Proposition 33: A Fine Example of What’s Wrong With The Proposition System

California’s proposition system is generally broken. There are good propositions out there, such as Proposition 25 (which made it so that budgets no longer need super-majorities to pass).

Then there are things like Proposition 33.

Proposition 33 is the worst type of proposition out there. It’s the type of proposition in which a big corporation asks voters to change the law so that the corporation can increase profits. In this case the corporation is Mercury Insurance, founded by billionaire George Joseph:

What’s even more crazy about this proposition is that Mercury Insurance placed the exact same thing on the ballot just two years ago. It failed. Now Mercury is trying again.

What Does Proposition 33 Do?

Proposition 33 allows car insurance companies to give discounts to individuals with five continuous years of car insurance.

Conversely, this means that individuals without five continuous years of car insurance will have their car insurance become more expensive. Insurance companies, after all, don’t just hand out discounts because they’re nice. If Proposition 33 passes car insurance companies will give the discount to those who qualify and then raise their prices for everybody else. For those without five continuous years of car insurance, you’ll be paying more if this proposition passes.

Who are people without five continuous years of car insurance?

Well, they’re generally the young and the poor.

Say you’re a working-class immigrant who’s just saved enough money to buy a car for the first time in your life. If Proposition 33 passes, your car insurance will become more expensive. Or say you’re a young person (like me) who just got your license for the first time. If Proposition 33 passes, your car insurance will also become more expensive. Or say you’re a proud mother of a blooming high school student. If Proposition 33 passes, you’ll be paying more for your son’s car insurance once he gets his license.

Yup, This Affects Me Too!

This proposition directly affects me and every single young and poor Californian out there. It also affects every single mother or father of a high school or college student. If Proposition 33 passes, car insurance will be more expensive for every Californian driving a car for the first time in his or her life.

Under Proposition 33 these smiling Californians will be paying a whole lot more in car insurance.

This is why voting is so important. The young, the poor, and parents can’t let companies like Mercury Insurance sneak Proposition 33 past us.

Every single young person in California, and every single one of their parents, should vote against Proposition 33.

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  1. I agree with inoljt will vote no for proposition 33… it’s quite a pain for us.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is for sure big business proposal. Poor always pay higher price. It is always better to evenly distribute cost to the bigger group, than to overcharge one part, and give a false sense of saving to other. What will happen, one group will pay higher price and the other will stay the same. So they will have the false impression that they are saving, while insurance company at the end will create rate hike even, sanctioned by low. VOTE NO on 40

  3. Abo says:

    The reason that people without prior insurance would see their rates go up is ostensibly that they cost more to insure in terms of higher payouts for things like accidents (and young people, in particular, get into more accidents). I am not making a case for or against this proposition, but I want to point out that the statement does not mention that there is a transfer of costs from one group of insured drivers to another, only that we should support the “young and the poor.” The core of this argument is really not about the greed of insurance companies, but about notions of social welfare and the role of the law in regulating private enterprise toward particular ends. And if this is simply a case of one group’s costs going up while the other’s goes down, what is in it for the insurance companies? I would be interested to hear someone with knowledge of the insurance business say something about what sort of distortions of incentives, etc., are engendered by not being able to price insurance according to prior insurance record.

    • inoljt says:

      This proposition is promoted by a company trying to change the law to benefit itself. That’s enough by itself for a “No” vote.

  4. Wow. Its amazing the amount of paranoia. None of these talking heads are insurance brokers or agents. I represent Mercury and when this discount was used years ago, the rates were substantially cheaper for those who had prior insurance. Much cheaper. Im not concerned about first time drivers or those who havent needed insurance. As they pay, their rates will fall as they build up their insurance paying record. They arent stuck with high rates forever. Overall….this is a very good idea for CA drivers. I will vote for it and will promote it with all of my clients.

    • inoljt says:

      Well, I hope you understand why I’m opposed to a proposition proposed by a car insurance company that would make car insurance more expensive for people like me.

      And I bet a lot of your clients have children. When those children start driving, they’ll be paying through their nose for the childrens’ car insurance if this proposition is approved.

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