consultants are sandburs

Monday, August 26, 2013

Among the workforce, free market functioning, as it should be? Rewarding the fit, not rewarding ones unfit, or is it more? Actually, it seems FAR MORE, and pernicious.

Strib, this link. Physical fitness as a semi-barometer of likely healthcare costs. If an employer keeps a workforce fit, group coverage rates go down with the health insurer, and the employer promotes workeplace goodwill, via giving fitness bonuses to reward those employees whose maintaining or achieving new levels of fitness were [or will be] instrumental in a downward coverage rate adjustment.

Not a mandatory attendance thing, not a reward for voluntary attendance at fitness advisory lectures, but a biometric based thing. Scientific measurement, not guesswork.

Fine. First, eating disorders are categorized as a disease, not a lifestyle choice. Yet those with eating disorders, or a thyroid or other endocrine imbalance problem might as a group show a lower mean "fitness" measure than some generic control group standard.

Second, it discriminates against the elderly, who have a harder time exercising without risk, and may have developed dietary restrictions over time that affect "fitness;" unless a "fair" adjusted age related scale is used.

What's "fair?" Easy, whatever maximizes the rate reduction can be defined as "fair," hence cull out the old and already sick. What could be simpler?

Diabetics, gone.

Auto-immune sufferers, whose exercise capacity is affected? Gone.

Those on expensive plan-paid medications to stay alive, or functionally healthy, what of them? Easy - A variable cost to an employer, one which can be biometrically measured and "adjusted" down.

Wheel-chair bound workers, again "fair" adjustment is the bogus answer.

And any sane biometric measure would include mandatory drug testing, right?

It is one of the biggest red herrings dragged across the path of workforce and worker rights.

It sucks. Or if you are a widget maker in Fridley, you want your rates down and nobody screwing up in the widget manufacturing unit or lazy in sales, because of, well, you know, smoking whatever during the job. And while it is postured as a bonus system for workforce members to achieve more income, having an incentive and hence an expectation of benefit, they will conform. Right. It is not a culling thing, working toward "objective" cause to terminate certain employees who do not make the grade. Nor could it ever degrade to that. Right. It is safe that way because of the universal benevolence of employers towards those who are a cost of production.

God is in Heaven, all is right and in sane repose - once we institute this, ideally nationwide, as rational cost containment within the private sector. A purely functioning market. A capitalist ideal. And why not give intelligence tests, personality screening, at work and at the ballot box?

The thing seems fraught with potential "euphimistically nice" but actually nasty likelihoods. Or not?

Pernicious opportunity for great resultant mischief? Or just the good old invisible hand of the market, seeking a fine equilibrium, a helped-along hand. Like it or love it, it will happen? After all, who'd object? You decide.

And - In collective bargaining situations, a different "fair" measure might be negotiated then in that more lovely situation, where every worker is free to bargain individually his/her compensation and terms and conditions of employment with his/her employer. At arms length, the market better equilibrating that way - without the interference of collective bargaining where other things than merit and freedom between individuals applies. Damn those unions. They could mess up such an otherwise wonderful scenario. Yes/no?

If developers are crabgrass, and consultants sandburs, insurers are toxic lawn chemicals; and this wonderful idea seems to me to have that genesis and advocacy locale. That or ALEC.

Insurers or ALEC; which, in the extended metaphor, is Roundup? The weeds perish while the good crop can better flourish and prosper while growing toward the reaper's ultimate harvest, and it's all done by genetic engineering. Monsantoize the workforce? I love this new world order. It is so -- orderly.

With the right biometrics, the "fairest" possible under some articulated measure, might it turn out that English speaking Aryans, as a group, show a highest mean or median "fitness" level, to then be rewarded for who they are, fitness-wise? Things over time might come to what now appear as remote and speculative possibility. Or not? You decide.

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