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  •  Ohh, now I don't buy that (0+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't wax self-righteous about the "cult of self-centeredness", hon.  Since the whole point of insurance of all sorts is to spread risk it is, frankly, not your frickin' business what the risks are and from whom.

    Right.  So, then, you would assert that I should be paying the same for life insurance as someone who hang-glides?  Should I pay as much for auto insurance as someone who has had six accidents?  Should I, more to the point, have to pay for an increase in the cost of life insurance because someone else shoots himself in the head so that his wife and kids can have a couple of million dollars?

    Another idea of insurance, and specifically of variable rates, is to reward the kind of behavior the insurer wants to encourage.  Since the insurer can't verify that the driver is wearing his seat belt until after he's thrown from the car headfirst into a tree, it seems to me that insurance that gave you a lower rate based on whether you tick the box saying 'I will always wear my seatbelt' and don't get any money if you are caught not wearing it is...

    ...a horrendously bad idea, but only because I think that everyone in the world should have free health care, regardless of their lifestyle.  However, indulging in risky and stupid behavior (e.g. unprotected sex with strangers) just because you know that society will be there to clean up your messes (e.g. provide you free AIDS drugs for the rest of your life) is the epitome of selfishness.

    I would say that it is indeed our responsibility as a society to provide health care to all our citizens.  But, if that is so, is it not the responsibility of each individual citizen to minimize the burden he or she places on the rest of society, to the greatest extent they can without being unduly burdened themselves?  (Of course, in a free society the only measure of 'undue burden' is the individual's sense of responsibility.)  If that is true, then all of a sudden it seems to me that legislating seat belts (seat belts, for god's sake) is no worse than, say, legislating child support.  Except, of course, that there is no one for whom fastening their seat belt is an 'undue burden'.

    If you want the state to take care of you, then there are some rules that you have to follow.  It's called the social compact, and if it includes fastening your seat belt, well, it's hard for me to imagine anything more innocuous that can prevent so many people from becoming a burden to society.

    -fred

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