f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 5, 2004

Will Rogers Part II: In the Risk Pool with the RiskProf

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 9:58 am

Under the banner of his renamed weblog, RiskProf Martin Grace mused yesterday that Will Rogers “probably never said anything funny about insurance or risk management as he knew that someone like me would come along.”  (see our first Rogers posting) That spurred me to ascertain whether America’s beloved comboy-humorist had ever aimed his lasso at the sometimes unpopular insurance industry.
dice Although leaving me exhausted, my non-exhaustive research came up with only one insurance-related quip from Rogers:

“The man who dies without adequate life insurance should have to come back and see the mess he’s created.”

The source for that quote is a Life Insurance quotation service, so I’m not vouching for its pedigree.  It seems a little strange that Will didn’t have something a little more Rogerian to say about insurers or their sales force.  The consumer advocate within me notes, however, that I located the following business in Oklahoma: the Will Rogers Insurance Agency. Hmmm. Conflict of interest?
I also discovered an article written by one Linda Williams, RN, “a long-term care risk manager with The GuideOne Center for Risk Management,” West Des Moines, Iowa.  In the article, Let Will Rogers be your guide, Ms. Williams writes:
“Never before has the [long-term care] industry received so much bad press over the problems of so few facilities. If the great journalist-philosopher Will Rogers * were alive today, I’m sure he could offer a few bits of wisdom to help this hurting industry cope with its problems. Let’s see how 10 of his famous quotes might apply to liability (and headline) avoidance.
crystal ball sm You can click through to see her explanation of the quotes, but here are a few that suggest Rogers knew how to avoid a risk or two:

2. “Always drink upstream from the herd.”

3. “Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ‘n puttin’ it back in.”

5. “It doesn’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.”

8. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

9. “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

10. “If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.”

A bunch of these quotes can also be found in the Cowboy Code of Ethics.  (It’s off topic, but I also discovered the UFO Abduction Insurance webpage, which you might want to explore for a chuckle.)
This second visit to Will Rogers brought me to the Quotes Exchange, where I found the following Rogers quotations, which made me smile:
– If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?


– The American people are very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.


– The minute that you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer.
will rogers The first two quips confirm that Rogers did not survive to see the 2004 Elections.
Some closing thoughts:  Both Martin Grace and George M. Wallace let me know how much they have always enjoyed Will Rogers.  I sure hope that you don’t have to be over 40 to know about and appreciate Rogers’ legacy to American political wit and wisdom.
Will Rogers actually ran a “favorite son” campaign for the Presidency in 1928, with his Anti-Bunk Party.  His sole campaign plank: “If elected, I will resign.”  [the image here is from the cover of Life Magazine, May 31, 1928, announcing Rogers’ candidacy.]
Finally, my Googling about Rogers led me to an article called “Will Rogers is Running for President,” which covered the Presidential campaign in 1974 of Arizona Senator Morris K. Udall. (by Aaron Latham, New York Magazine, Dec. 1974) The author explains that “if Will Rogers had run for president, this is how he would have done it.”

Udall was well-known for his own gentle but insightful wit.  Seeing the article reminded me that Mo Udall was the first and only Presidential candidate for whom I have sat at a telephone trying to raise money.  I was in my first year of law school and went to Udall’s office in downtown Boston.  I respected Mo Udall a lot, but the impetus for manning a phone bank was the fact that my college friend, Jack Quinn, was Udall’s campaign manager at the age of 24.  Jack went on to become a distinguished lawyer at Arnold & Porter, and then White House Counsel to Bill Clinton.  (And, yes, he became somewhat infamous for Pardongate, the Marc RIch affair.)   I may never have remembered this little piece of my life, were it not for starting down the trail suggested by the RiskProf.  Serendipity can be swell.

Update (Nov. 8, 2004):  If you’ve read this far, you deserve a few Mo Udall quotes (from BrainyQuotes):

  • For those of you who don’t understand Reaganomics, it’s based on the principle that the rich and the poor will get the same amount of ice. In Reaganomics, however, the poor get all of theirs in winter.I have learned the difference between a cactus and a caucus. On a cactus, the pricks are on the outside.

    If you can find something everyone agrees on, it’s wrong.

    One puts on black robes to scare the hell out of white people, while the other puts on white robes to scare the hell out of blacks.

    The more we exploit nature, The more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival.

1 Comment

  1. nice story,thanks

    Comment by financer — March 12, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

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