If You Can’t Beat Them, Bilk Them: The Market for Caravan Insurance16th November 2018
(I wrote this as a column for an outlet that chose not to use it, so I am sharing it here.)
While the Democrats won an impressive victory this month, it is still distressing so that many people were willing to vote for openly racist xenophobic Republicans. Furthermore, Donald Trump’s bizarre stunt of hyping a “caravan” of asylum seekers walking up through Mexico from Central America apparently worked. Millions of people rushed to the polls to vote Republican, thinking that Donald Trump was the only force to protect our country from this invasion.
Apparently, there are tens of millions of people who believe any idiocy that Trump puts out and is then repeated and amplified on Fox News. These people either do not pay attention to other news sources or consider them all to be “FAKE NEWS.”
It is difficult to reach these people through normal channels. They either will not listen at all to arguments from non-believers or they will view them as lies, like global warming, cooked up as part some grand conspiracy to deceive them.
If we can’t reach these people through reasoned argument, we can try a different route. We can try to reach them through their pocketbook.
Suppose we got a progressive millionaire or billionaire to offer “caravan insurance.” For a modest sum, say $300 a year, caravan insurance would compensate people for damage to their property or any physical harm they or their family suffered from any people on the refugee caravan that entered the country.
Given the enormous fear that Trump and his friends at Fox have built up around the caravan, this should sound like a very attractive offer. After all, being protected from an “invasion” for just a few hundred dollars sounds pretty good.
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