Welfare Capitalism

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"Welfare capitalism" is the idea that companies will provide for their
workers out of self-interest (to keep them happy) with things like
health benefits, pensions, et cetera. It's kind of a unique Americn
phenomenon - other countries seem to prefer having the state provide or
enforce the benefits with laws (and we call them socialist, or in
extreme cases, welfare states). Possibly Ford was the beginning of this
movement. But today welfare capitalism is eroding. I have no pension,
and I don't know many people anymore who have one. We have self-funded
401Ks, and consider ourselves lucky if the company has any matching at
all. We get health benefits but they make us pay the premiums - and you
get HMO level care ... the coverage is so limited and costly that you
might as well pay out of pocket - anything catastrophic they're not
going to pay anyway. (I exaggerate slightly but you know what I'm
talking about if you are paying premiums on an HMO yourself.)

As corporations like mine stop providing benefits and pensions, people
(and corporations looking to get out of their obligations, such as
USAir) are going to look more and more to the government to do it. I'd
tell you to vote for a particular candidate, but both Kerry and Bush's
platforms say Social Security has plenty of money (of course it does, at
least until Nov 2nd anyway...)

Recommended article: http://slate.com/id/2107108/

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Me said:

there's been a followup with reader comments at http://slate.com/id/2107010/

Me said:

to be fair I have to mention that the last time I seriously considered skipping health insurance and paying everything out of pocket, within a week I broke my leg and rang up 20,000 bill in just 24 hours.

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This page contains a single entry by Doug Treder published on September 23, 2004 6:40 PM.

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