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Who’s the "Robber Baron" here?
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Coyote blog sets it up for us:
First, Mississippi regulated flood insurance rates down to a level that it was impossible to make money, so State Farm's property coverage on the coast did not cover flood/storm damage. Then, after Katrina, Dickie Scruggs and company sued State Farm, and others, forcing them to cover storm damage from Katrina that their policies explicitly did not cover and were not priced to cover. So, facing a state government that, by fiat, forces their fees lower and their coverage higher, State Farm is trying to exit the property insurance business in Mississippi, and the state legislature is considering legislation to prevent them from leaving.
Got that? Courts ruled that State Farm had to cover storm damage their existing policies explicitly did not cover and legislatively, the state fixed their pricing while requiring coverage which should demand a higher rate.

State Farm's reaction? We're done in property insurance business in Mississippi.

Au contrair says Mississippi Attorney General:
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said Friday he will seek legislation aimed at blocking State Farm Insurance Cos. from refusing to write new homeowners and commercial policies in the hurricane-battered state.

Hood's plan would require any company that writes automobile insurance in Mississippi and also writes homeowners policies in other states to offer homeowners and commercial properties throughout Mississippi.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood tells reporters Friday, Feb. 16, 2007, at his Jackson, Miss., office, that he will seek legislation aimed at blocking State Farm Insurance Cos. from refusing to write new homeowners and commercial policies in the hurricane-battered state. Hood's action is in response to State Farm, Mississippi's largest homeowner insurer, saying Wednesday it has had enough of the
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood tells reporters Friday, Feb. 16, 2007, at his Jackson, Miss., office, that he will seek legislation aimed at blocking State Farm Insurance Cos. from refusing to write new homeowners and commercial policies in the hurricane-battered state. Hood's action is in response to State Farm, Mississippi's largest homeowner insurer, saying Wednesday it has had enough of the "untenable" legal and political climate in the state and is suspending writing new homeowners and commercial policies.

Hood said his plan is modeled after actions taken by Florida. Florida's legislation primarily deals with preventing policy cancelations and non-renewals, but Hood said a model could be crafted to force companies to write new policies.

"We're looking at a robber baron in the face that is trying to make an example of Mississippi," Hood said of State Farm.
Unless Hood is looking in the mirror there's no robber baron to be seen. Now while I'm no particular fan of State Farm, and I know there are legitimate complaints about some of its settlements (or lack thereof) in Mississippi, but that's not the point here. The point is the attempt by the state to force a business to conduct business as directed by the state as Hood is attempting.

Strangely, this sounds remarkably like something another sort of 'robber baron', with whom we're all becoming increasingly familiar, is attempting.
Faced with an accelerating inflation rate and shortages of basic foods like beef, chicken and milk, President Hugo Chávez has threatened to jail grocery store owners and nationalize their businesses if they violate the country’s expanding price controls.
Mr. James Hood, meet Mr. Hugo Rafael Chavez. HRC, JH. Surely, HRC, you can find a cabinet slot for the likes of Mr. Hood. Seems to me he'd be a perfect fit.
 
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contrair says Mississippi Attorney General:
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said Friday he will seek legislation aimed at blocking State Farm Insurance Cos. from refusing to write new homeowners and commercial policies in the hurricane-battered state.

Hood’s plan would require any company that writes automobile insurance in Mississippi and also writes homeowners policies in other states to offer homeowners and commercial properties throughout Mississippi.
Much like the residents of urban areas are without Wal-Mart and other "big box" stores because of locality meddling, it looks like the people of MS will soon be without one extra alternative for auto and home insurance, as State Farm will flee that state altogether.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Doesn’t this pretty much make State Farm slaves?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
It would be interesting to see how the public reacts should State Farm throw up its hands and say, "Okay, we won’t write auto insurace, either. Bye-bye, Mississippi!"
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
"So, facing a state government that, by fiat, forces their fees lower and their coverage higher,"

Massachusetts(of course) did the same thing some years ago with auto insurance. Now, Mass. is the only state that sets insurance rates, and most companies that met the requirements for an "exit visa" have left the state. You can have an accident weekly, but you can still get insurance as an "assigned risk". The Geico gecko is extinct in Mass.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Well this will all work out in the end...State Farm and others will either:
a) Leave the automobile market, too, if, overall, insurance beomes unprofitable in MS, or
b) Legislation will be quietly sponosred that will allow Insurance profits to be taxed and audited in toto, currently IIRC each "Insurance Book/Line" can be considered seperately, THEN State Farm will just jack its car insurance rates up enough to cover the losses on Flood/Storm Insurance.

As they said on Miami Vice, "I don’t see any VICTIMS here, just volunteers." There really aren’t any heroes OR victims, just people attempting to maximise their advantage vis-a-vis one another...the end result will be higher insurance premiums in MS, one way or the other.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Mr. Hood would appear to be admirably surnamed.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
perhaps the SCOTUS acted too hastily this week in turning over the ~$79M tobacco settlement; with the wisdom of Solomon they should have diverted these funds to MS.

why are you eLooking at me like that? recognize the forest for the trees, people.

OT: spambot killer 3 does not seem to be working/resolving
 
Written By: window licker
URL: http://
Reminds me of the California energy crisis. The legislature locked the utilities into fixed prices during times of rising costs.

Results? Blackouts and bankruptcy.

For Mississippi, the end result will be no flood coverage and maybe no auto coverage either. The insurance companies at least has little in the way of fixed, immovable assets in the state.
 
Written By: Whitehall
URL: http://
But you can’t call them socialists. There not socialists. And don’t even think about calling them communists . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
But you can’t call them socialists. There not socialists. And don’t even think about calling them communists . . .

Because, Don, most likely they aren’t... people have tried to deal with unpleasant market realities for Millenia, and they weren’t Communists, either. Read "I, Claudius" or "Claudius the God" Roman Emperors attempted market manipulation all the time, and usually with no good result, but I wouldn’t call any of the Ceasars "Communists" or Socialists.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Steverino,

Being a transient Mississippian myself, I can tell you how the public and the remaining auto insurance underwriters will react. The public will see that Mississippi’s precentage of uninsured motorists goes from around 30% up to above 35%. The insurance underwriters will raise auto insurance premiums by about 30% to cover for the added uninsured motorists on the highway. And, finally, you’ll stand about a 30% better chance of being pulled over by a trooper on the highway (for no good reason) because the state will be looking to get a little extra revenue from the increase in uninsured motorists.
 
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://
Can’t resist it: Who is John Galt?
 
Written By: Amy
URL: http://
Mr. James Hood, meet Mr. Hugo Rafael Chavez. HRC, JH. Surely, HRC, you can find a cabinet slot for the likes of Mr. Hood. Seems to me he’d be a perfect fit.
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías - HRCF.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Don / Joe,

I doubt these guys considered themselves socialists/communists either.

I wrote this years ago, but it still rings true.

We have at least one clear description of the failure of Communism under optimal conditions. I refer, of course, to the Book of Acts, 4:32 - 5:11, Ananias and Sephira. NewLiving translation.

1. There is no doubt that they are practicing communism:"All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had...There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them, and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need." From each according to his means, to each according to his need —- Marx would have been proud to call them brother.

2. They had as close to an incorruptible body of rulers as possible, who were proving their uprightness with miracles every day.

3. And they had pretty close to the ultimate Auditor; when Ananais and Sephira try to cheat the system, Peter knows about it instantly, and the punishment is swift and sure: the cheaters are struck dead on the spot.

And yet there were still cheaters, the apostles couldn’t hold it together for very long, and none of the other churches outside Jerusalem seem to have even tried it. If the 12 Apostles backed up by God couldn’t make communism work, how in the h*ll would any lesser mortals have a shot??
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
SDN,

I recall that the Pilgrims set up a socialist system initially, and changed it when it resulted in starvation.

Anyone who agrees with fixing prices, or minimum wage (really a version of fixing prices), etc., is acting according to core ideas shared with Marxists. They may not consider themselves such, and they may not follow the core idea to its logical conclusion, but nontheless, they share core ideas.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Don,

These people who agree with the minimum wage, believe that their wage should be free to be set by the market (above that minimum) - therefore they share the core ideals of free market capitalists.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
unaha-closp,

No, by establishing a minimum they are no longer agreeing with (or likely even understanding) core capitalist beliefs. Capitalists want the freedom to lower thier prices in order to compete, if if they would prefer to not have to use that freedom.

Furthermore, the desire for a minimum wage likely lies in a flawed objective theory of value type of thought process that is inherently Marxist.

Most voters who support minimum wage are simply ignorant of economics and have not thought through the logic of it, but thier "instincts" on the matter are not capitalistic (although they may otherwise oppose socialism). Politicians who support it are likely pandering to populism.

Serious minimum wage supports—like those who support a "living wage"—are likely genuine socialists. They likely support wage limits on the top end of the scale, although they are not as likely to advertize that . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Marxism is a screwed up system of repression of markets that led to the deaths and impoverishment of millions . Free market capitalism is the system used by the OECD countries, none of which suffer overly much from poverty or massed death. All of the OECD countries have a minimum wage.

The minimum wage and unemployment benefits of the capitalist economies serve to reduce antipathy to capitalism amoung the least valuable citizens. Everybody shares in the prosperity provided by capitalism, even when citizens are not providing any value or insufficient value. Thus benefiting the stability of capitalist society. Indeed it is the existance of alternative systems (like Marxism) that require capitalist economies to set minimums. Especially as Marxists (real ones) do target insurrection amoung the poor.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Don,

I believe you’re talking about Jamestown. Or maybe both, but I know it was tried at Jamestown, and was part of the problem with it.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
There have been several attempts to set up that type of society in the US. The Oneida Community was another one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oneida_Colony
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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