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  1. #51
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Jobs? Money to be reinvested into the companies? How are ANY insurance policies positive?
    The Social Security administration provides jobs, just like insurance companies. The Social Security trust fund invests its funds similar to how insurances companies invest premiums. That said, I'm not trying to argue that every detail between them is the same. There are differences, but they serve the same fundamental purpose.

    Insurance policies provide value because they distribute risk, not because they create jobs or wealth. They are a wealth redistribution tool, not a means of wealth creation.

    I don't disagree that Social Security does not create wealth. I disagree with the idea that insurance polices do create wealth.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think if insurance companies allow it for the company buy for employees, they should be legally required to offer the same service to employees. It's only fair.
    I don't believe in forcing anyone to do business with anyone else. Still, I think an insurance company would be very stupid not to sell something that would be profitable to interested parties.
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  3. #53
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Jobs? Money to be reinvested into the companies? How are ANY insurance policies positive?
    Lateralus picked that one up.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Elaborate. I'd like to hear exactly which situations you are talking about.
    Oh, you know these sorts of situations. One person, for one stupid reason or another, decides to stalk another person (probably a co-worker, classmate, family member, or former friend) and harass them, constantly. That becomes the goal. No physical abuse or violation of property may even be involved. The person may just follow the other one around and verbally abuse them, annoy them, embarrass them in public, etc.. day in and day out.

    Another example, of course, is sexual harassment, which in the cases that it does not involve violence, do not involve any clear physical harm.

    Since you don't seem to think that mental anguish alone is worthy of the law, would you be against any laws pertaining to these kinds of harassment?

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    True enough, although it also arose by force. In the old days, it wasn't as if "consent of the governed" really entered into the deal.
    It arose so gradually, and so necessarily from the advent of agriculture, that I don't know if it really was as domineering as you think. No doubt the ensuing rule was despotic, but it didn't appear just by plopping itself down one day and putting everyone under its heal. There were no scheming power mongers that invented despotism.

    And actually, there were choices involved for people, even back then. I don't know if you are familiar with the roving bandit vs the stationary bandit. Mancur Olson talked about this. In a nutshell, given a choice between a person or small clan trying to fend for themselves in a land of roving bandits, or trying to gather with other people and clans under the oversight of a stationary bandit, almost anyone would choose the stationary bandit, even though it was at theoretically involve a greater sacrifice of autonomy. This because the stationary bandit, bastard though may be, creates and environment where people have more security, because they have more protection and more aid, then people trying to fend for themselves in land of roving bandits.

    Another point is that I don't think it could have happened any other way. I think agticulture lead to primitive, authoritarian states, one to one. Population, technology, and government are stuck in a positive feedback loop. We've gradually become more consent driven societies ever since, but actually by making a larger and more complex government over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That's your prerogative, but I think IN THIS CASE, it's a big difference. Imposing things on people is not good.
    As I said, at least in the beginning, imposing agriculture on yourself meant imposing despotism on yourself. People did make a choice, in a sense, to live under this.

    If you are looking for a libertarian society that emerges entirely out of cultural evolution, you're looking at a disappointing history. Humans have never seemed to have taken the opportunity to live in a libertarian civilization. I don't know why they would start now. So, ironies of ironies, I think the only way you'd get one is by forming a social movement that voluntarily tries to impose libertarianism.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Which preventative capabilities do you mean? And I never said that the government should prevent or remedy ALL harm. That's not what it's there for.
    Just about all of them. Weather, diseases, riot control, etc.. Because you only want the government to address unmistakable harm, it means the government can't deal with things that are predicted or anticipated, because it's never completely sure that they will happen, or is it possible to exactly know how much damage will be done. Something only suspected to happen in the future is never undeniable harm.

    I no you didn't say it should preven all harm, I just pointed out that you apparently think it shouldn't prevent damn near all of it. This is an expression of my belief, that it make a crappy a government and a crappy society.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I don't see a contradiction there. I am talking about what government does TO society, not it's legitimacy FROM society. Two different things.
    If not a contradiction than maybe a paradox? The government is made of society, is itself society, but does things to society, that are destructive to it and seperate from the will of society.

    This might seems slightly tangential, but I think it has a general relevance to this whole exchange. I think no one can no what a person ultimately desires, or values, or considers a primary good, than the person's self. In that case you are right. No one can know what you ultimately want like you do. But what I think your position doesn't account for is that a person can know how to get what you want a hell of a lot better than you.

    Case in point: You have a very dear friend is at morbid risk of heart failure. No one else can fully understand or feel what this person means to you, or how much you want this person to stay alive. Does that make you at all capable of achieving that goal, of protecting your interests, and keeping that person alive? No, it doesn't give you that ability at all.

    You'll need to enlist a heart surgeon, who probably doesn't know you, your friend, or particularly care about what either of your values are, but has the skills, the knowledge, and the tools to save your friend from heart disease when you couldn't, and he/she couldn't do it for him/her self.

    This is why we sometimes (really, quite often) depend on others for the achievement of our own wants in life. You are the only person who really knows you feel, but you either lack the knowledge or the ability to achieve a big chunk of it yourself. And the bigger the human population becomes, and the more advance technology becomes, the higher our standards get, the less capable individuals are of figuring it all out for themselves. That is why authority is inevitable, and any society that works require some agreement on what to define as a legitimate authority.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Lateralus picked that one up.
    OK.


    Oh, you know these sorts of situations. One person, for one stupid reason or another, decides to stalk another person (probably a co-worker, classmate, family member, or former friend) and harass them, constantly. That becomes the goal. No physical abuse or violation of property may even be involved. The person may just follow the other one around and verbally abuse them, annoy them, embarrass them in public, etc.. day in and day out.

    Another example, of course, is sexual harassment, which in the cases that it does not involve violence, do not involve any clear physical harm.

    Since you don't seem to think that mental anguish alone is worthy of the law, would you be against any laws pertaining to these kinds of harassment?
    That isn't just mental anguish, though. That would be enough to prevent someone from living and working freely. Admittedly, it's a thin line, but there is a difference between being a jerk and ruining someone's life and work. Also, a harasser could be liable in a civil suit even if he/she didn't do anything extreme enough to be arrested. The burden of proof should be on the government/accuser/plaintiff, though.


    It arose so gradually, and so necessarily from the advent of agriculture, that I don't know if it really was as domineering as you think. No doubt the ensuing rule was despotic, but it didn't appear just by plopping itself down one day and putting everyone under its heal. There were no scheming power mongers that invented despotism.
    The issue was that people didn't have a well-thought-out framework of natural rights then. It was still brutal and wrong, though.


    And actually, there were choices involved for people, even back then. I don't know if you are familiar with the roving bandit vs the stationary bandit. Mancur Olson talked about this. In a nutshell, given a choice between a person or small clan trying to fend for themselves in a land of roving bandits, or trying to gather with other people and clans under the oversight of a stationary bandit, almost anyone would choose the stationary bandit, even though it was at theoretically involve a greater sacrifice of autonomy. This because the stationary bandit, bastard though may be, creates and environment where people have more security, because they have more protection and more aid, then people trying to fend for themselves in land of roving bandits.
    Doesn't jive with my mentality. I definitely do NOT believe "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know."


    Another point is that I don't think it could have happened any other way. I think agticulture lead to primitive, authoritarian states, one to one. Population, technology, and government are stuck in a positive feedback loop. We've gradually become more consent driven societies ever since, but actually by making a larger and more complex government over time.
    It's not consistent, though. The government does NOT always get bigger. It did during the Civil War, then abated. It did during the Great Depression and WWII, then abated again. It even lessened during the 1990s. You make it seem inevitable and necessary, but history doesn't bear that out.


    As I said, at least in the beginning, imposing agriculture on yourself meant imposing despotism on yourself. People did make a choice, in a sense, to live under this.

    If you are looking for a libertarian society that emerges entirely out of cultural evolution, you're looking at a disappointing history. Humans have never seemed to have taken the opportunity to live in a libertarian civilization. I don't know why they would start now. So, ironies of ironies, I think the only way you'd get one is by forming a social movement that voluntarily tries to impose libertarianism.
    Pennsylvania in the 1680s and 1690s had practically no state, and many people moved there happily. The Northern and Midwestern U.S. from the end of the Civil War until about 1890 was pretty libertarian, too (with a few glaring exceptions).


    Just about all of them. Weather, diseases, riot control, etc.. Because you only want the government to address unmistakable harm, it means the government can't deal with things that are predicted or anticipated, because it's never completely sure that they will happen, or is it possible to exactly know how much damage will be done. Something only suspected to happen in the future is never undeniable harm.

    I no you didn't say it should preven all harm, I just pointed out that you apparently think it shouldn't prevent damn near all of it. This is an expression of my belief, that it make a crappy a government and a crappy society.
    Then that is where we disagree. You know how they say the cure can be worse than the disease? The prevention can be worse than the disease, too.


    If not a contradiction than maybe a paradox? The government is made of society, is itself society, but does things to society, that are destructive to it and seperate from the will of society.
    One reason: power. The government has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in society. That makes its nature COMPLETELY different from all other organizations.


    This might seems slightly tangential, but I think it has a general relevance to this whole exchange. I think no one can no what a person ultimately desires, or values, or considers a primary good, than the person's self. In that case you are right. No one can know what you ultimately want like you do. But what I think your position doesn't account for is that a person can know how to get what you want a hell of a lot better than you.

    Case in point: You have a very dear friend is at morbid risk of heart failure. No one else can fully understand or feel what this person means to you, or how much you want this person to stay alive. Does that make you at all capable of achieving that goal, of protecting your interests, and keeping that person alive? No, it doesn't give you that ability at all.

    You'll need to enlist a heart surgeon, who probably doesn't know you, your friend, or particularly care about what either of your values are, but has the skills, the knowledge, and the tools to save your friend from heart disease when you couldn't, and he/she couldn't do it for him/her self.
    I don't see the point here. I am not talking about self-reliance in all matters. I am talking about freely associating with others. I am not talking about atomizing society. I think we're talking past each other here.


    This is why we sometimes (really, quite often) depend on others for the achievement of our own wants in life. You are the only person who really knows you feel, but you either lack the knowledge or the ability to achieve a big chunk of it yourself. And the bigger the human population becomes, and the more advance technology becomes, the higher our standards get, the less capable individuals are of figuring it all out for themselves. That is why authority is inevitable, and any society that works require some agreement on what to define as a legitimate authority.
    That is fine, but there must MAJOR checks on what this authority can do. Consent of the governed is not enough to make government action legitimate, because of the force-employing nature I mentioned earlier.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #55
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I don't believe in forcing anyone to do business with anyone else. Still, I think an insurance company would be very stupid not to sell something that would be profitable to interested parties.
    I don't believe in one party being allowed to profit from the death of another party without the consent of the potentially dead party, regardless of who either party is. If it is allowed, then it should be allowed in an equitable manner, not only for the privileged few. Laws should be equitable and apply to every citizen. Consent to such an arrangement should be purely voluntary and one's employment should not rest on whether one is willing to agree to allow their employer profit from their death.

    Your philosophy seems to me to be very much like feudalism, rather than capitalism.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #56
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't believe in one party being allowed to profit from the death of another party without the consent of the potentially dead party, regardless of who either party is. If it is allowed, then it should be allowed in an equitable manner, not only for the privileged few. Laws should be equitable and apply to every citizen. Consent to such an arrangement should be purely voluntary and one's employment should not rest on whether one is willing to agree to allow their employer profit from their death.

    Your philosophy seems to me to be very much like feudalism, rather than capitalism.
    How? The company should sell policies to whomever they want. There shouldn't be legislation forcing them to sell to anyone. I think you're misunderstanding me completely.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  7. #57
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    How? The company should sell policies to whomever they want. There shouldn't be legislation forcing them to sell to anyone. I think you're misunderstanding me completely.
    In your scenario, the companies -- both the insurance companies and the employing companies -- have all the power. They, for all intents and purposes, buy whatever governing policies they want via campaign contributions and promises of cushy post-government agency positions.

    When the government and the means of employment are, for all practical purposes, the same entity with the same interests, it is little different than an aristocratic oligarchical system. Those not already in a seat of wealth and power have a very difficult time gaining either without selling themselves as little more than feudal slaves to someone who has both. The power of the individual citizen is virtually non-existent.

    When you can't even call your own moldering corpse your own (it is bought and paid for as an investment to your employer without so much as your knowledge, let alone your consent) you have little claim to anything resembling free agency.

    You might say that people just shouldn't work for companies that do that, but they don't even have knowledge of such an arrangement -- I mean, after all, it isn't legal for me to go out and buy a policy on you without your knowledge and consent -- so they don't have much choice. Also, they may need employment badly enough that they might feel compelled to consent even if it is not what they truly want.

    My husband, for example, was recently laid off and is about to take a job where joining the laborers union is compulsory. Most conservatives would have a problem with compulsory union membership, but as a conservative, you don't seem to have a problem with compulsory (and undisclosed) life insurance policies on low-level employees the only purpose of which is to profit from those employees' deaths since low-level employees are treated like little more than cheap, easily replaced cogs and don't represent any kind of substantial loss to the employer in the event of their deaths.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #58
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    In your scenario, the companies -- both the insurance companies and the employing companies -- have all the power. They, for all intents and purposes, buy whatever governing policies they want via campaign contributions and promises of cushy post-government agency positions.
    False.


    When the government and the means of employment are, for all practical purposes, the same entity with the same interests, it is little different than an aristocratic oligarchical system. Those not already in a seat of wealth and power have a very difficult time gaining either without selling themselves as little more than feudal slaves to someone who has both. The power of the individual citizen is virtually non-existent.
    I don't even know what you are talking about here. Where is the government involved in my scenario?


    When you can't even call your own moldering corpse your own (it is bought and paid for as an investment to your employer without so much as your knowledge, let alone your consent) you have little claim to anything resembling free agency.
    Who is stealing corpses? You've completely lost me.


    You might say that people just shouldn't work for companies that do that, but they don't even have knowledge of such an arrangement -- I mean, after all, it isn't legal for me to go out and buy a policy on you without your knowledge and consent -- so they don't have much choice. Also, they may need employment badly enough that they might feel compelled to consent even if it is not what they truly want.
    What is the exact claim that you are making here? I already said that I think the lower-level employees should be allowed to purchase policies if the employers are. There just shouldn't be any rules FORCING insurance companies to sell them. Why wouldn't they, if they think they can make money doing it?


    My husband, for example, was recently laid off and is about to take a job where joining the laborers union is compulsory. Most conservatives would have a problem with compulsory union membership, but as a conservative, you don't seem to have a problem with compulsory (and undisclosed) life insurance policies on low-level employees the only purpose of which is to profit from those employees' deaths since low-level employees are treated like little more than cheap, easily replaced cogs and don't represent any kind of substantial loss to the employer in the event of their deaths.
    Who is being compelled to purchase life insurance policies? The only compulsory insurance I know of is for driving a car (which is already a choice), and I guess Obamacare/Romneycare now. Both of which I think are totally wrong. It's not as if the employees are being pickpocketed to pay for these policies. What are you talking about?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    What is the difference between an employer purchasing a life-insurance policy on me, and my spouse purchasing a life insurance policy on me?

    Both are doing so because they would be financially damaged by my death.

    ---

    If employers are scamming the system, and intentionally killing off their employees for the insurance money, life insurance companies would no longer offer the plans to employers (it would be unprofitable).

    Further, if companies intentionally endangered their employees because of the insurance money, their life insurance premiums would go up. It would be no different from a driver who repeatedly drove while drunk...as a company's risk of accidental death increases, so will their premiums.

  10. #60
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    False.




    I don't even know what you are talking about here. Where is the government involved in my scenario?




    Who is stealing corpses? You've completely lost me.




    What is the exact claim that you are making here? I already said that I think the lower-level employees should be allowed to purchase policies if the employers are. There just shouldn't be any rules FORCING insurance companies to sell them. Why wouldn't they, if they think they can make money doing it?




    Who is being compelled to purchase life insurance policies? The only compulsory insurance I know of is for driving a car (which is already a choice), and I guess Obamacare/Romneycare now. Both of which I think are totally wrong. It's not as if the employees are being pickpocketed to pay for these policies. What are you talking about?
    For some reason it is (was?) legal for corporations to do something that is not legal for private citizens to do -- purchase life insurance policies on other people without their knowledge or consent.

    If it is not legal for a private citizen to do something then why should a corporation be allowed to do it? Why is the corporation allowed to do it if a private citizen is not? How could Walmart possibly have 350,000 employees whose deaths would cause them significant financial hardship? Seriously! Do you think they are going to lose a dime if a cashier or stocker dies?

    There is no legitimate reason for a policy like this -- it is purely profiting from a death and nothing else. If Walmart can buy a policy for the sole purpose of profiting from someone's death then I should be able to buy a policy profiting from your death or from Donald Trump's death.

    Now why do you think it is that Walmart has the legal option to profit from Stella the cashier's death, but Stella doesn't have the legal option to profit from Robert Walton's death? I think it is because Walmart has lobbyists and Stella does not.

    Now if Robert Walton calls up Joe Insurance Agent and says "Hey Joe, this is Robert Walton. I'd like to buy a life insurance policy on Stella the Cashier for $100, 000. Can you set that up for me?" I'm guessing Joe Insurance Agent is going to think 'I bet Robert has a lot of folks for me to insure. Sounds good to me.'

    But if Stella calls up Joe Insurance Agent and says "Hey Joe, this is Stella the Walmart cashier. A couple of my cashier friends and I would like to buy a $100,00 life insurance policy on Robert Walton. Can you set that up for us?" Joe Insurance Agent is probably going to think 'Who the hell is Stella and how stupid would I have to be to sell her a policy that's would piss Robert Walton off if he ever found out about it?'

    Now essentially, Robert isn't going to lose anything if Stella keels over dead playing bingo on her day off and Stella isn't going to lose anything if Robert gets hit in the head with a stray golf ball and dies. But Robert can buy a policy on Stella while Joe Insurance Agent is unlikely to sell Stella such a policy on Robert. She just doesn't have the clout.

    If the company is going to sell such a policy to Robert, then they should have to sell a policy to Stella. It shouldn't matter that Robert can buy 350,000 policies and Stella can only buy one.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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