Crossposted at Booman Tribune
Alan Grayson has recently raised the ire of the corpatocracy and their volunteer army of teabaggers merely by simply stating the obvious, this being our obligation as good citizens, as defined by the Republican Party and the mislabeled “centrists” of the Democratic Party:
1. Don’t get sick.
2. If you do get sick…
3. Die quickly.
The Economic Royalist cabal has cried loudly, and in unison, demanding that Mr. Grayson apologize. And even some in the so-called liberal blogosphere have joined the call for him to fall on his sword for his Holocaust reference. Although the numbers of dead (officially) are not yet as large, Big Money in this country has positioned themselves to realize a profit from the deaths of those inhabiting the “undesirable” class, those whose lack of wealth must surely be due to laziness and sloth. Even the Nazis, to our knowledge, did not realize six and seven-figure tax-free payouts from those who were sent to the gas chambers. Fortunately, Rep. Grayson’s recent apology was not what his detractors had in mind, that of apologizing for the congressional inaction that continues while approximately 122 people per day die in this country due to lack of access to healthcare. In case you haven’t seen it yet:
Adding to the intrigue is the recent revelation that Wall Street is now combining life insurance settlements, bundling and securitizing them. Again, if you or one of your loved ones is party to such a settlement, the sooner you die, the more lucrative the payout for whoever now stands to profit from your death. There are many articles about this topic to be found. Here is one: http://moneynews.com/investing…
The matter of unbridled corporate greed and profiteering from the deaths of the “underclass” was brought to light on or before April, 2008, specifically, that of Wal-Mart taking out life insurance policies on their lower level employees, without their knowledge, with the proceeds paid to the company upon that worker’s death. This story can be seen at the following link, which was added to youtube almost a year and a half ago (Warning: if you have a severe allergy to salty language, you may wish to skip this video or cover your children’s ears):
Although many of us were already aware of this phenomenon, Michael Moore’s film, “Capitalism: A Love Story”, now shines an unwelcome light on this absolutely deplorable practice in such a manner that a much broader cross section of people in this country will be aware of this practice.
Frank Luntz must surely be working overtime to help the Reich Wing counter this story, raising fears that if our corporations cannot improve their bottom lines by employing such practices, even more jobs will be moving offshore, although these same people cheered the matter of the 315,000 2012 Summer Olympics jobs going to Brazil rather than the United States. And like the German people in the 1930s and 1940s, the teabaggers, zombie-like, will slavishly and obediently fall into line. Adolf Hitler clearly understood this practice and the usefulness of the teabagger set, as revealed by the following quotes:
“All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it… Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
“The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies, but would be ashamed to tell big lies.”
“What luck for the rulers that men do not think.”
Unfortunately, the embedding feature has been disabled on youtube, however, you can view a recent ABC news story about this travesty at the following web address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…
Predictably, the ABC News story significantly downplays the frightening implications raised by this deplorable practice, which raises numerous questions, including, but most assuredly not limited to the following:
1) Where is the incentive for employers to enact meaningful safety practices for their workers, when lucrative, tax-free payouts await them when insured employees die?
2) More cynically, could there be a financial incentive for employers to introduce additional work conditions that place their insured employees in even greater danger, ensuring an earlier demise, and an earlier financial bonanza? Will those employers place particular emphasis on insuring those employees who work under the most hazardous conditions? Here’s another reason for corporations to vehemently oppose effective OSHA inspections as governmental interference. I know, some of you are saying that our corporations would never engage in such a horribly unethical practice. If this is the case for you, please refer to the above quote about the “big lie.”
Even more cynically, if the employer is providing even minimal health coverage for its employees, and, as a consequence, has access to a worker’s health care profile, for those who are in the early stages of a horrible, expensive illness and a certain death, might there not be an incentive to take out a large life insurance policy on that employee, fire them, and then wait for the payoff?
3) If effective health care is made available for existing employees (or for former employees whose lives, but not necessarly their health, are still insured), the deaths of the insured may be delayed for many years, with death-related jackpots sometimes delayed for decades. In the meantime, the company must continue to pay life insurance premiums, adversely impacting their respective bottom lines. Here’s another reason for large corporations to emphatically oppose meaningful health care reform.
4) If it’s acceptable for present or former employers to take out life insurance policies on you without your consent, then why not your personal physician, surgeon, oncologist, health maintenance organization, health insurance company, and/or anyone else who might profit from your demise?
The pursuit of even greater profits by the already wealthy is the American Way, is it not? After all, this is the land of opportunity, that is, if you are already wealthy. The United States, accounting for a mere 4% of the global population, is the proud home of 45% of the world’s billionaires. See the following for further details: http://finchannel.com/index.ph… and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…
5) Consider the case of W. R Grace and Company, whose Libby, Montana vermiculite plant released asbestos into the environment, resulting in huge environmental costs to U. S. taxpayers and skyrocketing cancer rates for its inhabitants. The Federal government took action against W. R. Grace in 2005, and, as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surpise, surpise, surprise”, lost the case. For further details, you can go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L… and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W… And for a little additional food for thought: http://open.salon.com/blog/mah… and http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12…
Please also consider that Halliburton, Dick Cheney’s company, had acquired a significant exposure to asbestos-related liability when it acquired Dresser Industries in 1998 for $7.7 billion. Dick Cheney owned stock options for 433,333 shares of Halliburton during his vice-presidency, meaning that the financial health of his former company was at least indirectly related to the outcome of the W. R. Grace and Company lawsuit, where asbestos-related claims were the primary concern. Keep in mind that in 2005, the position of the corporate-friendly Attorney General was held by John Ashcroft until February 3, 2005, when he was replaced by Alberto Gonzales. And that W. R. Grace and Company had been long-time contributors to the Republican Party. Might there have been more than a little incentive for the prosecution to “take a dive” in this fight?
So, the reference to dying early by Rep. Grayson would seem to dovetail perfectly with the corporate agenda of maximizing profits to health insurers (the quicker you die, the less they have to pay out), for companies who insure the life of their employees (and benefit only when they die) and for those who have purchased life insurance settlements from those desperate to obtain quick cash to purchase medical care in the hopes of improving the length and quality of their lives.
Yes, Rep. Grayson and Michael Moore have stepped on some very sensitive toes, and the predictable yelling and screaming has ensued, which brings to mind the following quote from Harry S. Truman:
“I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.”