Not your friends and not your benefits

Bill Quick, in a post from the summertime that bounced back into view, points out the basic structural problem with the current paradigm for so-called “employee benefits”:

Those “free” benefits are paid for by you with your much reduced salary. Is your employer one of those who notes on your paycheck all the “free” benefits they are so graciously bestowing on you? Well, add all that money directly to your own salary, and that’s how much you’d be earning without those “freebies.” Think you could shop around and do better than what your employer, GargantoCorp, is spending your money on for “your” benefits?

Assuming, of course, that GargantoCorp would actually raise salaries to compensate for freebies withdrawn, which in the current corporate climate seems unlikely.

That said, though, were the government’s thumb removed from the scales, I suspect I could find quite a nice package for way less than is being spent now on my ostensible behalf. Then again, when have you ever seen a spoiled child give up a toy willingly?

1 comment

  1. fillyjonk »

    9 November 2011 · 11:55 am

    1. Seems unlikely that our salaries would increase to the tune of the cost of reduced benefits.

    2. If you had to shop for private health insurance…well, the thought of that scares me a little, I can imagine the health-insurer equivalent of Flo looking at me across the desk, narrowing her eyes, and going, “You’re a little….big….aren’t you? I’m not sure we want to take you on unless you follow this scheme for cutting your body mass by 1/4.” Currently, I can kind of fly under the radar (“wellness programs” notwithstanding) by being part of an employee group.

    3. I’m already bracing for our premiums here to go WAY up next year; it seems to already have hit people in other states/lines of work.

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