‘Not lily white’

At age 65 the government, through Blue Cross, picks up 70 per cent of all our eligible medical expenses.
If you are one of the fortunate people to retire early with a pension and benefits package, your insurance company gets a 50 per cent windfall when you turn 65.
Where they were once paying 80 per cent of your eligible medical expenses, they are now paying 30 per cent and in my case continued to charge me the same premium.
Worried about government waste and high taxes? Here’s a clear example of a public policy that facilitates a cash windfall for multi-national insurance companies.
Why not make the insurance company the first payee and the government the second?
The example of weak government policies were on full display when Sears Canada went under. Tens of thousands of laid off employees were robbed of their retirement savings because pension plans have no protection under bankruptcy laws.
This example was especially heinous since the major American shareholder and directors choose to enrich their personal wealth rather than invest in and grow Sears for long-term sustainability.
The kicker for taxpayers is that government social programs must now pick up the pieces of unintended ruined lives caused by Sears’ bankruptcy.
Perhaps it’s time we put pensioners at the top of the list of creditors for bankruptcy proceedings.
As well, let’s consider attaching personal liability to directors for unpaid salaries and severance pay. These changes might give directors some encouragement to act in the best interests of their corporation rather than personal wealth accumulation.
Politicians love flogging civil servants and inefficiencies as the sole problem of government waste, high taxes and deficits, but that’s an easy cop out.
Perhaps it’s time we look at everything wasteful in government including public policies that clearly enrich corporations or allow corporations to download the financial consequences of bad management on the public purse.
There is more to government fiscal responsibility than austerity within the civil service and social programs. As these examples clearly depict, public policies around corporations aren’t lily white either!

by B.P. Schimke

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