In the movie, "Capitalism, a Love Story", Michael Moore exposes a sinister secret that has been part of the American corporate world for some time now -- DEAD PEASANT INSURANCE. Your boss wants you DEAD. It seems that major corporations in America have been secretly buying life insurance policies on their employees, especially the low-level ones. You die, they win, even after you leave the company. If I bought a life insurance policy on my neighbor, I would have a vested interest in his death. How is this any different?
Here is an example:
This practice has been kept a secret for many years. Here is the reaction of ABC News analysts:
Among the corporations that have bought such insurance, nicknamed "janitors' " or "dead peasants' " insurance, are AT&T, Dow Chemical, Nestle USA, Procter & Gamble, Walt Disney and Wal-Mart. Corporations gain not merely from the tax-free life insurance benefits they receive when current or former employees die but also can borrow money against these policies. Many companies even deducted the interest on these loans from their taxes.
In 1996 Congress moved to limit such deductions, and the IRS has sued some 80 corporations, including Winn-Dixie and American Electric Power, to collect back taxes on such loans. Still, companies benefit. They are not taxed on gains within a life insurance policy; in effect, these policies amount to tax-free investments for businesses.
Critics have compared these life insurance policies to those purchased by some American slaveholders on the lives of their slaves, who also were unaware of such policies held by their owners. Finally, someone is going to do something about this practice which at the very least is immoral and should be illegal.
Finally, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Chicago) is raising a red flag. He chairs the U.S. House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. This week Gutiérrez introduced a bill that would ban employer-owned life insurance unless the worker earns at least a million dollars a year from the company. He presented the legislation Wednesday on the House floor.
GUTIERREZ: In a nation where millions of full-time workers have no health insurance, maybe if we prevent companies from betting on the death of their employees, they’ll invest in the health of their employees.
For violations, the bill would provide civil and criminal remedies.
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