We Can’t Do Anything About…..


by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:

…. (stupendously high medical prices | ridiculous college costs | cops shooting unarmed Australian women | etc)


We can’t do anything peaceful and lawful about it? Oh, I fully understand why these outrageous practices exist.  You see, the hospital administrator, doctor and pharma companies have no fear when they refuse to quote you a price or bill you at 10x what an insured person who has consumed their deductible would pay through their insurance, the college dean and provost have no fear when they cause your 18 year old son to rack up $50,000 a year in student loans and the cop has no fear when he shoots an unarmed Australian woman through the window of his cop car — and across the body of his partner.

Everyone seems to think that the concept of “fear” in this regard means doing something illegal and for which they’d immediately go to prison, which is why they’re not (obviously) interested.  Oh really?

I would like to put a different postulate forward:  You really don’t give a ****.

Seriously, you don’t.

In fact you approve of what they’re doing each and every day.

You don’t care that your 17 year old son is about to get bent over the table by a university in regard to college cost.  You in fact endorse your kid being forced to pay half the kid’s tuition sitting next to him in Calc class simply because you have more money than his parents do.  In fact you have already gone so far as to conspire with that administrator in screwing your own son by filling out a FAFSA form!

You don’t care that the guy down the street — or your own mother — is billed $7,500, their entire deductible on their Obamacare insurance policy, for five stitches they need when someone who has consumed their deductible or is on Medicare would be billed $400 for the same thing.

You don’t care that the Australian woman got shot and killed although unarmed in Minnesota.  After all, you’re not dead (yet.)  Never mind the cops who got caught planting drugs on people in Baltimore — more than once.

And the list goes on.  Wells Fargo, for instance — a company that not only opened up millions of un-requested accounts and purloined millions in fees by doing so they also force-placed car insurance on car loan customers who didn’t need it, bilking them and in some cases repossessing their cars for not paying that which they didn’t owe while destroying their credit. You in fact don’t care about the hundreds of thousands of Americans Wells screwed.

How do I know you don’t care?

Because there are dozens of things you could do about it that are perfectly legal if you did care.

You could, for example, refuse to associate with said people, defined as anyone who is such a person or is employed by and thus gains their livelihood through the antics of such an organization or company.

You could stick up the middle finger every time you saw them or any member of their family.

You could picket their house.

You could picket their employer.

You could make their life so miserable that they literally couldn’t associate with anyone in their hometown because everyone who chose to do so would also be shunned.

You could put Wells Fargo out of business by pulling all your money from said bank, refusing to do business with it, picketing it and refusing to associate with anyone who works there.   If you discovered that a business used them for their check processing (which is easy to determine from your canceled check stamps) you could tell that business you won’t shop there as long as they use Wells because you don’t want Wells Fargo to make money on your money.  In short you could refuse to pass money through the company to the extent possible and you could make working there a living hell for anyone who decided that their salary offer was reasonable given the firm’s conduct.

The same is true for the local hospital, the college in your town and more.

It’s not illegal to dislike someone.  It’s not illegal to flip someone off.  It’s not illegal to decide that you won’t associate with somebody on a personal basis.  In fact, unless your decision on a business basis is predicated on one of a handful of protected classes — race, sex, national origin and a few others it’s not illegal to tell someone to screw off in a business or professional context either.

Doctors are not a protected class.  Nor are hospital administrators.  Nor are bankers that work for a specific bank.  Nor are cops, dispatchers and others that work for a cop department that likes to hire trigger-happy Somalis.

Don’t talk to me about how “outraged” you are about these sorts of things.

You’re not even mildly pissed off.

It was not that long ago that a certain person who I knew decided to run a five-alarm line of crap with regard to immigrants in my presence while I was out drinking with friends.  He was never really all that close of a friend, but he seemed like an ok guy and we’d hang out and drink a beer or two once in a while together — right up until that point in time.

I’ve never spoken to him again and I now intentionally and quite-visibly avoid him. As far as I’m concerned he’s a ghost!

That’s not the first time I’ve decided that I will have nothing to do with a person, organization, business or anyone associated with same and it won’t be the last.

Does this, for example, apply to all cops?  No.  We have a local PD here that, at least in my experience, is quite reasonable.  I have no quarrel with them.  But with anyone employed by the PD in Baltimore, or in that particular jurisdiction in Minnesota?  Nope; they can all bite me.

Likewise there’s a local neighborhood with an association here that decided that a running group I hang out with didn’t like us running on the roads in their development.  It’s their right as a neighborhood association to make the collective decision for everyone who lives there.  But when they voiced this to our running group my response was that while I certainly respect their right to make such a decision and would, of course, honor same if anyone who lived in that development wanted me to work on their computer in the future, either at home or in their business, the price just went up by a factor of 10.  If they don’t like runners then I don’t like them — all of them!

The other people at the run that evening looked at me like I had six heads and four arms for making such a proclamation.  What?  We weren’t running on their lawns; we were on the sidewalks and paved streets and nowhere is there posted a “No Trespassing” sign nor is there a closed and latched gate making clear that they don’t want anyone without a code or key to come into their little enclave.  I respect their communal right to decide that a couple dozen people, not blocking traffic or in any way impeding their lives, running on a sidewalk for fitness and fun, is something they don’t want to see.  But my view is that such snobbish garbage has a price, and the price is that as a “prole” according to them they obviously don’t need said prole’s help.  If they solicit said help anyway they’re going to pay an outrageously high price and I will tell them why.

See, people band together into neighborhood associations, corporations and similar structures for the express purpose of limiting personal liability and at the same time making their decisions more forcefulthan one individual can express on their own. By doing so they decide to collectively act, and as such it is both perfectly reasonable and fair that the consequences of those actions also be collectively applied against every member of the group who benefits from same when other people don’t like what they’re doing!

Americans used to have this sort of constructive and very effective view toward behavior that they found outrageous.  It’s disappeared, except in places like Amish communities, where if you violate their view of sensibility you and your entire family will be shunned.

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