Insurance industry vrs. Marx

n.gant at genie.geis.com n.gant at genie.geis.com
Thu Mar 30 17:58:00 MST 1995


Prior to the rise of the insurance industry, the banking interests
 held the political power in the United States.  However today, I
 understand that it is the major insurance companies which by and
 large own the banking establishments.  So the chain of command
 in state monopoly capitalism ultimately leads us to the insurance
 industry, does it not?

If this is the case, should not a modern critique of capitalism
 (based on the fine heritage of Marx) include a serious analysis of
 the structure and role of the insurance industry(private and state-
 sponsored) in maintaining the contemporary capitalist system?

The rise in temporary workers is a case in point.  The argument I
 have often heard goes something like this:  an employer cannot
 afford to hire permanent help because of the state insurance costs
 involved(i.e., Workman's Compensation).  Realizing this, an
 entrepreneur sets up a temporary labor pool which will take on
 those exorbitant insurance costs instead, the object being to
 entice prospective employers to go through a middleman for the
 temporary help.  If the temporary labor pool can attract enough
 laborers to be sent out for various work assignments, that business
 can make a small profit for itself, and at the same time, save the
 employers from the expense of paying insurance for temporary help.
 Unfortunately, the losers are the proletariat:  the poor workers
 are paid only the minimum wages for the work, and in many cases end
 up being "permanent" temporary laborers.

Insurance is a reverse form of gambling by the masses, I believe, in
 that you are betting(by paying a monthly life insurance premium,
 for example) that you will "crap out" sooner or later in this
 capitalist game of life, and only under those circumstances do you
 win the "ante".  However, the laws of probability are such that
 most people paying insurance premiums do not "crap out" in the
 game(i.e., they are not seriously injured or stricken with an
 infirmity) and thus do not ever get to collect the "ante".

How is the concept of social insurance considered in socialist
 theory?  Shouldn't our main thrust against capitalism in the U.S.
 be directed towards the insurance industry?

n.gant



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