Florida's other-directed Republican legislature just gave that insurance cartel a $1 billion bailout.
The McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 gave the insurance industry with special rights to avoid liability for price-fixing, bid-rigging and monopoly -- a coveted antirust exemption. That antitrust exemption must be repealed, just as Congress repealed health insurance antitrust exemption after adopting the Affordable Care Act.
Property insurance was he hot topic on our local NPR affiliate Thursday morning, December 15.
People need information. Accurate information.
But rather than talking about monopoly, oligopoly and corruption, WJCT's First Coast Connect host, Ms. Michelle Ross, once again hosted today what she called an "expert," actually a smirky, snooty insolent, insulting insurance trade association hack from Ponte Vedra, MARK FRIEDLANDER of the "Insurance Information Institute," utterly unadorned by any balance from anyone.
There was no consumer lawyer, antitrust economist, or journalist. Why?
This is not the first time that Ms. Michelle Ross has presented biased programs. She's done great work for over a decade. But she is sometimes shallow or seemingly unduly influenced by goofy guests and PR.
NPR listeners in North Florida and South Georgia deserved so much better than this one-sided creepy MARK FRIEDLANDER, a flak who would talk a starving dog off a meat wagon. He never uses one sentence when a paragraph of malarkey will do. In April, FRIEDLANDER was a guest, presenting the insurance cartel's views as holy writ. This morning, he did it again. Pitiful.
I tried to call in to program to rebut feculent FRIEDLANDER. I was waiting in queue but call dropped. Credit WJCT's primitive telephone equipment, which is often mucked up.
JFK's Ambassador to India, economist John Kenneth Galbraith said, "'The 'market' is a snare and a delusion."
WJCT: during Pledge Week, don't take our contributions to present us with kooky cartelist nonsense about "the market" when in fact insurance is not a "free market" but a vicious anti-competitive industry, shielded from competition by federal law. One caller pointed out that insurance rates are higher for people with bad credit, tripling when people lose their jobs. That anti-consumer practice should be outlawed; as Saint Augustine said, "An unjust law is no law at all."
The roots of the insurance industry's "unjust law" -- wholesale antirust exemption -- date back to 1944-1945. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, The New York Times' front page headline was about the Supreme Court's landmark decision in the Southeast Underwriters case holding that the "business of insurance: is covered by antitrust law.
Corrupt Senator Nevada Senator Patrick McCarran (see below) and Congress voted to reverse the decision was reversed before WWII ended. Sneaky bastards. So by the time my parents were married at Fort Benning in September 1945, the greedy, rapacious insurance industry was given protection from the Rule of Law by the McCarran-Ferguson Act That law should be repealed.
In 1890, in adopting the Sherman Antitrust Act, Congress declared that "every contract, combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade is hereby declared to be illegal." That is our Nation's fundamental public policy. Free market competition.
"Let us raise the quality of debate in this country, and let that be our legacy," as the character Leo Thomas McGarry once said, in TV's drama, The West Wing).
From this blog, April 20, 2022:
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
DOPEY ONE-SIDED LOCAL NPR PROGRAM WHITE-WASHES INSURANCE CARTEL
News coverage of antitrust and insurance issues is shriekingly shallow, dominated by shallow reporting and "Let them eat handouts" from PR men like Insurance Information Institute's MARK FRIEDLANDER, a guest on "First Coast Connect" with Melissa Ross on April 19, 2022.
On the day of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe, the front page of U.S. newspapers carried a page one headline about the Supreme Court decision in United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Assn, holding 4-3 that the business of insurance is covered by our antitrust laws. (See headline on second column of New York Times front page, below, full text of story, here). Corrupt Congresscritters had anther idea.
So it came to pass that on March 9, 1945, President Roosevelt signed an unjust law that Congress enacted, lobbied, euchred and cajoled by the insurance cartel, exempting insurance from most federal laws, including our antitrust laws. Our Nation's Oldest City's patron saint, Saint Augustine said, "An unjust law is no law at all." This unjust law is called the McCarran-Ferguson Act, and it leaves to cartels and their friendly state captive regulators any regulation of the "business of insurance."
Prime sponsor was controversial corrupt Democratic Nevada U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran, one of the few Democrats who did not support the New Deal. This corrupt Jew-hating, racist, xenophobic anti-Semite's name was recently taken off the Las Vegas Airport, now named for former Nevada Senator Harry Reid.
In Godfather II, a corrupt Nevada U.S. Senator, played by G.D. Spradlin, modeled on Senator McCarran, shakes down mafioso Michael Corleone, only to be blackmailed over a prostitute's death in a whorehouse.
On high insurance prices, WJCT's "first Coast Connect" program on April 19, 2022 presented a one-sided 30 minute segment, inter alia blaming "frivolous litigation" and "insurance fraud" for higher Florida rates, never mentioning the antitrust exemption. Wonder why?
Shame on Melissa Ross for booking without any opposing vies one MARK FRIEDLANDER, a local insurance cartel PR man with something called the "Insurance Information Institute" to blither generalities without specifics.
This did a dissservice to her listeners.
Baby-faced MARK FRIEDLANDER insulted our intelligence, spewing corporate babytalk.
Our sacred Seventh Amendment right to civil jury trial is a "bulwark against oppression," as the late Justice William Rehnquist said it best.
America, in its righteous might, needs to restore the Supreme Court's 1944 ruling on antitrust liability for insurance companies, as was proposed under Obamacare.
WJCT's usually perceptive interviewer Melissa Ross should not listen to her former DALTON PR agency colleagues when covering issues about corporate power.
Enough flummery, dupery and nincompoopery.
As the Hal Holbrook government source character we now know to be FBI Assistant Director Mark Felt said to Bob Woodward in All the President's Men, "I hate shallowness."