Governor Charlie Crist (R) of Florida unwittingly provides the Obama Administration an object lesson in how not to use government to fix a perceived problem. When government participates in the market, and rigs the rules such that it is unprofitable for private participants to compete, the taxpayers are left holding the bag. President Obama and his Giant Technicolor Bailout Package would do well to learn from Gov. Crist’s mistakes.
Florida has attempted to insulate its citizens from the real cost of their hurricane insurance by refusing for years to permit insurers to charge reasonable risk-based rates. Compounding this problem, Florida entered the homeowners’ insurance market as an insurer, undercutting some of the private insurers, and drawing droves of customers. Now, some private insurers are leaving the Florida market altogether, refusing to do business in the state because the state prevents them from earning a profit.
State Farm told Florida recently it would no longer write policies in Florida, as it was losing a mere $20 million each month, and its shareholders were mildly displeased. In response, Gov. Crist is attempting to push through a law preventing State Farm from cancelling more than 2% of its policies a year. Florida’s setting a great example of how not to lure business to your state. “Come here, we’ll prevent you from turning a profit, and we’ll require you to continue to lose money.” Not exactly Chamber of Commerce slogan material, is it?
Oh, and the Florida backed insurer? It is estimated that it has $400 billion in potential exposure, and only $4.3 billion in assets, leaving the Florida taxpayer to cover the $395.7 billion shortfall. When the next hurricane comes, and it will, Florida taxpayers should remember who put them on the hook for this liability.
There’s a fine line between too much and too little government involvement in the market. This isn’t even a close call.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.