Life is full of risk that cannot be transferred, to be sure, but this does not mean they should have to be transferred to non-property owning tax-payers. This thread is intended to follow up where Orion and I were discussing externalities such as pollution and drunk driving. I think it deserves its own thread.
Every external risk can be handled by insurance and then it becomes the realm of property owners to decide how much or if any protection is needed. I would even go as far to say it would work for self-defense as well. Gone would be the days of “casualties of war”. Of course, in an ideal world the biggest cause of war – government – would not exist and would be replaced by insurance (perhaps this topic also deserves its own thread).
As a person with property which I do not want devalued I must insure it for this risk where economically feasible. If some dickhole starts polluting or trespassing in such a way that should damage it then it becomes my insurance company’s responsibility to protect – they have an incentive to protect the value of my property for which they receive a premium (lower property values, lower premiums). Also, they would have an incentive to keep me alive since that would also ruin their source of income.
Unfortunately, this cannot happen when there is a monopoly of “protection” and we are forced to use the long, slow process of government run courts, etc. By time my case would go to trial my property is ruined and I would never get back the lost opportunity costs rendered during litigation. Allow insurers to protect us and it would never happen in the first place because no insurer would allow that kind of risk to be taken where they are holding the bulk value of their contracts.
For example, people would tend to live further away from dangerous manufacturing because the insurance to build new housing would be too expensive. By corollary we would also assume that new manufacturing enterprises would be forced into uninhabitable areas because their premiums would be too high or they would even be uninsurable in some cases.
As far as drunk driving goes: driving is not a right! The roads should be privatized and we would not have to worry about drunks driving on them. Also, those treehugers would have to shut up about greenhouse gas pollution (and “global warming”) because that cost would eventually be factored into driving by insurance which those road owners would be forced to buy – as well as private car owners.
Treehuggers like to scream how public transportation needs more funding but they fail to realize it is far cheaper to own a car because the price of roads are discounted by those whom pay taxes but do not drive. More “public” transportation would necessarily come about to fill the gap when roads actually reflect the real cost to drive on them.
An other great benefit is that no more assholes would be taking family vacations to “National Parks” because those roads would not exist where there were no sufficient means to support them – bam! now Gaea, the Earth Goddess, does not have to suffer their organically produced fecal matter. I mean, why pay to maintain roads that none would voluntarily pay to use in the first place?
You want conservation and an eco-friendly lifestyle? Make the owners responsible for their own shit!
Also, if one cannot even afford insurance then they probably would not need it to begin with; and I would even venture to guess that non-property owners, for example, would be insured by the property owners which would be offered as an incentive to get people to use their services – renters, for example.
As for the argument about those that would not voluntarily insure themselves for liability where necessary, I can only surmise that risk would become like a credit rating:
Even if we don’t intend to use insurance we do not want a low score – or in this case a high score for a risk rating.