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« Maggie Gallagher's Open Letter to "Z" und "Vielpunkt," Die S├╝ndhaften Weibischen Pinguine (TRANSLATION: Those Sinful, Nelly Penguins) | Main | A Brief Note of Friendly Concern: Dear Val Kilmer »

June 06, 2009


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Sorry WAM, but I think you misunderstand a couple of things...
1) If you croaked at age 62 (rather than 85) from smoking, Prudential would make a LOT less money han if you had lived. In the life insurance business, the people who die young are the ones who cost you. The life insurance guys would much rather you live to be 100 and pay them premiums for 40 extra years...
2) So why invest in tobacco? Because the returns are good. It's worth saying $260 mil isn't a lot of money in a roughly $250 bil portfolio. Insurance company's also invest (from time to time) in other nasty outfits such as Raytheon (bomb maker), Haliburton, Molson-Coors, Caterpillar, Venezuelan Gov't bonds, US Gov't bonds, etc. etc. So where do you draw the line?

Whup-Ass Master

Howdy Winks,
1) If you scroll up you'll see I was talking about annuities or long term care. early croakers with those policies certainly do save insurers money. Re: life insurance? Yep, but the actuaries have that covered; smokers pay much higher premiums. And you can bet the actuarial math works out in PRU's favor; they are out to make a buck, after all.
2) Why should these companies avoid tobacco? For one very simple reason: tobacco is the only product out there, when used as designed, kills you. A raytheon stockholder isn't necessarily hoping that people die, so much as the defense industry keeps spending. This is where we draw the line: Insurers shouldn't be making side-bets on the lives of their customers. If nothing else, it's truly rotten PR.



A beautiful piece of apologetics IMHO. I ditched insurance (of any kind) years ago, because the yearly premiums for running a farm were mind boggling. I started my own personal insurance corp and have reaped the benefits since then. Unforch, Texas is the only state this can happen.


...That was okay, like Sandy in Grease, we wanted to be "bad."

Speak for yourself chico. I always wanted to be Rizzo!!

Whup-Ass Master

@JWB cubed: Texas? We thought you were in nawlins.

@flaquita: Rizzo was definitely cooler, but we'd rather head into the sunset in a flying car with John Travolta, bless his retarded scientologist soul, than get stuck on a ferris wheel with Jeff Conway.


WAM, I started smoking when I was 14 and quit the day after I turned 45 - I've now been smoke-free (no bummed smokes at all) for 18 months. While I totally understand about the wheezing going up a flight of stairs, that wasn't my motivation - my mother, who was a lifelong smoker, suffered an aeortal aneurysm at 46, requiring open-heart surgery, then died of a massive heart-attack at 51 - she refused to quit, even after the surgery. Now that I'm 46, I feel like making it to my 47th birthday without blowing a valve will be some sort of victory. Silly, maybe, but it's how I feel.

John Travolta may be a retarded scientologist, but at least he's avoided the complete moronity that is Tom Cruise.

Whup-Ass Master

@Jan: Thanks for sharing your profoundly depressing story. We believe you'll reach 47 and well beyond without popping a gasket. Stay smoke-free, bitch.

And all Scientologists are retarded. We really can't budge on that point.


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