It is on the sociological level, though, that we’re missing the boat most completely by sticking doggedly with a workplace-based system that no longer makes sense. America has always been a mobile society with a labor market that grows more fluid over time. Once, the norm was to work for a single employer for one’s entire career. Today, people change jobs an average of 11 times before they reach 40. Fear of losing health coverage keeps people in jobs they would otherwise leave, creating a drag on economic efficiency.
Noah…that’s exactly right. I’ve been doing a lot of personal thinking lately about the institutions/companies/things that people are a typically part of for life. The ones I’ve come up with:
- Religious institutions (like this)
- Alumni Groups
- Special Interest Groups (WWF)
- Federal government (but I’ve surely never seen efficiently run government)
- Ha (sort of)…your gMail account, Facebook Vanity URLs – things that are valuable to you and represent you publicly as a person.
- Ha…Brands people love (like Apple)
Maybe these are the kinds of things that we should be purchasing health insurance from. There would be an economic incentive for these players to invest in you and reward you for your good behavior that will more than pay for itself in 40 years. Purchasing insurance through an employer with whom you’ll have a 3 year relationship simply doesn’t make sense any more.
What are some other lifelong “things?”