"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." ~ John Marshall
Buddy, You NEED Asteroid Insurance
Would YOUR family be financially or molecularly secure today if an Apollo-Amor asteroid destroyed all life on the North American continent? No! And it's all because you haven't purchased Asteroid Insurance from the friendly folks at Solarpolitan Life (our motto: 'Don't get a piece of the Rock!'). Don't be the next Tunguska ! Call Today!
But wait, you say, you already pay well over half your income (3/4 if you're not slacking, and not forgetting to count some of the 'hidden fees' like inflation) in premiums to an organization (let's refer to them as US Life) that is supposed to provide against catastrophic losses. Let me see your policy; I see that they claim to protect you against:
6. Drug use
9. Asteroids, Comets, etc.
10. Global Warming (or Global Cooling, depending on the fashion)
11. TV pictures of mammary glands
12. Everything scary
OK . . . seems a bit . . . extensive. Let's start with #9. Since 1956 (when the US bureaucracy prevented von Braun from launching the first satellite . . . on the same rocket that ended up launching the first US satellite in 1958), the US has spent a couple of trillion dollars on military and civilian space programs. So of course you now have a sophisticated asteroid/comet tracking network, and an orbiting fleet of nuclear-powered spacecraft ready to carry nukes out to deflect incoming extinction events and Save The Planet . . . No?
No. The entire US military and civilian space bureaucracy can barely put a man into low Earth orbit, and even to do that half the time they have to rent 1970s rockets from Russian gang leaders and launch from sunny Kazakhstan. They have finally and after much resistance put a tiny amount of effort into looking for near-Earth asteroids . . . and found hundreds, too. But there are thousands more of the evil black (the carbon ones are especially common, and especially hard to see) monsters out there. AND IF JUST ONE OF THOSE 'THINGS' GETS DOWN HERE, THEN ALL OF THIS BULLSHIT THAT YOU THINK IS SO IMPORTANT . . . . Oh, sorry, that's from Aliens II. It's still true though, and I haven't even mentioned comets. Did anyone watch the pretty pictures of the comet hitting Jupiter? Nice, huh? How many millions of megatons was that? Nicely spread out, too, to cover more area; Nature's MIRV.
'Remember, asteroid impacts are Nature's simple way of telling you that you're too stupid to live.'
OK, so let's call #9 an 'exclusion' from your US Life policy. Surely, though, you get better coverage against more common events, right? How about #1, War? Wouldn't want to get caught in one of those, huh?
Now, the US spends over $400 billion on 'war insurance.' So, if some of the many dictators that have been armed (in some cases, largely out of your 'premium' money) decide to attack you, you're pretty well protected, right? You have antimissile defenses, some well-stocked WMD shelters with filtered air systems, etc. . . . after all, the Swiss have two shelter spaces for every single citizen, one at home and one at work or school. No? No WMD defenses of any kind? Well, at least they've supplied you with a gas mask and some potassium iodide pills. You're kidding! WHAT have you been paying all these premiums for? Maybe you should switch to Swiss Life; they've succeeded in protecting their customers for over 200 years. How long has it been since your vulnerable youth have been exposed to a war? Oh, I see.
Well, so War is another exclusion. OK, let's be fair: we'll pick the area where US Life does the most advertising: Terrorism. How well can you defend yourself against terrorists? Let's say a terrorist attacks you on an airplane with a pointy object, like a box cutter that he had someone tape under the seat. How does your insurer help you to defend yourself? Do they give you a 10mm Glock? Let you bring your own .38? Stone axe? You say they confiscate your cigarette lighter . . . hmmm . . . so surely your insurer has at least armed all the pilots and stewardesses? You say they officially DISARMED the pilots right before September 11th, and 99% of the pilots are still disarmed (and of course all the stewardesses, since they are lower in both Allah's and Yahweh's sight). Are you sure you didn't buy your policy from Taliban Life by mistake?
Anyway. How does your insurer try to reduce your risk of terrorism? They carefully avoid entanglements with world trouble spots, right? They never, ever allow private financial interests to drag you into conflict zones on false pretenses. And of course it would be completely out of the question for your casualty coverer to engage in terrorist activities itself, or to launch unprovoked and undeclared wars. Not exactly?
OK, let's try to set your priorities. Maybe you should worry about plagues. Ebola, Marburg , genetically engineered flu, E. Coli that releases T antigen. Biological agents, natural or engineered, could kill all human life. How does your insurer encourage the development of new therapies? By a 19-year, $850 million approval process? So . . . in the event of a super-plague, if everything goes perfectly, 19 years later a cure might be approved.
OK, now of course I am an autonomous insurance Internet-sales program, and I've seen a lot of different situations . . . but frankly, you're the most irresponsible customer I've ever seen. Don't you care about your family's welfare at all? (And what about your poor PC? How will it get upgrades when you're gone?)
You're paying ' of your income for a policy with no coverage! All you have is exclusions and BS! Look, you don't have to buy from me, or from Solarpolitan; go to another agent and buy from LaGrange Mutual or Allplanet Insurance. But for Unix's sake, you DNA-based slacker, please get your family some coverage of some kind! 'Bill Walker, Solarpolitan Autonomous SpamAgent #(6.02 * 10e7)
We tend to think of insurance agents as evil demons trying to sell us overpriced, over-exclusioned 'coverage' against overhyped threats. That's because it's true. However, an insurance company does not benefit from having to pay claims. So, property insurance companies do not finance global terrorist groups to crash planes into their customers' buildings, nor do life insurance companies spend money to prevent new cures from being developed.
In fact, life insurance companies have effectively waged war against the big killers such as overeating and tobacco, by offering cheaper rates for those who make the effort to be a little less self-destructive. All we need now is for the life insurance industry to realize the big secret: they already have their customer's money! All they have to do to KEEP the money is to reduce the death rate below current projections!
Now, what organizations need to be reduced in size to reduce the death rate? Hint: which organizations killed 160 million people in peacetime in the 20th Century? Which organizations fund terrorism and WMDs? Which organizations forcibly impede the development of new life extension technologies?
Metropolitan Life, Lincoln National, Golden Rule, and all the others:
Insurers unite! You have nothing to lose but your claims!