(with due deference to Jonathan Swift)


Published  December 18, 2006

Every time I read something about the high Citizens rates, there is almost always a “disclaimer” saying this is because “we” have to make sure the rates charged by a public agency are not lower than private rates. 

The implication is that there is some “right” on the part of “profit mongering” organizations to not have to compete against the “State” for customers – meaning in this situation, they can bump up their profit margins to the “gouge” level by separating the wind loss from all their other huge, virtually “no risk” profit lines.

There is a concomitant implication that there is some sacred law somewhere that government should not be allowed to compete against a private citizen because, so goes the argument, that would be “unfair.”

Yet, what if the intelligent minds who are responsible for our laws (and the brilliant soothsayers who are responsible for interpreting the validity of proposed legislation) would actually approach this from the standpoint of finding a way to establish a public protectorate that would establish a “fair” price for all property insurance coverage – and set that as the standard that is in the public interest?

What?  Impossible, you say?  Suppose, tomorrow, a private company invented a pill that would cure cancer.  Further suppose the company would charge $1,000,000 for the pill.  How long do you think it would take to find a way to make that pill available to everyone at a reasonable price?

Yes, there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth by the lobbyists and other bovine creatures who feed at the current trough.  But how many common citizens (that’s the category our legislature is supposed to protect) would be sympathetic to the greedy multi-millionaires who are the only ones benefiting from the “Catch-22” they have manipulated into a state-wide emergency?

And to those who would trumpet – “It can’t be done!” – I say examine their background and motivation.

And for the other 90% who would support fair property insurance rates established by our elected representatives without regard to the profit mongering” privateers, how about a state-wide referendum if our current legislators stay in the pockets of the insurance industry?