How Insurance Impoverishes

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One of the cleverest means by which the majority of people are kept in their place in an oligarchy – which is the system we live within – is via mandatory insurance.

It is one of the hidden mechanisms by which the majority are kept in their place. In a position tantamount to that of a feudal serf, who is permitted to work so that he may continue to pay his fief overlords.

And not cause any trouble by becoming too independent.

It is very difficult for the average person – especially the average young person – to accumulate capital in our system because after taxes – and mandatory insurance payments – there is very little capital left over.

Just as intended – or even if not. The effect is the same, regardless.

Capital is leverage – the means by which a person can increase his capital. Mandatory insurance – after mandatory taxes – leaves not much to leverage. The average person can just about pay his necessary living expenses after he has paid his mandatory taxes and mandatory insurance.

He lives to work – and works to live.

Until he dies.

He never has time for questioning; he is under pressure to keep his head down – and his nose to the grindstone. He never achieves financial security – that state of having capital.

Of being free of the need to work . . . of the necessity to continue generating the capital  to pay mandatory taxes and insurance.

The elites in an oligarchy favor mandatory insurance – and impose it – not because (as they claim) it is necessary for “the good of society” but because it is good for them. It prevents the average person from being able to accumulate any significant capital and thereby prevents the average person from ever increasing his capital.

Which prevents the average person from ever being in a position of not having to work in order to live.

For the average person, $1,000 is a great deal of money – especially after mandatory taxes. This sum is a much smaller sum than the average person is forced to pay each year for mandatory car and mandatory health insurance but it’s useful to grossly underestimate what the average person is forced to hand over in order to demonstrate the impoverishment effect of mandatory insurance.

One thousand dollars out of the average person’s pocket every year for five years is five thousand dollars – a considerable sum. A sum that can be leveraged – to use as a down payment on a first home, for instance. Or a rental property. An investment in tools and equipment to start or grow a business.

In other words, toward the acquisition of capital-increasing things.

Average people used to be free to leverage capital because they were permitted to have capital. To take the small risk that attends the not-buying of insurance in exchange for the benefit of increasing their capital.

But that five thousand dollars is now zero dollars – because all of those dollars are diverted to pay for mandatory insurance – leaving no dollars to generate additional dollars.

The gerbil wheel spins but the gerbil makes no progress.

He is “covered” – but living pacycheck-to-paycheck, paying for harms he hasn’t caused – which harms him very much.

For the affluent elites who control the oligarchy, on the other hand, five thousand dollars is effectively no dollars, too – in the sense that five thousand dollars is sofa change to them. They still have plenty of capital left to leverage after they pay mandatory taxes and insurance, which impoverish them far less than they do they average person.

This is not – to be very clear – an argument that  affluent people should be forced to pay more. It is an observation about the fact that mandatory taxes and mandatory insurance leave the average person with very little.

Which puts the average person in the position of the gerbil, spinning perpetually – until he can spin no more.

Ironically – tragically – if insurance were not mandatory and people were free to leverage their capital and build more capital, they’d have more capital – and be able to afford insurance.

Which would cost them less both proportionately as well as actually – because when you aren’t forced to buy something, that something always costs less.

Because you can always say no.

. . .

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131 COMMENTS

  1. Here in Miami the local news channels are totally sponsored by ambulance chasing attorneys. These pond scum parasites more than double insurance costs. In addition, the multitude of uninsured, druggies, on the phone idiots and illegals that can’t drive cause mayhem like no where else. Then we have insurance companies like progressive that all they care about is settling, even if you are not at fault. They then increase your rate. Win – win for them. I drove my teen and 20’s with no insurance. Faking cards to get tags. Had a couple wrecks and I paid the damages. Once I bought a house, I started with the insurance mafia. Been getting screwed ever since. I can’t wait to retire and move rural. I now have 2 kids that will be driving soon. That will be another burden. We are all debt slaves. Im paying 20K a year to insurance mafia.

    • Hi John,

      Your point about “no fault” is an important one. Many people think it’s a great idea; less paperwork/worries. But as you say, it just increases cost generally – and especially for the good drivers who don’t cause accidents.

      All of this is peddled on the basis of Fear of Risk, the risk exaggerated to an almost comical degree. Whether it’s car insurance or health insurance of “climate change” or “defense” spending… all of it is based on a fear of the largely unreal in exchange for the certainty of the very real.

      You would likely be able to retire right now were it not for the mulctings of the mafia!

  2. Just watch your rant on this on your youtube channel and I 100% agree you and to add a little something you were saying some day they might make people get hammer insurance, etc…and that made me think of England because over there they keep talking about making people get licenses for knifes because of the stabbing over there.

  3. “This is not – to be very clear – an argument that affluent people should be forced to pay more.”

    Here in “Doitey-Joisey”, Gov. Phil Murphy proposed a bill that would do exactly that (if not done so already). He dubbed it “The Millionaires’ Tax”. So in other words, we’re now being punished for having “too much” money. So much for capitalism.

    And yet some of the residents still question why everyone’s leaving the state in droves.

  4. Per Eric, this is the crux of the thing:
    “Which is preferable? To accept the remote possibility that a reckless/irresponsible person may harm you out there? Or accept the certainty of being mulcted by the insurance mafia every year?”

    You may think that in rural Virginia. You wouldn’t in Texas, even 40 years ago. People who legally or illegally drive who have zero accessible assets (in the USA anyway) are driving two ton plus machines which can easily kill or main. Tens of thousands are hurt or die annually. Eric may not worry about say, Jose or Li, who crashes into him with zero insurance or assets. I do. Even if they are Karen and Pete. If you live in the sticks with middle class drivers, maybe that’s a good trade off. Here in Texas, not so much. The minimum coverage here is usually a few hundred dollars per year. And your car costs how much? So if you can afford to buy/drive, you can afford to leave the widows and orphans and paraplegics a few bucks too.
    People doing things highly risky to others should be insured for damage. Or have enough assets to compensate victims. Otherwise risk takers push off their true costs and consequences onto risk victims. You can’t argue that those who harm you should recompense you for that, if being a cheapskate is your only real argument. Not a moral one. Or live somewhere where I can hurt you/yours and just laugh it off.

    • Hi Muggles,

      I used to live in Northern VA and commuted into DC, so I am familiar. But it’s irrelevant to the question – the moral question. I understand you are not comfortable driving without insurance; that – to you – the “few hundred dollars per year” is no big deal.

      Of course, it ends up being tens of thousands over a lifetime. And it makes it much harder, financially, to own multiple vehicles because we’re forced to “cover” each and every one. Even for people who haven’t had a claim filed against them, ever – over the course of decades – the cost of “covering” multiple vehicles is exorbitant. Say it’s “only” $500 annually – far less than the $1,000-plus that most people pay. Even so, that $500 annually over 25 years is almost $13,000 – quite a sum to be forced to pay for not having harmed anyone.

      But the point is that no one has the right to take a cent from me – or from you or anyone else – absent our having incurred a debt (freely agreed to) or caused a harm that obliges us to make it whole.

      How much I can “afford” – and whether I an a “cheapskate” – is a gaslighting argument. It is an attempt to characterize the victim as odious in order to justify his victimization. It is the same argument used by people like Bernie Sanders and Obama and (eventually) people like Stalin.

      You owe a “fair share” to people you haven’t harmed or even met. The actions of others, which you had nothing to do with, imposes an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on you to pay for what they did. You must be treated – and mulcted as if you had harmed someone else, because it is possible you might harm someone at some indeterminate point in the future – and even if you never actually do harm anyone.

      This is the very foundation stone of the tyranny we suffer – unless you consider it a blessing to be told what to do 9and told what you’ll pay) at almost every turn because you feel it “keeps you safe.”

      You write:

      “People doing things highly risky to others should be insured for damage.”

      Highly risky – according to whom? What about drivers who haven’t had any claims filed against them in decades? They are demonstrably not “highly risky” – and yet they are forced to pay.

      Some people – I hope not you – say that possessing a gun is “highly risky to others.” They favor forcing people to buy insurance on exactly the same basis as you insist people must be forced to buy car insurance.

      And health insurance.

      And insurance for almost anything shy of getting out of bed.

      Sigh.

      And they ask my why I drink…

      • It is realllllly simple. If YOU are worried about being hit by someone uninsured and unable to have any assets seized to compensate……. buy insurance for that.

        Leave those of us who are not worried about the not-yet-and-maybe-never-will happen alone. I am willing to take the risk. Why does someone else get to decide I can’t?

        Sure it is wrong for someone to cause harm and not make restitution but taking huge amounts of money from the people who just want to be left alone will not change human nature. Some people are irresponsible dicks. Just because some are does not mean all of us should be treated as such.

      • Eric, Since you live in Virginia I am sure you are going to be drinking a lot more since the state legislature changed colors last November. VA gas tax has not been raised in 34 years so the VDOT has been in the hole for a long time, and now nearly 7% of the budget just services debt (wait ’til interest rates rise!). I’m sure the gas tax will get raised and the Smurfs will start spenfding it on public transportation projects; thus not solving the budget morass. I guess Northern VA has a slightly higher gas tax but that is easily circumvented by those living close to the demarcation… Barman, Make that a double!

        • Hi John,

          Yup (taking another “pull”)… the state is is in thrall to The Coonman now. An alien regime occupies Richmond. The one good thing about that is Orange Man may carry Va come 2020. That would be grand – if only (per Kahn) for hate’s sake. To enjoy the freak out of liberals at the prospect of four more years.

          I love the orange man for this reason!

          • Good Eeeeeven-ning Eric! [Que Alfred Hitchcock]

            **”if only (per Kahn) for hate’s sake.”**

            Heh, yeah….that’s the part of the show that at least gives us a little entertainment; but sadly, Orangeman’s actions actually enable Coonman to do what he intends to do…… (e.g. the pigs are more highly militarized than ever; there are now gun grabbers in high federal places, like the head of the BATF- and liberal-sympathetic judges who will not only offer no resistance to Coonman, but who will make it easy for him). 🙁

            Orangeman is nothing but a feel-good fraud.

            • Morning, Nunz!

              I know we disagree about the Orange Man; it’ll be interesting to see which of us is right. I think the OM is something different because the reaction to him is so extreme. It may not even be the result of his actual intentions or even his policies. The fact remains: He is driving the left literally insane.

              And that is good!

              • G’day Eric!

                Well….this is one case where I’d be ecstatic to be wrong! After three years though, it’s not looking so good….. 🙁

  5. What a waste of time to keep trying to school ‘Any ominous’ commenter that wont give his name, obviously is a shitty driver, and has never even owned a car? The 4 cars he /she crashed, were bank owned, the silly debt slave HAD to have insurance, because NO bank is willing to take that risk on him driving their collateral!!

    The fool has a perspective that is biased, and too young to remember the days when insurance (yes even here in CA) was OPTIONAL!! I drove even more cautious when I didn’t have insurance…and knew the poor folks near me might not either. BEACUSE of FEAR, clovers “think” with their feelings, and not much else. When I had gained some financial footing, and had much more to loose (like assets & shit) I then “chose to buy insurance. YES, the good old days…and im not talking ancient history either…this was late 1980’s

    • …shoot, my Kawi Triple NEVER had insurance!! I mean, what the hell for? Who was I gonna kill on that thing besides myself??

  6. Thank God the idiots running the Zoo are going to force everyone to drive self piloting cars. The chance of an accident will be down to zilch so the need for auto insurance, except maybe comprehensive, will go bye-bye. Right? The 80-20 rule applies to most insurance. 20% of the claims will eat up 80% of the insurance whereas 80% of the insured will seldom have any claims over long periods. The insurance provider can never have more than a small percentage of users making claims. The same 20% will have numerous claims and thus the other 80% will be billed to cover those claims. It’s a total racket, corrupt and fully supported by corrupt governments.

  7. On the other hand I see that “New Hampshire (Live Free or Die) is the only state that does not require vehicle liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility.”
    Interesting. If it works in NH there’s a good case for doing away with mandatory auto insurance everywhere!

    • Maybe it’s time to get establish residency there just long enough to get a license! That’d save a lot of money! Good info there, thank you… Only thing I knew about them traffic law wise is that they are the only state who doesn’t mandate the wearing of seat belts for adult drivers… We need more of that in the rest of the country. I feel so bad for folks in states like VA that go so far as to even ban radar detectors! Ughhh

      • Hi Jay!

        I’ve been hurling abuse at seat belt (and helmet) laws for decades. Because if they can force us to wear a seat belt or a helmet, why not a drool bucket and Depends, too?

        The principle justifying all of these things is the same; accept it in one case and you implicitly agree to it in others. The only reason we’re not (yet) required to wear Depends and drool buckets is because of the whim of our political overlords and the general sentiment of the Clovers among us.

        Give it time.

  8. Superbly done, Eric! It’s refreshing to know someone else feels this way about that particular issue and I very much enjoyed the in depth conversation that followed with Anon. That being said, I find it interesting what types of things our own statist system will admit if you actually read close enough. For example, written directly on the registration paperwork that you get with your plate sticker from one state, reads as such… WARNING: THESE LAWS DO NOT PREVENT THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOU MAY BE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WITH A PERSON WHO HAS NO INSURANCE OR OTHER COVERAGE. ohhhh the irony! So what’s even the point of that law? Control, as you so succinctly detail. And this of course is right below the laundry list of penalties you will face for ‘illegally’ driving without insurance. Who would have known that creating laws don’t REALLY prevent aaaaanything? Sigh.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Jay!

      All too many people accept without even considering it the absurd premise that one can legislate risk into oblivion. Even if that were desirable, it isn’t possible. What is inevitable, however, is that instead of accepting a relatively slight risk – in this case, that you might get hit by a reckless and insolvent driver – the not-reckless/not-insolvent majority accept the certainty of a heavy mulcting . . . and the continued existence of the same risk. Perhaps a bit less. So? This is worth the constant, always-escalating fleecing?

      People also miss the critical fact that precedent established becomes practice expanded. We were forced to buy car insurance. Then we were forced to buy health insurance. People are fools beyond help if they actually believe it will stop there.

      • Exactly! It’s not like we are any safer just because compulsory insurance is in place! Nothing changed, except now we have our money taken by force, or theft, like taxation. If anything, it makes us less safe, not that we want the typical saaaafety but… Once people start relying on insurances, they become more reckless and lackadaisical because ohhhhh insurance will cover everything if I drive like an idiot or treat my body like garbage. I like my old cars and they are harder to fix than new ones when someone smashes a fender or door. But people don’t seem to care because all the new junk is like a throwaway to them. Sad.

      • I am neither statist nor collectivist. Only recently have I taken interest in matters political. Waking to the reality that freedoms disappear daily has been concerning. I’m trying to learn more, to see if there are things I can do to gain them back. Knowledge is the first step. Civil discussion facilitates learning. Uncivil words can skew one’s view. I like what I read here. With that said, the personal attacks have been insulting, unnecessary, and unappreciated. Especially those by the site administrator.

        • Hi Anon,

          I understand – but at the same time, you should try to understand that many people are tired of the casual authoritarianism which riddles this society; the way so many people blithely accept and defend obnoxious doctrines – such as threatening people with murderous violence to force them to hand over their money to a for-profit business (or to anyone) on account of an assertion that something they are doing or merely because they exist (e.g., health insurance) might “impose costs” on society or is “risky.”

          This business is at the core of the tyranny America has become. A free man – if you believe in such a thing – isn’t free if he can be assaulted and mulcted and legally ordered around when he has not harmed anyone and is minding his own business.

          Whether others like what he is doing – whether they consider it “risky” – is irrelevant. The only relevant consideration is has he harmed anyone? If he has not, no one has a right to interfere. Leave him be!

        • “I am neither statist nor collectivist.”

          Said by every statist and collectivist.

          If you come in search of knowledge, fine. But I think if you are the same Anon, you showed up and made bombastic statements of your “facts” instead of asking a question or seeking clarification on the position of those here.

          Don’t shit in the bed and then complain about the smell.

          • BTW, ^^^^ was not by the statist collectivist Anon. Obviously.

            So, to the Anon whinging about his treatment hear.

            Were these yours?
            Anonymous February 5, 2020 at 7:24 pm and so on?
            Read them again if they were.

            • Other anon,

              Come on man. This is uncalled for. How do you expect people to see things from your side when you are so insulting?

              I never stated facts. I’ve done no research. I offered opinions.

              Also, I stand corrected.

              Live and let live, right? Isn’t that what you guys preach?

              • “How do you expect people to see things from your side when you are so insulting?”

                Oh my god the snowflake is melting.

                You think those were insults?
                Run. Run fast.

                • You’ve made many assumptions. They’re incorrect. You resort to name calling. This is ineffective in trying to get a person to see things your way. Also, it is abusive. Which is against libertarian ideals. Right? Leave me in peace I leave you in peace?

              • “Car insurance isn’t mandatory. Driving is a choice.”

                “Still driving is a choice. Driving is not mandatory. You are not required, by law, to drive.”

                “Owning a car is not mandatory. This is an air tight fact. Indisputable.”

                And the skier silliness.

                Want to keep playing?

                  • Insults? WTF are you blathering about?

                    “I never stated facts.”

                    I showed that was untrue.

                    As for personally directed insults, I don’t know you personally. If something I said bothers you, that is your issue. Ask yourself why. Is your worth and ego somehow dependent on how random internet posters address you?

      • Eric, you had me thinking about all the years I have paid insurance since 1976 when I got the learners permit. ONE chargeable accident in 1984, minor intersection collision. One other insurance claim, windshield crack 5 years ago. That’s it. Still, to think of what, 40, 50k+ in capital flushed down the toilet due to big Sis’s mandate. (The state is usually much more feminine, risk averse in nature…until the AGW is deployed)

        • Hi Bill!

          Indeed; it’s infuriating, isn’t it? And I keep trying to warn my conservative friends – many of whom favor mandatory car insurance – that by favoring it, they lose any logical basis for objecting to mandatory gun insurance (as well as mandatory health insurance).

          We’re either responsible for what we do as individuals – or we’re part of a collective in which we’re all “responsible” for everyone else.

  9. Brilliant observation, Eric!- about making it impossible for the average person to accumulate capital, and having created a system which forces them to work [More than they’d normally have to, in order to just provide for their actual needs and wants]. Socialism/communism in a nutshell; and hence why all roads seem to be leading that way today in this country- because, call it what they will, if they pursue the mechanisms and philosophies of a given political ideology…how can we end up with anything but that ideology?

    The average person does not see this- even when it is pointed out to them that a action is of a collectivist nature, because they are largely unaware of the underlying philosophy and objectives of the various political models- usually only being aware of labels and stated outcomes (“What benefits do I receive?”)- But once one is familiar with real purpose and motivations behind these ideologies, their intrusions become glaringly obvious they moment they appear.

    The Gerbil Wheel Effect is why we also see the overlords waging war on the traditional family (What tends to self-sufficiency more than a strong family?!), and all who can live independently apart from their system. If they can’t have control over us, and profit from our labor, we are worthless to them, and they’d just as soon see us dead. (That sure is becoming much more readily apparent these days!)

    And how did this article attract so many Clovers?!!!!!! Make a good point, and the dumb-asses come out of the woodwork to display the immorality, subservience, and ignorance…..

    • Hey Nunzio
      The “average” driver has an insurance claim every 12 years. but there those of us with no claims in decades. This implies there are drivers out there with more frequent claims. In theory their premiums will rise, but since those with no claims still pay premiums, the load is not fairly balanced.. it’s socialized!. I don’t think we’ll get a better system since the state insurance commissioners are government workers, and the insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to maximize their premium income, and minimize their claims payouts. So called “no fault” insurance is just a fancy name for socializing the risk even more. But the risk of fire has been somewhat socialized with municipal fire departments. The risk of crime has been socialized through the multitude of AGW organizations (run amok). Even the risk of rising interest rates has been socialized in the US with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 30 year fixed rate mortgage. Even in European socialist countries, there is no such thing as the 30 Year fixed rate mortgage. They however, have socialized health care. Not many places left for John Galt to go now.

      • Hi John,

        Mandatory insurance has the effect of making insurance cost more than it otherwise would, making the mandate doubly obnoxious! Bad enough that people who’ve not harmed anyone are harmed by being forced to hand over money to a for-profit “business” (in quotes to ridicule the effrontery of a “business” that forces its “customers” to do business with it). Worse, people who ought to be paying very little are force to pay a lot.

        The irony of it all is that were insurance not mandatory, it would be so affordable that almost everyone would voluntarily buy it.

        • If we had a choice not to insure (a risk i think i can manage) how do you deal with the uninsured who cannot manage the risk? what remedy is there if they cause damage, injury or something worse?

          • Bear in mind that car insurance was not always mandatory. Many of us can personally remember when it was not. (Last I heard it was still optional in New Hampshire but I don’t know if that is still the case.)

            As far as the remedy you seek that would be dealt with the way that it always has been both before and after car insurance became mandated – you purchase coverage for yourself against being hit by an uninsured motorist. (Despite the mob rules in place there have always been many on the road who do not have insurance.)

            This is basically the same as purchasing insurance against any number of life’s hazards if desired.

            • Hey Jason!

              I have to disagree with you on this one. Expecting the victim to carry insurance to pay for damages caused by the insolvent/uninsured, is tantamount to requiring insurance in all but letter; it still burdens the innocent for the actions of others, and does nothing to discourage others from being reckless and irresponsible (“Hey smash-up someone else’s car, who cares? They’ll have to pay for it themselves….how does that affect me, homie?”)

              What we really need, is for the government to stop protecting the guilty, so that they can be forced to pay for the damages they cause, even if it means being sold bodily for their labor (Wouldn’t tkae long, after a few cases of seeing that before the indigent either started being very careful, or stopped driving, or started carrying insurance voluntarily, eh?)

              Instead, Uncle at most might levy a small fine against such a person- and even continue to redistribute wealth to them- i.e. welfare, disability, free rent, foodstamps….while they guy they caused $50K in damage to is out in the cold….or has to pay to buy insurance in case such a turd hits him- which is basdically where we are now.

              • I understand what you’re saying, Nunz. I’ve always just seen it in the same light as having homeowner’s insurance.

                A burglar or firebug is unlikely to be able to compensate you, if you ever even catch up with them, and of course if you get hit by a natural disaster of some type there is no one to hold responsible. Likewise, if some border-jumper, Somali refugee, or trailer-living white trash buys a clapped-out hooptie with Eye-talian radials and bad brakes slams into you you’ll probably never be able to collect from them.

                I really do despise the insurance mafia though.

          • John B, the way it could be dealt with, is by returning to an unlimited liability culture- as used to be the case up until quite recently.

            You simply have a claim against someone’s person (Labor and body) until such time as they can pay off the damages they are responsible for. When faced with the prospect of indentured servitude, people would either find a way to pay….start carrying insurance, or become very careful and responsible in their actions.

            We don’t have that though, because government has stepped in and made it illegal to hold the liable party responsible. Instead, the innocent now bear almost all of the cost, while the penalty for “not having insurance” is the same for someone who has not caused any harm, or someone who has just flipped a school bus. This is terrible injustice- and it has lead to society as a (w)hole becoming much more irresponsible, since those who already take the least responsibility, and thus have little or nothing to lose, are virtually insulated against ever having to pay for damages they cause to others.

            The switch from unlimited personal liability to limited liability was the first attack of liberalism against traditionsal society- it was also one of the first endeavors of our government, when it granted itself the right to create corporations, which are nothing more than artificial creatures created to shield their participants from personal liability.

          • Hi John,

            As others have pointed out, we should first accept that laws requiring people to buy insurance do not prevent people from driving without insurance – just as “gun control” laws do not prevent people (the wrong people) from having guns. So the risk exists regardless. The difference is that in addition to the risk, you now have the certainty of being mulcted – and mulcted more – by the insurance mafia. This amounts to a huge sum of money for the average person over the course of a lifetime. If he never has a claim files against him, it was money spent (extorted) for nothing.

            As far as the rest: The remedy is to hold the person who causes harm fully and exclusively accountable. Not others who didn’t cause the harm! I agree with Nunz and others who support an indenture – if necessary – to compensate the victim of harm caused if the person who caused it cannot pay monetarily. Why not?

            The objection – that this would amount to slavery – is precisely what the advocates of mandatory insurance urge. For what else is slavery if not to be compelled to turn over the fruits of your labor to others, who didn’t earn it? When you owe them nothing?

            A person working off what he owes is not enslaved. He is working off what he owes.

          • Hi John,

            “If we had a choice not to insure (a risk i think i can manage) how do you deal with the uninsured who cannot manage the risk? what remedy is there if they cause damage, injury or something worse”?

            Are you in favor of the drug war? This is a sincere question, not intended as an insult. The reason I ask is that you and anon continue to make arguments reminiscent of the drug warrior narrative. It goes like this, drugs are really harmful, people shouldn’t take them, therefore they should be illegal. Your and anon’s argument goes like this, the consequences of people driving without insurance are really harmful, people shouldn’t do that, therefore driving without insurance should be illegal.

            The problem is that people still take drugs and drive uninsured, despite the illegality. The negative consequences of the drug war are well established and it is impossible to determine whether it actually lowers drug use because the data is based mostly on surveys, and many people lie, understandably, about engaging in illegal activity. The negative consequences of mandated insurance are higher costs and limited innovation, both of which contribute to the problems you and anon describe.

            Earlier, I wrote a post that anon seemed to understand, I concluded with this paragraph,

            “Most people will voluntarily purchase insurance out of their own self interest. Those paying for a car on credit will be required to purchase it by the bank. Some will forgo it completely (which happens now) and some would like to buy it, but cannot afford to. Mandating car insurance has no effect on the first three groups, but likely increases the size of the fourth group. All of the issues you describe are likely made worse by the mandate”.

            The question is not whether carrying insurance is a good idea, but whether mandating it is a good idea; it is not. It doesn’t eliminate uninsured driving (as evidenced by “uninsured motorist” protection), but likely increases it.

            Also, as I pointed out to anon, mandated insurance serves the interests of the insurance industry, but is sold as a public safety issue.

            “…insurance companies lobbied for mandatory insurance for their own self interest. There’s an entire branch of economics dedicated to this phenomenon (common in all industries) called “public choice” theory. It demonstrates that rent seeking and regulatory capture are at the root of nearly all regulations. Though ostensibly aimed at the public interest, they are actually pushed by industries for their own interests”.

            Kind Regards,
            Jeremy

  10. I read the entire exchange below with considerable interest, and find that it simply confirms what I’ve long thought: those with a collectivist vision of the world simply cannot conceive of the things we of a more individualist nature do. They are as incapable of comprehending our arguments as a blind man is of conceptualizing “blue”. And while power is increased by numbers, intelligence is not.

    Back in the ’70s when I got my drivers license I was shocked to learn I was in essence insuring the other guy. It seemed to me, still does, that if you just insured against damage to yourself and your own property then it would become almost a self-correcting system: Irresponsible drivers would remove themselves from the road by destroying their vehicles or themselves without the means to replace them.

    I now pay almost as much for my Harley as I do for my E250 work van, liability. Tell me how that makes sense.

    Let’s all get together and stamp out collectivism! 😉

    • Hi Bill,

      Yup; it’s very odd. I understand disagreeing. I do not understand being unable (apparently) to acknowledge a principle or draw a logical inference/conclusion from it.

      It’s not stupidity – at least, not necessarily. Rather, it is a strange inability to think conceptually. Some people consider each thing as an isolated particular, without reference to anything else – even when a common principle applies. Anonymous insists that mandatory car insurance is legitimate – but seems unable to understand that if mandatory car insurance is legitimate – on the basis that driving a car is potentially dangerous to others and that potential danger justifies forcing people to “cover” against the possibility – then it is just as logical to force people to buy myriad other forms of insurance, too.

      But Anon feels differently about that.

      And they ask me why I drink…

      • I’m not as smart as you are. This is why I’m here. To learn. If I’m wrong, or not understanding a concept I’m willing to reconsider. I would think the whole point of your work is to help others see your way. Not insult one of your readers that has trouble understanding a concept. I had trouble understanding it.

        • Hi Anon,

          Ok; but I had to try repeat myself over and over… which gets frustrating. When we discuss something, we must agree that words (concepts) have meanings and that our feelings are subordinate to those meanings. Otherwise a meaningful discussion is not possible.

          When I state that forcing people to buy car insurance on the basis that driving a car might cause harm to others logically implies that it’s ok to force people to buy insurance to “cover” against other harms they might cause, you are free to say you support this – or not.

          But don’t say that forcing people to buy car insurance because driving a car might cause harm to others is justified while forcing them to buy insurance to carry a gun (and so on) is not.

          You’re either in favor of forcing people to buy insurance to “cover” against harms they might cause – or you’re opposed to forcing anyone to give over money unless he has actually caused harm.

          It’s either – or.

          • I get it. I hadn’t considered the economic angle of this. That if not mandated, insurance would be more affordable.

            Still, I’m not sure I would buy it if I wasn’t required to. But maybe it would be so affordable, that the value would actually be worth it.

            I suppose because it is required, we don’t question it and just accept. This is the frightening reality that a lot of young people are waking up to.

            I know in my state you can pay a fee to DMV and drive uninsured, but the fee is as much as a policy or more. So might as well be covered.

            This one is tricky. Everyone has solid points.

            Is there middle ground with this?

            • Hi Anon,

              There are two issues here, pragmatic and moral principle. It is incumbent on those advocating for mandatory insurance for pragmatic reasons (you and John) to demonstrate that the policy significantly alleviates or eliminates the problems you describe. Neither of you have done so, nor has anyone else. You’ve just assumed that it works or, at worst, is better than whatever alternatives may emerge in a free market (mandated insurance prevents such innovation from taking place). As I said earlier, basic economics shows that mandating insurance will increase the cost and thus exacerbate the problem.

              “Still, I’m not sure I would buy it if I wasn’t required to”.

              Absent mandatory insurance, you would be responsible for any harm caused to your own property and the property of others, including injury. This is a powerful incentive to carry insurance. If one is very well off, the incentive would be to create a fund to deal with such future possibilities.

              The moral principle is also very important. As Eric, and others, have explained, once a principle is established, there is no logical reason why it won’t metastasize: gun owners insurance, hunters insurance, extreme sports insurance and, as has already happened, mandatory health insurance which, as predicted by many, has caused rates to increase.

              Any intervention in the market, except prosecution for fraud and injury, stifles innovation and increases cost. Years ago, our wise leaders decided to heavily incentivize low deductible health insurance. Employers must compete with each other for employees. This is done through a combination of monetary compensation and benefits, but the tax code is not neutral. Imagine that an employer offers you a package which includes a $60,000 per year salary and a $10,000 full coverage, low deductible health insurance policy. Now imagine that you are offered a $69,000 a year salary and a limited, high deductible health insurance policy. In the former, the $10,000 spent on insurance is fully deductible, in the latter only the $1,000 is deductible. You will pay the full rate on the additional $9,000.

              This encourages the widespread adoption of low deductible policies, which is economically insane. The most significant problem is that it effectively eliminates competition in the provision of day to day medical services, which could easily be paid out of pocket with that extra $9,000. This eliminates the only mechanism that can control prices, competition. Low deductible policies also encourage overuse of medical services, which also increases cost. In economic terms, such policies artificially stimulate demand, which drives up prices. Finally, though it is true that one can buy a high deductible policy, the benefits of doing so are mostly nullified by the artificially high prices caused by the intervention.

              Absent the perverse economic incentives created by the interventions, most people would likely choose a high deductible policy, which would drive prices for health care way down. This is hard for people to see because the interventions have created such a perverse market that most people cannot afford routine health care out of pocket. So, in the short term, eliminating these interventions would make people worse off. This is perhaps the most pernicious aspect of intervention, it prevents people from seeing what could be. Even though the pain caused by the loss of the tax incentive would be quickly remedied, costs would come way down and most people would be better off, but most cannot see it.
              Kind Regards,
              Jeremy

              • Thanks Jeremy.

                I’ll be mulling this over. So far, this is the most convincing and concise explanation on the topic. It’s sinking in. I admittedly feel a bit queasy. Crow doesn’t go down so good.

                • Hi Anon,

                  You’re welcome! I find it interesting to examine contradictions in policies favored by the same person. Admittedly, I know nothing about you other than what I’ve read. But, you seem at least to lean libertarian. If so, you probably understand the perverse outcomes created by many government interventions (drug war, asset forfeiture laws, three strikes laws, mandatory minimum sentencing, etc…). I’m asking you to apply the same reasoning to this issue.

                  For a perfect illustration, liberals generally oppose “drug control” and understand that it is dangerous to liberty, militarizes the police, creates perverse profit incentives (asset forfeiture), has created mass incarceration and DOES NOT WORK. But, they favor “gun control”, which doesn’t work for the same reasons that “drug control” doesn’t work.

                  Many conservatives, on the other hand, favor “drug control” but oppose “gun control”. Both are inimical to liberty and create a plethora of perverse outcomes.

                  Cheers,
                  Jeremy

                • Hi Anon,

                  This is quite understandable. It becomes easier when you are clear about language, the meaning of words – and not allowing words to be defined vaguely so as to accept a premise for a discussion that makes your defeat in the discussion inevitable.

                  Freedom is easy – and hard.

        • Anon,
          You stated earlier that you have been involved in four bad crashes. Have you ever thought about taking a high performance driving class? Something that teaches car control and situational awareness. Please share with us the particulars of your car crashes.

  11. Interesting topic and discussion. There’s truth on both sides. IMO a good argument could be made for mandatory liability insurance for cars as per comments of John J Morgan and Anonymous. That being said, since it’s mandatory, the rates and premiums should NOT be set by the insurance mafia. I own several vehicles. I haven’t had an accident or filed a claim in over 10 years yet I’m forced to pay $1400/year to insure a 5 year old Civic + another $680/year to insure a motorcycle that I can only drive 5 months year. I can only drive one vehicle a time. The mandatory part of auto insurance leads to corruption on different levels. I’m not sure how insurance should be controlled, but the present system definitely reeks of fraud, profiteering, and legalized extortion.

    • Hi Steve,

      I disagree with you that there is truth on both sides. At least, I disagree with the idea that mandatory car insurance is ever a good thing because it is always a bad thing to extort money from people who’ve not caused harm to anyone.

      I absolutely grok the worry about reckless people who cause harm – and leave others holding the bag. But such people will always be with us, regardless of mandatory insurance laws. But mandatory insurance laws treat all of us as if we were, in fact, reckless and irresponsible – and punish us accordingly. Being forced to hand over money when you have not harmed anyone is to be punished. To be harmed – for not having caused any!

      Which is preferable? To accept the remote possibility that a reckless/irresponsible person may harm you out there? Or accept the certainty of being mulcted by the insurance mafia every year?

      To give these bastards the legal power to force you to pay? In other words, to force you not merely to pay – but to pay more?

      PS: If we were not mulcted, most of us would have ample money available to deal with most accidents shy of the catastrophic. Using your own numbers, you will have paid out about $44k to the insurance mafia over 20 years. What are the chances you will be the cause of $44k in damages to anyone?

      What might you have done with the $44k – had it not been mulcted? Imagine the financial leverage you might have had, if you still had that $44k.

      • Hi eric,
        Lots to unpack here. I don’t see it as a black and white issue. Well maybe for some people it is: collectivism vs individualism. Think of the whole abortion debate. On one side you have people who believe the individual has the right to choose what happens in their own body. On the other side people believe it’s murder and therefore a question of morality. Who decides what’s right? Who has the right to enact and enforce laws meant to protect individuals from harm caused by others? Getting back to mandatory car insurance, I think most people would accept a system if it was fair. Car accidents are a fairly common occurrence and easily result in thousands of dollars in damages. Occasionally millions. if people were allowed to drive cars without some basic kind of insurance there would be a lot of people on the road driving with no insurance. Unfortunately human nature being what it is, car insurance has turned into a big scam with government in on the game!

        • Hi Steve,

          You write:

          “Car accidents are a fairly common occurrence and easily result in thousands of dollars in damages. Occasionally millions.”

          Certainly. The same can be said about health. Cancer and heart disease and so on are also fairly common occurrences that can result in thousands of dollars in damages. Should health insurance be mandatory, too?

          Mandatory car insurance established the principle that was applied to make it so.

          This whole thing is essentially a question of political morality. Do you believe that A has an obligation, enforceable at gunpoint, to absorb the costs incurred by B? That is the socialist argument. It is an argument that amounts to – no one has a right to exist independently; each is beholden to the collective – and a few individuals who control the collective will decree to what degree the individual is beholden.

          No thanks!

          You write:

          “I think most people would accept a system if it was fair. ”

          What about those who have a different view? Will they be forced to accept it?

          My core point – which is a core Libertarian point – is that a person has an absolute right to be left alone – to not be threatened with violence (this includes being implicitly threatened with violence to coerce obedience to things like mandatory car insurance) provided he is not harming anyone else.

          To drive a car entails no harm – as such – to others. Just as possessing a gun – as such – entails no harm to others.

          If you believe that it’s legitimate to force people to buy car insurance in order to be allowed to drive because they might cause harm by driving then I can see no logical reason why they should not also be forced to buy insurance to own a gun, or to ski or to be allowed to do practically anything that might result in harm.

          It is depressing that so many people have accepted essentially this very idea. It explains why we live in a micromanaging police state wherein we’re allowed to do very little, indeed.

        • Hi Steve,

          On the one hand, I do understand your concern. I have pondered these questions myself- as I’m sure that Eric, and most here have.

          My version goes: “Someone with no assets and no insurance- say, a bum or welfare recipient (Ooopps! I’m being redundant) can cause an accident, resulting in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages, and leave the victims to bear the cost of those damages”.

          Such often happens even with compulsory insurance laws; because the laws only seem to work when people obey them, and generally, only people who are responsible, and who have things they fear to forfeit- such as liberty or possessions that they value, can be made to obey laws.

          So in effect, even with mandatory compulsory insurance, the innocent are usually the ones who end bearing the full cost one way or another- whether by paying for the damages they suffer at the hands of others who do not take responsibility, or by being forced to pay for insurance when they have not caused any harm to any other person.

          That is a groos injustice, akin to being groped by the TSA or having to forego commercial air travel because some boogeyman once did something on a plane. Collective punishment- making all pay for the actions or anticipated actions of another.

          The real solution is not to force all to have to purchase insurance nor to make them prove a certain net worth in order to allow them to avail themselves of what should be a basic right (To travel on the roads we are also forced to pay for, by the conveyance of the day) but rather to simply hold those who actually cause harm accountable- which would require that if they do not have insurance or assets with which to pay for harm they have actually caused, that they be indentured as labor for as long as it takes to pau off their debt.

          Personally, I choose to carry insurance, to protect my meager assets (And, when I had no assets, because I did want to ensure that if I did cause any harm, that I would be able to compensate my victim(s) adequately)- but I don’t like being FORCED to carry insurance; having the threat of being penalized if I ever don’t, even if I haven’t caused any harm; and I especially loathe that that ibsurance costs me more than it would if we had a truly free market, because of the fact that we are a captive customer base, as we MUST buy the product.

          It is the same with health insurance. I don’t buy health insurance and never will. I do not require anyone else to pay my bills if I should ever use a “health service” either- and I am fine with the idea of having to live (or maybe die) with my choices, and therefore I think it a terrible injustice that a law was established which forces hospitals to render services regardless of a supplicant’s ability to pay.

          We simply need to return to strict liability- where everyone is fully responsible for their own choices and actions. It worked well in the past, with much liberty for all; private charities; justice; personal responsibility, etc. (Notice, that as the years go by, people are getting more and more irresponsible. The more they can depend on things outside of themselves, the more responsibility they can delegate, the more they do- to the point where we now have grown man-children in 30-something year-old bodies, playing video games, making babies with random strangers, and washing dishes while being $80K in debt for “student loans”- whereas a mere 50 years ago, 20 year-olds were earning a good living, buying a house and getting married and being men- and not long before that, the same was true for mere teenagers!)

  12. Insurance has always served the wealthy as it socializes costs through the process of administration via risk management (odds making). Insurance companies are the house and we are the players in the casino. Both insurance and casinos use the same mathematical formulas to obtain their goals. The fact that you can buy insurance in games of chance at the casino should not be overlooked.
    Neither provide or produce anything of real value to society, they’re just devices for transferring wealth by instilling fear or hope.

    • Hi Six,

      Well-said!

      I’d only add – per usual – that my beef with insurance isn’t with insurance but rather with mandating it. People should be free to spend their money on whatever they like. But they have no right to force anyone else to spend their money how they like.

  13. Anon asserts that because insurance is mandatory it means people on the roads have insurance. If that’s the case why does every auto insurance policy carry a rider to cover “uninsured motorists”?

    You, Mr. Anon, are the absolute embodiment of Ron White’s assertion that, You Can’t Fix Stupid.

    • Anon asserts that because insurance is mandatory it means people on the roads have insurance. If that’s the case why does every auto insurance policy carry a rider to cover “uninsured motorists”?

      THIS. It makes no sense on its face, especially given that most states (including mine)claim that its impossible to renew annual vehicle registration without having proof of cureent insurance. Yet my daughter, just a couple of years ago, was rear-ended and her car totalled by a woman who was driving without car insurance, in a vehicle with current state tags. It led me to believe that enforcement is purely random and haphazard, like the IRS never noticing that someone hasn’t paid income taxes for years until they randomly audit that person. So despite laws mandating the purchase of insurance (and the payment of taxes), we can assume with good reason that many people manage to “fly under the radar” for years at a time, thus provisions like “uninsured motorist.”

  14. Auto insurance has become manadatory in the US (and other places too) because of the sheer amount of damages caused. In the US: about 105 fatalities, 7000 serious (needs extended hospital stay) injuries and over 50,000 reportable (insurance claims) collisons PER DAY! across the US. Like you Eric I’ve had no claims in 33 years living in the US. We are in a small minority! Minor (damage only) collisions are becoming more expensive as the pickup truck has become more popular. Pickups don’t have to meet the bumper height restriction of sedans and tractors. Thus pickup collisons are more expensive. Also, as you know pickups roll over a lot easier than a sedan. I drive about 800 miles a week, and every week I have seen an upside down pickup in a ditch or even on a highway. Last year I saw 8 vehicle fires too.(No Teslas ;-)) Yet again the laws here are “one size fits all” on a state by state basis. The typical problems seen by urban drivers are quite different than those seen by rural drivers. More fatalities occur (on a weighted basis) on rural roads, but incidental damage is more common in urban areas. Only Norway has really succeeded in reducing the road fatalities. Compare it to Colorado which is my choice based on population and varied seasonal driving as well as rural vs urban mix. Colorado is a slaughterhouse, and also a auto wrecking yard compared to Norway. Insurance in Norway is a fraction of the price.

  15. Hey Eric, don’t forget – after being forced to buy insurance with the money you have left after you pay tax, you have to pay a mandatory tax on the insurance (at least here in the UK) !!!

  16. This is some of the deepest stuff you have written. If government forever provides more and more services at the expense of taxes, then the common man will never have the ability to accumulate capital or build wealth that might challenge the oligarchy. You could have all of your basic needs provided by .GOV through taxes such as food, transportation, insurance entertainment. But 99% of your income is now gone and you the individual only has 1% left to decide what to do with outside of government dictat. Hayek said it best, “The more the state “plans” the more difficult planning becomes for the individual”. Once government spends that part of your income, you lose that freedom you would otherwise have. This way, those in power in .Gov/Bussiness will never be challenged and THEIR capital is safe.

  17. Government is the perfect environment for the psychopath, and consequently is saturated with them. By definition, they have no concern for anyone’s welfare but their own. Any mandate they prescribe is for the advance of their profit and/or power, and nothing else.

    • Yeah, right – for most of us driving is a “choice” if we want to do little things like earning a living, buying food, and other such frivolous luxuries.

      City folk just don’t get it.

        • Not relevant. For that matter you are not required, by law, to breathe. Yet government passed a “law” that “requires” anyone who is breathing to buy insurance.

          Of course such so-called “laws” have no moral basis and are nothing more than mob rules forcibly imposed by a criminal gang in the furtherance of its protection racket.

          Sorry, Charlie, you have nothing.

            • Anon,

              “Owning a car is not mandatory. This is an air tight fact. Indisputable”.

              True, but also completely irrelevant to the morality, effectiveness and perverse consequences of mandatory car insurance.

              Jeremy

              • Should we all be skilled drivers? Yes. Are we? No. If some fool wrecks into you, he having an insurance policy can help right that wrong.

                • Hi Anon,

                  Your argument – that ” If some fool wrecks into you, he having an insurance policy can help right that wrong” – can just as easily be applied to… everything, Why not gun ownership? Chainsaw ownership? Dog ownership? It’s the same argument, is it not?

                  It’s a very dangerous argument, for reason that ought to be obvious.

                  All based on this idea that a harm that may be caused is the same as a harm caused. Or rather, that it is ok to harm someone who hasn’t caused harm – on the basis that he might.

                  • Slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy. Car insurance really should be necessary if you own/operate a car. The risk of a skier plowing into my car at 80MPH going down the highway is very low, so no, a policy shouldn’t be required for a skier.

                    • Hi Anon,

                      You write:

                      “Car insurance really should be necessary if you own/operate a car.”

                      Necessary – according to whom? You obviously consider it necessary. But I do not. Since I have not harmed you by not having insurance, what gives you the right to harm me – by forcing me to buy it?

                      “The risk of a skier plowing into my car at 80MPH going down the highway is very low, so no, a policy shouldn’t be required for a skier.”

                      And the risk of me plowing into you with my car is also very low – as demonstrated by 30-plus years of accident free driving. Why does your assessment of risk trump mine?

                    • It can’t work unless everyone has it. That means you too. Hopefully, you’ve never had to make a claim. If you ever have to, believe me, you’ll be glad you have it. Or that the other guy does.

                      Now, the industry shouldn’t be so greedy. That’s a separate topic.

                    • Hi Anon,

                      You write: “It can’t work unless everyone has it.”

                      Nonsense. Demonstrably so. Home and life insurance “work” – for those who wish to buy these services – even though no one is forced to buy these services (yet).

                      You write:

                      “Now, the industry shouldn’t be so greedy.”

                      How do you prevent that when they have the power to hold a gun to your head?

                    • Who decides the risk threshold?

                      Divorce is very common. Financially destructive to (usually) the man. Why not mandate divorce insurance for marriage?

                      The idea of mandatory insurance is subjective and subjective is prone to abuse all for doing approximately nothing to solve the problem of irresponsible people.

                    • “the risk of a skier plowing into my car at 80MPH going down the highway is very low, so no, a policy shouldn’t be required for a skier.”

                      You think that made sense? Apples mixed with oranges?

                      Because your car will not be hit by a skier, skiers don’t need insurance? How about other skiers being hit by skiers? Happens all the time, sometimes fatally.

                      If car vs. car requires insurance in your world, WTF is the difference between skier vs. skier?

                      (not the clover, statist, not tot consistent Anonymous)

                  • On top of all this – THEN we have the issue of the insurance company not wanting to pay out on claims OR paying out much less than needed to “Make One Whole”

            • Hi Anon,

              You write: “Owning a car is not mandatory. This is an air tight fact. Indisputable”

              Certainly. So?

              It is not mandatory to own a home. Do you believe people who choose to own a home should be forced to buy insurance, too? (I am speaking of people who have paid off their loans.)

              The issue here – morally speaking – is whether A should be able to force B to buy insurance to “cover” harms he has not caused because he might cause them or because C has caused them.

              If you say so, then where do you draw the line? Why not also require people who ski or rock climb to buy special high-risk-activity coverage? These are also not mandatory activities.

              • You say auto insurance is mandatory. It isn’t. There’s no argument about it.

                If I don’t own a car, I’m not required to buy it.

                • Hi Anon,

                  And income tax isn’t mandatory, either – so long as you earn no income!

                  In fact, it (and insurance) is effectively mandatory, in order to be allowed to do the things which by right we ought not to have to beg permission to do – or accept conditions to be able to do.

                  The only legitimate condition being that if what we do harms someone, we are held accountable for it. Not others. And not until we do actually cause harm.

                  Not before.

                  My owning/driving car does not, as such, hurt you. Your argument is that I might hurt someone – therefore, I must be forced to buy insurance. Which is to say, I must be punished in advance for harms I haven’t caused – and may never cause.

                  Your argument would hold a little more water if the insurance mafia were required to refund the money it extorts if no claims are filed.

                  Of course, it doesn’t work that way.

                  The broader point is that if you condone forcing people to buy car or health insurance then by the same reasoning people can be forced to buy life insurance, home insurance, gun/chainsaw and fist and endless other insurances.

                  Why not?

                  You cannot make a coherent, principled argument to the contrary. All you can do is assert that you believe this or that insurance should be mandatory because you feel it ought to be – based on your personal feelings about the degree of potential risk.

                  Feelings, of course, are fungible.

                  Principles are not!

                  • Most people are paycheck to paycheck. Even the smallest fender bender can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a car. The average person would sink if he had to pay for even a small mistake out of pocket.
                    So much can go wrong in a car even for highly skilled drivers. Mechanical failure, the poor driving of others.
                    Auto insurance is good to have. It sucks to pay for it for years if you never use it, but it can’t work unless everybody has it.

                    • I’ve been involved in four wrecks. Two major, two minor. All four were not my fault and were unavoidable. Two resulted in totaled vehicles. If not for insurance, I never would have recovered from that asset loss. I gladly pay my higher premiums because I know what it is to need insurance.
                      Sounds to me that you have good driving skills, and have been blessed with a degree of good fortune. You haven’t been in a position to have to pay for a mistake.
                      Accidents are by definition not intentional, but they still happen. Even to the best drivers. And when they do, insurance can help put things back right and prevent impoverishment.

                    • Hi Anon,

                      You write:

                      “I’ve been involved in four wrecks. Two major, two minor. All four were not my fault and were unavoidable. Two resulted in totaled vehicles. If not for insurance, I never would have recovered from that asset loss. I gladly pay my higher premiums because I know what it is to need insurance.”

                      Great!

                      I have a gym membership that costs me “x” per month. I pay it – and exercise – because it’s worth it to me. But I would never suggest you be forced to buy a gym membership, or exercise.

                      Certainly, “insurance can help put things back right and prevent impoverishment.”

                      But it also impoverishes if you don’t need it. Whose decision should it be? Yours and mine – as individuals? Or should you be forced to do as I think best – and I forced t do as you think best?

                    • H Anon,

                      You write:

                      “Most people are paycheck to paycheck. Even the smallest fender bender can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a car. The average person would sink if he had to pay for even a small mistake out of pocket.”

                      Yes, but why do most people live paycheck to paycheck? I explained why in my article.

                      You write that “Auto insurance is good to have” … which is a personal value judgment. Why should your personal value judgment entitle you to force me to hand over money for harms I have not caused?

                      I’ve asked the same question several times; you’ve yet to answer it. I mean, other than by saying that you think “auto insurance is good to have.”

                      Well, ok. What if I think gun/dog/fist/chainsaw insurance is good to have? Do you think that entitles me to force you to buy it?

                      You add: “It sucks to pay for it for years if you never use it, but it can’t work unless everybody has it.”

                      Really? How so? Does home insurance not “work” – even though it isn’t mandatory? Hw about life insurance?

                    • Collectible cars were regular car payments at one point. I try to keep my cars as long as possible. I’ve had the misfortune of having two destroyed by other people. That if not “forced” to drive with insurance, would have left me with a real mess to deal with.
                      All I mean is that it is different for cars. Homes are stationary. You’re expected to control your dog and fist. You’re expected to control your car, but sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you can but others can’t. This one has to be mandated, because people wouldn’t buy it otherwise. Which I think is probably why it is mandated. This one isn’t a bad one to make people do.
                      I understand $500/ year for seemingly nothing is a lot of money. Believe me, I’d rather have my money in my pocket too, but with car insurance, it just can’t work that way like the other insurances. Because a car wreck, even a very minor one, can be enough to set a regular person way back. It’s not like a fist wreck or a dog wreck. Malice is usually not the force behind most car accidents.

                      Writing in 2nd person because I’m not a good writer. The yous aren’t personal.

                    • Jeremy,

                      I get it now. I didn’t really think about it that way. I’m here to learn. Thanks for the clarification.

                    • Hi Anon,

                      “This one has to be mandated, because people wouldn’t buy it otherwise.”

                      This assumption is absurd, as I explained earlier.

                      “Which I think is probably why it is mandated”.

                      This assumption is naive, insurance companies lobbied for mandatory insurance for their own self interest. There’s an entire branch of economics dedicated to this phenomenon (common in all industries) called “public choice” theory. It demonstrates that rent seeking and regulatory capture are at the root of nearly all regulations, ostensibly aimed at the public interest, are pushed by industries for their own interests.

                      Kind Regards,
                      Jeremy

                    • Hi Anon,

                      “I get it now. I didn’t really think about it that way. I’m here to learn. Thanks for the clarification”.

                      Thank you, I apologize for the tone of my next missive. I mistakenly assumed that you had dismissed my comments., not knowing that you had responded to Eric while I was writing them.

                      Cheers,
                      Jeremy

                  • your rates reflect your needs and driving record. Again, this is a system that can’t work unless everyone has to do it.

                    What if you or your property were damaged by someone uninsured? What recourse would you have if he couldn’t pay you?

                    • My words aren’t worth picking apart, sir. I simply stated a few opinions. It is ok if you don’t agree with them.

                      Car insurance is important. That’s probably why it’s the law.

                      And it wasn’t great to experience four wrecks that I didn’t cause. It was bad. Because those at fault were insured, and I was, it didn’t ruin my life. That is great.

                    • Hi Anon,

                      You keep asserting your opinion that something is “important.” We disagree about its importance. It is not important to me because I judge my at-fault accident risk to be extremely low (supported by decades of accident-free driving) and therefore would prefer to accept this small risk in return for the very tangible reward of money in my pocket rather than having my pockets picked by the insurance mafia.

                      The point at issue is whether what you – or I – think is “important” entitles either of us to force it on the other.

                      You’ve yet to deal with this question directly. I wish you would!

                    • Hi Anon,

                      But “society” might be hit with the bill if my house burns down… right? This is exactly the argument used to justify forcing people to buy health insurance, by the way – which was made possible by forcing people to buy car insurance.

                      And how about guns? If I carry a gun in public, am I therefore obliged to buy “coverage” for that possibility too? If not, why? Your entire argument in defense of forcing people to buy car insurance is that to drive without it is to risk harming others. Not actually harm them. Just maybe.

                      And even though they haven’t.

                      Well, might it not be argued – on the same basis – that my carrying a gun might lead to someone getting hurt? How about my fists? I’m a fairly big guy. I might lose control of myself and hurt someone. Therefore – using your logic – I must be forced to buy insurance to cover the potential harm I might cause…

                      Do you see?

                      I hope so.

                    • Anonymous,

                      My rates are affected by the mandate. If I could say no my rates would be a lot lower. This is elementary economics.

                      As it is, I am forced to pay about $300 annually to “cover” an old truck and another appx. $200 to “cover” my several motorcycles. You will say: This is reasonable! Low! Not to me it isn’t – because I don’t like paying something for nothing. And that $500 annually? Let’s multiply it by say 20 years.Now we’re talking $10,000. That is a lot of money – to me. I could do a lot that is worth something – to me – with my $10k that was stolen at gunpoint by the insurance mafia. Because of people such as you.

                      You ask: “What if you or your property were damaged by someone uninsured? What recourse would you have if he couldn’t pay you?”

                      It is a risk – a small risk – I am willing to assume. Is this my right – or not?

                    • Yes, I see. I understand your points. I only disagree with your car insurance opinion. So does the law. No one is forcing you to drive, but if you want to have the privilege, you should have insurance. Cars are expensive. I personally take pride in knowing my investment is protected. I enjoy driving more, because I know if I do make a mistake, I might not lose my ass over it.Clover

                    • Anon,

                      Driving is not a “privilege.” It is a right that has been transformed into a “privilege” by arrogant control freaks who believe they own us. That we have no rights. That practically everything we are allowed to do – the effrontery is halting – is subject to conditions laid down by these people – people such as yourself – who will use threats and violence to force obedience.

                      Who will harm people who’ve harmed no one – solely because they aren’t comfortable with other people’s decisions about how to live their lives. Because they disagree with their priorities; their own assessment of risk vs. reward.

                      It’s despicable.

                      You keep on asserting that “I should have insurance” – because you think it’s valuable, according to your standards.

                      I keep asking why I – using the same logic – ought not to be able to force you to buy insurance to “cover” numerous other things/actions you and others do which could be characterized as “risky” as well (the degree isn’t relevant because it cant be defined objectively; it comes down to personal value judgments).

                      You refuse to deal with this question. At least be honest. If you want to defend coercive collectivism then do so – and be consistent about accepting its logical consequences.

                      My finger hovers over the Clover button.

                    • There’s no need to get personal. Part of driving is having insurance. Like buying gas or oil changes, it is just part of what it costs to do it.

                      You don’t have to like it. Nobody has forced you to do anything. I certainly haven’t.

                      I’m a big fan and on your side about most of the things you write.

                      I thought a differing opinion could be interesting to discuss. I’m not as articulate as you are, so maybe some of the meaning didn’t come across.

                    • Anon,

                      No need to get personal? You are defending harming me – defending laws that do me violence, even though I have harmed no one. That is very personal.

                      You write: “Part of driving is having insurance. Like buying gas or oil changes, it is just part of what it costs to do it.”

                      Do you really not comprehend the difference between being forced to buy something and buying something because it’s of value to you?

                      I understand that you esteem car insurance. Great! Buy it! But why must you defend forcing others to buy it? And if you do defend forcing others to buy it, then how can you object to them forcing you to buy “coverage” for all the harms you might cause?

                      Please explain.

                      I am trying to get you to see the principle that’s at issue here. And why it is so dangerous to allow a dangerous one such as this to be established.

                    • Hi Anon,

                      You seem to not get the distinction being made between whether having insurance is a good idea, responsible, etc… vs whether car insurance should be mandatory. The assumption that, without the mandate, many people would not buy it, is dubious. I sincerely doubt that you would choose to forgo it.

                      Mandating car insurance likely has the negative effect of increasing the number of uninsured motorists. Basic economics teaches that the cost of insurance will be higher than it would otherwise be, this alone will cause some to forgo it. The mandate discourages or prevents innovation. For instance, as Brent noted, why don’t insurance companies offer insurance for the driver, not the car? Obviously the details of each vehicle owned would be relevant, but it remains a fact that I can only drive one vehicle at a time. It would make sense to price insurance based on the most expensive vehicle owned, without any additional charge for “lesser” vehicles.

                      You have stated more than once that “insurance doesn’t work unless everyone has it”. This is clearly false, as evidenced by “uninsured motorist” protection. Additionally, it is not at all certain that mandating car insurance increases the number of insured motorists, it likely does the opposite. Finally, anyone who gets a loan to purchase a vehicle will be required by their bank to purchase insurance as a condition of the loan.

                      Most people will voluntarily purchase insurance out of their own self interest. Those paying for a car on credit will be required to purchase it by the bank. Some will forgo it completely (which happens now) and some would like to buy it, but cannot afford to. Mandating car insurance has no effect on the first three groups, but likely increases the size of the fourth group. All of the issues you describe are likely made worse by the mandate.

                      Kind Regards,
                      Jeremy

                    • “Home insurance doesn’t need to be mandatory, because you don’t drive your house on public roads.”

                      It could catch fire which requires a response from the government fire department. The fire could spread to the property of others. A natural gas leak could cause an explosion damaging other’s property. I could go on and on. There’s so much that could happen.

              • There are some things that must be mandated. Employers must be mandated to carry workers’ compensation insurance for instance. The reason is simple – if such insurance is not mandated, what do we do with injured workers? We are not going to leave them destitute on the street. If they are not covered by W. Comp, they will often become wards of the state. So it is a choice between the employer at which the employee is injured or the state. The policy decision made in the early 1900’s is that the employer should takes steps to provide for the worker. Hence W. Compensation.

                A similar analysis was taken with respect to cars. In most places, the only REQUIRED insurance is liability. In other words, the insurance necessary to compensate other people for the drivers’ fault. Again, if someone at fault does not pay the compensation, it would go to someone else – and ultimately the government. Again, in my view, the correct choice.
                One can argue – line by line – about the policy choices that were made with respect to insurance. But in doing so, one must take into account the alternative. If you remove the mandate, people will still get hurt at work or in car collisions. But there will not be a means to compensate for those wrongs. So I ask – what is the alternative?

                • This is what I’ve been trying to say all day. Also, I stand by my statement that insurance is not mandated, because driving is a choice. Insurance is part of the cost of driving. A good record will get you reasonable rates. Mine go down every year. I think car insurance is an exception. I don’t think other insurances should be mandated.

                  Eric,
                  You may be qualified to assess your own level of risk, but you know many others aren’t. You live in a society. Not everyone will be on your level. Some above, some well below.

                  Some things are mandatory. That’s just the way it is.

                  Use your blog to fight the power! Keep up the good work. I stated earlier that I’m here to learn. That can be hard to do when you’re so defensive. It can be difficult to understand your view points through personal attacks.

                  • Hi Anon,

                    Driving is a choice. Ok. So is lifting weights, so is learning martial arts. A powerfully built man with martial arts skills might hurt someone; must he also be required to buy insurance? I keep posting such examples – which you continue to ignore. You cherry pick driving – which, as such, imposes no harm on anyone. An inarguable fact. You assert that the possibility a driver might cause harm is sufficient to justify forcing him to buy insurance – to threaten him with violence if he fails to hand over money to an insurance company, even though he hasn’t harmed anyone.

                    To steal his money as compensation for harms he has not caused, to profit a private company.

                    I would like you to explain why the same logic does not apply to forcing you to pay insurance if you choose to own a gun or any other potentially dangerous implement; or a dog or a house or almost any other thing (or action) which you aren’t forced to do but which might cause harm or impose costs on “society.”

                    I have asked you repeatedly – and you repeatedly avoid dealing with this. Why?

                    Instead, you write:

                    ” I think car insurance is an exception. I don’t think other insurances should be mandated.”

                    This is logically incoherent. Can you really not see this? If it is ok to force people to buy insurance for A – because A might result in someone being harmed – then it follows that it is ok to force people to buy insurance for B and C on the same basis.

                    You write:

                    “You may be qualified to assess your own level of risk, but you know many others aren’t. You live in a society. Not everyone will be on your level. Some above, some well below.”

                    So, you are saying that because Smith is reckless and irresponsible, Jones – who is neither – must be treated as reckless and irresponsible. Do you not see that this least-common-denominatorism results in a society in which the capable, competent and responsible are chained to the incapable, incompetent and irresponsible?

                    And you favor this? I recommend reading a short story by Vonnegut called Harrison Bergeron.

                    I am certain there are many things you do which others cannot do as well. Which some cannot do at all – and which result in bad consequences on account of this. How do you feel about new laws limiting what you can do – and not – on that basis? Which punish you – not for any harm you have caused – but only because some other imbecile caused harm?

                    Your write:

                    “Some things are mandatory. That’s just the way it is.”

                    Some things are wrong – and that’s the way it should not be.

                    • I’m sorry. I don’t have a good argument. I didn’t mean to be incoherent. I’m not as good at words. Your tone has been intimidating, and it makes it difficult for me to get my thoughts together.

                      I think, supported by personal experience, that car insurance should be part of driving. You don’t have to think this.

                      I’ll address your question. driving is an activity in which you interact with others on public roads, rolling in a metal box operated by millions of explosions. Having a house, or martial arts skills, or a dog isn’t in the same category. A powerfully built man with martial arts skills is trained on when and how to use those skills. You don’t come out karate chopping everyone in the neck uncontrollably. Even excellent drivers lose control of their cars sometimes.

                      You’re still using the slippery slope argument. Just because we have one thing mandated, doesn’t mean all those other things will be. Driving is different from the other examples.

                      Finally, pick on somebody your own size. I’m just trying to read your blog and learn something. It is difficult to be a supportive reader when you’re so rude.

                    • Hi Anon,

                      I get aggravated because you’re advocating the violation of my right to be left in peace when I have not harmed anyone – because people like you worry I might. And because you seem unable to understand a simple principle and how it applies generally. Or rather, that by accepting it in one case, you open up accepting it in other cases.

                      Why do you suppose we are now forced to buy health insurance? It is because – so the argument goes – “society” has the right to impose these costs on everyone because someone might impose costs on “society” by not having insurance.

                      Do you see?

                      There is no logical difference between your advocacy of mandatory car insurance and mandating that gun owners who carry in public or people who walk dogs – and so on – also be required to have insurance.

                      Someone might be harmed.

                      Driving is not different in this regard. It is merely one of many actions done “in society” that has the potential to result in harm, by accident or otherwise.

                      Where we differ is that I reject the idea of punishing people before they have harmed anyone. You insist they be preemptively punished via the extortion of money (and threatened with murderous violence if they dare to not obey) because they might.

                      This is a tyrannical and dangerous notion – because it scales. The “slippery slope” is not a fallacy. It is exactly of a piece with the principle that if government – that is, other people who hold office and wield power – can force you to hand over a penny (in “taxes”) then they can force you to hand over a dollar. To hand over every last cent.

                      My argument is Libertarian; yours coercive collectivist.

                    • Hmm. I wonder why I posted the link to Emotional Imperialism?

                      Coupled with NPD, the arrogance of their ignorance is epic. No, the self deprecation (poor me, not smart) does not excuse the bombastic arrogance of stating things you approve of as axiomatic, because you approve of them.

                      (Obviously not the statist clover Anonymous)

                  • Gotta disagree with you many points, but I have NEVER had an accident or an insurance claim in my 50 years of driving yet, every 6 months my rates go up …

                    I’d like to know what insurance co is reducing your rates …

                    • Amen, Walter!

                      I’m (forced) to pay about $300 annually to “cover” an almost 20-year-old truck. This “coverage” is “inexpensive” by the logic of Clovers but it still amounts to about $3,600 over the past 12 years… which is about what my truck is worth. In other words, I’ve been forced to pay twice for my truck. Once to buy it – and then again, to “cover” it.

                      Which is why it is not worth it to me to buy such “coverage” – and wouldn’t, if the government weren’t holding a gun to my head.

            • Nothing is truly mandatory. There’s always another choice even if that choice is death, imprisonment, and so on. It’s simply a rhetorical device used for state control.

              Another application is that it isn’t mandatory to have your own business so all the laws that make it difficult and costly are then acceptable, you can always work for a corporation.

              Applications of this style of argument are endless.

    • Commercial airline travel is not mandatory, so the TSA is just fine.
      Government and federal reserve supported corporations are private businesses so their censorship is just fine.
      Bicycling isn’t mandatory so a helmet law is just fine.

      I could go on. but this is the perverted thinking of statists. I’ve seen even more severe forms of it where whatever the government demanded was just fine because it was still our choice to either obey or go to prison. This way of thinking can justify all sorts of things. Driving is mandatory so you must be able to 15 pullups in one minute. Makes just as much sense to test arm strength to control the vehicle.

      Why is mandatory auto insurance by the vehicle? I can only drive one of them at a time. Sure someone else could drive them so why doesn’t that person have their own insurance?

      It doesn’t matter if motoring is mandatory or not. It’s that dictates like purchasing insurance are arbitrary. And why do we have mandatory insurance? Because some people are irresponsible. But since when does a law do anything about irresponsible people? They are by definition the sort of people who aren’t going to follow the law and being hit by someone without insurance in a mandatory insurance state must pretty common because it has happened to me more than once. Does the government do anything to help? Nope. The law is useless best that I can tell. Either people are responsible and pay outside of insurance (which they did in my case), they are responsible and have insurance or they are irresponsible and do neither.

      • At this point may as well stash everything in a trust fund you control and own nothing but a beater car. The trust can rent your own house back to you.

        Be “poor” and suck on the government tit for all you can (even rent help), carry no insurance and ignore whatever law you care to. Have nothing or at least the minimum they can take from you personally. Work for cash.

        Why not? If the irresponsible are getting a free pass, why fight it? Join them. Make the system work for you.

        (not the statist Anonymous)

  18. While it’s true that “everything is funny with a pocket full of money”, I think of all the things that shake the working man down insurance is probably #4. I think the #1 attack on personal wealth is taxes. #2 is the Fed who tampers with the value of our earnings and savings with fake currency units, #3 is Medicare who sets the rates (costs) of medical services, and #4 mandatory insurance: Health and Auto which are grossly overpriced and a larceny by conversion scam.

    • Hi Auric

      Agree…. The FED has devalued (inflated) their currency by 90% or more over the last 50 years. This is making it tough on anyone in the lower percentiles. Add that the average inflation adjusted wages haven’t increased over the last 45 years. It is so bad ‘they’ now use the term “household earnings” average ($59,000) rather than individual earnings which are hovering at a disgusting $29,000 average. I’ll bet these numbers are ‘adjusted’ like all the others from the BLS. The Federal Poverty Level is $26,000! So average Joe’s are only $3000 above the poverty level. Today the FED is buying treasuries from the primary dealers effectively monetizing the government debt which will increase prices much more. Useless to save for retirement. Save a $100,000 this year, it will have the buying power of $10,000, (if you’re lucky), when you retire. In 40-50 years one will need $80,000 or more a year to buy what $25,000 does now. Lose – Lose
      Insurance rates on Autos are super high because of the repair costs. Most are now totaled so the owner ends up possibly making payments on a car he no longer owns or drives around in a damaged vehicle. The Blue book is a scam set by the insurance companies. The whole thing is evil.
      Medical insurance sky rocketing is due to gov involvement. The millions of new poor from on and offshoring plus legal and illegal immigrants were breaking the system so gov got involved to “do something!”. Then mandates to cover this or that for “free” increased the costs. Today many States require insurance to cover the huge transgender costs, a complete waste and ridiculous thing. The pharmaceuticals have went absolutely nutzo. Gov regs requires men to have Maternity insurance and women to have prostrate insurance. This is why the insurance costs are so high. Due to even more gov regs many doctors are leaving private practice and becoming corporate salaried cogs. Without the competition rates increase again. It’s an unmitigated disaster… all government caused.
      It’s so messed up now the only answer is a complete crash. This new virus may end up as cover for a economic crash.

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