Want to Pay Less For Insurance?

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Increasingly worthless Federal Funny Money – and increasingly hard-to-find decent-paying jobs – have put an economic choke-hold on millions of Americans, compelling them to cut back on everything that’s not absolutely essential.insurance racket picture

Too bad they can’t cut back on insurance – which for most of them is as far from essential as Federal Reserve notes are from sound money.

Insurance is a terrible deal for most people. A financial sink-hole that grows wider and consumes more with each passing day (and each newly “adjusted” premium).

No doubt this is why it has been made mandatory.

First car – now health.

Most people have, of course, been duped into believing otherwise – that insurance is essential – via the inculcation of fear. A whole industry (a mafia, actually) is predicated on it. Scare the crap out of people; convince them that catastrophe is right around the corner and inescapable.

The fallacy ought to be obvious.

If it’s true that catastrophe lurks – and is inescapable – insurance companies would go broke instead of rendering us broke.

Unfortunately, this simple deduction is not obvious to most people. Even though it’s right in front of their noses each time they pay a premium – for years on end.Obamacare lead

Insurance is one of the greatest scams going – to a great extent, because it’s a scam you can’t say no to. Vegas is crooked, but you don’t have to go there. A back-alley card game is fixed, too – but no one makes you participate.

With car insurance – and now, Obamacare – you must participate.

Or else.

This is essential. Take away the marks and the “house” makes no money. Imagine a card game in which the only people playing could not ante up yet were entitled to say call. Now think about car and health insurance – with the only people voluntarily signing up being those who fully expect to cash in.

Grab a piece of paper. How many years have you been paying for car insurance? In that time, how many claims have you filed? I will go out on a limb and guess you paid a lot more for insurance than the insurance paid out to you. Many – probably most people – will discover they paid so much in over the years that had they been involved in an accident, they could probably have paid for the repairs out of pocket.

If they still had the money, of course.Flo picture

And what if you never have an accident? People have been conditioned – by the insurance mafia – to regard this as a near-impossibility yet it’s just the opposite. Most people never have more than a fender-bender accident – and it is not all uncommon for good drivers to go their entire driving lives without ever being involved in a significant wreck.

It has to be this way – or else the numbers would work against the insurance mafia, rather than against you.

Most “accidents” are not random events that just happen. They happen – for the most part – as a direct result of factors under one’s control. Control those factors, and the risk of being the cause of a serious accident falls to very small. In which case, car insurance is a bad bet. Just as health insurance is a bad bet for a healthy 25-year-old. (Or for that matter, a healthy 45 year old.)

Certainly, accidents happen. But most “accidents” aren’t.  Just as it’s no “accident” that obese/sedentary people who live on fast food tend to die sooner – and to develop diseases such as hypertension and diabetes that are largely avoidable if one maintains a reasonable body weight, eats moderately and exercises regularly.

Smart people know this, of course – and would skip car insurance when they still could – and said no thanks to health insurance when that was still possible.premium picture

Better to just put some money aside – and drive attentively and competently (with the strong inducement to do so being the knowledge that you’ll pay for it – directly – if you’re not attentive). Probably, nothing will happen. If it does, you’ll have the money to pay for it. If not, you’ll have the money to pay for other things.

For the same reasons, why would anyone other than a Forrest Gumpian innumerate pay $300 a month for health insurance and then a $30 co-pay on top of that when a routine physical might cost $300 once? Using health insurance to pay for ordinary check-ups, stubbed toes, the sniffles – and so on – is as ridiculous as using car insurance to pay for oil changes and tune-ups. At least they haven’t gotten around to forcing us to do that yet.

But probably, it’s on deck.

After all, why not? People expect Obamacare to “cover” everything – so why shouldn’t their car policy, too? Never mind the obvious – that when things are made “free” by government fiat, they tend to become both scarce and expensive.

In criminal cases, the basis of any investigation is cui bono – who benefits?

Who benefits from making insurance something you can’t elect to skip? If insurance is so wonderful, so essential, does it not follow that most people would eagerly sign up without being forced to? And if most people must be forced to sign up, does that fact not tell us something about the value of insurance?

How come it is not necessary to mandate that people buy ice cream? Or clothes? Or toothpaste?innsurance mafia pic

People – stupid people – claim that mandatory insurance (both car and health) lowers cost by dint of spreading the cost around. Has it not occurred to them that any business that can force you to buy its product or service has virtually no pressure bearing down upon it to reduce the prices it charges? That such cartels become insolent and tyrannical precisely because they can – precisely because you have no choice? Have you ever heard of a business that charges less when it can get away with charging more?


The same chowderheads who yammer about the machinations of Big Oil never seem to be troubled by the machinations of health cartels. At least, you can still say no to Exxon-Mobil. Thanks to Obama – and his Rethuglican accomplices – you can’t say no to Humana, Aetna and Kaiser Permanente.

Why are insurance companies among the most profitable “businesses” around? Why is it that one of the very few “bright spots” in the economy is the “health services” industry? How come car insurance costs more today than it did before it was made mandatory?

Could it be because they’ve made us all an offer we can’t refuse?

Consider at-gunpoint car insurance. If you were presented with a bill for say $800 and found the cost exorbitant and could decline to pay, there would be an incentive for the insurance company to lower its quote. Better to get $600 out of you rather than nothing out of you.

Now extrapolate that across the millions of people in this country. Do you suppose costs would tend to increase – or decrease?

The answer is obvious – as is the reason for the insurance mafia’s insistence upon a mandate.

Even if a person is only forced to cough up $400 a year – a “cheap” premium these days – he will pay, over the course of the next 25 years – $10,000 (not adjusted for inflation, and assuming the premium remains the same – which of course, it will not).

Now let’s assume he owns two vehicles. Double your fun – $20,000 out the window over 25 years.insurance mafia 2 For most people, that’s a lot of money.  Imagine how much better off you’d be if you had that $20,000 in the bank – instead of out the window. Now add a couple thousand a year for Obamacare on top of that. Plus house insurance. Plus life insurance. It adds up to serious money. Over a lifetime, the average person is probably spending six figures on insurance.

Is it any wonder why everyone’s broke – or getting there?

cui bono?

People like Obama (and most Republicans, too) have the cheek to use terms like “market” in the same sentence as “mandatory.”

“Customer,” too.

Do you feel like a “customer” when you are waiting on line at the DMV? Ever try to shop the competition? Or just say, “no thanks – I’m not interested.”

Oh. That’s right. You can’t. You are a “customer” in the same way that a rape victim is a “date.”

In corporate-cartel America, market terminology is abused much in the same way that the Soviets mauled words like “democracy” – and the Nazis, “freedom.”money down the drain pic

They’re inverted to convey the opposite of their actual meanings.

Anyway, it’s no mystery why most people are sinking fast, financially. When you add up the annual cost of insurance extortion – just car and health, for openers – it is probably the second or third biggest fixed expense most people have to deal with, after shelter and food. But unlike shelter and food, insurance – as such – provides no tangible benefit. It is a bet – a bad bet – imposed on you at gunpoint.

Again, think Vegas. That’s the model.

Insurance is based on the house winning almost every time. Which means you – and I – lose almost every time.

I don’t know how you feel about it, but I prefer it when the odds are in my favor. Especially when my money is involved.

Thank god (more likely, inertia) that they haven’t yet got around to forcing us to buy home and life insurance.

We recently said “no, thanks” to the company that issued our house insurance policy – chiefly because the bastards jacked up the renewal by almost $200 a year for no legitimate reason – that is, no reason having anything to do with us. We’d never filed a claim, done nothing to suggest higher risk. The agent told us as much – and said that the premium was going up simply because premiums were going up for everyone. Most people have no choice but to pay up – because their home loan requires them to have insurance. (This, by the way, is reasonable. Until you’ve paid off your home, the risk of a loss is not entirely yours.)

Because we own our place, we were able to say no. It felt really good to toss their letter in the trash – and to think about the $1,200 and change we won’t be throwing out the window this year.

Too bad we can’t do the same with car insurance – and now, health insurance.

We’ll all be “covered,” I guess.

But I’d rather not be broke.

Or constantly have other people putting guns to my head.

How about you?

Throw it in the Woods?

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  1. I am in my eighth decade. I remember when I first started driving many years ago. There was a season of political battles over making auto insurance required by all drivers and for all cars. It was finally made law because everyone was duped by the promise of lower fees for auto repair and also lower medical expenses due to accidents. Lower insurance costs were also promised. Of course, the ink was barely dry on the law before insurance fees were raised. Then lawyers got involved like sharks in chum.

    Nothing good for anyone except insurance agents, lawyers, body shops, and doctors. They all collected like mad.

  2. Back in 1986 when I got my first job, Texas did not require me to carry car insurance. I did not need it to get a driver’s license nor did I need to have it when getting pulled over. They had a financial responsibility law.

    What did I do? I purchased car insurance. Why? I calculated that the risks of driving in Dallas and Fort Worth exceeded what I could tolerate at that point. Had I decided to live in a more rural area, that might have been different, as there are generally fewer cars to do battle with.

    The great thing about it was, I had the power to choose for myself. I chose insurance, but didn’t have to.

    Today, thanks to legislation signed by Ann Richards, you are required to show insurance to register a car and get your driver’s license. It is like you are being shaken down by the mafia.

    It would be great to be able to choose that again, however, I would probably opt for having insurance for myself. Though I am a safe driver, my exposure to bad roads and bad driving is above my threshold. However, if I chose to drive less and became unemployed, it would be great to be able to drop car insurance without the bastards ratting me out.

    That happened in North Carolina when I decided to switch insurance companies. I spent half a day trying to prove to NC that I had car insurance. Bastards. Does the word unconstitutional come to mind?

    In anycase, the Obamacare mandate is more than I can stand. More on that later.

    I will not comply. Period.

    • Hi Swamp,

      Being in a position to decline is critical. If you can’t, then the insurance mafia is free to charge exorbitant rates based on utterly unfair criteria.

      For example:

      Smith drives an older vehicle that’s fully paid for and has never filed a claim or had one filed against him in 20-plus years of driving. But he often ignores the speed limit – and one day, gets caught in a radar trap. A few months later, he gets a letter from his insurance co. informing him his rate has been increased by 20 percent on account of the ticket. He is understandably angry. But what can he do? If he cancels his policy, the state will punish him. He can “shop around” for another policy, but given the mandate, there is no real competition; all the various insurance “families” know they’ve got you – and run the same scam.

      Now imagine if he were in a position to tell his agent: “Look here. I’ve never filed a claim and no one has ever filed one against me. I’ve got a track record of decades without causing harm to anyone’s property or person – and I do not accept your 20 percent increased based on my being convicted of a trumped up “offense” that you and I know has nothing to do with whether I am a safe, competent driver. Either you rescind the rate increase, or I cancel the policy.”

      Now imagine everyone had that power – and the effect that would have on how the insurance mafia does “business.”

  3. We recently said “no, thanks” to the company that issued our house insurance policy – chiefly because the bastards jacked up the renewal by almost $200 a year for no legitimate reason – that is, no reason having anything to do with us. We’d never filed a claim, done nothing to suggest higher risk. The agent told us as much – and said that the premium was going up simply because premiums were going up for everyone. Most people have no choice but to pay up – because their home loan requires them to have insurance. (This, by the way, is reasonable. Until you’ve paid off your home, the risk of a loss is not entirely yours.)

    Same thing happened to us earlier this year, after a rare winter cold snap (rare for Southern Arizona, that is) caused water trapped in the overhead ceiling water pipes of our detached guest house to freeze, expand, and burst a pipe, causing a flooded and collapsed ceiling. Had I known 1) how little the insurance company would pay out in a claim relative to both the dollar value of the damage done AND the amount of premium money we had a paid over the years, and 2) how high they’d jack our premiums up for the next policy year, I would never have filed a claim and would have simply paid for the repairs out of pocket. It was the first homeowner’s insurance claim I’ve ever filed and it will most definitely be the last!

    The fact that our premiums went up was neither unexpected nor a source of contention. It was the AMOUNT by which they were raised (almost another whole thousand dollars per year – almost DOUBLE what I was previously paying) that made the blood in my head boil to the point of stroke. Now I could perhaps understand this if I had had a long and well-documented history of filing claims for a succession of major issues that could have been avoided (or minor ones for which filing a claim was unnecessary), or if a succession of claims painted a risk picture that made a massive premium increase necessary. But to assume that one claim for an anomalous even represents a complete change in a property’s risk posture is simply absurd in actuarial terms.

    Methinks that MANY others here suffered the same type of damage we did and this explains the premium rate hike (and to answer the inevitable and obvious question, yes, I did take the usual precautions to prevent against freeze damage that were my usual habit when living back east during the winter months. Unfortunately, most houses in this area aren’t insulated to withstand such a protracted freeze, as it’s not a normal winter weather condition for this area).

  4. Using health insurance to pay for ordinary check-ups, stubbed toes, the sniffles – and so on – is as ridiculous as using car insurance to pay for oil changes and tune-ups. At least they haven’t gotten around to forcing us to do that yet.
    But probably, it’s on deck.

    It’s already here: http://www.endurancecoverage.com

    Fortunately, it’s not mandatory – yet.

    • I wish I hadn’t lost it. A short story by I think a well known sci-fi author that was told as series of invoices for car repair insurance.

      It predicts the current conditions to a tee. I was written in the 50s or 60s as I recall.

  5. I’d just like to point our that New Hampshire has no mandate on auto insurance (if you own your car), nor does it mandate seat belts or motorcycle helmets. We’re doing ok here. We have a high standard of living, safe highways and we have a lot of fun. The heck with the nanny staters… Live Free or Die!

  6. Homeowners insurance is at least as bad if not worse. You HAVE to have because it is either required by your bank if you have a mortgage, or required by your umbrella liability policy provider if you own outright but need some protection of you assets. You simply are not going to be able to buy , say, a $2 million personal liability policy unless you also insure your house at staggering costs and HUGE deductibles and criminal settlements (should a loss occur). There also is not a true catastrophic home policy out there available (for example i’d like a policy with a $30,000 deductible….essentially a policy that covers a devastating loss which in a true free market would be available and inexpensive. but I still need an umbrella to protect me from suing scumbags.

    Long winded i know but it makes mme f**king insane. ARRGHH!!!!

    • Steve,

      You’re absolutely right!

      We asked the company that sold our homeowner’s policy whether they could write us a “catastrophic” policy that would only cover something really devastating like a fire that burned the whole house down – with a very high deductible, but low annual premiums. We’d have bought such a policy because it seems sensible.

      But I will not buy a $1,300 annually policy with a $5,000 deductible ( their “best” deal) because it’s ridiculous – a preposterous waste of money. Anything that’s likely to happen is likely to cost me less than $5,000 (which I can pay out of pocket) and anything that would cost me more than $5k is extremely unlikely to happen.

      So the policy’s useless to me.

      The wife and I talked it over. $1,300 a year for 30 years is almost $40,000!

      Luckily, we paid off our mortgage – so we were in a position to say no.

  7. Gary North says in an article on Lew Rockwell.com that his wife pays $85 a month for health insurance which is unregulated by the USG. That figurtes out to be near $1000 per year. Many people can afford $85 per month.
    There are some requirements about living by Christian standards.
    Here is Gary’s quote from his website:
    “There are several programs out there.
    She is in Christian Healthcare Ministries.
    Another is Medi-Share.
    Another is Samaritan Ministries International.”

    • Just be aware that the limits of coverage are very low compared to traditional plans.

      The basic plan she uses covers $125,000 max unless she opts for a higher plan (not sure of the extra cost), but even then it tops out at $1 million IIRC.

      Later-life health care is pricey – the one round of chemo my f-i-l just went through cost Medicare $100,000.

  8. While the gripe against the mandatory nature of Obamacare is valid the similar claim against mandatory auto insurance is not. Nor are the economics of running without medical insurance particularly sound.

    Economics of medical insurance first- It is true that up until 2014 a person could simply take their chances on being able to pay for an unexpected medical expense. Of course for the uninsured 25 year old with the broke leg from a skiing accident just showing up at Emergency mandated care. I agree that mandate should not exist. Or maybe uninsured 25 year old presumes upon parental love. Take mom & dad’s retirement so that YOU have an extra $100/month to party.

    No, a true adult plans and prepares for their own emergency . Maybe that is insurance. Though personally I would greatly prefer that the rent seeking monopoly of the Insurance Cartel oligarchy be broken insurance as a tool to level load major or unexpected medical costs is a valid tool. Perhaps catastrophic insurance backed by a personal rainy day investment fund would work for the upper half of the bell curve.

    Problem is that a third to half of the population no matter how large they grow or how many years they rack up are in truth still mentally/emotionally children. THAT is a Reality which libertarian theory has no hope of addressing. Requiring those will not or cannot deal with maintaining rainy day funds on their own to do so under supervision is a common sense particular politics solution to a real problem even if that solution annoys some libertarian purists. Do those kept on a leash resent it? Perhaps in the mode of rebellious teens they do. But so what. When the rainy comes as it will in every life they ARE grateful for the parent.

    On to auto insurance- first an observation: not one person in ten has the financial assets to cover responsibility to others for a major bone breaking auto accident. Surely there is not a purist libertarian claim to excuse walking away from carnage one has caused? Of course there is always the alternative to insurance of simply executing and selling the organs of a responsible party unable to make his victims whole. Or perhaps enslavement might be another alternative. Another alternative would be to bar from the public roads the worst/most irresponsible 30% – 40% of drivers as use of the roads is in fact not a right. While it is true that there are no true accidents it is also true that each and everyone of us is prone to having ‘ah shit’ moments far more often than some here are willing to admit. Moments made worse by drunkenness, weed, texting, excessive speed, anger, lack of rest, other freely chosen bad behaviours. Insurance (even if mandatory) has a roll to play in keeping a bad day from becoming a your life is over day.

    • Mike,

      Your argument comes down to: Because some are irresponsible/criminal, all will be treated (by force) as presumptively irresponsible/criminal. You are guilty until proved innocent.

      This is how we got probable cause-free “checkpoints” – and gate rape.

      Moreover, your argument amount to an assertion that “Smith’s” irresponsible conduct imposes an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on “Jones” – even though “Jones” doesn’t even know Smith and had nothing to do with the act in question. So, because “Smith” eats too much, becomes obese – “Jones” will be told he cannot buy a soda over a certain size.

      And so on.

      Yes, I object to that.

      On practical as well as ethical grounds.

      Do you not see that your premise, once accepted, means the end of any personal liberty? Because any conceivable risk might impose “costs” on the collective. Ergo, the collective has the right to restrict/control/forbid /punish anyone for anything – and everything.

      That’s where we’re headed.

      • “Do you not see that your premise, once accepted, means the end of any personal liberty? Because any conceivable risk might impose “costs” on the collective. Ergo, the collective has the right to restrict/control/forbid /punish anyone for anything – and everything.

        That’s where we’re headed.”

        You hit the nail right on the head here.

        Can they now say we are not allowed to smoke, drink or eat too many gummy bears because it could be a health risk and cost the collective more?

        This is the dangers of collectivism.

      • The conditioning starts in the schools. Then when adults the same people just accept such solutions to problems. I don’t know why more people can’t see it.

      • Eric lets cut to the chase. Under your system just WHAT happens to the hard drinking lousy don’t need no stinkin’ insurance driver whom YOU will not allow the rest of us to keep off the roads when he/she maims/kills one of our children? You gonna stand beside him & back his play on the $1.50 ‘compensation’ he sneeringly offers? Not that weregild in any amount would buy off the Family’s anger. Gotta say I would have to consider ANY attempt to get in the way as the hash of the murderer of my child was settled as an aggression of the most extreme sort.

        • Mike,

          Mandatory insurance hasn’t prevented such people from doing exactly what you describe. You’ve fallen for the fallacy that making something illegal is the same as making it go away.

          What disincentive is there for the person you describe – the alcoholic reckless driver, who has no significant assets, no gainful employment – to not go ahead and drive dunk and possibly kill someone?

          Such a person doesn’t give a flip about “the law” – any law.

          Meanwhile, by making insurance mandatory, the cost of insurance continues to skyrocket. As people become more and more impoverished, there is less and less incentive for them to act responsibly.

          Responsible people are not the problem, Mike.

          But mandatory insurance – like gun confiscation – makes their lives tougher/less safe/more costly.

          How is this a desirable thing?

          • Eric- You dodged my query to just keep repeating your talking points.

            Truth is fear of State action DOES discourage a fair amount of behaviour the State legislates against, including drunk/reckless driving . YOU wish to eliminate all such barriers. Do ya REALLY think such behaviour will not then increase?

            So lets cut to the chase. Under your system just WHAT happens to the hard drinking lousy don’t need no stinkin’ insurance driver whom YOU will not allow the rest of us to keep off the roads when he/she maims/kills one of our children? You gonna stand beside him & back his play on the $1.50 ‘compensation’ he sneeringly offers? Not that weregild in any amount would buy off the Family’s anger. Gotta say I would have to consider ANY attempt to get in the way as the hash of the murderer of my child was settled as an aggression of the most extreme sort.

            • Mike,

              I dodged nothing – I stated and elaborated the principle at issue. Which is, simply, that you have no right to control/punish me a priori on the basis that I might cause injury to “someone.”

              “Someone” doesn’t have rights – only real individual people do. An actual person’s actual rights must be violated before you or anyone else has any right to step in. Your collectivist “what if” scenarios don’t rise to this standard.

              By the state’s own numbers, Mike, “drunk driving” remains a common and significant problem – notwithstanding the probable cause-free checkpoints citizens are now routinely forced to endure, as well as the heavy fines and punishments that have been set into law for this offense.

              There are lots of people driving without insurance – and mandatory insurance will never stop them from doing so. Just as denying honest/responsible people their right to own guns in Chicago and Detroit has not made those citiues “safe,” either.

              Your premise is that you’re entitled to a risk-free society. Well, you’re not. Not if it comes at the expense of anyone else’s rights. And even then, the risk will still exist.

              If you’re terrified of being hit by an uninsured driver, buy yourself a policy that covers you in that event. But don’t point a gun in my face and tell me I must buy insurance to make you feel “safe.”

              As for the “hard drinking lousy don’t need no stinkin’ insurance driver”..? If he injures someone, he ought to be held criminally responsible. If he merely causes damage to property, hold him accountable to the extent realistically possible. That is, garnish wages, etc.

              But the fact is such people will likely “get away with it” in the sense of not being made to pay, because they have nothing to pay with. Such is life, Mike.

              Sames goes for the damage caused by thieves and so on. Such people will always exist. Their existence is not an excuse for taking away my rights. That is the ur cloveritic con.

              Per Jefferson, I’d rather liberty with risk – than (the unicorn of) “safety” without liberty.

              In any event, the NAP is the controlling concept – if you’re not an authoritarian thug. I haven’t harmed you or even threatened to harm you. Ergo, you have no right to threaten to harm me. Telling me I must buy insurance – or else – is a threat, Mike.

              If you support that, you’re on the wrong side of the aisle.

              Get it?

              PS: Only Clovers speak in terms of “our children.” It’s a simple-minded appeal to emotion, not reason. If you have children, they are yours. Not mine. Not ours. And I notice you use the British spelling of “behaviour,” which suggests to me you’re not from Wichita at all.

          • Gosh, Mikefromwichita. You’re starting to sound just like clover, king of the roads.

            If you drove a tank-like vehicle like a Suburban, stayed away from high traffic areas, traveled only in the daytime, and had Full Coverage Insurance, would that answer your question?

            Seems to me your aim is to create a perfectly safe situation, in an activity that entails risk, by focusing on one type of behavior while ignoring the rest of the dangers on the road.

            Mikefromwichita asked, “WHAT happens to the hard drinking lousy don’t need no stinkin’ insurance driver whom YOU will not allow the rest of us to keep off the roads when he/she maims/kills one of our children?”

            Answer: The same thing that happens in any accident. You cover your ass with Full Coverage Insurance prior to the accident and the insurance company can go after the other guy and get what they can.

            Private courts might be a solution, as well.

          • Also, RE: “Truth is fear of State action DOES discourage a fair amount of behaviour the State legislates against, including drunk/reckless driving . YOU wish to eliminate all such barriers. Do ya REALLY think such behaviour will not then increase?”

            Here’s some examples where what you say holds no water, state action increases the behavior you wish to eliminate:

            How To Convince Men To Drive Drunk


            Just so you know:

            Prohibiting Drunk Driving Is Not Self-Defense


          • Actually, Eric – I have been using the “our children” line a lot recently.
            Warning people IRL that either THEY deal with the problems – or THEIR CHILDREN will have to, and their children will be in a worse position from the start, than their parents are, now.

            Maybe I’m a hypocrite; I don’t have children. Didn’t ever want wife and family, I thought it was a path to mediocrity. Having lived that role for several years, as a step-dad – I was right. But if it’s good for others, it’s their choice – not my worry. OTOH – trying to wake them up to what they are DOING – BY INACTION – Well, maybe I can wake them up by pointing out the trends, and asking if they REALLY want their daughters to be subject to TSA rape (or real rape), and pointing out they can DO SOMETHING NOW – and their daughters will be SAFER in the future.

            So far, no luck. Even got PROOF of the Cloveritis in that one – he rides a bike to work (Bikes to train station for exercise, then takes the T). I was telling him about Seattle’s move to tax “carbon emissions” from BICYCLISTS. Also have sent him blurbs on the taxes to be levied on electric car drivers.
            About the taxing of Bicyclists: He was OK with that, would be happy to pay a fee to ensure the paths are maintained.
            I tried to explain, BLUNTLY – HE’S ALREADY PAYING FOR THE F*CKING PATHS – through property taxes! And the other taxes won’t go away, either! (he’d already suggested the fuel tax would go away at that point – took me a moment to make the connection, and realize he’d actually SAID that – ’cause he’s not dumb. But I guess he IS stupid, no tax or government program EVER goes away. He’s older than I am, two daughters in college – Even allowing for him being Oriental, hence collectivist mindset is inbred – he should know better, even as a first-gen immigrant.)

            Which is why – combine that, with the outlook of my parents – dad a rocket scientist, dealing with the propellants – physical chemistry; engineers I grew up talking to; talking to the interns – some local born, some foreigners –

            Revolution is the LEAST WORST thing I can hope for.

            THAT. is scary.

            The old are stuck in “sunk cost” and “American Exceptionalism” memes.
            The young don’t care.
            Most people my age – can’t be bothered looking, or are either FSA or intentionally blind.

            Just can’t remove their heads from their rectums, no matter how hard I try. Even people who WORK IN THIS FIELD (where my nanotech / immunization “sci-fi” armageddon bit comes from) and SEE the tech first-hand – REFUSE To think Dear Leader might be “other than good.” (Or other than God, sometimes.)

            It’s enough to render one… homicidal.

          • Eric it would appear from the dodging and dancing which you have done here that should your need for speedy driving right after consuming adult intoxicants ever harm someone’s Family they may as well cut to the chase and collect their weregild out of your hide without stopping for debate.Clover

            Ya’ll feel that to be aggressive……….well the aggression started the second your car impacted another person or their property. What they do to you afterwards is just insuring that your aggression is stopped permanently.

            • Mike,


              Can you read?

              Let’s go over it again – one more time. You wrote:

              “Ya’ll feel that to be aggressive……….well the aggression started the second your car impacted another person or their property. What they do to you afterwards is just insuring that your aggression is stopped permanently.”

              But the point is, Mike, that I haven’t “impacted” anything. You posit a hypothetical – a what if? – and then use that (your fear that someone might cause harm) as the basis for committing aggression against me. By forcing me to buy insurance. Not because I’ve harmed you or anyone else.

              But because “someone” might.

              This is the essence of Cloverism: Threatening people with physical violence who’ve not harmed you or anyone else in any way – on the pretext that it’s possible “someone” might behave negligently/irresponsibly/criminally. Therefore, everyone must be presumed negligent/irresponsible/criminal – and treated accordingly, as if they were in fact negligent/irresponsible/criminal.

              It is the same shopworn argument used by statists to take away people’s right to own firearms – and many other things besides.

              Do you not see? And if you do – and still defend it – then you’re on the other side of the fence.

              To be very clear:

              If I actually do “impact” you (or anyone else) then yes, absolutely, you have every right to hold me accountable.

              But not before.

        • finance models use an asserted (make believe) variable called the risk-free rate of return. the rate of return on gov paper. debt “instruments”. denominated in gov currency. fiat currency. collateralized, in shrinking proportions, by indentureds, living in company towns.

          financial “engineers” contrive & “derive”-ative new species of animals “to increase control of risk predators”, according to brochures.

          and all this hunting for less & less red octobers begets jurassic park.

          “October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.” ~ mark twain

          “…history shows that, on a percentage basis, five of the 10 worst days since the Dow’s inception have occurred in October, along with one in November, and one in the first half of December…”


          pathological risk reducer-types, & those pandering to them, increase risk. they “fragilize”, to use taleb’s term. & not just in the finance “compartment”, either.

          it may seem paradoxical & counterintuitive. but that’s what living too much in your head, models & maps & controls from on high (oh my!), gets you: self-fulfilling prophecy outcomes orders of magnitude worse than before hubris & cowardice (obverse/reverse) got the upper hand (as that combo always seeks to do), & the neighborhoods, all of them, lined up in domino formation, to become one gigantic h.o.a. (sounds like “ho”…bumper sticker: “hos for risk-free livin'”…), sweating the fall of that first tile.

          “the key point is that there is no choreographer & no leader. order, organization, structure – these all emerge as by-products of rules which are obeyed locally & many times over, not globally. and that is how embryology works. it is all done by local rules, at various levels but especially the level of the single cell. no choreographer. no conductor of the orchestra. no central planning. no architect. in the field of development, or manufacture, the equivalent of this kind of programming is self-assembly.

          the body of a human, an eagle, a mole, a dolphin, a cheetah, a leopard frog, a swallow: these are so beautifully put together, it seems impossible to believe that the genes that program their development don’t function as a blueprint, a design, a master plan. but no: as with the computer starlings, it is all done by individual cells obeying local rules. the beautifully ‘designed’ body emerges as a consequence of rules being locally obeyed by individual cells, with no reference to anything that could be called an overall global plan. the cells of a developing embryo wheel & dance around each other like starlings in gigantic flocks. there are differences, & they are important. unlike starlings, cells are physically attached to each other in sheets & blocks: their ‘flocks’ are called ’tissues’. when they wheel & dance, like miniature starlings, the consequence is that three-dimensional shapes are formed, as tissues invaginate (‘fold inwards to form a hollow’, ‘turn, or double back within itself’) in response to the movement of cells; or swell or shrink due to local patterns of growth & cell death. the analogy i like for this is the paper-folding art of origami, suggested by the distinguished embryologist lewis wolpert in his book “the triumph of the embryo”; but before coming to that i need to clear out of the way some alternative analogies that might come to mind – analogies from among human craft & manufacturing processes….

          …the sheets of tissue that fold, invaginate, & turn inside-out do indeed grow, & it is that very growth that provides part of the motive force which, in origami, is supplied by the human hand. if you wanted to make an origami model with a sheet of living tissue instead of dead paper, there is at least a sporting chance that, if the sheet were to grow in just the right way, not uniformly but faster in some parts of the sheet than in others, this might automatically cause the sheet to assume a certain shape, – & even fold or invaginate or turn inside-out in a certain way – without the need for hands to do the stretching & folding, & without the need for any global plan, but only local rules. and actually it’s more than just a sporting chance, because it really happens. let’s call it ‘auto-origami’. how does auto-origami work in practice, in embryology? it works because what happens in the real embryo, when a sheet of tissue grows, is that cells divide. and differential growth of the different parts of the sheet of tissue is achieved by the cells, in each part of the sheet, dividing at a rate determined by local rules. so, by a roundabout route, we return to the fundamental importance of bottom-up local rules as opposed to top-down global rules. it is a whole series of (far more complicated) versions of this simple principle that actually go on in the early stages of embryonic development.

          …let us here conclude the whole of the matter. there is no overall plan of development, no blueprint, no architect’s plan, no architect. the development of the embryo, & ultimately of the adult, is achieved by local rules, implemented by cells, interacting with other cells on a local basis. what goes on inside cells, similarly, is governed by local rules that apply to molecules, especially protein molecules, within the cells & cell membranes, interacting with other such molecules. again, the rules are all local, local, local. nobody, reading the sequence of letters in the dna of a fertilized egg, could predict the shape of the animal it is going to grow into. the only way to discover that is to grow the egg, in the natural way, & see what it turns into. no electronic computer could work it out, unless it was programmed to simulate the natural biological process itself, in which case you might as well dispense with the electronic version & use the developing embryo as its own computer. this way of generating large & complex structures purely by the execution of local rules is deeply distinct from the blueprint way of doing things. if the dna were some kind of linearized blueprint, it would be a relatively trivial exercise to program a computer to read the letters & draw the animal. but it would not be at all easy – indeed, it might be impossible – for the animal to have evolved in the first place.”

          ~ snips from “the greatest show on earth”, richard dawkins

          so, mama nature is a federalist. no big surprise. & the promise of federalism, the laboratory of those united states, tho still not local enough, not cellular enough, was at least headed the right direction, is what the founding papas used to seduce & impregnate the dupes, thereby facilitating the official marriage. but the babe was barely born when the hubristic cowards began taking their first incremental steps toward the infanticide they intended all along. & a whole bunch of others that, at least in theory, tried to defend baby were as the bath water that went with him. papa lincoln said marriage preceded all the brides & grooms, not to mention babies, & so could never, ever, be annulled…but a truer mental picture than father abraham sitting on his memorial throne is max cady, de niro’s version, in “cape fear”, straddling his co-conspiring victim & gleefully roaring “i got you now, bitch!”, followed by mississippi hickeys all around (During a rape, the rapist bites a chunk of skin out of the victim’s cheek. The bleeding red wound is known as a “Mississippi hickey”.)

          all that foundation laid, mikefromwichita, your local rule solution to drunk drivers killing kids might be more process due, less due process, more “eye for an eye”, less “debt to society”, etc. like the georgia town with the local rule mandating gun ownership, you’d likely see a precipitous reduction of incidents. other cells could join yours, emulate yours, or do something else entirely. bottom-up natural selection. versus top-down buggery. evolution/increased fitness vs devolution/decay. pretty easy choice. that you don’t have (in terms of social duracell sanction). but that doesn’t justify apologizing for, or aligning with, the top-downers who are bending everyone over…or even suggesting others do likewise.

          • finance models use an asserted (make believe) variable called the risk-free rate of return. the rate of return on gov paper. debt “instruments”. denominated in gov currency. fiat currency. collateralized, in shrinking proportions, by indentureds, living in company towns.

            Of course it’s “make believe”; that’s the point – it’s a simplifying and useful abstraction, but not one you should confuse with working like a physical reality. It’s like using a centre of gravity, even though that’s often in an interior space and not part of the object involved at all. Things like centres of pressure and of buoyancy are still useful even though they are “metacentres” that aren’t even fixed relative to the object involved.

            No, the error isn’t in using things like that but in forgetting that they are really metaphors or analogies that only do certain things for you. Sometimes, they are valuable in showing you just where the limits of those things are; that is particularly useful when it comes to using economic models properly (only an idiot ever pretends they are “real”, but only an idiot thinks that makes them futile).

          • metaphors, etc as aids to understanding, rather than literal truths…fine as far as it goes, pm.

            but that’s not how it, rf rate, is taught. nor is it the common perception.

            and it is an example of taleb’s turkey problem. everyday the pleasant & reliable risk free rate is there, until, one day, its thanksgiving.

            the point to reiterate, is the games people play, with others, & themselves, as regards risk. pet perceptions all too often trump reality. and displacement of physical reality is the name of the state’s game, you could say.

            “only an idiot ever pretends they are “real”, but only an idiot thinks that makes them futile”…& only an idiot forgets how dangerous economic models so often are….yes?

      • The real problem with mandatory insurance is similar to the problem with gun control: the law is only observed by the law-abiding.

        I lived in Brooklyn, NY for a couple years back in the late ’80s/early ’90s, and I was involved in a couple of minor accidents (passenger only, fortunately). As I recall, the other drivers didn’t have insurance. Based on those and other experiences, I would have estimated that half of the population of Brooklyn was driving around with NO car insurance. This despite being in the most regulated city and one of the most regulated states in the country. A responsible person wouldn’t DARE drive around without insurance there, because of the heavy penalties. But much of the population were probably illegal aliens at the time, and no doubt still are. And who knows how many were driving around without a driver’s license. Why would they worry about insurance? They’re poor immigrants! The downtrodden, the dregs of society, etc. And to be fair, many of them probably couldn’t afford auto insurance.

        The net effect? The insured were responsible for covering the uninsured. If you got into an accident with an uninsured person — which was about a 50/50 chance — your insurance company had to pay for your loss, even if the other driver was at fault.

        Gun control doesn’t work because criminals don’t obey laws, and the effect is to leave the law-abiding citizen defenseless. Mandatory insurance doesn’t work because the mandate only applies to the responsible man, and criminals and illegal aliens are going to be de facto exempt. So the only person at risk of being penalized for not having insurance is the guy who normally carries (and pays for) insurance.

    • The use of the roads *IS* in fact a right.
      See here:

      The Right To Travel Goes Way Back

      And in more detail here:

      How WHTI Affects You

      The Magna Carta is the foundation for many modern day constitutions and
      enumerates many of the protections found therein including the Great
      Writ of Habeas Corpus. The right to travel was so important it was distinctly set apart in clause 42:

      It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to go out of our kingdom,
      and to return, safely and securely, by land or by water, saving
      his allegiance to us, unless it be in time of war, for some
      short space, for the common good of the kingdom: excepting prisoners
      and outlaws, according to the laws of the land, and of the people
      of the nation at war against us, and Merchants who shall be
      treated as it is said above.”…


      And then there’s this:

      The Right to Travel

      “There is a word for those who are not only restricted from traveling where
      they desire, but also must “check in” with an authority
      before absenting themselves. That word is slave.”…


    • the aspects you emphasize are emergent, which is to say you’re operating at symptom level. that’s lifetime make work in the screwer-screwee thugscrum.

      flexner report. ama: cartelcinoma. insurance & pharma: metastasis.

      the cartels get the cattle coming, & going. and gone, too, for that matter.

      cartel-chorusing apologetics from cattle is another emergent. it’s called stockholm syndrome.

  9. So what happens when someone with no assets and maybe no job injures someone with an automobile? Let’s say the bill is $100,000?

    But even fender benders. So what happens when someone with no assets and maybe no job injures someone with an automobile? Let’s say the bill is $5,000? With insurance fender benders get cleared up fairly quickly, what happens if I do not have insurance and I rear end the car in front of me?

    Maybe you should explain what you think the obligations you have in operating an automobile are?

    As it turns out you can start your own insurance company. This guy did when he thought rural people were being taken advantage of:

    The Farmer from Merna: A Biography of George J. Mecherle and a History of the State Farm Insurance Companies of Bloomington, Illinois


    • What happens now in those instances with mandatory insurance laws with regard to the persons harmed?

      Same thing that happens without them.

      Passing a law doesn’t make people behave in a responsible manner.

    • George,

      Exactly what happens now – they walk away and leave others holding the bag.

      Mandatory insurance has not prevented people from driving without insurance – or compelled the irresponsible indigent to compensate people for the damage they cause.


      All mandatory insurance does is give the insurance companies the legal power to force you to buy their services. This has several bad effects, including much more expensive insurance. Because there is no real competition. They know you can’t say no. But imagine if you could. That’d put real pressure on them to offer reasonable rates – rates that were not based on absolute bullshit such as your record of “speeding” tickets but instead on your record of filing claims or having claims filed against you.

      If I had not been forced to buy insurance these past 25 years, I’d have around $30,000 in the bank. That’d cover pretty much any fender-bender, don’t you think?

      In any event, that’s entirely beside the point.

      You might go on an ax rampage next week and cause all sorts of damage. It is possible. Should you be forced to buy ax murderer insurance?

    • A charming and touching history – except that State Farm Insurance, supposedly founded with the highest of ideals, is now part of the predatory insurance mafia that it was (supposedly) established to combat.

  10. When we moved up here, my wife and I bought a second car — we’re miles from much, and no family around to mooch off of if anything happens, so if we had just one car and something went wrong, we were stuck. I was wholly unprepared for how much more I’d be paying per month for worthless “insurance” that has so many conditions, exclusions, and deductibles that it barely COULD pay out even if something were to happen.

    I was in an accident about ten years back. This one was as close to an actual “accident” as it gets: got caught in a freak blizzard about ninety miles from home, ended up sliding off the road at one point, and somebody following behind slid in the same spot and rear-ended me. I ended up with a messed-up fender and a bent tie rod, and some other minor damage. Since I was not moving and was struck by a car traveling in the same direction (I know, but that’s what the policy says), my insurance would actually deign to cover the damage! Everybody I knew, though, advised me to pay for it out of pocket instead of filing a claim, since the rate hike I’d get hit with from filing would overwhelm the amount they paid me. So what exactly the heck is the hecking point of the insurance?

    Now we’re talking about having a baby. Think I, perhaps we should look into maternity insurance, since that’s a rather high-risk endeavour, and it might be nice to buy some risk mitigation. Only the government has protected us from buying it; it’s only legal to buy ridiculous, super-comprehensive, gold-plated garbage for (we looked) $465/month, and this carries a $6500 deductable and a 20% co-pay. So I can pay them a total of about ten thousand dollars (since you have to carry it for a year before it’ll actually cover *anything*) for the “benefit” of paying only 20% of all eligible bills *after* the first $6500? Catch me, because I might faint from the excitement of what a good deal this is for me. And if I do, I’ll hit my head, and I can’t afford to get that looked at.

    Also, bonus Obamacare comedy: according to the feds, we can “reasonably afford” to pay $580/month for health insurance. Yeah, maybe we can, if “health insurance” is made out of food, because otherwise I’m not sure we’ll have anything to eat. My wife and I are not exactly wealthy.

    • Interesting story(s), Darien.
      It’s almost as if you object to being dragged down into poverty to provide for your comrades.
      Can’t you see others NEED your money?
      What’s wrong with you?

      Oh no’s, here come the toxic psychiatrists!


      I suppose you’d also have a problem with a “mandatory smog blockade” as well?


      Off! to the gulag with you!


      • @Roth- Oh that it was for our fellow comrades. At least we could point the finger at them.

        The money really goes to the corporate industry, and a percentage to the welfare class, the doctors and nurses. Obamacare is even worse. It was written by the corporations, and will break the back of the working man and woman to fuel their corporate jets and political action funds. That is why all healthcare corporate stock is up big time across the board. Don’t like it? Tuff. They have setup the IRS as the mafia collector, who will threaten to cut your nuts off unless you give it up. A most clever system. I am seriously considering just not paying or playing. Keep my assets in other entities, just like the corporations do. Let’s see how many will be prosecuted for an unconstitutional rule of forced buying just because my body in inside the country. They still have to treat me if I show up at the ER door, just like the illegals.

        • From FSA Field Manual:

          Never fail to use the old ghetto mind trick. Good citizen bad citizen. If your immediate family is 16 close-knit people. Everyone divorces everyone. Kids are emancipated.

          Unsecured debts go unpaid. All except one chosen 1 of 16 good guy who keeps good credit, and on paper and enjoys a huge income. Everybody networks and they all help each other steal from their employers by pretending to be customers at their place of business.

          The 1 of 16 starts a small unprofitable business with huge expenses. He moves to a tax haven and everyone visits his mansion on holiday. His expenses are shifted to the others as much as is needed so they all continue looking poor.

          The 15 become a financial disaster on paper. They all appear to earn less than the povertly level on paper, they shift the excess to the good guy. They qualify for food stamps, surplus cheese, cellphones, medicare, section 8 housing, energy assistance, college loans, you name it. Some acquire hideous disabilities and collect SSI.

          Being a FSA soldier is a lifetime commitment,its helps you and your poorly oppressed group move up the ladder of status in the unending battle for equality. Semper Fizzle My Nizzle.

    • Hi Darien,

      I feel your pain, amigo.

      On car insurance: For years, I paid exorbitant rates – not because of accidents I caused, but because of tickets I received. When I was in college, the 55 MPH highway limit was still in force. In my state, anything faster than 20 MPH over any posted maximum is statutory “reckless” driving. I got several “reckless” driving tickets for committing such heinous acts as driving 78 MPH on I-81 (where the speed limit today is back to 70 MPH and doing 78 is, at worst, a minor speeding ticket).

      On health insurance: Fuck ’em and feed ’em fish heads.

      I will not comply.

      For me, this is a line in the sand – like gun confiscation. If it means they come for me, so be it. I don’t say that glibly. Nor am I a “tough guy.”

      I simply will not comply. It will no longer be worth complying. Because if they actually do come for me – and anyone else who simply wishes to be left alone – then we’ll no longer have anything left to lose.

      They will have shown they’re determined to take everything.

      They may be able to do that.

      I just won’t give it to them.

      • sr-22. yep. my ticket accumulation got me that early on. no accidents. just infractions of the arbitrary. rates about tripled.

        alpha arbitrageurs & omega arbitragees…welcome to “civilization”.

      • It’s very sad that that same “offense,” reckless driving, now carries a multiple-thousand-dollar fine and a revocation of your permission slip. And it’s the exact same bogus non-crime.

        In re: health insurance: I also will not comply. I lived in Massachusetts under Romneycare for several years and never managed to comply there; the feds aren’t going to have any more luck than the state did. I won’t buy their phony-baloney “insurance,” and I won’t pay their penalty either.

        • I’m Darien’s wife, and our opinions on non-compliance are completely in accord.

          Just wanted to add that the 500-ish dollars a month that the government thinks we should spend on health insurance is more than I’ve spent on medical care in any given year since we were together. I’m pretty sure it’s more than Darien’s spent on medical care in his entire adult life. Yep, sounds like a great deal for us working people!

  11. I made it this far without ever getting renter’s insurance.
    Since 1984.
    However; I’m sure I paid the landlord’s insurance bill.
    But I’m doin’ ok, so far. (Well, until Obomacare, and Yellen inflation, kicks in and wipes me out. But that’s a different thread. And other regulations might do me in before then, anyway.)

    I miss the days when insurance wasn’t required to drive a car.
    Back then, it seemed like insurance was something only the rich guy purchased to protect himself from the dangers of the world, the rest of us fended for ourselves and dealt with matters between one another.
    Insurance was something to aspire towards. [what happened to that line of thinking? It went away along with having enough money for a down-payment on a house and was replaced by Easy Money NINJA 101?]

    It seemed to me like there were a lot fewer unattentative drivers back then too.

    I guess the gooberment don’t like people dealing with matters between one another? Gooberment just has to step in and get in the middle, like a busy body.

    How long was it I drove a car without insurance before I was required to have it? Fifteen, twenty years? It wasn’t needed. … Since it’s been required, insurance hasn’t been needed in the last twenty or so years either. For me, anyway.

    I cannot fathom how teenagers afford insurance nowadays. I guess they just don’t drive. …And as a result, in a way, don’t learn how to be adults.

    Often I’ve thought of doing what my low income friend does, just skip the insurance, the fine is cheaper than the insurance.

    …And then there’s the allure of a donkey. And I’m sure that’s exactly what our overlords would like, limited mobility for all. …They got us coming and going. Bastards.

    • Hi Roth,

      I figure I’ve thrown away about $10k on mandatory car insurance over just the past 12 years. Such a waste, beyond the affront it represents.

      My old muscle car could use a repaint. That $10k could have paid for it – could have been out to a productive purpose, providing employment income for a restoration shop and the people who work there, creating value.

      Instead, it went down the gullet of the insurance mafia, to pay for the salaries of paper-pushing shysters.

        • Hi Joe,

          First, the law (civil and criminal) ought to be predicated on tangible evidence of real harm done to persons or property. Absent harm proved by a presentation of evidence – no crime, no culpability – no punishment.

          Second, all civil suits ought to be based on the “loser pays” principle. It’s abominable that anyone can just file a suit – utterly without merit – and you’re forced to waste your time and money defending yourself against it. In such cases, the person filing the frivolous/unwarranted suit should bear all costs associated with the defense.

          These two common sense reforms would solve most of the problems that plague us with regard to civil/criminal proceedings

          • Eric…but whats frivolous or without merit? These lawsuits are already tossed when it’s VERY apparent what they are. I have a better suggeston. A car involved in an accident can claim no more then say…$10,000 in damages. Injury claims…..30,000. Set these limits and if an offending driver has $40,000 in their bank as collateral they do NOT need insurance. If they get into an accident that till might be tapped. If its tapped then they must show they are good for it (ins?). Too many accidents on a drivers license and they lose their license.

            • Hi Joe,

              “Frivolous” would be a case that cannot be proved. You charge me with “x” – but cannot substantiate that I have injured you in any way (this includes injury to your property, of course). Case dismissed – you get the bill for my legal fees.

              As far as forcing people to tie up huge sums as collateral:

              If this principle is accepted, we’re all broke.

              The same logic that says I should be required to maintain $40,000 in a special account because I might cause a hypothetical someone injury would also justify forcing you to keep $40,000 (or maybe $100,000) in a special account in case your dog mauls someone, or someone drowns in your pool… or shoots someone with your gun… and on and on and on.

              It is prior restraint – the idea that it’s ok to impose restrictions (punishments) on people not for anything they’ve actually done but because they might, conceivably, do something.

              I can think of few things more at odds with the NAP – with a free society that respects individual rights.

              If I harm you, then you’ve got a right to seek redress.

              You do not have a right to force me to make provisions for “what if” – so that you can feel “safer.”

        • I think you make a good point, Joe. To me, the real value of auto and homeowners insurance is liability insurance. I agree with Eric’s point that tort law should be reformed, but until that day, there’s a real danger in this litigious society of ours that one might be sued. Even so, it’s not extremely likely — but it’s something I would worry about more if I didn’t have liability insurance. Liability insurance won’t necessarily prevent me from being wiped out if I bump into an ambulance chaser with my car or if Eminem’s mother slips and falls in my house — but it would help keep me out of the poor house.

          I used to work in the insurance industry, and for a few years I edited a report on liability insurance claims. One of the things I was taught about insurance is that should be a hedge against losses that are large and rare. For that reason, I’ve often dropped collision insurance on my cars once they were paid off, and I have a large deductible on my homeowners insurance — I’d rather pay most things out of pocket, and leave the insurance for big losses.

          Getting back to the subject of healthcare, I was also taught that health insurance isn’t really insurance. Having an insurance company pay for a routine physical or a prescription is awfully inefficient, and subverts market forces, distorting prices. It would only be “insurance” if it really covered only catastrophic losses, like complicated surgeries and extended hospital stays. What we call “health insurance” is actually, like our government, a wealth redistribution system. It’s socialism in the form of a private business.

        • hey, joe (& robert)…

          cartelization, section by section, of the market/economy, in the eternal, & eternally doomed, attempt by oligarchies to monopolize everything, is like low atmospheric pressure. the oligarchs want to lower, if not do away with altogether, the pressure of competition. not losing is winning & if the fix isn’t in, then losing is not a question of if, but when, which is a nightmarish, not to mention personally offensive, prospect to oligarchic minds & sensibilities. losing is for the little people, say the leona helmsley’s, not the too big to fail.

          in areas of high atmospheric pressure the air is slowly descending, as generally are market prices of goods & services. that’s one significant reason why cartelization of currencies has always been job one. deflation is a synonym for fruit of the competition bramble (strawberries, for example): little peoples’ money is appreciating & the prices of the stuff the company town oli’s want them to have no choice but to purchase are depreciating. captain queeg, crazy cowardly f***er that he is, can’t have that. the strawberries, all of them, are his. *wouk’s story is worth the read.



          when too much low pressure insinuates itself into high pressure surrounds, storms are created. some of the deadly debris that flies around, impaling people & things, in these storms is known as “litigiousness”. at least in common law climates. civil law climates are different. it’s always worth remembering tho that “law” is one of those immortality projects becker wrote about. & that if you like investing in immortality, bernie madoff types are your opposite number.


          tort reform won’t stop shrapnel. & storm reform ain’t an option. since shrapnel is an “emergent property” of storm, all you can do is, like jed, “move away from there”. new orleans & tornado alley, yellowstone caldera & san andreas fault…these are representative amerikan hallmarks of “perfect storm” central.

          Like a train that stops at every station,
          we all deal with trials and tribulations
          Fear hangs the fellow that ties up his years,
          entangled in yellow and cries all his tears
          Changes come before we can grow,
          learn to see them before we’re too old
          Don’t just take me for tryin’ to be heavy,
          understand, it’s time to get ready for the storm


          The tiny island sags downstream
          ‘Cause the life that lived is, is dead
          And the wind screams Mary

          Will the wind ever remember
          The names it has blown in the past
          And with his crutch, it’s old age, and it’s wisdom
          It whispers no, this will be the last
          And the wind cries Mary


          hey joe, pa’s pretty. been there many times. but there’s lots of pretty places. less common, more civil places, you might say.

          I’m goin’ way down south, way down south
          Way down to Mexico way, yeah
          I’m goin’ way down south, way down south, baby
          Way down where I can be free
          Ain’t no one gonna mess with me there, baby
          Ain’t no hang-man gonna
          He ain’t gonna put a rope, a rope around me, yeah
          You better believe it, baby
          Hey, Joe, you better run on down, you better
          Goodbye everybody


          both, back to back, live


  12. “Most “accidents” are not random events that just happen. They happen – for the most part – as a direct result of factors under one’s control…Certainly, accidents happen. But most “accidents” aren’t.”

    and here comes moral hazard.

    you’ve got insurance. you pay for it, every month, forever. you’re “covered”. your financial responsibility has been delegated. & moral responsibility? what’s that? you practically owe it to yourself to wreck the car, every now & then, to keep the “roi” in line.

    freeway off ramp. straight shot across the perpendicular surface street, overpass on my left. where the opposite off ramp bisected the surface street, huge “no left turn signs”, due to construction or something, plus traffic barrels blocking lefts under the overpass. had been blocked that way for days. my light was green. and i didn’t want to miss it, end of the day, headed home. pushed it a little. maybe 50. you now that bit of light in the tires lift that happens? that’s where it was when the tahoe filled my fov. bent the frame on my tacoma. seatbelt injury. tahoe guy saw someone else defeat the barricade, & emulated. when he got clear, he throttled up right into oncoming traffic, which was me. cops: no fault. not even a ticket. strictly an insurance matter.

    that which is subsidized increases. and the subsidized are not careful. may well even feel “entitled” to their lack of care. real incentive misallocation…that feeds right back into the machinery.

    • Great point in re moral hazard, Ozzy!

      I take exactly that approach with regard to my health: I take care of it.

      I exercise every day. I eat carefully – avoiding processed foods, fast foods and GMO foods. I have never smoked. I drink very occasionally.

      Granted, I might have a heart attack – or get cancer. I might also drive my car into a tree. These possibilities always exist – but they’re remote enough (and enough under my control) such that I’d rather accept the (slight) risk and enjoy the reward of not being a financial slave to the insurance mafia.

      We are all going to die. I accept this. In between, though, I’d like to live a little. Instead of living to pay for the Quixotian Quest of a risk-free life.

  13. They used to milk cows by hand. Now we have corporations and their hand maidens (government) with computers and milking machines.

    The Madison Avenue images of a gecko, a fellow holding out his hands to help you, and a harmless grinning personal shopper assistant lady just so warm and fuzzy aren’t they?

    “The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people … …everything in the state, nothing against the State, nothing outside the state.”

    Benito Mussolini

  14. When I was in highschool, I totalled two cars in a very short period of time. The first in bad weather, the second in bad traffic. Long story short I walked and worked my butt off for three months to pay for my next ride.

    Meanwhile… three months later my parents get thier insurance bill, and it’s TRIPLED. When i stopped having a car, The insurance company just assumed that I would be driving the families other two cars and tossed my 17 year old, (two totalled cars, two speeding ticketed) butt on thier full coverage policies . My parents threatened to pull every single policy (Home, business, health, life, etc) if the company didn’t reverse itself. The secretary lived down the street from us and vouched to her chain that I never ever ever touched my mommas black Intrepid, or my daddies Chevy Silverado. Finally the company relented.

    A few months later I find a beater truck for sale for 600 bucks. I go to the same insurance company, get a bid thats astronomical, but I can’t blame them, and go buy the truck. I go back to get my insurance policy. They “Lost” my quote, and requoted me a price that was triple the previous number. I walked out and never walked back in.

    After my crazy teenage days, I joined the US military because i’m white trash from the south with a low GPA, and the military pays a heck of alot better then walmart. When I left I sold my truck because it was in horrible shape and I figured it wouln’t make it to my first base. Seven months later I get orders to my first base, buy a cheap car, and get hit as a high risk driver because I went 7 months without an insured vehicle.

  15. Eric. The problem with auto insurance is not just the insurance companies but also the “industry” that feeds on it. Let me explain. The lobbyists bribe eeeeer….”donate” money to government officials to pass laws that force idiots like you and me to give lots of our money to them. In exchange we get the “privilege” to drive a car or walk into doctors office.

    In Pennsylvania EVERY government document has the actual word “privilege” stamped on it…Driving, registering, hunting etc.

    Who are these “lobbyists” ?

    They are the doctors, lawyers, insurance companies, court officials etc who feed off the current system and who would starve without it. All making ALOT of money doing nothing more than shoveling paperwork.

    The cure is very simple. Eliminate trials, depositions, litigations and most important is fraud. These are the real costly results of greedy people.

    After spending many years testifying in court regarding accidents of both a vehicle and pedestrian nature most are fraud based. Eliminate fraud and a good guess of at least 75% of insurance claims will be tossed. Also limit the payout for EVERYTHING!

    You need to kill this beast that the industry itself has created. This Eric will take ALOT more than a blog I’m sorry to say. A lot of very powerful special interest groups will protect its troth with force if necessary. Just look at all the SWAT team raids on everything nowadays.

    • Agreed, Joe.

      This rot traces back to the beginning, too.

      I am currently reading a biography of the odious Alexander Hamilton – America’s original evil genius. He, more than any other person, is responsible for the grift-graft, rent-seeking, debt-financing, shyster-speculating control-freak Cloveritic authoritarian circus that is America.

      I can think of only two ways to combat this.

      One, ethically awakening as many people as possible to the NAP/self-ownership.

      Two, resistance – by force, if need be – to against those who will not or cannot be awakened.

      This is a case when you’re either with us – or against us.

      There’s no middle ground, no gray area.

      Either you believe in aggression – or you don’t.

      • Revolutions have come and gone through history but the sad joke after a short time it reverts back. I think the whole system will implode without a single shot fired. I believe this because after the dollar dies true tyranny will prevail. This is GOOD because the beast will take its mask off for all to see. Russia (USSR) died because of the rot communism caused. The USSA will die from the same massive Marxist Socialist Fascist Special interest group sociopath corruption. Just look at the polls when asked about government competence. Would anyone try to protect the government in a severe crisis? If attacked by a superpower like China or Russia I feel most Americans would not even care. Who would care if their master is taking a licking if there was even a slim chance for a bit of real freedom afterword’s?

        • Supposedly that’s how Islam came to dominate so much of the world, a while back.
          Sure, paying the Jizya was odious, but you were otherwise LEFT ALONE.
          It will not be so for us – and so, we will see desertion, defection, and apathy, from military and civilian alike. (And I won’t blame the military, either – what use is YOUR honor, if chained to the causes of the dishonorable? You are either a traitor, or an honorless bastard, and neither allows for honor… so, be honorable by removing yourself from the dishonorable position.)

          • Islam is only spreading throughout European countries, US and Canada because its all part of oldest rule of combat….”Divide and Conquer” This in my opinion is VERY intentional by our masters. Its also going to end very badly when people wake up after the collapse. As far as service members….most people join the military because it pays. I joined cause I believed in the US exceptionalism blah blah blah. Honor? Loyalty? Commitment? God, Country Blah Blah Blah. Our gubberment is currently screening its military for free thinkers. Why? Because it knows it screwed the pooch and if there ever was a “showdown” it could very easily be their necks that might stretch. Trust me….they are very nervous.

          • “be honorable by removing yourself from the dishonorable position”

            Any active duty military, police or other government official reading this please disregard. Please!!!! Stay in your positions as you’ll be needed in the future to end tyranny. People on the inside WILL be needed as they already know exactly what to do. Kind a like battling a fort and having some of your solders camouflaged in the fort…:-)

          • @JoePA – What if those fooled into waiving the flag (any flag) just said “NO”. Really. That is all it would take. That is why the illusion must be kept at any cost, both in dead bodies and financially.

            “a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes.[2] Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good.[1] The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line.[3] Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.”

            Wikipedia – Orwell’s 1984 novel – 1984

          • Joe, I understand the fifth column concept, and it would be great. But I prefer clear targets. We – my generation and later – we’re specifically taught how NOT to think. Meaning, taught how to listen uncritically and absorb and regurgitate whatever teacher wanted to hear. (This was reinforced by my parents.)

            I want clearly defined enemies, and those shiny badges mean, “insert bullet here”.
            It’s rather not kill someone honorable, goes against the whole principle of justice.

            As to Islam, “then” is nothing like “now”.
            They have regressed, De-evolved, and now should be damaged en masse. Western civilization owes a lot to Arab history, but now they would benefit from colonization or crusades. Sad, really. But you can’t stay in the 1300s for all time.

            Not sure about divide-and-conquer, though that is built into their religion. I think there is who on the part of our leaders, that they wish to be our “mullahs”, and thus rule not only by law but also by divine edict.

            Lop off their heads and mount the heads on pikes around D.C as a warning…

      • there was a beautiful gray area, known as “the confederate states”. they took option two. the blue tides engulfed them. & those old boys were unimaginably tougher than what’s around now.

        yes re hamilton. but he did not do it alone. the conspiracy (plan) was vast, predating the ar-13 (amerikan revo – 13 colonies).

        play it again, sam? or get on the plane, with victor (☻) & ilsa?

        Major Strasser: What is your nationality?

        Rick: I’m a drunkard.

        Captain Renault: That makes Rick a citizen of the world.

        [all laugh]

        they don’t write ’em, much, like that anymore….

        • Maybe we need a Basil Street irregulars movement?
          I use Basil Street because the other good name would cause a geographic black hole in the web, and we don’t want that…

          I’m thinking Brown dusters (another in-group message, to the right group) instead of Grey Wool. Maybe pockets on the inside for ballistic plates, and go with a double-breasted look to add overlapping plates. 🙂

          Other sites I’ve been looking at today are saying the same – only, more so.
          As in, “Time’s a Wastin’!” (Old WW2 nose art from a Black Widow model I did YEARS ago.)

          • basil, we just harvested. pesto’s coming.

            brown duster. got mine from oz, years ago. bees wax impregnated. no b-plates. remember these guys?

            the emperor has no clothes. but the thing is, neither do the anti-emperors. contending nudist colonies. now there’s a mental picture.

          • Heh heh…
            I’ll send a photo, Ozy…
            Remember that what has been seen – cannot be unseen.
            And it costs extra to make me put clothes back on…

            Payback’s a b… LOLOLOL

          • if you manage to go full nudal frontity assault on me, jean, i’m gonna’ socialize the cost, repost far & wide. internet judo. ☻

          • I’ll be famous! Or infamous. 😉

            I’ll succeed in Agenda 21 all on my own. 😉

            Someone make sure the women can’t see it, OK? I want to have SOMEONE to share the new Eden with… 😉

        • oops. if there were an edit button, i’d delete “beautiful”. the gray area had its share of wolves, too.

          underdoggedness makes beagles seem beautiful. (no offense to beagle-lovers. its for the symmetry.)

      • I can’t stand Hamilton either, Eric. Did you ever read “Burr,” by Gore Vidal? There are a lot of things I admire about Aaron Burr, one being that he was Hamilton’s mortal enemy — literally.

        • Yes!

          Vidal’s one of my favorite writers. I don’t agree with him on many things, but he was an honest man – and a brilliant writer, too.

          I’m also a fan of Burr. Too bad he didn’t invite Hamilton for an “interview” sooner than he did!

  16. That Flo/Hillary mashup is just creepy!

    Most states do have a “self insured” option, although it is not a realistic option for working class people:


    Most companies with a fleet of vehicles are self insured, and pay an insurance company a management fee for handling claims. They just have to keep a slug of cash in a bank account. Sure, it puts money to sleep, but at least it’s not just burned up.

    I always thought it would be interesting to create a pool of automobile owners together and make a self-insured club, similar to a stock investment circle. Then I realized that’s exactly what most insurance companies are, but with a whole lot of overhead.

    • Flo/Hitlary? Was that the second one?

      First one was Obummer…
      But if Flo and Hitlary look so close I can’t tell the difference…

      Subliminal marketing, established YEARS in advance?

      Give credit where credit is due – that’s SERIOUSLY long-term planning, compared to most people’s “long term” being, “What’s for dinner this week?”

    • You see Eric_G, that is exactly what is not allowed to happen! I live in a neighborhood of about I’ll say about 3,000 people let’s say. The neighborhood group sends out it’s own newsletter blah blah blah. Everyone hates (health especially) insurance companies, so I’ve heard. What’s to stop that 3,00 person group from forming a collective for such and such purpose? OOOOOO yes, the state will ram down hard if you try that nonsense.

      • They’ll allow it, as long as you fill in enough forms and comply with enough regulations that you can’t compete with the insurance companies anyway. Outright prohibition is SOOOO early 20th century.

    • No, “a pool of automobile owners together and make a self-insured club, similar to a stock investment circle” is not “exactly what most insurance companies are, but with a whole lot of overhead”, it is exactly what most mutual insurance associations are; insurance companies are like those, after a demutualisation process has hived off the tied up value of the firm through share issues. That makes for a considerable difference, since the companies get an advantage over other forms of organisation from being able to grow faster to sizes where they get advantages of scope and scale (if those are available in their area of operations); there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but the catch comes from how the share issues work like printing money to tap into pools of real wealth – “other people’s money”.

  17. I’ve held a bitter hatred for auto insurance companies since…well since I owned my first car. For the first few years after begging our benevolent rulers for permission to drive, my sole method of transportation was a motorcycle which, in Flori-duh at the time, was not required to have insurance. I generally went to what is loosely referred to as the fly-by-night type of insurance companies around here, my reasoning being that I don’t expect the company to pay anything in case of an accident, I just wanted to keep the state off my back.

    Boy, what a racket they have!

    On a year-long insurance policy, they quote a price of, say, $1500. Well, like many people who actually work for a living, I didn’t have $1500 just laying around that I could hand over to an insurance company for, essentially, nothing.

    “No problem!” they say, “We can just finance your premium for X-number of dollars a month.”

    Not only do they resemble the mafia in that I’m paying protection money to them, but they’re into loan sharking as well. Fan-fricking-tastic.

    Here’s the kicker. There came a few times when I had to choose between keeping lights and water turned on at home (actual value for money paid) or buying groceries (again, actual value for money) or paying for car insurance (arguably zero value). Well, unlike a regular loan (sharking, notwithstanding) when unpaid that results in collections calls (or hired goons), my insurance gets canceled instantaneously as though it were any other utility.

    A few months later, when I have money issues straightened out and go back to the insurance company to reactivate my policy (usually after threatening letters from the state about suspending my right to travel), they expect me to pay for the intervening months of my policy. To date, I have never gotten a straight answer to the question of why I should make back payments for months in which I had no insurance coverage whatsoever? No other service is like this. Hell, if the power, gas, water, or phone get shut off, those meters STOP spinning. Sure, I get charged a fee (which are getting more ridiculous all the time) for having someone come by to turn a valve or flip a switch, but in none of those cases am I required to pay for period in which I get no service.

    On the subject of the “Affordable” Care Act, it strikes me as odd that the fines I’ve heard of so far for refusing to sign up are in many cases cheaper than buying into the insurance. Hmm…That’s not how fines are supposed to work in other situations. With car insurance, it costs $500 a pop every time I get pulled over for no insurance (at today’s pricing levels for being “serviced” by the state, that is). That’s an inducement to pay the protection money demanded by the mob.

    • Ditto all that, Ferret!

      On the Obamcare fines:

      They go up – sharply – after the first year.

      The scumbags know that it’s easier to boil frogs by raising the temperature of the water slowly….

      • Funny how the people who got to decide on Obmamacare – are exempt from it.
        We should make a Referendum, and force through a law: Congress CANNOT exempt themselves from ANY law, EVER.

        Also the only way we’d ever pass term limits. By putting it to the people.
        And I think it would fail, because “the people” want money to come “back” from D.C., and the parasite class is elected purely to bring the bacon back home. If they can steal it from another stat’es tax revenues, EVEN BETTER… (Even if it’s LESS than would be in the Pols pocket’s if they weren’t paying taxes.)

      • Don’t buy the lies about the fine being low. That $95/year fine is the minimum. The actual formula is 1% of gross yearly income over mean poverty times number of uninsured individuals in the household.

        So, family of 4 on $100k is about $75k over mean poverty, or $750 per year PER UNINSURED INDIVIDUAL.

        $3,000 per year, starting in 2014, for not having health insurance.

        • Yeah but the people they want in are the ones who are young and healthy, many of whom have crappy jobs like being a waiter between classes. They’ll gladly pay 1% of what they earn over the poverty level, if that’s even a positive number. Way better than throwing money away to repair the bad hips of 70 year olds who pay the same premiums as them.

          • @Michael You are falling for the “useless eaters” trap being sold by Bill Gates and the crew. Now that all the money that 70 year old put in over 20 -50 years has been stolen, the same thieves are changing the rules of the game. More cash to them and they sell the blame game away from themselves. As they say follow the money not the propaganda.

          • Hi Mike,

            “They’ll gladly pay 1% of what they earn over the poverty level, if that’s even a positive number…”

            I dunno!

            When I was in that category – young, just starting out – every cent mattered to me. $100 a month? That’s serious cash to a person working part-time at Starbucks (or full-time at Wal-Mart).


            And these Obamacare supporters are shortly going to learn the truth of it.

      • You raise an interesting point Eric. Boiling the frog on the fine (tax). I’m scratching my head tring to figure out the huge jump in my insurance premiums. They turned the heat from sim we to high all at once. My rates jumped, currently $289/mo. for what used to be called catastrophic coverage/high deductible ($6500 out of pocket max a year). Now my insurance, via bcbs of Alabama, the only game in town, is quoted for next year at $755/mo. with $12k annual out of pocket max. The only diff in coverage I can tell is it includes vision/dental coverage for the kids, and my company’s go up, and the cost sharing goes from 20% to 10%, which means if something truly horrible happens, I would just go bankrupt a day or two later. Now, here is the real kicker: if I go, via the exchange, this same insurance, via the kaiser calculator (since Obama’s exchange won’t let me create an account, naturally using my legitimate information) comes out to $11,500/yr, a $4k increase. But, here is the best part, I qualify for a subsidy of $4k. I know you all on this site know where I’m going with this. Why does bcbs get a $4k kicker if I purchase thru the exchanges? Suddenly the 1.6 billion the health insurers spent lobbying to get uaca passed seems the bargain of the century. I’m scrambling for alternatives because I really want catastrophic coverage, but not if I’m going to be extorted to cover those less willing to be employed and fork over extra dollars for the insurers just because they paid for congress to force me to buy. Seriously pisses me off. I wonder if joe six pack is having buyers remorse, cause this has to be hitting him in the wallet.

        • Hi Tomas,


          Fruit of the poisoned tree.

          Americans should expect bad things to happen to them when they demand bad things be visited upon others.

          If I steal other people’s things, I ought not to get self-righteous when they steal from me.

          That’s what’s got to be put a stop to. This business of reciprocal-collective parasitism.

          We all have problems of one sort or another. They do not impose an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on other people.

          If I need medical care, it’s my obligation to pay for it – no one else’s. Period. Just as no else’s medical car is my obligation.

          Hard times will not go away by enshrining theft and coercion. Doing so will just make times harder – for everyone.

    • Ferret said, “Hell, if the power, gas, water, or phone get shut off, those meters STOP spinning. Sure, I get charged a fee (which are getting more ridiculous all the time) for having someone come by to turn a valve or flip a switch, but in none of those cases am I required to pay for period in which I get no service.”

      I wish that were correct, Ferret. Actually, there are such cases. They came up in my area of the same state as Eric lives after storms knocked out power for days nearby. Simply put, your electric meter stops spinning, yes, but you are potentially still liable for the full monthly cost of cable and landline phone service for that time off the grid—even though you had no access because you had no power. Much commentary about this appeared in the big daily paper in my area. The companies said in effect that they had no provisions for adjusting bills for periods of non-use, despite long-term power outages that rendered their services impossible to use during those outages.

      Verizon is the big telecom provider out my way, and its employees are little better than goons when it comes to the likes of this. I know personally of two occasions when landline service went out because someone had damaged a roadside pedestal, yet Verizon told the affected people it would be out to fix the problem “in about two weeks”. Happened to me when I had no cell phone and was caregiving my mom and stepdad, even though several neighbors’ phones were also out because a farmer had obliterated a pedestal with a tractor. Then the same thing happened to one of my dad’s good friends and his neighbors years later. “Two weeks” again.

      In both instances enough people apparently complained and went up the ladder that Verizon fixed the problem that same day. But “two weeks”? This amounts to little more than the company saying “fuck you”, and of course the full amount for monthly service would have appeared on the next bill.

      Eric doesn’t like cell phones, and for good reasons. But I now use nothing but a cell phone, as do some others I know. Mine is a prepaid phone with no bells and whistles: no camera, no Internet, none of that, just voice and texting. I buy a prepaid card every so many months and continue. What helps is that I don’t chat on the phone a lot and don’t want to. Verizon charges $50 a month for basic landline service, and my prepaid cell phone cost works out to less than half of that. Prepaid cell wins out my way hands down. In the mountains reception and use are a different story…


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