Oddly enough, this seems to be a popular subject of inquiry on GC these days: https://www.gocomics.com/9chickweedlane/2022/07/04
Not to mention Laurie Anderson: https://youtu.be/m3F6RCqWhgs?t=28
Not sure I see the logic here. I have car insurance so that, if I cause an accident, the insurance company pays for the damage I’ve done, instead of having a law suit against me in which I am bankrupted (and the plaintiff most likely doesn’t get all that he or she deserves, because my resources are limited). In a way, the insurance allows me to avoid the consequences of my bad actions.
If I have firearm-liability insurance, then if I shoot someone wrongfully, the insurance company will cover (and fight?) suits against me, or something like that? I suppose that might lead to higher settlements to victims of wrongful private shootings, at the costs of lawyers who would probably take a big part of the settlement.
If an officer of the government (say, municipal) wrongfully shoots someone, the victim (or family) can and should sue the government body, which generally does have liability insurance.
I suggest that insurance is kind of a weak and ineffective answer to the problem of gun violence. The victims of a wrongful shooting (and their families) suffer tragedy that a higher-than-otherwise insurance payout cannot begin to assuage. I favour things like making weapons less available (either in a blanket way, like “no assault rifles,” or a particular way, like red-flag laws), punishing those who misuse weapons, things like that.
“Well, you arrogant twit, I was speaking for myself.”
And it was to your so speaking that I was replying. Perhaps you have more than just an outside observer’s academic interest in making the lives of the poor (and everyone else) better, but your post failed to reflect that. My sympathy is for the poor, both those who continue to strive even though they fail, and those who are so battered by life that they give up.
Yes, I certainly should have included Education, and support for students, in the list of socially-provided necessities.
“Life is tough for Poor Americans, always has always will, coming from a place where Nothing can be taken for granted. Your next meal or water, power or even having a parent present for your life.”
Gee, you’d give poor people points for striving and not giving up, even though, often enough, the striving fails and the result is the same. I will be giving you some paper gold stars for your concern.
Can you envision a society in which everyone—including the poor—have lives that have certain guarantees, in which they can rely on getting food, shelter, and health services; in which civil rights and the environment are protected. Maybe a society in which the gaps between the rich and the poor is somewhat less than they are in our modern world, especially in the US. Socialists do dream of such a society, and, probably to a lesser extent, so do various kinds of liberals or progressives. Some countries, like the Scandinavian ones, have moved in that direction to some extent, and even most Western countries are better than the US in providing necessities, like health care, to all citizens.
I suggest that working towards these goals is a more worthy activity than sitting on the sidelines and rating the poor: “Striving and succeeding—good job! Striving, failing, and starving—nice try! Giving up and starving—tsk, tsk, it’s your own fault!”
My hearing aids have little tubes and “domes” that do get ear wax in them, and it’s remarkable how little a wax blob will block all sound. My hearing-aid provider showed me that unscrewing the tubes from the (behind-the-ear) hearing aids, and running some fishing-leader line through the tubes and the dome holes, restores the sound.
Like my eyes—and for that matter the rest of my body—my ears are gradually deteriorating, and I don’t suppose that it will be too long before I have to take some more direct action, like the character in this cartoon and Admiral Benson in Hot Shots… ( https://tenor.com/view/hot-shots-cleaning-ears-gif-15358350 )
“The Supreme Court follows the election returns” —Mr. Dooley
In some ways, the history of civil rights in the US has been the overthrow by the federal government of the (presumptive) democratic will of state governments—by constitutional amendment (e.g., slavery, female suffrage), legislation (e.g., the Civil Rights Act), or court decision (e.g., Brown v. Board of Education). In most of these cases, “what is right” was made to take precedence over “public opinion” in the affected states (and FWIW I approve of those actions).
The idea that policies ought to be determined by some majority of a small number of ideologues trying to imagine what the authors of some several-centuries-old document might have meant is pretty ridiculous to me. On the other hand, I do believe that there are certain rights and principles and policies that transcend “public opinion.”
Part of the problem is American “democracy” itself, with its malapportionment, two-party system, gerrymandering, filibustering, and other faults, made much worse by the polarization that seems pretty much to be the intent of one of the parties. Who can doubt that the human rights actions above would fail if proposed by the Democrats and put to a vote in the current Senate?
I’m not an American citizen, but these contradictions apply to all democracies. I have no solutions besides trying to fight for sanity in the electorate and their representatives, a Sisyphean task. Unfortunately, things seem to be going the other way, all around the world.
" I can remember the last time prices went up this way there were a few economists saying the price of fuel should be high in order to encourage people to buy more efficient cars."
As a sometime economist, I was saying that then in the 1970s (worrying about 15-gal minimum purchase in some of the states I was driving through and the 5-gal tank in my Austin Mini), and I’m saying it now. Carbon taxes are the most efficient, and the least market-intrusive way to conserve fossil fuels and thereby cut carbon emissions. (I would take a portion of the revenues to subsidize public transportation—because I won’t pretend that the taxes won’t make it more difficult to drive around—and the rest to be distributed to people on a per-capita basis, because the idea is to make carbon relatively more expensive. But I digress.) When gas is more expensive, people have all sorts of ways to deal with this, from commuting less (moving closer to work or working closer to home), to acquiring more efficient vehicles, to carpooling, to just keeping their tires properly inflated.
British Columbia instituted a carbon tax in 2008, and it was quite successful in cutting gasoline sales and reducing carbon emissions.
It became obvious in the 1970s that fossil fuel had a tenuous supply and was always to be in danger of becoming scarce. Nevertheless, people (primarily Americans, who lived in a country with cheap gas) kept on buying comparatively fuel-inefficient vehicles. They are now paying the price for not paying attention…
“…but what’s with the 200 lb duck, regardless of what colors?”
“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas” — Blaise Pascal