Y2K "insurance" - not the same as the real thing.

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I am glad I spent my money on motor insurance instead of preps.

The only Y2K problem that has affected me so far was driving in the back of someone at 0130 on New Year's Day, and inflicting #1200 worth of damage on their car. I don't think they would have accepted two hundred cans of tuna in payment.

Let's kill this insurance analogy now:

Insurance is a privately managed collective fund - lots of people pay relatively small premiums so that a few people need not be bankrupt by expensive accidents (I can't afford #1200, but I can cough up the premium). People are quite happy to see their money help out someone else because they know that one day that someone else might be themselves.

Y2K prepping is not like insurance because you are the sole contributor to to the fund, and the sole benefactor too. Y2K prepping lacks the "compassionate" nature of insurance. How many Y2K preppers were hoarding for the benefit of other people? I doubt their motives were "Oh! Look at all these poor ignorant fools not prepping; I must stash lots of supplies for them in case everything goes wrong!"... How about "Hahahahahaaaa! Fools, fools, fools... I can't wait to watch you starve! The boot will be on the other foot come y2k etc"

I know this attitude was not held by the majority of preppers, but can we please can this whole insurance metaphor (it would make use of all that canning gear people bought). People buy insurance because it provides financial protection from a wide variety of risks at relatively little cost. Most people didn't buy Y2K "insurance" because it was far too expensive, and it went against the whole idea of traditional insurance. No-one is going to buy another car to insure them against the loss of their current one!

And don't forget that traditional insurance only works because of a collective effort. Y2K prepping was an extremely self-centred activity in most cases, with relatively few community efforts.

Here's a question for you:

Where does selfishness end, and self-preservation begin? (assuming that one is justifiable[?], and one isn't[or hard to])

-- Looks like I'm going to (Cr@sh.com), January 07, 2000


Would you like some mustard with that receipt?

-- kevin (innxxs@yahoo.com), January 07, 2000.

You know what happens when you assume?

Since it appears you are terminally uninformed otherwise I'll repeat it for you.

When you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME.

This time you only got half the job done. You only made an ASS out of yourself.

Assume whatever you like about anyone else's actions.

Go on back to you collective now. There are a few individuals out here who don't really care about your collective mentality.


--Got Premiums?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), January 07, 2000.

Great thought train:

"I didn't prep, so everyone who did is a selfish SOB."


If you had paid attention, you would have noticed -- long before the rollover -- many, many threads that dealt with providing for neighbors. You would have noticed many threads that dealt with disposal of preps to food pantries in the event they weren't needed.

The only selfishness involved here appears to be an attempt at self-justification by you! as you express your disapproval of an analogy. Shame on you.

-- (4@5.6), January 07, 2000.



yeah, about 125 people months of premiums. Help out others? At my choice.

but, FWIW, do note that the poster was from England, a far more socialized society than ours.

We have had the benefit of many generations of pig headed individualists and, as Robert Heinlein put it, "petty anarchists". As in "I'll mind my business and don't let the door hit you on the ass when you leave".

How are the goats doing?

-- mushroom (mushroom_bs_too_long@yahoo.com), January 07, 2000.

OBVIOUSLY this poor person has never run into a Medical Health Insurance Savings Account, where YOU (and ONLY YOU) put money away foir health costs.


OH RIGHT It's probably not a UK thing.

Now that I think about it it's DEFINITELY not a Socialized Medicine UK thing.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 07, 2000.

Why do you ASSUME that I am criticising those who prepped?

I didn't, I didn't have the money, and I didn't have time... I am well aware of my exposure to several risks.

Why do you ASSUME that I am some kind of rampant anti-american communist just because I mentioned the word 'collective'. Insurance is a privately run thing, and so is health in the UK (as an option). People take out health insurance just as they take out motor insurance, and the premiums are always lower that any potential payouts...

You people are so sensitive... why does everyone ASSUME that every post I make is hostile. I write something about DU being relatively harmless in an unoxidised state, and people accuse me of writing propoganda for the nuclear industry!

Maybe I shouldn't have tried to be light-hearted. Maybe I should have a written an 10'000 word thesis on the wisdom or preparedness.

All I said that was comparing prepping to insurance was inaccurate; I never said prepping was a waste of time, but most people can't afford to take measures for an unknown risk like Y2K.

And I asked a question - people have often said to me that selfishness is wrong, but self-preservation is ok. I've never bought it (they seem the same to me).

Now I will be accused of ASSUMING things about other people's ASSUMPtions, and of being over-sensitive myself.

I give up

-- Looks like I did (Cr@sh.com), January 07, 2000.

And Chuck - I know no-one pays insurance out of the goodness of their heart - it is just an example of how people will grudgingly contribute to a emergency fund which they may never use.

Your health premiums may be expensive, but surely that money must be used to pay other people's expenses when they claim, just as their premiums contribute to any costs you might run up. And I doubt that the amount of premiums you have paid would meet the cost of a serious or permanent injury by themselves.

Have I offended anyone else yet?

-- -- (Cr@shed.com), January 07, 2000.

"lots of people pay relatively small premiums"

"SMALL"?!?!? Sheesh! Auto insurance (for one example) is HORRENDOUSLY expensive... and it is money down the rathole, EVERY YEAR. I pays my money, and I never sees it again. Not so with my food and other supplies, which are nearly 100% convertible into current expense reduction.

-- alan (foo@bar.com), January 07, 2000.


There are more things to consider than Y2K re: food preps. Consider if you are layed off or have a serious reduction in incoming capital. Those food preps will become QUITE handy and you wouldn't have to worry where your next meal is coming from. Actually food preps are a "win-win" situation - you can (and will) use them, whereas the insurance premium you lose out on if it's not used...

Do you really want to live from paycheck to paycheck? If you do, that CERTAINLY doesn't make sense...

Also, there have been quite a few posters who have more than once posted about working WITH the community in case disaster struck. Your generalizations about ALL Doomers wanting society's distruction doesn't hold water. I suggest that you re-think your argument.

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), January 07, 2000.

Your socialistic concept of insurance is rather myopic.

Regarding y2k, and many other contingencies, I, and you, are 'self-insured.' The difference being that my coverage is 'comprehensive', and yours is thinner than cowpee on a flat rock.


-- Pinkrock (aphotonboy@aol.com), January 07, 2000.

Cr@shed, the health insurance savings account is EXACTLY as it is described, there is ANOTHER health insurance premium we pay to a traditional (or so) mutual insurance company.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 07, 2000.

Cr@sh, FWIW, I was not criticizing you. Just noting that we must not take a myopic point of view, if someone, such as yourself, is from another country/culture.

And, I suspect, from YOUR (English) point of view, we darn Colonials are QUITE anarchic.

-- mushroom (mushroom_bs_too_long@yahoo.com), January 07, 2000.

--Looks like I'm going to,

You wrote:

"Y2K prepping lacks the 'compassionate' nature of insurance. How many Y2K preppers were hoarding for the benefit of other people? I doubt their motives were 'Oh! Look at all these poor ignorant fools not prepping; I must stash lots of supplies for them in case everything goes wrong!'"

The citizenry were certainly a factor in my preparations.

In a previous post, I wrote about how I bought new 1 gallon paint cans and filled 'em up with rice and beans for the main purpose of giving them away to hungry people(I figured if things didn't get bad by 2001, I could haul my 5 gallon buckets down to the local shelter, and keep and use the 1 gallon jobs. that way, I don't open and expose so much of the food when I start digging into my stash).

Want to participate in the "'compassionate' nature of insurance?"

Quit driving.

If you get off of the road, you'll stop hitting people with your car. Not harming others is certainly compassionate. By abstaining from driving, you will no longer need to have auto insurance. Since your insurance company will no longer have to cover you, everyone else currently using that insurance company will have the chance to pay lower premiums(high premiums help to offset the cost incurred by drivers who cause accidents). You'll be saving your fellow citizens money; truly compassionate of you!

Not driving in Austin, Texas(and still holding onto my preps),


-- Shimoda (enlighten@me.com), January 07, 2000.

Thanks for the polite responses.

I know auto-insurance is expensive - I used the term "relatively small". I can understand why drivers who never have accidents are resentful about compulsory 3rd party insurance, but this was my first accident in 5 years.

You think insurance is a scam. I think prepping (for TEOTWAWKI anyway) is also a potential waste of time. I know it doesn't cost anything perse, but personally I find that the pessimism (in my case) that justifies it equally costly.

If I had not seen the other car, and if the road had been wetter etc., then I might have actually hurt someone - and the "cost" of the accident might have run into several hundred thousand pounds. This is why insurance exists... I don't know anything about Chucks's medical account, but I don't see how anyone could save enough for long term care for a permanent injury (millions of dollars over a lifetime).

You obviously place a much higher plausibility on some risks than I do, which is fair enough.

I comments about selfishness have been refuted. However, I would like to ask the compassionate doomers if their compassion extends to those who deny any possibility of Y2K causing any problems. Do you have to acknowledge the threat to qualify for assistance. That isn't a veiled criticism; I'm just curious. The parable of the women being refused entry to the wedding because they didn't bring any extra oil for their lamps comes to mind (the couple were late, and it got dark). Such behaviour would not need defending.

Final Question:

This century we face over-population, environmental catastrophe, and profound social and economic change which will be much greater than anything we've seen before. I try to be optimistic, but can I cannot see how this new IT society is going to accomodate everyone. The microchip revolution initially created more jobs than it destroyed, but now I believe we are finally beginning to see technology create unemployment on a large scale.

I can foresee TEOTWAWKI in the form of a financial collapse, wars, disease etc., but I don't see how Y2K could be anything other than a catalyst for these things.

For the "doomers" - what was/is Y2K? - what exactly are you preparing for? (I'm not sure it is/was Y2K). This is where I am confused. I can understand people preparing for another Great Depression (all the signs are there), or climate change, or outbreaks of new and incurable diseases, but why Y2K? Whenever I look into the future it terrifies me, but I have never associated any of these potential catastrophes with the Year 2000 or Y2K?

I pay insurance premiums to financially protect me from ever putting someone in a wheelchair for the rest of my life(and having to be looked after by paid staff), and I pay health premiums to make sure myself and any dependants will not be financially liable if I am put in a wheelchair for life(ditto).

Insurance is prep - fair enough, but I suppose "cover" is not as tangible, or edible, as a several week's supply of food. When the risk of social catastrophe present itself I will probably stop buying insurance (it will be worthless in the event) and start buying stuff I can use, but I never perceived the Y2K rollover as presenting that sort of risk.

Did Y2K become (or is it still) an illegitimate focus for everyone's legitimate concerns?

This may sound odd, but I can understand why someone would want to become self-sufficient and even bunker themselves in - I just don't understand why someone would it because of Y2K. There are a thousand other perfectly good reasons.

-- Minor (Cr@sh.com), January 07, 2000.



yes, for my part, Y2K DID become a "focus" of several concerns. That said, I don't think we are "out of the woods" as far as the risk of Y2K related problems causing significant economic repercussions.

Since I'm much more self reliant, I can easily afford to sit back and watch the unfolding situation.

-- mushroom (mushroom_bs_too_long@yahoo.com), January 07, 2000.


Yes, a thousand other reasons. Y2k is/was but a small piece of the puzzle. It is a large and dangerous world. Change occurs in myriad and unexpected ways. Be prepared.


-- Pinkrock (aphotonboy@aol.com), January 07, 2000.

In response to Looks like I'm going to :

Your definition of the word insurance is simply one of many. You chose the example of using mutuality. The presence of compassion is not the deciding factor. In fact compassion has very little to do with the concept of insurance. Purchasing insurance is done precisely for self interest because you are assured that you will be treated the same as the others should a loss occur. A loss which you deem unbearable and are willing to exchange for a premium  in this case dollars. This situation is decidedly void of compassion. Now a group mutually insuring the whole may feel emotional bonds after the fact but enlightened self-interest was the original motivation.

The concept of insurance involves the transfer OR mitigation of risk. Both can be done without using the pooling mechanism outlined above. The classic example of purchasing a put or selling a call option to mitigate the risk of a decline in the price of stock. Again, there is an absence of compassion on both the buyers and sellers part.

When I purchase preps I wish to insure that I have supplies through a point in time where I feel there is an unbearable risk that said supplies will be unavailable. If that risk should materialize into an eventuality, my supplies are priceless. And, the outcome I wanted to avoid was indeed avoided. I paid a small price to receive a large benefit by mitigating or eliminating the risk associated with going with out food.

-- gary (a@a.com), January 07, 2000.

Cr@sh, you said:

I can foresee TEOTWAWKI in the form of a financial collapse, wars, disease etc...

So, living a more self-reliant lifestyle would NOT help you with any of these events...?

For the "doomers" - what was/is Y2K? - what exactly are you preparing for? (I'm not sure it is/was Y2K).

You may well be correct. I wanted to give my loved ones more "security" (whatever that means), by allowing us to live without benefit of INSTANT access to supermarkets, power, and the like. In this endeavor we have been successful. So, in the event that any unforseen disasters, large or small, were to impact our area, we have the ability to survive comfortably, WITHOUT being a drain on emergency response organizations.

Why is that a bad thing?

And you must be a TERRIBLE driver. I've been driving for 25 years, and only had ONE accident, at age 16. (Slid off the road on an icy patch. Single car accident, no injuries.) This is not a flame, just an observation....

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), January 07, 2000.

There is nothing wrong with adopting a more self-sufficient lifestyle; I just don't Y2K as the most plausible reason.

Regarding my driving - I've been driving intermittently for 5 years, which probably equates to about 2 years "full-time". This was my ONE accident, and the embarrassment will probably make it my last. Being insured didn't make me feel any less foolish. I sometimes wonder if having that ONE humbling accident is a necessary prerequisite for becoming a safe driver, rather like the asteroid folk who pray for a decent-sized impact in a remote area so that people will take their perceived threat seriously.

-- -- (Cr@sh.com), January 07, 2000.

Well, I have to admit, I didn't prep for our community. I prepped enough for my husband & I, and our parents, should they need help. I assumed my siblings, neighbors & friends were intelligent enough to make their own informed decisions (some prepared, some did not). We prepared as best as we could on a small income, and I have to be honest...I was not of the mindset to "share" with others who had as much time & information as I did regarding this whole Y2K situation.

I don't think that makes me selfish. One of my siblings literally laughed at the whole Y2K prospect and the fact that some of us were stocking up. He would look at us laughing, and shake his head. He didn't by any extras...then wanted to leave his 3 year old daughter with us on New Years Eve. I told him no, does that make me evil? I do the best I can to take care of my family, and can hardly afford that. I can't take on the responsibility for others as well.

Now, at the same time, my neighbor came to us and asked if we could join forces and help each other should Y2K be disasterous. We talked about what we had, and what our plans were, and agreed to help each other out.

Anyway, I'm taking a long to time to say I don't think we were being selfish. Here's an analogy: My uncle sees a guy begging on the street with a "Will Work For Food" sign. He offers the guy a job (he's a painting contractor). The guy says no, he just wants the food & money. My uncle told him to F-off! If you have people who make a DECISION to not do what it takes to make sure they have food, etc., then I'm not so sure I want to give my hard earned money, food, supplies away to them! And I don't think that's being selfish.

-- Newbie (newcomer@this.site), January 07, 2000.

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