Make a Difference

Disguised as Compassion

Wayne Swan and Bill Shorten met with representatives of insurance companies yesterday to encourage them to show compassion to flood victims ‘as anger grows over the companies’ “no policy, no payout” stance.

Labor wants the insurance companies to give payments to people who don’t have flood insurance.

Julia Gillard suggests that not paying out people who didn’t have policies is ‘playing hardball.’

What’s next? The government demanding that shops give goods to people who haven’t paid for them, and claiming supermarkets which don’t comply are playing hardball?

But then, why would anyone pay for groceries?

Some people who live in flood prone areas chose not to ensure against flood. They saved some money. And they are not insured against flood. That was their choice.

So why are they angry?

The insurance companies have no obligation to pay people who don’t have insurance.

The government might as well ask makers of haemorrhoid creams or jet skis to cough up. That would make as much sense.

This is typical of leftist governments. We have to be nice. Preferably with someone else’s money.

In this case, with money that belongs to policy holders (in other words, people who did think ahead) and to shareholders in insurance companies (primarily superannuation funds, ie, other people who are thinking ahead).

It is sad that some people whose homes were damaged, or who lost property in the recent floods chose not to insure against those risks. Especially when all of them live in areas which have flooded before.

Australia is a community. The suffering of one affects us all. It is great that the community rallies around to provide emergency help.

But the reason the community can rally around to provide emergency help is that most Australians still take responsibility for themselves, and put a little aside for hard times. The commonwealth and states have reserves we can draw on in hard times. Those reserves are accumulated through hard work over time.

If the government succeeds in forcing insurance companies to pay people who did not have policies, what incentive is there for people to take responsibility in the future? Why would anyone pay extra for flood insurance if the government can be relied on to pressure insurance companies to pay everyone anyway?

As a nation we used to be self-reliant, hard working, prudent. We knew we lived in a physically harsh country, where extremes of heat and flood were common. And we took care to be prepared.

Now there seems to be an attitude that we don’t need to prepare, because whatever happens, it is someone else’s job to fix it. If something unpleasant happens to me, well, I didn’t want it to happen, so someone else should pay for it.

This is now the standard way of thinking in relation to health. If I need to see a doctor, need to go to hospital, need an ambulance, or need medicine, someone else should pay. The gubmint.

But gubmint money belongs to the taxpayers. You want someone else (the taxpayer) to pay for the treatment you need if you break your leg, and to subsidise your income if you can’t work?

But how do you feel about your tax money paying for Mrs McGinty’s third set of dental work this year, when she has never cleaned her teeth in her life? Or paying for treatment for the Harris kids’ constant eczema and worm infections?

But then, why should Mrs McGinty clean her teeth? Someone else will take care of it. Why should the Harrises wash their hands and keep their animals off the kitchen benches? Someone else will pay. It will be OK.

But it won’t be OK. Because if the government constantly acts in ways that are a disincentive to taking responsibility, eventually there will be no one left to take responsibility. There will be no reserves, and no one left who can pay.

Ah, but universal health care is compassionate. No it’s not.

Well, paying out people who don’t have flood insurance is compassionate. No it’s not. 

At least, it’s compassionate to let illegal immigrants into the community and help them become citizens. No it’s not.

It is compassionate to give home loans to people who can’t really afford them. No it’s not.

It’s compassionate to lower academic standards because it is too hard for students to learn and their self-esteem will be impacted if they fail. No it’s not.

All of these are laziness, or worse, the deliberate fostering of dependence, and the discouraging of honesty and responsibility, disguised as compassion.

Those who perpetrate and perpetuate these things may feel good about themselves and their niceness.

But the end results are always the same. More resentment. More entitlement. More suffering.


  1. Rosalie

    I stumbled on your site when looking for information on Lance Walker’s spurious claim. Thank you.

  2. James

    Your a bastard. You have obviosly never been through a flood. You don’t know what it’s like so you shouldn’t talk.

  3. Peter

    Hmm …

    Actually, I have. Most of my family lives in Ipswich, and I have lived in Surat – near Condamine.

    I was living in Charleville during the 1997 floods.

    Like many others, we were evacuated and spent two nights in emergency accommodation.

    Our house, though close to the river, was elevated. Flood waters did not come through the house. It was close though, and water had soaked up through the floorboards in a few places.

    I had spent the preceding few days checking on neighbours as the waters rose, and getting as many of our belongings as possible to higher ground.

    In the weeks that followed, I spent most of my time using a high pressure sprayer to help other Charleville residents clean the muck out of their homes, and in helping with food supplies.

    So yes, I do know something about flooding.

  4. Dorian Martella

    It’s a pattern the U.S. has repeated over and over for 100 years. It first supports thugs and dictators for “pragmatic­” or “national interest” reasons, then is caught totally flat-foote­d when people rise up, overthrow them, and bitterly hate the U.S. thereafter­.

  5. Ernest Cantarano

    Well I don’t think it’s really the fault of the the Presidents that are in power during the government­al turnovers. Our terms, unlike in many countries in those regions, don’t last lifetimes. Only 4 to 8 years. So while one President may have had a more cordial relationsh­ip with whomever is in power, doesn’t mean that the incoming President shares the same policies or viewpoints­.

  6. Sharla Roley

    The citizens of Egypt clearly are worthy of far better then what this President has given them. The people want freedom and a much better future for their kids. It is time for President Mubarak to retire.

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