        No Clovers

        • July 20, 2011 at 10:30 am

          Clover, as has been pointed out repeatedly, insurance cartels are among the most profitable “businesses” in existence. And as has been pointed out, even a person with a “perfect” driving record (no accidents, no claims, no tickets, “good driver” discounts, etc.) still pays in most areas many hundreds of dollars (if he’s lucky; in other areas, it’ll be a lot more) each year for even a basic, liability-only policy on a single car. If he owns two or more vehicles (even though he can’t operate more than one at a time) his annual insurance cost will almost certainly be over $1,000. Over the course of 20 or 25 years, this can add up to tens of thousands of dollars – money that is “out the window” that could have been used for other things. Instead, it goes to help fund the multi-million-dollar salaries of insurance co. CEOs and upper management, buy lavish offices, pay out fat dividends to shareholders.

          You have to be willfully ignorant to keep on saying that making the product of a for-profit “business” mandatory (that is, using government force to compel people to purchase it) makes it less expensive.

          Try to imagine what would happen to, say, the price of cars if the government made purchasing a car mandatory (and allowed the car companies to make whatever profit they wished or could get away with charging, as insurance cartels do). Do you suppose the price of a car would go up – or down? Do you suppose car dealers would be more – or less – agreeable? More – or less – likely to listen to your needs, to do what you ask them to do if they knew you had to buy?

          Let me give you a more direct parallel:

          I don’t have a mortgage, so home insurance is optional for us. I can say no (for now – until you Clovers make that mandatory, too). Last year, the jack-offs tried to raise our premium by more than $150. For some bullshit reason about “costs associated with the economic collapse.” It had nothing to do with us. I told them either bring the premium back to where it was – or cancel the policy.

          They brought the premium back to where it was.

          Now, with car insurance, I can’t do that. Because the insurance company knows that while I can cancel the policy, the “competition” isn’t going to offer me a significantly better deal. So what’s the point of canceling? I get to do a lot of paperwork to save chump change (maybe). But I have to buy – either from Tweedlee or Tweedledum.

          Do you see?

          Of course not. You’re a Clover.

        • July 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

          PS: Leaving aside the moral question of forcing people to buy anything, you’d have a stronger argument if the insurance cartels were not for-profit enterprises. If, instead, mandatory insurance meant paying into a common pool run solely to cover claims, with the absolute minimum-necessary overhead to cover the cost of staff and administration. But the fact is that insurance companies take in vast sums and pay their executives lavishly; they operate out of Fortune 500-style offices. They are going concerns. They make huge profits.

          And making profits by force is especially outrageous.

  2. BrentP
    July 18, 2011 at 3:31 am

    I am beginning to come to the conclusion that much law is designed to “do something” about what was a very small percentage of the population, the irresponsible deadbeats and criminals. Mandatory insurance exists supposedly to protect us if someone else harms us. The problem is, we still have to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Why? Because no law works for people who don’t care. Gun control, insurance, and many many other things. And have these laws improved anything? They’ve made it worse for everyone who wasn’t a problem in the first place. The criminals and the irresponsible… they just go on as they always did… and in some cases conditions for them have improved.

    • July 18, 2011 at 10:40 am

      The startling thing is how obvious this all this. Gun control, for example. How willfully blind (or outright dumb) do you have to be to not notice that wherever guns are “controlled” (i.e., made unlawful for non-criminals to possess) there is always – axiomatically - more crime? Where have all the shooting rampages happened? In “gun free zones.” Which neighborhoods are the most dangerous? Those where guns are illegal. Where is there the least “gun crime”? Where it is legal for citizens to possess guns, especially concealed and open carry.

      Personal anecdote: We used to live in “affluent” (and gun-restricted and gun unfriendly Northern Virginia). Major and minor crimes were common. Now we live in less affluent (but armed-to-the-teeth) rural SW Virginia. Major crimes are almost nonexistent here. People still leave their doors unlocked. In Northern Va., thugs knew that in all likelihood, that Yuppie up ahead was not armed; that his McMansion neighborhood was a “gun-free zone.” Open season! Here, it’s the reverse. It’s almost a suicide mission to break into someone’s home or try to assault them – because it’s very likely the target will be armed and more than willing to defend himself/herself. And the local cops will be on the right side of things, too.

      Etc.

      Your point about uninsured motorist coverage is spot on. Most of us would be much better off simply putting aside some money for such a possible event (being hit by an irresponsible person with no insurance).

      Clovers are both obtuse and believe as an article of faith in the omnipotence of government. It never occurs to them that “government” is just other people with special outfits, who wield force officially. They are no more (and often much less) capable/competent than the average person. And the average person has a much stronger reason for looking out for his own best interests than other people with special outfits who wield force officially.

  3. That One Guy
    July 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I don’t know, I think I have to break with the pure-as-the-driven-snow libertarians and (gasp) side with the Clovers on this one.

    Apologies if any of this has been already covered in the article or comments, but here’s my take:

    About 5 or 6 years ago, I was hit pretty hard by a woman who thought the yield sign facing her was for me. Yes that was actually what she said. Of course, in that slow-motion way things seem to take on in such situations I could see her cell phone up to her ear before the airbag smacked me in the face…

    Anyway, she didn’t have the means on her own to pay for my medical bills and to fix my poor poor Mustang Cobra, which was the biggest casualty of the day. So in the auto insurance-optional world to which you ascribe, my options would be either litigation (which ain’t cheap, as they say), or to chalk it up as a loss.

    I don’t have a problem with requiring certain restitution guidelines for people to exercise the privilege (not right) of operating a motor vehicle on the public roads. And the fact is, most people cannot guarantee they will have significant finances available to do this. That means mandatory liability coverage. This is completely different than mandated health insurance coverage because you don’t cause potential monetary losses to others by foregoing health insurance.

    • July 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      Ah, but the Clovers say exactly that!

      People without hef cayuh inssho’ance just get sick, go to the hospital and then the cost of their care is transferred onto “society.” Hence, everyone must be required to have hef cayuh inssho’ance. Next step: Anything you do – from what you eat to “risks” you assume – becomes subject to control and regulation because after all, such could conceivably affect “society’s” hef cayuh costs. Etc.

      The situation you describe sucks. But what sucks even more is accepting the Cloverian premise – and with it, the loss of our liberty.

      I’d much prefer to run the possible risk of being hit by an asshole with no insurance/ability to pay in exchange for the sure thing of liberty.

      Remember: Principle is everything. As tempting as it may be to make an exception for some “one thing,” it opens the door to many more.

      This is how Cloverism took hold of this country.

      • That One Guy
        July 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm

        I understand your point about exchanging liberty for security.

        The reason why health insurance and auto insurance are not good analogies is because the entire rub with the faux “health care crisis” is that it wouldn’t be a problem for “society” if “society” didn’t make it it’s business to outlaw suffering and consequences for individual decisions. I’m sure you would agree with that.

        But causing injury or damage to the person or property of another is a different story. A libertarian society cannot guarantee justice. Now I know nothing is guaranteed except death and taxes, but what would ensure restitution in this case? Now you’re back into that whole “government violence” thing because there’s no other way to compel restitution. Walter Block talks about fee-for-service court and police systems. Now it doesn’t take five seconds to realize when I subscribe to one and the person who damages my property subscribes to another, what incentive is there for them to comply? If my cops get sent out to get them, will their cops comply with the ruling? Who would pay for cops that sent them to jail?

        This is the blind spot of libertarianism in my opinion, and the reason why after my knee-jerk rush to anarchical opinions when I was awakened during the dark days of the Bush administration I tempered my opinions and moved to advocating minarchy. We are social creatures, and as such the seeds of government in one form or another are sown in our DNA. There is no getting around this.

        Ironically, libertarianism and socialism are doomed to fail for the same reason: both assume everyone will conduct themselves properly in what would essentially be an honor system.

        It would work in a closed system, where everyone comes from the same place, espouses the same system of values, and is close enough to their neighbors that they would be shamed for stepping outside the social order, but in this country we don’t have that. We don’t even have that in small towns anymore.

        I’d love to live in a place where everyone did what was right, conducted themselves honorably and was educated and thoughtful. Problem is humanity is chock full of crooks and idiots. Such people need some form of rule to keep them in check. They’d only pay to fix my Mustang if someone made them.

        • July 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

          Yes, but a Clover would in fact make this argument – I’m sure you’d agree with that.

          Also, mandatory insurance amounts to punishing Smith because Jones was irresponsible. What if Smith never causes an accident and hence, never injures anyone or damages the property of another? There are millions of such people – yet they are forced to carry insurance nonetheless.

          This (mandatory insurance) is of a piece with all forms of Cloverish legislation that presume everyone is either an idiot, reckless or criminal because a few are. Just as I prefer to see the occasional guilty as hell maggot go free rather than see lots of innocent people punished, I am willing to accept the possibility that I might get hit and hurt/suffer loss of property, etc. by some irresponsible asshole in exchange for being at liberty to make my own life choices as I see fit – and to bear the responsibilities that come with it.

          • That One Guy
            July 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm

            Look I don’t disagree with you on principle, I just don’t think many proponents of libertarianism give much thought to how their ideas would work in practice.

            I have to view this issue through the prism created by the area in which I live. Don’t know much about rural SW Virginia, but I can tell you that here in a suburb on the outskirts of Seattle I rub elbows with the denizens of Mogadishu, Calcutta, Tijuana, and God knows where else on a daily basis. The government go is the only thing holding this place together. Without Uncle Sugar this place is going to go up in flames.

            Here in my neck of the woods, it’s not MAYBE you won’t be compensated, it’s LIKELY. Yes this is a problem that was created by government, but the reality of it still stands.

            I think we’re driving at two different points. You’re talking about how libertarianism would work in theory, I’m talking about how it would be applied in reality, or exactly WHAT it will take to function. I think this is ignored by most people who have recently come to this ideology, yet still view it through the US government-instilled eye of multiculturalism (see where I’m going with this?)

            Libertarianism requires a homogenous society to work. We certainly do not have that here. There are still far too many Americans who are afraid to even speak in these terms, let alone think them. But it’s absolutely necessary. Rothbard talked a lot about race and society, but over at LRC all you get is open-borders craziness. They’re out of their minds and cutting their own throats.

            To wit: a Somalian will not likely honor a requirement to redress an injury against a Mexican without an authority to compel it.

          • July 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm

            Same!

            But, let’s be realistic. Even with mandatory insurance laws, it’s routine that the people you list – impoverished foreigners, underclass blacks, po’ white trash, etc. – still frequently don’t have insurance. Why should they? After all, such people have no assets to forfeit, no wages to garnish. They already live on the margins. They don’t give a flip about the law. I can tell you that here in rural Va we have plenty of central and south American illegals who don’t even have a driver’s license, much less insurance. If one hits you, you’re screwed. But that may and probably won’t happen – while mandatory insurance will.

            As with all these laws, the intent is understandable and even well-intentioned, but in practice what do they do? Impose costs and take away liberty from the people who are not the problem….

        • July 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

          “They’d only pay to fix my Mustang if someone made them.”

          Why do you believe you need government to do this? Unless you don’t believe you have the right to do it. If that’s the case, how can you bestow a right you personally don’t possess on an individual or group of individuals?

          That being said, check out the ever provocative Larken Rose:

          Scared of Freedom – http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/093214-2011-07-11-scared-of-freedom.htm

          There are a lot of people who consider themselves freedom advocates, who, with righteous zeal and indignation, vehemently rail against the injustice, corruption and oppression “government” continually spews forth. However, many of those same people, when they hear someone suggesting life without the monstrosity called “government,” will immediately go into turbo-backpedal mode, insisting that some “government” is needed, that we need to work to fix the system, and that we need a good “government,” that just does good stuff, and protects us, and so on.

          The situation is a lot like a battered spouse, who is given the opportunity to escape her abuser, but who insists that she can’t leave, that he really loves her, that she needs him, that the relationship can be fixed. Such a response shows that, as much as the abuser is a nasty scumbag, there is also a serious problem in the mind of his victim, which enables the abuse to continue.

          So it is with statists who just want a nicer, gentler “government.” They don’t actually want freedom. In fact, they are scared to death of freedom, which is why they refuse to give up the very beast that they are constantly condemning and complaining about. They insist that “government” is needed to protect people, to maintain liberty and justice, and do nothing more. The fact that the gang called “government” has never done that, anywhere in the world, at any time in history, doesn’t shake “limited statists” from their faith in the idea that that “needs” to happen.

          • July 19, 2011 at 11:41 pm

            “limited statists” … love it! Wish I’d thought of that first!

          • July 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm

            Larken pulls no punches. Here he deconstructs a limited statist’s position in a debate a few months ago:

            Part 1:

            Debate: Larken Rose / Michael Benoit – 4/6/2011 – http://www.petermacshow.com/show-archive/131-debate-larken-rose-michael-benoit-462011.html

            Part 2:

            Debate: Larken Rose / Michael Benoit – 4/13/2011 – http://www.petermacshow.com/show-archive/132-debate-larken-rose-michael-benoit-4132011.html

          • That One Guy
            July 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

            It’s actually relatively easy to be a libertarian because it’s never been done before, so there’s no historical precedent to point to in order to show whether or not it will work. All you have to do is mount your high-horse and continue to make the same points over and over about how wonderful your theory is, without really putting much thought into the fact that it’s a theory that makes a whole hell of a lot of assumptions and ignores a whole hell of a lot of human nature.

            It’s the same thing over and over, people refuse to answer the question of how you can really expect a system of competing authorities of jurisprudence, or of voluntary participation in the civic order, to function when they come from various races, creeds, religions etc., and post what SOMEONE ELSE WROTE as some kind of rebuttal.

            Here’s another person who just flatly REFUSES to address the obvious flaw in Block’s fee-for-service courts and cops scheme, refuses to answer the question of how exactly you fit people into a libertarian scheme who do not have the capacity to self-govern, who refuses to see the fact that they look at what they have around them now and assume it will still be so when you remove the system that created it, for better or worse. I said nothing implying the validity of our total system, just a disagreement about whether barriers to entry should be erected for folks who wish to exercise a privilege, looking for an exchange of ideas.

            Instead I get told I’m a statist. I’m “scared of freedom.” Funny I get the same treatment from liberals when I get them chasing their tails over global warming and from neocons when I question their beloved men and women in uniform. True believers are the same no matter where you find them. Ask them a question to which they have no answer and rather than admit they have no answer they berate you for asking the question. You become a heartless corporatist. Or a panty-waist liberal. Or a statist who’s scared of freedom.

            Look folks I’m sure if we all got together and discussed it we’d agree on better than 90% of issues. The reason why I come to a forum like this is to bounce ideas off of other freedom-minded people, because I actually take these ideas out and pose them to people face-to-face, not to be told I’m not doing it right by people who would rather post an article by someone else that sure waxes poetic a great deal but does nothing to address the question at hand.

            So I’ll pose it yet again, in simpler terms: What do you do with people who do not fit or choose not to abide by the honor system that is libertarianism? It’s really not a difficult question.

            Here’s another one. How can you advocate open borders and expect such a society to function when it’s flooded with people who are not steeped in the Western tradition of natural rights and rule of law?

            And please without posting links to what someone else wrote.

          • July 20, 2011 at 12:32 am

            I thought we were talking about mandatory car insurance – not competing authorities!

            In the case of people who don’t abide by the honor system (in other words, people who behave irresponsibly or criminally and cause harm to others): They should be made to compensate their victims (whatever it takes, however long it takes) for damage to property and/or locked up if they’ve done something that involved deliberate physical violence or its threat. For example, I’ve long argued that the solution to “gun crime” is simple: Mandatory 25 years in prison for anyone who is found to even be in possession of a firearm in the course of a crime of violence, on top of whatever the sentence is for the crime itself (e.g., murder, rape, theft). “Gun crime” would fall to almost nonexistent within five years.

          • July 20, 2011 at 12:19 am

            “Here’s another one. How can you advocate open borders and expect such a society to function when it’s flooded with people who are not steeped in the Western tradition of natural rights and rule of law?”

            What you call borders (imaginary lines in the sand), I call turf, and the gang lording over it has no problem sacrificing the chattle to maintain it’s claim it’s to so called ownership if it.

            “It’s actually relatively easy to be a libertarian because it’s never been done before, so there’s no historical precedent to point to in order to show whether or not it will work.”

            There’s plenty of historical precedent to disprove what you believe to be the solution.

            “and post what SOMEONE ELSE WROTE as some kind of rebuttal.”

            Why not? He’s making a point I agree with, and does so effectively. It’s worth sharing and using as a rebuttal

            And I did ask you a question. How can you freely bestow a right you don’t posses to an individual, or group of individuals?

          • July 20, 2011 at 12:45 am

            “I thought we were talking about mandatory car insurance – not competing authorities!”

            We are. Some people would use the violent, coercive force of government to put a gun to your head to do something(such as purchasing a product) they themselves would never do.

          • That One Guy
            July 20, 2011 at 12:46 am

            “What you call borders (imaginary lines in the sand), I call turf, and the gang lording over it has no problem sacrificing the chattle to maintain it’s claim it’s to so called ownership if it.”

            This leads me to believe that you have never lived in a census area that is 40% Hispanic with ever-growing numbers of Somalis who just erected a mosque a mile away, and therefore have no idea what it’s like to live next to a whole shitload of people who do not share your traditions and system of values. Once again, libertarianism, like all leftist ideologies, absolutely requires a homogenous society to function. Any other way and it falls apart.

            “And I did ask you a question. How can you freely bestow a right you don’t posses to an individual, or group of individuals?”

            Must admit being somewhat flummoxed by this question…are you suggesting I must take it upon myself to ensure the woman who ran me off the road pay my doctor bills and fix my car?

            “Knock knock hey lady you need to fix my car and pay my doctor.”

            “No.”

            “What do you mean no, you need to…”

            Thump thump thump big scary husband coming to the door.

            “Get off my doorstep bozo or I’ll blow you in half with my shotgun. Don’t like it? Go call a cop. Oh wait there aren’t any! Ok then go raise a lynch mob we’ll sit here and wait for you. NOT!”

            And what you have is the makings of one thousand tyrannies where there used to be one. People, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE GOVERNMENT because there will always be weak and strong. You remove the US government and you don’t think some other strongman or strongmen won’t move in to all those military bases, pick up that hardware, and use it to subjugate you? Come on this is dreamtime stuff. Someone will always rule over you. That’s the sad reality of life.

            The “I hate my father for telling me what to do so I’m gonna be an anarchist because that way no one can tell me what to do again” crowd needs to think this through a little more.

            And this Larkin Rose, from what I’ve heard, is just another in the innumerable ranks of people that grew up in what was once the freest nation on the planet and doesn’t realize that there are still some vestiges of that system remaining that benefit him. He doesn’t accept that there could arise a situation that he would need defending by force of arms. He probably doesn’t rub elbows with many Mexicans or Somalians either…

          • That One Guy
            July 20, 2011 at 12:52 am

            Sorry eric that was for lberns1. Be careful saying you’d lock up gun criminals and compel restitution. You’re going to need some kind of coercive force to do that and then lberns1 is going to tell you that you’re afraid of freedom.

          • July 20, 2011 at 1:18 am

            “He doesn’t accept that there could arise a situation that he would need defending by force of arms. He probably doesn’t rub elbows with many Mexicans or Somalians either…”

            Quite the racist rant there. It’s more likely I’ll end up defending myself by force of arms against the likes of you than Mexicans or Somalis.

            See, Eric? Clovers come in all shapes and sizes

          • July 20, 2011 at 1:31 am

            “This leads me to believe that you have never lived in a census area that is 40% Hispanic with ever-growing numbers of Somalis who just erected a mosque a mile away, and therefore have no idea what it’s like to live next to a whole shitload of people who do not share your traditions and system of values.”

            Let’s examine this comment from an historically, and typical American point of view:

            This leads me to believe that you have never lived in a census area that is 40% Irish with ever-growing numbers of Italians (or Polish) who just erected a Catholic Church a mile away, and therefore have no idea what it’s like to live next to a whole shitload of people who do not share your traditions and system of values.

            This leads me to believe that you have never lived in a census area that is 40% Jewish with ever-growing numbers of Negroes who just erected a Baptist Church a mile away, and therefore have no idea what it’s like to live next to a whole shitload of people who do not share your traditions and system of values.

          • BrentP
            July 20, 2011 at 2:18 am

            “So I’ll pose it yet again, in simpler terms: What do you do with people who do not fit or choose not to abide by the honor system that is libertarianism? It’s really not a difficult question.”

            This question assumes that the present system does something about them and has a preventative or protective effect. I think this assumption is unfounded. Beyond what I covered earlier the present system is reactive (it punishes, maybe, after the fact) and the institutions of the present system grow when there are more criminals, more unchecked behavior so it has no incentive to stop it, it’s incentives are in the opposite direction. The existing system also creates or is even based on institutions which reward these undesirable behaviors. The worst people rise to the top of them to become “president” and “governor”.

            So what do we get? A protection racket where the criminals we are being protected from are essentially of the same cloth as the people doing the protecting. A perfect recent example of how government institutions function is the ‘fast and furious’ gun running program by the ATF. Gun dealers –reported- suspicious sales. The ATF says let them happen and now we find out the buyers were government informants. And what’s the proposed solution to this gun running problem that was by the government on all levels? More gun control for you and me. It’s a racket.

            Government’s laws and the institution itself do not protect me from the irresponsible uninsured. It’s just a racket for the insurance companies that are close to the state.

            For the sake of argument let me assume that a libertarian system does nothing with these people than can’t govern themselves. Absolutely nothing. What happens to these people without the institutions of the state? They become isolated. Their power is diminished. For the street level criminals there aren’t laws to make their victims easier to prey upon. There isn’t substance and item prohibition for them to make gobs of money. The institutional jobs are very limited in power and certainly don’t have the immunity that such criminals are used to now. A bully can’t become a cop, a child molester can’t go around taking children in the name of the state. In a libertarian system a bad cop faces being killed by his intended victim instead of getting away with it. This is the same with any other street level criminal. The risk, the fear, what so called legal punishment is supposed to use to prevent crime becomes much more immediate and effective. Instead of maybe getting the death penalty if caught, it’s now being shot dead right then and there. On top of this, people defending their lives and property don’t have to be concerned with being punished for doing so. (this is something that I first experienced in the government school system when I was repeatedly threatened with punishment for defending myself.)

            Doing nothing institutionally about these people who cannot or will not govern themselves is just far better IMO than the present system which encourages and rewards criminal behavior with its selectively enforced laws and legal binders on responsible self governing people. Libertarian minds have thought of ways of dealing with these people, but that doesn’t really interest me as much as just getting to even ground with them to defend myself against their aggressions. Their aggressions against me economically, institutionally, and violently on the street level. The loss of statist institutions takes care of the first two. The last is at worst unchanged but would probably improve for the lack of an income stream through selectively illegal substances and threat of armed victims.

          • That One Guy
            July 20, 2011 at 3:28 am

            Ah I see. Now I’m a racist. That must make me not worth responding to because you still haven’t explained why it is you believe that men, which make up the evil government after all, won’t form a new one with the tools the old one left behind once the old one is gone, or how you expect people who 300-500 years ago did not have the wheel or written language, who have little or no tradition of common law, freedom, self-rule or free-market capitalism will settle seamlessly into a libertarian system. This is because you CAN’T, but that’s no matter because I think we’ve touched on more interesting territory, that is “The Truth” = “Racism” and therefore must be disregarded.

            And we also have the common fallacy again. Late 19th & early 20th century immigrants from Christian European cultures = 21st century immigrants from Latin Christian and Arab/African Muslim nations. We’re all the same, race is a social construct, diversity is our strength!

            Tell me, when the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock did they roll up their sleeves and create their society in the image of the pre-existing culture or did they bring their own?

            The massive influx of Irish, Italian and German immigrants into this country was a major reason for the rise of Progressivism and the death of limited government. Many of these people ate up the Lincoln propaganda and fought “to restore the Union,” ignorant of the fact that the central state was anathema to the American political system. They didn’t know any other way. The Germans that were here during the Revolution largely were Loyalists and during the War Between The States they were largely Unionists. Because their tradition is one of centralization. Look at what was going on in Germany during this same time period. These were the decades of unification of the German states. They came here with the same mind.

            Also remember Marx’s Manifesto was written in 1848. These ideas were brand-new at the time and they came across the ocean with these people. These people had the Napoleonic Code rather than English Common Law. They really were very different from the founding stock in many ways.

            But at least they had compatible, if not common religious convictions. And even then there was still turmoil, without affirmative action and widespread welfare programs.

            What do you think the people who made Somalia what it is today are going to do when these things are gone? Your mind doesn’t allow you to consider these things because the RACISM RACISM RACISM alert goes off and you feel shame and guilt about your “white privilege.” But I’ve got news for you pal, Hispanics don’t have this hang-up and they’re breeding like jackrabbits.

            Have you thought much about what your future will look like in this new reality? Do you think they will extend affirmative action protections to your children when they are the minority in the near future? Have you taken note of the fact that the Justice Dept. under Eric Holder considers whites to be outside the realm of civil rights protections?

            No probably not. To do so would be “racist.” Just another paralyzed by white guilt, ready to commit suicide for “social justice.”

          • July 20, 2011 at 11:57 am

            “explained why it is you believe that men, which make up the evil government after all, won’t form a new one with the tools the old one left behind once the old one is gone”

            Well, you’re free to create whatever voluntary organization you want with like minded individuals (I might even join in). You’re not free to force me to participate in that organization at the point of a gun.

            I would hope a minarchist like you would agree with this.

          • July 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

            The practical problem is (and always has been): How do you deal with the Clovers? They – people who want to control others or want to be controlled themselves “for the common good” (as they define it) are the omnipresent curse of humanity. Even if you got together a band of like-minded non-Clovers and formed a polis (as the Greek called it) inevitably, Clovers will arise among the children of these people. Or their grandchildren. Look, for example, at how far Cloverism has progressed in this country; heck, how far it had progressed just from the late 1700s to the era of the War of the Northern Aggression.

            This is the question I have yet to find a satisfactory practical answer to.

        • BrentP
          July 20, 2011 at 12:42 am

          The reason people reject libertarian ideas is essentially because of two assumptions.

          The first is that they assume that the laws beyond the basics of non-aggression and fraud actually prevent irresponsible or criminal behavior. They do not and by definition cannot because the irresponsible and the criminal really don’t care about what the law says. It’s pretty much the definition of being so described. Passing a law does not change their basic character. Only if fear works with them and they have something to lose might they change to other activities. But they won’t stop being irresponsible and/or criminal.

          As an example I’ve been hit twice by uninsured motorists (both paid BTW), a gf I had got hit by an uninsured dead beat who did not pay. This is in a state with mandatory auto insurance. So it still happens. What good is the law?

          The people who modify their behavior in any significant way because of a law were the people who were never the problem in the first place.

          The second assumption is that libertarian ideas are considered in isolation from each other in a statist context. For instance the idea that not having mandatory insurance is unworkable because of the time and expense of litigating in government court to obtain restitution. Combined with other libertarian ideas the cost (in time and money) of obtaining restitution would be far less. Then the argument of collection on the decision, government courts really don’t help much there either.

          In the instance I mentioned being hit by a dead beat, it was someone who would not pay unless made to. The mandatory insurance laws, the government’s police, and so on made no difference. The damage was too small to justify the expense of litigation. I had the same experience with an insurance company that wouldn’t pay wrt a winter beater when a teenager cut me off and slammed on the brakes.

          If libertarian systems were completely useless in such instances they wouldn’t effectively be any different than the present system. The present system is one that is far more biased to the wealthy and politically powerful than any (non-beltway) libertarian system could be. The libertarian system with the lack of government and government protected monopolies really limits the power and damage of those who do not act properly. This is what makes it unique and superior. Can bad things happen? Yes, but it won’t be any worse and gives hope it would be less frequent and not as bad.

          Government failure only seems to lead to more government because of these two basic assumptions that I believe are incorrect based not only on logic but my own life experiences. Government institutions either intentionally or effectively usually protect the crooks and the idiots rather than keeping them in check. That’s what a political system does, because it is generally operated by crooks and idiots.

          Your situation with your mustang still happens in mandatory insurance states. It doesn’t go away. If you are hit by an irresponsible dead beat you are still stuck. Uninsured motorist coverage is still standard because there are so many of them on the road. If the law worked it wouldn’t be needed or be like 50 cents a year. Dead beats are still dead beats law or no law.

          I’ve found that a good number of libertarian minds have worked out how things would work in practice. It seems a far better system than one where individuals are helpless and have to beg rulers as members of groups. At its very worst in the typical ‘what about’ examples I see the same result as with the present system which makes it worth a try.

          • That One Guy
            July 20, 2011 at 3:37 am

            Yeah I see your point about mandatory insurance not stopping me from being SOL if hit by someone with no insurance or real assets. I actually had a similar argument with my dad over the war on drugs. He was robbed by his heroin-addict neighbor and just could not (or would not) wrap his head around the idea that the addiction and theft occured in spite of the war on drugs and legalization wouldn’t make the addict immune to prosecution, because the theft is still a crime. He just couldn’t see this, that the prohibition did not prohibit the addiction. At least this seems to me like a similar argument anyway…

            I still don’t think the libertarian thinkers do a good job of thinking about what their society would look like when it had to include others who don’t frequent libertarian think tanks and websites, but it seems like this is a place where we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

            You know what they say about religion and politics…..

          • July 20, 2011 at 10:22 am

            It’s a tough question, for sure.

            The drug war parallel is helpful.

            Let’s take it a little further: Is the situation better with the war (certain drugs being illegal, even mere use/possession) or likely to improve if we scaled it back or eliminated (decriminalized) mere use/possession?

            What happened with alcohol? Of course, we still have alcoholics and alcohol-related crime just we would still have drug addicts – and drug-related crimes of violence. But we have much less alcohol-related organized criminality and I suspect the same would happen if other drugs were decriminalized. Our liberties would be safer, too.

            Mandatory insurance, to me, is similar. There will always be scofflaws – and irresponsible people. But does forcing the majority of responsible people to buy from a government-sanctioned cartel make the cartel more or less responsive to the market? Is coercion likely to make a service more costly and less efficient?

            I think the answer’s pretty obvious.

          • July 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

            I’ll add my amen to this, plus a personal example.

            Many years ago, I had another Trans-Am. It was a very rare (though rough) 50th Anniversary Edition model. This was the original “black and gold” car that became the template for the now-iconic black and gold Special Edition Trans-Ams (think, Smokey & The Bandit) that came out in 1977. Anyhow. I loved that car. Today, it would be worth at least $30,000 if I still had it. But all I have is the shaker scoop – hanging on the wall of my garage. What happened to the rest of the Trans-Am? It was destroyed in a T-bone wreck. Guy in a POS ran a light. Hit me broadside, totaled it. He had no insurance. Never heard from him again afterward.

            Much as that sucked, I still do not support mandatory car insurance. Because I believe that liberty is far more valuable than my car – or even my life, ultimately. (What value has life in a totalitarian system?) And, I believe in being philosophically consistent. One cannot oppose, say, Obamacare (or mandatory home insurance, even if you own your home outright) if you support mandatory car insurance.

            Just my 50….

      • That One Guy
        July 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

        The solution to Cloverism is actually simple: restriction of suffrage. It’ll never happen, but a guy can dream.

        Worked great in this country for years. We didn’t get things like Prohibition, the Great Society, and most of our imperial follies until suffrage was granted to groups that thought they would benefit from such things.

        Not PC by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely reflected in the historical record. Argentina is another great example. Unfortunately freedom is utterly wasted on some people.

        • July 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm

          I’m inclined to agree.

          A good start would be to limit the franchise to property owners/taxpayers. That might help dampen envy-motivated theft-by-proxy.

          Still, it’s only a Band Aid.

          I’d go deeper. For instance, enshrine the right of allodial title (i.e., no property taxes on one’s home/land). Outlaw all forms of government-enforced wealth transfer. Taxes to be used only for the maintenance of courts/prisons and national defense – and taxes to be derived solely from sales/use taxes and tariffs. Abolish individual income taxes.

          That’s be a start, at least!


          • That One Guy
            July 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm

            Can’t really argue with anything here!

  4. July 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

    And that, in turn, is the reason why insurance underwriting is one of the few big profit centers (other than Internet porno – and, of course, government itself) left in this country [presumably, the U.S.A.].

    It’s curious that you should mention Internet porno and government together. Here in Australia, in the Australian Capital Territory which contains the capital Canberra, making X rated videos is the second largest industry after government.

    • July 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      You guys, too eh?

  5. Repeal_The_Va_Radar_Detector_Ban
    July 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    As you may know, Virginia is the only state that bans the use and sale of radar detectors. There is no evidence that the radar detector ban increases highway safety. Our nation’s fatality rates have fallen consistently for almost two decades. Virginia’s fatality rate has also fallen, but not any more dramatically than it has nationwide. Research has even shown that radar detector owners have a lower accident rate than motorists who do not own a detector.

    Maintaining the ban is not in the best interest of Virginians or visitors to the state. I know and know of people that will not drive in Virginia due to this ban. Unjust enforcement practices are not unheard of, and radar detectors can keep safe motorists from being exploited by abusive speed traps. Likewise, the ban has a negative impact on Virginia’s business community. Electronic distributors lose business to neighboring states and Virginia misses out on valuable sales tax revenue.

    Radar detector bans do not work. Research and experience show that radar detector bans do not result in lower accident rates, improved speed-limit compliance or reduce auto insurance expenditures.
    • The Virginia radar detector ban is difficult and expensive to enforce. The Virginia ban diverts precious law enforcement resources from more important duties and this ban may be ILLEGAL.
    • Radar detectors are legal in the rest of the nation, in all 49 other states. In fact, the first state to test a radar detector ban, Connecticut, repealed the law – it ruled the law was ineffective and unfair. It is time for our Virginia to join the rest of the nation.
    • It has never been shown that radar detectors cause accidents or even encourage motorists to drive faster than they would otherwise. The Yankelovich – Clancy – Shulman Radar Detector Study conducted in 1987, showed that radar detector users drove an average of 34% further between accidents (233,933 miles versus 174,554 miles) than non radar detector users. The study also showed that they have much higher seat belt use compliance. If drivers with radar detectors have fewer accidents, it follows that they have reduced insurance costs – it is counterproductive to ban radar detectors.
    • In a similar study performed in Great Britain by MORI in 2001 the summary reports that “Users (of radar detectors) appear to travel 50% further between accidents than non-users. In this survey the users interviewed traveling on average 217,353 miles between accidents compared to 143,401 miles between accidents of those non-users randomly drawn from the general public.” The MORI study also reported “Three quarters agree, perhaps unsurprisingly, that since purchasing a radar detector they have become more conscious about keeping to the speed limit…” and “Three in five detector users claim to have become a safer driver since purchasing a detector.”
    • Modern radar detectors play a significant role in preventing accidents and laying the technology foundation for the Safety Warning System® (SWS). Radar detectors with SWS alert motorists to oncoming emergency vehicles, potential road hazards, and unusual traffic conditions. There are more than 10 million radar detectors with SWS in use nationwide. The federal government has earmarked $2.1 million for further study of the SWS over a three-year period of time. The U.S. Department of Transportation is administering grants to state and local governments to purchase the SWS system and study its effectiveness (for example, in the form of SWS transmitters for school buses and emergency vehicles). The drivers of Virginia deserve the right to the important safety benefits that SWS delivers.

    Please sign this petition and help to repeal this ban and give drivers in Virginia the freedom to know if they are under surveillance and to use their property legally:

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/repeal-the-virginia-radar-detector-ban

    Tell Friends and Family about this.

    • dom
      July 22, 2011 at 1:00 am

      I live in Virginia and use my detector everyday. When I see a cop I just pull it down and put it away. It’s a ridiculous law!

  6. charlie
    July 22, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Agreed. Although I have heard you can avoid having car insurance if you provide proof of financial responsibility (which is probably a lot of money).
    I pay $1350 a year for two cars for full coverage (which I hate paying, but they are new cars, so I want them covered).
    I also have property insurance which costs me $676. I’m smart enough not to buy health insurance or life insurance – two massive wastes of money.
    So that is approximately $ 2000/yr thrown away.
    What’s worse is the $2100/yr I pay for property taxes, a huge waste since I don’t have children going to school, although I do use the library.
    So, right now I’m paying $675 per year per car, so if I keep cars 10 years that’s $6750 per car, which is not so terrible, because if my car was totaled today it would cost about $15000 to replace it.
    The property insurance is less of a waste than auto insurance – if I have my house and contents for 40 years then that’s about $27,000 for insurance, and my home and property are worth approximately $140,000.
    Anyway, insurance is a huge waste of money, but I guess sometimes a (maybe) necessary evil.
    Life insurance is needless unless you want to leave money you don’t have to someone.
    Not having health insurance is a no brainer with what it costs today. I was paying for health insurance for a short while, but soon saw that I would pay far, far less just paying my own health expenses rather than paying for the insurance, and I had what was considered a very good deal on my health insurance.

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Some states have this – but it’s typically onerous and based on the most implausible (Cloverite) “What if” scenario. As in, what if you are the cause of a horrific accident that not only totals someone else’s brand-new luxury car worth $50,000 but also cripples them for life – or some such.

      How many people do you know who have ever been the cause of a major accident?

      Most people do have a fender bender-type of accident at some point during their lives. It is reasonable to make provisions for that. But insurance is not necessary. Especially if you are not forced to buy it. What I mean is, if you’re not compelled to hand over $1,000-plus every year to the insurance company for decades, you’d be able to easily pay for fender-bender damage out of pocket. Meanwhile, for the stuff that is apt to happen even to a good driver, insurance is effectively useless anyhow. Example:

      Last fall a deer ran out in front of my truck. Nothing I could do about it. About $1,400 in damage to the truck. I did not claim it – because if I had, the sons of bitches would have no doubt jacked up my premiums. I paid it out of pocket.

      That kind of thing is the only thing I’m likely to ever have to deal with – for which, insurance is a money-waster.

      PS: A question for the Clovers: If insurance is so valuable, so desirable, so important to have – why would so many people choose not to have it if they could? Oh, I know. They’re just stupid and irresponsible. Only Clovers understand da Troof and Facts!

  7. charlie
    July 22, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Why is it that government must “force” us to buy insurance, and not just “suggest” that we buy it? The official reason is to “help” the people, the hidden truth is to “help” the insurance companies, which help fund political campaigns.

    “Government is not the fix, it is the cause”

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

      I’ve been arguing the same for years. Leaving aside the obvious wrong – forcing people to fund the profits of a private, money-making enterprise – if it’s ok to force people to purchase car insurance, why not health insurance, too? Oh yeah, they just did that. What’s next? How about mandatory home insurance – even if you own your home? Why not? After all, your house might burn down and then “society” will be responsible. Etc.

      The possibilities are endless.

  8. dom
    July 23, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Million Dollars

    One Million Dollars

    100 Million Dollars

    One Hundred Million Dollars

    1 Billion Dollars

    One Billion Dollars

    1 Trillion Dollars

    One Trillion Dollars

    So, all we need is a bit over 14 trillion and we’re good to go!

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