Saturday, November 27, 2010

May the workforce be with you...

Seems like about every time I go to the mailbox, there's a bill for some type of insurance. House, car, truck, business, life, or health. We just keep paying it and hope we never have to use it. But hope as we might, we have occasion to use it a few times over the years, once when lightning won the battle with most things electronic in the house, and a couple of times when somebody decided to help themselves to some of our tools.

I was glad for the coverage at the time, but truth be known, I've paid the insurance companies a lot more than I've ever collected. But I'll probably keep on paying them, just in case Mother Nature or some ne'er-do-well decides to up the ante someday, or I come down with something that can't be cured with aspirin or liniment.

Still, expensive as it is, I always figured it was my business, and I didn't expect anybody else to pay for the insurance on my truck or home. Or life.

I received a letter from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development the other day. I'm not sure how they came up with that name, but I guess it has a nice ring to it, and probably fits on the letterhead better than if they called it the Indiana Department In Charge of Collecting and Re-Distributing Unemployment Insurance.

Anyway, it seems the state unemployment fund, which is funded by employers, has run out of money. In order to get by, Indiana has been borrowing money from the federal unemployment fund, which is also funded by employers. And since there are fewer employers paying in and and more employees taking out, the government has decided to remedy the situation by making the employers pay more into each account.

I guess that's one way to handle it, but it always seemed to me that the common-sense way would be to let the employees that stood to benefit from the unemployment insurance purchase and pay for it if they so choose. We know there are a lot more employees than employers, and employees could choose the amount of coverage they were willing to pay for. And they could purchase it from an insurance company, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development could get on with the business of developing a workforce.

Or not.

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