Insurance is like a myth. From one small seed of truth, a fairytale the size of 1000 giant sequoias has sprung up. Reality is blocked from view. Surely, you've noticed all the giant, sequoia-like buildings are owned by banks and insurance companies. Where do they get all that money? How much money do the executives make? Who pays for it all? Grab a mirror. "Magic mirror on the wall, who's the biggest sucker of them all? What's that you said? The Masses!"
Insurance is yet another unquestioned social reflex. You just buy it. You must. The banker insists you have to purchase insurance or you don't get the loan. Your government orders you to buy auto insurance at any cost. Hence, it must be really good for you. Hell, why not stock up on some of the non-mandated insurances as well? You can't have too much of a good thing. Can you?
Somewhere in the dark, murky corners of our minds we hide our thoughts. Like The Emperor's New Clothes, no one screams out, "But he has nothing on!" or "Hey, this is just bullshit!" You are not alone in the darkness. We all think it. So you are no longer scared to speak, here are some of those secret thoughts voiced out loud for the first time:
1) If I speak out against insurance, I will be jinxed. My home will surely burn to the ground and I will look like a moron.
2) If I speak out against insurance, some pecker-head who heard me will have an accident and sue me because folks are not responsible for their own choices.
3) Insurance is betting against myself. Why would I bet against me?
4) If insurance companies must charge such high premiums because they're losing so much in payouts, how do they afford all those big buildings?
5) What do insurance companies sell? Air? Promises they intend to deny via small print? Contracts? Wouldn't I rather buy an IHOP franchise with that money?
6) If government represents the people, why do they make me, a people, a criminal when I cannot afford auto insurance to get to work and feed my family?
7) How much in dollars and perks do insurance lobbyists put into the pockets of politicians?
8) Do I really need trip-cancellation insurance? Why would I buy a dream trip, and then bet on my canceling it at the last moment?
9) If I put all the money I spend on insurance into the bank or toward building success, how much money would I have for coping with my problems on my own terms?
10) If I buy the extended warranty, will I remember I have it or be able to find it when my widget explodes?
11) Shouldn't companies make quality widgets that last three years in the first place?
12) And finally, did Jennifer Lopez really insure herself for hundreds of millions of dollars? What? She is already rich. The agent who sold this policy is phenomenal.
Yes, we all know the system is way out of hand! The blame lies with insurance companies, greedy bankers, spineless politicians and with the Masses unquestioningly supporting these absurdities. Every frivolous lawsuit provides government an excuse for mandating people be protected from themselves via costly insurances and removal of individual freedoms.
Before long, we will be required to carry Coffee-Burn riders on auto insurance and Cell- Phone-Earring-Tear addendums on HMOs. These days Sleeping Beauty would have sued the castle owner (a.k.a. Dad) for that prick on the finger, lost wages from the coma and for trauma from the scar. Uninsured sewing needles would be outlawed throughout the kingdom.
With a system this out of control, how do you protect yourself? You cut the fat. Quit betting against yourself. Think about all those different types of insurance. Stop buying out of reflex and decide for yourself what you can kick to the curb. Consider the variety out there and what you truly must have.
Life Insurance is for betting you will die such a loser that you can't pay for your own funeral or leave your kids any inheritance. Extra Car Insurance-How much you betting that you will crash? Not to mention, homeowner's, mortgage, trip cancellation, emergency evacuation, unemployment, boat, credit card, business interruption, earthquake, disability, dental, smoker, expatriate, backpack traveler, winter sports, flood, warranty and health insurance. The list goes on.
Here is a new monument to the ludicrous: Terrorist Insurance. It's even pushed at Art Gallery Owner's in isolated communities of the Northern Great Plains. And, why not? No doubt Osama is crouching in an Afghan cave right now, plotting to rid the world of those pesky Remmington Cowboy bronzes.
Insurance agents prey upon these new fears like snakes on wounded mice. Apparently, companies want to terrorize you into buying coverage. Another possibility is a rebel SCUD aimed for Mount Rushmore may slam into a Canada Goose and go askew. It sucks when this happens! No doubt your goat ranch in Chug Water, Wyoming is in eminent danger from this likely chain of events. Perhaps, you should add a specific 'Unpasteurized-Cheese Addendum' to your Terrorist Policy. Call your agent today and ask them. See if they will sell you one.
The odds of you dying of a mosquito bite are better than the odds you will die at the hands of a terrorist. Well, crap! The government better permit companies to require we all carry Mosquito Insurance. Maybe you can get a DEET discount! Better still; why not turn over all our bothersome responsibility, like freedom and privacy, to the Feds. Then good ol' Uncle Sam can protect citizens from the winged menaces that haunt our very souls.
Congress could raise taxes to fund Bug Inspectors. Their job would be to comb through your private life, home and property looking for freestanding water. They would not look for anything else (roll eyes here). Still cancer and glaucoma patients might want to keep the baggies away from the birdbath.
Speaking of cancer, the Air Force could spray us all from above with a perfectly "safe" mixture of insecticides called Agent Tan. Coincidently, that day your governor vacations far away. Is there anybody in his or her right mind who would elect an insurance salesman to public office? Of course, both politicians and insurers are selling you hot air, so perhaps it is a match made in H...
A very few insurances are worth buying, such as liability insurance for cars and real estate. Once you have something to lose, it's a sure bet some lazy troll with an entitlement-mentality will try to sue you. In this case, you want the giants on your side. Insurance companies provide lawyers to run evil little trolls back under their bridges.
Insurance prices in America are out of control. The wide range of insurance the bureaucracy would have us believe we cannot live without is genuinely insulting. Buying all the coverage companies would have you believe you need wastes thousands of your dollars each year. Look over policies and eliminate what you can. Insurance is just legalized gambling. If you are betting against yourself, how can you take a gamble on yourself? Pursue your dreams instead!
About the Author
The preceding is an excerpt from the book Keeping the Masses Down. Satirist Nola L. Kelsey (http://www.NolaKelsey.com.) is the coauthor and "primary scribe" of this twisted political satire. August K. Anderson, a former lawyer, long time CEO of Golden Quest Enterprises (www.chevalinternational.com) and one of the country's top equestrians, is the primary political force behind Masses.