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a dem argument in favor of discrimination

craigfarmer

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We need to re-evaluate our stance of interfering in businesses to eradicate discrimination whether racial or otherwise.

The top story in the Washington Post Business section reports the Consumer Federation of America's complaint that auto insurer Geico "discriminates" against drivers based on their occupation and education. According to this group, blue-collar workers are often charged substantially more than their more educated counterparts. Of course there is a debate about the underlying facts and the legitimate business practices of the company, but as Democrats we should declare a principle that would make this story moot:

We as Democrats stand for the freedom of individuals in business to operate their companies according to their best judgements, and allow a fair-market-place to correct all but the most stubborn problems.



Let's assume, Geico IS doing what is alleged.

First, anyone who chooses to accept Geico's insurance rates believe they are getting a "deal". Otherwise they wouldn't accept it. We aren't forced to buy Geico insurance. Yet, millions do business with Geico (including this writer) rather than dozens of other companies.

Some may say often there really aren't viable economic choices for blue-collar and less educated workers. They have to follow the law and become insured, and they routinely get the worse deals. This winds up being a wealth transfer from the working class upward, as they pay more money into the insurance pool.

This may be true, but the answer is EDUCATION by consumer groups and the government if necessary. Inform people to read the terms of their agreements, and force competition between different companies. This is preferable to government micromanaging the insurance industry. That will bring about more inefficiency and higher prices for everyone.

As long as Geico isn't colluding with other insurance companies in the market, any business practice that isn't justified economically will eventually negatively affect profits. At that point, if they want to lose money, that's their perogative. The government's job is to ensure a viable market.

This would include numerous independent actors seeking to maximize their personal profits. What we have to rid ourselves of is the idea that the PEOPLE must be protected. Especially poor and undereducated people. The people are responsible for their peronsal decisions, and the ramifications that flow from them.

We should establish /enforce upfront disclosure of all relevant terms, and then let America be America. That means Competition within a set of rules.

We are the greatest country in the world because of individuals working by themselves, in small groups, and in companies to maximize their personal gain. In the process, we create a valuable society for us all.

So the answer to a company policy you don't like should be to expose it publicly, and choose another company. If there aren't any others, start one. The government should only become involved to ensure that there isn't collusion (intentional or otherwise) that eviserates our choices as consumers.

By the way, I believe this same approach should rule in racial and other discrimination cases concerning PUBLIC businesses. If a person wants to fire a person because they are ....(whatever), they should have that right. If they only want to serve .... people, and not others, It is their business, their job, their reputation, etc. We as a society, as individuals or in groups can highlight their actions and protest them. We can patronize other establishments, and/or get other jobs.

I believe in Freedom as much as possible.

What if Geico was charging African American customers more? (Which is part of the allegation here: that blue collar and less educated = A.A.)

As a nation we could judge how we felt about that, by refusing to do business with them. If they thrived and prospered in spite of or maybe BECAUSE of their policy, the main problem would be with the people wouldn't it?

The problem with these groups and the government playing an active role in policing business practices is that it inevitably devolves into political correctness, and petty games.

Instead businesses should use their energy to produce, and let the public determine whether we like how and what they are producing.

I trust the American people in the long run.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!
 

Deegan

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I would have to agree that it should be up to this company to determine the amount they charge their own customers, and that it is only smart business to make these decisions based on the statistics available. If these stats show that, one group or another has a much higher accident rate, then it's only logical that you would charge that group more for insurance. It's also a fact that no one is forcing anyone to buy insurance from this company, and that they understand the consequences this decision may inflict on said company. I happen to agree that this makes sense, and that I appreciate a company that rewards me for my driving record, as well as others.

That said, I also don't think you can make this determination solely on these factors alone, and that if someone should fit this profile, and still maintain a perfect driving record, they should be afforded the same rates. Not to do so, this would certainly show the kind of discrimination no one wants as common practice. I believe if this is done, there should be no problem with the companies decision to go ahead with this plan.
 

craigfarmer

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A company or business person takes a risk going or doing business. When they lose money, we forget about them. Yet, once they are successful, somehow they get punished by having to follow politically correct rules.

If Geico decides they only want to do business with white women aged 36 - 45 who live in Virginia at one price, and have a different rate or no rate at all for others, IT SHOULD BE THEIR CHOICE. They are taking the business risk. If they lose money, its' their money. If they make money, it's their money - minus- taxes.


Consumer groups and/or govt. should ensure other companies are around that do serve everyone. If a company is doing something morally wrong it should be punished by people not buying their products.

The problem with using the govt. club is that we wind up killling off good ideas, and productivity.

I want someone to answer me, what difference should it make if Geico did have a policy to charge under-educated blacks more than other groups.

If an individual thinks his premiums from Geico costs too much. They can go to another company. If that person was a source of profit for Geico, then the company lost out. If they weren't, why should they be forced to lose money?

There is no constitutional right to be insured by Geico.
 

Deegan

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craigfarmer said:
A company or business person takes a risk going or doing business. When they lose money, we forget about them. Yet, once they are successful, somehow they get punished by having to follow politically correct rules.

If Geico decides they only want to do business with white women aged 36 - 45 who live in Virginia at one price, and have a different rate or no rate at all for others, IT SHOULD BE THEIR CHOICE. They are taking the business risk. If they lose money, its' their money. If they make money, it's their money - minus- taxes.


Consumer groups and/or govt. should ensure other companies are around that do serve everyone. If a company is doing something morally wrong it should be punished by people not buying their products.

The problem with using the govt. club is that we wind up killling off good ideas, and productivity.

I want someone to answer me, what difference should it make if Geico did have a policy to charge under-educated blacks more than other groups.

If an individual thinks his premiums from Geico costs too much. They can go to another company. If that person was a source of profit for Geico, then the company lost out. If they weren't, why should they be forced to lose money?

There is no constitutional right to be insured by Geico.
How does one go about finding out what your education level, and income bracket, can't they just falsify that information, now that they know your requirements?
 
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