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IPFS News Link • Social Security

The Coverage Catch 22

•, By eric

The morality of it aside, Social Security was probably a good deal for the first two or three generations that were forced to pay into it, in the sense that most of them probably ended up collecting more than they were forced to "contribute" (it's always worth air-fingers-quotation-marking words used to convey the opposite of what they normally mean).

Forcing people to buy car insurance hasn't worked out the same way.

At least with Social Security, people eventually got something in return for what was taken from them. With car insurance, all you get is "coverage" – a thing of no tangible value if you never use it. This is a great deal for the insurance companies, of course. It is why they are among the most profitable businesses going. Much comes in, little (proportionately) goes out. It helps also to be able to force people to buy what you have to sell. The health insurance business saw what the car insurance business did and did the same. Both invested in government – and the returns have been spectacular.

Both have the power to summarily increase what they take in – mark the appropriateness of the italics – by increasing what they are in a position to force you to pay them in the event you ever actually use the "coverage" you're forced to pay them for.

You may have been paying for 20 years or more without having filed a claim. But just a sure as the tide that went out is going to come back in, if you put them in the position of having to pay, they will make you pay for it.