Saturday, March 24, 2007

Liberty Mutual's "Responsibility" Site

After calling Liberty Mutual to ask about a bill, I decided to go online to pay it. The image/question on the right side of the page caught my attention. It asked, "Should the government regulate the use of trans fats in restaurants?"

My interest was piqued! "OF COURSE NOT!" I thought to myself, my rage at the recent action by the New York City city council to ban trans fats being quickly recalled. So I clicked on the image and found this site, which has a huge list of "yes/no" survey questions that have been featured in weeks past. Much to my surprise the questions actually address the concept of liberty/personal responsibility vs. government mandates rather directly.

Besides the trans fat question that's currently up, they also ask about motorcycle helmet laws, airport security, even whether people without children should have to pay "school taxes" (their words). In most cases, the survey respondents [predictably] err on the side of more government action (and less liberty). Most respondents think the government should ban trans fats, most think the government should have motorcycle helmet laws, most think the minimum driving age should be raised, etc. But the "yeses" don't usually win by very much, showing that there is a healthy amount of people that believe the government should stay out issues revolving around personal choice and responsibility.

Even better, the comments that those opposed to government action write tend to be along the lines of liberty and the government's taking of freedom. The do-gooders keep trying to bring the question back to whether helmets saves lives or whether trans fats are healthy, but the opposition doesn't fall for that straw man, instead recentering the debate to government action vs. individual liberty and personal responsibility.

Go to the site now and voice your opinion!


At 6:08 PM, Anonymous cwhart said...

Responsibility My Ass

(This letter was originally mailed to Libery Mutual's Boston headquarters in November 2007. So far no answer. How responsible)

RESPONSIBILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, RESPONSIBILITY. I can’t watch TV longer than ten minutes without hearing about what a wonderfully responsible company Liberty Mutual is. Every time I hear this I don’t know whether to laugh of throw up.

My father was a Liberty Mutual auto insurance policy holder for several decades. A few years ago, he was stopped at a red light near his home in Medford, Oregon. Just as the light turned green, a drug-addled woman with several small children in tow ran in front on my father’s car. He slammed on the brakes, and because he was barely moving in the first place, the one child that just barely made contact with my father’s car was completely uninjured. Nevertheless, as a precaution, the child was taken to the hospital.

The police came, and several witnesses were decent enough to tell them that the incident was entirely the woman’s fault and in no way my father’s fault. The police agreed, and my father was not charged.

The drug-addled woman who was stupid enough to run into traffic with her children was sleazy enough to file a claim against my father. So what did responsible Liberty Mutual do? Look at the fact that all witnesses and the police agreed that my father was not at fault and not charged and tell her to get lost? No, responsible Liberty Mutual saw a way to make some extra money and raised my father’s rates. In several decades of driving he had never had an accident and had never filed a claim. How did responsible Liberty Mutual reward him? By CHEATING him!

So your claim of being “responsible” does not impress me. The only thing you are responsible for is cheating my father. I wish I were a college marketing professor so I could use Liberty Mutual as a prime example of the contrast between the touch-feely B.S. about being caring, ethical and “responsible” that some companies pay ad agencies to dream up and the unethical, immoral and dishonest way that they really do business.

If you want to prove that you are indeed responsible, let me know, and I’ll give the details so that you can refund the money you cheated my father out of. He’s dead now, but my mother could sure use the money.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Christopher Monnier said...

(For the record, I am not nor have I ever been employed by Liberty Mutual.)


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