Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Capitalism - a love story

I have been watching the latest Michael Moore movie, which is highly recommended.

Two things in the first half of the movie that are quite shocking :-

Certain big US companies take out life policies on their employees, with the company as the beneficiary in the event of death. These are sold to the companies as a kind of investment - take out a policy on all of your employees, and if more than expected die, then the company will profit from the situation. This isn't for key employees that would cause the company to lose money or be disrupted if the employee died. Rather they are policies on the ordinary Joe's that stack the shelves at Wal-Mart etc. Astounding.

The second item was some interviews with young US airline pilots. I would have expected all qualified airline pilots to make a decent salary. Hell, I want my airline pilot to earn enough so that he doesn't worry about paying the rent or putting food on his table. One pilot earns €17,000 a year, and the other was on about $20,000. They tend to have enormous student loans to repay, and have to take second jobs to make ends meet. Indeed, the movie points out how baffling it is that a pilot can earn less than a supervisor in Taco Bell !!!!!!

There's plenty in there about banks and housing that I will comment on in more detail when I have watched the rest of the film

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