This post just happened to get lodged in my feedreader, and I just happened to read it. Nothing out of the ordinary, I’ve seen this argument in one form or another about — hold on while I count — I’d say about eleventy-billion times. The post takes issue with Allstate canceling policies in certain coastal counties of New York. Now, readers of this blog know that Allstate has a strategy of pulling back from what it believes was overextended risk in the homeowners insurance market. I’m not here to defend Allstate, but just talking in general, doesn’t it seem like that argument is kind of tired? Do I say a restaurant owner should keep his restaurant open even though he is losing money merely because I like to eat there? What if he’s a multi-millionaire many times over, should he lower his prices because he’s making enough money and I like cheap food? Do I tell a doctor he should continue to practice in a high risk area of medicine even though he could make more money and feel more secure with another type of practice? If I go to a doctor for, I don’t know, cosmetic surgery do I say he should charge me less because I know he just bought a 42-foot boat?
Do I withhold certain sums of money that the IRS claims I owe the government because they already have more than they need? Let’s put it another way. Say there is a lawyer who has a colleague, and the lawyer finds out the colleague is completely alienating clients, making a horse’s arse out of himself, losing business. Should the lawyer keep him on his cases because by the standards of many people he has enough business and is making enough money? What if your brother-in-law likes to juggle knives, but he’s terrible. Are you supposed to sit there when he whips out the blades? If Allstate is missing a good bet by not underwriting these policies, that is some other company’s gain, and something for which they will have to account to their stockholders. Why does it matter if they made money or lost money? If you have a lousy employee do you keep her because your company posted record profits? Just asking, that’s all.