Part Two of Cannibals and Christians….
I am a gambler, a victim of blackmail and protection rackets, and so are you. Have been for years! Blackmail, protection rackets and gambling, addicted I am. By law. And so are you.
First, some definitions.
Gamble: “take risky action in the hope of a desired result.” (Merriam-Webster) [ I ] to do something that involves risks that might result in loss of money or failure, hoping to get money or achieve success (Cambridge Dictionary)
Blackmail: “the use of threats or the manipulation of someone’s feelings to force them to do something” (Merriam-Webster)
A protection racket:”… is a scheme whereby a group provides protection to businesses or other groups through violence outside the sanction of the law. Through the credible threat of violence, the racketeers deter people from swindling, robbing, injuring, sabotaging or otherwise harming their clients.” ( Wikipedia)
Yesterday they told me that unless I cough up an immediate £198, I will no longer enjoy the protection I have had for the last year. My Home Insurance will run out. Ok, I know all insurance is a gamble – and the House always wins! Ever heard of a poor Casino? Or insurance company?
Your essay task today:: To what extent is Home Insurance and/or Car Insurance a Gamble; Blackmail; a Protection Racket? The answer by the way, the same answer as to all essay questions which include the phrase “To what extent” is, to some extent. Does the same apply to car insurance as to home contents insurance? Buildings insurance?Here are some thoughts for your essay.
Home insurance: Well, as far as contents are concerned, there is no law saying I am compelled to take out insurance. Therefore by NOT insuring the contents, arguably, I am taking a risk, a gamble. But obviously, I am not laying money out. The contrary. Although if I’m robbed, you could say that’s the price of the gamble. Buildings insurance is different. Am I right in saying I have to get buildings insurance by law? Too lazy to Google. If so, does that fall under the definition of a Protection Racket? Perhaps Car Insurance is a better example, as that has to be taken by law.
Great for insurance companies. The odds are so heavily stacked in their favour. Ironically LV, one of the largest providers in the UK took a gamble last year (on Heritage, whatever that is) and managed to turn profit of £124m in 2015 into a loss of £49m in 2016. Whereas the largest insurance company in the world, China’s Ping An insurance group “… generated $106.6 billion in revenue, $9.5 billion in profits and its market capitalization stood at $100.8 billion. The tech-driven company boasted of 131 million customers at year-end 2016, up 20% from the beginning of the year, with nearly a quarter of the newcomers coming in online.” (Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2017/05/24/2017-global-2000-the-worlds-largest-insurers/#61b36b614ec4 Now that’s a lot of victims. The second largest, according to Forbes, is Allianz, followed by AXA.
Monster cannibal companies. So now, dear essay writers, let’s think about how they’re financed.
By gamblers. The share market is the biggest casino in the world, right? Millions of “investors” which may be individuals, companies, your pension providers buy, sell, buy, sell through computers which make decisions as to buy, sell, buy, sell each fraction of a second. See previous blog.
Yes I am a little obsessed! And slowly getting bored with these “ain’t it awful” posts so I promise to try to stop being a gnat in the ear of international capitalism, lest I am suspected to have Communist or Socialist sympathies…or allegiances even. Nah. I promise to be funny next time. Next life or next Blog. Whichever comes first.
This Autumn le petit mort
Or was that
Rainy gloomy messy thing
The last summer?
The wistful world
At last reject
Us, This virus which
This earth, disturbed, stirs
And with a mighty
(Do I care, dear?
I’m outta here!
One wing detached, see me fly!)
OK just for you – I PROMISE my next blog will be all funny, cheerful and totally irrelevant. Unless, of course, Moore is elected in Alabama, hard Brexit is assured, or my operation goes wrong.