Monday, 23 August 2010

dead peasants society

So I just watched Capitalism: A Love Story. A real shocker.

Ever come across the term 'Dead Peasants Insurance' (if you haven't watched Capitalism that is)? It's an insurance scheme in America where a company(many of them blue chip - P&G, Citibank, Disney, Walmart, Nestle, Bank of America are just some examples) secretly takes out a life insurance policy on an employee who is unaware of the same, 'conveniently' naming the company as the beneficiary in the event of the employee's death. And not even one of the top level management, in which case it would be understandable although not entirely inexcusable, given the cost of training a person to work effectively in a managerial position. This scheme would even cover, say, a salesperson at Walmart. So if he/she dies due to a critical illness, the family has to pay for astronomical medical expenses while the company makes a tidy profit. And the employee in their lifetime never even knew about it, forget giving their consent to it!

Get this: The company is entitled to receive the cash even if the employee was fired. TAX FREE death benefits. The family, of course, gets nothing.

What is the money used for? Incentives and retirement benefits for top level executives. So basically, the company is better off if the employee is dead. And it seems women are valued more as their longevity is more than that of men, resulting in more benefits. For the company that is.

How can the insurance companies not even examine the employees' medical reports before agreeing to this? Probably because 20% of all annual life insurance is comprised of COLI - corporate owned life insurance.

Walmart supposedly, as stated in the end credits of the film, doesn't take out this insurance anymore. That's just one corporate giant less.

Were you stunned when you read Disney's name in the list? You'd think a company that gave you so much entertainment coupled with moral messages (the more blatant ones) while you were growing up would live by the code it sends out. There was the ever present message in every classic - that good always triumphs over evil. You really expect a multi billion dollar corporation to live by the ideals it propagates? You naive thing.

Why would a company that announces well over a billion dollars of profit fall so despicably low for a few measly million? How much is ever enough? What's the point of all that money, it can't buy you self respect!

And how.. HOW the hell is this even legal?!?

On top of that, these people have the audacity to give it the name that they do. Dead Peasants?? Really??

Would corporations go as far as to bump off their insured employees? Perhaps that's stretching it a little. Companies have made complaints(internally of course) that the number of employees dying are not meeting expectations. But anyway you can't really get rid of thousands of employees unless you did a Nazi and locked them in a gas chamber, and then the legal system would be compelled to make known its existence. So they'll just bide their time hiding behind whatever loophole they've found, until the poor buggers eventually kick the bucket. And that's when the easy millions roll in.

Wonder if anything like this goes on in corporate India? Wouldn't put it past them. They're no angels here either.

1 comment:

  1. WOAH!!!...i had zero clue!...where did u read this from? in what opened ur eyes to it all??

    thts horrible!! =|


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