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Letter to the editor: Insurance, pension institutions broken

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 9:06 am

Today it is clear as a blue sky in September that insurance and pension institutions are broken with the asterisked exception of Social Security.

Health care, unemployment, liability, auto, homeowners, life insurance along with private and public pension funds are out of balance in many ways. Problems include excessive costs, misallocation of risk, red-lining, widespread plundering including excessive executive pay, underfunded pensions, legal loopholes to raid funds and losses in bankruptcies.

On top of all of these problems is wealth management, including insurance and pension funds, feeding financial speculation that has ballooned hundreds of trillions of dollars over the U.S. and world GDP. This rising demand for profit is clashing with the rising demand for payouts including an aging population, decaying infrastructure and extreme weather damages.

Our insurance and pensions are breaking down and cyclically in need of high-rate increases and bailouts. They are not contributing enough to the economic change we need to provide universal affordable health care and retirement, overcome structural unemployment and provide for a fast transition to an economy that protects and rebuilds a bio-diverse earth.

We are in an emerging crisis and should consider bundling all insurance and pension products into an expanded Social Security administration that provides people and business equal access to these protections. A public trust for social and business security will provide more balance with our private profit based economy. Call it repurposing a small portion of profits to save you, me, capitalism and the earth, too.

Howard Traxmor