Is insurance a form of Socialism?

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Chili
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Chili » October 16th, 2017, 9:30 am

Sad that there are no good examples of places where this libertarian vision has been put into operation, in a way which would inspire others around the world.

GE Morton
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by GE Morton » October 16th, 2017, 10:19 am

Londoner wrote:
Yes, 'insurance' in economics meas 'insurance'. The difference in understanding of insurance we are discussing in this thread concerns what degree insurance is similar to socialism.
Well, to do that, we first need an agreed understanding of what insurance is, and you suggested people have different understandings there.
I thought you agreed that it was good to keep the population generally healthy on the grounds that diseases can travel from poor people to rich people.
No. I suggested that compulsory, universal, comprehesive insurance is NOT a cost effective way to prevent spread of disease. It is a very cost-inefficient, and ineffective to boot, as most payouts from such insurance will not be for prevention or treatment of communicable diseases, the insurance will not prevent a sick person from being infectious, and immunizations are far more effective in preventing spread of such diseases --- and much cheaper.
Personally, I would pay for planning authorities because I want to make sure new developments do not harm existing properties, like mine . . .
Harm in what way? By causing damage to your property? By creating a common law nuisance affecting it? Or merely, as another poster suggested, blocking a view you've grown used to? In the former two cases you have civil remedies. In the latter case you're demanding that another property owner devote his property to delivering you a benefit for which you have not paid.
. . . that bridges I need to cross don't fall down, and so on.
Building codes are one thing; "urban planning" is another.
When I sell goods privately, I know that if one side does not deliver I can take them to court, where a publicly funded system that is independent of both parties will decide the case. When my neighbour buys a car, I would like to think that the car is roadworthy, and that my neighbour knows how to drive, otherwise he might run me over. If my neighbour buys from a business that goes bust, it is in my interests that his problem is dealt with in a proper way, since tomorrow the same thing may happen to me.
I think the issue here was whether there is a dependency relationship between me and the dealer from whom my neighbor bought his car. That I might have an interest in that does not constitute a dependency relationship.
The issue of if and when it is right to use force is indeed a moral issue, but it isn't specific to the topic we are discussing. Putting criminals in prison, or war, or stealing from old ladies are also examples of using force on others, but they have nothing to do with insurance.
Well, if persons are forced to purchase or pay for such insurance for others then the question of the legitimacy of force certainly does have something to do with insurance.
But we are not talking of average US cities, which are not average since many date from the age of mass car ownership and thus have better road systems. By crowded cities I mean places like New York or London or Mumbai. But now I think you are just being contrary for the sake of it.
Ok. I'll agree that mass transit systems are cost-effective in some cities. In the US New York is one of them, and possibly also Boston and Chicago. Virtually all other US cities of 100,000 or more have mass transit systems that are used for fewer than 10% of daily trips (typically about 5%), and are heavily taxpayer-subsidized. They are the most lucrative boondoggles municipal politicians, bureaucrats, and labor unions currently have going.

-- Updated October 16th, 2017, 10:27 am to add the following --
Chili wrote:Sad that there are no good examples of places where this libertarian vision has been put into operation, in a way which would inspire others around the world.
People everywhere seek and delight in free lunches. Democracy, when not constitutionally limited, provides them a means of obtaining them. An old quote of uncertain origin goes, "Democracy is always but a temporary form of government. It continues until the people discover they can vote themselves benefits from the public treasury."

Chili
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Chili » October 16th, 2017, 11:44 am

GE Morton wrote:People everywhere seek and delight in free lunches. Democracy, when not constitutionally limited, provides them a means of obtaining them. An old quote of uncertain origin goes, "Democracy is always but a temporary form of government. It continues until the people discover they can vote themselves benefits from the public treasury."
Haha. Very abstract and ideological. I note you completely stepped around the real obstacle confronting right libertarianism: examples.

So which democracies have existed the longest? Who is doing this right, and wrong? What kinds of governments do the people with the world's happiest and healthiest people have?

Londoner
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Londoner » October 16th, 2017, 1:21 pm

GE Morton wrote: It doesn't matter on what the risk depends. As long as it is calculable it it will determine the premium you must pay to cover it.
It is only calculable as an average.
Me: Similarly with health care. Being around a lot of sick people raises your risk of getting sick, so having health care for everyone makes the provision of healthcare cheaper for each individual.

It does no such thing. Being around a lot of sick people raises your risk of getting sick only if the sickness is a communicable disease. My suffering from cancer, heart disease, or a broken arm poses no risk to you. Immunizations are available for most communicable diseases. They are far more cost-effective than paying for health care for thousands or millions of people. They are also far more effective in reducing your risks --- that a person sick with a communicable disease has health insurance reduces your risk of contracting it only slightly. He will still be infectious for a time. The cost-effectiveness argument is a loser.
We have had this. How can you tell if poor people have an infectious disease or not unless there is a screening program? Similarly, much health provision is in the form of providing clean water and sewage disposal systems, which again have to be almost universal to be effective. Likewise programs of vaccination, or against mosquitoes and other carriers. If you lived in the little house on the prairie it would not matter if typhus was endemic amongst your neighbours, but nowadays we tend to live in towns and cities.
You're again equating voluntary agreements into which people enter with "socialism." I assume that by "planning authorities," the author meant State bureaucrats empowered to draw plans for a community's growth and development and prohibit developments inconsistent with their plans. Every builder and developer, of a house, office building, or subdivision, draws plans for his intended project. Few, if any, of them and few citizens at large would willingly pay that bureaucrat for his superfluous and officious "services."
Yes, you are right. I am equating them because I do not see any real distinction. If you are going to impose standards for buildings, bridges or anything else used by the public., then there must be compulsion. And one way or another, it has to be paid for. Or is the idea that a developer only has to meet standards if they choose to? That they should have the option of building bridges that fall down, houses that are firetraps etc., because to compel them to build properly would be wicked 'socialism'?
You seem to be counting as "socialist" any collective or cooperative endeavor in which people engage. That is an unconventional, and disingenuous, use of the term. A socialist system, as normally understood, is a system in which the means of production and most services are in the hands of the State, to the support of which all persons are compelled to contribute.
The normal description is the means of production are 'owned or regulated by the community as a whole'. I would say that much of the US economy is privately owned, but it is highly regulated i.e. it has some socialist elements. When Trump says 'America First' he is calling for more interference in the interest of the community as a whole.

Still, at least we are clear where we are regarding the topic. The insurance industry is not owned by the state so you would not argue it is not a form of socialism.

-- Updated October 16th, 2017, 12:22 pm to add the following --

typo in the last line, it should have read:

The insurance industry is not owned by the state so you would not argue it is a form of socialism.

Togo1
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Togo1 » October 16th, 2017, 8:22 pm

GE Morton wrote:Yours first, since it is the shortest . . .
Togo1 wrote:In no particular order...

Of course insurance is socialist. It's a system whereby everyone pools resoruces and applies them to those who need it the most, thus providing a net benefit. Like most forms of socialism, you can run it in conjunction with (relatively) free markets, or not, as you wish.
You seem to be counting as "socialist" any collective or cooperative endeavor in which people engage. That is an unconventional, and disingenuous, use of the term.
Specifically, it's a non-US use of the term, since I find the US usage to make assumptions around what we're trying to discuss. If you search more widely you'll find the majority of definintions matching my useage. There's also a discussion of the particular and unusual US approach to this term, in a link on the page you referenced.

Can I ask why you choose to cast aspirations on my motives?
GE Morton wrote:Nor is insurance a system "whereby everyone pools resources and applies them to those who need it most." "Everyone" does not pool resources.
<sigh> Everyone involved in the pool.
GE Morton wrote:Only those who who desire a particular type of coverage and consider it cost-effective for them join such pools. Nor do payouts go to "those who need it the most." They go to anyone who has a valid claim, per the terms of the insurance contract. Needs have nothing to do with it.
Except that it is the most typical basis on which the contracts are constructed.

I don't see how these details effect the point being made. These comments and others appear to be non-sequiturs?
GE Morton wrote:
Similarly with health care. Being around a lot of sick people raises your risk of getting sick, so having health care for everyone makes the provision of healthcare cheaper for each individual.
It does no such thing. Being around a lot of sick people raises your risk of getting sick only if the sickness is a communicable disease. My suffering from cancer, heart disease, or a broken arm poses no risk to you. Immunizations are available for most communicable diseases. They are far more cost-effective than paying for health care for thousands or millions of people. They are also far more effective in reducing your risks --- that a person sick with a communicable disease has health insurance reduces your risk of contracting it only slightly. He will still be infectious for a time. The cost-effectiveness argument is a loser.
No I can't agree. Having a large pool of people sick, even with non-communicable diseases, increases the risk of the spread of communicable diseases, ties up emergency services, and reduces resources available in some cases. Immunisation is not an alternative to health care, it is part of health care, and blanket immunisation for all communicable diseases is neither practical nor medically advised.
GE Morton wrote:
People can, have, and do pay for their own planning authorities. Many financial regulators are set up by their members rather than by government . . .
I assume that by "planning authorities," the author meant State bureaucrats empowered to draw plans for a community's growth and development and prohibit developments inconsistent with their plans.
Nope. That's why I gave the example of financial regulators, many of which were set up as collective endevours. There are plenty of non-Uk businesses who pay a fee to be regulated in the UK, Austria has developed a regulator based on a collective project by major corporations. Add to that membership regulatory bodies, that look after product and industry standards. Then there are housing associations, neighbourhood associations, as well as volunteer associations, professional associations, and so on.
GE Morton wrote:Few, if any, of them and few citizens at large would willingly pay that bureaucrat for his superfluous and officious "services."
I seem to have touched a nerve here?
GE Morton wrote:
A NIMBY protest organisation is in effect a planning regulator paid for by it's members, and effective planning regulation increases the value of neighbourhoods.
Not, it is not, and no, it does not. A NIMBY organization is not a "planning regulator." It is an advocacy group; the regulation is carried out by the State, if the advocacy is effective.
Not necessarily. If the group constructs the contracts, buys and sells the land, hires the laywers, argues the case and establishes what can and can't be done by law, in effect forcing the state to accept their position, then that's not really the state regulating, is it?
GE Morton wrote:Nor does urban planning "increase the value of neighborhoods," in most cases. It tends to prevent properties from being to developed to their "highest and best use."
I guess we'll agree to disagree on this one. I would point out that the 'highest and best use' may not be what you're after if you live there, and want to remain.
GE Morton wrote:
After all, you won't have a local park unless people are prevented from building there, and you won't have a great view of the bay unless you and your neighbours are prevented from building in each other's way.
Of course you can have a local park --- persuade your neighbors to join with you in setting up a corporation, pool your money, buy the land you need, and develop a park.
Which stops the city acquiring the land and building on it how, exactly? Such corporations, or more often trusts, are easy targets for developers.
GE Morton wrote:And unless you have view easements across intervening properties you have no right to a "great view of the bay." If you had one before some proposed development you were lucky.
No, if you had one before the development then you had legally effective urban planning. Luck has nothing to do with it. All the houses in my area have such easements and covenants, in addition to the rights they have under planning law.

GE Morton
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by GE Morton » October 17th, 2017, 10:20 am

Steve3007 wrote:
Then the government began covering the heath care costs of many people, via Medicare and various welfare programs. As a result, only about 15% of health care costs are now paid out of the patients' pockets (which includes insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles)...
This doesn't seem to me to be directly related to the first part of the story where you described how widespread comprehensive healthcare came about. The fact that it's comprehensive, rather than "major medical" doesn't seem to be the relevant point. The point seems to be the introduction of taxpayer funded healthcare, as opposed to market-provided healthcare, regardless of the type of healthcare that it is.
The point is that the shift from paying directly, out-of-pocket, for health care --- just as one pays for all other personal services one uses --- to third-party payers, whether insurers or government, severed the link between supply and demand. Since someone else is paying the bill the consumer no longer cares what those services cost, and does not shop for them prudently. When employers are buying the insurance the consumer does not even pay the insurance premiums. Health care appears to its consumers to be a "free good." As a result health care costs in the US have skyrocketed, at triple the rate of inflation. That cost spiral began after WWII and accelerated steeply after government began paying the medical bills of many people. (Similar cost spirals have occurred in college tuition costs and housing costs, which latter led to the 2008 recession, after government began paying those bills, through guaranteed student loans and Pell grants, and the "affordable housing" policies adopted in the early '90s).
What do you conclude from this? Do you think it was a mistake to introduce Medicare and Medicaid? That appears to be what you're implying. If the provision of healthcare in the US for the poor and the elderly had been left to the market, as you seem to think should have happened, do you have any thoughts as to what might have happened?
Yes. Costs would be much lower, people would prepare themselves for those expenses, charities would receive many more donations and would become more selective and intentional regarding to whom they offered aid.
Personally, I agree that it's not healthy for people to remember their rights more than their obligations and forget that the benefits of living in a complex smoothly functioning society are not laws of nature. But I don't think the solution to that is to remove those benefits. I think the solution is to educate people about the way their society works and the reasons why it's possible for them to take various things for granted that earlier generations would have seen as unattainable luxuries.
Well, I think that is wishful thinking. Jawboning ("education") will not deter anyone from grabbing a free lunch if one is available.
Clearly you're making the completely free-market "everybody should be left alone so long as they don't harm others" argument. I think the crux of the argument is where you've asserted that nobody has the right to impose their private morality on others and that they should instead donate to a charity. It seems to me that nobody has yet succeeded in creating a society - a group of deeply interdependent people - in which that is possible. And it's not clear to me how you could. In a democracy, for example, clearly the whole system of rule by the government which won a majority is all about the majority imposing their moral values on the whole.
That is certainly what it has become. As designed the US government was constitutionally restricted to exercise of a few specific powers, primarily involving the provision of public goods (as earlier defined). It had no power to deliver free lunches to anyone or impose anyone's values on anyone else, no matter what a majority desired. But politicians must be elected, and they soon discovered that to win elections you must pander to the demands of your constituencies. Most of those demands were for some sort of free lunch. As more and more of those were delivered, more interest groups emerged from the woodwork to demand their turns at the trough. So those constraints on the powers of government eventually eroded away, and governments in the US, which consumed an average of 7% of GDP between 1790 and 1930, now consume 43% --- a fraction which will increase sharply as "Obamacare" is fully implemented. There is no structural barrier to prevent this spiral from continuing indefinitely.

-- Updated October 17th, 2017, 11:05 am to add the following --
Londoner wrote:
Steve3007 wrote: But isn't the key difference the fact that insurance operates as part of a free market? It's a product that we choose to buy, or not. Socialism, in its various degrees, is a political system which is imposed on the whole population of a society either by dictatorship or by majority vote.
The same is true of any political system.

That you put it like that suggests that the system in the USA or wherever you live is somehow the natural one, or no system at all. It is a good trick by the conservatives, since it puts into people's head the idea that any attempt to change it is bound to fail, since it goes against nature. Or wicked because it is an attempt to impose something on a nation that currently enjoys complete freedom. But it isn't true, all systems are artificial and held together by legislation; that is why the USA is full of lawyers!
Yes, all political systems are imposed upon the whole population by force. Nor does any society tolerate "complete freedom." But those facts do not, in themselves, make them "socialist." "Socialism," like Marxism, is an economic theory, not a theory of government. It concerns the means of producing and distributing economic goods. A theory of government addresses how governments are chosen and what powers they may exercise. "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence. It is force, and like fire, it makes a dangerous servant and a fearsome master." All governments exert force against their citizens. So the underlying question for theories of government is (as I mentioned previously): For what purposes, and under what circumstances, may one moral agent exert force against another moral agent?
You can call insurance socialist because it collectivists risk, but if you do then you find you have to call the fire brigade or police force socialist. If not allocating resources according to market forces is socialist, then the way families look after each other is socialist. And so on.
No, you cannot call insurance "socialist" merely because it collectivizes risk. All human societies "collectivize" almost all activities, i.e., they are performed by groups of people working together. The opportunity to do that --- to seek out others who share an interest of yours and work with them to pursue it --- is the entire reason for living in a social setting. What distinguishes socialism from other cooperative or collective endeavors is that those arrangements are entered into voluntarily by persons who share some interest, while socialism is imposed upon the entire society by force. Which, of course, raises the moral question mentioned above.

And, yes, some services must be "socialized" even in non-socialist countries, i.e., the provision of public goods (defense, the justice system, a few others), and citizens forced to support them. That implies that force is justifiable for those services, though it may not be for others. Can you think of a basis for that distinction?

Belindi
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Belindi » October 17th, 2017, 2:44 pm

Steve, I think that the original friendly societies, and the cooperative movement were socialism. I don't think that insuring against expenses and misfortunes is socialism when the insurer profits from misfortunes and in addition the underwriters are making killings, especially when the insurance firms contest claims made by people who cannot afford their own lawyer.

GE Morton
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by GE Morton » October 17th, 2017, 3:05 pm

Togo1 wrote:
GE Morton wrote:You seem to be counting as "socialist" any collective or cooperative endeavor in which people engage. That is an unconventional, and disingenuous, use of the term.
Specifically, it's a non-US use of the term, since I find the US usage to make assumptions around what we're trying to discuss. If you search more widely you'll find the majority of definintions matching my useage. There's also a discussion of the particular and unusual US approach to this term, in a link on the page you referenced.
Can you give that specific link? I see no link on that page which mentions an "unusual US approach" to that term. Here is the corresponding def from the Oxford dictionary (a British publication):

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... /socialism

As some of the entries point out, "socialism" is sometimes used to denote social democracy, per which, for the most part, the means of production are not owned by the State but only regulated by it. I find no definitions per which purely voluntary associations and cooperative endeavors among people count as "socialist."
GE Morton wrote:Nor is insurance a system "whereby everyone pools resources and applies them to those who need it most." "Everyone" does not pool resources.
<sigh> Everyone involved in the pool.
Everyone who freely joins an insurance pool is a far different group than "everyone" (in a society), which is what your unqualified use implies.
GE Morton wrote:It does no such thing. Being around a lot of sick people raises your risk of getting sick only if the sickness is a communicable disease. My suffering from cancer, heart disease, or a broken arm poses no risk to you. Immunizations are available for most communicable diseases. They are far more cost-effective than paying for health care for thousands or millions of people. They are also far more effective in reducing your risks --- that a person sick with a communicable disease has health insurance reduces your risk of contracting it only slightly. He will still be infectious for a time. The cost-effectiveness argument is a loser.
No I can't agree. Having a large pool of people sick, even with non-communicable diseases, increases the risk of the spread of communicable diseases, ties up emergency services, and reduces resources available in some cases. Immunisation is not an alternative to health care, it is part of health care, and blanket immunisation for all communicable diseases is neither practical nor medically advised.
You're correct that immunization is not an alternative to health care. It is an alternative, and a more effective, means of limiting the spread of commuicable diseases --- the only health threat posed by sick people to third parties. As for "tying up emergency services and reducing resources," how many resources are consumed by providing universal free healthcare? There is no comparison.
Nope. That's why I gave the example of financial regulators, many of which were set up as collective endevours. There are plenty of non-Uk businesses who pay a fee to be regulated in the UK, Austria has developed a regulator based on a collective project by major corporations. Add to that membership regulatory bodies, that look after product and industry standards. Then there are housing associations, neighbourhood associations, as well as volunteer associations, professional associations, and so on.
Well, if you're speaking of private standard-setting bodies established by various industries and trade groups, such as (in the US) Underwriter's Laboratories or the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), or the RIAA (Recording Industries Association of America), or the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), then we have no disagreement. But your use of the term "planning authorities," especially in view of your examples of providing parks and preserving views, strongly suggests the usual denotation of that term --- i.e., municipal bureaucrats empowered to forbid developments which don't conform to their sophomoric, Utopian "plans."
GE Morton wrote:Not, it is not, and no, it does not. A NIMBY organization is not a "planning regulator." It is an advocacy group; the regulation is carried out by the State, if the advocacy is effective.
Not necessarily. If the group constructs the contracts, buys and sells the land, hires the laywers, argues the case and establishes what can and can't be done by law, in effect forcing the state to accept their position, then that's not really the state regulating, is it?
No it is not, provided the laws in question are not themselves the products of urban planners. If a proposed project threatens the "quiet enjoyment" of another's property per the common law of nuisance, then the aggrieved party may certainly seek legal remedies. And of course, if a group wishes to buy the land at issue and makes the developer an offer he can't refuse, then more power to them.
GE Morton wrote:And unless you have view easements across intervening properties you have no right to a "great view of the bay." If you had one before some proposed development you were lucky.
No, if you had one before the development then you had legally effective urban planning. Luck has nothing to do with it. All the houses in my area have such easements and covenants, in addition to the rights they have under planning law.
That is rarely the case. If the houses in your area have such easements you are doubly lucky. Far more often NIMBYs seek to persuade pols and bureaucrats to deny building permits to preserve views or an informal access to which they have no rights whatsover. The classic example: A developer builds a subdivision in a wooded area, and sells the houses. Ten years later another developer buys a similar tract across the road, and plans a similar development. The residents of the original subdivision become NIMBYs, and seek to block the development, citing all sorts of specious grounds --- it will generate traffic, block the pastoral views of the woods across the road, cast shadows, deny their kids a place to play, etc., etc. NIMBYism is hypocritical and had it been effective a century ago the NIMBYs themselves would be homeless.

Chili
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Chili » October 17th, 2017, 3:41 pm

google this - from huffpo

Switzerland’s Health Insurance Providers are Non-Profit : That is the Only Reason Their System Works, Period.

Rainman
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Rainman » October 18th, 2017, 1:27 pm

Generally, it has been in our favour as humans to act as a group rather than as an individual. Individuals tended to get eaten by lions in past history. So, humans are generally "socialistic". It's in our dna. If a stranger stumbles and you stop to help them get up then you are being "socialistic". Insurance is how the "group" helps the unfortunate individual...the stranger who has fallen. Insurance is "socialistic" in nature. We have it because of our dna.

If you somehow missed out on the "socialistic" dna, then you would not help the fallen stranger. Rather you would kill him so that he would be one less human chasing after scarce resources. However, the "individualistic" dna strands in humans got eaten by lions....heh heh.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by SimpleGuy » October 18th, 2017, 1:57 pm

If an insurance would be a form of socialism the buying of a put- or a call- stock on the stockmarket would be too. How come? Notice, the put share is the right to buy a share in a certain time-point for a certain amount of money and is costy for the stockmarket dealers who deal with them. But if you want it , this is somekind of insurance of ones business too. How far would you personally go with a claim that you did ? The insurance market is dependent on the interest market and the libor-rate , so there is a comparison with stock trading and the insurance business. But i heard nobody saying a stock trading is some kind of socialism. A health insurance can enhance a social idea but not represent it in a whole.:D

GE Morton
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by GE Morton » October 18th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Rainman wrote:Generally, it has been in our favour as humans to act as a group rather than as an individual. Individuals tended to get eaten by lions in past history. So, humans are generally "socialistic". It's in our dna. If a stranger stumbles and you stop to help them get up then you are being "socialistic". Insurance is how the "group" helps the unfortunate individual...the stranger who has fallen. Insurance is "socialistic" in nature. We have it because of our dna.
You're confusing "socialistic" with "social." The two terms have distinct, different meanings. And, no, people do not buy insurance to "help unfortunate individuals." They buy it to protect themselves.

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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Rainman » October 18th, 2017, 7:17 pm

GE Morton wrote:
Rainman wrote:Generally, it has been in our favour as humans to act as a group rather than as an individual. Individuals tended to get eaten by lions in past history. So, humans are generally "socialistic". It's in our dna. If a stranger stumbles and you stop to help them get up then you are being "socialistic". Insurance is how the "group" helps the unfortunate individual...the stranger who has fallen. Insurance is "socialistic" in nature. We have it because of our dna.
You're confusing "socialistic" with "social." The two terms have distinct, different meanings. And, no, people do not buy insurance to "help unfortunate individuals." They buy it to protect themselves.
There is no such word as "socialistic". I just pulled it out of the air to give a rough meaning. Of course, people don't buy insurance to help other people. They buy insurance to help themselves in case they become the "unfortunate individual". Most individuals don't see the big picture. It's not the buying of the insurance that is in question. It's the whole idea of insurance. The idea of insurance is 'socialistic' and I would classify it as a "form" of Socialism in the same manner as stopping to help a stranger in trouble. With insurance, the group pools its resources to help the unfortunate individual like the group pooled its strength to defeat the lions in ancient times.

GE Morton
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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by GE Morton » October 19th, 2017, 12:37 am

Rainman wrote:It's the whole idea of insurance. The idea of insurance is 'socialistic' and I would classify it as a "form" of Socialism in the same manner as stopping to help a stranger in trouble. With insurance, the group pools its resources to help the unfortunate individual like the group pooled its strength to defeat the lions in ancient times.
Like others in this discussion you're equating all cooperative or collective endeavors among humans with socialism, and construing all social behaviors as "forms of socialism." Socialism is a theory of economics which advocates state ownership or control of the means of production. Like most government undertakings that ownership is acquired by force, or those controls are imposed by force. No cooperative activity freely joined into by willing participants is a "form of socialism." It is simply a social activity.

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Re: Is insurance a form of Socialism?

Post by Belindi » October 19th, 2017, 4:45 am

G E Morton wrote:
Socialism is a theory of economics which advocates state ownership or control of the means of production. Like most government undertakings that ownership is acquired by force, or those controls are imposed by force. No cooperative activity freely joined into by willing participants is a "form of socialism." It is simply a social activity.
Might 'socialism' also include that it is to be contrasted with 'free trade capitalism'? If so 'socialism' would be , not an ecomonic fact, but a relative place on a continuum that also includes free trade capitalism. I ask, because I think of myself as socialist who wants government to look after the national economy whilst checking the more unkind and unfair differences between rich and poor people.

Isn't it the case that social welfare can be costed alongside the national economy, especially when long term benefits of housing, health, engineering infrastructure, environment, and education are included in the calculation?

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