Perhaps our quadruple-IQ readership, or even the other mad geniuses who frolic within the Castle, can offer rebuttal, correction, amendment, or improvement.
It is time to consider ending unemployment benefits. Look, when you lose your job, what a relief to know that you can still buy groceries, gas, and keep kids in school. But do the Federal and State governments need to sock taxpayers for it?
What if we introduced a private unemployment insurance plan? Invite the biggest underwriters to participate, and agree to standard minimums of coverage (like many states do with automobile insurance requirements), but offer packages ranging from minimum to deluxe?
Here is how it could work. When you start a job, you get nothing from anybody. If you are in a line of work in which unemployment is a real risk, no problem! You contact your insurance agent (or a competing one) and say you would like unemployment insurance.
Your agent meets with you, determines your specific risks and needs, and sets up a monthly payment plan (pay as you go, or auto-deduct from your paycheck after taxes are paid). This money goes to a short-term annuity; if you lose your job, the annuity starts paying out immediately and thereafter weekly until it runs out.
Different packages can offer longer pay time periods, greater paybacks, or other bells and whistles. And since this would be post-paycheck, the taxes would already be paid on it (within limits, assuming your package does not pay you more than you put into it).
No lines at the unemployment office. No complex forms to fill out. Extensions might be possible under a credit plan (that would be an extra-cost option for sure). Best of all: no taxpayer dollars. In fact, the government is now totally out of this line of work, except for a couple of regulators who audit the books and check to ensure new underwriters are legitimate and able to participate.
The Czar thinks this could be pretty inexpensive: as long as unemployment never gets above 48% or so, there will always be more employed people paying into it than unemployed people taking out of it. There would always be risk, but this would be divided up by private companies who know how to manage these risks. If you paid, say, State Farm or Allstate (with a pool of tens of millions of participants), the risk pool would be so large that this could be just $20 per paycheck, especially when the various carriers start going at it.
Additionally, employers might offer this as a benefit! If we hire you, not only will be pick up your health, dental, and vision, but well kick in for your unemployment insurance. If ought to be inexpensive enough and be a reassuring perk.
Here is another benefit: if your particular package allows it, you can collect even if you get fired for malfeasance or incompetence. Of course, each time this happens, your rates go up. This might, by the way, serve as an enticement to take your work a little more seriously, the way a lot of reckless drivers start slowing down and staying in their lane when their premiums start ticking up.
It could be arranged so that you even get a couple weeks overlap when you start a new job, too, so that you have some protection in case the new job throws you out. If you voluntarily resign your job, you qualify to the extent of your coverage limits because it was your moneylike cashing in a life insurance policy. You get a portion of it back.
All in all, insurance providers would pop up fast, because even at todays levels, you have 90% of the risk pool still paying in and only 10% paying out under Obamanomics. There is profit to be made there. And payouts could be flexible enough so that you truly get more for less.
Under bad economic times, okaymaybe everyones rates start to go up. We get that. But insurance companies, in order to compete, are motivate to bring those rates back down again when times get better. It self-corrects. Fraud? Sure, inevitably: but insurance companies are way better at finding and killing fraud than government bureaucrats.
And if you dont want it, you cancel your coverage. Unlike auto insurance, it need not be mandatory for workers. Mind you, if you opt out and lose your jobyou are on your own with no one else to blame but yourself.
How crazy is this? Let us know. It would be nice if the first people who get to use it are all the civil servants at the various unemployment benefits offices.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.